Northwest News

Sea Stars
5:36 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Amid a Mass Die-Off Thousands Of Young Sea Stars Found

A team of divers has discovered thousands of young sea stars off the Oregon coast near Florence
Credit Alexandra MacKenzie / Flickr

A team of divers has discovered thousands of young sea stars off the Oregon coast near Florence. Some say it could be a sign of recovery from a disease that's been wiping out sea stars all along the Pacific coast.

At first, the dive team thought they were barnacles.

But a closer look revealed they were actually thousands of little sea stars covering the rocks.

Divers with the Oregon Coast Aquarium counted more than 200 sea stars in one square meter.

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Columbia River Treaty
5:21 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

B.C. Energy Minister Says U.S. Has A Good Deal In Columbia River Treaty

The Columbia River at Rowena, Oregon.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A little-known fact about Columbia River dams is that a valuable chunk of the power generated on the U.S. side goes to Canada under an international treaty. Northwest utilities say your power rates would be lower if that electricity could be sold to California instead of being delivered to Canada for free. This week in Spokane, the biggest players in the trans-national river basin are debating whether to extend that 50-year-old treaty.

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Health and Wellness
5:20 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Oregon Congressman Pushes End-Of-Life Conversations

Legislators are working to try to allow doctors to bill health insurance companies for end-of-life conversations.
Credit Flickr

Currently, if a doctor wants to talk to a patient about dying, he or she has to do it off-the-clock. They can't bill insurance companies for the time.

Portland Democrat, Earl Blumenauer, says he has 60 co-sponsors for his bill to allow such conversations to be covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

"It will pay for a 93-year-old woman with terminal cancer to have her hip replaced, but it won't pay a couple of hundred bucks for the doctor to have a conversation with this woman and her family to find out what her wishes are," he said.

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Washington Gun Initiatives
8:26 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Faith Community Weighs In On Gun Initiatives

Washingtonians will vote on two opposing initiatives on background checks for firearms: 591 and 594. Religious organizations are some of the leading voices on the gun rights debate.
Credit M Glasgow / Flickr

This November, Washingtonians will vote on two opposing initiatives on background checks for firearms: 591 and 594. Some of the leading voices on the gun rights debate have come from religious organizations. Reporter Ryan Katz tells us how communities of faith have been viewing this issue.

On a Friday evening in late September, a couple hundred people arrive at the United Methodist Church in Queen Anne to listen to some classical music. But this particular event was not supposed to happen here, and not now. It was meant to happen at Seattle Pacific University, in June.

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Orca Calf Missing
7:43 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Newest Endangered Orca Calf Missing, Presumed Dead

A calf born this year to a resident Puget Sound orca has not been seen recently and scientists think it may have died.
Credit EarthFix

Orca enthusiasts rejoiced when a newborn calf was spotted seven weeks ago. But as of this morning the endangered killer whale calf has not been seen.

L120 was the first calf born in the past two years. Over the weekend, the calf’s mother was spotted three times, without her baby. Orca experts believe the calf is dead, though no carcass has been found and it's unclear how it died.

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Ashland Divestment
7:31 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Ashland City Council Passes Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution

File photo of a truck at a Wyoming coal mine. Ashland has become the second Oregon city to formally come out against the investment of its dollars in coal and other fossil fuel industries.
Credit Katie Campbell

The city of Ashland passed a resolution Tuesday night supporting divestment from the fossil fuel industry. It joins Eugene as the only other Northwest city to take this kind of action to fight climate change.

The scope of the resolution is limited.

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Same-Sex Weddings
6:38 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Idaho Wedding Chapel That Refuses To Marry Same-Sex Couples Sets Off Conservative Alarm Bells

The Hitching Post in Coeur d’Alene is refusing to perform same-sex marriages.
Credit Danielle / Flickr

  

Religious conservatives around the country are rallying to the defense of a wedding chapel in north Idaho whose owners don’t want to perform gay marriages. The mayor of Coeur d’Alene and governor of Idaho are being inundated by hundreds of calls and thousands of emails even though neither has taken any action against the wedding chapel.

The quaint Old West style wedding chapel called the Hitching Post is just across the street from the county courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.

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Marijuana Legalization
6:28 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Big Bucks Pour In For Oregon Ballot Measure Campaigns

The group behind the marijuana legalization measure in Oregon has taken in more than two million dollars.
Credit Mark / Flickr

  The big bucks keep pouring into Oregon ballot measure campaigns. The campaign to pass a recreational marijuana law similar to Washington’s got a big financial boost over the weekend. Even the less flashy top-two primary measure is rolling in out-of-state money.

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Human Trafficking Lawsuit
6:26 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Backpage Case

Anti-human trafficking activists rally at the Washington Supreme Court before oral arguments in a case involving Backpage.com.
Credit Northwest News Network

  

The fate of a human trafficking lawsuit against Backpage.com is now in the hands of the Washington Supreme Court. The justices heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case that involves three underage victims of sex trafficking.

The lawsuit alleges the Washington girls were pimped-out through ads posted to Backpage.com. Erik Bauer is a lawyer for the victims. He argues Backpage has created a sex marketplace where human trafficking can flourish.

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Legislative Trips
6:37 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Washington Ethics Ruling Could Lower Bar For Foreign Trips

Washington state Senator Pam Roach appears on Azerbaijani television during a trip in May to strengthen relations between the U.S. and Azerbaijan.
Credit Pam Roach

A Washington lawmaker’s trip to the Middle East in 2013 was legitimate legislative travel – not an illegal junket. That was the ruling over the weekend from the state’s Legislative Ethics Board.

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