Northwest News

Oregon Pension Cuts
6:31 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Kitzhaber's Budget Will Include Pension Cost-Cutting

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is asking lawmakers in Salem to take a hard look at cutting costs in the state's pension system. Some of those potential savings will be a part of the two-year spending plan that the Democrat will unveil this Friday.

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Northwest News
8:40 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Gun Sales Expected to be Up for Black Friday

A customer looks over a gun. Gun sales expected to be high for Black Friday.
Credit N3

Gun stores are among the retailers expecting bigger than usual sales today. The national trade group that represents the gun and ammunition industry says Black Friday could set a record for the number of background checks performed.  Those are required by the F-B-I for gun purchases.  

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Northwest News
7:06 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Pension Cost-Cutting To Be Built Into Kitzhaber’s Budget

Rising pension costs are hitting Oregon's local governments and school districts hard.
Credit Chris Lehman / N3


SALEM, Ore. – When Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber unveils his budget proposal  November 30, it will include something of a gamble. Advisors say the Democrat's spending plan will include cost-cutting to the state's public pension system. Getting those changes through the legislature -- and the courts -- will be no easy task. But the cost of the pension system has gone up substantially.

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Northwest News
6:47 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Union Raised Staffing Questions Before Murder at Hospital

The man killed at Eastern State Hospital early Tuesday morning died from strangulation according to the medical examiner.  The local union who represents the workers raised questions about staffing levels months before the man was killed.

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Northwest News
6:41 am
Thu November 22, 2012

More Time To Comment On Morrow Pacific Coal Terminal

The public is getting thirty more days to comment on a proposal to move coal through the Northwest.

The new public comment period begins December first for the Morrow Pacific coal project. It would transport coal by train to Boardman, Ore. From there, the coal would be loaded onto barges and shipped down the Columbia River.

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Northwest News
6:38 am
Thu November 22, 2012

WA Supreme Court Issues New Jury Rulings

The Supreme Court of Washington issued a series of rulings  on jury selection, isssuing opinions on four cases in one day. They all had to do with how courts and judges interact with jurors.

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Reindeer Protected Habitat
5:48 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Northwest's Remaining Reindeer Butt Heads With Snowmobilers

Credit Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - The last herds of reindeer in the continental United States are found in the Northwest. But even here, there aren't very many left. Next week , federal wildlife authorities are expected to designate the animal's high-elevation stomping grounds as protected “critical habitat.” The move has riled another winter visitor to the area –- snowmobilers.

Reindeer — or caribou — used to be found along the northern tier of the U.S., from Washington, to Maine. But that is changing according to Bryon Holt, a biologist with U.S. Fish & Wildlife.

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Road Use Tax
5:31 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Oregon Begins Mileage Tax Pilot Project

A Chevy Volt plugs in to a public charging spot in Olympia.
Credit Photo Credit: Tom Banse

About 40 Oregon drivers are spending this fall measuring their miles on the road. It’s part of a pilot project

to study alternatives to the gas tax.

Oregon lawmakers ordered the research out of concern that gas tax revenue will decline as more drivers switch to hybrid or electric vehicles. That could reduce funding for road maintenance.

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Skiing Safety
6:35 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Ski Industry Veterans Are Trying to Keep People Safe In the Back Country

Stevens Pass was the site of a fatal accident earlier last February.
Credit Photo by Derek Ramsey / Wikimedia Commons

The holiday season is upon us. And along with that comes ski season. Snow is falling in the Cascades. Wednesday is opening day at Crystal Mountain and Mount Baker. Tuesday Stevens Pass opened.

But giddy enthusiasm from skiers and snowboarders’ throughout the region is overshadowed by an accident at Stevens Pass last February. It was big.

News Report: “We’re gonna begin with those deadly avalanches. A deadly avalanche near Stevens Pass /We are gonna begin with the breaking news: that deadly avalanche in Washington state.”

Three people were killed that day.

Now, as KUOW’s Sara Lerner reports, ski industry veterans are trying to come up with new ways to keep people safe in the back country.

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Juniper Lumber
6:20 am
Wed November 21, 2012

How Creating a Market For Juniper Could Help Oregon’s High Desert

Juniper growing in a desert.
Credit Photo courtesy Creative Commons

You can stroll into any Home Depot in the northwest and walk out with a load of pine, fir, cedar, or maple lumber.

Ask for juniper, and you’ll probably get a blank look. But that may change. Juniper trees have overpopulated in eastern Oregon, and scientist say they are sucking the high desert dry.

A group of environmental entrepreneurs thinks the best way to restore the desert is by creating a commercial market for juniper. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix Reports.

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