Northwest News

Oregon's Superintendent Resigns
6:19 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Oregon Schools Superintendent To Step Down, Join Non-Profit

Oregon State Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo announced she will step down by the end of June. Photo courtesy of OPB
Photo courtesy of OPB

Oregon's elected state schools superintendent is leaving her job. Susan Castillo announced Monday that she'll step down by the end of this month to work for an education non-profit.

Castillo is a former Democratic state lawmaker who's in her third term as Superintendent of Public Instruction. Her current term doesn't end until 2015, but she had no chance of winning re-election.

Oregon lawmakers decided last year to do away with the office of state school superintendent. They chose instead to give the governor more direct authority over schools.

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Lucky Friday Mine
6:13 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Fines For Fatal Mining Accident Less Than Predicted

The Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho.
Photo credit: Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

The federal government is fining a north Idaho mining company $360,000 for unsafe practices that killed a miner last year. That’s about a third of the penalties that were expected.

Last year federal inspectors said the Hecla Mining Company engaged in “aggravated conduct” when it allowed miners to extract silver ore from a mass of unstable rock. It happened about a mile underground at the Lucky Friday Mine near Mullan, Idaho. The practices led to a tunnel collapse that killed 53 year old Larry Marek, according to a investigation.

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Washington Cherry Season
6:09 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Dreary June Forecast Has Northwest Cherry Farmers A Bit Worried

Cool weather and rain could delay ripening and compress the cherry growing season.
Photo credit: Anna King Northwest News Network

The Northwest cherry harvest is set to begin next week, but farmers are a bit glum. That’s because the National Weather Service says this month’s temperatures will be near or below average across Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Cool weather and rain and can delay ripening and compress the cherry growing season. That means that markets have less time to sell the perishable fruit. Plus, farmers may have a harder time recruiting enough labor in a shortened season.

And there’s another problem according to the Washington Fruit Commission's B.J. Thurlby. He says rain can spoil the fruit on the branch.

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Olympic Training
7:02 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Eugene Track Meet Offers Preview Of Olympic Competition

Elite Northwest runners and throwers tested themselves against Olympic-caliber competition this weekend in Eugene. Some athletes found the experience sobering, while others drew encouragement with about two months to go before the Summer Olympics. Correspondent Tom Banse reports from Eugene.

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Gold Mining Regulations
6:54 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Court Rules For New Regulation Of Gold Mining In Western Salmon Streams

Gold mining with small dredges is popular in the rural Northwest. Today, the 9th circuit court ruled that the Forest Service has to strengthen its regulation of this kind of mining in salmon streams. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports.

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Gay Marriage
6:50 am
Mon June 4, 2012

For Some Black Baptists, Evolving Views On Gay Marriage

This week, same-sex marriage opponents in Washington state plan to turn in signatures for Referendum 74. The measure seeks to rollback the state’s recent legalization of gay marriage.

Conservative churches are a key base for the Referendum campaign, including many African American churches. Numerous polls show black voters, compared to whites, are more opposed to gay marriage.

Now, some wonder how these voters’ views might shift given President Obama’s support for marriage equality.

In the first of our two-part series about same-sex marriage and the church, Liz Jones visits two Baptist churches in the Puget Sound area.

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Wash. Liquor Privatization
6:04 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Wash. Shoppers React To Liquor In Grocery Stores

Alyssa Royse stocked up on tequila, vodka, gin, scotch and vermouth on the first day of private liquor sales.
Photo by Ashley Gross, KPLU Northwest News Network

The state of Washington has officially bid good riddance to its state run liquor stores. About five times as many stores will now sell hard liquor, and the new law that went into effect Friday means shoppers can head to supermarkets to buy vodka or rum. It’s a welcome change for some people, but not for everyone.

Shoppers gave their reactions outside of a Costco warehouse in Seattle.

Alyssa Royse was loading up bottles.

"I came here just to by liquor. We've got tequila, vodka, gin and of course vermouth."

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Hanford Whistleblower Case
5:33 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Judge Drops Dept. Of Energy From Hanford Whistleblower Case

Hanford Nuclear Reservation whistleblower Walt Tamosaitis testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight in December 2011.
Image via U.S. Senate U.S. Senate

A high level whistleblower at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is moving ahead with a lawsuit against a federal contractor. But Walt Tamosaitis would have to appeal in order to take the federal government to court. At issue is the safety culture at Hanford.

Walt Tamosaitis sued the U.S. Department of Energy and contractor URS after he was removed from his job. He claims it was retaliation for raising safety concerns about the $12 billion waste treatment plant going up in southeast Washington.

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Washington State GOP
5:25 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Josh Romney Gets Applause And Boos At Wash. GOP Convention

The room was largely divided Friday at the state Republican Party convention in Tacoma, between supporters of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul for president.

The audience saw a videotaped message from Rick Santorum, urging them to come together behind Romney. That was also the message from Washington’s former chairman for the Newt Gingrich campaign.

Mitt Romney’s son Josh addressed the crowd in person. He said he wanted to make a pitch about what he calls the state party’s “congressional slate”, to assign delegates. . . to his dad.

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Exercise For Cancer Patients
5:17 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Sea Change In Cancer Treatment: Get On The Treadmill

Trainer Laura Rosencrantz (left) developed a personalized training program for cancer patient Trish Carr (right).
Photo credit: Julia Flucht Northwest News Network

When you get cancer, hopping on a treadmill is probably the last thing on your mind. But a growing pile of evidence shows exercise is precisely what doctors should advise you to do.

The American Cancer Society has released new guidelines urging patients to get active, even as they endure exhausting chemotherapy and radiation treatments. This is a big change, one that some believe isn’t happening fast enough.

Laura Rosencrantz is a personal trainer for Inpower Fitness in Portland. She’s certified to work with a specialized group, cancer patients.

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