Northwest News

Wash. Unemployment
3:52 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

March Unemployment Rate Flat In Wash.

A day after Oregon delivered a virtually unchanged monthly jobs report for March, neighboring Washington did the same. Washington's employment department pegged the state's unemployment rate last month at 8.3 percent. That's the same as the revised rate for February.

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Wolf Poaching
6:24 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Washington Couple Plead Guilty In Wolf Poaching Scheme

A couple from Twisp, Wash., has accepted a plea deal in a wolf poaching case. Under the agreement with federal prosecutors, Tom White and his wife will not face jail time. Jessica Robinson reports.

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Coos Bay Terminal
6:21 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Documents Identify Two Companies Involved In Coos Bay Coal Export Negotiations

The Port of Coos Bay is negotiating with three companies interested in building a coal export facility on Oregon’s South Coast. Through interviews and records requests, EarthFix has learned the identities of two companies involved in the deal. Amelia Templeton reports.

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Coos Bay Terminal
6:16 am
Wed April 18, 2012

International Investors Plan Coal Terminal In Coos Bay

Coos Bay is one of six ports in the northwest pursuing a deal to build a coal export terminal. The coal would come from mines in Montana and Wyoming. If the companies reach a deal with the port, it won’t be the first time coal is big business on Oregon’s south coast.

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Benoit Settlement
6:10 am
Wed April 18, 2012

AP Report: Settlement Between UI And Family Of Slain Student

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the family of a University of Idaho graduate student murdered last August has agreed to a financial settlement with the university in a claim filed against the school. Katy Benoit’s family had filed a three million dollar tort claim against the UI in December. Northwest Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley recounts the events of last August in Moscow.

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Washington Ethics Complaint
6:10 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Solar Guru In Washington Target Of Ethics Complaint

The “father” of Washington’s solar industry faces a state ethics complaint filed by Republican State Senator Jim Honeyford.
Photo credit: Wikimedia userPujanak Wikimedia Commons

A man some call the “father” of Washington’s solar industry faces a state ethics complaint. Former Washington State University employee Mike Nelson is accused of using his state position to help a solar company win an important state certification. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports Nelson then went to work for the company.

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Earthquake Warning System
5:12 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Prototype Early Warning System Worked During Cal. Quake Friday

This GPS station near the summit of Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park could be part of a future earthquake detection and early warning system.
Photo credit: Tim Melbourne, CWU Northwest News Network

A prototype, earthquake early warning system, worked as designed when an actual quake gently shook California last Friday. Researchers reported the results Tuesday at the annual meeting of American seismologists.

Last year, a private foundation in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey gave a multimillion dollar grant to create an automated earthquake warning system for the Pacific Coast states. The idea is to provide advance notice to prepare people for severe shaking. It could come via a cell phone alert or a pop-up on your computer or TV screen.

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Oregon Death Penalty
4:37 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Death Row Inmate Seeks To Overturn Execution Reprieve

Gary Haugen was set to die by lethal injection last December.
Photo credit: Oregon DOC Oregon Department of Corrections

An Oregon death row inmate will make an unusual argument in court Wednesday. Gary Haugen says Governor John Kitzhaber overstepped his authority by halting all executions in the state.

Two time convicted murderer Gary Haugen was set to die by lethal injection last December. But two weeks before the scheduled execution, Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber put Oregon's death penalty on hold. The governor wants lawmakers and the public to reexamine the state's capital punishment system.

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Oregon Employment
3:43 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Oregon's Jobless Rate Edges Gradually Down

Oregon has seen a decrease in the unemployment rate of a full percentage point over the last year.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user M.O. Stevens Wikimedia Commons

Oregon's unemployment rate edged down to 8.6 percent in March, essentially unchanged from 8.7 percent the month before. At 8.6 percent, Oregon's unemployment rate is higher than the national average. It stands at 8.2 percent.

But Employment Department Spokesman, Tom Fuller, says Oregon's economy appears to be improving, and fewer and fewer people are claiming unemployment insurance.

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Washington Prisons
6:27 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Time Served: Do Prison Lifers Deserve Another Chance?

During Washington’s recent legislative session, lawmakers briefly considered a bill to bring back parole for prisoners. The measure failed to move out of committee. But supporters already plan to try again next year.

The sentence of ‘life without the possibility of parole’ is steadily on the rise in U.S. prisons. Here In Washington, nearly 600 prisoners are currently serving ‘life without’. Most of them will grow old and die behind bars. It’s a prospect that’s tough to fathom.

In this collaboration with the Seattle Times, we take a look at how some ‘lifers’ come to grips with this reality….and how they search for meaning in a situation most people see as hopeless. KUOW’s Liz Jones has our story from Monroe prison.

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