Northwest News

Idaho Mine Safety
6:08 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Silver Valley Slams Feds For Mine Shut Down

Local attorney James McMillan, standing on right, speaks at a town hall meeting attended by nearly 100 people that Idaho Gov. Butch Otter held Monday in Wallace.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

WALLACE, Idaho - Residents of Idaho's Silver Valley are outraged over a federal order that will put 250 local miners out of work for a year. They expressed their frustration to Idaho Governor Butch Otter Monday at a town hall meeting in Wallace. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has more.

The Lucky Friday Mine in north Idaho is one of the deepest and most productive silver mines in the country. And in 2011, it had a string of accidents -– including two fatalities.

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WA Gay Marriage
6:56 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Wash. Gay Marriage Proposal Gets Decisive 'Yes' Vote To Pass

The Washington State Capitol Building
Wikimedia user: Tradnor Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington lawmakers say they now have the last “yes” vote they need to pass same-sex marriage in the state.

Cheers from gay rights supporters filled the room as state Senator Ed Murray announced that news at a press conference Monday in Olympia. The 25th vote comes from Democratic State Senator Mary Margaret Haugen.

Opponents of gay marriage want to put the idea to a vote of the people. So even though the legislative votes are there, Murray says same-sex marriage is not a done deal yet in Washington.

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Gas Pipeline
6:30 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Natural Gas Pipeline For Hanford Plant May Go Under Columbia River

Warning sign at entry to Hanford Site, Washington
Wikimedia user: TobinFricke Wikimedia Commons

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Department of Energy is starting work on a plan to build a 30-mile natural gas pipeline to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. The announcement Monday includes few details but the pipeline would likely go under the Columbia River.

Hanford’s waste treatment plant is going to need a lot of power. After all, its purpose is to mix radioactive sludge with glass material to form molten liquid. That brew, once cooled, would form huge glass logs for long-term storage.

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State Employment
6:00 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Laid-Off, Then Hired Back By The State

Keri-Anne Jetzer Lost Her Job As A State Researcher, But Then Was Hired Back In A Different Position
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The number of people who are out of work in Washington is falling. It’s a sign the economy is recovering – albeit slowly. But it’s only been in the last two months that the government sector has started hiring again. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins profiles one person who lost her state job, but found another one.

Keri-Anne Jetzer’s low point came last year when she lost her job as a researcher for Washington’s Sentencing Guidelines Commission.

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Oregon Rising Waters
2:19 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Willamette Valley Copes With Flooding

People fill sandbags at a City of Salem maintenance facility.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – Rising flood waters have led to evacuations and road closures in the Willamette Valley. In the town of Turner, city officials have encouraged all residents to evacuate. Shelters are open in Salem for those displaced by flood waters. Salem residents Mark and Andi Bean were eyeing the rising waters. They were filling up sandbags at a city of Salem maintenance facility.

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Endangered Species Lawsuit
2:11 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Environmentalists Challenge Logging Plans Over Threatened Murrelet

A marbled murrelet swimming
Gus Van Vliet U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

EUGENE, OREGON - Three environmental groups intend to take Oregon's Department of Forestry to court over the effect logging has on a threatened seabird.

The marbled murrelet spends much of its time over the ocean – but it nests in older forests. The Center for Biological Diversity, Audubon Society of Portland, and Cascadia Wildlands argue that logging plans for three state forests would harm the bird's nesting habitat, in violation of the Endangered Species Act. 

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Same-Sex Marriage
1:57 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Gay Marriage One Vote Shy In Washington State Senate

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Supporters and opponents of gay marriage plan to descend on Washington’s capitol on Monday . That’s when House and Senate committees are scheduled to take public testimony on legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry. It now appears sponsors in the state Senate are just one vote shy of passage.

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StoryCorps
6:15 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Living and Loving With Alzheimer's - Richard Lundgren and David Lundgren

Richard Lundgren, with his son, David.
StoryCorps Northwest

In the United States there are an estimated 5.4 million people with Alzheimer's disease. Two thirds of those are women over the age of 65. Dorothee Lundgren was diagnosed with the disease at much younger age, she was 49. In this StoryCorps excerpt, her husband, Richard Lundgren talks with their son, David, about how the disease changed the marriage.

Nuclear Waste
11:32 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Hanford Waste Tanks May Have More Plutonium Than Earlier Estimated

Workers at the Hanford Tank Farm
Hanford.gov U.S. Department of Energy

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s tank farms in southeast Washington may have much more plutonium than earlier estimated. That’s according to a report by a Hanford contractor that’s just been leaked to public radio. As Anna King reports, At least one high-level Hanford official worries the findings could mean a massive waste treatment plant’s design might need to be altered.

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MLK Jr. Day
11:30 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Thousands brave cold to attend MLK Jr. Unity Parade

SPOKANE, WA- The marchers at this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity Parade seemed to forget about the frigid weather, and an attempted bomber at last year’s event. Spokane Public Radio’s Paige Browning attended the parade and reports.

Morrison: “I believe in the dream, and it lives”.

Marching for her sixth year in a row, Karen Morrison marched near the front of the parade, leading the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. At least 1,000 people marched this year, led by a Lewis and Clark High School marching band.

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