Public Safety

Oregon should create an anonymous statewide tip line and a database of school floor plans. Those are some of the recommendations in a report released Wednesday by a task force on school safety.

Andy Maguire / Flickr

Congressional Democrats from up and down the West Coast are asking the House Appropriations Committee to allocate more money for a new earthquake early warning system.

The warning system uses sensors to detect the initial, less destructive, waves of an earthquake. So it doesn't give much advance notice -- between a few seconds and a minute.

But politicians argued that's enough for a doctor to stop a complicated surgery, a train driver to put on the brakes, or a family to move away from the windows.

Washington State Patrol

The work of an independent commission in response to the Oso landslide in March said more money is needed to prepare for landslides when they do strike.

The commission has 17 recommendations to improve public safety in a state that is dotted with landslide prone slopes. They ranged from improving emergency response to educating the public about landslides.

The report did not assess blame for the deaths in Oso.

Report Raises Safety Concerns About Oil By Water

Aug 7, 2014
Kill van Kull / Flickr

Many communities across the Northwest are worried about the safety risks of shipping crude oil by rail. But a new report raises safety concerns about another shipping method: Oil by water. For EarthFix, Cassandra Profita reports.

Oregon Report Identifies Gaps In Oil Train Safety

Jul 28, 2014
Tony Schick / EarthFix

Several mile-long oil trains cross through the state of Oregon every week carrying volatile oil from North Dakota's Bakken oil fields. A new report released today Friday identifies gaps in Oregon's ability to handle the safety risks. For EarthFix, Cassandra Profita reports.

Chris Phan / Flickr

Oregon lawmakers are wading into the debate on the balance between personal privacy and public safety. Advocates on both sides weighed in on the issue before an Oregon Senate panel Thursday.

Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Oso landslide appears to rank as the third deadliest natural disaster in Washington history – after the 1910 Stevens Pass avalanche and the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. But what if there had been a school in the path of the debris field? A new hazard report from the state shows dozens of Washington schools potentially sit in slide zones. But at least one of those schools doesn’t have to worry.

Holmes Elementary in Spokane is about three blocks from the Spokane River. The new report says it’s one of 28 Washington schools near a slope with a high risk of failure.

Voters in three Oregon counties have rejected property tax increases to fund public safety and jails. The levies in Curry, Polk, and Columbia counties would have made up for cuts to federal timber aid.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

If projections are correct, Oregon will need to build fewer prison beds under a new law.

Rachael McDonald / KLCC

The Lane County Sheriff expects to have to cut more jail beds next year and the year after that. In two years, the county may have only 26 beds for local offenders and no sheriff's patrols. With the current 135 local beds, offenders are being released from the jail after serving only hours.

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