Washington

2nd Stryker Brigade Deploys
5:06 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Emotional Send-Off As 4,000 Northwest Soldiers Deploy To Afghanistan

Members of the 2nd Stryker Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord prepare to "case" their flags in preparation for a nine month deployment to Afghanistan.
Photo credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Nearly 4,000 Northwest-based soldiers are about to deploy for nine months to Afghanistan. The Army’s 2nd Stryker Brigade received a formal send off Friday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma. The departure comes amid continuing fallout from the case of suspected Afghan shooter Sgt. Robert Bales.

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Washington State Budget
4:07 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Gregoire Hopes For Wash. Budget Deal By Tuesday

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has put a compromise budget balancing proposal on the table in hopes of breaking the stalemate.
Photo credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says she has put a compromise budget balancing proposal on the table in hopes of breaking the stalemate at the state capital. Speaking to reporters Friday, she indicated bipartisan negotiations are making some progress, but calls the talks "tenuous." Gregoire declined to reveal any details about what is included in her spending blueprint.

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Ore./Wash. Prison Crowding
3:55 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Oregon, Washington Anticipate Higher Demand For Prison Beds

The Oregon Department of Corrections.
Photo credit: Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. - Corrections officials in Olympia and Salem are bracing for an expected increase in prisoners. The Washington Department of Corrections is predicting a need for 900 more beds in the next four years. And a new report issued Friday confirms an earlier forecast that Oregon will need housing for 2,000 more inmates by the end of the decade.

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Age Verification laws for Escorts
5:03 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Wash. At Leading Edge Of Anti Sex Trafficking Laws

A dozen anti-human trafficking bills were signed into law by Governor Chris Gregoire.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user visitor 7 Wikimedia Commons

Washington State took another step Thursday to protect minors from sexual exploitation through online ads. Overall a dozen anti-human trafficking bills were signed into law by Governor Chris Gregoire.

One of the laws is aimed directly at sex ad publishers, like backpage.com, which has so far refused to verify age in its escort ads.

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Wash. Budget Negotiations
3:49 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Gregoire Says Next 48 Hours Critical For Wash. Budget Negotiations

Governor Chris Greoire must sign or veto nearly 180 bills by midnight Saturday.
Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says the next 48 hours are critical to reaching a deal to rebalance the state budget. The Democrat resumed signing legislation into law Thursday after holding dozens of bills hostage.

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Hanford Vegetation
5:27 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Tribe Works to Revegetate Hanford Site

A greenhouse used to grow plants for the Hanford site.
Photo by Courtney Flatt Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. -- The Hanford cleanup has been hard on the area’s ecosystem, It disturbs habitat and native vegetation that can be difficult to replant. But as correspondent Courtney Flatt reports, one local tribe is working to grow native plants at formerly contaminated areas.

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San Juan Conservation
5:20 am
Thu March 29, 2012

One Thousand Acres Up For Conservation In The San Juan Islands

More than 70,000 people visit the San Juan Islands every year.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA -- Washington Senator Maria Cantwell has introduced a bill to get one thousand acres of the San Juan Islands declared a National Conservation Area. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Wash State Patrol Radio Upgrades
5:59 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Static In Olympia Over Wash. State Patrol Radio Upgrade

Bob Schwent of the Washington State Patrol with a new $6,800 Motorola portable radio that troopers will soon carry.
Photo credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Just like the rest of us, police officers use cell phones and smart phones. But in an emergency, they still rely on old-fashioned two-way radios to communicate. In Washington, the State Patrol is about to upgrade that radio system to meet new federal standards. The $26 million contract went to Motorola with no opportunity for other companies to bid. Now the project is under fierce criticism from a tech-savvy Washington state lawmaker.

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Wash Sales Tax Deduction
4:34 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Wash. Governor Urges Congress To Renew Sales Tax Deduction

Washington residents may not be able to deduct sales tax from their federal income tax returns for 2012.
Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Unless Congress acts, 2011 will be the last year Washington residents were able to deduct sales tax from their federal income tax returns. Governor Chris Gregoire signed onto a letter Tuesday asking Congressional leaders to reauthorize the deduction for 2012.

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Breaking: Flood Warning
10:24 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Flooding And High Water Continues In Palouse Region

Paradise Creek at Railraod Avenue, near the University of Idaho, in Moscow on Monday.
Photo by Glenn Mosley Northwest Public Radio

UPDATED Tuesday 10:20 AM: Area streams and rivers are now receding, although a flood warning continues for the Palouse River near Potlatch.

UPDATED Tuesday 5:55 AM: Flood warning continues for the Palouse River near Potlatch, and also for urban areas and small streams. 

UPDATED Wednesday 10:15 PM: The flood warning has been canceled for the Palouse River (South Fork) at Pullman, but remains in effect for the Palouse River near Potlatch. See updated NWS statement at the end of this post.

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