Washington

Electric Car Fees
5:05 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Fee On Electric Cars In Wash. To Offset Unpaid Gas Tax

Electric car owner Dick Hauser lives in Olympia, WA.
Photo by Tom Banse Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Electric car owners in Washington state would pay a $100 fee under a measure headed to the governor's desk. The aim is to offset the gas taxes these drivers are not paying. The bill passed Thursday night in one of the final votes of this year's regular session of the Washington Legislature, as Tom Banse reports.

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Wash. Budget Deadline
5:47 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

On Last Day Of Session, Game Of Chicken Over Wash. Budget

With session closing legislators in Washington still have no budget deal.
Photo credit Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The clock is running out on Washington’s 60 day legislative session. Lawmakers must adjourn by midnight Thursday night. But they still haven’t passed a plan to re-balance the state budget.

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Washington Teacher Evaluations
4:42 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Governor Signs New Grading System For Teachers And Principals

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire supports the new teacher and principal evaluations.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user Korribot Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Teachers and Principals in Washington are going to get graded on a new four-tier evaluation system. That’s under a new law signed by Governor Chris Gregoire Thursday. It’ll judge teachers as unsatisfactory, basic, proficient or distinguished. The new rankings will replace the current pass/fail format. The change is estimated to cost $5.3 million , but Gregoire says it’s necessary.

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WSU Student Journalist
3:42 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Journalism: College Students Filling In The Gap

Stephanie Schneidel, WSU Murrow College student, who wrote the story about militia movements that was featured on MSNBC.com
Photo Source: Daily Evergreen

The Southern Poverty Law Center says that for the third year in a row there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of people taking part in militias and what it calls the American radical right. In a new report, the Center says the increase is linked to economic issues, conspiracy theories, and the election of Barak Obama as President.

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Cattle Air Pollution
6:24 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Yakima Valley Dairies Causing Air Pollution

Cattle raised on dairy farms can be a cause of air pollution.
Photo by Brian Robert Marshall Northwest News Network

OUTLOOK, Wash. – A recent study is raising questions about the air quality in the Yakima Valley. The area has a high concentration of large-scale dairies. As Courtney Flatt reports, residents living near the dairies have noticed respiratory problems as more dairies moved in.

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Afghanistan Withdrawal
6:04 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Oregon And Washington Senators Want An Earlier Afghan Exit

U.S. Soldiers depart Forward Operating Base Baylough, Afghanistan, June 16, 2010, to conduct a patrol. The Soldiers are from 1st Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment.
U.S. Army DoD photo by Staff Sgt. William Tremblay

All four U.S. Senators from Oregon and Washington and 20 of their colleagues are asking the Obama administration for an expedited end to the war in Afghanistan. Two Republicans and one Independent Senator are part of the group. Some Democratic Senators declined to sign the letter.

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Kids Health
5:11 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Landmark Agreement To Improve Mental Health For Kids In Wash.

Seventeen-year-old Tina (back to camera) speaks with her attorney Emily Cooper. Tina is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the state of Washington alleging inadequate care for mentally ill kids.
Photo credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Last fall we brought you a series of stories on failures in how the Northwest treats mentally ill youth. Now, a landmark legal agreement announced Wednesday aims to bring about better treatment options for nearly 20,000 Washington kids. These are children who suffer from depression, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

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Wash. Budget
4:25 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Wash. Governor Confirms Need For Special Session

Washington legislators still at odds over how to balance state budget..
Photo by Wikimedia User Visitor7 Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Chris Gregoire acknowledged Wednesday afternoon that a special session of the legislature will be necessary to re-balance the state budget. But Gregoire says she’s still trying to keep the pressure on lawmakers to come to an agreement.

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Megaloads Move to Pasco
5:31 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Last Megaloads Depart From Lewiston This Week

Alberta-bound "megaloads" stranded at the Port of Lewiston last winter.
Photo credit: Tom Banse Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – If the weather holds, the last megaloads stranded at the Port of Lewiston will head out Tuesday toward Canada’s oil sands. These oversized truckloads of oil processing machinery have been very controversial.  Now oil companies have switched to shipping smaller loads out of the Port of Pasco.

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Young Voter Registration Bill
4:26 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Young Voter Registration Bill Dies, but the Fight's Not Over

Washington Bus is the organization sponsoring the bill for young voter pre-registration.
Photo credit: Washingtonbus.org Courtesy of Washington Bus

As lawmakers face a pressing deadline for Washington’s legislative session, the budget remains their priority. Other issues have been pushed aside, like a bill supported by a group of politically charged young people.

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