Washington

Preliminary Report on Seattle Pot Tickets

Jul 24, 2014
Scott Beale / Flickr

A preliminary report to Seattle officials on tickets for public pot use has raised some eyebrows.

Here's How You Can Help Wildfire Victims

Jul 22, 2014
American Red Cross

Update 7/29: The Okanogan County Sheriff's Department says Okanogan County is no longer accepting donations of goods. They ask that people instead donate cash for the relief effort.

There are many opportunities to help those displaced by the Carlton Complex Fire in central Washington. Here are a few ways you can donate money or items.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

Update: You can give to the Red Cross or volunteer to help fire victims by visiting redcross.org/ewa or calling 509-663-3907

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department ordered more homeowners to evacuate this afternoon Monday. These newest evacuations come after firefighters saw a brief relief from high winds and hot weather Sunday. Correspondent Courtney Flatt visited donation centers in the region where people are turning for help.

Some Of The Worst Fires In Northwest History

Jul 21, 2014
Library of Congress

The Carlton Complex Fire in Okanogan County is now the worst fire in Washington history. It has burned more than 238,000 acres of land, and is believed to have destroyed between 150 and 200 homes, killing one person. As firefighters work to contain the blaze, we’d like to take a look at some of the other fires that have raged across the Northwest to see how it compares.

Paul Cryan / U.S. Geological Survey

When you think of bats, this guy might be the first thing that comes to mind.

“I am Dracula.”

You may find bats scary. But one group of nature lovers doesn’t. They recently spent a night out tracking bats in central Washington. They wanted to check-in on how bat populations are doing in the state. EarthFix reporter Courtney Flatt has more.

Cacophony / Creative Commons

Washington’s August primary is less than a month away. It’s a midterm election year with no statewide offices on the ballot. Even so, already nearly $33 million has been contributed to campaigns. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins takes a look at who’s giving.

Wikimedia

Washington’s jobless rate has dropped to below 6 percent. That's the lowest level in six years. That’s according to the June jobs report released Wednesday. Seattle’s King County is leading the recovery. But most Washington counties remain above the statewide average. And some rural counties of the state are much higher.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

In just a few years, Washington will need another 1,000 prison beds. There’s been talk of building a new state lock-up. But that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars at a time when the Supreme Court has said school funding must be the priority. So what’s the solution? Washington could release some older inmates who are serving long sentences. But lawmakers are wary of a political backlash and the state abolished parole in the 1980s. That leaves clemency as the remaining pressure-relief valve on the prison system. As Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports, that system of mercy may not be up to the task.

John Ryan / KUOW

It was Washington state’s worst industrial accident in nearly 50 years.

“Skagit 911. What’s your emergency?” “I’m trying to find out what's going on at the refinery.” “You know, we don’t know at this point, sir.” “Well, all I can tell you is I live two and a half miles from it, and the explosion was hard enough to rock my house, and there’s one hell of a fire going there.”

That explosion in 2010 at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes killed seven workers.

Four years later, no one has been held publicly accountable for the seven deaths. As John Ryan reported, state efforts to penalize Tesoro have stalled. To improve worker safety, the federal government is wielding a tool it rarely uses: criminal prosecution of one of the nation’s largest corporations.

Here’s John Ryan with part two of our investigation.

Mark / Flickr

Washington’s recreational marijuana market is open for business. From Seattle to Bellingham to Prosser, marijuana stores opened for business Tuesday. Excited customers lined up, dressed up and celebrated the end of pot prohibition. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has this wrap-up.

Idaho State Police

Recreational marijuana goes on sale Tuesday in Washington state. But police across the border in Idaho and Oregon say that doesn't mean the pot will stay there. Law enforcement worry people will try to sneak pot products across the border – or worse, the legal market in Washington will seep into the black-market. Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from Idaho, where the contrast in pot laws is especially stark.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

It's been four years since a deadly explosion at an oil refinery shook the town of Anacortes, Washington. The question of who's responsible for seven workers' deaths still hasn't been answered fully. Refinery owner Tesoro agreed to pay millions to families of the dead, but the company is fighting accusations that it willfully put its workers in harm’s way. With multiple legal proceedings continuing to swirl around the accident, it remains unclear whether anyone will be held accountable for the human cost of Tesoro gasoline. John Ryan brings us part one of this KUOW investigation.

Carline Jean MCT / Landov

Marijuana users may pay some high prices to get high when Washington’s legal pot market launches the week of July 7. The initial price-per-gram could be nearly double what medical marijuana card-holders pay. Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

Ben / Flickr

Washington’s prison system has announced a major policy change when it comes to inmates who harm themselves. The Department of Corrections said Thursday that it will no longer sanction inmates for cutting or other acts of self-injury.

Wikimedia Commons

Washington’s Liquor Board plans to issue about 20 marijuana retail licenses next Monday, July 7th. The first pot stores could open the next day – after a 24-hour waiting period. But the state cautions many stores may not be ready yet for customers and marijuana could be in short supply. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has this update.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

This is the season for summer concert lineups. But there’s another lineup coming this fall - the one on your ballot. Thursday is the deadline for initiative sponsors in Washington and Oregon to submit their petitions to qualify for the November election. Pot legalization and GMO-labeling are among the issues likely to make the ballot in Oregon. In Washington, it’s guns, money and class-size.

Independence Day Celebrations Across The Northwest

Jul 1, 2014

There are many July 4th celebrations across the northwest: everything from parades and classic car shows to beer and fireworks. Here are a few you can find on the NWPR Events Calendar.

Michael Clapp / OPB

It's summer vacation for students - and teachers - across the country. Administrators often use the summer to take a bigger look at how schools are doing, and that can mean a critical look at teachers. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Rob Manning looks at evaluations for current teachers - and the role of student test scores in those evaluations.

Copyright 2017 NWNews. To see more, visit NWNews.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

SeaTac Minimum Wage Fight In Hands Of Supreme Court

Jun 26, 2014
Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Voters in SeaTac narrowly approved a $15 an hour minimum wage. Now, the state Supreme Court will decide whether that law should stand. And, if so, whether it should apply to workers at SeaTac Airport. Currently it does not. The justices heard oral arguments Thursday in a case that pits a city against a port and workers against businesses.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

State-licensed growers in Washington already have grown vast seas of marijuana plants under blinding lights. But much of that pot won’t be ready in time for stores’ grand openings in early July. Supply doesn't quite meet demand as correspondent Anna King reports.

Cacophany / Wikimedia

Should SeaTac’s voter-approved $15 an hour minimum wage apply to airport workers? Washington’s Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on that question Thursday. The case pits airport vendors, Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle against supporters of the higher wage.

Photo courtesy: Mary-Jeanne Smith

Imagine driving your personal car for work so much that your boss cuts you a $10,000 mileage reimbursement check. That’s what happened recently at Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services. Only the person who got the check isn’t an employee. And she’s not the only one who’s logging high miles and collecting large reimbursements from DSHS. Who are these road warriors? Austin Jenkins finds out.

Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

When you think of grapes in the Northwest, wine is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But Concord juice grapes actually are Washington’s most widely planted grape. It turns out, juice grapes are more susceptible to warming weather than their wine grape cousins. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Clint Didier campaign

One candidate for an eastern Washington congressional seat has hit on a way to appeal to 2nd amendment advocates AND increase the names on his campaign mailing list. He’s offering voters a chance to win a gun. Jessica Robinson has more.

Andreas Klinke Johannsen / Flickr

The unemployment rate in Washington state is holding steady at 6.1 percent according to the latest numbers out Wednesday from the state Employment Security Department. 

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

It’s back to court for the federal government and salmon advocates. Fish supporters Tuesday once again challenged the government’s plan to manage dams on the Columbia River and protect endangered salmon and steelhead. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Timber giant Weyerhaeuser is joining the pay-to-play and pay-to-hunt trend. This week, the largest private forestland owner in Oregon and Washington will begin selling seasonal access permits to hunters, horse riders, hikers and other recreators. The Washington state-based company is not the first to charge access fees. But the breadth and high prices it will charge are generating more push back than before. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

A rare birth defect is affecting more babies in Central Washington. After hosting a series of public hearings, regulators and health officials met Monday to talk about their next steps. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Cacophony / Wikimedia Commons

A frustrated Washington Supreme Court appears ready to hold state officials in contempt. The high court late Thursday ordered the “state” to appear at a hearing in September to address the lack of a plan to fully fund basic education. The court’s highly unusual move follows a 2012 ruling that the state isn’t meeting its constitutional obligation to school children. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has details.

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