Washington

Faith Community Weighs In On Gun Initiatives

Oct 22, 2014
M Glasgow / Flickr

This November, Washingtonians will vote on two opposing initiatives on background checks for firearms: 591 and 594. Some of the leading voices on the gun rights debate have come from religious organizations. Reporter Ryan Katz tells us how communities of faith have been viewing this issue.

On a Friday evening in late September, a couple hundred people arrive at the United Methodist Church in Queen Anne to listen to some classical music. But this particular event was not supposed to happen here, and not now. It was meant to happen at Seattle Pacific University, in June.

Washington Insurer Settles Suit Over Autism Treatment

Oct 17, 2014
bloomsberries / Flickr

The biggest health insurance company in Washington, Regence BlueShield, has settled a pair of class action lawsuits for $6 million.

Families with autistic children took the company to court over its failure to cover a treatment known as 'Applied Behavioral Therapy.' It involves extensive one-on-one work between a child and a therapist, and can cost $50,000 a year or more.

Credit Washington Employment Security Department / Northwest News Network

Job growth stalled during September in Oregon and Washington according to new numbers from the respective state employment departments. In Washington's case, state labor economist Paul Turek is not too concerned though by one month of flat hiring.

"Put it in context of what has been happening in the labor market. We seem to be sustaining momentum. Every now and then we have a little blip," Turek said.

Turek announced Washington's unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a point to 5.7 percent in September.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Law enforcement groups in Washington state are pushing back against possible limits on police use of drones. That happened as a task force convened by the governor wrestled some more Monday about how to regulate small unmanned aircraft.

In April, Democratic Governor Jay Inslee vetoed the Washington Legislature's first attempt to regulate government use of drones. Now police groups are worried the planned second try will handcuff their ability to take advantage of the new technology. Mitch Barker directs the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Netwrk

A ballot measure to expand background checks for gun sales in Washington has lost some support, but still enjoys a healthy lead. That’s according to the latest Elway Poll released Monday. Meanwhile, a competing gun rights measure appears to be in trouble.

The state of Washington has agreed to pay a record amount to settle a case of child abuse and neglect.

The nearly $10 million settlement announced Friday involves five Clark County, Washington, siblings who were starved and beaten by their parents over several years.

The lawyer for the children described the case as a “living nightmare.” The four brothers and one sister were imprisoned, starved, and beaten bloody with a piece of lumber, according to the claim filed by the lawyer on behalf of the children.

Wikimedia Commons / Wikimedia

If you occasionally check your email or send instant messages on your smartphone while driving, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission wants to put you on notice.

They're seeking support from state lawmakers to propose a stiffer no-smartphone-while-driving law in the next legislative session.

The commission reports distracted driving is a factor in 30 percent of the state's traffic fatalities.

Cynthia Goldsmith / Centers for Disease Control

Washington state health officials are echoing statements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and say the risk of Ebola spreading in the U.S. and in Washington state is very low.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

This November, Washington voters will decide whether to require background checks for person-to-person gun sales.

Initiative 594 would close what gun control advocates used to call the “gun show loophole.” But these days, much of the unregulated gun trade is happening online.

Brett Levin / Flickr

People are lining up to buy legal marijuana in Washington. Now the question is how to convince kids not to touch the stuff. A panel of experts briefed Governor Jay Inslee Wednesday on the topic of youth marijuana use.

Scare tactics like “Reefer Madness” are out. Peer-to-peer messaging is in.

John Wiesman is Washington’s Secretary of Health. He told Governor Inslee he wants young people to help develop Washington’s marijuana prevention campaign.

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