Washington

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.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In the airline industry, we've gone through a period of mergers, consolidation and downsizing. Because of all this, some airlines have had to disappoint cities. They've stopped using them as hubs, which brings us something unusual at Seattle-Tocoma International Airport. The Northwest News Network's Tom Banse reports that Delta Air Lines has made it its newest hub.

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.

Not Much Refuge In Klamath Basin For Migratory Birds

Jun 11, 2014
EarthFix

A prolonged drought is putting pressure on water supplies for the Klamath Basin’s wildlife refuges.

EarthFix’s Devan Schwartz reports on how the nation’s original waterfowl refuge may be too dry this summer to provide a stopover for millions of migratory birds.

The nation’s newest Holocaust museum is about to be unveiled in downtown Seattle. The Holocaust Center for Humanity will host artifacts and testimony from local survivors, and provide resources for students and teachers. Executive Director Dee Simon says it will also draw connections between the Holocaust and other dark chapters of history a little closer to home.

Seattle Police say it was a Seattle Pacific University Student who disarmed a gunman on campus Thursday.

Police have arrested the man they believe killed one person and wounded three others. At this point police believe the gunman acted alone and was not a student at the university. KUOW's Patricia Murphy reports.

Photo courtesy Washington Attorney General's office

Washington’s attorney general is reminding employers they may not discriminate against same-sex spouses when it comes to health coverage. That warning Thursday follows a discrimination complaint earlier this year against O’Reilly Auto Parts. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

When you approach your golden years, who doesn't look forward to peace and quiet surrounded by a supportive community? That desire led some retirees to relocate to a tiny town deep in the woods of southwest Washington. Ryderwood bills itself as the nation's first seniors-only retirement village. But the tranquility that lured people there went missing during a long and divisive lawsuit. The case questioned whether this 400 or so strong community could be so exclusive. It came replete with allegations of shunning, death threats, uncollected garbage and the tossing of a headless rabbit. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on the relief that has followed a settlement.

Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

There are landslide-prone areas across the mountainous Northwest. And many people choose to live in these risky, beautiful places. The question is: How can government strike a balance between people’s property rights, and safety?

Rae Ellen Bichell / KPLU

When you think organic you probably visualize crisp, sweet-smelling veggies and fruit. But it turns out that fresh food is often grown in some pretty foul fertilizer. In fact it’s so bad it’s been known to make farmworkers gag. Now, as correspondent Anna King found out, there’s one new sweeter-smelling organic option developed right here in the Northwest.

Washington Needs Your Help In Birth Defect Mystery

May 15, 2014
Courtney Flatt / Earth Fix

Over the past three years, a rare birth defect has shown up Central Washington at about four times the national average. Now, the state health department is turning to the public for clues about what’s causing the fatal defect. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Photo courtesy Jay Inslee

Wednesday Governor Jay Inslee was able to get up close to drilling machines on the damaged Wanapum Dam in central Washington. It came out this week that the dam’s massive crack was caused by fundamental design errors and bad concrete pours in 1960. Correspondent Anna King has our story.

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