Washington

Balancing The Budget
5:51 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Wash. Democrats May Find Path To Avoid Sales Tax Measure

If Washington's new revenue forecast is positive, the state may avoid the governor’s proposal to ask voters to approve a half-penny sales tax hike.
Photo credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

BalaOLYMPIA, Wash. – Democrats in the Washington legislature are suddenly hopeful they can rebalance the state budget without asking voters to approve a tax hike. Their optimism comes even before they see the latest revenue forecast out Thursday.

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Women's Boxing
4:51 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Female Seattle Boxer Fights Battle Of The Mind In Face Of Olympics

Queen Underwood, 27, of Seattle steps out of the ring victorious at the Olympic team trials for women's boxing in Spokane.
Photo credit: Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

This year, women will box for the gold for the first time ever at the Summer Olympics in London. One of the top contenders is a boxer from the Northwest named Queen Underwood. Jessica Robinson reports.

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Pollution
4:09 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Illegal Sewage Dumper In Kennewick, Wash., Fined $50,000

Portable toilets similar to what the fined company may use.
Photo Credit: Ĺ JĹŻ Wikimedia commons

PolRICHLAND, Wash. – State regulators have fined a port-o-john operator in southeast Washington for illegally dumping raw sewage down a manhole at least five times. Some of the $50,000 in fines will go to the city of Kennewick, which had to clean up waste that backed up into streets.

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Mental Health Care
7:05 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Washington Senate Toughens Treatment of Violence in Mental Hospitals

Western State Hospital is one of several mental health care facilities in Washington.
Photo by John Ryan KUOW

SEATTLE, Wash. -- A bill aimed at improving the safety of workers in mental hospitals passed the Washington state senate on Monday. KUOW's John Ryan reports from Seattle.

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Alcohol Laws
7:02 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Washington Restaurants Changing The Way They Buy Liquor

State liquor stores will shut down as Washington privatizes liquor sales.
Photo Credit Anna King Northwest News Network

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Washington restaurateurs are preparing for a new option that begins March first: They’ll be able to buy liquor directly from distilleries and out-of-state distributors. It’s one part of the new roll out of Initiative 1183, passed by voters in November. As correspondent Anna King reports, Some restaurants are waiting to see how the new marketplace shapes up, others are aggressively hunting down deals.

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Sunset Falls Hydropower
6:43 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Sun Setting On Sunset Falls?

Jeff Smith and his wife at Sunset Falls.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

SKYKOMISH RIVER, Wash. -- The Skykomish is one of the only major rivers in Washington that has not been dammed for hydropower. The river runs from the Cascade Mountains and empties into Northern Puget Sound. It’s a hot spot for wildlife and outdoor recreation. It could also be a hotspot for hydropower. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Genesis Project
6:31 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Higher Fines On Johns, Pimps Would Benefit Anti-Prostitution Programs

A volunteer shows a girl through the center's bedroom.
Photo courtesy the Genesis Project

SEATAC, Wash. – Critics of backpage.com have accused the classifieds website of promoting child prostitution. The company has defended its policies but lawmakers in Olympia are considering new requirements for the site. They are also considering more funding for anti-prostitution programs. And where do they plan to get this extra money? From the Johns and pimps themselves. Azusa Uchikura has this profile of a program in SeaTac called the Genesis Project.

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Education and Teaching
6:23 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Wash. Senate Passes New Teacher Evaluation System

Wash. Gov Chris Gregoire with Democratic Sen. Kevin Ranker following the teacher evaluation vote. Gregoire helped broker a compromise on the bill.
Photo by Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington state senate has approved a new four-tier teacher evaluation system. The bill that passed Tuesday also creates a mechanism for firing under-performing teachers who don’t improve.

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Women's Rights
6:10 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Abortion Bill Clears Washington State House

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia
Photo by Wikimedia User Visitor7 Wikimedia Commons

The Washington State House has passed a bill that requires insurance companies that cover maternity services to also include procedures to terminate pregnancies. Women in Washington State already have access to abortion services. The bill attempts to preserve the status quo.

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Environmental Hazards
4:52 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Quileute Tribe 'Ecstatic' About Move Out Of Tsunami Zone

The Quileute Indian Reservation located on Washington's Pacific coast.
Photo by Wikimedia User User.Nikater Wikimedia Commons

"Ecstatic," "amazed," and "stunned." Those are some of the words being used Tuesday around the tiny Quileute Indian Reservation on the Washington coast. This, after the U.S. Congress slightly shrank Olympic National Park to allow the tribe to move out of a tsunami zone. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation soon.

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