Washington

Our Northwest Economy
12:16 pm
Tue May 18, 2010

Washington's Jobless Rate Falls For First Time In Three Years

Washington jobless falls first time in three-plus years. Washington employers added 5,800 new jobs in April, lowering the state's unemployment rate for the first time in more than three years. Unemployment statewide fell to 9.2 percent from 9.5 percent reported in March.

The Employment Security Department's Jamie Swift says that Washington has posted a net gain of nearly 15,000 new jobs this year.

Jamie Swift: “Seeing the unemployment rate come down finally after three long years is welcome news. It's definitely a sign that our economy is turning around.”

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Our Northwest Economy
12:14 pm
Tue May 18, 2010

Washington, Oregon jobless pictures improve

Washington employers added 58-hundred new jobs in April, lowering the state's unemployment rate for the first time in more than three years. The Oregon jobless rate held steady at 10-point-six percent, the same as in March, making it six straight months without any significant change. But that was still nearly a point less than April 2009, when the rate was 11.5 percent.

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Our Northwest Economy
4:05 pm
Mon May 17, 2010

WA And OR National Guard Soldiers Headed To Afghanistan

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – They're leaving their jobs and their families to spend a year in Afghanistan. Nearly one hundred and fifty Washington and Oregon National Guard members will deploy this summer. Monday Governor Chris Gregoire led a formal farewell ceremony for the Washington citizen-soldiers. Cindy Rue's son is a helicopter mechanic and back-up gunner. He's been to Afghanistan before.

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Our Northwest Economy
4:03 pm
Sun May 16, 2010

NW States Decide Whether To Compete In Race To The Top

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Idaho and Oregon are out. Washington is likely in. We're talking about the competition for the next round of federal Race to the Top education grants. Monday is the deadline for school districts in Washington to say whether they're on board.

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Our Northwest Energy
4:01 pm
Fri May 14, 2010

Volcano Observatory Re-Opens With New Exhibits

MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. –The Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens is reopening for the season this weekend. That's just in time for the 30th anniversary of the volcano's epic blast. The visitor center re-opens with new short films and exhibits.

The Johnston Ridge Observatory is the closest visitor center to the crater of Mount St. Helens. This spring, highway crews plowed away snow to allow contractors to get in early to freshen up the displays. Monument scientist Peter Frenzen wanted the exhibit material to reflect technological advances in volcano monitoring.

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Our Northwest Economy
3:58 pm
Thu May 13, 2010

State auditor pans Puget Sound agency

Puget Sound Partnership lip balm
John Ryan photo

Washington state auditors say the agency charged with cleaning up Puget Sound should clean up its own act too. A report out Wednesday says the Puget Sound Partnership has misspent public funds and circumvented various state laws. John Ryan has the story.

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Our Northwest Energy
11:48 am
Tue May 11, 2010

Mount St. Helens Yields Ecological Lessons With Wider Applicability

MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. –Where were you on May 18, 1980? The massive eruption of Mount St. Helens that day is one of those seminal events on par with 9/11 or the JFK assassination. Hard to believe it's been thirty years. The blast zone is once again teeming with life. Even scientists are amazed. Correspondent Tom Banse has more on the wider lessons ecologists draw on this anniversary.

“I can hear the mountain behind me rumbling. An enormous mud and water slide washed out the road...”

That's KOMO-TV cameramen David Crockett scrambling to escape unimaginable devastation.

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Our Northwest Economy
11:36 am
Thu May 6, 2010

Washington Supreme Court Says Libraries Can Filter Internet Computers

The Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday that public libraries may put Internet filters on their computers. Some librarians are cheering the ruling and say it could lead more libraries around the state to limit access to porn and other controversial material.

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Our Northwest Economy
12:15 pm
Thu April 29, 2010

Wash. Democrats Admit Goof On Soda Pop Tax; Industry Considers Ballot Repeal

OLYMPIA, Wash. – If you buy soda pop in Washington, soon you'll be making a contribution to help rebalance the state budget. In the final hours of the legislature's special session, majority Democrats imposed a two-cents-per-can excise tax on soda. But now the carbonated beverage industry is considering an effort to repeal the pop tax this November. One of its arguments: the tax law contains a technical goof.

At Harbor Pacific Bottling in Elma, Washington, a forklift loads Pepsi products onto a truck.

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Our Northwest Economy
10:26 am
Tue April 27, 2010

Wash. Governor Signs Law Ordering State Furloughs

OLYMPIA, Wash. – It will be lights out at the Washington governor's office, drivers' license offices and other state agencies on Monday, July 12th. That's because of legislation signed [today] Tuesday by Governor Chris Gregoire. But under the new furlough law, many other Washington state services will remain open that day. The legislation requires a series of furloughs, but also includes many exceptions. At the least, Gregoire hopes state employees and their unions agree to take the same day off each month.

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