Washington

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.

Mary Randlett

It started with the discovery of long-forgotten gravestones in a thicket of bramble and alder. That set one author on the faint trail of a feisty Native American woman and oyster farmer who lived in 19th century western Washington. The biographer is using the resulting book to inspire other Northwesterners - particularly tribal members. She wants to bring out the stories of people who, in her words, have been "left out of our histories." Correspondent Tom Banse reports from Oyster Bay in Mason County, Washington.

One of the victims of an alleged crowdfunding scam says he’s not counting on getting his money back. But he’s glad Washington’s attorney general has filed a consumer protection lawsuit. It’s believed to be the first state action against a crowdfunding project sponsor. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has details.

Cassandra Profita / EarthFix

Students around the Northwest go to school every day in portable classrooms. These classrooms are an affordable solution to budget-strapped districts that need more space. But they can be bad for student health and performance. That’s why some districts are moving away from portable classrooms.

One district in Spokane has found a solution.

Courtney Flatt brings us part 2 of our special series "Inside the Box."

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

There’s a lot of debate these days about unlimited money in politics - and whether it corrupts the process. But does it matter who’s giving the money? And what their motivation is? In Washington state, Governor Jay Inslee has found a wealthy partner in his fight to combat global climate change. He’s California hedge fund founder Tom Steyer – a man the L.A. Times says may be the “liberals’ answer” to the conservative billionaire Koch brothers. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports on Inslee’s connection to this out-of-state billionaire.

Austin Jenkins

The Washington legislature is trending a bit younger these day.  Nine of the 147 members are under-34 year olds. 

Jessica Robbinson

A new Gallup poll reveals how many people prefer to be in a different state, given the chance. Overall, the Northwest has a pretty loyal crowd. Oregonians, in particular, are quite happy where they are. But the poll finds a high rate of Idahoans planning their goodbyes.

This June, Cat Wiechmann is finishing up her Master's in wetland ecology at the University of Idaho in Moscow. But instead of staying put, she’s heading to Pueblo, Colorado, for a university position there.

Hal McCune, URS

The Umatilla Chemical Depot is nearing final cleanup. It letting go of 60 more workers Thursday. The northeast Oregon military site is where tons of deadly chemical weapons were stored for decades. 

Washington’s minimum wage would rise to $12 per hour by 2017 under a proposal from Democrats in the state House.

New numbers for December from the Washington state employment department peg the current jobless rate at 6.6 percent. The last time it was lower was in November 2008.

Federal securities regulators recently cleared the way for small, Kickerstarter-style campaigns for startups to sell shares. But many entrepreneurs view the federal process as too cumbersome. Now, Washington state lawmakers are contemplating a state-only version to help small businesses raise capital more easily. 

Washington Governor Calls State Tax System 'Old Jalopy'

Dec 17, 2013
Thomas Sorenes / Wikimedia

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the state’s tax system is outdated and insufficient to cover expenses. The Democrat made his comments Tuesday at the release of his proposed update to Washington’s two-year budget.

As Washington moves to legalize recreational pot, preventing “leakage” to other states like Oregon and Idaho is a top priority of the U.S. Justice Department

The issue of tax transparency in Washington is getting fresh attention on the heels of a major tax deal for Boeing.

Washington’s mostly Republican Senate majority will formally unveil a proposed 12-year, $12 billion transportation funding package Thursday.

Washington state hit a 'soft patch' in hiring and is looking at slow overall growth. That news comes from two new data points on the Washington economy out Wednesday.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The 30-day window for marijuana business licenses applications is open in Washington. Would-be growers, processors and retailers applied on line and in-person Monday. So far the Department of Revenue reports nearly 300 completed on line applications. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins spoke with a couple of the first applicants.

Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

The state auditor says a former superintendent at Washington’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island negotiated a contract that he benefited from after he resigned.

Kjetil Ree / Wikimedia Commons

Bill and Melinda Gates have each contributed $25,000 to the campaign to require background checks for most gun sales in Washington. The couple’s personal contributions late last month helped push the Yes on Initiative 594 campaign over the $1 million.

Goldendale Area Wildfire Grows Over Weekend

Jul 29, 2013
Anna King

Over the weekend the wildfire burning near Goldendale, in southeast Washington, grew to more than 17,000 acres. Firefighters are battling flames in grass, brush and timber. So far, no homes have burned, but the fire has closed a highway that runs between the towns of Toppenish and Goldendale. The blaze called the Mile Marker 28 fire is moving toward the town of Bickelton, Washington and is about 25 percent contained. More than 1,200 firefighters are working about 78 miles of fire line. Steve Derry is a fire crew chief. He was just getting ready to head back out.

Mt. Rainier Rescues Will Take Longer

Jul 25, 2013

Mount Rainier park rangers are warning it may take longer than usual to rescue stranded climbers.

Supporters of the immigration overhaul that passed the U.S. Senate are drumming up support for the legislation in the Northwest. On Saturday, one of the Democrats taking the lead on the issue in Congress spoke to a crowded church in Yakima, Washington.

The Spokane School District wants to be allowed to consider applications from prospective charter schools.

Washington Supreme Court Hears Wind Farm Case

Jul 1, 2013

The Supreme Court of Washington Thursday heard arguments in a case about a controversial wind farm in the Columbia River Gorge. Then-Governor Chris Gregoire approved the project more than a year ago. Environmentalists say it will harm wildlife, recreation, and scenic views. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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