Aging Northwest jails endanger lives, but replacing them is costly and controversial

The day the brand new Mason County, Washington jail opened in 1985, it was already full. The previous jail on the top floor of the courthouse held just over 40 inmates. The new facility wasn't much bigger. Nearly 35 years later, the one-story cinder block jail located in the town of Shelton now holds about 90 inmates on any given day. A few years back, as many as 150 people were crowded into the facility.

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Spokane Public Radio is part of the Northwest News Network (N3), a public radio collaboration in Washington, Oregon and Idaho working together to bring more news to our listeners.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry plans to leave his position at the end of the year, President Trump confirmed to reporters Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas. Trump praised Perry and said he already has a replacement in mind.

"Rick has done a fantastic job," Trump said. " But it was time."

Trump said that Perry's resignation didn't come as a surprise and that he has considered leaving for six months because "he's got some very big plans."

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs announced Thursday it will suspend sales of most of its flavored products, including mango, fruit and cucumber. These types of flavors are considered an on-ramp to vaping for teenagers.

The move comes as the industry faces immense scrutiny. Several states have instituted bans on flavored products, and the Trump administration has signaled that a federal ban may be in the works.

The European Union and the United Kingdom reached a new Brexit agreement on Thursday, and while it appeared to mark a big breakthrough in the years-long process, the saga doesn't end here.

The withdrawal deal still needs approval in both the U.K. and European parliaments. Although EU leaders unanimously endorsed it in Brussels on Thursday, it faces stiff opposition in Britain's legislature, which has voted down three previous Brexit deals.

The U.K. is scheduled to leave the EU on Oct. 31.

Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET

Four U.S. senators told the head of the nation's top consumer protection agency Thursday that they want her to launch examinations into serious problems with a program designed to offer loan forgiveness to public service workers.

The day the brand new Mason County, Washington jail opened in 1985, it was already full. The previous jail on the top floor of the courthouse held just over 40 inmates. The new facility wasn't much bigger.  

Nearly 35 years later, the one-story cinder block jail located in the town of Shelton now holds about 90 inmates on any given day. A few years back, as many as 150 people were crowded into the facility.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will address Georgetown University students about free speech. Facebook and other platforms like Twitter are under pressure to define how they are policing free speech.

The death of a 25-year-old K Pop singer and actress in South Korea has led to soul searching in the country about online bullying.

An environmental group sued e-cigarette maker Juul and achieved a settlement that will restrict the company's marketing practices in several ways. Plus, the latest on vaping illnesses from the CDC.

If you live at the foot of a dam – or downriver – you may wonder what could happen if an earthquake rumbled nearby.

As a teenager, Katie Gruman was prescribed one mental health drug after another. None seemed to help her manage symptoms of anxiety and bipolar disorder, so she self-medicated with alcohol and illicit drugs.

It would take five years, and trying more than 15 different medications, before she found meds that actually helped.

Now 28 and in recovery, Gruman has been on the same drugs for years. But when a clinician recommended a genetic test to see which drugs work best for her, she took it.

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