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A divided county council in Pierce County, Washington Tuesday voted to display the motto "In God We Trust" in its chambers. That makes it the first jurisdiction in the Northwest to become part of a national campaign to feature the motto.

Supporters of a Washington gun control measure on the November ballot may have just gotten a mid-summer boost. They’re capitalizing on an audio recording that recently surfaced.

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People who had to evacuate because of the Carlton Complex of fires are returning home to assess the damage and start cleanup. This process has health officials on alert, since breathing in or digging through ash can pose safety risks.
 
Jacqueline ‘JJ’ Bellinger is an environmental health specialist for Okanogan County Public Health. She says people should wear thick leather gloves, goggles, and be up to date on tetanus shots.
 

People in many Northwest communities are on edge Tuesday. A series of wildfires that threatened urban areas in recent days is the culprit.

Oregon is waiting to hear whether its application for a continued federal waiver from the No Child Left Behind law will be approved.

The lights are coming back on in fire-swept north central Washington. A major transmission line was restored late last week, but not everyone has their power back.

It's been over three years since a tunnel collapse at a north Idaho silver mine killed miner Larry Marek. Yet federal records show a series of federal penalties issued to the mine's owners still have not been paid.

Some Boeing 7-37 customers will be getting their airplanes a little late this year. Remember the six fuselages that tumbled down a steep embankment in Montana earlier this month, three of which landed in the Clark Fork River? Boeing engineers looked over the damage and decided to scrap the big components which being shipped from Boeing's fabricator in Wichita Kansas to Renton Washington.

Oregon could become the first West Coast state to ban smoking on all of its beaches. The Oregon State Parks Department is seeking public input on the proposal.

Research geologists have just finished a field trial to test a less invasive way to complete seismic hazard surveys.

Northwest Meth Houses To Get Scrubbed Under EPA Program

Jul 25, 2014

Federal dollars meant to restore toxic areas like old factories, mines and gas stations are now going to clean up after another long-time industry: methamphetamine.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee tried to woo electric carmaker Tesla Motors to build a massive battery factory in the Evergreen state. But according to at least one report, the company may have already broken ground near Reno, Nevada.

The fires in North Central Washington have made life miserable for those worried about their homes. One area businessman says the situation has many worried about their livelihoods. The small town of Twisp, Washington is a destination for holiday travelers in the summer months. But at the Twisp River Pub, things have been very bad the last week. The power has been out for days, and they’ve had to make due with a generator brought in from Seattle.

The Carlton Complex of fires has consumed 300 homes in north-central Washington, according to the Okanogan County sheriff Friday. It’s too soon for many people to know what they lost in the fire, including homes, orchards, livestock, or pets. Fire spokesperson Joni Quarnstrom says other counties have stepped in to help.

The intensifying competition between Alaska Airlines and rival Delta Air Lines in the Western skies does not seem to be hurting the bottom line of either company.

Federal funds are being used to help fight the wildfires that have raged across the Northwest this summer. But so far, the Federal Emergency Management Agency isn't handing out money directly to owners of the nearly 200 homes lost in the blazes.

Oregon's outspoken Congressman Peter DeFazio blasted U-S House leadership for letting Congress fiddle while Oregon burns. On the House floor, the Democratic congressman told his colleagues to wake up and smell the smoke.

Day After Storm, Update From Spokane

Jul 24, 2014

Of the roughly 70,000 customers who lost power in the Inland Northwest Wednesday, about 20,000 homes and business are still in the dark. Even with all available crews at work, that’s the combined total from Avista Utilities and Inland Power and Light.

Crews are making good progress at the huge fires burning in North Central Washington state. Fire crews have made the most advancement at the enormous Carlton Complex, which at 250,000 acres is the largest fire in state history.

Ecology Initiates Conversation on Water Quality Talks

Jul 24, 2014

Washington’s governor proposed new state water quality standards in early July, and off the bat citizens debated the proposal. The department of ecology acknowledges getting the public on board will be a challenge, so it held info sessions for both reporters and citizens this week.

Federal Judge Demands End to Executions by Drugs

Jul 24, 2014

A day before the state of Arizona took nearly two hours to execute a condemned convict, the chief judge of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote a scathing opinion on the use of drugs to carry out death sentences. Alex Kozinski wrote that using drugs meant for medical purposes is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and peaceful.

Counties across the Northwest that are heavily dependent on timber revenue from federal lands have been struggling to provide public health services.

It's been more than three years since the Fukushima nuclear plant accident resulted in a spill of millions of gallons of radioactive cooling water into the Pacific. Oceanographers projected that it could take until this year for highly diluted traces of that spill in Japan to reach the West Coast of North America.

The ACLU of Idaho has joined the fight to move an accused teenage killer out of solitary confinement and back into juvenile detention.

An initiative that will give Oregonians the chance to vote on whether food companies should label products that contain genetically engineered ingredients qualified for the November ballot Wednesday.

We all have an image of the Oregon Trail: the covered wagon, mom with her bonnet, and dad handling the mules with a couple of kids riding shotgun. In that image, they’re probably all white.

Fire crews continue to battle several major fires in Washington state, but are hopeful changes in the weather may come to their aid, at least for a while. Several fires are burning in the state, with the Carlton Complex, the state's largest in history, now at 250,000 acres.

But cooler temperatures overnight and increased humidity have helped firefighters achieve 16 percent containment there. Janet Pierce, the communications manager for the Department of Natural Resources, says a prediction for rain in the region today is also good news.

Flickr, David Defoe / https://flic.kr/p/YZ1Mo

The Coeur d'Alene Casino has canceled a concert with 70's rocker Ted Nugent. Coeur d'Alene tribal officials decided to drop the event after what they called Nugent's history of "racist and hate filled remarks" was brought to their attention.

Heather Keen is the tribal public relations director. She didn't specify which remarks the tribe found offensive.

Keen: "I can't say it wasn't just one thing, it was really just a history of perpetuating hateful messages, and those kind of attitudes really clearly contradict the tribe's history of human rights work in the region."

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Tuesday President Obama has pledged immediate federal aid to help fire-swept areas of north central Washington.

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