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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.

An initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon qualified for the November ballot Tuesday.

Fire Evacuees Find Help With Donation Centers, Shelters

Jul 22, 2014

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department ordered more homeowners to evacuate Monday afternoon. These newest evacuations came after firefighters saw a brief relief from high winds and hot weather Sunday.

Water Slide for Fish Touted at Lake Cle Elum

Jul 22, 2014

If people can use and enjoy water slides, why not fish? If the funding can be secured, the Yakima Indian tribe and the federal Bureau of Reclamation have plans to build a unique spiral water slide to help sockeye salmon find their way out of Lake Cle Elum on the Yakima River.

Tribal fishery managers have introduced several thousand adult sockeyes to the lake above Cle Elum, a spawning and habitat area closed off to the migrating fish for about a century. But that doesn't solve the problem of letting juvenile salmon find their way down out of the lake.

So far, more than 150 homes in Washington state have been destroyed in what veteran firefighters are calling the worst fire season in decades. 

A judge in Bellingham Monday ordered the state of Washington to do more to locate foster children who run away.

Washington Fire Leaves Thousands Without AC, Gas, ATMs

Jul 21, 2014

The Carlton Complex fire, the most destructive wildfire currently burning in the Northwest, has left thousands of people without air conditioning and refrigeration. It has closed gas stations and shut down ATMs in north-central Washington.

Watermelon Hill Fire Update Shows Improvement

Jul 21, 2014
https://flic.kr/p/61RKwy / Washington DNR

In eastern Washington, the Watermelon Hill fire that started Friday is no longer threatening homes, but is creeping up to a resort area. The fire is burning about 7 miles southwest of Cheney, and grew into Spokane County over the weekend.

In north-central Washington, fire crews aided by cooler temperatures and calmer winds are going on the offensive against several sprawling wildfires. Incident commanders of the region’s biggest and most destructive wildfire briefed residents in Omak and Brewster Sunday night.

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh has died. The 91-year-old passed away Sunday evening at Portland's Providence St. Vincent Medical Center of complications from renal failure.

Residents of fire-ravaged central Washington say they're in a “state of shock.” Fires destroyed more houses over the weekend and prompted additional evacuation notices.

Wildfires Force Northwest Fruit Pickers Out Of Camps

Jul 19, 2014

Fire officials estimate wildfires have burned more than 1,200 square miles in Washington and Oregon. Crews are working fast to build fire lines between the rapidly moving flames and rural communities. But hundreds of people remain on evacuation alert.

The wildfires burning in central Washington prompted another round of evacuations Friday night.

More than a dozen wildfires in eastern Washington and eastern Oregon continue to threaten homes and cause numerous road closures. Washington Governor Jay Inslee Friday asked residents near those fires to heed evacuation notices when issued.

Oregon's two leading candidates for governor faced each other on a debate stage for the first time Friday. Republican challenger Dennis Richardson repeatedly questioned incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber's commitment to the job during a 75-minute faceoff in Salem.

A blaze in Okanogan County, Washington, that Governor Jay Inslee called a “firestorm” has destroyed around 100 homes. Now, Inslee says 1,000 National Guard troops will take a crash-course in wildfire fighting so they can be deployed to central Washington fires.

Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican Dennis Richardson traded barbs Friday during the first debate of the 2014 Oregon governor's race. The 75 minute face-off was held during a meeting of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association in Salem.

The next few days will be critical for crews battling more than a dozen wildfires in the Northwest. Forecasters have issued a Red Flag Warning for a large swath of eastern Oregon and Washington.

Washington’s August primary is less than a month away -- August 5. It’s a mid-term election year with no statewide offices on the ballot. Even so, already nearly $33 million have been contributed to campaigns.

Bergdahl's Attorney Expects Army Questioning To Begin Soon

Jul 17, 2014

The attorney for rescued POW Bowe Bergdahl expects the Army sergeant to be interviewed by military investigators within the coming weeks.

The Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday a Washington man whose loaded gun went off in a school backpack critically injuring a student can’t be charged with third-degree assault.

A federal threatened species listing for the wolverine is looking increasingly unlikely.

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