Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

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.

Wally Miller / Flickr

If you live at the foot of a dam – or downriver – you may wonder what could happen if an earthquake rumbled nearby. Dam managers say it’s something they’re constantly watching, but major shaking east of the Cascades shouldn’t cause too much damage.

“We are concerned (about earthquakes), but we’re not concerned from an overall public safety standpoint,” said Bill Christman, Chelan County PUD’s chief dam safety engineer. “The dams on the Columbia River are naturally constructed to resist a big volume of water through just their own weight.”

Dr. Lesley Ogden and Chris Lemar stand beside the backup generator at Lincoln City's new hospital, which is mounted on a shock-absorbing rack to protect against an earthquake.
Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The state of Oregon is pushing the community hospitals along the Oregon Coast to improve their earthquake resilience. This comes after a state report predicted none of them would be able to sustain operations after the feared Big One -- a magnitude 9 offshore Cascadia earthquake and tsunami.

Hospitals in Washington state were called out too, in a separate report by that state's government. The challenge is inspiring some creative thinking about how these hospitals might secure extended emergency power and water.

Rolls-Royce

An iconic Boeing jet model nicknamed the Queen of the Skies swooped back into Moses Lake, Washington, Tuesday where it once was a regular presence. This queen will be accessorized to carry bling under its wing while it's there.

Courtesy of Yakama Nation

The Yakama Nation is calling for the removal of three lower Columbia River dams — Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day — in an effort to save salmon and preserve First Nations’ culture.

Standing on the banks of the Columbia River Monday, near the remnants of Celilo Falls, Yakama Nation Chairman JoDe Goudy traced the history of decrees, congressional acts and court cases that led to the damming of the river.

Jake Willard / Oregon21

Public funding for big-time sports tends to generate static. So, Oregon Governor Kate Brown is building her case now for additional taxpayer support for the IAAF World Track and Field Championships, which are coming to Eugene in two years.

Courtney Flatt/Northwest Public Broadcasting

It’s been four years since the federal government initially started asking Washington residents whether they’d like to see more grizzly bears brought into the state. And still, the heated debate continues.

 

Around 450 people filed into the AgriComplex building at the Okanogan County Fairgrounds Monday night. They wanted to voice their opinions on a draft plan to relocate grizzlies to the North Cascades.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

A drone air taxi designed by Airbus has successfully completed 114 test flights in Pacific Northwest skies.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

In 1998, Washington voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 200, which effectively ended affirmative action in the state.

Now, 21 years later, voters this November will once again have a chance to weigh in on the issue. The vote will test whether attitudes about affirmative action have changed over the past two decades.

Courtesy Washington Supreme Court

The chief justice of the Washington state Supreme Court, Mary Fairhurst, will retire in January as she continues to battle her third bout of colon cancer since 2008. 

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Fairhurst said: "It is with a clear head and a sad heart that I have made the decision that it is time for me to leave the Court."

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