Tom Banse / NW News Network

As the story of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Pacific Northwest changes from scarcity to surplus, one northwestern Washington community says it is in a unique position to extend a helping hand across the border.

Point Roberts, USA, is attached to British Columbia and doesn’t connect by land to the rest of Washington state. Inoculation shots are scarcer in Canada. So, Point Roberts officials want to offer surplus vaccines to their northern neighbors. But bureaucratic hurdles stand in the way.

KNKX Photo / Kari Plog

Calling it a "moral mandate,” Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed into law a dozen bills that backers hope will improve policing in Washington, reduce the use of deadly force and ensure that when deadly encounters do occur the investigations are thorough and independent.

"These bills are all going to work in coordination with one another to create a system of accountability and integrity stronger than anywhere else in the nation," Inslee said in remarks before he signed the bills.

Bonneville Power Administration

A wide-ranging proposal to save wild salmon by removing the four Lower Snake River dams may be dead in the water. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray say any proposal for the controversial dams needs a “science-based,” “community-driven” approach.

Courtesy of Gameloft

Jazz Halfmoon remembers playing the educational video game Oregon Trail as a reward for doing well in her Oregon grade school class.

“It was on a super old computer,” she says. “The green screen was like the only color.”

She says it was really exciting, and the kids would often clamor and fight over who could play the game on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation in northeastern Oregon. 

Washington State Department of Corrections

The state of Washington will soon offer an alternative to prison for people with a serious mental illness who commit a crime. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill into law Monday.

Under the new Mental Health Sentencing Alternative, judges will have the option to sentence a person to community supervision and treatment in lieu of prison.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr - tinyurl.com/ha5h3wp

For the second time in less than a year, Washington’s Corrections Ombuds (OCO) is warning that the state’s prison system needs to do more to prevent inmate suicides.

In a 15-page investigation released Monday, the OCO found that two inmates died by suicide in 2020 after prison staff failed to recognize signs of mental distress and didn’t follow suicide prevention policies.

“Suicides are preventable. There should be zero, that should be the goal” said Assistant Ombuds Dr. Patricia David, the investigation’s author and the OCO’s Director of Patient Safety and Performance Review.

Robert Ward

Stargazers across the Pacific Northwest were treated to quite a light show in late March when the errant reentry of a spent rocket sent fireballs streaking high overhead. The uncontrolled disintegration of the rocket rained debris onto eastern Washington state, where fortunately no one was hurt. While the search for mangled rocket parts goes on, the event also provided a great learning opportunity for researchers that could foreshadow a space junk warning system.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

The first time salmon were released above Chief Joseph and, later, Grand Coulee dams, Hemene James watched elders from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Many weren’t even old enough to remember when salmon last swam in those waters.

In their faces he saw pure emotion, as salmon slipped into the waters where they hadn’t been since Grand Coulee Dam blocked their path in 1942.

Then, he looked at the children. Their excitement was infectious. They jumped and ran into the water, trying to catch the fish swimming upstream.

Anna King/NW News Network

Redtail hawks glide off telephone poles sailing above verdant fields that scoop downward along a basalt slope to the bending Columbia River. 

This unique swath of ground is about to get a new owner; the roughly 12,000 Easterday family acres in Benton County are to be auctioned off starting in mid-June. 

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed into law a new tax on capital gains aimed at the state’s wealthiest residents.

But the future of the tax is uncertain.

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