Rudyard Kipling's Clackamas River Connection

Oct 31, 2012

Did you know that famed Nobel-prize winning author Rudyard Kipling once spent a day fishing on the Clackamas River?

When the Oregon Geographic Names Board meets this Saturday, the 25-member volunteer panel will consider a proposal to name an 18' x 60' rock in the river near the town of Carver after Kipling, who -- according to local lore -- spent one sunny day in 1889 perched atop the outcropping.

And boy, did he ever enjoy himself. The 23-year-old writer was in the midst of a tour of the American west, and he wrote rhapsodically of his day on the Clackamas River.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

PASCO, Wash. – Just as this year’s Halloween fades into memory, many Northwest Latino families are getting ready for the Day of the Dead. The traditional Mexican holiday is on Friday. Some families blend the two holidays.

In Pasco, Washington, bakeries can hardly churn out enough seasonal pan muerto. It’s a type of semi-sweet bread that has the shapes of bones and skulls baked right in. 

Northwest Election Law Hotlines Tend To Be Snoozers

Oct 30, 2012

This election day, the U.S. Department of Justice will have federal attorneys in every state, ready to take complaints. It's a long-standing program aimed at combating election fraud and voter rights abuses. But the hotlines tend to be pretty quiet in the Northwest.

The election day program has been around for decades. But attorneys in Oregon and eastern Washington say -– at least in recent memory -– they haven't gotten any complaints. Western Washington received a few calls in 2008 about voter registration issues.

Halloween Spending Up Across Nation

Oct 30, 2012

KENNEWICK, Wash. – If Halloween spending is an indicator of the economy, Americans are appear to be feeling better than this time last year -- or at least more ghoulish.

A new survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation found that seven of 10 Americans will celebrate Halloween this year. And they’re spending more says spokeswoman Kathy Grannis.

“The average person is expected to spend about $79 on Halloween decorations, costumes and candy.”

Washington Considers Another Impact Of Wolves: Skinny Cows

Oct 30, 2012

Washington ranchers who can show that wolves are making their cattle lose weight could get reimbursed under a new proposal. The rule before the Fish and Wildlife Commission would expand a compensation program for ranchers living in wolf country.

Washington’s cattle ranchers aren’t the first to complain about skinny livestock. Ranchers in Idaho and Oregon also say the reintroduction of wolves has made sheep and cattle move more and eat less.

That translates into the bottom line, says Dave Ware. He’s the game manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

HOQUIAM, Wash. – Nearly 300,000 people in Washington are still unemployed and looking for work. But there was reason to celebrate Monday in coastal Grays Harbor County – where the unemployment rate is tied for the highest in the state. A shuttered paper mill there recently roared back to life. With it came 175 jobs.

It was a party atmosphere inside the long, narrow shipping warehouse at Harbor Paper. Several hundred people milled about as dignitaries, including Governor Chris Gregoire, mounted a makeshift stage.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Democratic Party says it will donate contributions from controversial spiritual leader JZ Knight to the Anti-Defamation League and the campaign to uphold gay marriage. That announcement late Friday follows the release of new video clips that show Knight making offensive and at times bizarre comments about gay people and people from Mexico.

The latest video clips were released by the conservative Freedom Foundation. In them Knight says gay men were once Catholic women. And attacks people from Mexico.

CDC Recommends Pertussis Vaccine For Expectant Moms

Oct 25, 2012

Public health experts are now recommending that pregnant women get the vaccine for whooping cough during pregnancy. The recommendation is in response to the growing outbreak of the disease in the U.S.

So far, there are more than 32,000 reported cases of whooping cough across the country. If the trend holds, it’s on track to be the highest number of cases since 1959.

Polka Is Out, Even At World Accordion Competition

Oct 25, 2012

SPOKANE, Wash. - This week, the Northwest is hosting an historic event –- historic, at least, in the world of accordion music. The top players from 19 countries are competing in Spokane at the World Trophy Accordion Championship.

It's the first time the prestigious international competition has come to the United States and U.S. accordion players feel they've got something to prove.

There's one big problem facing accordion players here. It goes a little something like this.

Researchers with Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say they’ve detected minute amounts of radioactivity from the Fukushima reactor meltdown in albacore tuna caught along the West Coast. It's not considered a health threat at all.

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