News

Jane Abel/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Right now, in the Northwest’s high desert, the biscuit root should be ready to bloom.

Pregnant ground squirrels should be up to the surface, munching fresh shoots. But that’s not happening.

On much of Washington’s and Oregon’s eastside, snow has been on the ground for six weeks, and it has some experts wondering how life will shake out for stressed flora and fauna.

Heidi Newsome, is a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service out of Burbank, Wash.

Oregon DMV

The options to share your fandom or your love of nature through your car license plate keep growing in Oregon and Washington. But not all license plate ideas go down smoothly: A proposed Washington wine country license plate, like Oregon already offers, drew some whining at the state legislature this week.

Austin Jenkins

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination, signed legislation Thursday to bump the state’s presidential primary from late May to early March. It’s a move designed to make Washington, a frequently overlooked state with just 12 electoral votes, more relevant in the nominating process.

Austin Jenkins

In the woods near Olympia’s Capitol Forest, there’s a brown two-story house with unpainted plywood walls in the entryway that tell a story.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

A research project to model the effects from a Cascadia megaquake found higher risk of collapse for modern tall buildings than previously thought.

Prenters Broughton argues for early release before the state clemency board in Olympia on Thursday, March 7. The board is one of the only ways for long-time inmates to have their sentences reduced or thrown out.
Max Wasserman / Northwest News Network

Prenters Broughton was always getting into trouble as a kid. So, his older sister came up with a nickname for him.

“He was just a little devil,” Alana Ervin, a Tacoma resident, said of her brother. “So PB, just to shorten it up for peanut butter because he’s always in the thick of things.”

Megan Farmer / KUOW

If you're annoyed by having to change the clocks this weekend, take heart. This could be one of the last times you have to go through the time change ritual.

Kevin Galvin / FEMA News

The State of Washington has completed its first statewide inventory of buildings prone to crumble or collapse in an earthquake. The bottom line: There are an awful lot of unreinforced, old brick or stone buildings that could be dangerous  — a similar number to estimates in Oregon.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Democrats in the Washington Legislature want to revive a tax break for buyers of electric cars, which critics view as wasteful and unnecessary. Meanwhile, a publicly-financed rebate for battery-powered cars in Oregon is finding thousands of takers.

Avangrid Renewables

A Portland-based energy developer has signed property leases for a big solar farm in Klickitat County near the Columbia River. When completed, the solar project will be the largest in Washington state.

Carolina Landa hugs her son, Zach, in their living room before he leaves for school on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. The two have been living together in the same home in Olympia since 2015.
Shauna Sowersby / The (Tacoma) News Tribune

Carolina Landa’s 12-year-old son has a new obsession: an old Scooby-Doo movie.

It’s part of Zach’s life with autism. He fixates on certain objects — a movie, sometimes food, anything he needs to feel safe — but has difficulty communicating since he’s also nonverbal.

Legislation just passed by the Washington state Senate could accelerate the closure of the coal-fired Colstrip power plant in eastern Montana, co-owned by Bellevue-based PSE and Spokane-based Avista Utilities.
Flickr Photo/Spot Us/Rachel Cernansky (CC BY-SA 2.0) / https://flic.kr/p/aJaQVF

Electric utilities in Washington state would have to phase out all coal power, and eventually, natural gas-fired generation under a measure passed by the state Senate on Friday.

The 100 percent clean electricity mandate is a priority of Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and environmental groups, but Republican critics decried it as a big rate increase in the making.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Following months of speculation, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday formally launched a campaign for president that he said would seek to mobilize the country around an ambitious plan to combat climate change.

Courtesy: Rhonda Johnson

In January 2010, Brandon Bielen was riding his motorcycle on Highway 9 in Skagit County when he collided with a car that pulled out in front of him. Bielen was airlifted from the scene in critical condition. He had turned 18 just two days earlier.

Schwede66 via Wikimedia Commons - tinyurl.com/ycfsul7z

Thousands of old brick, stone and concrete buildings in the Pacific Northwest could crumble in the next strong earthquake. To face that challenge, measures pending in the Oregon and Washington legislatures would set up grant programs to help owners of dangerous buildings make seismic safety upgrades.

WSU News

People with Celiac disease are a bit closer to enjoying gluten products again.

With the help of genetic modification, a team of Northwest scientists have engineered a unique wheat variety that’s safe for people with gluten sensitivities and allergies.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

First, he was caught on store surveillance allegedly stealing a $70 office chair. Now Washington anti-tax activist Tim Eyman has produced his own video. It shows him returning to the scene of the alleged crime.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Almond bloom comes nearly all at once in California — a flush of delicate pale blooms that unfold around Valentine's Day.

And beekeeper Bret Adee is hustling to get his hives ready, working through them on a Central Valley ranch before placing them in orchards.

He deftly tap-taps open a hive. "We're gonna open this up, and you're going to see a whole lot of bees here," Adee says.

Under the lid, the exposed sleepy occupants hum away. He uses a handheld smoker to keep them calm and huddled around their queen.

Ted S. Warren/AP

Two months into this year, researchers are looking back at what changed on the housing front in 2018.  

 

According to the latest numbers from the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, the statewide vacancy rate for all apartments is 4.26 percent. That’s better than it was last fall, but not by much.

 

Austin Jenkins / NW News Network

A Washington state lawmaker says it’s time for eastern Washington to break away and become a 51st state called Liberty in order to protect gun rights and avoid the “socialist values of downtown Seattle.”

The joke around the PNSN office is that recently departed director John Vidale (left) did a good job suppressing earthquakes for the past decade.
Tom Banse / Northwest News Network, 2012

Most people in the Pacific Northwest know we live in earthquake country. A new analysis published this week, however, notes that major quakes in the region have gone on a puzzling hiatus over the last decade.

Max Wasserman / Northwest News Network

Issues of sexual harassment raised in the #MeToo era have trickled their way through just about every part of Washington state — from business, to government, and now possibly schools as state lawmakers flag consent as the cornerstone of a mandatory sex-education proposal.

Reviver Auto

If a custom license plate or a college-themed plate isn't good enough for your car, a startup has the latest in automotive accessories: a digital license plate.

Austin Jenkins

As Washington Gov. Jay Inslee inches closer to a likely run for president, he's starting to sound more and more like a candidate on the stump than a two-term incumbent, even when addressing audiences at home. 

Maya Lin Studio

A large public art project proposed to be built beside the now-inundated great falls of the Columbia River has been put on indefinite hold by its sponsor.

The installation was planned for Celilo Falls — east of The Dalles, Oregon — as the sixth and final outdoor artwork in a series by celebrated designer Maya Lin along the Columbia and Snake rivers.

TVW / TVW

According to Washington State’s Department of Health, one infant dies almost every day in the state. Major causes include sudden unexplained infant death, low birthweight and premature birth.

And state health officials say the number of kids who die before the age of one is consistently higher among Native Americans and African Americans compared to any other race.

Officials from across the state met Thursday to discuss infant mortality as part of Governor Jay Inslee’s Results Washington Initiative.

epa.gov / US Environmental Protection Agency

  

The Environmental Protection Agency set new clean-air standards four years ago for wood stove and hydronic heater manufacturers.

These manufacturers were told that by 2020 they would have to sell off older models of stoves and heaters that did not meet the new standards that limit fine particulate matter. Now, under the Trump administration, the EPA is proposing a two-year delay to that sell-by deadline.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

Every week, tens of thousands of Americans complete intensive drug and alcohol rehab programs. The next months, however, are fraught with risk of relapse.

A treatment counselor or supporter can't monitor you around the clock. But now your always-on smartphone can watch you, coach you, alert your mom and even give rewards.

TVW / TVW

Four Bills in Washington’s legislature this year offer differing views on the death penalty following a state Supreme Court decision last year.  A similar debate is playing out in Oregon.

 

Dennis Wise / University of Washington Photography

Drastic increases to the cost of college have discouraged many families from saving for their child’s tuition — or even thinking of it as a possibility. But some state lawmakers think that could change for as little as $100.


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