Washington state legislature
3:28 pm
Mon September 26, 2011

Washinton Democrats may put taxes back on the ballot

OLYMPIA, Wash. – There are fresh signals that majority Democrats in Olympia may try to send a tax measure to voters this spring. House Democrats met behind closed doors Monday.

With a special session scheduled for late November, time is of the essence. State Representative Kathy Haigh chairs the House education appropriations committee. She says getting Democrats on the same page to fill the new $2 billion hole in the budget won't happen overnight.

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Groove Notes
3:13 pm
Mon September 26, 2011

Jacqui Naylor combines acoustic smashing, fan choice on 'Lucky Girl'

Jacqui Naylor
Jeff Bizzell

Singer Jacqui Naylor releases her 8th album, Lucky Girl, tomorrow. She is also performing tonight at Jazz Alley in Seattle as she kicks off her international tour. KPLU's Kevin Kniestedt spoke to Jacqui today about letting her fans choose the songs for her new album, her continued success with “acoustic smashing” and being the subject of a new documentary.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Death row
1:37 pm
Mon September 26, 2011

Oregon murderer explains why he wants to be executed

Convicted killer Gary Haugen leaves Marion County courthouse after a hearing in Salem, Ore., in May.
Associated Press

On Tuesday, a judge in Salem, Ore., will hold a competency hearing for convicted killer Gary Haugen.

Haugen wants to waive all his appeals to the death sentence and proceed to execution. But his former lawyers have raised questions about his mental competency. Haugen spoke to a reporter by phone from prison. The widow of one of the people Haugen is convicted of murdering responded in a separate interview.

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Oregon Public Broadcasting

Boeing
11:44 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Delivery ceremony held in Washington for 1st Boeing 787

Delivery ceremony of the first Boeing 787 is seen in this screen grab from Boeing's.

EVERETT, Wash. — Hundreds of people who gathered Monday for the delivery ceremony of the first Boeing 787 took cover from rain under the wings of two of the new airplanes at Paine Field, near the factory in Everett, Wash., where they were assembled.

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Nuclear Power Plant
11:33 am
Mon September 26, 2011

NRC begins inspection at Washington nuclear plant

RICHLAND, Wash. — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has begun a special inspection at the Northwest's only commercial nuclear power plant.

The inspection centers on three events in which plant operators inadvertently drained reactor coolant from the plant's reactor vessel during a recent refueling outage. The outage began April 2.

The inspection also will look at two other incidents that occurred while the reactor was shut down.

Obituary
11:29 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Oregonians remember statesman Mark Hatfield

Oregonians packed the Capitol's House Chamber Saturday to honor the late Senator Mark Hatfield. He died last month. Hatfield was eulogized as a leader with an unparalleled legacy.

Mark Hatfield Jr. spoke of his father’s limitless generosity toward his constituents, his staff, and his family.

"He was able to be so much to so many in so many right ways," Hatfield's son said.

Friends noted Hatfield's sixty-year career in Oregon and national politics left indelible marks in the state's laws and fortunes.

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Education
11:25 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Ted Koppel accepts 2011 Murrow Award from Washington State University

Longtime ABC news reporter and anchor Ted Koppel accepted the 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award from Washington State University Friday night.

When Ted Koppel wrapped up a press availability with members of the news media Friday, some younger members of the press corps gave him a round of applause. Koppel admonished those reporters for doing so; reporters, he said, never applaud at the end of a press conference.

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Business
11:19 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Oregon plans to charge for the convenience of online commerce

SALEM, Ore. – When you renew a professional license or pay a government fee, you’re more likely these days to do it online. Now, the state of Oregon is banking on your willingness to pay extra for that convenience.

The state is getting ready to shift to a new model of funding many of its online services. But it's not clear yet who will pay the new fees, or how much they'll cost.

Oregon pays a high-tech company more than $2.5 million a year to run the state's website. But Oregon is switching to a different company, and the state won't pay it one dime.

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Pacific Raceways
4:30 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Racetrack’s expansion plans have enviros, neighbors worried

View of the plan to refurbish Pacific Raceways near Kent.

Plans to upgrade a dilapidated old race track near Kent are sparking an environmental debate. The owners of Pacific Raceways say that to stay afloat, they badly need an expansion that would bring thousands of new jobs to the area. 

Neighbors are worried about impacts on surrounding wetlands and fish habitat, especially because they say special legislation King County is considering to facilitate the expansion may set a bad precedent.

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