Environment
9:25 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Washington plans to raise fees for dam inspections

A Dam breach piping failure in Walla Walla County.
Washington Dept. of Ecology

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Northwest is known for its big hydroelectric dams. But across the region there are also hundreds of smaller non-hydro dams. Some of them hold back water, but others retain dairy waste or sewage.

In Washington, the operators of these structures could soon pay more in annual fees to cover the cost of inspections.

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Wolf recovery
9:10 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Scientists hope collared wolf in Oregon Cascades leads to others

A gray wolf.
Courtesy of Idaho Fish and Game

Biologists tracking a gray wolf from Northeastern Oregon say it has traveled more than 300 miles. The wolf crossed the Cascades and showed up in southwest Oregon not far from Crater Lake.

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Other News
9:04 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Prison Inmates Help With Wash. Apple Harvest

So far, just one apple orchard in Washington has taken up the state's offer for inmates to help with the harvest. That’s despite a severe worker shortage that has many growers facing big losses.

This week, McDougall and Sons orchard near Wenatchee put more than a hundred inmates to work. They're from a minimum security work camp near Forks.

The orchard pays the state $22 an hour per worker. That covers costs for housing, transportation and other expenses. The inmates are paid minimum wage.

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Health care
9:03 am
Wed November 2, 2011

New State Website Offers Info on Health Rates

If you’ve ever wondered why your health insurance rate has gone up, that information is now public. Washington State’s Office of Insurance Commissioner has a new website that can help explain that.

Whenever an insurance company wants to raise rates for individual or small group plans, the Insurance Commissioner's Office reviews those requests. In the past, the agency could approve or reject the new rates, but it couldn't release any information behind the decision.

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Odd news
8:57 am
Wed November 2, 2011

15-year sentence in Olympia underwear theft case

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A man who pleaded guilty to charges related to underwear thefts was sentenced Tuesday in Olympia to 15 years in prison.

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Food
4:30 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Enjoy Chinese style egg-centric comfort food at home

Last weekend my wife asked me if I would make her some egg fu yung. "You want egg rolls wit' dat?" I asked.  Of course she did.  But why stop there?

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Marijuana legalization
3:52 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Washington pot initiative gets cash boost

A campaign to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Washington state is getting a big cash boost with two months left to collect signatures.

Campaign director Alison Holcomb says her group New Approach Washington received a check for $100,000 Tuesday from philanthropist Harriet Bullitt.

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Politics
3:35 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Former Cain Spokeswoman Takes Job With Idaho Congressman

Herman Cain's former campaign spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael is the new communications director for Idaho Congressman Raúl Labrador. Image via @ellencarmichael/Twitter

The former spokeswoman for Herman Cain's presidential campaign has taken a job with a freshman congressman from Idaho. Republican Representative Raúl Labrador announced Tuesday he's hired Ellen Carmichael to be his communications director.

Ellen Carmichael said in a statement she welcomed the opportunity to work in Washington, D.C. for what she called an "unwavering conservative." Congressman Labrador represents Idaho's 1st district, which spans the entire length of the state's western flank.

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Economic downturn
2:25 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Cost of living jump in Northwest challenging worker paychecks

Even workers with the same job and same wage are finding it harder and harder to get along in Seattle and other parts of Washington.
Chris Devers Flickr

It isn't just the poor and unemployed who are suffering in Seattle and Washington, but people who ten years ago were living comfortably on their wages are now living with a paycheck that doesn't seem to go far enough.

A new study from the University of Washington has found that the cost of living in Seattle and Washington State has risen significantly while worker wages have remained the same.

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Consumer news
2:22 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Ford unveiling all-new Focus electric car in Seattle

Ford's new Focus all-electric car.
Courtesy of Ford

Seattle's Century Link Field is again the location for the unveiling of a new all-electric car. 

The Nissan Leaf debuted here nearly a year ago. Tomorrow morning there will be a demonstration of the plug-in technology at the charging stations near the stadium – to mark the opening of order banks for owning the new Ford electric vehicle. 

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