Student testing
6:23 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Update: Washington students doing better with new tests, timing

Even Washington middle school students do better with the state's new tests and testing strategy.
Bill S Flickr

Math appears to be less of a problem than it used to be for Washington students trying to graduate from high school. More than two-thirds of them passed new state tests required to get their diplomas. Some students could even clear the hurdle before they finish middle school. 

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State liquor sales
5:35 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Wash. prepares to accept bids to privatize liquor distribution

While Washington is figuring out how to judge a quality bid for distributing liquor, voters in 2012 could make the entire system private.
Chris Flickr

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The state of Washington is getting ready to accept bids from private companies to take over the distribution of liquor. One question: how to evaluate the financial promises the bidders make.

This was a key topic Tuesday as state leaders met in advance of the formal bid process that’s about to get underway.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
5:13 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

$12 billion Hanford waste treatment plant may be over budget

RICHLAND, Wash. – A new Department of Energy document leaked to the press reveals that Hanford's massive waste treatment plant might be over budget. A project review committee says the plant is in jeopardy of opening on time.

The waste plant meant to treat 56 million gallons of radioactive waste is at risk, the report says. That toxic sludge is now sitting in aging underground tanks in southeast Washington not far from the Columbia River.

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Education
5:04 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Washington students testing better in math, science

“I think our quality of teaching is better," said Randy Dorn, Washington's Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Bill S Flickr

Washington’s students have made some gains on math and science tests. More kids passed state exams in those subjects last year than the year before, according to the Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn.

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Wolf hunting
4:39 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Wolf advocates call for Idaho boycott

Members of Friends of Animals protesting.
Northwest News Network

BOISE, Idaho – As Idaho opened it’s 2011 wolf hunt today, critics started voicing their concern across the country.

One group asked people at Central Park in New York City to call Idaho Governor Butch Otter and ask him to stop the hunt.

The New York based group Friends of Animals says this is a last minute effort in response to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision last week to turn down a request to stop the wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana.

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Business
3:23 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Downtown shoppers will see JC Penny after 30-year hiatus

JC Penny's new location in downtown Seattle will be in the three-story Kress building at Third Avenue and Pike Street.
Dan Neslon Flickr

It’s been almost 30 years but JC Penny is making a comeback. The Seattle Times reports the clothing-store chain is planning to set up shop just one block from where the original store once stood.

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National Labor Rights Week
2:34 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Mexican Consulate hosting free labor rights workshops

The Mexican government will be helping workers in and around Seattle know their rights and learn ways to protect themselves from unscrupulous employers.
Chris de Rham Flickr

Latino workers struggling with issues of fair wages, harassment and safety in the workplace are getting help this week from an unlikely source. The Mexican government is sponsoring workshops in Seattle and other cities to help those workers understand their rights.

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Humanosphere
2:30 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Gates Foundation identifies plant vaccination as new initiative

Do you have a solution for making plants more resistant to disease? The Gates Foundation wants to hear from you.
Eric Hershman Flickr

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has done a lot to boost the science and delivery of vaccines for human health and to assist in the fight against disease.

Now, the Seattle philanthropy would like to start vaccinating crop plants to help poor farmers and hopes solutions will emerge through its next round of Grand Challenges Explorations.

Elections 2012
1:15 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Gay marriage supporters court Latino community

SALEM, Ore. - Gay marriage supporters in Oregon are trying to win over support from the Latino community. They’re targeting Spanish speakers in a new radio ad campaign.

The ads mark the first concentrated effort to build support for gay marriage among the Hispanic community in Oregon.

Jeana Frazzini is executive director of Basic Rights Oregon. She says the effort comes as the organization considers whether to take a same-sex marriage initiative to the ballot next year.

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Fraser River salmon
1:00 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Sockeye salmon in Canada to be tested for radiation from Japan

Sockeye preparing to spawn.
Chris Pike Flickr

Sockeye salmon returning to Canada this year will be tested by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for radiation contamination that might be picked up in the North Pacific from Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster.

However, Washington state officials have no plans to test salmon specifically for radiation related to the Japanese disaster because earlier environmental testing showed so few signs of radiation that current levels in fish, if any, would be "undetectable," a spokesperson for the Department of Health said.

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