Jessica Robinson

N3 Reporter

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Outdoor Safety
3:26 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Air bag becoming standard equipment for skiers

Skier Elyse Saugstad credits the ABS air bag with saving her life in an avalanche at Stevens Pass in Washington
ABS-airbag.com

The air bag credited with saving a woman from an avalanche at Stevens Pass is starting to become standard equipment for back country skiers in the Northwest. The expert skiers who seek the thrill of more remote areas are no strangers to signs of avalanches.

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Environment
9:36 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Northwest back country ripe for more avalanches

An avalanche near Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park
Mike Danisiewicz National Park Service

The conditions that led to fatal avalanches in the Washington Cascades could get worse this week. Three expert skiers died near Stevens Pass on Sunday and a snowboarder died in a separate avalanche near Snoqualmie.

Mark Moore is the director of the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center. He says a crystalline layer of frost prevented new snow from bonding with the bottom layers. He estimates that led to hundreds if not thousands of avalanches in remote areas over the weekend.

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Olympic Trials
9:23 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Northwest boxer wins at Olympic trials

Queen Underwood, in red, fights Mikaela Mayer to win the lightweight championship at the Olympic team trials for boxing in Spokane
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

A 27-year-old pipe fitter from the Northwest has earned a spot on the USA's first-ever women's Olympic boxing team. Queen Underwood of Seattle is considered to be one of the top contenders for the gold in boxing – male or female – at the 2012 London Games.

Underwood emerged as the lightweight champion at the week-long Olympic trials for women's boxing. The contest was in Spokane – where the audience welcomed Underwood as a home-state favorite.

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Olympic Sports
9:48 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Seattle Boxer Fights Battle Of The Mind In Face Of Olympics

Queen Underwood, 27, of Seattle steps out of the ring victorious at the Olympic team trials for women's boxing in Spokane. Photo by Jessica Robinson

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 4:31 pm

SPOKANE, Wash. - You might remember the film "Million Dollar Baby." Hillary Swank plays a female boxer named Maggie. Clint Eastwood plays her crusty – and at first, reluctant — trainer.

Maggie: "I thought you might want to train me."

Frankie: "I don't train girls."

Maggie: "Maybe you should. People who see me fight think I'm tough."

Frankie: "Girlie, tough ain't enough."

This year, women will box for the gold for the first time ever at the Summer Olympics in London. One of the top contenders is a boxer from the Northwest named Queen Underwood.

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Olympic Sports
9:44 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Swinging sisters: The Madrigal girls are tops in NW boxing

Maira Madrigal, 24, of Wenatchee is one of the Northwest’s top amateur female boxers.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

"To challenge yourself, you have to fight someone who actually knows how to fight.”

Up until the last few decades it was considered indecent for women to box. This year, women’s boxing will make its Olympic debut in the Summer Games of London.

The contenders for the first-ever U.S. Olympic women's boxing team face off in Spokane. It's a big development on the international stage. But the face of boxing has already been changing in small clubs across the Northwest.

Enter the Madrigal sisters.

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Environment
9:14 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Groups boycott 'The Grey' with Liam Neeson for portrayal of wolves

A new Liam Neeson action thriller opening Friday is receiving howls of protest from wolf advocates. They say “The Grey” wrongly portrays wolves as massive, bloodthirsty beasts. And some wildlife groups are organizing a boycott.

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winter Weather
2:34 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Inland NW seeing a more recognizable winter

A Coeur d’Alene, Idaho snowman is among many Inland Northwest residents whose cars are stuck in the snow.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

While cities west of the Cascades recover from the ice storm, flooding and mudslides, the Inland Northwest is getting more of what residents have been expecting for a while: a wintry white layer of snow. And forecasters say there's another round on the way.

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News
4:22 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Report: Idaho Plutonium Exposure Was 'Preventable'

This photo shows a clamshell fuel storage container similar to the one involved in the exposure. Photo courtesy of INL

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 3:15 pm

Federal investigators say an accident that exposed 16 people to radiation at the Idaho National Lab was "preventable." A report out Wednesday says the Department of Energy and one of its contractors underestimated the risk of opening decades-old packages that hold plutonium plates.

The 16 workers were preparing 1980s-era containers of plutonium to be moved out of an old research facility. Two containers had "atypical labels," so the workers contacted their supervisors. According to the federal report, they were directed to cut the plastic around the plutonium anyway.

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News
11:43 am
Fri January 13, 2012

One Year Later: Pipe Bomb Gives Determination To Spokane's MLK Event

Ivan Bush is a longtime organizer of Spokane's Martin Luther King Day parade. Photo by Jessica Robinson

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 8:52 am

SPOKANE, Wash. - It's been a year since a white supremacist from rural eastern Washington planted a bomb along Spokane's Martin Luther King Day parade route. Thirty-seven-year-old Kevin Harpham now awaits a 32-year prison sentence. But the cloud of the incident still looms as Spokane prepares for this year's event.

Ivan Bush stands in the sun outside the Spokane Convention Center. Hundreds of people gathered here a year ago to listen to a recitation of King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

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Wolf reintroduction
9:08 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Wolf vigil provokes anti-wolf counter protest in North Idaho

Patrick Krapfl of Coeur d'Alene holds a sign saying "Thanks for reminding me to buy my 2012 tags!" He joined other hunters in a counter protest of the wolf vigil. By Jessica Robinson.

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 8:32 am

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The gray wolf is making its way deeper into Oregon, Washington, and now for the first time in almost 90 years, California. But where the wolf goes, emotions run high. Seventeen years after the re-introduction of gray wolves into Idaho, the subject continues to stir strong feelings in the state. Monday, wolf advocates in Coeur d'Alene held a full moon vigil to remember wolves killed by hunters.

"Do you have a candle yet?"

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Lucky Friday mine
2:28 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Federal inspectors shut down Lucky Friday’s silver shaft

Federal inspectors have shut down the primary shaft into a troubled silver mine in north Idaho. The order comes on the heels of three tragic accidents that led the owners of the Lucky Friday Mine to take a two-month hiatus from mining to make safety improvements.

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Environment
4:51 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Idaho couple heads to Supreme Court over wetlands battle

Chantell and Mike Sackett of Priest River, Idaho, were ordered to halt work on their home because the EPA says the plot is part of a wetland.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

A north Idaho couple is in the chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court Monday for a case that could affect environmental regulation across the country.

The nine justices are hearing oral arguments in a case Mike and Chantell Sackett brought against the EPA over the couple’s still un-built home.

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Mount Rainier killing
5:05 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

National Parks are dangerous places to enforce the law

A reader board with a message in memory of Mount Rainer National Park Ranger Margaret Anderson is seen at a roadside motel Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in Elbe, Wash.
Associated Press

Mount Rainier will remain closed through Thursday after the fatal shooting of ranger Margaret Anderson on Sunday.

The tragedy underscores a little-known fact about the country's most beautiful landscapes: They're also home to some of the highest rates of assault on law enforcement.

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Economy
8:55 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Even As Unemployment Drops, Demand For Food Stamps Rises Across Northwest

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 4:42 pm

2011 saw modest signs of economic recovery in the Northwest. Washington, Oregon and Idaho all had slight dips in unemployment rates. But another economic indicator reveals it’s been a hard year for many families in all three states. That is, the number of people on food stamps.

Let's go back to January. “True Grit” was leading at the box office, the fledgling Arab Spring had not yet taken off, and in the Northwest, about 2 million people were on food stamps.

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Politics
9:33 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Wash. redistricting commission at impasse over Latino population

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 5:25 pm

The panel has a January 1st deadline.]

Washington's Latino population grew by 70 percent between 2000 and 2010. But commissioners are split over how to reflect that change in the legislative map -– particularly in the Yakima Valley.

"What is on the table here is one district that is a higher percentage Hispanic and minority or two districts that are a little bit lower Hispanic percentages," says Dean Foster, the Democrat who's been working on the map. "Maybe not even 50 percent."

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