Jessica Robinson

N3 Reporter

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Grizzly bears
4:17 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

More people plus more bears equals more bear attacks

This U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service file photo shows a grizzly bear in a field at Yellowstone National Park.

Wildlife experts say bear attacks are rising – but then, so is the number of people in bear country. Yellowstone National Park officials confirmed that a grizzly bear killed a hiker from Michigan. That's the second grizzly-caused death in the park this summer.

According to the Montana-based Center for Wildlife Information, run-ins with grizzly and black bears have increased in the last 20 years in North America. To some degree, that's expected. Bear populations have dramatically increased, and more people live and recreate in bear habitat now.

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Hate Crimes
10:18 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Feds to ask potential jurors about racist ties in Spokane case

Prosecutors in a federal hate crime case in Spokane are asking prospective jurors if they have ties to racist and militia groups. The man accused of planting a backpack bomb along Spokane's Martin Luther King Day parade route in January has been linked to white supremacists.

Kevin Harpham's name shows up in connection with more than 1,000 posts made to a Neo-Nazi web forum. And the Southern Poverty Law Center says he was once a member of the racist group, the National Alliance.

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Environment
5:09 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Grizzly bear killing in Idaho gets political

Idaho politicians are questioning the federal government's decision to press charges against a man for killing a grizzly bear near his house. Governor Butch Otter sent a letter to the Department of the Interior asking Secretary Ken Salazar to look into the north Idaho case. Senator Mike Crapo is also pushing for answers from the Interior Department.

Thirty-three-year-old Jeremy Hill faces up to a year in prison and a $50,000 fine for killing a grizzly bear. The grizzly is a threatened species.

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Contaminants Found in Schools
9:14 am
Thu August 25, 2011

EPA tells Bureau of Indian Affairs to clean up tribal schools

The Environmental Protection Agency says hazardous contaminants that most schools have gotten rid of remain in more than 160 government-operated tribal schools. That includes six in the Northwest. A new settlement aims to bring schools in Native American communities up to standards.

EPA inspections of tribal schools between 2005 and 2008 found violations of seven environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

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Law
5:36 pm
Mon August 22, 2011

'Bad Hair Bandit' raises questions about staff-inmate relationships

The case of the "Bad Hair Bandit" raises questions some prison experts say haven't been fully addressed in the correctional system. Police believe a woman from north Idaho is the wigged robber who stole money from banks in Tacoma, Spokane, Lake Oswego and other cities on the West Coast.

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Gang violence
9:12 am
Fri August 19, 2011

Wenatchee police brace for gang retaliation

Towns across the Northwest have been struggling with what police say is a resurgence of gang activity. Gang tensions are running especially high this week in Wenatchee, Wash. The town’s small police force is racing to solve an arson-homicide that killed two children.

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Shipping
4:43 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Third oil company considers megaloads despite delays

Pieces of an ExxonMobil refinery destined for Canada's oil sands travel up the Snake River to the Port of Lewiston in Idaho.
Courtesy of Imperial Oil

Another oil company is eying the Inland Northwest as a potential corridor for oversized shipments to the Canadian oil sands. That's despite prolonged legal wrangling that has delayed the other so-called "megaloads."

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Noxious Weeds
4:48 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

Toxic weed rears its flowered head In Northwest

Tansy ragwort, a member of the sunflower family native to Western Europe, is toxic to horses and cattle.
Courtesy of Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board

This year's prolonged wet weather is having the side effect of re-invigorating a noxious weed. The Northwest is seeing a comeback of tansy ragwort, a toxic species of sunflower that farmers thought they had vanquished years ago.

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War in Afghanistan
12:20 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

U.S. designates Idaho soldier's captor as terrorist

A Taliban video from December 2010 is believed to show captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl with Mullah Sangeen Zadran.
courtesy of IntelCenter

The Obama administration has officially designated the man linked with the capture of a Northwest soldier as a terrorist. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, is the only U.S. soldier in Taliban captivity.

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Moving Past Clergy Abuse
8:00 am
Tue August 16, 2011

Next generation of priests faces the fallout of abuse

Dale Tuckerman, a 30-year-old seminarian for the Diocese of Spokane, stands in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

This series looks at how the Catholic church and its victims move forward from the legacy of abuse.

The young men who are now old enough to consider entering the seminary grew up in an era of crisis in the Catholic church. Clergy sex abuse cases cast a shadow over the priesthood. Yet the church is adding priests who will inherit that legacy.

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Moving Past Clergy Abuse
7:55 am
Mon August 15, 2011

Friendship forged out of a dark childhood past

Alberta Sena, left, and Dorothea Skalicky, right, both grew up on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho. They are part of a settlement with the Northwest Jesuits over clergy sex abuse.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

This series takes a look at how the Catholic Church and its victims move forward from the legacy of abuse.

Checks will soon be going out in the mail to some 500 victims of clergy sex abuse across the Northwest. They're part of a major settlement with an order of Jesuits based in Portland. Most of the victims are from reservations and native communities from Montana to Alaska.

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Real Estate
10:13 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Bargain basement mortgage rates get bank phones ringing

Mortgage rates fell to near-record lows this week: The nationwide average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 4.3% according to Freddie Mac.
David Zalubowski Associated Press

Mortgage rates fell to near-record lows this week: The nationwide average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 4.3% according to Freddie Mac. Rates that low are proving to be catnip to consumers in an otherwise dismal week.

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Wildlife management
4:52 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Wolf advocates split over strategy

Western Gray Wolf
Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife

The recent ups and downs of wolf de-listing have split environmentalists over strategy. This week, a handful of conservation groups filed an appeal in San Francisco to return wolves to the endangered species list. But other groups feel the battle won't be won in the courts.

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Idaho Business
3:02 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Idaho touts its red state culture to attract gun manufacturing jobs

Idaho is among a handful of Western states using their gun-rights cred in this tough economy to attract jobs in the firearms industry.

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Grizzly bear shooting
9:45 am
Wed August 10, 2011

When is it legal to kill a grizzly bear?

About 1,100 grizzlies live in the Lower 48.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A north Idaho man could face fines and prison time for shooting a grizzly bear on his property. The animal is considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act and federal law allows people to kill grizzlies only in certain situations.

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