Steve Jackson

    Spokane Public Radio

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Wildfire Danger
12:32 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Wildfire Growing On Colville Reservation As Threat Of Lightning Looms

Washington Interagency Incident Management Team #4

The wildfire burning on the Colville Indian Reservation continues to grow. The Devil's Elbow Complex, which has topped 19,000 acres, is only 4 percent contained.

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Northwest Salmon
12:34 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Tribes Urge U.S., Canada To Update Columbia River Treaty

FILE - In this March 7, 2012, file photo, the Columbia River flows past the Vista House on Crown Point at right near Corbett, Oregon.
Don Ryan AP Photo

The U.S. and Canada are looking at renegotiating the Columbia River treaty, which has been in effect since 1964.

The treaty put into place a mechanism for the two countries to reduce flooding and increase electrical power generation. But it did not address the status of salmon and steelhead that have been decimated by the dams on the giant waterway. 

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Wildfire Danger
10:57 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Wildfire Threatening Structures On Colville Indian Reservation

Three small fires believed sparked by lightning have now converged into what is being called the Devil’s Elbow Complex on the Colville Indian Reservation.

The blaze, which spans 2,500 acres, is threatening about 50 structures on the reservation 10 miles north of the town of Keller. 

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Wildfire Damage
1:50 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Carlton Complex Fire Now 90 Percent Contained

This aerial photo shows the smoke rising from the Carlton Complex wildfire.
U.S. Forest Service

The Carlton Complex, the largest fire in Washington state history, is now approximately 90 percent contained, according to fire officials. 

Fire information officer Andy Lyon says officials do have concerns about wind in the forecast, though they are hopeful full containment will come soon. He adds the containment lines, which run nearly 200 miles around the 255,000-acre blaze, are very extensive.

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Legal Marijuana
3:29 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Tribal Group Approves Anti-Pot Resolution

Brennan LinsleyA AP Photo

The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians has passed a resolution that rejects marijuana use and legalization efforts in the region.

The resolution, drawn up at the groups recent Winter Convention, points out that Native Tribes have higher rates of marijuana and drug use than other ethnicities in the U.S., and the negative impacts of marijuana use can cause many health related problems.

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Politics
11:38 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Tribal Leader To Challenge McMorris Rodgers For Congressional Seat

A Native American is the newest challenger in the race for the Congressional seat currently held by Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Joe Pakootas, CEO for the Colville Federal Tribal Corporation and former tribal chairman, has announced his intention to run as a Democrat in the race against Republican Rep. Rodgers.

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Supreme Court Vs. Legislature
1:18 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Senator Chides High Court For 'Overreach,' Sponsors Bill To Reduce Court Size

Michael Baumgartner's website

Washington lawmakers may be tired of the state Supreme Court telling them how to do their job. At least one bill targeting the court is in front of lawmakers this session. 

The Legislature is under mandate by the State Supreme Court to increase state funding for education. Last year, the court told lawmakers to spend more, and lawmakers responded by upping education funding by $1 billion. Then a month ago, the court gave them even more specifics where the spending should go.

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Legal Marijuana
1:13 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

State Liquor Board Seeking Formal Opinion On Whether Pot Moratoriums Are Legal

Different strains of pot are displayed for sale at Medicine Man marijuana dispensary in Denver, Friday Dec. 27, 2013.
Brennan Linsley AP Photo

Legal marijuana is expected to go on sale by this spring in Washington cities like Seattle and Spokane.

Some municipalities, including Federal Way, have put moratoriums in place to give officials more time to determine how to implement the new law in their community. But in some cases, the moratoriums are more severe. 

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Fault Line
1:14 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Researchers See Evidence Of Earthquake Fault In Spokane

Scientists who have been studying a swarm of small earthquakes that shook Spokane in 2001 say they may have evidence of a new fault in the area. 

On Friday, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey announced an airborne survey of the Spokane area revealed clues that look to be connected to a so-called swarm of small earthquakes that struck in 2001.

The swarm was actually several small quakes, the largest of which registered a 4.0-magnitude quake on Nov. 11 of that year.

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memorial controversy
2:15 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Westboro Church Members Threaten to Attend Foley Funeral

The funeral for Former House Speaker Tom Foley in Spokane Friday may get disrupted by a well-known group of publicity seekers. 

The Westboro Baptist Church, long known for protesting military funerals, has posted information on its website that members plan to attend the service. 

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marijuana on the reservation
1:13 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Yakama Nation Won't Recognize Wash. State's New Pot Law

Associated Press

Washington state’s new law allowing for personal marijuana use by adults won’t be recognized on the Yakama tribal reservation. 

The Yakama Nation has decided that despite the wish of state residents in voting to allow for marijuana use, they will not allow cannabis to be consumed or grown on the reservation.

Tribal attorney George Colby says in part, it is an issue of tribal sovereignty.

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saving energy for later
3:01 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Battery may prove way to store wind energy

Researchers are testing a new battery power storage system that may provide some long-term solutions to storing power from the electrical grid. 

The tests are being conducted at a wind farm near the Tri-Cities. Currently,  wind power—and hydropower—must be used as it is produced. 

“Electric in general is difficult to store, or to save for later; you have to use it,” said John Steigers of Energy Northwest, a public power consortium. “The whole system in the country is based on the premise that what is being produced has to be used.”

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GMO food labeling
11:45 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Debate over GMO food labeling initiative heating up

This photo shows a "conventional" apple, left, next to an apple that has been genetically modified to slow browning.
Okanogan Specialty Fruits

With voters to decide on the fate of Initiative 522 in November, the debate over the labeling of genetically-modified foods is heating up.

Genetically-modified foods use a genetic piece of another plant or animal to modify the quality of the food, or make it easier for a grower to produce. But there are some who worry about the possible ill health effects such products may have.

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GMO food labeling
11:02 am
Tue June 18, 2013

State voters to decide on GMO-labeling initiative

<< Jonny Boy >> Flickr

State voters will decide on the fate of an initiative that would require labeling of genetically modified food products. 

Initiative 522 would require food products to bear a label informing the consumer if they contain any genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

The public signature-gathering campaign for the bill was successful, and while it allowed the Washington state Legislature an opportunity to decide its fate, its language mandated that if lawmakers took no action, the initiative would automatically move to a public vote in November.

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Fairchild Air Force Base
3:00 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Fairchild loses bid to house new Air Force tanker

Spokane’s Fairchild Air Force Base has lost out on a bid to be the first to house the Air Force's newest refueling tanker aircraft. 

While Spokane and Washington state leaders have spent the last few years touting Fairchild Air Force Base as the leading contender to take the first new Boeing KC 46A tanker planes, the Pentagon Wednesday decided that McConnell Air Force base in Wichita, Kansas is its choice. McConnell will receive the first batch of 36 planes in 2016. 

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