Northwest News Network

Head Of Washington State Prisons Resigns

Feb 6, 2016

Washington Secretary of Corrections Dan Pacholke has resigned his position after less than four months in the job. His unexpected announcement Saturday came just one day after the Republican-led Washington Senate voted not to confirm Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson resulting in her immediate departure from that agency.

The Republican leader of the Washington Senate said he regrets using the word “racist” to describe ousted Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson.

A plan to hike Oregon's minimum wage is moving forward in the Oregon Legislature. A measure cleared a committee Friday and is headed for a vote on the Senate floor.

The fastest land mammal in North America is again running free in north central Washington after a long absence. In late January, the Colville Tribes relocated 52 pronghorn antelope onto their reservation as part of a reintroduction effort.

Washington Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson is out of a job. The Republican-led Washington Senate voted Friday afternoon not to confirm Peterson three years after she was appointed by Democratic Governor Jay Inslee.

According to the Washington Department of Licensing, 380,000 drivers have suspended licenses. Many of them are low-income and lost their license because they failed to pay traffic tickets. They often have unpaid tickets from several jurisdictions and they’re likely to drive even without a license.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would close what some activists call a "loophole" in the state's criminal background check law. It allows gun sales to go through if a background check isn't completed by the end of the next business day.

A few short months from now, federal and state foresters around the West will purposely set controlled burns to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires later. This is a regular practice in Oregon, Idaho and California, but much less common in Washington state.

Two of the three brothers accused in last week’s fatal shooting at a Seattle homeless encampment have juvenile records. But neither qualified for supervised parole after they were released from juvenile lock-up.

A political showdown at the Oregon Capitol could result in some very long floor sessions this month. And at the heart of the debate is a clause in the state Constitution that dates back to 1859.

Oregon lawmakers want to continue to root out cases of police profiling. A House panel Tuesday advanced a measure that would require additional research into the issue.

You’ve heard of sex offender registries. The state of Washington also has a registry for people convicted of gun-related felonies. But it’s hardly used.

Federal agencies and university scientists are making progress on the deployment of an earthquake early warning system for the West Coast. That was one of the messages from a half-day earthquake preparedness summit hosted by the White House Tuesday.

Schools shooters often threaten violence before they act. But according to an FBI guide to school shootings, students who hear these threats rarely tell an adult.

An Oregon state lawmaker is making what he calls a long shot attempt at heading off an initiative that would raise corporate taxes.

In Salem and Olympia, some lawmakers are looking for a middle way on raising the minimum wage. In both capitals, there's hope that a modest wage increase with business and labor support could head off or trump oncoming ballot measures.

Oregon lawmakers kicked off a five-week legislative session Monday with a long "to do" list. But some at the Capitol think the legislature is overstepping its authority.

One of the Northwest’s selling points is its cheap hydropower. That’s why in recent years data centers have sprouted along the Columbia River in both Washington and Oregon.

But in north central Washington, an emerging power-hungry industry is meeting with some resistance. It involves the making and managing of the virtual currency called bitcoin.

A delegation from a tiny eastern Washington farm town is rallying to protect a walking, biking and horse riding trail that spans the state. They trekked to the Capitol to make their case.

Oregon lawmakers return to the state Capitol Monday for a whirlwind legislative session. Legislators are expected to debate topics such as the minimum wage, corporate taxes, and gun control.

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