Northwest News Network

Students and parents with kids soon heading to a state college or university have reason to pay attention to the Washington and Idaho legislatures this coming month.

Is the tax on legal marijuana in Washington too high?

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum wants state lawmakers to fund a new set of investigators specializing in elder abuse cases. It comes as more than 150 prosecutors, attorneys and law enforcement officers meet to discuss elder abuse in Salem Tuesday.

It was hard to tell where the snow ended and the sky began – a strange, dim-white blanket that didn’t end.
 

On Jan. 11 the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon were there to cut fence. A bundle of photographers, TV camera operators and other journalists, including me, were there to capture the action.

 A fashion faux pas could be the worst consequence if you wear the wrong color for the season. But a new scientific paper finds much higher stakes when it comes to mismatched coat colors in the animal world.

Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife will formally acknowledge Friday that it violated the constitutional rights of two brothers who commercially fished the Columbia River.

The union-backed group that's seeking to increase taxes on some of Oregon's largest corporations is ramping up its signature collection efforts this weekend.

The Washington Supreme Court will likely decide the fate of a voter-approved tax-limiting measure. A judge in King County ruled Thursday that Initiative 1366, approved in November, is unconstitutional.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is renewing his push to raise the smoking and vaping age to 21. The Democrat announced the bipartisan effort Wednesday at a Capitol news conference.

The political showdown over the accidental release of more than 3,000 Washington inmates continues. Senate Republicans moved quickly Tuesday to approve two subpoenas seeking records from the governor’s office and the Department of Corrections.

The March trial of indicted Washington state Auditor Troy Kelley could take four to six weeks. That’s according to proposed jury questionnaires filed with the federal court.

Thanks to a measure approved by Oregon lawmakers last summer, you’ll soon be able to legally drive faster on more than 1,500 miles of highways in Oregon. But while the bill sped through the legislature fairly quickly, there's a lot to be done before Oregon drivers can speed up.

Washington’s state ethics board has dismissed complaints against several current and former officials at the state Department of Commerce. Three of those former staffers now work for clean energy start-up companies that are benefiting from a state grant program.

Washington's governor is ruling out a direct public subsidy to save the jobs of hundreds of workers at the Northwest's last operational aluminum smelters. But other forms of support such as retraining assistance remain under consideration.

A proposed summertime ban on consumer fireworks is firing people up at the Washington state Capitol. It’s just one of many ideas being floated in Northwest statehouses to avoid a repeat of last summer's bad wildfire season.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is defending his investigation of the accidental early release of more than 3,000 prison inmates. The Democrat responded Thursday after Republican state senators announced they plan to use their subpoena power to conduct their own inquiry.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has issued an emergency order to stop the tunneling project along Seattle’s downtown waterfront. The tunnel will replace the aging Highway 99 viaduct.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced her support for a major hike in the state's minimum wage. Brown said she hopes her new proposal will encourage the backers of two initiative campaigns to lay down their signature-gathering pens.

Brown's proposal would raise the hourly minimum wage to $15.52 in the Portland metro area and $13.50 in the rest of the state. The increase would be phased in over the next six years.

In Burns, Oregon, this Friday night there’ll likely be two big shows in town. The armed group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge plan to hold a community meeting. But 7 p.m. is also when the new Star Wars movie debuts.

For the third time in less than a year, a Washington state employee has been accused of having sex with a juvenile offender. The most recent arrest happened this week at a state juvenile lock-up in Chehalis.

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