Nuclear Power
1:17 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

Crisis in Japan could affect Northwest nuclear project

The nuclear crisis in Japan could have repercussions for a proposed nuclear enrichment plant in Idaho. A Congressional subcommittee will hear testimony on nuclear safety, just as other countries re-examine their policies on nuclear power.

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Gambling
8:04 am
Wed March 16, 2011

Non-tribal casinos renew push for video slot machines

Chris Kealy, owner of The Iron Horse mini-casino in Auburn, wants the legislature to allow electronic slots in non-tribal casinos in Washington
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Lawmakers expect to get more bad news tomorrow when the new state revenue forecast comes out. If the budget shortfall grows, pressure will intensify to find new sources of tax dollars to offset some of the cuts. Maybe gambling.

That's what owners of the state's non-tribal casinos are betting on. They're ready with a proposal to allow video slot machines in off-reservation mini-casinos – something they say will benefit the state’s coffers.

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News Roundup
7:07 am
Wed March 16, 2011

Wednesday morning's headlines

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Going Back to College Could Get More Expensive
  • Higher Ed Bills Drawing Fresh Faces to Olympia
  • Arson Attempt at Olympia Police Station
  • Sounders Drop MLS Opener

 

Bill Would Hike Fees For College Returnees

If you plan to go back to college you could end up paying a lot more in tuition. A budget-saving proposal in Olympia would apply to people who already have a degree and then go for extra training at a community college, reports The Seattle Times' Queenie Wong:

SB5868 would require students with a bachelor's degree who attend a community or technical college to bear the entire cost of instruction - the price of regular tuition plus the share that the state pays.

That means it could affect current university students who take extra time and credits to get their degree.  State Senator Rodney Tom of Bellevue tells Wong that during a tight economy, government has to prioritize. It’s important to help students attend college, he says, but not for extra training.

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Food for Thought
4:15 am
Wed March 16, 2011

For a good time call John Pizzarelli

John Pizzarelli having a ball along with his audience at the KPLU studios.
KPLU

And for good eats call his Aunt Vera.

What a great time Nancy and I had hanging out with Pizzarelli and talking about food, food movies and his aunt Vera's cooking -- immortalized in song in this segment.  One of the food movies we discussed, Big Night, about an Italian restaurant in the '50s, features a deliriously over the top multi-course feast prepared for an expected visit from Louis Prima. 

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Remembering John T. Williams
5:20 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Century-old cedar totems to honor native woodcarver at Seattle Center "carve-in"

Late carver John T. Williams' brother, Rick, beams with joy as he and another carver, Dan Martin, make the first cuts on a 120-year-old cedar. Their carve-in will go on for at least 6 months.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

An ancient cedar tree was delivered earlier today (Tuesday) to the Seattle Center. Several totem poles carved from it in public will commemorate the life and art of native carver John T. Williams.

His shooting by a Seattle police officer last August has escalated tensions between law enforcement and people of color. But Williams' family says the "carve-in" that has just begun is about remembering his cultural legacy. 

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Life in the Northwest
5:18 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Fee hike for climbing Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier 4/13/08
Flickr user as737700 flickr.com

The priceless experience of climbing Mt. Rainier will cost you an extra $13 this year. Rainier National Park officials are now charging $43 for a climbing pass for adults over the age of 25. Climbers 24 and younger get a $30 youth rate. The new rates are effective immediately. Passes are good for one year.

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Washington's Economy
3:36 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

State's jobless rate drops slightly

A few more of us are finding work, according to the latest employment figures released by the state's Employment Security Department on Tuesday. This woman is looking for opportunities at a job fair in Seattle.
AP

Unemployment ticked downward in Washington state in February as hiring picked up. The changes were small, but the job market seems to have “turned the corner,” according to the State's Employment Security department. 

Washington's chief labor economist Dave Wallace, spoke about the fresh data released Tuesday. Wallace says the hard-hit construction industry showed surprisingly strong gains regionally and nationally:

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Business
3:25 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Ailing retailer Harry & David expected to survive, but shrink

A Harry & David retail store.
Tom Banse N3

One of the best known Northwest brands is on the verge of bond default or bankruptcy according to financial analysts. Gourmet food retailer Harry & David is one of the biggest employers in southern Oregon. It also has a network of anxious suppliers around the region.

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earthquake
1:23 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Japan’s quake, tsunami and what it teaches the Northwest

A tsunami wave carries cars, houses and other debris across farmlands in northeast Japan, Friday, March 11, 2011.
NHK via YouTube

You may have heard Washington has an earthquake fault similar to the one that devastated Japan.  While there are many fault-lines criss-crossing western Washington, the only one that bears a strong similarity is under the ocean, parallel to our coast-line.  It’s called the Cascadia subduction zone. 

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Law & Justice
9:55 am
Tue March 15, 2011

Prosecutors seek death penalty in murder of prison guard

Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe says he'll seek the death penalty if Byron Scherf is convicted of aggravated murder in the death of Monroe prison Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl.

In announcing his decision Tuesday in Everett, Roe said jurors "should have the opportunity of imposing the ultimate punishment if they see fit."

Biendl was strangled Jan. 29 in the prison chapel.

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