Colin Fogarty

Northwest News Network

Mike Taylor / CultureWatch Northwest

Northwest history is colliding with the need to upgrade the region’s electric transmission grid. It’s happening on a windblown patch of riverfront property at the east end of the Columbia River Gorge.

The Bonneville Power Administration is trying to build a new transmission line across that land. But conflicts over historical preservation have increased the cost of the project to $185 million and stalled progress for more than a year.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington Democrats say it’s a victory for democracy. Republicans call it a defeat for taxpayers. In a major decision Thursday, the Washington Supreme Court tossed out the state’s two-thirds supermajority requirement for raising taxes. In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that the voter-approved law violates a provision of the Washington state constitution that requires a simple majority vote in the state legislature to approve bills.

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is asking state lawmakers to cap cost of living pay increases for public sector retirees. 

Jessica Payne / Washington DNR

Fire crews in central Washington say they’ll need a couple more days to contain the last 10 percent of the Taylor Bridge fire.

PORTLAND, ore. - Attorneys for an Oregon victim of clergy sex abuse say they will appeal a new decision that frees the Vatican from a lawsuit. That ruling came down Monday in federal district court in Portland. The 10-year-old lawsuit aims to link the Holy See in Rome to abuse by American priests.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington liquor prices were 17 percent higher on average in June, compared to the same month a year ago.

The state Department of Revenue also reported sales declined in the first month private retailers could sell spirits in Washington.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A north Idaho couple is still a long way from breaking ground. But Mike and Chantell Sackett have won the right to go to court over their property in Priest Lake, Idaho.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Sacketts can challenge a decision by federal regulators that their lot is in a protected wetland. The ruling was relatively narrow.

A Washington State University researcher says new findings about the emotions of rats could lead to treatments for mental illness in humans. Jaak Panksepp writes in the latest issue of the journal, Science.

He was reacting to a new study showing that rats demonstrate empathy and altruism toward a fellow rat who was stuck in a trap.

PORTLAND - It's been 40 years since the most famous airplane hijacking in Northwest history. D.B. Cooper enthusiasts still hope for a breakthrough in the unsolved case. November 24th is the anniversary of the high altitude heist. Saturday , a group of amateur sleuths will gather in Portland for a D.B. Cooper symposium.

The hijacking of Northwest Orient Airlines flight 305 was big news in November 1971.

Opening statements are expected to get underway Monday in a major court martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. At the center is Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, the alleged ringleader of a group of western Washington soldiers accused of war crimes.

Gibbs is charged with three counts of premeditated murder in the killings of unarmed Afghan civilians. His fellow soldiers have described him as a "sociopath" who led talks in their platoon about killing noncombatants.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / flickr

Alarm over a potentially deadly salmon virus has reached the halls of Congress. The U.S. Senate has approved an amendment that calls for a rapid federal response. Last week, scientists in British Columbia announced they've found the fish-killing virus in wild Pacific Salmon for the first time.

It's the second virus suspected in salmon deaths to be discovered this year.

Courtesy of WSU

Washington State University in Pullman previewed a photo collection this morning that's considered to be the largest ever of a World War II internment camp.

The 2,000 donated images come from the family of a father-son team from Yakima. Frank and George Hirahara took pictures and operated a dark room while they were detained at a camp in Heart Mountain, Wyo. Patti Hirahara says her father, Frank, wanted to depict what life was like at the camp.

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

U.S. Senator Patty Murray has debuted in her newest high profile role. The Washington Democrat co-chairs the so-called supercommittee on federal debt reduction. It held its first meeting today in Washington, DC., and Murray provided opening remarks.

This fall, the deficit cutting committee will recommend $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over the next ten years.

Sam Beebe / Flickr

The U.S. Army says its contractors have quickened the pace of weapons incineration at the Umatilla Chemical Depot. Fewer than 400 ton-sized containers of deadly liquid mustard agent remain at the northeast Oregon site.

Victims of clergy sex abuse will get letters of apology, in addition to checks, from a major bankruptcy case resolved this week. In total, the payments amount to $166 million.