Jessica Robinson

Regional Correspondent

A north Idaho mining industry supplier plans to double its workforce over the next year. The company broke ground Tuesday on a new factory in Post Falls. As correspondent Jessica Robinson reports, the mining industry offers a rare economic bright spot in the Inland Northwest.

Gov. Butch Otter: “Three! Two! One!”

SPOKANE, Wash. - A Washington state senator from Spokane plans to take on U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell. Michael Baumgartner made his announcement Monday. He's the first Republican to launch a 2012 challenge against the Democratic senator from Washington. Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports.

Baumgartner, at age 35, is fairly new to politics. His resume includes work in Iraq and Afghanistan as an economic consultant. In 2010 he ran for state senate and beat the Democratic incumbent in a race that went down as the most expensive in Washington senate history.

Jessica Robinson / KPLU

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho – It's been five months since a rockfall at the Lucky Friday Mine in north Idaho killed veteran miner Larry Marek. Much about the accident is still unknown. But public records going back several years suggest the federal agency that oversees mines did not adequately ensure the safety of workers at the Lucky Friday.

A 2008 report on another collapse there went missing. And since Larry Marek’s death, inspectors have found a dramatically higher number of safety violations.

Wildlife agents are investigating a grizzly bear attack that left one man dead on the north end of the Idaho-Montana border. Mike Weland is a spokesman for the Boundary County Sheriff Department in north Idaho. He says the man was attacked while hunting on Buckhorn Mountain, near the Canadian border.

“The hunter's partner did shoot and kill the bear while the attack was in progress, but he was too late to save his partner,” Weland said.

Inciweb.org

Fire crews battling the Monastery Fire north of Goldendale, Wash., say they're gaining the upper hand. All they need now are a few more windless days.

The 42-hundred acre fire has already consumed 24 homes in the area. Crews say they're halfway to containing the blaze. More than a thousand firefighters have been called out to the incident.

EPA

An environmental clean-up settlement could also be a mini-stimulus for the Inland Northwest economy. A federal judge has approved the Hecla Mining company's $263 million settlement in one of the largest superfund clean-up projects in the country.

The north Idaho man who shot a grizzly bear is off the hook but Idaho's top politicians aren't dropping their beef with the Endangered Species Act. Federal prosecutors decided not to pursue a criminal case against the man who said he was protecting his family against a grizzly bear.

SPOKANE, Wash. - The man accused of attempting to bomb the Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane admits that he constructed and planted the explosive with the intent to hurt parade participants. That admission came with the guilty plea entered Wednesday by 37-year-old Kevin Harpham.

The man accused of planting a backpack bomb along the Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane is set to change his plea today. Kevin Harpham originally entered a plea of not guilty in what the FBI has deemed a case of domestic terrorism.

Thirty-seven-year-old Kevin Harpham was arrested in March. He faces charges related to a pipe bomb that Spokane city workers found on a downtown bench the morning of Jan. 17. Prosecutors later added federal hate crime charges. Together, the allegations carry a sentence of up to life in prison.

A Northwest brand is finding women's apparel and jewelry a tough sell in the current economy. Idaho-based Coldwater Creek has announced it will close dozens of stores in the face of a 28 percent drop in sales.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Most people can remember a favorite teacher – the one who got you love a certain book or made science class exciting. But you may also remember that bad teacher – the one who made your life miserable. And according to the studies, those teachers may have had just as big an impact on your education.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Reflections of a north Idaho couple who had scheduled their wedding for September 15, 2001:

Dave: "My name's David Boyer."

Heather: "I am Dave's wife, Heather Boyer. Oh, you always hope on your wedding day that people are going to be happy and joyous."

An Idaho woman who was prosecuted on felony charges for ending a pregnancy is now challenging state anti-abortion laws in federal court. It's the first constitutional challenge to a so-called "fetal pain" law that several states passed recently.

Police in Pocatello, Idaho, said Jennie McCormack ordered medication online to terminate her pregnancy at around 20 weeks. Under a 1972 state law, however, it's illegal to have an abortion unless it's performed by a doctor.

More details are coming out about the north Idaho man accused of killing a grizzly bear on his property. That's spurring Idaho politicians to take aim at the federal government and the environmental regulations the man is accused of violating.

Wildlife experts say bear attacks are rising – but then, so is the number of people in bear country. Yellowstone National Park officials confirmed that a grizzly bear killed a hiker from Michigan. That's the second grizzly-caused death in the park this summer.

According to the Montana-based Center for Wildlife Information, run-ins with grizzly and black bears have increased in the last 20 years in North America. To some degree, that's expected. Bear populations have dramatically increased, and more people live and recreate in bear habitat now.

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