Northwest News Network

The Associated Press

GRAHAM, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say Josh Powell planned the deadly house fire that killed him and his young sons for some time, dropping toys at charities and sending final emails to multiple acquaintances.

Powell, the husband of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, died along with his children Sunday.

Duck fans who went to bed in a panic Sunday day night awoke Monday to learn that University of Oregon football coach Chip Kelly has turned down an offer to coach in the NFL. He will remain at the U of O.

Citing “unfinished business” at the University of Oregon, Chip Kelly has rejected an offer to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to stay and coach the Ducks.

According to U of O athletic director Rob Mullens this means Kelly wants to “continue to build this program.” Mullens said Monday he expected high level interest in Oregon coaches as an indicator of the school’s success.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In Olympia, snow and ice-laden tree branches are down on the capitol campus. On the west side of town, downed power lines made several roads impassable.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington state lawmakers begin their 2012 session with no agreement in sight for how to solve major budget shortfall.

In the House of Representatives Monday, leaders from both parties laid out different visions for how they would balance the budget.

That phone call can wait, especially if you are driving, said the National Transportation Board Tuesday. In Washington, using a hand-held phone while driving became a first offense in 2010.

The National Transportation Board asks each state to ban the use of electronic devices while driving, like cell phones or mp3 players. The board thinks reducing the use of hand-held devices will reduce the amount of collisions.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington added more than 12,000 jobs in November. That drops the state unemployment rate to 8.7 percent.

In fact, employment statistics released Wednesday show that job growth has reached a four-year high in Washington.

The unemployment rate dropped 0-point-4 percent from the previous month. At 9-point-1 percent, it’s still half a percentage point higher than the national average.
Oregon’s drop in unemployment is good news, but state employment economist, Nick Beleiciks, warned people not to get too excited.

Nick Beleiciks: "It's just a one month change so far, which is very welcome after months and months of no change in the unemployment rate. So I think we're not ready to celebrate because of one month change, but it's certainly in the right direction."

A national poll released Monday shows Latinos are unhappy with both major political parties. The poll posed several questions to Latino registered voters about their attitudes toward candidates and the 2012 election.

BlueTurf / Flickr

Boise State University’s football program joins the Big East in 2013. That’s the official word from league and university officials today .

The U.S. Postal Service is moving forward with plans to close 252 processing facilities, end next-day mail service, and restrict service to rural areas.

Doctor Manya Helman runs a small clinic in a Salem office building. After 20 years in practice, she recently decided not to accept insurance payments anymore.

Manya Helman: "I'm actually enjoying practicing medicine for the first time since I started practice."
She says she can take as much time as she wants with a patient and her business doesn't have to deal with all the paperwork.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This holiday shopping season, buying online is bigger than ever. That’s got Congress taking a new look at an old fight: Internet sales tax.

One Oregon lawmaker – and Washington's state online giant – are front-and-center in the debate.

BOISE – Washington State’s move to privatize liquor sales next year could have repercussions on Idaho’s revenues. That’s according to Idaho’s Office of Performance Evaluation.

Analyst Jared Tatro of Idaho’s Office of Performance Evaluation says high prices for liquor in Washington drive bargain seekers to Idaho.

But privatization may change that.

“If Washington prices are reduced to the point where residents stop coming over, what we’re going to see is, for example, if it’s a 10 percent drop in sales, that’s a reduction in $3.5 million in profit,” Tatro says.

The University of Oregon Statutory Faculty formally condemned the State Board of Higher Education Wednesday for firing President Richard Lariviere. The statutory faculty consists of tenured and non-tenured professors. Students, staff and members of the public also attended the special meeting.

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