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Northwest News

Maria Vasquez stands in the free child care space she oversees in a Department of Social and Health Services office in Yakima. The room has transformed over the past two years into a place where families waiting for state services can take a breather. CREDIT: MAX WASSERMAN/N3

Free Play Space In Yakima Helps Families In Crisis Relax, Settle, Smile

The only thing unique about this twice-weekly child play space, buried deep in a state Department of Social and Health Services office in Yakima, are its customers: families in crisis. “When they come into this room and are here for a while you see the shoulders drop,” Maria Vasquez said. “They relax. They settle. They smile.” Continue Reading Free Play Space In Yakima Helps Families In Crisis Relax, Settle, Smile

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Washington legislators revived a lapsed tax incentives for electric car purchases, effective August 1, 2019. CREDIT: TOM BANSE / NW NEWS NETWORK

Washington Lawmakers Revive Tax Break For Electric Vehicle Buyers

In their last minute dash to adjournment Sunday, Washington state legislators revived a lapsed sales tax break for buyers of electric cars. The resurrected incentive will be similar in value to a publicly-funded rebate for battery-powered cars that Oregon now offers.

A valuable tax break for buyers of fully-electric and plug-in hybrid cars in Washington expired last May. Continue Reading Washington Lawmakers Revive Tax Break For Electric Vehicle Buyers

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Affirmative action opponents demonstrate outside the Washington Senate on Sunday night following a vote to approve I-1000. AUSTIN JENKINS/N3

Affirmative Action Opponents File Referendum To Overturn Washington’s I-1000

Opponents of affirmative action filed a referendum Monday morning to overturn Initiative 1000, which majority Democrats in the Washington Legislature passed Sunday evening in the waning hours of the 105-day legislative session. Backers of the repeal effort will have until July 27 to collect 129,811 signatures to qualify for the November 2019 ballot. Continue Reading Affirmative Action Opponents File Referendum To Overturn Washington’s I-1000

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Work to seal a second Hanford tunnel with grout has wrapped up. CREDIT: U.S. DEPTARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Government Says 2nd Hanford Tunnel With Radioactive Waste All Sealed Up

The project to stabilize and seal a large tunnel of radioactive waste has been completed at the Hanford nuclear reservation, according to the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor.

The so-called Tunnel 2 project started in October 2018, at the massive Washington cleanup site near Richland. Continue Reading Federal Government Says 2nd Hanford Tunnel With Radioactive Waste All Sealed Up

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Pedestrians walk in the rain near the Legislative Building, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., as cherry trees display their spring blossoms. CREDIT: TED S. WARREN/AP

Washington Lawmakers Pass $52.8 Billion Budget, Raise Taxes, Approve Affirmative Action, Adjourn

Washington lawmakers adjourned at midnight Sunday after majority Democrats approved an initiative to restore affirmative action and passed a $52.4 billion, two-year state operating budget. The budget relies on an array of tax increases, including on businesses and real estate transactions, but doesn’t impose a new capital gains tax as had been proposed. Continue Reading Washington Lawmakers Pass $52.8 Billion Budget, Raise Taxes, Approve Affirmative Action, Adjourn

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Jaylin Price, left, and Niyati Graf recently moved to Burns and visited the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for the first time on April 16, 2019. Emily Cureton/OPB

3 Years After Malheur Occupation, A Symphony For Burns Community Seeks Healing

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge became a household name in 2016, not for its beautiful scenery or because 300 bird species flock there, but because a militant, anti-government group had taken over headquarters for 41 days, leading to a fatal shooting. Three years later, an Oregon symphony offers music as healing. Continue Reading 3 Years After Malheur Occupation, A Symphony For Burns Community Seeks Healing

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