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Thu December 23, 2010
Government Reform

Lawsuit payouts spiking as state budget crumbles

John Froschauer / AP

The amount of money the state pays out in lawsuits has doubled in the last four years to more than $50 million dollars a year. This spike in legal costs comes as Washington reduces funding for education, healthcare and other state services. But cutting Washington’s legal bills is no easy task.

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Wed December 22, 2010
Law & Justice

Jury recommends judge order death sentences in 2008 Oregon bank bombing


A jury is recommending that a judge sentence a man and his son to death after they were convicted of planting a bomb that killed two Oregon police officers.

The jury's decisions in the case of 59-year-old Bruce Turnidge and 34-year-old Joshua Turnidge were read in a Salem courtroom Wednesday.

Prosecutors say the pair built and planted the bomb outside a Woodburn bank in 2008. The device exploded as state police bomb technician William Hakim tried to dismantle it, killing him and Woodburn police Capt. Tom Tennant.

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Mon December 20, 2010
Welfare Cards

Welfare recipients rack up millions in ATM fees

Austin Jenkins / N3

Welfare dollars are supposed to help the poorest of families pay for the necessities of life. But Washington welfare recipients are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each month on ATM surcharges. That’s what correspondent Austin Jenkins found through a public disclosure request. The finding comes as Washington’s welfare program faces budget cuts. 

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Thu December 16, 2010
State Budget Crisis

Advocates rail against proposed budget cuts

Ted S Warren / AP

A hue and cry has erupted in response to Washington Governor Chris Gregoire’s proposal to slash billions more in anticipated state spending. The Democrat Wednesday unveiled her plan to close a $4.6 billion budget shortfall.

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Wed December 15, 2010
Welfare Cards

Welfare cards used at out-of-state liquor stores, strip clubs

Chris Lehman / N3

Some Washington welfare recipients are withdrawing cash at out-of-state liquor stores, smoke shops and even strip clubs. That’s the finding of a public radio investigation into welfare debit card use outside Washington’s borders. The finding comes at a time when the state’s welfare program is $82 million in the red.

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Tue December 14, 2010
Washington State Patrol

Slow down for emergency vehicles


Slow down and move over.  That’s the message from the Washington State Patrol as a new law goes into effect.  It’s meant to better protect troopers and emergency workers who handle car accidents.  

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Mon December 13, 2010
State Budget Crisis

Lawmakers take bite out of $1.1B shortfall in special session

AP Photo

Lawmakers hope they’ve taken a sizeable bite out of the state’s one-point-one billion dollar budget shortfall. The legislature met Saturday in what’s been called an unprecedented December special session. Governor Chris Gregoire demanded the lame-duck meeting saying she couldn’t solve the problem alone.

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Wed December 8, 2010

Teen sues Aberdeen School District for not stopping harassment

Charla Bear

An African-American teen in Aberdeen is suing the city’s school district for not keeping him safe from bullying when he was a student.  He alleges administrators knew he endured racial and sexual harassment for years, but did little to stop it.

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Tue December 7, 2010
Lobbyists in Olympia

State agency lobbyists in Republican crosshairs

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Governor Chris Gregoire says she will call a budget-cutting special session of the legislature before the year is out. As the state’s budget crisis worsens, the governor and lawmakers are looking to save money anywhere they can. One target in the crosshairs: lobbyists for state agencies.

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Mon December 6, 2010
Homeland Security

Homeland Security teams up with Walmart

Department of Homeland Security

Next time you walk into a Walmart store, you might see the head of the U-S Department of Homeland Security.  Secretary Janet Napolitano has recorded video messages that are being aired inside Walmart stores in 27 states, including Washington.

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