Masahiko OHKUBO / Flickr - tinyurl.com/l6vwtfp

Vulnerability assessments by utilities and emergency planners along the U.S. West Coast suggest it could be weeks or a month or more before water service gets restored after a major earthquake - not to mention electricity, sewage treatment and fuel supply too. The social and economic disruption does not have to be that bad though, given adequate preparedness and investments in critical infrastructure as demonstrated in Japan.

Seattle University School of Law

On Saturday a former Washington state prison inmate will graduate magna cum laude from Seattle University School of Law. But her criminal record may prevent her from practicing law as a licensed attorney.

U.S. Department of Energy

Washington state is taking legal action against the U.S. government after a tunnel full of radioactive waste collapsed Tuesday at the Hanford nuclear site.


Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Gun dealers in Washington state will soon be required to report when someone tries to buy a gun and fails a background check. Gov. Jay Inslee signed that requirement into law Wednesday as part of a crackdown on prohibited gun buyers. 


Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon lawmakers have signed off on a bill that would make it easier for transgender people to change their identity on state government documents like a drivers license or birth certificate.

The Senate voted 23-6 Wednesday to approve the bill, which now heads to the governor's desk.

U.S. Department of Energy

Tuesday morning an emergency response was triggered at the Hanford nuclear site when a hole was found in the roof of a buried tunnel nearby a mothballed plutonium processing plant. The tunnel, constructed in the haste of the Cold War, was about 360-feet-long and built out of timbers and concrete.

So what exactly is in that tunnel? 


Office of the governor

The Oregon Supreme Court will be majority female for the first time in the state's history starting next month. That distinction will come when Rebecca Duncan takes her seat next month.

U.S. Department of Energy

Contractors are building a road to a collapsed train tunnel site at the Hanford nuclear reservation in southeast Washington state. Their goal is to keep any radioactive contamination from escaping the hole that was found Tuesday.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The halfway mark has come and gone in Washington’s 30-day special session of the legislature. But there’s still no deal on a budget or a school funding solution.

U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy issued an emergency alert Tuesday morning at the Hanford site north of Richland, Washington, after a tunnel at a radioactive cleanup site caved in. Workers at a former chemical processing plant were evacuated and thousands more across Hanford were directed to take shelter indoors.

State and federal officials said all workers were accounted for, there were no injuries and no indication of “release” of radioactivity into the environment. By early afternoon, the employees taking shelter were given permission to go home except those needed for emergency response.

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