Polka Is Out, Even At World Accordion Competition

Oct 25, 2012

SPOKANE, Wash. - This week, the Northwest is hosting an historic event –- historic, at least, in the world of accordion music. The top players from 19 countries are competing in Spokane at the World Trophy Accordion Championship.

It's the first time the prestigious international competition has come to the United States and U.S. accordion players feel they've got something to prove.

There's one big problem facing accordion players here. It goes a little something like this.

Researchers with Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say they’ve detected minute amounts of radioactivity from the Fukushima reactor meltdown in albacore tuna caught along the West Coast. It's not considered a health threat at all.

Washington Secretary of State

OLYMPIA, Wash. - In the presidential race, we hear a lot about the electoral map -- and the math to winning the presidency. It’s all about swing states like Ohio and Florida. At the state level, there’s no electoral college. The candidate with the most votes wins. But there’s still a formula for victory -- even in blue states like Washington and Oregon.

Former state Democratic Party Chair Paul Berendt says the way to navigate a path to victory in Washington -- if you’re a Democrat -- involves what he calls a “salt water strategy.”

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Both candidates for Washington governor have said “no” to higher taxes. But, outgoing Governor Chris Gregoire says she will propose a new source of funding for public schools before she leaves office in January.

For months Gregoire has been saying the state will have to come up with a new revenue source for schools. This after the Supreme Court ruled Washington is not adequately funding education.

But now, for the first time, Gregoire confirms she will propose a new funding source as one of her last acts as governor.

Northwest Wild Mushrooms In Short Supply

Oct 24, 2012

Northwest wild mushrooms are in short supply this year. That’s had a big impact on the region’s lucrative mushroom hunting industry. It’s also changed what’s on fall restaurant menus in the Northwest and across the nation.

At Pagliacci Pizza in Seattle this autumn customers are often coming home to their families without the coveted mushroom Primo Pizza. The Northwest’s bleak mushroom crop means sometimes the stores cut back on the number of pies, or don’t have them at all.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Republicans have released documents that show Governor Chris Gregoire appointed a state senator to a $92,000 a year job –- despite concerns that the senator wasn’t qualified for the position. This is just the latest development in a political drama touched off by the appointment.

PORTLAND - Native American legends collected on the Pacific Northwest coast speak of battles between supernatural beings that made the ground shake and caused great floods. Those stories can't tell us how often great earthquakes occur here or how high tsunami waves have reached. Now, researchers from Portland State University have found fresh evidence of tsunami waves more than 26-feet high that washed more than three miles inland.

CHELAN, Wash. – Moms and dads hoping to pack an apple in their children’s lunches might have to budget a bit more this year. That’s because even though the Northwest has seen a bumper crop in apples, elsewhere there’s a shortage.

The Northwest may have had a great season, but the Midwest and East’s apple crop got pummeled this year. That means there is more demand and increased prices for our region’s fruit, both for fresh eating and for juice and sauce.

Museum Opens At 'Cuckoo's Nest' Film Site

Oct 1, 2012

SALEM, Ore. - A 130-year-old mental institution might seem like an odd place for a museum. But historians and mental health advocates have fought to preserve and tell the Oregon State Hospital's long and sordid history.

Starting this month, the public can tour a section of the restored main hospital building which was featured in the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Dean Brooks probably knows more about the Oregon State Hospital than anyone else. He was the Superintendent of the Salem mental institution for more than 25 years.

MOSCOW, Idaho - The "world's most comprehensive collection" of opium smoking paraphernalia has a new home; it's at the University of Idaho. A writer and collector, originally from San Diego, donated the exquisite antiques.

It's taking weeks to carefully unpack and catalogue all the opium smoking implements and accessories. Collector Steven Martin estimates he donated at least 1,000 pieces... ceramic opium pipe bowls, ornamented heating lamps, traveling kits, scrapers, old photographs and mug shots.

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