Commanders of the militant Haqqani Network say the U.S. decision to designate the group as a terrorist organization could have repercussions for a captive Idaho soldier. That’s according to reports out Friday from Reuters and NBC.

Northwest Wildfires Could Become More Common

Aug 21, 2012

CLE ELUM, Wash. – Fire crews continue to fight wildfires in central Washington, south and central Oregon and southern Idaho. Some residents of Cle Elum and Ellensburg, Washington are just trying to get back home. Others don’t have a home to come back to. Forestry experts say these types of large wildfires could become more common across the West in the coming years. Correspondent Anna King has this story from the scene of the Taylor Bridge fire.

Emergency managers in central Washington have started to collect damage reports from businesses and homeowners affected by this week's destructive wildfire. That's a prerequisite to apply for federal disaster assistance. State fire investigators have established that the Taylor Bridge Fire was human-caused.

Washington's Department of Natural Resources is leading the effort to put out the sprawling Kittitas County wildfire. As a matter of policy, the agency seeks to recover its costs from a responsible party.

CLE ELUM, Wash. - Firefighters on the scene of a destructive wildfire in central Washington are hoping to make major progress Wednesday toward containment of the blaze. The Kittitas County sheriff's office estimates more than 70 homes and cabins have been destroyed. The fire has chased hundreds of people from their homes.

Sarah Baeckler had very little notice a fast moving wildfire was bearing down on the non-profit she runs. Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest takes in chimps who've retired from biomedical research.

CLE ELUM, Wash. - Heavy air tankers are dropping retardant on a stubborn wildfire still wreaking havoc in Washington’s Kittitas Valley.

While overall it seems like firefighters are getting the upper hand on what’s now called the Taylor Bridge fire, it’s clear that in places, it’s still putting up stiff resistance.

SALEM, Ore. – In Salem , a former Army staff sergeant named Jarrid Starks has run out of the medications that keep him stable. He has severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental and physical wounds of war. But he’s currently not eligible for veterans’ health benefits that would include prescription refills. That’s because Starks was kicked out of the Army for bad behavior. He’s far from alone.

Wednesday will mark the 67th anniversary of the Japanese surrender to end World War Two. With each passing anniversary, there are fewer and fewer living witnesses to the event. Time is also running low for an aging U.S. Marine veteran who wants to return a captured Japanese war flag.

Ex-U.S. Marine George Koller of Clarkston, Washington collects war memorabilia. Among his possessions is an inscribed "good luck flag" carried into battle by a Japanese fighter pilot. The airman's plane crashed into the jungle of New Guinea late in World War II.

A report this week from Reuters news service raises hopes there may be progress in efforts to get an Idaho soldier in Taliban captivity back onto U.S. soil. But the news about renewed negotiations also shows Bowe Bergdahl’s freedom is a key part of peace talks in Afghanistan.

Reuters reports the Obama administration has a new offer for Taliban leaders: five Guantanamo Bay detainees delivered to Qatar, in exchange for the release of Bergdahl.

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - The housing market in the Northwest is finally showing signs of recovery. But there’s one sector of real estate that never let up during the economic downturn. Real estate agents who sell what’s known as “survival realty” are experiencing boom times. A remote corner of the Northwest has become a hotspot for home buyers wanting to ride out disaster – natural or otherwise.

Realtor Michael White guides me from room to room in a spacious three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home. Let’s just say it’s somewhere in north Idaho.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – There’s a government office in Olympia where employees travel the globe and titans of Wall Street are regular visitors. The singer Bono even dropped in once, after a concert.

We’re talking about the Washington State Investment Board. Its job is to maximize returns on an $85 billion investment portfolio. To do that the Board invests in some very exotic places.

About the closest most of us will ever get to Tahiti is a Paul Gaughin painting or the beach image on our computer screensaver. But Steve Draper’s been there several times.

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