Drought, suppression linked to surge in wildfires

Wildfires have become larger and more frequent in the western U.S. since 1984, according to a new study published by the American Geophysical Union.
   The increased fire activity coincides with worsening droughts over the same period. The study also notes that past fire-management practices are...

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It's prom season for Northwest teens

Nineteen percent of Northwest drivers say they drank the night of their high school prom.
   We learned that in our latest PEMCO Poll, which surveyed 1,000 drivers in Washington and Oregon. It also revealed 79% of teens drove themselves to prom or rode with peers.
   When I mentioned I intended to...

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Oregon postcard delivered after 74 years

Snail mail is not dead. Not between Portland and Butte Falls, Ore., anyway.
   A postcard mailed from Portland on Feb. 20, 1940, was delivered April 14 to the great-grandson of the intended recipient.
   And ironically, he's a director at the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society. Someone with expertise...

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One in five teens drove, drank on prom night

Did you drink the night of your high school prom? Nineteen percent of Northwest drivers say they did.
   The latest PEMCO Poll, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, also revealed that 79% drove themselves to prom, or rode with peers. And though just one in five say they drank, 34% say they attended...

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Proof of Rainier’s past grandeur plain to see

Bright sunshine and blue skies reigned recently, and we’ve been gawking at our Mountain.
   When Puget Sound locals say “the Mountain is out,” we mean you can see Mt. Rainier. We don’t take that for granted, thanks to our abundance of gray clouds.
   Rainier remains spectacular, even to those...

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Fewer fatalities, more tickets with driver log

At first glance, it's baffling: a teen-driver law that coincides with fewer highway deaths, but more moving violations.
   North Carolina passed a law in 2011 requiring beginning drivers to fill out a log confirming that adults rode with them while they drove. Teens under age 18 need 72 hours...

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Taylor Bridge Wildfire scars slowly fading

On Wednesday I visited the ignition site of the infamous, catastrophic 2012 Taylor Bridge Wildfire east of Cle Elum.
   That summer, sparks from a road reconstruction project ignited dry brush and trees, according to a Department of Natural Resources report. Bristol Bridge was the span being...

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Pranksters tip over three Smart cars

San Francisco is abuzz with the latest prank: Smart car tipping.
   Residents awoke Monday morning to find that three Smart cars had been tipped over during the night. One resident who witnessed the prank said he saw eight guys in hooded sweatshirts converge on a Smart car, lift it, and set it on...

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Columbia resembles its pre-dam days

Recreational boaters will suffer this summer because of the large Wanapum Dam crack that prompted officials to lower reservoir water by 26 feet in late February.
   As a result, Columbia River docks and boat launches now sit high and dry. The Grant County PUD says it has “no timelines established for...

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Honeycrisp, move aside for 'WA 38'

Apple lovers, the ultimate new variety is coming soon, thanks to WSU researchers.
   Spurred by the popularity of Honeycrisp apples, WSU fruit breeders have developed what’s currently called “WA 38,” a variety specially bred for Eastern Washington’s soil and climate.
   What excites me is that some...

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