Associated Press | KNKX

Associated Press

Bellamy Pailthorp / knkx

Washington state is suing the nation's largest student loan company, joining the federal government and the state of Illinois in alleging unfair and deceptive practices with lending and debt collection.

Warren Langford

A crowd of over 2,000 tested the capacity of Westlake Park in downtown Seattle Sunday afternoon. They were all there to protest the expected repeal of the Affordable Care Act put in motion last week by Republican lawmakers. 

Washington state Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal helped organize the event and was one of more than 10 speakers.

Jim Urquhart / AP Photo

Grizzly bears once roamed the rugged landscape of the North Cascades in Washington state but few have been sighted in recent decades.

Federal officials want to restore the population, and on Thursday released a draft plan with four options, ranging from taking no action to varying efforts to capture bears from other locations and transplant them to 9,800 square miles of mostly public land surrounding North Cascades National Park.

Jackie Johnston, File / AP Photo

Environmental groups are asking a federal court to halt 11 infrastructure projects on four lower Snake River dams in Washington state that could ultimately be removed following an environmental review now underway.

The notice filed late Monday in Portland, Oregon, estimates the cost of the projects at $110 million.

Michael Dwyer / AP

Seattle police are warning heroin users about dangerous purity levels after several recent overdoses.

Police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb says three people died and a fourth person was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment.

The Seattle Times reports bicycle officers were canvassing the Aurora Avenue North corridor Saturday to warn users of the danger.

A Bellevue developer suspected of bilking more than 250 Chinese investors out of millions of dollars on two real estate projects has pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Lobsang Dargey entered the pleas to two fraud-related counts in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, one day after being charged.

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington's outgoing public lands commissioner said Tuesday he is refusing to allow the state's aquatic lands to be used for a major coal-export terminal along the Columbia River. But the company behind the proposal insisted the decision would have no effect on its plans.

Millennium Bulk Terminals proposed building a terminal in Longview that would handle up to 44 million metric tons of coal a year. The coal would arrive by train from Montana, Wyoming and other states to be stored and loaded on ships for export to Asia.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans reversed themselves Tuesday under pressure from President-elect Donald Trump, and dropped plans to swiftly gut an independent congressional ethics board.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Monitors say Washington state is starting the new year with much better snowpack levels than in previous years.

The Capital Press reports that mountain snowpack was at 110 percent of normal as of Friday, compared to two years ago when several regions in the state were well below 100 percent.

Susan Walsh / AP Photo

BOSTON (AP) — As marijuana shops sprout in states that have legalized the drug, they face a critical stumbling block — lack of access to the kind of routine banking services other businesses take for granted.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, is leading an effort to make sure vendors working with legal marijuana businesses, from chemists who test marijuana for harmful substances to firms that provide security, don't have their banking services taken away.

Gillian Flaccus / AP Photo

RIDDLE, Ore. (AP) — John Redfield watches with pride as his son moves a laser-guided precision saw the size of a semi-truck wheel into place over a massive panel of wood.

Redfield's fingers are scarred from a lifetime of cutting wood and now, after decades of decline in the logging business, he has new hope that his son, too, can make a career shaping the timber felled in southern Oregon's forests.

Manuel Valdes / AP

The Seattle Police Department is outfitting its first group of officers with body cameras starting this week.

KOMO-TV reports that about a dozen officers in the city's bike squad will begin wearing the devices Thursday. The officers were assigned cameras and went through training with them on Tuesday.

'Blueberries' by Mike Licht is licensed under CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2ii5Uh1

The Washington State Department of Ecology says it's fining a Whatcom County berry grower more than $100,000 for years of illegal water use.

Officials say that since 2011, Ecology staff have tried to work with Gurjant "George" Sandhu to bring him into compliance with water laws. But they say he continued to irrigate his 220-acre raspberry farm the past two years without water rights for much of the property, and that he failed to submit water-use records for a 120-acre blueberry farm.

Courtesy of Allagash Brewing Company

Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree is helping lead a group of lawmakers in support of hops research.

Hops are flowers of the hop plant, and they're used to impart flavor and aroma to beer. More than 100 lawmakers are calling for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase its commitment to research of the plant.

Amy Harris / Invision/AP

The late rapper Tupac Shakur and Seattle-based rockers Pearl Jam lead a class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees that also include folkie Joan Baez and 1970s favorites Journey, Yes and Electric Light Orchestra.

The rock hall also said Tuesday it would give a special award to Nile Rodgers, whose disco-era band Chic failed again to make the cut after its 11th time nominated.

Baez will be inducted only months after her 1960s paramour, Bob Dylan, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

As a court deadline looms, Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday proposed that the state spend $2.7 billion over the next two years to fully fund the state's basic education obligations and to increase salaries for teachers.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Brian Schmetzer hopped off the trolley carrying the MLS champions along their celebration route, and joined fans carrying banners and following the procession.

Schmetzer grew up a fan of the original Seattle Sounders, played for the earlier incarnation of the Sounders and now as coach has led them to their first MLS Cup championship.

It felt only right to be with the fans.

"It's just the way I am," Schmetzer said. "I like being with the fans. I'm a fan, I was a fan for a long time. So it was just natural.”

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders arrived home to a big crowd of fans in "rave green" following their dramatic victory over Toronto FC on penalty kicks.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

As homecomings go, the MLS Cup final is going to be hard to beat for Seattle's Stefan Frei.

Frei made critical saves in regulation and then again in the penalty-kick shootout to help the Sounders win their first championship with a 5-4 victory in the tiebreaker against Toronto FC on Saturday night.

The Swiss goalkeeper, who was drafted by Toronto in 2009 and spent five seasons with the club until he was traded in 2013, earned the game's MVP honors.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Hundreds of people attended the first of two vigils honoring a Tacoma police officer who was slain on duty.

People gathered Thursday at Officer Reginald "Jake" Gutierrez's home police station, lighting candles, singing songs and sharing memories. Knkx reporter Will James spoke to All Things Considered host Ed Ronco from the site of the vigil:

Another vigil was planned Thursday night at an elementary school.

Rick Maiman/AP Images for Starbucks

Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz is stepping down as CEO of the coffee chain he joined more than 30 years ago and transformed into a globally known brand.

Schultz will become executive chairman in April to focus on innovation such as high-end shops and social impact activities, the Seattle-based chain announced Thursday. Kevin Johnson, who was named president and chief operating officer last year, will be chief executive as of April 3.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Authorities say the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Tacoma, Washington, police officer has been shot and killed by officers after a lengthy barricade situation.

Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ed Troyer says the suspect was shot at approximately 3:30 a.m. Thursday, ending an 11-hour standoff. The suspect has not been identified.

Troyer says a girl and a boy, have been found unharmed, and have been taken from the house. He says officers found multiple weapons in the house.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman has been re-elected to a second term.

Wyman previously served as the Thurston County auditor and the county's elections director. She defeated Democrat Tina Podlodowski, a former Microsoft manager, served on the Seattle City Council for one four-year term in the 1990s and was an adviser to current Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in 2014.

Wyman narrowly won her election four years ago and voting in August's "top two" primary was tight, with Wyman getting 48 percent of the vote and Podlodowski receiving 46 percent.

David Nogueras / knkx

Authorities say five people with gunshot wounds have been taken to a hospital after a shooting in downtown Seattle.

Seattle Assistant Police Chief Robert Merner says four men and one woman were hurt Wednesday evening after an argument of some kind near Pine Street and Third Avenue at a busy intersection.

Merner says all five people shot were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg told The Associated Press that two men and one woman were in critical condition and that two men were in serious condition Wednesday night.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Hundreds of people have taken to downtown Seattle streets to protest the election of Republican Donald Trump to the White House.

The group, organized by Socialist Alternative Seattle, listened to speakers Wednesday afternoon before marching through the streets.

Many held anti-Trump and Black Lives Matter signs and chanted slogans, including "Misogyny has to go," and "The people united, will never be defeated."

They continued marching through Seattle streets during the evening commute.

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

Democratic state Sen. Cyrus Habib has been elected as Washington state's next lieutenant governor.

Habib, of Bellevue, will replace current Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, who is retiring from the office after two decades.

TRADNOR / WIKIMEDIA - HTTP://TINYURL.COM/Z2ZTAFP

Washington state Supreme Court Justice Charles Wiggins had a commanding lead Tuesday.

Some of the world's wealthiest people, including Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen and the company's former chief executive, Steve Ballmer, gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to unseat Wiggins, who was seeking his second six-year term.

Wiggins became a target after he joined the majority in striking down a state law that allowed public funding of charter schools and an anti-tax measure that had been approved by voters.

Jeff Roberson / AP Photo

Washington voters have approved Initiative 1491, expanding the state's gun restrictions.  Courts will now be able to issue what are called "extreme risk protection orders," which will prohibit anyone under the order from owning or purchasing firearms.

Supporters say the measure will help prevent gun violence while also respecting due process.

DORI / WIKIMEDIA - TINYURL.COM/HJDN8FS

Washington voters have rejected that would impose the nation's first direct carbon tax on the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline.

Sponsors of Initiative 732 said residents have a moral responsibility to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and a carbon tax was the best way to do it. The tax encouraged businesses to conserve or switch to clean energy by making fossil fuels more expensive, and it makes the tax system fairer by using the revenues to reduce other taxes, they say.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Washington voters have approved a statewide hike of the state's minimum wage.

Initiative 1433 will raise the hourly wage by roughly $4 over three years, to $13.50. The measure also will require employers to provide paid sick leave — at least one hour for every 40 worked — that could be used to care for family members or as "safe leave" for those who miss work because of domestic violence.

Washington's current minimum age is $9.47 an hour.

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