In this June 19 photo, paper straws sit in front of Duke Moscrip, owner of Duke’s, at his restaurant in Seattle. Businesses that sell food or drinks won’t be allowed to offer the plastic items under a rule that went into effect Sunday, July 1. (Greg Gilbert| The Seattle Times)

Seattle bans plastic straws, utensils at restaurants, bars

SEATTLE — Looking for a plastic straw to sip your soda? It’s no longer allowed in Seattle bars and restaurants. Neither are plastic utensils in… Continue reading

In this June 19 photo, paper straws sit in front of Duke Moscrip, owner of Duke’s, at his restaurant in Seattle. Businesses that sell food or drinks won’t be allowed to offer the plastic items under a rule that went into effect Sunday, July 1. (Greg Gilbert| The Seattle Times)
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner gives a thumbs up outside the Supreme Court, Wednesday, June 27, 2018 in Washington. From left are, Liberty Justice Center’s Director of Litigation Jacob Huebert, plaintiff Mark Janus, Rauner, and Liberty Justice Center founder and chairman John Tillman. The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, dealing a serious financial blow to organized labor. (AP Photo | Andrew Harnik)

Alaska unions clobbered by Supreme Court decision

Alaska’s public-sector unions warned Wednesday that a new ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court will have significant effects across the state. The 5-4 ruling in… Continue reading

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner gives a thumbs up outside the Supreme Court, Wednesday, June 27, 2018 in Washington. From left are, Liberty Justice Center’s Director of Litigation Jacob Huebert, plaintiff Mark Janus, Rauner, and Liberty Justice Center founder and chairman John Tillman. The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, dealing a serious financial blow to organized labor. (AP Photo | Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump signs an executive order to keep families together at the border, but says that the ‘zero-tolerance’ prosecution policy will continue, during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Standing behind Trump are Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, left, and Vice President Mike Pence. (Martinez Monsivais | The Associated Press)

In reversal, Trump orders halt to his family separation rule

Bowing to pressure from anxious allies, President Donald Trump abruptly reversed himself.

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to keep families together at the border, but says that the ‘zero-tolerance’ prosecution policy will continue, during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Standing behind Trump are Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, left, and Vice President Mike Pence. (Martinez Monsivais | The Associated Press)
In this Jan. 30, 2017 photo, Esteban Santiago is escorted from the Broward County jail for an arraignment in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Justice Department has decided not to seek the death penalty against Santiago accused of killing five people and wounding six in a Florida airport shooting. Officials said Santiago of Anchorage, Alaska, will agree to a life sentence. The announcement was made in Miami on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. (Lynne Sladky | The Associated Press File)

Anchorage man agrees to guilty plea in Florida airport shooting

MIAMI — An Alaska man will not face the death penalty on charges of killing five people and wounding six in a shooting rampage at… Continue reading

In this Jan. 30, 2017 photo, Esteban Santiago is escorted from the Broward County jail for an arraignment in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Justice Department has decided not to seek the death penalty against Santiago accused of killing five people and wounding six in a Florida airport shooting. Officials said Santiago of Anchorage, Alaska, will agree to a life sentence. The announcement was made in Miami on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. (Lynne Sladky | The Associated Press File)
In this April 24, 2008 photo, a sea lion eats a salmon in the Columbia River near Bonneville Dam in North Bonneville, Washington. Two species of fish listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act are facing a growing challenge in Oregon from hungry sea lions. The federally protected California sea lions are traveling into the Columbia River and its tributaries to snack on fragile fish populations. After a decade killing the hungriest sea lions in one area, wildlife officials now want to expand the program. (Don Ryan | The Associated Press File)

Sea lions feast on fragile fish in Northwest survival war

NEWPORT, Ore. — The 700-pound sea lion blinked in the sun, sniffed the sea air and then lazily shifted to the edge of the truck… Continue reading

In this April 24, 2008 photo, a sea lion eats a salmon in the Columbia River near Bonneville Dam in North Bonneville, Washington. Two species of fish listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act are facing a growing challenge in Oregon from hungry sea lions. The federally protected California sea lions are traveling into the Columbia River and its tributaries to snack on fragile fish populations. After a decade killing the hungriest sea lions in one area, wildlife officials now want to expand the program. (Don Ryan | The Associated Press File)
A Fred Meyer store is shown in Portland, Oregon. The superstore company says it will stop selling guns and ammunition. The Portland, Oregon,-based chain in an announcement Friday, March 16 says it made the decision after evaluating customer preferences. The company has more than 130 stores in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. (Don Ryan | The Associated Press File)

Fred Meyer to stop selling guns, ammunition

PORTLAND, Ore. — Superstore company Fred Meyer will stop selling guns and ammunition. The Portland, Oregon,-based chain in a statement Friday said it made the… Continue reading

A Fred Meyer store is shown in Portland, Oregon. The superstore company says it will stop selling guns and ammunition. The Portland, Oregon,-based chain in an announcement Friday, March 16 says it made the decision after evaluating customer preferences. The company has more than 130 stores in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. (Don Ryan | The Associated Press File)
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University students with the Indian Legal Clinic offer their recommendations to improve the voting access and participation of Indians across the state on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Phoenix, Arizona. The presentation was part of a hearing by the Native American Voting Rights Coalition. (Anita Snow | The Associated Press)

Groups record voting rights abuses against Native Americans

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Election sites far from reservations. Poll workers who don’t speak tribal languages. Unequal access to early voting sites. Native Americans say they… Continue reading

Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University students with the Indian Legal Clinic offer their recommendations to improve the voting access and participation of Indians across the state on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Phoenix, Arizona. The presentation was part of a hearing by the Native American Voting Rights Coalition. (Anita Snow | The Associated Press)

Trump moves to vastly expand offshore drilling

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday moved to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans with a plan that would… Continue reading

Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file  After the 42-foot boat Whimsea burned and sank in Don Statter Memorial Harbor in June, the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund paid for cleanup and recovery of the boat. A tax supporting that fund is set to expire at the end of the year.

Federal support for oil spill fund will end in 2018

The nation’s main oil-spill response fund will lose its biggest financial support at the end of the month, according to federal officials and watchdog groups.… Continue reading

Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file  After the 42-foot boat Whimsea burned and sank in Don Statter Memorial Harbor in June, the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund paid for cleanup and recovery of the boat. A tax supporting that fund is set to expire at the end of the year.
Courtesy Image | C-SPAN  Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, speaks about oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday during debates about the GOP tax cut on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

ANWR drilling approved

As the final votes were tallied and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, enthusiastically banged his gavel, U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, was smiling.… Continue reading

Courtesy Image | C-SPAN  Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, speaks about oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday during debates about the GOP tax cut on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
In this Tuesday, April 7, 2015 photo, a Marine veteran holds a sign to show support for cannabis for post traumatic stress disorder sufferers, outside the State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa. Twenty-eight states plus the District of Columbia have enabled the use of marijuana to treat PTSD, and the number has doubled just in the last two years amid increasingly visible advocacy from veterans’ groups. (Michael Zamora | The Des Moines Register File)

Veterans are key as surge of states OK medical pot for PTSD

NEW YORK (AP) — It was a telling setting for a decision on whether post-traumatic stress disorder patients could use medical marijuana. Against the backdrop… Continue reading

In this Tuesday, April 7, 2015 photo, a Marine veteran holds a sign to show support for cannabis for post traumatic stress disorder sufferers, outside the State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa. Twenty-eight states plus the District of Columbia have enabled the use of marijuana to treat PTSD, and the number has doubled just in the last two years amid increasingly visible advocacy from veterans’ groups. (Michael Zamora | The Des Moines Register File)
Dennis Zotigh poses for a photo outside the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. Many tribes even have their own national anthems known as flag songs that focus on veterans. They’re popular among Plains tribes from which the modern powwow originated, said Zotigh of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Powwows are social gatherings, generally with competitive dancing. (Susan Walsh | The Associated Press)

In Indian Country, honoring flag might mean different anthem

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — As fierce debate rages about “taking a knee” during the national anthem to protest social injustice, Native Americans have a unique take… Continue reading

Dennis Zotigh poses for a photo outside the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. Many tribes even have their own national anthems known as flag songs that focus on veterans. They’re popular among Plains tribes from which the modern powwow originated, said Zotigh of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Powwows are social gatherings, generally with competitive dancing. (Susan Walsh | The Associated Press)
President Donald Trump, right, meets with Navajo Code Talkers Peter MacDonald, center, and Thomas Begay, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (Susan Walsh | The Associated Press)

Trump, honoring Navajos, revives ‘Pocahontas’ jab at Warren

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump returned to his own kind of code talking Monday by deriding Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” at a White… Continue reading

President Donald Trump, right, meets with Navajo Code Talkers Peter MacDonald, center, and Thomas Begay, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (Susan Walsh | The Associated Press)

FCC chairman sets out to repeal ‘net neutrality’ rules

The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday followed through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations designed to ensure… Continue reading

Mind of a killer: FBI questions Vegas gunman’s girlfriend

LAS VEGAS — FBI agents questioned the Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend on Wednesday as they struggled to get inside the mind of Stephen Paddock, a… Continue reading

‘It breaks my heart’: Las Vegas shooting victims mourned

They were school teachers and youth football coaches, real estate agents and local business owners. They were parents, siblings, husbands, wives, neighbors and friends. They… Continue reading

In this Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 photo, drapes billow out of broken windows at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, following a mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas. From two broken-out windows of the resort, Stephen Craig Paddock had an unobstructed view to rain automatic gunfire on the crowd, with few places for them to hide. Sunday night’s bloodbath left dozens of people dead and hundreds wounded. (John Locher | The Associated Press)

Fear grips Vegas Strip; gunman kills 59

LAS VEGAS — The rapid-fire popping sounded like firecrackers at first, and many in the crowd of 22,000 country music fans didn’t understand what was… Continue reading

In this Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 photo, drapes billow out of broken windows at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, following a mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas. From two broken-out windows of the resort, Stephen Craig Paddock had an unobstructed view to rain automatic gunfire on the crowd, with few places for them to hide. Sunday night’s bloodbath left dozens of people dead and hundreds wounded. (John Locher | The Associated Press)
In this photo taken July 31, 2015, an orca whale leaps out of the water near a whale watching boat in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Washington. Ships passing the narrow busy channel off Washington’s San Juan Islands are slowing down this summer as part of an experiment to protect the small endangered population of southern resident killer whales. Vessel noise can interfere with the killer whales’ ability to hunt, navigate and communicate with each other, so US researchers are looking into what impact the project will have on the orcas. (Elaine Thompson | The Associated Press File)

Ships slowing in busy channel to protect endangered orcas

SEATTLE — Ships moving through a busy channel off Washington state’s San Juan Island are slowing down this summer as part of a study to… Continue reading

In this photo taken July 31, 2015, an orca whale leaps out of the water near a whale watching boat in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Washington. Ships passing the narrow busy channel off Washington’s San Juan Islands are slowing down this summer as part of an experiment to protect the small endangered population of southern resident killer whales. Vessel noise can interfere with the killer whales’ ability to hunt, navigate and communicate with each other, so US researchers are looking into what impact the project will have on the orcas. (Elaine Thompson | The Associated Press File)

Hunters, government, industry at odds over deer urine

ALBANY, N.Y. — Deer hunters who like to lure their quarry with a dab of eau de doe-in-rut will have to find another way to… Continue reading

In this Oct. 19, 2016 photo, a man fishes for salmon in the Snake River above the Lower Granite Dam in Washington state. A group that represents farmers says saving imperiled salmon in the largest river system in the Northwest U.S. is too costly and is turning to the Trump administration. The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association wants the government to convene a Cabinet-level committee known as the “God Squad” due to its authority to allow exemptions to the Endangered Species Act. (Jesse Tinsley | The Spokesman-Review)

Trump administration urged to avoid salmon protection rules

BOISE, Idaho — A group that represents farmers is calling the costs of saving imperiled salmon in the largest river system in the Pacific Northwest… Continue reading

In this Oct. 19, 2016 photo, a man fishes for salmon in the Snake River above the Lower Granite Dam in Washington state. A group that represents farmers says saving imperiled salmon in the largest river system in the Northwest U.S. is too costly and is turning to the Trump administration. The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association wants the government to convene a Cabinet-level committee known as the “God Squad” due to its authority to allow exemptions to the Endangered Species Act. (Jesse Tinsley | The Spokesman-Review)