News Stories Tue., Feb. 13, 2018

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Hundreds of protesters converged on the Oregon Capitol to push lawmakers to adopt legislation that would place a cap on greenhouse gas emissions and impose a fee on companies that exceed maximum levels. Some lawmakers have said the current short session that lasts only 35 days should be just for budget issues and fine-tuning legislation.

Members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation voted to retain Jeremy Wolf as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees in a run-off election yesterday. Wolf secured 375 votes (48 percent) while challenger Shana Radford received 277 votes (42 percent). The run-off was necessary because each candidate received 370 votes in the November 2017 General Election.

KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) — Bill and Melinda Gates are rethinking their philanthropic work in America as they confront the country’s growing inequity and a president they disagree with. The couple says in their foundation’s annual letter that they’re turning their attention in the United States toward poverty and economic mobility. The foundation says it’s studying related issues such as employment, race and housing, but it has no plans for any particular initiatives yet.

The Interior Department plans to expand energy development on public lands and offshore to pay for the National Parks’ maintenance backlog. In the Pacific Northwest, the needs range from washed-out roads and trails at Mount Rainier National Park to repairing bridges and parking lots at the Olympic National Park. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says the Parks’ maintenance backlog is $11.7 billion. The entire Interior Department’s backlog is $16 billion. The budget plan Zinke unveiled Monday would provide $800 million in the coming fiscal year. Democrats are pushing a different plan to pay for the maintenance backlog. They want to use a portion of the revenue the government collects from mining leases on public lands.