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McMorris Rodgers to give GOP response to Obama

McMorris Rodgers to give GOP response to Obama

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress, will give the party's response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The Washington state congresswoman chairs the House Republican conference, is a mother with a new baby and two other children, and often speaks out on issues affecting families. She's in her fifth term representing an eastern Washington district.

She said she's looking forward to speaking to Americans in every corner of the country on Tuesday and to share the Republican vision for a better future.

The annual response is often awarded to promising politicians but can be tricky to give successfully since it's before a camera instead of a live audience.

The party's House and Senate leaders jointly announced the selection Thursday.

Patty Murray remembers JFK

Patty Murray remembers JFK

Senator Patty Murray released the following statement on the 50th anniversary of the President John F. Kennedy's death:

Like so many Americans I still vividly remember November 22nd, 1963. As an 8th grader in my small hometown of Bothell, Washington I still remember playing in our school’s marching band in front of a local elementary school when someone came in and whispered in the ear of our band director. He immediately stopped the song we were playing, asked us to pull out the music to God Bless America, and we began to play. Then there was an announcement that the President had been shot. It was stunning.

I also remember going home and seeing my mom do two things that she never did, watch TV all day and cry. For me, it was the day the world got bigger than the small town I lived in. And from that day on, the Kennedy legacy of service was talked about often in my house. Those conversations helped instill in all of my brothers and sisters the knowledge that we have to be part of the bigger world beyond our own home and that we should work where we could to make our school, our community, and the world a better place.

Idaho offers unemployment benefits to furloughed workers

Idaho offers unemployment benefits to furloughed workers

The Idaho Department of Labor is prepared to help all federal workers in Idaho furloughed as a result of the government shutdown.

From Idaho Department of Labor:
Federal and contract employees laid off due to the government shutdown are eligible to file for unemployment benefits under the same conditions as all other workers. But should Congress approve back pay for federal employees, those receiving back pay will need to repay any benefits they received.

Moscow screening water infrastructure documentary

From the City of Moscow:


The City of Moscow Water Department will host a screening of the public television documentary "Liquid Assets: The Story of Our Water Infrastructure” on September 16 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Kenworthy theater. The free screening will begin with a reception and will be followed by a discussion of local water issues. This screening if free and open to the public.


"Liquid Assets" tells the story of essential infrastructure systems: drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater. These complex and aging systems—some in the ground for more than 100 years—are critical for basic sanitation, public safety, economic development, and a host of other necessities of life. The documentary highlights communities from across the United States, providing an understanding of hidden water infrastructure assets, demonstrating watershed protection approaches, and illustrating twenty-first century solutions.


Public hearing to discuss urban agriculture in Moscow

Public hearing to discuss urban agriculture in Moscow

There will be a public hearing to discuss urban agricultural zoning in the City of Moscow on August 19th at 7pm.


From the City of Moscow:

The Moscow City Council will conduct a public hearing regarding the potential amendment of the Moscow Zoning Code to permit and establish standards for Urban Agriculture activities within Moscow. All interested parties are encouraged to attend the public hearing at 7 p.m., August 19th, in the Council Chambers of City Hall located at 206 E. Third Street.

Local food production has the potential to provide many health, environmental, and economic benefits to the city and its residents. Currently, the City’s zoning code does not adequately address these types of agricultural activities within Moscow. The proposed amendment would define accessory, community and market gardens and allow these uses within virtually all zoning districts. The amendment would also establish standards for such uses within lower density residential areas to mitigate potential land use conflicts.

County Commissioners "up" the costs for concealed weapons permits

County Commissioners "up" the costs for concealed weapons permits

Latah County commissioners increased the fees for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

A concealed weapons permit application went from $56 to $80 and a permit renewal from $22 to $50. The increases started Thursday, July 25th.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports commissioners say the increase is needed so the Latah County Sheriff's office stops losing money processing the applications.

Sheriff's office spokesman Mike Rosen says the state increased the cost of processing fingerprints and background checks in October and again this month.

Rosen says no one came forward to oppose or support the increase during a public hearing Wednesday.

Nethercutt announces Citizenship Tournament

The George Nethercutt Foundation announced on Thursday that they will be holding a Citizenship Tournament in the fall of 2013.


The tournament will feature self-paced activities that test student's knowledge of U.S. history, current events, economics, government and foreign policy. It is open to students in grades four, eight and twelve.


“I wanted to have the input of young people in policy making,” explains George Nethercutt about why he started his foundation back in 1996. He goes on to say that this tournament is a great opportunity to show students what it's like to participate in the civic life.


Nethercutt describes the tournament challenges as being things that will encourage students to be “more immersed in government”. The first round tasks could include things like interviewing a veteran, attending a city council meeting or writing a letter to the editor or to their congressman to see what response they get.