The Wenatchee World

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Microsoft to cut jobs

Microsoft said Wednesday that it is taking a $7.6 billion charge and laying off as many as 7,800 employees as the company scales back the troubled phone hardware business it bought last year.

Oregon opts to dramatically expand women’s birth control access

PORTLAND -- Oregon is poised to dramatically expand access to birth control after Gov. Kate Brown signed laws that will allow women to get a yearlong supply of oral contraceptives directly from pharmacists without a trip to the doctor, lawmakers and a legal expert said on Tuesday.

Identity theft is prevalent in state

YAKIMA — A few keystrokes, a few smartphone taps or a swipe of a card is all it takes to pay for so many things at so many places nowadays, and convenience sometimes overtakes good judgment.

Study: Not all college debt is bad

College debt has gotten a bad name in recent years, fueled by headline-grabbing stories about broke college graduates who owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans.

Class-size initiative puts state budget on hold

OLYMPIA — Democrats and Republicans in the Senate remained at odds Monday over a key bill designed to keep the recently approved $38.2 billion operating budget balanced. But the dispute, which pushed the Legislature into its 172nd day, had no solution in sight.

Fireworks spark blaze that destroys car

VANCOUVER — Fireworks caused a blaze that destroyed one car, damaged another and nearly spread to a nearby apartment complex, fire officials said.

Idaho wildfire destroys upscale homes in resort area

SALMON, Idaho -- A fast-moving wildfire in Idaho that destroyed several upscale homes and forced 200 residents to flee prompted the governor on Monday to declare a disaster emergency that would free up federal funds to help fight the blaze.

Burning rain forest raises concern about future

PARADISE CREEK, Olympic National Park — Fire crews call them “cat faces,” deep holes that flames have burned into the trunks of the centuries-old Sitka spruce and hemlock growing here in the Queets River valley.

Lawmakers not done with budget squabbles

OLYMPIA — To explain the current state of the Washington Legislature, forget the philosophy of Rousseau, the ideas of Jefferson or the eloquence of Lincoln. Turn instead to the dictum of Berra: It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

Catholic priest put on leave amid hidden camera probe

PORTLAND — An Oregon Catholic priest has been placed on leave by the Archdiocese of Portland as police investigate who placed a hidden camera, carefully disguised as an electrical outlet, in a church bathroom, the archdiocese said on Thursday.

Record-hot June fans fears of future fires

SEATTLE — The warmest June on record in the Seattle area — blistering the old mark by more than three degrees — combined with tinder-dry conditions statewide and the approach of a holiday associated with fireworks has forecasters warning of potentially devastating blazes.

Crowds count down to pot legalization

PORTLAND — Crowds counted down the minutes to midnight then lit up joints as smoking marijuana became legal in Oregon on Wednesday and the legalization movement spread to a fourth U.S. state.

Safety is high priority in putting out Paradise Fire

ABERDEEN — Olympic National Park officials said firefighters are particularly concerned about the area around Paradise Creek on the flanks of Pelton Peak as they continue working to contain the Paradise Fire, which has now claimed more than 1,000 acres.

State Legislature sends $38.2 billion budget to Inslee’s desk

OLYMPIA — After 165 days of partisan bickering over taxes and spending, the Legislature moved swiftly Monday to pass a $38.2 billion budget to run state government for the next two years. The Senate also passed and sent to the House a plan to spend $16.1 billion on transportation projects over the next 16 years.