06-22-2018  3:22 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Lawsuit seeks lawyer access to immigrants in prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A rights group filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court Friday against top officials of U.S. immigration and homeland security departments, alleging they have unconstitutionally denied lawyers' access to immigrants in a prison in Oregon.Immigration and Customs...

Oregon woman accused of mistreating 3 children

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — Police arrested an Oregon woman accused of criminally mistreating three children in her care.Lt. Henry Reimann of the Hillsboro Police Department says Merlinda Avalos limited the kids to two peanut sandwiches a day, prevented them from using the bathroom at night and...

Man charged in 1986 killing of 12-year-old Tacoma girl

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Lakewood man suspected of killing a 12-year-old girl in Tacoma over three decades ago has been charged with murder and rape.The News Tribune reports Pierce County prosecutors charged 66-year-old Gary Hartman Friday in connection with Michella Welch's death in 1986. She...

Federal agency approves Idaho field burning rules

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials have approved Idaho's request to loosen field burning rules.Backers say the move offers more flexibility to keep smoke away from people but health advocates counter that it will lead to breathing problems for some residents.The U.S. Environmental...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Germany, Mexico, Belgium headline Saturday games

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Friday at the World Cup (all times local):1:13 a.m.Will Germany follow Brazil's lead in righting the ship after a rocky World Cup start, or will the defending champ find itself keeping company with Argentina, needing help if it hopes to advance?The World Cup could...

Trial set in long-delayed post-Katrina racial shooting case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A trial date has been set for a white man accused of shooting at three black men in what federal prosecutors said was a racially motivated attack following Hurricane Katrina.The case of Roland Bourgeois Jr. has dragged on for years. He was indicted five years after the...

Xhaka and Shaqiri score for Swiss, make Albanian symbol

KALININGRAD, Russia (AP) — Albania's national flag was at the center of Switzerland's 2-1 victory over Serbia on Friday at the World Cup.Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri celebrated their goals by making a nationalist symbol of their ethnic Albanian heritage.Both players put their open hands...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actress Betty Buckley wants to 'make America happy again'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There's busy. And then there's Betty Buckley busy.The veteran singer and actress began the month with four nights of concerts in New York celebrating the release of her new live album, "Hope."Buckley appeared earlier this week on the season finale of The CW's "Supergirl,"...

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fall television season is months away but that's no reason to stare moodily at a blank screen. In this era of peak TV, there are so many outlets and shows clamoring for your summertime attention that it can be as daunting as choosing between a mojito and a frozen...

Honduran girl in symbolic photo not separated from mother

NEW YORK (AP) — A crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, U.S. government officials said on Friday.Time magazine used an image of the girl, by Getty...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Police shooting of boy spurs more protests, appeals

Protesters demonstrated Friday for a third day over the fatal police shooting in Pennsylvania of an unarmed black...

Ex-New England Mafia boss 'Cadillac Frank' guilty in slaying

BOSTON (AP) — Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme was convicted Friday of killing a nightclub owner to keep...

Inmate charged with capital murder in Kansas deputy deaths

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 30-year-old inmate was charged Friday with capital murder in the shooting deaths...

UK split by Brexit divide 2 years after vote to leave EU

LONDON (AP) — It's been two years since the shoppers and traders of London's Romford market voted by a wide...

Italy vows to expel far more migrants, but it won't be easy

ROME (AP) — Barely a week in office, Italy's populist interior minister lost no time in bringing home his...

Rival Koreas agree to August reunions of war-split families

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North and South Korea agreed Friday to hold temporary reunions of families...

Environmental safety manager demonstrates protective clothing
The Associated Press

PHOTO: This July 9, 2014, file photo shows Bob Wilkinson, right, an environmental safety manager for the contractor Washington River Protection Solutions, demonstrating protective and clothing and a scuba-type tank-and-mask breathing apparatus used by workers in areas with potential exposure to possibly harmful vapors during a media tour of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is fining another federal agency up to $10,000 for each week it fails to start moving radioactive sludge away from the Columbia River at the most contaminated nuclear site in the U.S. The Tri-Party Agreement required the U.S. Department of Energy to begin removing sludge from a storage basin at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is fining another federal agency up to $10,000 for each week it fails to start moving radioactive sludge away from the Columbia River at the most contaminated nuclear site in the U.S.

The Tri-Party Agreement required the U.S. Department of Energy to begin removing sludge from a storage basin at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation by Sept. 30. The Tri-City Herald reported that the Energy Department has missed that deadline, and it is proposing an extension to an undetermined date.

The EPA on Tuesday denied the extension and began assessing fines. The fine for the first week is $5,000, increasing to $10,000 for each additional week that the Energy Department fails to start removing sludge.

Hanford for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons, and it is now engaged in cleaning up the nation's largest collection of radioactive wastes.

The Energy Department has 15 days to start efforts to resolve the dispute, and 30 days to submit a written statement if it disputes the EPA's denial of its proposal to set new deadlines.

The Energy Department said insufficient federal funding in fiscal 2013 and 2014 is to blame for the missed deadline. But the EPA questioned why the Energy Department had not proposed an extension until the deadline date, rather than when budgets were set in previous years.

The EPA already has extended deadlines for sludge removal numerous times, said the letter signed by Dennis Faulk, the EPA's Hanford program manager. The deadline for having all the sludge out of the K West Basin originally was 2002, and that has been extended 13 years, the letter said.

EPA denied the extension request because the Energy Department failed to say how long the extension would be, failed to identify related timetables or schedules that would be affected, and did not show good cause for the extension, the letter said.

"EPA has consistently made clear to DOE EPA's expectation that sludge removal work be funded and proceed," the letter said. "EPA has identified sludge removal as one of the highest Hanford cleanup priorities."

The basins attached to Hanford's K East and K West reactors were used to store irradiated nuclear fuel left over when much of the effort to remove weapons-grade plutonium stopped near the end of the Cold War.

As the fuel corroded underwater, it combined with dirt and bits of concrete from the pools to form a highly radioactive sludge.

The last of the 2,300 tons of fuel was removed from the basins in 2004. Since then workers have been dealing with the radioactive sludge that remains.

The next step is to get it out of the K West Basin and moved away from the river until it can be treated for disposal.

The Energy Department has spent $139 million to date on the sludge, with about $308 million total estimated to be required to get the sludge retrieved and treated for disposal.

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