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Agriculture

Nez Perce: New record set for fall chinook redds in Snake River

KENNEWICK — New data released by the Nez Perce Tribe shows that fall chinook returning to the Snake River have set a new record for the third straight year.

Date: 02/08/2016 | Northwest


Researchers say drones help detect potato diseases

POCATELLO, Idaho — Researchers in Idaho have found a way to use drones to detect diseased potato plants.

Date: 01/25/2016 | Northwest


Groups want Spokane fish hatchery monitored for PCBs

SPOKANE — Environmental groups contend a state-owned hatchery on the Little Spokane River uses fish food containing PCBs. They say the hatchery’s wastewater should be monitored as a pollution source.

Date: 01/21/2016 | Northwest


Pair accused of poaching crabs, selling to restaurants

TULALIP — Their crab poaching investigation took them from the water's edge to restaurants and even nail salons.It resulted in the arrests of two men in recent weeks for investigation of unlawful trafficking in shellfish, fishing out of season and possessing stolen...

Date: 01/21/2016 | Local News


Washington Sportsmen’s Show has lots to offer

The O'Laughlin family brings its Washington Sportsmen's Show to the state fair events center in Puyallup once again, like an old sweater that might be slightly worn in spots but remains warm, friendly and comfortable. Most of the attractions you've grown to love over the years are back...

Date: 01/21/2016 | Sports


Crabs safe after toxin scare, but prices plummeting

PORTLAND, Ore. — A toxic algae bloom that shut down the West Coast’s entire shellfish industry may actually be good news for crab lovers, according to some crabbers.

Date: 01/19/2016 | Business Wire


Why we’ve been hugely underestimating the overfishing of the oceans

The state of the world’s fish stocks may be in worse shape than official reports indicate, according to new data — a possibility with worrying consequences for both international food security and marine ecosystems.

Date: 01/19/2016 | Nation & World


Walla Walla, Columbia County grain co-ops merge

WALLA WALLA — Officials with two grain cooperatives in southeastern Washington have approved a merger of the groups’ operations.

Date: 01/19/2016 | Northwest


State gives ranchers money to buy hay after wildfires

OKANOGAN — Washington state is giving ranchers $500,000 to buy extra hay after losses from 2015 wildfires.The Capital Press reported that the state Department of Ecology provided the money to Okanogan County ranchers affected by the fires.

Date: 01/19/2016 | Northwest


Scientific study on Hood Canal yields insight on tiny fish

SEABECK — Josh Frederick hops out of an idling state Department of Fish and Wildlife motorboat and begins scooping beach gravel into bag labeled with his precise location on Hood Canal. He pulls out a handful and gives it a hard look.“Nothing,” he says.

Date: 01/18/2016 | Northwest


Shippers cheer as India reopens ports to apple imports

YAKIMA — Washington apple shippers are cheering the news that India has reopened all of its ports to apple imports.The Yakima Herald-Republic reported that India has been the state’s third-largest apple export market in recent years.

Date: 01/17/2016 | Business Wire


FDA gives OK for company’s genetically engineered potato

BOISE, Idaho — A potato genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine is as safe as any other potato on the market, the Food and Drug Administration says.

Date: 01/13/2016 | Northwest


Oyster growers again ask for permission to use pesticides

SEATTLE — Oyster growers in Washington have once again asked the state Department of Ecology to issue a pesticide application permit so they can spray oyster beds.

Date: 01/12/2016 | Northwest


More razor clam digs approved

A release Monday from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife read: “State shellfish managers have approved razor clam digs starting later this week at Long Beach and Copalis Beach. WDFW confirmed the digs after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those two beaches are safe to eat. All other...

Date: 01/07/2016 | Sports


Ratify Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact

If you need an example of Washington state's standing in the world of international trade, recall the September visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Everett and Seattle, which — with visits to Boeing and Microsoft and with state and local officials — was more than a...

Date: 01/06/2016 | Editorials


Commercial crabbing under way off Washington, Oregon coasts

SEATTLE — The commercial Dungeness crabbing is under way along the Washington and Oregon coasts after being delayed for a month because of a marine toxin.

Date: 01/05/2016 | Northwest


Spraying proposed to kill gypsy moths in Western Washington

OLYMPIA — State agriculture officials have proposed spraying 10,500 acres in Western Washington this spring to kill leaf-eating gypsy moths.

Date: 01/05/2016 | Northwest


Farmworker advocates ask for criminal probe

SPOKANE — Advocates for farmworkers this week asked the state to launch a criminal investigation into whether a business group influenced answers to a survey of wages and working conditions.

Date: 01/05/2016 | Northwest


Fish plant worries

Mukilteo residents concerned it will bring traffic, noise and smells

Date: 12/31/2015 | Local News


Winter’s first coastal razor clam dig a success

A moderate crowd took advantage of the winter's first coastal razor clam dig, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, totalling about 12,000 participants over the three days, spread across nine miles of Copalis Beach. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife opened just the single beach because...

Date: 12/31/2015 | Sports


Back to farmland

Land near Arlington will be developed ... into a working farm

Date: 12/28/2015 | Local News


Oregon proposes gypsy moth spraying; Washington may follow

SEATTLE — Oregon agriculture officials are proposing to spray about 8,000 acres over the Portland area next spring to kill leaf-eating gypsy moths.

Date: 12/26/2015 | Northwest


State agency says farm worker survey answers were coached

YAKIMA — State officials say a survey on wage rates for farm workers appeared to be influenced by a business group’s “recommended answers” in an apparent attempt to keep standard minimum wages low.

Date: 12/26/2015 | Northwest


Sport crabbing season to remain open on Hood Canal

OLYMPIA — State officials are extending the sport crabbing season on Hood Canal and a portion of the Admiralty Inlet until Feb. 28.Most other sport crabbing in the Puget Sound will close Dec. 31. They are scheduled to reopen next summer.

Date: 12/26/2015 | Northwest


Fishing on Columbia a mixed bag in 2015

A preliminary draft of Columbia River fish returns for 2015 and expectations for 2016 has been released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and, as usual, fishing on the big river ranged from good to not so good this past year. The difference between 2015 and some past...

Date: 12/24/2015 | Sports


Commercial crab fishing to open Jan. 4 on Washington coast

OLYMPIA — Washington’s commercial Dungeness crab fishery will open in coastal waters Jan. 4 after a monthlong delay.

Date: 12/22/2015 | Northwest


Shipyard business booms

Marysville’s Hansen Boat Co. has enough work for next 5 years

Date: 12/22/2015 | Local News


Razor clam harvesting reopens on northern Oregon Coast

PORTLAND, Ore. — Two Oregon state agencies have announced the reopening of recreational and commercial razor clam harvesting on a section of the coast.

Date: 12/21/2015 | Northwest


State may give clam diggers a Christmas gift

If a razor clam dig is approved for the Christmas holiday, and if you’re interested in participating, chances are you won’t be lonesome. That’s because only one beach is likely to be open — Copalis — and all diggers will be concentrated at Ocean Shores and Ocean City instead of being spread out...

Date: 12/17/2015 | Sports


Sprucing up ag studies

Snohomish teacher chosen to keep it interesting

Date: 12/15/2015 | Local News


Idaho appeals ruling against “ag-gag law”

BOISE, Idaho — The state of Idaho has filed an appeal of a federal court’s decision to overturn the state’s “ag-gag law,” which makes it a crime to surreptitiously videotape agriculture operations.

Date: 12/12/2015 | Northwest


State again delays commercial crabbing on south coast

OLYMPIA — Commercial crab fishing continues to be delayed on a portion of Washington’s southern coast.

Date: 12/08/2015 | Northwest


Death of dairy worker may lead to more regulations

YAKIMA — The investigation into the death of a Mabton dairy worker who drowned in a manure pit shows the man had drugs in his system.

Date: 12/01/2015 | Northwest


Label genetically modified salmon

Salmon hold sacred status in the Pacific Northwest, literally for the people of the region's Indian nations. But the rest of us, specifically those who fish for salmon and those who serve them at family meals, also regard the fish as part of our heritage.So it's not hard to...

Date: 11/29/2015 | Editorials


Case growing against subsidies for ethanol fuel

A federal program, once launched, is impossible to kill. It doesn't matter if the scheme wastes money. It doesn't matter if the program doesn't work. It doesn't even matter if the program does the very opposite of what it is supposed to do. Every government program enters the world with...

Date: 11/29/2015 | Opinion Columnists


Where to cut your own tree

Our annual list of Christmas tree farms

Date: 11/28/2015 | Life


Chum fishery set to close in Marine Area 10

The chums-only salmon fishery in Marine Area 10, originally scheduled to run through Jan. 31, will instead close at the end of this month. Area 10 encompasses the Seattle-Bremerton area.The move was made "to protect any wild chinook that anglers may inadvertently...

Date: 11/26/2015 | Sports


Fishing at the heart of Lummi Nation

LUMMI RESERVATION — Members of Lummi Nation say that for them, fishing is different.

Date: 11/22/2015 | Northwest


Quinault Nation opens crab fishery around Grays Harbor

GRAYS HARBOR — The Quinault Indian Nation has opened its crab fishery in the Grays Harbor area. The tribal fishing area is one of the few spared by a toxic algal bloom on the Pacific coast.The tribe says its crabs are being tested regularly by the Washington Department...

Date: 11/22/2015 | Northwest


A drier future

Snohomish farmers expect more drought in future

Date: 11/15/2015 | Business


Yakama man’s 1917 illegal fishing conviction overturned

YAKIMA — Justice can come slowly. In this case it has taken nearly a century.It is the story of treaty rights, Washington state’s belated efforts to correct wrongs and an 81-year-old Yakama man who sought for years to vacate his great-uncle’s 1917 conviction for illegally fishing.

Date: 11/14/2015 | Northwest


WSU wants to launch agriculture-related programs at Everett campus

OLYMPIA — Washington State University wants to expand its offerings in Everett if the governor and state lawmakers will provide the money.Officials are seeking...

Date: 11/12/2015 | Local News


Closings, weather mar blackmouth derby

Last weekend’s Everett Bayside Marine Blackmouth Derby got hit with a double whammy — the state Fish and Wildlife Department had earlier closed marine areas 9 and 10 to chinook fishing, and the weather forecast didn’t exactly welcome derby participants to the water, either.

Date: 11/12/2015 | Sports


Young, idealistic farmers help keep land in production

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. — Hauling feed, herding pigs, long hours. Farming is hard. And 25-year-old Leanna Mulvihill loves it.

Date: 11/08/2015 | Business Wire


Lawmakers say Oregon agency, university resisting hemp

SALEM, Ore. — There’s a quiet battle playing out between Oregon State University, the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Democrats in the state’s congressional delegation who say the school and agency have fumbled a chance to make Oregon a hemp leader.

Date: 11/06/2015 | Northwest


Workshop covers Stillaguamish basin pollution prevention

STANWOOD — An upcoming workshop aims to teach property owners in north Snohomish County about preventing bacterial pollution in the lower Stillaguamish River basin.

Date: 11/05/2015 | Local News


Idaho potato farmer experiments with mineral oil on crops

ASHTON, Idaho — An eastern Idaho farmer says he’s experimenting with mineral oil on his potato crops as a cheaper alternative to limit the transmission of diseases spread by aphids.

Date: 11/01/2015 | Northwest


Newport crowned dominant West Coast commercial fishing port

ASTORIA, Ore. — Newport is now the dominant West Coast port for commercial fishing, with the highest quantity of fish on the coast.

Date: 10/30/2015 | Northwest


County hosts Focus on Farming conference Nov. 19

Snohomish County is planning its 12th annual Focus on Farming conference for Nov. 19 at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe.

Date: 10/29/2015 | Local News


Winter blackmouth opening uncertain

A fair-to-middling number of salmon fishermen will head for our backyard saltwater on Sunday morning, looking for blackmouth, as marine areas 8-1, 8-2 and 9 (Deception Pass to Edmonds) reopen to chinook retention.Or maybe they won't.The winter blackmouth season...

Date: 10/29/2015 | Sports


Plenty of crab remaining as late season opens

The upside is that marine areas 8-1 and 8-2 put out a lot of crab for recreationists during the summer season, and there's nothing to suggest they won't continue to produce during the fall/winter season.The downside is that commercial crabbers are also well aware of that.

Date: 10/01/2015 | Sports


Feds to release final bull trout recovery plan for 5 states

BOISE, Idaho — Federal officials say they’ll release their final plan Wednesday to recover struggling bull trout in five Western states with the goal of lifting Endangered Species Act protections.

Date: 09/28/2015 | Northwest


Port Orchard farmer who died would be happy with farm deal

BREMERTON — Gerald Petersen expected top dollar for his 167-acre spread in Clear Creek valley, but also wanted to keep it a working farm. The conflicting objectives left the property in limbo for six years after the 94-year-old died in 2009.

Date: 09/28/2015 | Northwest


Wild weather, small fish at Everett Coho Derby

Last weekend's Everett Coho Derby was a howling success. That is, no one drowned and no one had to call the Coast Guard for assistance during the two-day event, even after the weather went ballistic on Sunday. The fact that salmon were caught and prizes awarded was a bonus.

Date: 09/24/2015 | Sports


Small fish, big prize at Edmonds Coho Derby

So it wasn't the big kahuna. But hey — a $5,000 fish is a $5,000 fish, whether it was a wall-hanger or not.And that was a good thing for Glen Kincaid, whose 7.5-pound silver won first place in last Saturday's Edmonds Coho Derby — the smallest winning fish in the...

Date: 09/17/2015 | Sports


Women in farming

For many in Snohomish County, it's a second career

Date: 09/16/2015 | Business


Oregon county suspends enforcement of GMO ban

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Oregon’s Josephine County won’t enforce a ban on genetically modified crops until a related lawsuit is resolved.

Date: 09/14/2015 | Business


Scientists link oil exposure to reduced survival of fish

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Federal scientists have determined that extremely low levels of crude oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez caused heart problems in embryonic fish, a conclusion that could shape how damage is assessed in other major spills.

Date: 09/08/2015 | Northwest


'Cows are cool'

She's on the path to veterinary school

Date: 09/08/2015 | Local News


Worker safety at dairies needs the Legislature’s attention

As we celebrate Labor Day, I want to take this opportunity to thank all workers for the contributions they make to our economy. I hope all get to enjoy end-of-summer picnics and barbecues, watch a baseball game or participate in some other family activity this weekend.Last...

Date: 09/06/2015 | Commentary


County should look at why farms are struggling

Contrary to the perception created by Snohomish County that county agriculture is doing well, is the reality that agriculture has been loosing $1 million dollars in production every year for the last twenty years. Ironically that is the period from 1992 to 2012 when the...

Date: 09/05/2015 | Commentary


Cool water temps good news for sturgeon in Columbia River

KENNEWICK — Cooler water temperatures in the Columbia River are good news for sturgeon.Warm water conditions this summer killed more than 80 sturgeon in the Tri-Cities area.

Date: 09/01/2015 | Northwest


Crab fishing resumes on north coast of Washington

OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has reopened the north coast of Washington to crab fishing.Both commercial and recreational crab fishing had been closed from Point Chehalis to the Queets River because marine toxins posed a threat to public health.

Date: 08/31/2015 | Northwest


Celebrating the family farm

Walking through The Evergreen State Fair can nearly overwhelm the senses: the flickering lights of carnival rides, the bleats of goats and bass thumps from the concert stages, the soft wool of sheep, a Purple Cow's cooling flavors...

Date: 08/28/2015 | Editorials


A shellfish empire

It was built 'one shovelful at a time'

Date: 08/26/2015 | Business


Time with friends and family is what fishing is all about

Chinook salmon, generally speaking, are for the very serious fisherman. Coho are for the semi-serious fisherman. Pink salmon, on the other hand, are happy-go-lucky little guys, willing to dance with almost anyone.

Date: 08/20/2015 | Sports


U.S. seed plan aims to protect land after natural disasters

BOISE, Idaho — Federal authorities announced a plan Monday to produce massive quantities of seeds from native plants that can be quickly planted to help land recover from natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes.

Date: 08/18/2015 | Northwest


Drought hits bottom line

Lack of rain drives up businesses’ costs, cuts into revenue

Date: 08/14/2015 | Business


Former Tulalip Tribes fisheries co-director accused of poaching

TULALIP — Joe Hatch was supposed to be managing the shellfish he's now accused of poaching.The former co-director of the Tulalip Tribes fisheries and wildlife division is facing criminal charges for allegedly trafficking in crab and shrimp.Hatch, 51,...

Date: 08/12/2015 | Local News


Coast Guard rescues 2 from fishing vessel near Ocean Shores

OCEAN SHORES — The U.S. Coast Guard rescued two people after their 42-foot commercial fishing vessel ran aground near Ocean Shores.

Date: 08/11/2015 | Northwest


Mabton dairy appeals safety fine after worker’s death

MABTON — A Mabton dairy is appealing a state fine that was levied after an investigation into a worker who drowned in March.The Yakima Herald-Republic reported that Randy Vasquez drowned March 4 in a manure storage lagoon at Riverview Ranch.

Date: 08/11/2015 | Northwest


Group removes 550 derelict fishing nets from Puget Sound

EVERETT — Knowing the deadly consequences abandoned fishing nets pose for marine life, a nonprofit has worked to remove 550 from Puget Sound this year alone.That brings to 5,600 the number of derelict nets the

Date: 08/10/2015 | Local News


Court upholds Suquamish’s right to share fishing with Tulalips

TULALIP — A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s decision that recognized the Suquamish Tribe’s rights to fish in Port Gardner and other nearby waters.

Date: 08/08/2015 | Local News


Heat causes fish to die at Whatcom Falls hatchery

BELLINGHAM — Water that was too warm killed about 5,400 rainbow trout at the Whatcom Falls Park hatchery during a summer marked by drought and high temperatures.

Date: 08/07/2015 | Northwest


Cattle becomes Oregon’s top agricultural commodity

SALEM, Ore. — For the first time in 20 years, cattle is Oregon’s number one agricultural commodity, overtaking greenhouse and nursery products.

Date: 08/05/2015 | Northwest


Water quality rules might be up to feds after Inslee drops rewrite

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday scrapped a major rewrite of the state's clean water rules, opening the door for the federal government to impose its standard on the state.Inslee, in a...

Date: 08/01/2015 | Local News


Lord Hill levee repairs to start July 29

SNOHOMISH — Major repairs at the Lord Hill levee along the Snohomish River are set to begin Wednesday.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is picking up 80 percent of the $892,000 project near the city of Snohomish, the French Slough Flood Control District the remaining 20 percent.

Date: 07/29/2015 | Local News


Stilly under siege

River and fish weather silt, slides and drought

Date: 07/26/2015 | Local News


Former investigator says hull damage sank Arctic Rose

SEATTLE — A former investigator of the sunken Arctic Rose fishing vessel says the ship went down because of damage to the hull.The Arctic Rose sank suddenly in the Bering Sea April 2001, killing all 15 men on board in one of the worst fishing disaster off Alaska in decades.

Date: 07/20/2015 | Northwest


Washington restricts fishing on many rivers due to drought

OLYMPIA — Drought conditions are prompting state officials to prohibit or limit fishing on more than 30 rivers across Washington to help protect fish.

Date: 07/16/2015 | Northwest


Due to drought, Oregon curtails fishing for some species

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon officials have prohibited fishing or curtailed fishing hours on most rivers in the state to avoid additional stress on wild fish suffering from drought-related high water temperatures and low stream flows.

Date: 07/16/2015 | Northwest


State must fix hundreds of fish-blocking culverts

SEATTLE — Washington state is under a federal court order to fix hundreds of barriers built under state roads and highways that block access for migrating salmon and thus interfere with tribes’ treaty-backed right to catch fish.

Date: 07/05/2015 | Northwest


Update to water quality rules could affect county's farmers

OLYMPIA — State officials are rewriting water quality rules and the update could change how Snohomish County farmers use manure lagoons.The Department of Ecology is updating permits it issues for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Those are farms that discharge...

Date: 07/04/2015 | Local News


Diving for geoducks

How tribes carefully manage a lucrative harvest

Date: 06/28/2015 | Local News


State’s farms, businesses need trade deal

Opening foreign markets to American agricultural exports has provided strong returns to rural communities. When the high-quality products grown and made in rural Washington have a chance to compete on a global scale, every Washingtonian benefits.Expanded exports mean more...

Date: 06/22/2015 | Commentary


Workers seek back pay from Snohomish blueberry farm

SNOHOMISH — Lourdes Margarito and dozens of people who planted blueberries on a farm here last fall say they haven't been paid for their work.A class-action...

Date: 06/18/2015 | Local News


Salmon project set to proceed on Smith Island near Everett

EVERETT — A massive earth-moving project to transform low-lying farmland along the Snohomish River delta into salmon habitat could break ground in August, after more than a decade of preparation.

Date: 06/15/2015 | Local News


New state agriculture director begins job Monday

YAKIMA — The new director of the Washington Department of Agriculture begins his job Monday leading a staff of 750 with a budget of about $158 million.

Date: 06/14/2015 | Northwest


Ripe for the picking

Warm weather could shorten an early strawberry season

Date: 06/09/2015 | Local News


Trade bills must pass Congress

Three votes yet to be taken in Congress — two in the House and one in the Senate — will have a significant impact on jobs and the economy in Washington state and for the rest of the nation.And both are meeting resistance from a bipartisan coalition in both...

Date: 06/08/2015 | Editorials


Trade bill a boon to state’s businesses

In our global economy, every state needs international trade in order to generate growth and create good jobs. But some states are especially reliant on foreign trade to maintain a robust economy; Washington is without question one of these states. That's why Washington state businesses...

Date: 06/07/2015 | Commentary


No longer adrift

Marysville man who appears on 'Deadliest Catch' finds clarity

Date: 06/07/2015 | Life


Washington farmers, wildlife managers prepare for drought

SEATTLE — With Washington state experiencing the worst mountain snowpack in decades and a drought emergency declared two weeks ago, farmers, growers and wildlife managers are preparing for a tough summer as conditions are expected to worsen.

Date: 05/31/2015 | Northwest


Blame rise in egg prices on putting all our chickens in a few ‘baskets’

An outbreak of bird flu has forced American farmers to kill millions of egg-laying chickens, 32 million in Iowa alone — hence the rise in egg prices.But why so many? Because our eggs are now produced by a handful of gigantic farms. When one of their birds gets sick,...

Date: 05/27/2015 | Opinion Columnists


Planting flowers to save bees and agriculture

Ladybird Johnson may have been onto something after all.During the Johnson administration, the late first lady famously fought to replace billboards with wildflowers along the nation's highways. While she was seeking to beautify America, her idea has returned, this time with...

Date: 05/24/2015 | Editorials


Water outlook for Yakima Basin declines again

YAKIMA — This year’s water supply outlook for the Yakima Basin continues to decline.The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is now predicting that holders of junior water rights will receive only 44 percent of their normal water this year.

Date: 05/19/2015 | Northwest


Business ban helps black-market growers

On May 6, Snohomish County Councilmembers voted 4 to 1 to ban legal marijuana business owners from operating in the agriculturally compatible rural 5-acre zone (R5) of the county.The R5 zone is where urban sprawl meets rural protectionism, and has long been the battleground...

Date: 05/18/2015 | Commentary


Financial side of marijuana starting to roll

The convention floor at Denver Airport's Crowne Plaza on a recent afternoon could have been the trade show for any well-established industry — gray-haired execs in conservative suits mingling with office park dads in polos and fresh-out-of-college types in brand-emblazoned...

Date: 05/18/2015 | Opinion Columnists


Fish boat catches fire at mouth of Columbia River; no injuries

WARRENTON, Ore. — The Coast Guard has towed to shore a 34-foot fish boat whose operators had reported they were battling an engine room fire as they drifted at the mouth of the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington.

Date: 05/13/2015 | Northwest


State officials may allow farmers to tap emergency wells

LACEY — State ecology officials are considering issuing permits for emergency wells in the drought-stricken Yakima Basin.Capital Press reported that the permits would acknowledge that farmers in that area are facing a crisis.

Date: 05/09/2015 | Northwest




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