Patrick Rodriguez via Wikimedia Commons

PLU Debate Will Explore Whether Tacoma Should Hike Its Minimum Wage To $15

Tacoma voters have less than a month to decide whether to raise the city’s minimum wage, and if so, how much. Thursday evening, debaters at Pacific Lutheran University will give their best arguments in favor and against a $15 minimum wage.
Read More
Your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. Tune in Saturday at 10 a.m., and catch up anytime on-demand.

Poor and minority students in Washington state are more likely to be labeled truants. That’s a according to the state’s 2015 Truancy Report out Wednesday.

President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Tuesday hailed a pending trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deal would span 12 countries in the Asia Pacific region including Canada and Mexico.

Washington Lt. Governor Brad Owen hasn’t announced if he intends to seek a sixth-term next year. But he already faces challenges from two fellow Democrats who are betting he won’t run.

used with permission of Jason Padgett /

KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer talks with Tacoma resident Jason Padgett about the night he was mugged outside a Tacoma karaoke bar, and how that incident changed the trajectory of his life.

Padgett suffered a concussion in the attack, as well as internal injuries. He also developed post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Ted S. Warren / AP

More than 150 groups in Washington state have come together to form the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy. It’s an effort to fight climate change that some are calling “historic in scope.” The consortium has announced plans to put a statewide carbon-capping initiative before voters in 2016. 

Calling a U.S. gunship attack on its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, a "blatant breach of international law," Doctors Without Borders is calling for an independent international investigation into the attack that killed 22 people and wounded 37 more. The group views the airstrike as a war crime.

Twelve of those who died were staff members of the Paris-based charity, which says the attack went on for 30 minutes after it contacted both Afghanistan's and the coalition's military leaders.

Nancy Leson

Nancy was puce with envy when I told her about my new digital cooking thermometer.

“A Thermapen?" she gasped.  She'd been lusting after one for years.

“Nope,” I told her. I bought a cheap knock-off.

Jasperdo / Flkr Creative Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union says an eastern Washington county is operating a modern day debtors’ prison in violation of both the United States and Washington State Constitutions.  The ACLU of Washington and the law firm of Terrell Marshall Law Group filed a class-action lawsuit against Benton County, which includes the towns of Richland and Kennewick.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

The future of Washington state's charter schools may be up in the air, but for now, they are still receiving public funding.

Though the state Supreme Court ruled last month charter schools violate Washington’s constitution, state education officials sent regular funding payments to the schools at the end of September, according to Tom Franta, CEO of the Washington State Charter Schools Association.

A former president of the U.N. General Assembly, John Ashe, is accused of accepting more than $1.3 million in bribes in return for his support of a real estate project in Macau, according to U.S. court documents.

Ashe is a former U.N. ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda who led the General Assembly from 2013 to 2014. He lives in New York state.

NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports: