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Economy
9:39 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Report: Washington's Low-Income Residents Are Disproportionately Burdened By Debt

Low-income residents Washington state are disproportionately burdened by debt, according to a new report by the grassroots advocacy group Alliance for a Just Society. 

One reason: increasing student loan debt. The report says the average student loan debt at graduation in Washington jumped 23 percent from 2008 to 2012 to a total of more than $23,000. And the average credit card debt in the state is more than $5,000.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed August 27, 2014

'The Easiest, Most Delicious Thing To Do With Corn' That Nancy Leson Has Ever Tasted

Corn, jalapeños, a little butter and that's it.
Nancy Leson

I can't believe I've never come across this method for corn off the cob before. After our friends Lori and Denny made it for us this weekend, I checked online and there were pages of variations on this same theme. It's so simple that ingredients are measured in units of "some." 

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Election
5:32 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Nearly $6 Million And Counting For Wash. Fall Ballot Measures

Petitions for Initiative 594 are counted at the Secretary of State's office Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in Olympia, Washington.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Washington’s November election will decide three statewide ballot measures. So far, nearly $6 million has flowed to these campaigns, and it’s still early.

Initiative 594 to expand background checks for gun sales is far out in the lead when it comes to fundraising. So far, nearly $3.4 million raised with recent $500,000 contributions each from Paul Allen, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates. Plus, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer just contributed $1 million.

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Young Minds
4:16 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Toddlers Can Figure Out A Game Of Chance Quicker Than You Might Think

Toddlers play in a kindergarten classroom.
Matthias Rietschel AP Photo

Toddlers use intuition for probability to their advantage, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Washington.

The researchers don't contend children as young as age 2 understand statistics, but they do wonder about potentially tapping into the intuition to help prepare children for concepts older students often struggle with, like fractions.

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Business
4:02 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Weyerhaeuser Moving Headquarters To Seattle's Pioneer Square

File image
Damian Dovarganes AP Photo

Weyerhaeuser is moving its headquarters from Federal Way to Seattle's historic Pioneer Square neighborhood, the company announced Tuesday.

The 114-year-old timber company will "divest the land and buildings it owns in Federal Way, Washington," according to a news release.

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Sex Trafficking
5:05 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Buyers Of Underage Sex Get Little Jail Time, New Study Shows

Arizona State University/Shared Hope International

Men who are convicted of paying for sex with minors are unlikely to serve much time behind bars, says the finding of new research conducted by Arizona State University and released by Shared Hope International, an organization trying to stop sex trafficking.

The study examined 134 cases in Seattle, Phoenix, Portland and Baltimore-Washington, D.C.

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Brain Science
5:01 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Seattle Scientists Find Brain Area Linked To Motivation To Exercise

Mice without a functioning dorsal medial habenula didn't feel like running in their wheels.
Kaytee Rlek Flickr

Seattle scientists have zeroed in on a part of the brain that seems to have an interesting job: motivating the brain’s owner to exercise. The findings could have implications for understanding depression.

The dorsal medial habenula is a little structure tucked inside the brain, above the brainstem. Psychiatrist Eric Turner of Seattle Children’s Research Institute knew it had something to do with regulating mood, but not a lot more.

“People asked me, 'Well, what does it do?' And I actually didn’t know. And when I looked it up I found that very little is known about this area of the brain,” he said.

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Psychiatric Care
4:44 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Puts Hospital Boarding Decision On Hold

File image
Taber Andrew Bain Flickr

The state of Washington will not have to start discharging severely mentally-ill patients starting this week. The Supreme Court on Monday put a hold on a recent ruling that says it’s illegal for the state to “board” psychiatric patients in non-psychiatric hospital beds.

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Science
4:06 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Out Soon: Long-Awaited Scientific Volume On 'Kennewick Man' Skeleton

A new book about Kennewick Man is due to hit bookstands in mid-September.
Texas A&M University Press

A skeleton some 9,000 years old is giving up a few of his secrets. A new book about the so-called Kennewick Man, whose remains were found 18 years ago, is due to hit bookstands in mid-September.

Kennewick Man was found resting in the shallow water of the Columbia River. His early story was that of some strife; a rock-point was found buried in his hip bone.

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Gun Control
2:11 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Bill Gates, Wife Donate $1 Million To Wash. Gun Background Check Initiative

FILE - Bill and Melinda Gates attend the Millennium Development Goals event, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 at U.N. headquarters.
Mary Altaffer AP Photo

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife have donated $1 million to a Washington state campaign seeking to expand background checks on gun sales, bringing the total amount the campaign has brought in up to nearly $6 million.

The donation to the Initiative 594 campaign was given Friday but not made public until Monday, when it posted on the state's Public Disclosure Commission website.

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Voting Rights
1:32 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Federal Judge: Yakima Election System Disenfranchises Latino Voters

FILE - More than four in 10 residents in Yakima are Hispanic, but Sonia Rodriguez True still lost her race for city council in 2009.
Austin Jenkins

A federal judge has ruled that the way city council members are elected in Yakima, Washington disenfranchises Latino voters.

Last week’s surprising ruling comes exactly two years after the ACLU filed a federal Voting Rights Act lawsuit against the city.

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Recovery
12:10 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

After Massive Wildfire, Town Of Twisp Digging Out From Flash Flooding

This steep hillside in Finley Canyon shows the story.
Anna King

Residents near the town of Twisp, Washington are digging out from mud that ripped through Finley Canyon last week. Because the record-breaking Carlton Complex wildfires have left soil and rock primed to run downhill, more damage could be on the way.

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Artscape
5:00 am
Mon August 25, 2014

One Poet's Vision To Celebrate The Beauty — And The Warts — Of Tacoma

Tacoma's poet laureate, Lucas Smiraldo
Ashley Gross KPLU

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Life On Two Wheels
5:00 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Seattle's Dexter Avenue To Become A Little Safer For Bike Commuters

The morning comute along Dexter Avenue as it crosses Mercer.
Jennifer Wing KPLU

At 7 a.m. on a recent morning, biker after biker whizzed by on Dexter Avenue heading into downtown Seattle. Some wore fancy gear. Others rode in summer shorts and sandals. Most carried backpacks.

This is one of the most popular roads for the city’s bike commuters. Still, if you want to get around Seattle safely on two wheels, you have to always be aware of cars. According to the most recent available data, there were 406 car-bike accidents in 2012.

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Legal Marijuana
10:59 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

In Oregon, Marijuana Dispensary Leads To Small Town Political Showdown

Brie Malarkey owns Breeze Botanicals in Gold Hill, Oregon.
Chris Lehman

The town of Gold Hill, Oregon is in turmoil. Two-thirds of its city council is the subject of a recall election come Monday.

What has some of the 1,200 residents of Gold Hill so riled up? The targeted city leaders had voted to approve a medical marijuana dispensary.

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