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Earthquake
9:25 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Magnitude 6.7 Quake Hits Off Coast Of Vancouver Island, No Tsunami Threat

USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center says a magnitude 6.7 quake has been recorded in the Pacific Ocean off the northwest corner of British Columbia's Vancouver Island.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, says there is no danger of a tsunami from the Wednesday night quake.

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Affordable Care Act
5:45 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Wash. Health Exchange Reports Strong Enrollment Numbers Despite Early Glitches

CEO Richard Onizuka announces the latest enrollment numbers for Washington's health exchange.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

After a rocky start, Washington’s health benefits exchange is taking a victory lap. Officials say the exchange got the late surge in enrollments it was counting on, pushing up its final numbers.

The first open enrollment period of Obamacare ended in March, and now that the exchange has processed most of the stragglers, it has released new numbers: 164,062 people enrolled in private plans, with another 423,205 enrolling in Medicaid through March 31. Factor in those now required to use the exchange’s website to re-up their Medicaid, and the number exceeds a cool million.

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Education Funding
5:37 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Wash. Superintendent's Estimate For Ed Funding Nearly Twice That Of Lawmakers'

Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn speaks at a panel discussion in 2013.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Washington's top elected school official is urging state lawmakers to think bigger as they craft a court-ordered plan to increase education funding for the state's K-12 schools.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn this week unveiled a plan to increase education funding by $6.7 billion by the 2017-2018 school year. That's nearly twice as much as the amount state legislative analysts estimate is needed to comply with the landmark McCleary decision. In the 2012 case, the state Supreme Court ordered lawmakers to fully fund K-12 schools by 2018. 

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Transit Funding
4:17 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

With Prop. 1 Failing, Group Plans Ballot Initiative To Save Bus Service In Seattle

King County Metro Transit's Facebook Page

King County's Proposition 1, which would have raised sales taxes and car tab fees to preserve Metro bus service, is failing. Initial counts show 55 percent of voters rejected the measure, leaving low odds of passage.

Still, Seattle transit advocates are down, but not out of ideas.

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Jazz Appreciation Month
3:10 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Song Of The Day: Ingrid Jensen's 'At Sea'

smithsonianjazz.org

Ingrid Jensen, one of my favorite trumpet players, has one of the most distinctive sounds on the instrument today. I've described her approach to the horn as "vocal," and she's said she's just trying to sing her ideas through the instrument. This is not a new concept, but when I listen to her playing, I hear it in action.

Her technical command of trumpet is matched by her creative and emotional depth in ways that are thrilling to hear. Her compositions and improvisations take this listener on a journey, and any record with Ingrid on it is going to have moments of brilliance for sure.

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Evolution
2:37 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Scientists: Washington's State Fish Has A Remarkable Evolutionary Past

The rainbow trout is an incredibly versatile and widespread fish.
Virgil Beck Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

It turns out the Washington state fish is a piece of evolutionary wonder. An international group of scientists sequenced the genome of the rainbow trout and found some surprises. 

About 100 million years ago, something odd happened to the ancestor of salmon and rainbow trout. Instead of inheriting two copies of chromosome sets — one from mom and one from dad, they managed to inherit four copies. In evolutionary terms, this was a recent and dramatic event.

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Oil Trains
2:03 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Wash. State Sen. Ericksen: Controversial Oil Trains 'Going To Be With Us For A While'

AP Photo

Washington state environmental regulators are expecting a lively crowd in the coastal city of Hoquiam on Thursday when the public will get a chance to weigh in about increased crude oil train traffic. But one powerful state senator says the controversial oil trains are needed.

Developers are proposing side-by-side marine terminal expansions on Grays Harbor along the Washington coast. They would receive crude oil by rail from the Northern Plains and send it out by barge and tanker to West Coast refineries.

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Business
10:47 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Boeing CEO: Moving Engineering Jobs Out Of Wash. Will 'Strengthen Our Company'

A 777 being assembled in Boeing's Everett plant
Ashley Gross KPLU

Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney says he understands that shifting engineering work away from Washington state may be controversial, but he says these moves “strengthen our company, strengthen our engineering capability.”

Over the past year, the Chicago-based aerospace giant has announced several transfers of engineering jobs that affect thousands of Puget Sound-area employees. Most recently, the company said earlier this month that it will move 1,000 engineering positions to southern California as it makes that region the center of customer support for airplanes currently in service.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Nancy's Whole Ham Cooked In Rye Dough, And Dick's Worth-The-Wait Roast Lamb

Nancy's husband, Mac, made this rye dough-wrapped Easter ham last year. The crust for this year's ham had a slightly different design (see video below).
Nancy Leson

How's this for a switch: rye on ham.

It used to be a vague childhood memory for Nancy Leson's husband, Mac. 

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Oso Slide
10:33 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Missing Slide Victim's Brothers: Meeting Other Families Was Powerful, Meeting Obama Was 'Bonus'

President Barack Obama, right, hugs Oso Fire Chief Willy Harper after making his remarks to the media and an audience of first responders inside the Oso Fire Department after surveying the damage and response efforts on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.
Lindsey Wasson AP Photo, Pool

For two men still waiting word on their brother missing since the March 22 mudslide, Tuesday's group meeting with President Barack Obama provided a powerful opportunity to connect with other victims, family members and first responders.

Frank and John Hadaway's brother, 53-year-old Steven Hadaway of Darrington, is one of two people still missing in the wake of the mudslide that has claimed 41 lives.

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Environment
5:20 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Gregoire's Earth Day Message To College Kids: Puget Sound Health Depends On You

A southern resident J pod orca whale swims in Puget Sound in view of Mount Rainier and downtown Seattle, as seen from a federally permitted research vessel Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Forty four years ago, the modern environmental movement was born with the celebration of the first Earth Day. At massive teach-ins around the country, people called on industries to stop polluting.

Now the messages have become more personal, says former Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is speaking at Pacific Lutheran University Tuesday night.

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Wanapum Dam
4:56 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Wanapum Dam Fix Could Total $61 Million, Says Grant County PUD

Grant County PUD

The cost fixing the cracked Wanapum Dam will total $61 million, according to Grant County PUD officials.

About one-third of the cost is the result of the investigation into the crack, the guarding of the river and the loss of power production. The rest will cover the fix itself.

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Jazz Appreciation Month
2:44 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Song Of The Day: One Of The Most Beautiful And Heartbreaking Tunes I Know

smithsonianjazz.org

Sarah Vaughan, or "Sassy" as she was known, is one of the great singers of the last century. She got an early start as both a piano player and singer, and was discovered in a talent show at the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem in 1942 at 18 years old. This led to stints in the big bands of Earl Hines and Billy Ecksten where she met and played with so many of the greats of the music, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Art Blakey, Lucky Thompson, Gene Ammons and Dexter Gordon, among others.

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Oso Slide
2:24 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Obama To Slide Victims, Responders: 'We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes'

President Barack Obama speaks to first responders, recovery workers and community members at the Oso Fire Department in Oso, Wash., Tuesday, April 22, 2014.
Carolyn Kaster AP Photo, Pool

President Barack Obama surveyed the damage from the March 22 disaster by helicopter as he traveled Tuesday to meet with those affected by the mudslide. 

Obama met privately with victims and family members before addressing a group of emergency responders at the Oso firehouse. The firehouse was decorated with posters thanking emergency responders and proclaiming “Oso strong.” Obama vowed the country will stand “strong right alongside you.”

"There are still families who are searching for loved ones.  There are families who have lost everything, and it’s going to be a difficult road ahead for them.  And that’s why I wanted to come here — just to let you know that the country is thinking about all of you and have been throughout this tragedy," said the president. "We're very, very proud of you. Michelle and I grieve with you."

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Same-Sex Marriage
11:05 am
Tue April 22, 2014

National Group Attempts 11th-Hour Intervention In Oregon Gay Marriage Case

Chantal Andrea

A national group that opposes same-sex marriage is trying to intervene in a case scheduled to go before a federal judge in Oregon this week.

Oregon voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage a decade ago and on Wednesday in Eugene, U.S. District Judge Michael McShane is set to hear oral arguments to overturn the law.

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