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Wild Horses
11:00 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Northwest Tribes Take Steps To Corral Growing Wild Horse Population

Wild horses graze on the Warm Springs reservation in central Oregon.
Tom Banse

Growing populations of wild horses in the inland Northwest are creating headaches for federal land managers. Wild and feral horse herds overrun tribal lands in our region as well.

Tribal range managers have one option that federal agencies don't, which is to send unwanted horses to foreign slaughterhouses. That's helping several Northwest tribes make headway to reduce populations of free-roaming horses, but not without creating some dismay.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:56 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Have No Fear: Halloween Forecast Not Half-Bad, Says Cliff Mass

Winston is KPLU's chief morale officer.
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Trick-or-treaters can look forward to less-than-ghoulish weather for this evening's candy harvest. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass said Friday's rainy Pacific front should clear off to the east by the time the ghosts and goblins hit the streets.

(Does anyone dress up as ghosts or goblins anymore? Perhaps I should say "Marvel heroes," or "Provocatively-dressed pop culture figures." -ed.)

"It may not be as scary tonight as some people feared," said Mass, Professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. "Maybe there will be a few showers, but it will be mainly dry, so not too bad. And temperatures getting up into the upper 50s today [Friday]."

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BirdNote
9:00 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Spooky Shearwaters

Credit Duncan Wright

  Some early sailors, visiting remote Pacific islands, surely feared that the ungodly wailing on shore meant they had been tricked to the gates of Hell itself. In truth, they stood among courting pairs of seabirds called Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. These birds nest on islands in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans. During courtship, pairs perform long duets of eerie wailing. Happy spooky Halloween! For more about the Wedge-tailed Shearwater, see Related Resources below.

Business
5:00 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Microsoft Workers Swim, Play Hopscotch, Dress Up In A Bacon Suit For Charity

Microsoft employee Melissa Worley hula hoops as part of the company's 24-hour global giving relay
Ashley Gross KPLU

Imagine being cut loose from your regular work responsibilities for four months to dream up ingenious ways to get your coworkers to donate to charity.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Sounders On Track To Win It All, Make MLS History

Seattle Sounders players celebrate with the Supporters' Shield trophy after they defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in Seattle. The Supporters' Shield is awarded to the MLS team with the best regular-season record.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The No. 1 Seattle Sounders start their playoff run this weekend. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says this could be the year the Sounders win it all and make history in the process.

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Health
4:59 am
Fri October 31, 2014

3-D Mammograms Improve Cancer Detection, UW Study Finds

While mammograms are successful in detecting early breast cancer, they are sometimes associated with false positives. Researchers at the University of Washington say 3-D mammograms are more accurate and can help find hidden tumors. 

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Science
4:14 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

UW Ebola Study On Mice Shows Genes Help Explain Why Some Get Sicker Than Others

Cynthia Goldsmith Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Scientists from the University of Washington have managed to get lab mice with Ebola to mimic the symptoms of infected humans. And the findings show genes play a big role in how sick people get.

Scientists want to understand why Ebola makes some people terribly sick and gives others much milder symptoms. Now UW researchers have gotten mice to show a similar range of responses — something that has long eluded scientists. The new development could help them understand exactly how the virus takes its toll, and potentially speed up vaccine and drug development.

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Oil Trains
1:42 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Transportation Officials Say 3,000 Rail Crossings In Washington Go Uninspected

U.S. Department of Transportation

Washington’s rail safety regulator says there are about 3,000 rail crossings in the state that inspectors have never looked at because they sit on private land.

Experts say these could be problem areas as more trains carry crude oil through the state. They plan to ask the legislature for more authority.

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Agriculture
10:09 am
Thu October 30, 2014

After 2-Year Market Closure, Wash. Apples Headed To China Again

File image
Andrea Parrish - Geyer Flickr

Washington apples will soon be packed aboard boats to China. The Chinese government approved market access to Northwest fruit Wednesday after a two-year market closure.

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BirdNote
9:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

The Amazing Head-turning Owl

Credit Marlene Lagerquist

An owl's seeming ability to rotate its head in a complete circle is downright eerie. An owl's apparent head rotation is part illusion, part structural design. Because its eyes are fixed in their sockets, it must rotate its neck to look around. It can actually rotate its head about 270 degrees – a marvelous anatomical feat. You can learn more about this Eastern Screech-Owl at Cornell's AllAboutBirds. 

School Shooting
5:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

At Makeshift Memorial, School Shooter Remembered Alongside Victims

Paula Wissel

In the wake of Friday’s deadly shooting, a makeshift memorial site is taking shape at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. A long chain-link fence is now covered with balloons, ribbons and flowers. But there’s something unusual about this memorial site.

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Family Planning
5:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Huge Costs, Hundreds Of Pregnancies Will Follow Cuts To Family Planning, Workers Say

Nurse practitioner Beth Kruse delivers family planning services to 800 women, but come next year she'll be out of a job.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Seattle may be booming, but a major King County agency is shrinking fast. Public Health - Seattle & King County is short $15 million a year, prompting the agency to close clinics and cut anti-tobacco efforts.

But few public health program are getting hit harder than family planning services, and experts say those cuts will cost far more than they save in the long run.

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Election 2014
5:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

With McCleary Mandate Looming, Will Wash. Class Size Initiative Help Or Hurt?

Kyle Stokes KPLU

If a recent poll is any indication, Washington voters appear poised to again pass a ballot initiative that calls for steeply reducing public school class sizes, this time by hiring more than 7,000 teachers over the next four years.

Voters passed a similar measure in 2000 that had little effect. Lawmakers repealed it two years ago and the state's student-to-teacher ratio remains one of the nation's largest.

But the group behind that 2000 class-size initiative has urged voters to reject this year's version, Initiative 1351. The group joins skeptical lawmakers and newspaper editorial boards who fear a class size-reduction measure would complicate their task of meeting a state Supreme Court order to pump another $2 billion into the state's K-12 budget. 

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Vienna: 'The Seattle Of The 19th Century'

St. Stephen's Cathedral sits in the middle of Vienna. Its bells can regularly be heard across the city.
Chris Yunker/Flickr

It’s known for its coffee culture. Many famous musicians got their start here. And you don’t have to travel too far out of town to get into the mountains.

We’re not talking about Seattle, but rather Vienna, the largest city in Austria.

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Business
4:17 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Microsoft Cuts 3,000 Jobs Worldwide, About 600 In The Puget Sound Region

Kārlis Dambrāns Flickr

Microsoft has given layoff notices to 3,000 more workers worldwide, with 638 of them in the Puget Sound region, according to a spokesman for the company.

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