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Crime
4:02 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Agency will investigate 911 call in Powell fire

The charred rubble of the home where Josh Powell and his two sons were killed Sunday, in Graham, Wash., in what police said appeared to be a deliberately set fire is shown on Tuesday.
The Associated Press

TACOMA, Wash. — A social worker pleaded with a 911 dispatcher throughout a nearly seven-minute call to quickly get police to Josh Powell's house after he locked himself inside with his two sons.

(The un-edited audio of that 911 call is posted above.)

But the dispatcher seemed to have trouble understanding the seriousness of the situation. It took almost two minutes from the start of the call for the dispatcher to learn Powell's address, as the social worker fumbled through paperwork, and more than three minutes to understand that she was there to supervise a child custody visit. Near the end of the call, she asked how long before officers could get there.

The agency that runs the call center said it would review the matter and start a disciplinary investigation if necessary.

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Washington State Legislature
3:27 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Bill legalizing gay marriage passes House vote: 55-43

John Baux, of Bremerton, Wash., places a sign against gay marriage in the Capitol rotunda Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, in Olympia, Wash. Lawmakers are poised to legalize gay marriage in Washington state.
The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington state Legislature has voted to legalize gay marriage, setting the stage for the state to become the seventh in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed.

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Groove Notes
2:50 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Latin jazz musicians to protest outside of the Grammy Awards

Oscar Hernandez, right, two-time Grammy winner for Latin Jazz Album, joins musicians and others demonstrating outside a meeting of the board of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) in May.
The Associated Press

When the Grammy Awards revealed last year that they were reducing the number of award categories from 109 down to 78, it didn’t take long for those affected to show their displeasure. And, the passion hasn't died down. This year, members of the Latin jazz community will be protesting the awards ceremony.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Crime
2:18 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Powell family blames government, bias, media for murder-suicide

Alex Ramirez, 17, brings a balloon to a growing memorial to Charlie and Braden Powell, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, at Carson Elementary School in Puyallup, Wash., where Charlie attended school.
The Associated Press

An uncle and aunt of Josh Powell issued a statement saying there's no justification for the loss of his children, but Maurice and Patti Leach feel "this family tragedy was set into motion from the beginning due in part to the various questionable government agencies' practices, religious bias, the Internet kangaroo courts, and sensationalized news media."

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Gay rights
1:37 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

National org. prepares for gay marriage repeal effort in Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gay marriage isn’t the law in Washington yet, but national opponents are already preparing for a repeal campaign.

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Law
1:01 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

$151,000 embezzled from Lakewood fallen officers fund

The Treasurer of the Lakewood Police Independent Guild has been arrested for embezzlement.

Skeeter Timothy Manos allegedly diverted $151,000 from a fund intended to benefit the families of four police officers who were killed by gunman Maurice Clemmons in 2009.

Skeeter was arrested this morning at Lakewood City Hall. He’ll appear in Federal Court in Tacoma this afternoon to face ten federal felony charges.

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Transportation
8:56 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Tolls on I-5 between Washington, Oregon looking more likely

Interstate 5 crosses the Columbia River from Vancouver, Wash., bottom, into Portland, Ore., in this 2005 photo.
The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are moving forward with plans to allow tolls on the proposed Columbia River Crossing between Portland and Vancouver. The project will cost as much as $3.5 billion and drivers will likely bear some of that cost.

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Road rage in the frozen food aisle!

It happened to KPLU's Grooveyard and Weekend Edition host Kevin Kniestedt. Assaulted by a deranged woman in an electric shopping cart at a local supermarket.  Click "listen" to hear him describe his harrowing ordeal.

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Gardening
9:47 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Artistic passions on display at the NW Flower and Garden Show

It’s been sunny and fair lately…but what do you do when the dark and cloudy skies of late winter get you down?
 
For many people in the Pacific Northwest, the answer is gardening.
 
Their passion is on display this week at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.
 
KPLU environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp went to check it out. (Click on the "Listen" button up top to hear some highlights from the preview tour.)
 

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Seattle pro sports
4:56 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

It’s a dirty game, but NBA may make surprise return to Seattle

In this March 24, 2008 file photo, Seattle SuperSonics fans hold signs in favor of keeping the NBA basketball team in Seattle during the first period of a basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers at KeyArena in Seattle.
The Associated Press

Seattle may once again become a NBA city, but we’ll have to steal a team to do it.

“The diabolical nature of pro sports means that you have to do bad unto others as they have done bad unto you,” said KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. “And it puts the city of Seattle in the same business of ruthless poacher, pirate, stealer of another city.”

In other words, it’s déjà vu all over again for a city that had its team – the Sonics – ripped from its collection of pro sports.

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Gay rights
3:00 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Prop 8 ruling likely has no immediate effect on Northwest

Tuesday's ruling overturning California’s ban on same-sex marriage is not expected to affect similar laws in other states. Oregon and Idaho also have voter-approved amendments against gay marriage.

But Washington lawmakers are poised to send Governor Chris Gregoire a measure allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

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Humanosphere
2:37 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

5 reasons not to panic about the bird flu experiments

It’s relatively easy for government officials, politicians or the media to demand risk reduction at the sacrifice of a select few (medical researchers) or some abstract idea. It’s much more difficult to make the case for science.

The scientific community is in serious kerfuffle right now about whether or not to publish the details of certain bird flu virus experiments.

Angry words are flying back and forth between experts – much like the proverbial behavior of chickens with their heads cut off. One commentator for Scientific American has even suggested banning all such research.

It’s all a bit much, and probably not good for science or for our global health. I would like to offer five reasons not to panic.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Money Matters
12:42 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Puget Sound pay raises lag behind the rest of the nation

Raises may be lower here, but at least we have Mt. Rainier!
Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. Department of Labor

If you're disappointed with the pay raise (or lack of one) you received last year, you're not alone.

Total private sector compensation in the Puget Sound region rose just 1 percent in 2011, compared to 2.2 percent nationwide.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
12:00 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Kim Wilson delivers a blues smackdown in the KPLU studios

Blues singer and harmonica player, Kim Wilson, thinks it’s very healthy for people to drop their emotional guard every now and then and let themselves get smacked around by a great blues performance. 

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Native names
9:41 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Is it time to rename Mount Rainier to its former native name?

Mount Rainier would become Tahoma, Tacobeh, Pooskaus or Tacoma.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

ROY, Wash. – Mount Rainier was once known by its many native names. Now, an alliance of tribal members is moving forward with a proposal to restore an original name to this Northwest landmark. But a long bureaucratic process lies ahead.

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