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Winter Storm
8:41 am
Wed January 18, 2012

State emergency officials activate operations

The state Emergency Management Division activated its operations center at Camp Murray on Wednesday to help deal with the snowstorm.

Spokesman Mark Clemens says cities and counties are handling the situation on their own, and there's been no request for state aid as of 8 a.m.

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Winter Storm
7:23 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Thousands in Oregon without power as snow turns to rain

An Oregon Department of Transportation employee checks on a crash victim in Beaverton, Ore., on Tuesday.
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — Western Oregon woke up to rain and slush instead of significant snow accumulations on Wednesday, but a storm that moved in overnight left thousands without power.

The winter weather brought 2 to 4 inches of snow to the region overnight, but temperatures warmed and it changed to rain, leaving a slushy mix on roads and trees.

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed January 18, 2012

What's the best way to store bread?

Nancy Leson's no-knead beauty.
Nancy Leson Seattle Times

Is the best way to store bread in the bag or in the fridge? In the immortal words of Prizzi's Honor hit man Charlie Partanna, "Which one of dese?"

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Winter storm
4:56 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Metro Transit seeks to avoid mistakes of the past

During the last major snow storm in the Seattle area, in 2008,  Metro Transit came in for a lot of criticism. Busses slid out of control on icy streets or got stuck in the snow.

This time, the transit agency has new plans it hopes will result in better bus service. For complete details, go to the King County Metro Transit website.

Snow schedules
4:53 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Update: Seattle schools closed Wednesday

All Seattle schools will be closed on Wednesday, according to Schoolreport.org. Evening activities are also canceled.

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Winter Weather
4:31 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Bothell taking snow in stride

Matthew Ortiz and his sons, Lorenzo (l) and Carlos leave a sledding hill near Meridian Street
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

Northshore School District took a snow day today after seven inches of snow in the Bothell area on Sunday and a few more in the days since. 

Snowplows have been out, so the main roads are mostly clear, but many back roads and cul-de-sacs can be trickier to navigate.

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Washington State Legislature
4:13 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Bills would increase Washington fines for prostitution

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that target Johns who solicit prostitutes. Proposals to increase state fines for prostitution and human trafficking had a hearing Tuesday in Olympia.

Supporters say some Washington speeding tickets cost more than the current fine for buying sex.

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Groove Notes
3:33 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Is the word 'jazz' racist? Nicholas Payton says it is

Nicholas Payton performing in 2008 in New York.
Associated Press

My best effort to summarize trumpeter Nicholas Payton’s post On Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore is that he is saying the word “jazz” is racist, that jazz died in 1959, and “Jazz is a marketing ploy that serves an elite few. The elite make all the money while they tell the true artists it’s cool to be broke.”

Read more on Groove Notes.

Child prostitution
1:39 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

'Hub' of underage sex ads targeted by Washington lawmakers

Washington state assistant attorney general Jonathan Mark walks past a display of a Backpage.com ad following a news conference about action being taken against the adult services site in August.
Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state lawmakers introduced legislation Monday that would require classified-advertising companies to attempt to verify the age of escorts listed in sex-related postings.

The bill was one of a dozen introduced by a bipartisan group of senators seeking to curb sex trafficking.

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520 tolling
12:59 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Update: 520 toll system fixed after electrical problem

An electrical glitch caused the new toll system on the Highway 520 bridge to malfunction Tuesday morning, meaning drivers crossed the span for hours without being charged.

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Job Creation
11:55 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Local aerospace still strong, but sector must not rest on its laurels

An employee works on the engine of a Boeing Co. 737 airplane last summer at the company's assembly facility in Renton, Wash.
Associated Press

Washington State inspires envy all over the globe for the large and growing number of high-wage jobs located in the Puget Sound region.

At the heart of our economy is Boeing and the aerospace sector that has grown up around it. Government leaders, unions and policy experts have been patting themselves on the back lately for keeping and growing these jobs.

They also know the competition never rests.

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Second-hand smoke
11:42 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Smoking in your apartment - not for long?

Smoking is banned at work. It’s banned in restaurants and bars. But most smokers can still head home and enjoy as many cigarettes as they’d like. That’s starting to change, when it comes to apartment buildings. 

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Washington State Legislature
8:55 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Olympia hearing Wednesday on medical marijuana

Some Washington lawmakers are trying to pass a new medical marijuana law that would legalize nonprofit dispensaries.

Supporters hope it will clear up the uncertainty that followed Gov. Chris Gregoire's partial veto last year of a medical marijuana law.

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Money Matters
4:00 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Will 2012 be a good year for the Puget Sound economy?

Consumers decide with their purchases how robust an economic expansion will be.
Evan Leeson Flickr

Local economist Dick Conway unveiled his economic forecast for the region recently, and he painted an optimistic picture, describing it as "a sunny day, with some clouds".

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that he thinks there's a good case for optimism this year.

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Automatic tickets
1:52 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

Retired judge fights Longview camera ticket

LONGVIEW, Wash. — Retired Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Jim Warme is fighting a speeding ticket issued automatically by a camera in a school zone.

In his appeal of a Longview Municipal Court decision, Warme acknowledges a car registered to him and his wife was photographed last May driving 31 mph in a 20 mph zone.

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