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Space Travel
1:11 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Paul Allen to open airport operations - for space!

What Paul Allen's new ship -- carrier aircraft with spaceship hanging in the middle -- will look like.
Stratolaunch Systems

Paul Allen’s new company, Stratolaunch Systems hopes to bring airport-like operations to the launch of commercial and government payloads and, eventually, human missions. Plans call for a first flight within five years, according to a company press release.

The air-launch-to-orbit system will mean lower costs, greater safety, and more flexibility and responsiveness than is possible today with ground-based systems, the company declares.

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Economic woes
12:41 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Extended jobless benefits ending in Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Employment Security Department says extended benefits will be phasing out over the next month for 85,000 people in the state.

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Joint Base Lewis-McChord
11:57 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Army won’t say yet if helicopters collided in deadly crash

OH58 Kiowa Warrior.
U.S. Army

THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. – The Army isn’t saying yet whether a mid-air collision caused the crash of two reconnaissance helicopters at a training area on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The accident Monday night killed four Washington-based Army aviators.

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Jazz & Blues
11:46 am
Tue December 13, 2011

2 ways to celebrate the life of jazz great Clark Terry and ‘Keepin on’

Part of the cover of Clark Terry's autobiography.

Trumpeter, composer, bandleader and jazz educator Clark Terry will be 91 years old this week. His 70-plus year career is being celebrated with a couple of biographical events.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Business
9:13 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Person-to-person car rental company expands to northwest

The first of a new breed of car rental companies is expanding into the Northwest. Next month, San Francisco-based Getaround officially launches its web-based rental service in the greater Portland area.

The concept is sometimes called peer-to-peer car rental or personal car sharing. The idea is to let you rent your car to someone else when you're not using it. Several companies have sprung up in California to provide the online marketplaces to link up car owners with pre-screened renters.

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Money Matters
4:30 am
Tue December 13, 2011

It's never too late to plan for retirement

Will you make it through the financial maze and reach retirement?
Keith Ramsey flickr.com

The end of the year is a great time to review your finances. Are you saving enough for retirement?

According to U.S. News & World Report, about a third of all Americans have nothing saved for retirement. Fortunately, it's never too late to start building your nest egg.

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at ways to prepare for "the golden years".

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health insurance
1:02 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Washington's uninsured: One million people

Losing your job often means losing your health insurance – and that’s reflected in the latest numbers of uninsured people in Washington. It’s approaching one million, or 14.5 percent of the population, according to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

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Protesting Wall Street
3:50 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

Update: Arrests as Occupy protesters target Seattle port; Longview longshoremen go home

Seattle Occupy protesters confront police near the Port of Seattle's Terminal 18.
Vanessa Romo KPLU

Police say "multiple" people have been arrested after dozens of protesters blocked an entrance to a Port of Seattle facility.

Police cleared a road near the entrance to Terminal 18 after about 100 Occupy Seattle protesters stopped traffic for about 20 minutes Monday afternoon. But a smaller group remained in front of the terminal, effectively keeping traffic from entering or leaving.

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Groove Notes picks
2:41 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

10 best jazz albums of the year

Brad Mehldau made the list. Find out more on Groove Notes.

Groove Notes writer and KPLU jazz host Kevin Kniestedt lists the 10 releases that stood out to him over the past year (with an informal ranking).

Read more on Groove Notes.

K-12 Education
1:31 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

iPads are key to teaching some students, educators say

Christine Dunbar works with Parkwood Elementary students Jeffrey Coe and Shahiira Harrison on phonemic awareness skills using a tic-tac-toe game on the iPad.
Faye Rasmussen Shoreline School Distict

iPads are probably on a lot of people’s wish lists this holiday season, including teachers. Educators say the tablet devices allow them to reach students with learning difficulties in ways they’ve never been able to before. 

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Washington state legislature
12:33 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

$479 million in cuts, transfers, delays indentified in state budget

OLYMPIA, Wash. — State lawmakers are looking to trim $479 million off the state's $1.4 billion shortfall through a combination of cuts, fund transfers and delayed payments.

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Puget Sound life
11:41 am
Mon December 12, 2011

Sea lion vs. octopus: Photographer catches rare glimpse of battle

In this screen grab from the Everett Herald's YouTube video, you can see the sea lion surfacing after taking off a chunk of octopus. Click inside to see the video.

Last Wednesday, Dec. 7, Everett Herald photographer Mark Mulligan caught a rare sight on camera – a stellar sea lion feeding on an octopus. (See video inside.)

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Science
11:33 am
Mon December 12, 2011

Research into rat emotions could help develop human drugs

A Washington State University researcher says new findings about the emotions of rats could lead to treatments for mental illness in humans. Jaak Panksepp writes in the latest issue of the journal, Science.

He was reacting to a new study showing that rats demonstrate empathy and altruism toward a fellow rat who was stuck in a trap.

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Education
9:25 am
Mon December 12, 2011

Seattle schools easing vending junk food policy

The Seattle School Board may ease the district's policy on selling junk food in vending machines to help student groups raise money for activities.

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Artscape
8:28 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Gingerbread Village is a sugary work of art

The Gare du Palais in Quebec as a gingerbread house, one of six molasses marvels on display at the 19th Annual Gingerbread Village at the Seattle Sheraton.
Florangela Davila

Forget about sugarplums dancing in his head. Architect Eric Drivdahl is drooling over cookie staircases, pretzel fences and a giant Rice Crispy treat mountain covered in 100 pounds of white chocolate.

"Look at this whole building, it's made out of candy," he says.

He's in the lobby of the Seattle Sheraton hotel, the site of the annual Gingerbread Village. This year's theme is "Holiday Express," with all six gingerbread marvels replicating world-famous train stations.

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