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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:10 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Balmy in the mountains, giving way to a little rain

An inversion traps cold air and fog in the lowlands, while sunshine reins on the hills above Bellevue, Wash.
Peter Brenda

If you had the time to take a hike today, or hit the ski slopes, you'd find it's maybe 20 or 30 degrees warmer when you climb above 3,000 feet, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

That's because the atmospheric inversion is extreme today, trapping cold air in the cities of Puget Sound-opolis, while the warm air is trapped above.

Mass says it won't last. A bit of rain will break up our unusual dry spell, starting late on Saturday. Then, on Tuesday, the inversion ends, as a storm starts to mix the air.

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I Wonder Why ... ?
5:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Are we prone to mass hysteria here in the NW?

The terror that gripped the Northwest in 1954 came to be called the Windshield Pitting Incident.
PLU Library Archives

Everyone went a little crazy. Police were called, road blocks set up.

It’s 1954, early spring, and tiny chips, pits and dings are popping up on car windshields throughout the Puget Sound region at an alarming rate. Suddenly, communities from Anacortes to Tacoma are in the grip of a textbook case of mass hysteria. (In fact, it is in the textbooks.)

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Pujols signing pressures Mariners to make big move

The Mariners' division rivals, the Angels, made a big move this week. They signed free agent slugger Albert Pujols from the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals to a 10-year contract worth more than $250 million.

There's another big-hitting free agent who's still available: Prince Fielder. The Mariners are among the teams interested in him. But can they pull it off?

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Marijuana legalization
5:15 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Police told to stop harassing marijuana initiative proponents

The King County Sheriff's Office and the Washington State Public Stadium Authority have agreed to stop harassing people collecting signatures outside the Seahawks football stadium for an initiative that would legalize and tax recreational marijuana in the state.

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How to lose your job
3:27 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Rep. Larsen fires staffers for drinking on the job

Screen grab from the Website NW Daily Marker showing what it reports to be tweets from Rick Larsen staffers. The site has many more.

EVERETT, Wash. — U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen has fired three staffers who apparently chronicled their on-the-job drinking exploits, including taking shots of Jack Daniels at their desks, via Twitter.

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Animal research
1:52 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Animal expert Temple Grandin says fear can be worse than pain

One of the touchiest topics in medical research is the use of animals. For example, there are perennial protests at the University of Washington, which has one of the biggest research programs using animals in the country (reflecting that it has one of the largest centers for biological and medical research in the country). About 600 different research projects use everything from rats to monkeys.

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Close calls
12:41 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Teen wakes up sleeping bus driver in Washington

TACOMA, Wash. — An alert Washington state teenager likely prevented an accident when he woke up a sleeping bus driver who had nodded off at the wheel while entering an Interstate 5 onramp in Tacoma.

A surveillance camera on the school bus recorded 17-year-old Emmanuel Williams jump from his seat and rush to the front of the bus after seeing the driver's head go down.

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Sports with Art Thiel
11:48 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Preview: Angels sign Pujols, up ante for Mariners

"It makes it that much more difficult for everybody in our division."

The words of Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, reacting to news today that the division-rival Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have signed star free agent Albert Pujols. The Seattle Times reports the Angels signed Pujols to a 10-year contract worth a reported $250 million.

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Seattle Terror plot
11:26 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Man pleads guilty in Seattle terror plot

A federal building that houses the Seattle Military Processing Center in Seattle. Two men have been arrested in a plot to use machine guns and grenades in an attack on the military recruiting station there.
Associated Press

One of two men charged with planning to attack a Seattle military recruiting station last summer has pleaded guilty in federal court.

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Humanosphere in Rwanda
10:09 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Rwanda dispatches: A land known for genocide, gorillas and promise

(In November, KPLU's Humanosphere writer Tom Paulson traveled to Rwanda on a grant from the International Reporting Project to explore how that African country has risen above its troubled past to become an economic bright spot on the continent. Below is Tom's wrapup and links to the stories he wrote about Rwanda.)

Traveling with a dozen or so other journalists on a fact-finding visit to Africa’s “success story” – Rwanda – we took time out to go visit the famous mountain gorillas.

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Effects of Recession
9:41 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Default ‘trouble’ spreads beyond Washington's ‘river city’

  • An error occurred ingesting this audio file to NPR

For the first time in nearly a decade, a Washington municipality has defaulted on a loan. The Greater Wenatchee Public Facilities District operates Town Toyota Center near the banks of the Columbia River. It missed a major bond payment on December 1st. Now the Washington legislature is debating whether to step in.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Exploring the 'sugar rush' phenomenon in music

There is a lot of disagreement about whether a “sugar rush” exists, but these studies have  obviously been conducted by scientists who don't have young children.

Nevertheless, there is agreement that anything this good must be bad for you. And it’s clear that sugar consumption is a factor in obesity, diabetes and dentists’s BMWs ...

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Boeing union contract
7:35 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

'Yes!' say Boeing machinists to contract; 737-MAX goes to Renton

Boeing machinist union members said 'Yes' by 74 percent to a new four-year contract – hammered out in secret – that will bring jobs to build the newest version of Boeing's 737 to Renton.

The yes vote begins a new era for the aerospace company and its most contentious union, ushered in also by the union's promise to drop a complaint it filed with the National Labor Relations Board. That complaint has been the subject of Congressional hearings and hundreds of news stories around the world.

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Transportation
6:11 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

520 tolling to begin in 3 weeks

Tolling rates for the 520 bridge. You can save money by registering with the state's Good to Go system. Drivers without transponders will pay the highest rates.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

Tolling on the 520 Bridge will start at 5 am on December 29th.

That’s the word from the state Department of Transportation, after multiple glitches that have delayed the system till now.

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Groove Notes
4:37 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Vote for your choice to win a Grammy in jazz

Randy Brecker has been nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo - who's your pick?
Randy Brecker Website

The nominations have been released for the 2011 Grammy Awards, and there are some great selections for jazz categories. The winners are named on Feb. 12. Until then, vote on Groove Notes for your favorite.

Vote on Groove Notes.

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