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Real Estate
9:35 am
Fri April 15, 2011

Relief for strapped borrowers: "Foreclosure Fairness" is now law

Emergency measures in a new law go into effect immediately, creating the infrastructure needed to get more housing counselors working with banks and preventing people from losing their homes.

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Washington State Legislature
8:11 am
Fri April 15, 2011

Feds put brakes on controversial medical-pot dispensaries law

A new law that would legalize medical-marijuana dispensaries and growers in Washington has already passed both chambers of the legislature in Olympia.  But it looks like it won't ever take effect.

That's because the state's top federal prosecutors have threatened to crack down if it goes forward.

In a letter to Governor Chris Gregoire, U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Michael Ormsby of Spokane write that the bill would undermine drug enforcement

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NEWS ROUNDUP
8:00 am
Fri April 15, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

The Pagoda at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park was significantly damaged by a fire early Friday morning. The structure is a replica of a 17th century Japanese Lodge.
KOMO-TV video capture

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Fire Damages Pt. Defiance Pagoda Structure
  • Guilty Verdict in Slaying of Kent Mother, Model
  • Police: 4 Hurt in Port Angeles Car Ramming
  • Light Rail Construction Uncovers Seattle History

 

Iconic Pt. Defiance Pagoda Damaged by Fire

A two-alarm fire caused significant damage to the landmark pagoda building at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma Friday morning.

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Professional Baseball
7:00 am
Fri April 15, 2011

Renovated Cheney Stadium will usher in a new era in Tacoma baseball tonight

The AAA Tacoma Rainiers baseball club opens its 2010 season in a new home.
Liam Moriarty KPLU

A steady drizzle has the infield covered in white plastic, but as the time ticks down, the place is in a high-level state of bustle.

Staffers scurry by carrying armloads of bright red T-shirts, burly young guys wheel stacks of cardboard boxes around. Crews are wiring up the TV and radio booths and the control room for the electronic scoreboard is filled with techies.

At 7:05 this evening, it's showtime for the newly redesigned, redveloped, revamped and renovated Cheney Stadium and the Tacoma Rainiers' home opener against the Sacramento River Cats.

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Natural Disasters
6:25 am
Fri April 15, 2011

'Twilight' tribe seeks help to move out of tsunami zone

All of La Push’s lower village is in the tsunami inundation zone.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

After last month's Japanese tsunami, some coastal Northwest Indian tribes are expressing new urgency about the same danger they face. Two Washington tribes actually have plans to move parts of their villages to higher ground.

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Tax Day
6:00 am
Fri April 15, 2011

Teen helps taxpayers file returns by extended deadline this year

United Way of King County helps low-income taxpayers file federal returns at locations such as the Seattle Public Library. The IRS extended the deadline to April 18th this year.
United Way of King County

Tax day is later than usual this year. The deadline to file federal returns is Monday, April 18th.

The IRS didn't extend the cutoff just to give procrastinators more time. It did so to allow its employees to observe Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington, D.C. to honor when Abraham Lincoln signed a law that ended slavery in the District.

A lot of taxpayer still dread filing their returns, even with a few extra days. That’s not the case for one local teenager. She’s the youngest person out of 650 people to volunteer with United Way of King County to help people prepare their taxes. 

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu April 14, 2011

Have Mariner fans lost hope?

Mariner fans have left the building. Some never even arrived. Safeco Field attendance hit a record low this week. This photo is from a game from last year's 101-loss season, in which the M's lost to the Cubs in extra innings.
Ted S. Warren AP

The Mariners have said that 2011 is a rebuilding year. But, judging by recent attendance at Safeco Field, they're going to have to rebuild more than just the team. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the bond between the Mariners and their fans has been broken.

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Law
3:12 pm
Thu April 14, 2011

Seattle may not need new jail until at least 2030

Since 2007, the inmate population at King County's jails has declined, meaning more empty cells and less revenue.
Lynn Aa'isha

It could be two decades before Seattle needs more jail beds for its misdemeanor inmates. City and King County leaders say that’s the expected result of a new agreement.

The deal extends an arrangement the city and county struck last year to house some of Seattle’s jail population in the county’s downtown facility. That brought an end to a controversial search for a new city jail site.

Mayor Mike McGinn says he’s glad that’s off the table for now:

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Endangered Species
2:50 pm
Thu April 14, 2011

Environmentalists fear wolf rider would open pandora's box

A provision of the compromise budget deal in Congress would take the gray wolf off the endangered species list.
Gary Kramer USFWS

Environmental groups say a provision in the compromise budget deal in Congress sets a dangerous precedent for endangered species. Congress expects to vote on the bill today. It includes an amendment to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
1:40 pm
Thu April 14, 2011

Kurt Elling to perform live tomorrow on KPLU

The New York Times heralds Kurt Elling as "the standout male vocalist of our time." We can't wait to heard Elling perform live at KPLU on April 15, 12:15 p.m. He'll is in town at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley April 14-17 in support of his new album, The Gate.

Elling talked about his new album with Liane Hansen on NPR's Weekend Sunday Edition.

japanese nuclear disaster
8:42 am
Thu April 14, 2011

Health officials proud of radiation monitors, say radiation is dropping

In this March 11 photo released April 11, 2011 by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the access road at the compound of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is flooded as tsunami hit the facility following a massive earthquake.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. AP

Even though the damaged nuclear reactors continue to cause problems in Japan, the amount of radiation reaching the Pacific coast is dropping.

Public health officials say the radiation threat has been more psychological than physical. They're proud of how they've responded to the nuclear power plant crisis in Japan. 

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NEWS ROUNDUP
6:19 am
Thu April 14, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

An air traffic controller has been suspended after falling asleep on the job at Boeing Field (officially King County Airport).
Photo by Erick Ayne

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Boeing Field Air Traffic Controller Suspended
  • Seattle Cop Charged With Kicking Teen Suspect
  • State Adds Jobs But Unemployment Rate Up Slightly
  • Everett Man Accused of Bosnia War Crimes

 

Sleeping Boeing Field Air Traffic Controller Suspended

[Late breaking news: Official overseeing US air traffic controllers resigns after controllers sleeping on the job.]

Federal officials are boosting overnight staff at more than two dozen airport towers across the country after new instances of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job - including at Boeing Field in Seattle this week.

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Living in Gangland
5:00 am
Thu April 14, 2011

Former Idaho gang member makes new life

Alfonso Santos points to one of the bullet holes left in a fence from a drive-by gang shooting he was the target of in Caldwell, Idaho.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

This week we're taking a look at what police say is a resurgence of gang activity - especially in rural areas. In part four of our series "Living In Gangland" we learned how one Idaho man got out of a gang - and stayed out.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu April 14, 2011

Body parts in popular music

Musical inspiration?
DoubleM2 Flickr

What do we sing about when we sing about the body?

The folks at Fleshmap have analyzed 1000’s of songs in 11 genres and found which parts of the body show up most often. It’s not what you’re thinking…at least it’s not what we at Record Bin Roulette were thinking.

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Weather
2:15 pm
Wed April 13, 2011

La Niña turns out less severe in retrospect

A woman strides under snow-covered branches around Seattle's Greenlake following a snowfall of several inches there overnight in 2005., a non-La Niña year.
Elaine Thompson AP

The Washington State Climatologist is out with a report card on how the weather phenomenon La Niña treated the Northwest. If you thought it’s been wetter and colder than usual since November, you’re right. But overall, this La Niña was milder than predicted. KPLU's Tom Banse reports:

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