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Food for Thought
1:24 pm
Wed March 2, 2011

Ugliest cooking pot winner

Dick Stein presents prize to Tina Koch (pulling-the Big Red Switch). Cick on photo and scroll to see her winning entry.
KPLU

And the winner is...

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Army Suicides
9:23 am
Wed March 2, 2011

50 Joint Base Lewis-McChord suicides since 2002

This is an image from an Army video that's intended to talk directly with soldiers about the topic of suicide and suicide prevention.
U.S. Army

Fifty soldiers from Joint Base Lewis McChord have killed themselves since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some committed suicide on-base, others off and still others while deployed overseas.  Leaders at JBLM say they’ve dramatically stepped up efforts to combat suicide. But they admit it’s not easy to change Army culture.

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Jazz news
8:34 am
Wed March 2, 2011

NEA Honors Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones

Sonny Rollins, saxophone colossus
allaboutjazz.com

Today at the White House, President Obama will present the National Medal of Arts to ten creative Americans, including Sonny Rollins and Quincy Jones.

"I'm very happy that jazz, the greatest American music, is being recognized through this honor, and I'm grateful to accept this award on behalf of the gods of our music," Rollins said of the award.

Other honorees include author Harper Lee (To Kill A Mockingbird), actress Meryl Streep and singer/songwriter James Taylor.

Watch the ceremony today at 10:45am PT (1:45pm ET) at www.whitehouse.gov/live

News Roundup
8:04 am
Wed March 2, 2011

Wednesday morning's headlines

School Board President Steve Sundquist speaks about the board's plans to vote Wednesday on a motion to fire Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson. Next to him are board members Kay Smith-Blum and Peter Maier.
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Seattle Schools Scandal: Contractor Defends Pay
  • Amber Alert Ends Safely in Bonney Lake
  • JBLM Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
  • NASCAR for Puget Sound?

 

Seattle School Contractors Ready to Speak Out

As the Seattle School Board prepares to vote on a motion to fire Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson this evening, one of the contractors under scrutiny in the alleged contracting fraud is speaking out. Seattle's Urban League and other small business contractors are expected to tell reporters, including KPLU's Paula Wissel, they earned their pay.

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Education
5:31 am
Wed March 2, 2011

Seattle Public Schools chief faces sudden exit

Seattle Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson faces a school board vote of termination of her contract at their Wednesday. March 2nd meeting.
Gary Davis KPLU

A financial scandal will likely force an abrupt end to the tenure of Seattle Public Schools superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson. The school board will vote Wednesday evening on a motion to terminate her contract.

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K-12 Education
4:10 am
Wed March 2, 2011

Teacher layoff reform bill dies in Legislature

A proposal to base teacher layoffs on performance - and not seniority - has died in the Washington legislature. The bill's demise is a victory for the state’s teacher's union, but a frustrating defeat for some lawmakers. 

Currently, when school districts reduce staff newer more junior teachers typically lose their jobs first. A bipartisan proposal in the Washington legislature would have changed that.

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Army Suicide
8:56 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Family faults Army in case of AWOL soldier killed by police

U.S. Army

It was a surreal scene last August 27th in downtown Salt Lake City. A soldier - AWOL from his base in Western Washington - emerged from an underground parking lot. He was dressed head-to-toe in combat gear and carrying a rifle.

Seconds later the soldier was dead. Now, an internal Army investigation has found shortcomings in how the case was handled. The family of Specialist Brandon Barrett blames the Army for not intervening sooner.

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Weather
6:48 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Batten down the hatches! High winds coming

Storm waves at Ocean Shores 1/8/06
MïK Watson (MïK) flickr.com

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for the north and central Washington coast through Wednesday night. Be prepared for sustained winds of 25 to 40 mph with gusts of up to 60 mph. High winds can knock down trees and power lines.

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Coal Exports
5:01 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Feds fine partner in Longview coal terminal $4 million

Proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals site is shown on the lower left along the Columbia River.
Photo: Brett VandenHeuvel Miningconnection.com

A major partner in a controversial Northwest coal port proposal has been fined $4 million for violating clean water laws in its Appalachian mining operations.

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Unemployment
4:38 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

State's jobless rate drops

Washington state added 11,000 jobs in January as the unemployment rate in state dropped from 9.3%  in December to 9.1% at the start of the year.

It's the strongest month of job growth in three years, and the largest since November 2007, the month before the national recession began. The gains came outside the agriculture sector.

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Bus Rapid Transit
8:36 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Congressional cuts threaten Metro’s RapidRide bus service

A RapidRide bus running the "A" Line on Pacific Highway South.
Atomic Taco Flickr

The red-and-yellow buses of King County’s new RapidRide system may stall before they have a chance to really get going. The Seattle Times reports that budget cuts proposed by House Republicans may leave the new Bus Rapid Transit program without promised start-up funds

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Shellfish Harvesting
7:48 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Washington poised to get tougher with shellfish operators

This story has been updated to correct the dollar amount the state believes to have been poached.

Last summer, we brought you a story about gaps in the system that's supposed to keep Washington shellfish safe to eat. Now state lawmakers appear ready to get tougher with shellfish operators who violate food safety laws.

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King County Government
7:41 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Constantine touts progress on budget, reform

Seattle's South Park Bridge was declared unsafe and was closed last summer. Now, a combination of federal and local money is slated to build a new $131 million replacement.
AP

King County is in good shape and getting better.

That’s the message from County Executive Dow Constantine during his “State of the County” speech Monday. Speaking from the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, Constantine touted progress in taming the county’s budget problems and making county government more efficient. 

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News Roundup
6:59 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Tuesday morning's headlines

Cell phone video of the explosion and fire at a Pierce Transit center in Lakewood Monday afternoon, provided to KING-TV. The blast was loud and fire was hot, but no one was injured.
KING-TV

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Lakewood Explosion Investigated
  • Seattle Superintendent's Future on the Line
  • Will EADS Challenge Boeing's Tanker Win?
     

What Caused Lakewood Blast?

A series of explosions at a Pierce Transit center on South Tacoma Way yesterday afternoon is being investigated this morning. Compressed natural gas at fueling pumps ignited somehow, and it spread to storage units on site.  No one was injured.

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Seattle Center Master Plan
5:25 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Improvements planned for Seattle Center Food Court

The Seattle Center Food Court, inside the Center House, February 28, 2011. It will close close July 1st for demolition. New food services are to be in place in time for the anniversary celebrations of the 1962 World's Fair.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

It looks like the Seattle Center Food Court will soon be run by a concessionaire that has current contracts with Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo. 

The Seattle Center has announced a letter-of-intent with Lancer Hospitality. 

The space was built originally as an armory, completed in 1939.  Located at the base of the Space Needle, it was famous in the 1970s for the Bubbleator amusement ride (now in Burien) and for at that time newfangled food attractions, such as Orange Julius smoothies. 

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