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Crime
2:52 pm
Tue February 8, 2011

How deaths are investigated in Washington state

Autopsy table in the morgue operated by the King County Medical Examiner. Every year in the county, about 2,000 deaths are investigated.
Paula Wissel KPLU

In Washington state, if someone dies under suspicious circumstances or suddenly with no obvious cause, an investigation is required. But just how that investigation is conducted depends on where the person dies. It varies county by county.

In King County, Medical Examiner Dr. Richard Harruff has a full staff of forensic pathologists who respond quickly to conduct autopsies and other post mortem investigations.  On a recent morning, he described the bodies that had been brought in over night.

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Romance Survey
11:35 am
Tue February 8, 2011

U.S. most romantic city: Tacoma?

A national survey lists Tacoma as America's most romantic city.
AP

Which Washington town is the most romantic? Port Townsend? La Conner? Leavenworth? Guess again.

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Reflections on the Water
8:07 am
Tue February 8, 2011

Growing an octopus' garden: Ken Kirkby helps bring back the kelp

Ken Kirkby heads the Nile Creek Enhancement Society in Bowser, B.C., on the east side of Vancouver Island.
Liam Moriarty KPLU

Human activity has taken a heavy toll on the Salish Sea. And efforts are underway across the region to restore depleted stocks of everything from salmon to eelgrass.

This week, as part of our series “Reflections on the Water,” KPLU environment reporter Liam Moriarty visits a project in the little town of Bowser, British Columbia. He sits on a beach with Ken Kirkby, who heads an innovative community nonprofit that’s been restoring a crucial type of habitat : underwater forests of bull kelp. 

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News Roundup
7:08 am
Tue February 8, 2011

Tuesday morning's headlines

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Feds Need to Help I-5 Mess near Lewis-McChord Base
  • Bellevue Business Giant Resigns Over Eastside Light Rail
  • Election Day for Pierce Transit, Some Schools

 

Pentagon Should Help Fix JBLM Traffic Mess: Report

A new report on the impact of military bases to their local communities recommends the Pentagon pony up for traffic improvements - including I-5 upgrades - along Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The National Research Council study is detailed by reporter Adam Ashton in The News Tribune:

The report shows that the U.S. military is spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to improve Lewis-McChord, but not on off-base roadwork. The military spent $1.8 billion on capital projects at the base over the past three years, and it plans to spend another $2 billion over the next five.

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Money Matters
4:18 am
Tue February 8, 2011

The Super Bowl, the Hindenburg Omen, and the stock market

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at a couple of oddball stock market indicators: the Super Bowl and the Hindenburg Omen. These indicators (especially the Super Bowl) have received a lot of attention over the years, but both Greg and Dave say they should be for novelty use only.

The Super Bowl indicator

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Public Memorial
1:14 am
Tue February 8, 2011

Services for Monroe guard Jayme Biendl today

Monroe Correctional Officer Jayme Biendl.
Washington State Dept. of Corrections

A public memorial procession and service for Officer Jayme Biendl, the Monroe Correctional Center guard killed two weeks ago at the prison, is expected to attract thousands of mourners in Snohomish County today. 

A motorcade will carry Biendl's body through Monroe beginning at 10:30 a.m., then along Highway 2 into Everett, culminating at the Comcast Center downtown around noon. The public memorial service is set to start at 1 p.m, 

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Gary Ridgway Charged
7:41 pm
Mon February 7, 2011

New murder charge filed against "Green River Killer"

An undated photo of Becky Marrero, who disappeared near Sea-Tac in 1982. The man dubbed the "Green River killer" is now charged with her murder.
King County Prosecutor's Office


The man known as the "Green River Killer" has been charged with another murder. Gary Ridgway is already serving a life sentence for killing 48 women. He's considered one of the nation's most prolific serial killers.


On Monday, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced aggravated first-degree murder charges against Gary Ridgway in the death of Rebecca "Becky" Marrero, who disappeared after leaving a motel in SeaTac in 1982.


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Alaskan Way Viaduct
5:41 pm
Mon February 7, 2011

Seattle City Council approves tunnel deals

Despite threats of a veto by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, the city council approved agreements today that make some city departments partners in a plan to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a deep bored tunnel. Supporters say making land-use, utility and design commitments to the state moves the controversial project forward. 

The council voted 8-1 in favor of the agreements. Mike O'Brien is the sole councilman who opposed them.

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diversion from jails and hospitals
4:01 pm
Mon February 7, 2011

Alternative for mentally ill in crisis stirs debate

A proposed crisis center in Seattle shares S. Lane St. with single-family homes.
GoogleMaps

Crisis centers for the mentally ill are gaining popularity across Washington, as a way to help people and potentially save taxpayers' money.  They’re an alternative to jails and emergency rooms. 

But these short-term treatment centers are also running into hostility. Potential neighbors are unhappy about being next door to a facility where patients arrive by police car and ambulance, in the middle of a mental health or drug crisis.

In central Seattle, an angry backlash of homeowners is threatening to delay the opening of a proposed “Crisis Solutions Center.” The location is on a block near Rainier Avenue and Dearborn, where businesses and stores give way to single-family homes.  

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Lakewood Police Shootings
3:16 pm
Mon February 7, 2011

Newly released records reveal more about Maurice Clemmons, investigation into police murders

Lakewood Police on alert following the November 2009 shootings of four fellow officers at a Parkland area coffee shop.
AP

A batch of documents released by the Pierce County Sheriff late last week reveal more about the man who killed four Lakewood Police officers in a Parkland coffee shop in late 2009. More than 2,000 pages provide added details about Maurice Clemmons, his family and the investigation into the murders.


The documents were released following a long legal dispute between Pierce County and a number of news organizations, including The News Tribune, The Seattle Times, The Associated Press and three Seattle television stations: KIRO, KOMO and KING. 

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Homelessness
9:02 am
Mon February 7, 2011

Poet in Seattle's Tent City

A watercolor from Mimi Allen's 'Song of Tent City' blog, a poet's experience in the Seattle homeless camp.
A.K. Mimi Allin

Is there poetry in homelessness? Poet A.K. Mimi Allin is exploring that question while she lives with Seattle's Ten City homeless encampment this winter.

Allin is in the last few weeks of  her three-month experiment.  In December, she joined about 80 people  who make up Tent City's  current digs in the parking lot of Maple Leaf Lutheran Church in northeast Seattle. 

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News Roundup
7:09 am
Mon February 7, 2011

Monday morning's headlines

A change of command ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma. The News Tribune reports thousands of soldiers were deployed overseas at the time of the recent U.S. Census, affecting true population counts in many Pierce County communities.
AP

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Prison Guard's Memorial Tomorrow
  • Pierce County Misses Out on Thousands in Census Count
  • Seattle Planning for Memorial to Native Woodcarver

 

Service for Officer Jayme Biendl on Tuesday

Thousands of mourners are expected at Everett's Comcast Center tomorrow for Officer Jayme Biendl's memorial. The Monroe Correctional Center guard was killed two weeks ago in the prison's chapel. An inmate, serving a three-strikes felony life term remains the prime suspect. The Herald of Everett reports the service will touch many lives, and many Snohomish County communities:

A motorcade is planned, with the route visiting the Monroe Correctional Complex where Biendl worked and then heading into Everett on U.S. 2. That journey is expected to last from about 10:30 am. to noon.

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Coming soon
1:47 am
Mon February 7, 2011

2011 Western States Public Radio Online Auction

KPLU will take part in the second annual Western States Public Radio Online Auction. This 10-day regional event brings public radio listeners, stations, and regional businesses together for a great cause…Supporting Public Broadcasting!

The second annual Western States Public Radio Online Auction begins Feb 10. However, you can now sign up and start previewing auction items.

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Unemployment
9:31 pm
Sun February 6, 2011

Jobs scarce for young adults in Washington

Frank Benish shows Leah Scott how to operate a cement polisher on Aug. 10, 2010. The demonstration was part of the SODO, Inc., program that helps disadvantaged young people gain job experience.
Seeking Opportunities Developing Occupations (SODO, Inc.)

If you’ve been to grocery stores, malls or restaurants lately – you might have noticed the people working there are a little older than usual. Young adults haven’t had much luck getting those jobs or other entry level work for the last couple of years. At least 123,700 Washingtonians between the ages of 18 and 25 years old want a job but can't find one, according to census data and state surveys. 

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Artscape
6:55 am
Sun February 6, 2011

A snapshot of local history: the Seattle Camera Club

Sea of Clouds
Dr. Kyo Koike, c. 1922. Gelatin silver print. University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, UW29042z

They were a dedicated group of mostly Japanese photographers from the 1920s whose work at the time was known all over the world.

But until now, there hasn't been much attention here on the Seattle Camera Club and its style of photography that some academics have dismissed.

A new exhibit opening at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington --  “Shadows of a Fleeting World: Pictorial Photography and the Seattle Camera Club” -- showcases 200 black-and-white and sepia-toned images. Photos of awesome Mount Rainier and delicate ballerinas, such as Anna Pavlova who was visiting from Russia.

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