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K-12 Education
10:02 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Bonuses aren't attracting teachers to low-income schools, UW researchers find

Hundreds of public school teachers in Washington are working toward their National Board certification, a highly rigorous program. Some, like Seattle School teacher Drea Jermann, pictured in 2009, teach in schools termed "challenged."
Gary Davis KPLU

Money is not enticing Washington’s top teachers to move to low-income schools, according to University of Washington researchers. They studied a state program that gives bonuses to teachers who go through a rigorous evaluation process called National Board Certification.

Supporters of the program, however, say it's successful because more teachers at struggling schools now have the high level proficiency endorsement.

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News Roundup
8:18 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

The Washington State History Museum in Tacoma could be closed temporarily due to state budget cuts. A new proposal would keep it, and others in Spokane and Olympia, open.
Gary Davis KPLU

Good morning. Will it be as sunny as Wednesday? No, but we will see occasional sun breaks along with clouds and showers around western Washington today, according to the National Weather Service. 

Making headlines this morning:

  • Guilty Plea in Afghan Civilian Murders
  • Seattle Pays Out Millions in Madison Valley Flood Suit
  • New Plan Could Keep State History Museums Open

 

Morlock Pleads Guilty to Murder

Army Spc. Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty to three counts of murder of unarmed Afghan civilians, admitting the motive in the deaths was "...to kill people."  Morlock's plea came at a Joint Base Lewis-McChord court martial hearing Wednesday, a process followed closely by KPLU's Austin Jenkins.

Morlock will be a key witness in hearings of four Stryker Brigade platoon mates who are also charged in the deaths, reports The News Tribune's Adam Ashton: 

Morlock will be a key witness against Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, who allegedly plotted to murder Afghan civilians and brought his comrades along with him. Gibbs denies the charges and is expected to face a court-martial in June.

The war crimes are the subject of international attention, with photographs of soldiers posing with corpses published online this past week by Germany's Der Spiegel.

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Afghan War Crimes
7:55 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Soldier sentenced to 24 years for war crimes

Attorney Frank Spinner, left, and other members of Spc. Jeremy Morlock’s defense team speak with reporters following Morlock’s sentencing.
Austin Jenkins N3

A Washington-based soldier has been sentenced to 24-years in prison for killing unarmed civilians in Afghanistan. Specialist Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty to three counts of premeditated murder and other crimes.

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Record Bin Roulette
2:10 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Oompah! Singin' about beer

Free Beer!
fengergold / Flickr Flickr

The world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, and the third most popular drink overall.

The invention of beer is argued to be responsible for humanity's ability to develop technology and build civilization. Think about that for a moment the next time you crack open a cold one. Those early Neolithic humans were tipsy.

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Law & Justice
5:44 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

Spokane backpack bomb suspect plea: not guilty

FBI evidence photo of backpack found on a downtown Spokane street corner bench.
FBI

The Colville man accused of planting a bomb along Spokane’s Martin Luther King Day parade route pleaded not guilty today.

It was Kevin Harpham’s second appearance in federal court. The 36 year old wore a tan Spokane County Jail uniform and ankle shackles. His plea means the case is now headed to trial.

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Coffee Culture
5:39 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

Stock price surges as Starbucks annual meeting presents another starstruck affair

Starbucks baristas who the company calls "partners" dole out coffee and memoires at the 2011 Annual Meeting, outside Benaroya Hall in Seattle.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU

Starbucks stocks have surged. That's thanks in part to the German financial company Deutsche Bank, which has resumed its coverage of the Seattle coffee giant and is saying investors should buy the stock. 

It's just one sign of confidence in the rebound of the company, as its executives outlined its latest growth strategies.

An annual love affair with coffee and other addictive treats

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Humanosphere
4:16 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

Local relief agencies weigh in on whether Japan is still in need of international aid

Odd as it may seem, that’s a big question right now within the aid and development community.

By a simple measure of the number of news stories and organizational appeals out there, clearly the answer is: Yes, people should donate to disaster relief in Japan.

Perhaps the most blunt argument answering the question in the negative has come from Felix Salmon, economics columnist for Reuters, who said simply: Don’t Donate Money to Japan.

I’ve posted on this debate a few times, including an anonymous post from an aid worker decrying the “ugly game” of fund-raisingaround the Japan quake-tsunami disaster.

Others have written as well about the question of whether Japan needs/wants help from outside groups such as Stephanie Strom at the New York Times and Saundra Schimmelpfennig at Good Intentions Are Not Enough.

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Education
2:11 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

More college kids stumped on research papers

Jackson Hathorn recently graduated from the University of Washington after finishing his history thesis. He says it's easy for students writing research papers to get bogged down with how many sources there are out there.
Rachel Soloman KPLU

Writing a research paper should be easy for students today. They’ve got libraries, online databases and all of Google at their fingertips.

But an ongoing study out of the University of Washington’s Information School is finding that college students find it tougher to do research today than in the past—even with access to more sources than students have ever had before.

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Food
1:24 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

Walla Walla's L'Ecole Winery grows up with a new label

L’Ecole winery is debuting its new lables. They’re a bit sleeker and more gown up than the popular child’s painting of the school house used for more than 20 years.
L’Ecole

One of Washington's oldest and most recognizable wine brands, L’Ecole, is growing up a bit with a new, sleeker label.

L'Ecole is French for "the school" and that's because the winery operates out of a nearly 100-year-old school house. The old label was a child's colorful drawing of the facility. The new label sports a sepia-toned oil painting of the historical school house soon after it was constructed in 1912.

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Jobs
11:51 am
Wed March 23, 2011

Boeing Company hiring 100 people a week

Boeing workers wait on lifts and platforms for a look at Boeing's new 747-8 passenger airplane prior to the plane's first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011, at Paine Field in Everett, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP

Here's some good news in a down economy.  Michelle Dunlop writes in The Herald of Everett that Boeing is hiring 100 people a week and has been doing it for the past several months.

Dunlop writes:

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Theater
9:38 am
Wed March 23, 2011

Seattle actor Mark Chamberlin dies

Mark Chamberlin as Odysseus in Taproot Theatre's just-completed run of "The Odyssey." Chamberlin died Tuesday following a weekend bike accident.
Erik Stuhaug Courtesy Taproot Theatre

Seattle’s theater community is reeling this morning at the loss of one of their own.  The Seattle Times reports actor Mark Chamberlin died Tuesday after a weekend bicycle accident.

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News Roundup
8:28 am
Wed March 23, 2011

Wednesday morning's headlines

The Seattle PI globe, a 63 year-old landmark on Seattle's skyline.
AP

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Push to Preserve Iconic Seattle PI Globe
  • Warnings of Phone Scams
  • Plea Deal for JBLM Soldier Likely for Afghan War Crimes

 

It's About the PI

Some Seattle City Council members are concerned the iconic globe atop the seattlepi.com offices on the city's central waterfront may go away if it's not protected. They're considering landmark status for neon-lighted orb that has been spinning for 63 years. It has survived the company's shift from daily newspaper to a smaller, online-only venture.

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed March 23, 2011

Vegetarian? "Thass easy for you to say..."

Dick clicks with his celery stick
KPLU

It's a giant veg-out!

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Backpack Bomb
3:14 am
Wed March 23, 2011

Grand jury issues indictment in Spokane bomb case

The man charged with planting a bomb along the route of Spokane's Martin Luther King Day parade will appear in federal court today.

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Economic Development
5:00 pm
Tue March 22, 2011

Seattle celebrates Amazon.com's new headquarters in South Lake Union neighborhood

Ada Healey, Vice President of Real Estate for Vulcan Inc., thanking Amazon.com for bringing jobs to the new neighborhood her company is building on the south shore of Lake Union, west of I-5 in Seattle.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU

One of Seattle's most famous employers is moving. City leaders are celebrating…because online-retailing giant Amazon.com is only moving a few miles across town. 

The new headquarters complex is large enough to house several thousand employees.

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