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Record Bin Roulette
5:06 am
Thu March 3, 2011

Up, up and away: Airplane!

This week the Record Bin Roulette wheel lands on ... airplane! It's all about flying as John Maynard and John Kessler find the old vinyl that went airborne for inspiration.
Onkel_Wart Flickr

Flight has always inspired humans, from the days when Icarus flew his wax and feather contraption too close to the sun. An accident like his could never happen today. We have learned too much about the mechanics of flight, and Strategic Air Command would have vaporized him once he left controlled airspace.

Icarus could never have imagined that his dream of flight would be an inspiration to anyone who has ever tied 75 helium balloons to a lawn chair.

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Drug Smuggling
7:02 pm
Wed March 2, 2011

Seattle-based Coast Guard cutter interdicts narco sub

Coast Guard Cutter Midgett interdicts drug smuggler 335 miles off the coast of Costa Rica 1/20/2011
United States Coast Guard

The Seattle-based Coast Guard Cutter Midgett has returned home from a patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. A highlight of the voyage was the interdiction of a 35-foot-long self-propelled semi-submersible vessel (SPSS) that was carrying about 6,000 kilograms of cocaine. These vessels are also known as narco submarines.

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Seattle Schools Scandal
3:32 pm
Wed March 2, 2011

Urban League says it did nothing wrong

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, which received $595,000 from Seattle Public Schools, insists taxpayers got their money's worth despite a state audit report calling the payments of questionable value.

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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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