4:29 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Alternatives To Snow Chains Come Onto Market

AutoSock serves the same purpose, but looks markedly different than conventional tire chains. Photo by Tom Banse

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 3:59 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The only way some drivers in snowy parts of Northwest could get around Wednesday was by putting on tire chains. If you've done that yourself, you know it can be inconvenient. It's hard on the pavement too. Alternatives to snow chains are now on the market.

One of those alternatives is called AutoSock.

"They call it like a shower cap that goes over your tires," says AutoSock representative Mike Groesch. He explains that Norwegians invented the elastic road-gripping fabric covers.

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4:27 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Lawmaker Proposes Tax Credit For Cattle Killed By Wolves

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 3:29 pm

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon ranchers could receive a tax credit every time a wolf kills one of their cattle. That's part of a measure that got a hearing Wednesday in Salem in advance of the February legislative session.

According to Oregon wildlife officials, wolves have killed at least 20 livestock over the past two years. Now, one eastern Oregon Republican state representative wants to give ranchers who experience such a loss a dollar-for-dollar credit on their state income taxes.

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4:25 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Flight cancellations tapering off at Sea-Tac and PDX

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 3:26 pm

The worst appears to be over in terms of flight disruptions from Wednesday's winter storm in the Pacific Northwest. Earlier today , air carriers including Alaska Airlines and SkyWest "proactively" cancelled dozens of flights in and out of Seattle and Portland.

SeaTac Airport spokesman Perry Cooper says there are relatively few marooned passengers wandering the terminals.

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4:22 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Report: Idaho Plutonium Exposure Was 'Preventable'

This photo shows a clamshell fuel storage container similar to the one involved in the exposure. Photo courtesy of INL

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 3:15 pm

Federal investigators say an accident that exposed 16 people to radiation at the Idaho National Lab was "preventable." A report out Wednesday says the Department of Energy and one of its contractors underestimated the risk of opening decades-old packages that hold plutonium plates.

The 16 workers were preparing 1980s-era containers of plutonium to be moved out of an old research facility. Two containers had "atypical labels," so the workers contacted their supervisors. According to the federal report, they were directed to cut the plastic around the plutonium anyway.

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First person
3:45 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

KPLU observations during a snow day in Seattle

The snowman watchman of Westlake Park downtown.
Charla Bear KPLU

KPLU staff share their observations of wandering through the snow storm in Seattle.

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The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

TSA backtracks, says screeners were wrong in elderly security search

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents screen passengers at Los Angeles International Airport.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 11:53 am

The Transportation Security Administration now says security screeners at Kennedy Airport in New York were wrong when they asked two elderly women to show them medical devices that were under their clothing.

In a letter sent to state Sen. Michael Gianaris and acquired by the New York Daily News, the Department of Homeland Security said that there was no evidence the two women were strip-searched, as they claimed, but that their agents did go further than they should have.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Was One Skier's Underwear Too Slick?

Skier Tina Maze. She took her protest to the slopes in Italy, and to her Facebook page.
Tina Maze Official Fan Page

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 4:27 pm

When Slovene World Cup Alpine skier Tina Maze opened her racing suit Sunday to reveal her sports bra beneath to all those looking on in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy, it wasn't some kind of sexy strip show or joyous Brandi Chastain type of moment.

It was a protest.

Over a fuss being made about her underwear.

Not the bra, mind you, or the words she had written on it: "Not your business."

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Winter Storm
1:34 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Snow cracks ceiling at PLU swimming pool building

PARKLAND, Wash. — The weight of Wednesday's snow on the roof apparently caused cracks to appear in the ceiling of the building that houses the swimming pool at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland.

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Winter Storm
1:21 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Baby born in stuck elevator at Tacoma hospital

TACOMA, Wash. — A baby was born on an elevator stuck between floors Wednesday at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma.

Blake Thacker entered the world early at 7 pounds, 15 ounces, just short of the 14th floor.

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Mount Rainier
11:20 am
Wed January 18, 2012

4 people still overdue on Mount Rainier

The two parties missing on Mount Rainier are believed to be well-equipped with tents, sleeping bags and other gear needed to survive.

ASHFORD, Wash. — Heavy snow has prevented Mount Rainier National Park rangers from searching for two climbers and two campers overdue from winter outings.

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