Movie Reviews
12:15 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

In Astro-Dad's Footsteps: A Son's 'Mission' To Space

Family Tradition: Richard Garriott, the first second-generation American astronaut, funded his $30 million trip to the International Space Station from the fortune he built designing computer games.
First Run Features

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 11:04 am

Reaching for the heavens looks pretty easy in Man on a Mission: Richard Garriott's Road to the Stars. The title character didn't meet the eyesight requirements to train as a NASA astronaut. So he just paid $30 million to the Russian space program, and hopped a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station.

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Mark Jenkins reviews movies for NPR.org, as well as for reeldc.com, which covers the Washington, D.C., film scene with an emphasis on art, foreign and repertory cinema.

Jenkins spent most of his career in the industry once known as newspapers, working as an editor, writer, art director, graphic artist and circulation director, among other things, for various papers that are now dead or close to it.

He covers popular and semi-popular music for The Washington Post, Blurt, Time Out New York, and the newsmagazine show Metro Connection, which airs on member station WAMU-FM.

War in Afghanistan
12:06 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Tacoma soldier dies in Afghanistan

TACOMA, Wash. — The father of a Tacoma soldier who died in Afghanistan says he died in a training accident.

The Pentagon did not provide details about the death Wednesday of 21-year-old Pfc. Neil I. Turner, saying only on Friday that he died from a non-combat related incident.

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Education
12:03 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

UW has more seats for in-state applicants in 2012

The Legislature is requiring the university to enroll 4,000 in-state freshmen on its Seattle campus this fall. That's 150 more than last year.
Frank Fani Flickr

The University of Washington says it will have more room for in-state students in this fall's freshman class.

This gift for the class of 2012 comes from the Legislature and the fact that UW has received fewer applications from freshmen hopefuls.

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News
11:43 am
Fri January 13, 2012

One Year Later: Pipe Bomb Gives Determination To Spokane's MLK Event

Ivan Bush is a longtime organizer of Spokane's Martin Luther King Day parade. Photo by Jessica Robinson

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 8:52 am

SPOKANE, Wash. - It's been a year since a white supremacist from rural eastern Washington planted a bomb along Spokane's Martin Luther King Day parade route. Thirty-seven-year-old Kevin Harpham now awaits a 32-year prison sentence. But the cloud of the incident still looms as Spokane prepares for this year's event.

Ivan Bush stands in the sun outside the Spokane Convention Center. Hundreds of people gathered here a year ago to listen to a recitation of King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

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Washington State Legislature
11:40 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Democrats abandon teachers' union over health benefits fight

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 4:43 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Democrats in the Washington Senate have endorsed a state takeover of K-12 employee health benefits similar to what Oregon did in 2007. The goal is to save money, but it angers a key Democratic constituency — Washington's teachers' union.

For decades, the Washington Education Association in partnership with Premera Blue Cross has provided health coverage to school employees. This is big business. We're talking about nearly 300 school districts in Washington, some 200,000 staff and their dependents and $1 billion a year in public funds.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:23 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Snow? Probably yes, for most of western Washington

A vision of things to come ...
Adam DeClercq Flickr

But not too much. 

"It's not going to be the big snow-storm," says KPLU weather expert, and UW professor, Cliff Mass.

The areas most likely to get a couple inches of snow are the so-called "convergence zone," between north Seattle and Everett, and in the Bellingham area. For everyone else, Mass says it will be "hit and miss" depending on so many factors that it's hard to generalize.

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I Wonder Why ... ?
4:30 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Mima Mounds continue to mystify scientists

Aerial photo of some Mima Mounds, courtesy of the WA Dept. of Natural Resources.

There’s a large swath of native prairie southwest of Olympia that’s very strange looking. So strange, in fact, that some have even said it was created by aliens. 

What makes it strange are “things” called The Mima Mounds.

We can tell you some things they are not, but we can’t tell you what they are. In fact, people have been trying to figure them out for centuries.

“It’s probably one of the most poorly understood phenomena in earth science,” says Paul Butler, professor emeritus of Earth Science at the Evergreen State College.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Cost too great for Seahawks to go for Heisman winner

Robert Griffin III in action for Baylor. Art Thiel says he's one of the greatest athletes he's ever seen, but says the cost would be too great for the Seahawks to try to draft him in April.
Sharon Ellman AP File Photo

The NFL draft isn't until April, but a lot of Seahawks fans are talking about it this week. That's because Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III announced he's skipping his final college season to enter the draft. 

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Seahawks have a very slim chance of drafting Griffin, if they make a bunch of concessions to move up in the trade order. But he says it's not worth it.

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Washington State Legislature
4:12 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Senate Democrats unveil government reform ideas

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Senate Democrats are unveiling a series of reform ideas that won't bank much money for the state's immediate budget problem, but which they say will save hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years.

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