3:21 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Just a cool photo of a beluga whale ... blowing a bubble ring

Itsuo Inouye Associated Press

A white whale, also known as beluga, puffs a ring at Kamogawa Sea World in Kamogawa, east of Tokyo, Japan, Sunday, Dec. 25.

3:04 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Fires destroy three major haystacks in Eastern Washington

Police in eastern Washington are trying to figure out who has been intentionally torching haystacks near the tiny town of Mattawa.

Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones says in the last two weeks two fires burned three major haystacks to the ground. Jones says he doubts local kids have been setting the fires.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:26 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Why A Teen Who Talks Back May Have A Bright Future

Good arguments can provide lessons that last a lifetime. But psychologist Joseph P. Allen's research shows that yelling isn't the answer. "The teens who learned to be calm and confident and persuasive with their parents acted the same way when they were with their peers," he says.

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 6:19 pm

If you're the parent of a teenager, you likely find yourself routinely embroiled in disputes with your child. Those disputes are the symbol of teen developmental separation from parents.

It's a vital part of growing up, but it can be extraordinarily wearing on parents. Now researchers suggest that those spats can be tamed and, in the process, provide a lifelong benefit to children.

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1:10 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Dogs, once-homeless kids share a love of reading (and each other)

Kids and dogs enjoy books (and each other) at the Brettler Family Place, a housing center in Seattle’s Sand Point neighborhood.
Charla Bear KPLU

Some of Seattle’s most at-risk students are getting help with their reading skills, but not from people.

Once a week, service dogs lend their ears to formerly homeless children as they read aloud. It’s become a learning experience for both the kids and canines.

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11:35 am
Tue January 3, 2012

State Offers Grant Money To Protect Oregon’s Drinking Water

Angela Kellner/ KLCC

The state is seeking new ways – and partnerships – to help protect Oregon’s drinking water.

Nitrates, petroleum, blue-green algae, bacteria … not things you want in your drinking water. The state is offering money to government agencies, tribal nations and non-profits who can take on projects to tackle pollution sources. This includes runoff from agriculture, logging, landscaping and more.

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9:01 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Mt. Rainer National Park Community Grieve For Slain Ranger

Ranger Margaret Anderson was the mother of two small children. Courtesy National Park Service.

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 7:29 pm

Now that a manhunt on Mt. Rainier is over, national park staff are focusing on the grief of losing one of their rangers. The man suspected of killing Margaret Anderson is 24-year-old Benjamin Colton Barnes. He was found dead Monday on the southwest slope of the mountain after a 24-hour manhunt. Lee Snook is with Mt. Rainier National Park. She says Rainier staff are relieved that the park is now secure.

Lee Snook: "Margaret was known by most everyone here at the park, and we all feel it quite personally and deeply."

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8:55 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Even As Unemployment Drops, Demand For Food Stamps Rises Across Northwest

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 4:42 pm

2011 saw modest signs of economic recovery in the Northwest. Washington, Oregon and Idaho all had slight dips in unemployment rates. But another economic indicator reveals it’s been a hard year for many families in all three states. That is, the number of people on food stamps.

Let's go back to January. “True Grit” was leading at the box office, the fledgling Arab Spring had not yet taken off, and in the Northwest, about 2 million people were on food stamps.

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Traffic news
8:47 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Highway 520 tolls: Traffic down on morning commute

The Highway 520 floating bridge, including the western high rise, where the bridge passes near the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle as it heads over Lake Washington.
Associated Press

On the first day of the post-holiday commute, Washington transportation officials say traffic is down significantly on the 520 bridge.

They say about 37 percent fewer drivers than normal crossed the 520 bridge between 6 and 7 a.m. this morning.

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8:33 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Raising The Minimum Wage: Whom Does It Help?

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 11:33 am

For some of America's lowest-paid workers, the new year means a pay raise. Some states set their own minimum wages, above the federal rate of $7.25 an hour, and that rekindles an old debate over whether minimum wages make sense — especially at a time of high unemployment.

Like several other states, Washington state's minimum wage is indexed to the cost of living. This year, the formula has raised the statewide minimum from $8.67 to $9.04 an hour, making it the nation's highest statewide rate.

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8:25 am
Tue January 3, 2012

82-acres in Pierce County to be wildlife preserve

TACOMA, Wash. — An 82-acre peninsula in Pierce County has been purchased for protection as a wildlife preserve.

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