KPLU Morning Edition production assistant.

Traffic news
8:45 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Traffic help for the holidays

Interstate 90 near Washington's Snoqualmie Pass in 2007. This time of year, travelers should always be ready, WashDOT says.

As we all know, during a holiday weekend we have to prepare for more traffic. 

To help plan your weekend driving, The State Department of Transportation has released a report on the worst predicted travel times. For the most part, traffic should be the heaviest today and Monday, when people will probably leave or come home from their holiday celebrations.

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Law and order
8:25 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Police pepper spray rowdy shoe shoppers in Seattle

In a photo released by Nike Inc., the Air Jordan XI, released in 1996, is shown. This month, Nike releases the 23rd edition ... amid pepper spray in Seattle.
Associated Press

Police used pepper spray to break up fights among pushing and shoving customers waiting outside a Seattle area mall to buy the first Nike retro Air Jordan basketball shoes that went on sale early Friday.

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I Wonder Why ... ?
12:20 am
Fri December 23, 2011

A 'Rain City' mystery: Why don't people in Seattle use umbrellas?

Seems like Seattle has never been big on umbrellas. We wonder why.

A lot of people in the “Rain City” take pride in the fact that “real” Seattleites don’t carry umbrellas. But, I walk around town with a portable roof over my head. 

The result? I stay dry, my hair doesn’t get tousled, and I can use my iPhone while I wait for the bus. I also get dirty looks. Granted, my umbrella isn’t small. I actually call it my yurt. That might have a little to do with it, but the reality is this region is anti-umbrella.

Why? Is it weather denial? Affinity for wet jeans? An attachment to rain jackets?  

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Thiel: Spread against UW vs. Baylor in Alamo Bowl should be wider

'Washington's worst nightmare.' That's how Art Thiel describes Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. He won this year's Heisman Trophy and leads the best offense in the country.
Tony Gutierrez AP Photo

The Washington Huskies travel to San Antonio Friday in preparation for the Alamo Bowl next week. They play Baylor on Thursday, Dec. 29.

Baylor is favored by nine points. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel thinks the spread should be much more than that.

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3:58 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Enrollment Cap Change Leads To Rapid Growth For Oregon's Virtual Schools

An Oregon Connections Academy LiveLesson online class session. Photo by Kevin Mooney

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 3:21 pm

SALEM, Ore. – Online public schools in Oregon are ending a year that saw a steep increase in enrollment. The spike follows a move by lawmakers to raise the cap on the number of kids who can get a so-called virtual education. It's a decision the state's largest teachers union opposed.

Under the old law, online charter schools had a cap on the total number of students who could enroll. Starting this school year, lawmakers chose instead to allow up to three percent of the students in any public school district across the state to enroll in one of Oregon's full-time virtual schools.

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2:54 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

One year later, Washington drivers slowing down, moving over

Cars and trucks on I-5 leave extra room for troopers by the side of the road. Photo by Austin Jenkins

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 4:51 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – It's been one year since a Washington law took effect that requires drivers to give some extra room to emergency vehicles on the side of the road . The new law doubled the fines for violators and even allows for criminal charges. Drivers seem to be getting the message.

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Holiday Music
2:00 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Enjoy the 15th Annual KPLU Christmas Jam

Gail Pettis sings at the KPLU Christmas Jam at PLU on Dec. 8, 2011.
John Froschauer PLU

KPLU was pleased to welcome back our special guest from last year, award-winning Northwest jazz vocalist Gail Pettis to the 15th Annual Christmas Jam on December 8. Along with the PLU Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. David Deacon-Joyner, Pettis performed numerous holiday classics.

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12:21 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

NPR picks: Best animal video clips of 2011

In one video, a "criminal" penguin takes stones from its neighbour's nest ... as can be seen in this screen grab.

Barbara J King (of NPR's 13.7 science blog) shares some of the best animal video clips of the year.

"I've made my choices in a time-honored category: 'clips that increase our scientific understanding of animal behavior and are fun to watch, besides,' " she explains.

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National Public Radio