Crisis In The Housing Market
4:27 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

As foreclosures surge, help is often hard to find

Residents pack an auditorium during a town hall on mortgages organized by Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, or VOICE, in Northern Virginia.
Todd Parola Todd Parola Photography

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 1:36 pm

President Obama's new plan to help millions of people stay in their homes by refinancing their mortgages at low rates raised hopes of easing the housing crisis.

But federal budget cuts have sharply reduced the number of housing counselors who can help distressed homeowners in the nation's hardest hit communities. Banks that own the properties are slow to pick up the tab.

"We are definitely concerned about counseling capacity," says Lemar Wooley, a spokesman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Fossil of 'saber-toothed squirrel' lived among dinos

Reconstruction of Cronopio dentiacutus in its native environment at La Buitrera locality, Patagonia, Argentina, during the early Late Cretaceous (approximately 94 Million years ago).
Jorge Gonzalez Courtesy of Guillermo Rougier

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 2:36 pm

Imagine a critter about the size of a squirrel. Imagine it with big eyes and a long snout. Now imagine it with canine fangs about one-fifth the length of its head. That's the kind of a mammal that scientists said today was walking among dinosaurs more than 100 million years ago.

Scientists found the fossils in Argentina and the find is significant because scientists say it closes a 60-million-year gap in what they knew about mammals in South America during the late Cretaceous period.

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Budget crisis
3:59 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Seattle think tank floats state capital gains tax

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington voters last year rejected a state income tax on high-wage earners. Now a left-of-center think tank is proposing a tax on investors to help bail out the state budget.

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Other News
3:49 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Garbageman with a heart of gold returns bucket of silver

Flickr

A worker at the Yakima landfill has discovered some people's trash really is treasure. This week a hazardous waste technician returned a bucket of silver bars to a family that didn't know it owned them.

Fifty-year-old Robert McCune says he typically deals with things like flammable paint, acids, and industrial grade fertilizers from the region's apple orchards. And he expected to find a batch of rat poison when he popped the lid off a one-gallon bucket recently.

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Sports with Art Thiel
2:37 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Preview: Big game in more ways than one for Huskies on Saturday

Washington punter Kiel Rasp reaches for Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris during last year's Huskies-Ducks match-up in Eugene. Oregon won the game 53-16.
Rick Bowmer AP Photo

The Washington Huskies host the 6th-ranked Oregon Ducks Saturday. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it's the biggest home game of the year - and the last one at Husky Stadium before it closes for major renovations.

The Ducks are a big threat to the Huskies, who have been doing quite well this season. Find out what Art thinks about the match-up tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Health
2:36 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Oregon State Hospital faces $10 million lawsuit

SALEM, Ore. - An Oregon State Hospital patient is suing the mental institution for $10 million. Joshua Jaschke claims doctors at the hospital unnecessarily prescribed medications that resulted in a pair of heart attacks. The alleged incident happened two years ago.

The suit claims the hospital failed to notify Jaschke of the potential side effects of the drug Adderall. The medication is prescribed to treat attention deficit disorder and certain sleeping disorders.

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Tsunami debris
12:53 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Debris from Japanese tsunami a threat to NW jobs, Cantwell says

Model of the debris from the Japanese tsunami reaching the NW coastline.
University of Hawaii

Calling it an “emerging threat,” Sen. Maria Cantwell testified in congress yesterday that a floating debris field five-times the size of the state of Washington is heading for the West Coast and could disrupt the state’s economy when it lands in 2014.

“After the tragic tsunami that struck Japan, whole communities were swept out to sea in an unwieldy mass of toxic debris,” she testified in the Senate Commerce Committee. “We can’t wait until all of this tsunami trash washes ashore. We need to have an aggressive plan on how we’re going to deal with it.”

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Along with humans, who else is in the 7 billion club?

Animal Kings: Ants, like these workers carrying eggs to a plant's leaf after rain flooded their nest, have a combined biomass estimated in the billions of tons.
Gurinder Osan AP

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 4:14 am

The revelation this week that the Earth now holds 7 billion people, according to the U.N.'s population division, prompted a question: Who else is in the 7 Billion Club? To find out which other animals had reached that plateau, we asked wildlife experts — and they patiently explained why our innocent question was nearly impossible to answer.

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Medical Marijuana
9:14 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Why Idaho resists joining its neighbors on medical marijuana

Photo by the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 5:14 pm

A group in Idaho has hit the streets to gather enough signatures to put a medical marijuana initiative before voters in 2012. Idaho remains the only Northwest state and one of a handful in the West that hasn't legalized pot as medicine.

The group Compassionate Idaho needs to gather 48,000 ballot signatures by the end of next April. They're proposing a measure that would allow patients suffering from a debilitating medical condition to get a medical marijuana card with a physician's approval.

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Harvest workers
9:06 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Farmworkers say they were stranded in Washington orchard

MATTAWA, Wash. — Nearly 60 farmworkers from the Tri-Cities say they were stranded at a Mattawa orchard after they refused to pick apples for less than minimum wage.

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