Ed Ronco

Morning Edition Producer

Ed Ronco came to KPLU in October 2013 as producer and reporter for KPLU’s Morning Edition. He’s been reporting news since he was 18, but Ed started in public radio in 2009 at KCAW in Sitka, Alaska, where he covered everything from city government, to education, crime, science, the arts and more. Prior to public radio, Ed worked in newspapers, including four years at the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, where he covered business, then politics and government.

Ed grew up in Wyandotte, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, and earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University. Since moving to Seattle, Ed says he’s learned patience from area freeways, moderation from area Thai restaurants, and discipline from his alarm clock, which wakes him up each day at 3 a.m.

Ways To Connect

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

How would you describe the rivalry between football foes Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers? Share your answer below.

Courtesy of Matthew Brumley

So, you're planning the next big family vacation. There are lots of questions to consider: Where to go, what to do, who to invite. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley has these five tips for families looking to travel together.

Scott Eklund / AP Photo

The Seahawks will play the New Orleans Saints at the Clink this weekend, but it's clear both teams' fan fever runneth over the football field and deep in their hometowns. 

So we wanted to know what off-field bragging rights each team might have. Who has it better at home? And whose mascot reigns supreme? We teamed up with WWNO Public Radio in New Orleans to consider the facts.

Matthew Brumley

When Nelson Mandela died in December, the eyes of the world once again focused on South Africa. Earthbound Expeditions founder and KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says it’s his favorite place on the planet, and worth a deeper look than the headlines can offer.

"It's a truly remarkable place. There's no other country I've been to on this planet that has more diversity," Brumley said. "The history is phenomenal. It dates back hundreds of thousands of years, and the culture is multiracial. It's the Rainbow Nation."

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Local health officials are urging people of all ages to get vaccinated against the flu, which has already claimed four lives in King County alone this season.

In addition to the deaths, the number of positive tests has doubled since mid-December, according to Dr. Jeff Duchin with Public Health – Seattle & King County. And this year's most prevalent strain, the H1N1 virus, is one that hits younger people especially hard.

5th Avenue Theatre

"Oliver!" tells the story of a young orphan's misadventures in London, from the workhouse to a den of thieves and, finally, to a family that loves him. The musical, on stage now at the 5th Avenue Theatre, is based on the novel "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens.

Albert Evans, artistic and music associate at the 5th Avenue Theatre, who says the character of Oliver was one of many Dickens created and used over the years to call attention to societal ills, and to portray London as he saw it.


Tim Durkan

The spectacular sunsets we've been enjoying recently have a downside: they’re indicators of increasing air pollution.

Pollution has risen to unhealthy levels around Puget Sound this week. State health officials say pollution often goes up in the winter.

Like a lot of big projects, Obamacare needs time to be successful. That was the message from Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who testified before a House subcommittee in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.

Kreidler had been invited to speak by Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, but quickly found himself in the crosshairs of another, Rep. Dave Reichert. 

Ed Ronco / KPLU

If you drive through Grays Harbor County, it’s easy to notice the darkened storefronts and empty homes that signal the area’s economic struggles. But in the county with a poverty rate that's twice the state average, a long-standing rivalry between two high schools feeds the hungry.

For more than a century, the Hoquiam Grizzlies and the Aberdeen Bobcats have maintained one of Washington state’s biggest high school football rivalries. But it’s their rivalry in Food Ball that funds the majority of the county food banks' annual budget.

Ed Ronco / KPLU

Around 100 protesters took to the streets Wednesday morning to urge local leaders to take action to end homelessness. The protesters spent the night in Westlake Park before marching to Seattle City Hall to attend a meeting of the Committee to End Homelessness.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

It’s official: Boeing will get nearly $9 billion in tax incentives from the state of Washington in a deal aimed to guarantee Boeing will build its 777X and carbon-fiber wings in the state.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed his name to the tax breaks Monday morning after legislators approved the deal over the weekend. Inslee told reporters that the state has a lot to gain.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Happy Election Day! Here's a quick reference guide if you're still holding on to a ballot.

Your ballot must be postmarked today (Tuesday, Nov. 5). Before you drop your ballot into the nearest blue mailbox, look at the sticker on that mailbox to see what time mail is collected. If you've missed that deadline you'll need to head to the post office to make sure your ballot is accepted in time.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Washington state health care exchange website was temporarily down on Wednesday morning as a result of a digital snag in Washington, D.C.

Michael Marchand, spokesman for the state exchange, says Washington state's website depends on a component of the federal system to work. At the moment, it doesn't work, but once it's fixed, the state site can start accepting applications again.

He spoke to KPLU's Ed Ronco about the details during Morning Edition. 

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

With one week until Election Day, voters in Washington’s three largest counties have been slow to return their ballots. But officials also say it’s too early to tell what that means for Election Day.

Some advice from Sherril Huff, the director of King County's Department of Elections:

Protip No. 1: "Make sure you look at both sides because often, people think it’s all on the front side of the ballot.” In busy election years, some races and questions get printed on the back of the ballot. Use only black ink.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

About half of the state’s nearly 4 million registered voters are predicted to cast ballots in this year’s election. In King County, officials say the number of registered voters keeps climbing. If you're a newcomer to Washington state, you have until Monday to get your name on the voter rolls.

Tom Paulson / Humanosphere

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Friday the Grocery Manufacturers Association will disclose who its donors are, as it campaigns against a ballot Initiative 522.

Ferguson's office had planned to take the industry group to court, saying it violated Washington’s campaign finance law that requires donors to be public. The Washington, D.C.-based GMA represents more than 300 companies.

Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

With the government reopened and a budget deal reached, members of Congress are heading into a new round of budget negotiations. Front and center is Sen. Patty Murray, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee. On Thursday morning, Murray stood next to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and told reporters that the two sides will work together to avoid another impasse.

Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

State officials are hoping people across Washington will drop to the floor and take cover on Thursday morning. It’s part of a massive earthquake drill that organizers say has attracted more than 800,000 people so far.

Go to the website for the Great Washington ShakeOut, and you’re met with video showing a major earthquake violently shaking the ground. The video, and the website it's on, are a project of the Washington state Department of Emergency Management.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

President Barack Obama says a former Army captain and Seattle native who survived one of the Afghan war's deadliest firefights is a reminder that Americans look out for one another, even when it's difficult.

Obama commented at a White House ceremony Tuesday before placing America's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, around former Army Capt. William D. Swenson's neck. Before the ceremony, the president spoke with Swenson’s parents, Carl and Julie.

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