Jennifer Wing

Special Projects Reporter

Jennifer Wing is a Special Projects Reporter and on-call News Host for KPLU. She covers everything from education and the arts to politics. Jennifer is also a frequent contributor to Sound Effect.

Before joining KPLU in 1999, Jennifer worked for KGMI in Bellingham, WILM News Radio in Wilmington, Delaware and Northwest Cable News in Seattle. She got her start in public radio at WRTI and WHYY in Philadelphia.

Jennifer grew up in Philadelphia and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Temple University. She lives in Seattle with her partner and their two children.

One of her most unforgettable moments at KPLU was on February 28, 2001. She was on the top floor of the then un-retrofitted Seattle City Hall preparing to cover a press conference when the Nisqually Earthquake hit. The building felt like it was slammed by a giant truck. It swayed like a deck of cards. Luckily, the building stayed put. It was eventually replaced in 2003.

Ways to Connect

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

 

 

The founding members of the folk-indie rock band, Charlie and the Rays, are just getting started pursuing their dream. They hope for the day when they’re able to quit their jobs in the service industry and earn a living playing music.

 

But, when you press them a bit more, their hopes for the future are actually quite big.

 

“I want to be a rock star, and just being able to express myself in music.” said 19-year-old Rebecca Stobbee, one of the band’s vocalists.

City of Soap Lake

 

Soap Lake, in Central Washington, is a small town with a really big dream. It’s home to about 1,600 people, and its economy has seen better days. A lot of small towns in that situation might respond by trying to lure a big-box store or coming up with a snappy tourist slogan. But those ambitions are far too puny for Soap Lake.

 

Courtesy of Richard Berger

 

In 1968, Richard Berger was in his 20s and in medical school in Philadelphia.  It was his lifelong calling to help people — to be a doctor. But, even though he was an honor student, medical school just wasn’t what he thought it would be.

 

“What I found was a lot of authoritarian behaviors and rote memorization. I went, ‘This is so not what I envisioned.’ Here I was with this dream of what my life is going to be about and it’s like crashing into a wall at 100 miles an hour,” Berger said, thinking back to that time.

Editor's Note: This post, which contains recollections of the civil rights movement, uses a particular racial slur that some might find upsetting. Just a heads up.

We’ve all experienced the uncomfortable feeling of being told to move on. Maybe it was a school bully, or perhaps it was a job you really wanted but didn’t get. For Marion West and her husband, Ray West, it was when they bought a house.

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

For people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s, there is a lot of loss. As memory begins to fade, and reliance on others for daily needs increases, a person loses a sense of self and independence.

 

Courtosey of Hachette Book Group

 

Seattle-based writer Lindy West writes a lot about culture and feminism. She’s called out comedians for telling rape jokes. She’s shouted her abortion and she’s faced down many, many internet trolls. She’s written and thought a lot about her body. She went from feeling ashamed of being heavy – she usually uses the term fat – to accepting who she is, without hesitation.

Scott McCarthy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife

An incredibly rare Northwest butterfly has been listed as a species that qualifies it for federal protection. It’s small, and at first glance, it's mostly white. It’s called the Island Marble butterfly. 

Tacoma Public Schools

 

The man accused of neglecting to properly monitor lead levels in Tacoma Public Schools says he wants his job back and his name cleared.

 

Ken Wilson was Tacoma Public School’s safety and environmental health manager. He was fired last month after he brought to the district’s attention test results that showed high levels of lead at more than a dozen locations.

 

Lead levels at Reed Elementary were 150 times over federal limits. So far, the district has replaced more than 300 fixtures.

Jennifer Wing

 

If you’re lucky, you know who lives next door, and you like them. Hopefully, the feeling is mutual. In an ideal world, neighbors look out for each other. But, of course, not everyone is so fortunate.

What if you live next door to a nightmare? The place where drug deals go down? Where there always seems to be a party going on at three in the morning? The house where domestic violence happens and fights break out? The home that police visit — a lot?

Tag Brothers

There are lots of games we all played in the schoolyard when we were kids — foursquare, tetherball, maybe some capture the flag if there was  enough time before the bell rang. Some of us just can’t let go.

 

There’s a group of middle-aged men, here in the Northwest,  who play an intense game of tag for the entire month of February, every year. They’ve been playing the game for decades.

 

Jen Owen / E-NABLE

In the basement of a house in Burien, Peregrine Hawthorn shows me his three hands dangling from a chord. He loves them. He assembled them himself. They look like robot hands.

The components of each hand were made by a 3-D printer for about $50 with the help of an organization called E-NABLE. This is much cheaper than a high tech prosthetic hand which can cost more than $100,000.

Hawthorn, who is in his early 20s, calls one of the hands that dangles from the line the "Cyborg Beast."

Ben Brooks / Flickr

 

Forest fires have been popping up around Washington state since April. The most recent, near Gold Bar and Oso, both west of the Cascades.

 

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

 

Reminders of the growing heroin epidemic in the Northwest can be found in parks, alleyways, front yards and school playgrounds. We’re talking about the used needles that addicts leave behind.

 

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

 

 

A program credited with lifting the graduation rate and boosting student enrollment at Seattle’s Rainier Beach High School was going to be cut because of a lack of money.  But now, it’s being saved, thanks to a Seattle non-profit.

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

 

Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish: These are the languages hundreds of students are learning in the Seattle School District.

But funding is tight, which means the district is taking a hard look at its foreign language immersion programs. The district is wondering if these programs should be scaled back, expanded, or left as they are.

There are five elementary immersion schools in Seattle. Students can choose to continue their language studies in middle and high school.

Tacoma Public Schools

 


The Tacoma School District says tests from last year reveal that three additional elementary schools and one other building that houses a Head Start program, have high lead levels. This follows the news from Monday that two other schools have lead in the water.

 

The three new elementary schools are: Whittier, DeLong and Manitou Park. Parents received phone calls and emails telling them that the water in these buildings is unsafe to drink or use for cooking due to elevated levels of lead.

Delaney Ruston

 

Several years ago Delaney Ruston, a doctor who specializes in internal medicine, started to notice that most of the kids coming into her office were glued to a screen.

Rich Pedroncell / AP Photo

Drinking fountains are now off limits at two elementary schools in Tacoma after tests revealed high levels of lead in the water. District officials had this information available to them for almost a year, but only looked at it for the first time late last week.

The schools are Mann Elementary and Reed Elementary.The district sent out an email and a phone message to all affected families.

 

A conference solely dedicated to the topic of hate crimes is happening in Burien next week. The Hate Crimes Conference is being organized by a Seattle police officer whose job involves bridging trust between police and the city’s LGBTQ community.

 

David Gang / Washington State University

 

Orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime orchards are being wiped out across Florida from a plague called citrus greening disease. A team of scientists from Washington State University in Pullman is studying the bacterium that causes the condition. They hope to find a cure.

David Gang, a biological chemist at Washington State University, said the bacterium that causes greening disease is transmitted by a psyllid, a winged insect about half the size of a fruit fly, which spreads it from tree to tree.

 

Gary Davis / KPLU

 

Seattle’s Green Lake is known for having water resembling pea soup. But by the end of this week, the color of the lake will we be transformed to a color that’s almost tropical.

Courtesy of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences

 

Children who are raised in a bilingual home appear to have a head start in building the part of the brain that deals with everything from impulse control to mental flexibility. These findings are in a new study that’s out of the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences.

Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research

 

A new study shows that some one-on-one attention paid to Latinas can boost the likelihood they will be screened for breast cancer.

For the study, low-income Latinas were visited by a Spanish-speaking health care worker called a "promotora" who provided them with information about getting a mammogram. After the visit, the women received a follow-up phone call, reminding them to make an appointment.

 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The recreational marijuana industry is Washington state is predicted to hit a new high in the coming weeks.  

Kids Co.

 

Space is tight and you will probably have to find a new home. This is the message the Seattle School District is sending to the before- and after-school childcare programs that are housed in elementary school buildings.

Charles Mickelson, owner and operator of Seattle Qwik Tour.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray wants to cut down on distracted driving by prohibiting drivers of tour busses from talking to passengers.

King County

 

Last year, nearly 1,800 King County  juveniles were booked into detention. Judges and attorneys say this can have a lasting, negative impact on a child.

Jennifer Wing

 

Apps on our phones, our watches and other devices are constantly gathering data about our health. A new study from the University of Washington shows that there can be a huge gap in expectations when patients want their doctor to review this information.

Jennifer Wing

An exhibit about the life of Anne Frank is currently on view at the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle. It’s called, "Anne Frank: A History For Today." When it closes at the end of May, two strong connections to Anne Frank will remain in Seattle.

If you go to the exhibit, you will see large panels, about seven feet tall, lining the walls.They are split in half. The top has photos and text that chronicle the rise of Adolf Hitler, the Nazi Party and the horrors of the Holocaust. The lower half of the panels is all about Anne Frank and her family.

 

Miguel Fraga

An official from Cuba’s embassy in the U.S. is visiting Seattle for the next few days. Miguel Fraga is the First Secretary of the newly re-established Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C. Fraga is in town to tell people about his home country.

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