Billboards depicting the outline of a young girl and a short story about abuse have sprung up across western Washington. Seattle Police Captain Dave Emerick is in charge of the high risk victims unit. He says at any given time, between 300 and 500 young people are being sexually exploited in King County alone. He says the police want to hear from anyone who sees suspicious behavior.
Since shopping on the internet is easier now than ever, you may have gotten comfortable buying gifts in your pajamas. An experiment conducted by Washington State University and Switzerland's University of St. Gallen found that scents in stores can make people more likely to take their Christmas shopping off-line. Eric Spangenberg, Dean of WSU’s College of Business, says the study will help retailers make in-store shopping more enjoyable.
'Tiz also the season for lists – best of lists, most of lists, longest lists, naughty and nice lists … so, here’s ours in honor of the 12 days of Christmas. Here are the 12 most-read stories of 2012 (so far):
Though well known for their amorous natures, pet rabbits still aren’t fixed as often as they should be. To help curb the problem, the Seattle Animal Shelter will open its rabbit spay and neuter service to the public in January.
Shelter veterinarian Mary Ellen Zoulas says a common cause of unexpected pregnancy in rabbits has to do with folks mistaking Peter Cottontail for a female.
You may have already run into shop-front bell ringers signaling the season of giving. It’s also a season of discernment when it comes to knowing who’s going to do the most good with your hard-earned buck. To help people make wise decisions about donating to charity, the offices of the Secretary of State and the Attorney General have released the 2012 Commercial Fundraiser Activity Report. Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed suggests doing some research before you give.
Forecasters say the wet and windy weather with mountain snow will continue this week in Washington, but there may be a lull on Thanksgiving Day. The current deluge so far has resulted in a few mudslides, street flooding and a state trooper’s car being smashed.
The National Weather Service says a series of Pacific storms are aiming to hit the Northwest every day or two.
The morning commute around Seattle was tough, but the commute home today may be a bit easier.
Washington joined Colorado in voting to become the first states to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana for recreational use, but people shouldn't expect to be able to buy a bag of legitimate weed any time soon.
Nor should they expect the law to go into effect with out a fight with federal law agencies, said Sam Kamin, professor of law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
“My gut feeling is that the federal government won’t currently tolerate the commercial recreational sale of marijuana, that is they will not allow it to be regulated like alcohol. That just seems a bridge too far,” he said.
"I just phoned our son up in Bellingham and said, get ready for the wedding."
Washington United for Marriage has declared victory in the same-sex marriage referendum. Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote last night.
“This is a clear win,” the group's campaign manager Zach Silk said in a press release.
“We have run the numbers every which way, and we can now confidently say that we have won. This is an historic day for Washington, an historic day for our country and, most of all, for families across the state who have dreamed of this day and the wedding celebrations to come.”
So far, official “Yes” votes have a slight advantage of 52 to 48 percent. Counties were expected to post additional vote results Wednesday afternoon.
However the group said in the press release:
With 60 percent of the vote counted, R74 already has the support of 65 percent of King County and is performing well in key Eastern Washington counties. Simply put, it’s now impossible for opponents to overcome the 52-48 percent spread for R74.
Video: KPLU videographer David Kellogg captured the hopes and tensions of election night as one same-sex couple waited for elections results:
Washington voters are narrowly approving same-sex marriage in the state, following the lead of voters in Maryland and Maine, where ballot measures on same-sex unions also are holding slim leads.
With about half of the expected vote counted Tuesday night, Referendum 74 was passing with 53 percent of the vote.
The referendum asked voters to approve or reject the state's new law legalizing same-sex marriage. That law was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire earlier this year, but it's been on hold pending the election's outcome.
With ballots and voters’ guides in-hand, it’s time to narrow in on the issues. For those who prefer an interactive way to exchange opinions on the ballot measures, there’s the Living Voters Guide, sponsored by Seattle CityClub and the University of Washington.
Yes, this morning's brief showers showed that in fact our fabulous summer is at an end (but there will be more sunny days to come), says KPLU's weather expert Cliff Mass.
Mass added that forecasters were blindsided by this morning's rain across the region, but they are back on track with predictions of a front moving in this afternoon. That front too will bring some rain, but the clouds will burn off probably by Saturday evening and Sunday will be sunny.
The twitterverse exploded last night with different reactions to the controversial call on Monday Night Football. The final play of the game, the controversial touchdown by Golden Tate, gave the Seahawks a 14-12 victory over the Packers.
Here is a mixed collection of tweets from people around the Seattle area regarding last night's win.
Today’s going to be hot again, but it's already cooler than expected this morning, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.
“We had some marine air that pushed up the coast, clouds have inundated the coastal areas. So if you're on the coast it's going to be cooler," he says. "And here in the interior we're starting cooler: five to ten degrees in some places. But the trouble is this cool marine air is very thin."
He says that cool marine layer will burn off fast, yielding to hot temps aloft. So today he expects highs of high 80s to 90 closer to the coast. And away from the water, perhaps the low 90s.
"So one more warm day. Then tomorrow a step down. Today's the hottest day."
There's a chance of thunderstorms Saturday afternoon, which could have a big impact on the wildfires in Cle Elum and Thorp. The danger is the chance of lighting without rain.
Bouquets of flowers, cards and special messages written on large, white sheets of paper are growing outside the KOMO television studios in Seattle in memory of longtime anchorwoman Kathi Goertzen. She died yesterday after a lengthy battle with a recurrent brain tumor. She documented her illness and treatments in appearances on KOMO and launched a foundation dedicated to brain tumor research.
Today’s going to be a great summer day, especially as some low clouds burn off later – but that’s not the best part of the forecast, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.
“Today is the worst day of the weekend, believe it or not. And temperatures are going to get up into the mid- to upper-70s even near 80 in a couple places. So, it’s just an absolute wonderful day. But it’s going to get even better,” he says.
The skies will stay clear and temperatures will warm as we get into the weekend, with many places away from the water seeing 80-plus degrees.
Don't let yesterday's warmer temps fake you out, says KPLU's weather expert Cliff Mass. Fact is, we're stuck in a pattern of cloudy mornings and cool days deep into next week with possibly some rain arriving on Thursday.
The cause? "We have this persistent troughing along the West Coast, and associated with that is ridging over the middle of the country, " Mass said. "So, they’re getting this enhanced drought, and we’re getting the enhanced low clouds. We’re colder than normal, they're warmer than normal."
"This is the summer of thunderstorms," says Cliff Mass, KPLU weather expert and meteorologist at the University of Washington.
An unusual pattern of low pressure keeps recurring over the western U.S., bringing the rain and lightning. Temperatures are about ten degrees below normal for this part of July--which is typically the sunniest part of the year in the Puget Sound area.
East of the mountains, there have been two flash floods, as of this morning.