KPLU News Staff

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Justin Steyer / KPLU

Today is the last day of our Favorite Things Weekend. Join us as we celebrate December and all the things listeners love most about KPLU. 

In the spirit of the season we hope you will consider making an online gift this weekend in any amount to KPLU.

'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):

Peterastin / Creative Commons

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.

Bible Dude / Flickr

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.

Jake Ellison / KPLU

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.

Getting around

The morning commute around Seattle was tough, but the commute home today may be a bit easier.

Prosecutors for King and Pierce counties announced this afternoon that all misdemeanor marijuana cases in their counties have been dropped.

With legal possession of up to an ounce of pot just around the corner, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg said that dismissing these cases is the right thing to do.

Nimataradji photography / Flickr

Foes of the same-sex marriage referendum in Washington have conceded the law will pass. The group that sponsored Referendum 74 declared victory yesterday.

Kathleen Ann / Flickr

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.

Complete I-502 story.

Same-sex marriage backers say they've won

Washington United for Marriage has declared victory in the same-sex marriage referendum.

“This is a clear win,” the group's campaign manager Zach Silk said in a press release.

Gary Davis / KPLU

"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:

Gary Davis / KPLU

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.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Washington voters have made their state the first in the nation to legalize recreational pot use, setting up a showdown with a federal government that backs the drug's prohibition.

Update: Colorado also passed a law making possession of up to an ounce legal. That state will also allow individuals to grow six marijuana plants. Oregon's pot legalization effort failed.

The first big wave of results for elections in Washington state are expected at about 8:15 pm. Here's a countdown clock set for that time.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A Washington state congressional candidate says abortion should not be legal, even when it involves "the rape thing."

Less than two weeks to go until Election Day, and some people are still scrambling to register for the Oct. 29 in-person deadline.

Seka Ojdrovic-Phillips / KPLU

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.

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