KPLU News Staff

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Smart Commuting
3:06 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Mobile app for ridesharing could ease pain of 520 tolls

A new smart phone app is being piloted by the state to reduce SR 520 congestion and pollution.
WSDOT Flickr

Tolls on the 520 bridge are set to start this spring and they could be as high as $3.50 each way. 

Frustrated?  There's an app for that. 

An Irish company called Avego created a new smart phone app for "real-time ride sharing." Company leaders say it encourages more carpooling. 

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Culture
10:53 am
Fri January 28, 2011

Lunar New Year celebrations kick off this weekend

In the Chinese zodiac, 2011 is the 'Year of the Rabbit.' This photo from last year's celebration shows the Lion and Dragon Dance along King Street in Seattle's International District.
Wonderlane Flickr

The weekend brings the first of many planned Lunar New Year celebrations around the region. Many Asian cultures mark the event with colorful festivals, parades and performances, including the Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian communities, among others.

The Chinese celebrations often include the dramatic Lion and Dragon dances. Many of the region's events are centered around children and family activities:

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News Roundup
6:49 am
Fri January 28, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

An impromptu street memorial for First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams, shot and killed by a Seattle policeman last August on Boren Avenue. Did police provide all pertinent documents to a Seattle Times disclosure request?
Gary Davis KPLU

Making headlines this morning:

  • Key Document Surfaces in Woodcarver Shooting
  • Education Department Idea Moves Forward in Olympia
  • Packed Hearing Backs Saving a Tacoma High School

 

Woodcarver's Shooting: Evidence Surfaces

A city councilman's email plea to Seattle Police Chief John Diaz for an independent investigation following the  fatal shooting of John T. Williams by a cop last August was omitted from a public disclosure request. 

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Veterans Affairs
5:06 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

Senator Patty Murray to chair Committee on Veterans Affairs

Newly named Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in her office on Capitol Hill in Washington.
AP

Washington's Senior US Senator, Patty Murray, has become the first woman ever appointed as chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.

Murray replaces Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii as the new committee chair.  According to Rob Hotakainen, Staff writer at the Olympian, Akaka is an 86-year-old veteran of World War II and has headed the committee for the last four years.

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Law & Justice
7:48 am
Thu January 27, 2011

More learned about man who threatened Gregoire

A man who says he was upset over losing state benefits has been arrested and charged with making threats against Governor Chris Gregoire and her family. 51-year-old Robert Ray Locke was arraigned on one count of felony threat and pleaded not guilty.

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News Roundup
6:59 am
Thu January 27, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

Vicki Sessions, right, stops on her jog with dog Solli to sign a marijuana legalization petition for volunteer Terren Dubuque Thursday, July 1, 2010, in Seattle. The petition failed to get enough signatures. Backers will try again this year.
Elaine Thompson AP

Making headlines this morning:

  • Boeing Windfall for Thousands of Workers
  • Seattle Reconsiders Parking Rate Hikes
  • Another Effort to Legalize Marijuana
  • Sports "Star" Winners Announced

     

Bonuses for Boeing workers

More than 48,000 Boeing workers be handed incentive bonuses next month. The windfall, averaging about $5,000 per employee, is the result of solid profit gains last year, according to The Seattle Times' Dominic Gates:

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Culture
3:51 pm
Wed January 26, 2011

TED plunges into digital book market with Amazon

Nic Marks is a statistician whose talks about how nation's measures of success might better be measured by the happiness of their people, rather than productivity. Marks' ideas is one of the first TED Books, a digital imprint released Wednesday, Jan. 26th
TED.com

The popular TED Talks series is sprouting a new arm: TED Books.  Seattle-based Amazon began selling the short (10,000 to 20,000 word) digital books today. They are available on the Kindle platform.

The first three ebooks with the new imprint are based on materials from popular Talks series speakers:

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Law & Justice
12:46 pm
Wed January 26, 2011

Man arrested for allegedly threatening Gregoire

A Pierce County man is in custody for allegedly making an online threat to Governor Chris Gregoire. The Washington State Patrol picked up Robert R. Locke, of the Graham area, on Tuesday afternoon. 

In a statement, the patrol reports Gregoire's office received the still unspecified threat early Tuesday morning. The message was traced to Locke, and he was picked up while walking on a Pierce County street about six hours later. 

Detectives reported their arrest took place without incident. 

Locke was booked into Pierce County jail, where he's charged with one felony count of threatening the governor or the governor's family.

License Debate
10:50 am
Wed January 26, 2011

Gregoire supports citizenship checks for driver's licenses

Governor Chris Gregoire says she supports citizenship checks for driver's licenses. Washington is one of the last states in the nation that still issues driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Gregoire says ending that practice is a matter of national security:

"The job of being governor has changed dramatically since I came into office in 2005 and security has become one of the top priorities for every governor in this country."

There are several proposals in the legislature to require the Department of Licensing to confirm an applicant's "legal presence" in the country. Gregoire says if the legislature sends her a bill, she’ll sign it.

The governor's statement comes after a public radio report earlier this week on the issue. 

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Preservation
8:07 am
Wed January 26, 2011

New site proposed for Hanford Reach Interpretive Center

Supporters of a proposed interpretive center for the Hanford Reach have identified a new location for the star-crossed project. They're hoping the fresh site will breathe new life into a project that's been mired in controversy and divisiveness.

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News Roundup
7:47 am
Wed January 26, 2011

Wednesday morning's headlines

Making headlines this morning:

  • A Little Pot With Your Booze?
  • Boeing Announces 2011 Profit Projections
  • State Parks Facing Tough Budget

 

Should the state legalize marijuana sales?

The idea has the backing of some state legislators who filed legislation Tuesday. It would allow state liquor stores to sell pot. KING-TV reports the bill's chief backer is Seattle Democrat Mary Lou Dickerson:

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Environment
1:46 pm
Tue January 25, 2011

UW scientist captures strange song of cracking iceberg

Iceberg B-15A was 76 miles long and 17 miles wide
Josh Landis National Science Foundation

If an iceberg cracks in Antarctica and no one's there to hear it, does it make a sound? Now we know the answer is, in fact, yes.

A University of Washington oceanographer has released a recording of the breakup of one of the largest icebergs ever observed in Antarctica.

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Law & Justice
11:05 am
Tue January 25, 2011

King County to pay $10 million in case of mistaken identity

This surveillance video outside the Cinerama Theatre in downtown Seattle captures the moment Christopher Harris was slammed into a theater wall by a deputy working for Metro Transit last May.
MJDArv YouTube.com

King County has agreed to pay $10 million to a man who suffered a catastrophic brain injury when a sheriff's deputy slammed him into a concrete wall after a chase in Seattle.

Christopher Harris ran from deputies who mistook him for a suspect in a fight on in May 2009. After a couple of blocks, Harris stopped, and a deputy knocked him 8 feet into a concrete wall, head first.

Harris eventually emerged from a coma but can't walk or talk. The 30-year-old is expected to need round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

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Parking
7:37 am
Tue January 25, 2011

Parking crackdown in Sound Transit park-and-ride lots

dc.gov

Been having a hard time finding a space at park-and-ride lots? Sound Transit feels your pain.

The transit agency says it's started to crack down on drivers who violate parking rules at Sounder train stations and park-and-rides. Transit riders are complaining that it's getting harder to find parking spaces, at least in part because of other drivers parking inconsiderately.

Sound Transit began giving warnings last week, but starting this week, cars violating Sound transit parking rules will be immediately towed.

At risk? Vehicles that are ...

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State Budget
7:30 am
Tue January 25, 2011

Education vs. social services? House debates funding priorities

Students at Salmon Bay School in Seattle. The house voted to cut $42 million from programs to reduce class sizes in grades K-4.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Lawmakers face stark choices when it comes to the budget. Those choices were on display Monday as the House voted on a cost-cutting bill. Democrats and Republicans split over what to cut next: education or social services.

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