Martha Kang

 

A bomb threat on Wednesday prompted the evacuation of Marysville Pilchuck High School, where a shooting claimed five lives last October. 

Courtesy of Krystle Wright

Ben Plotkin-Swing stood balancing on a line, just an inch wide, stretched between two towering spires in the North Cascades.

Below much of the line, only thin air stretched for thousands of feet down to the jagged floor of the mountain.

Plotkin-Swing's safety harness was attached to the line. And he’d never been afraid of heights. Still, something happens when you’re standing on a thin strip of polyester webbing far above the ground.

Read the full story on our companion site, Quirksee.org >>>

Courtesy of Rika Manabe

When Junko Mine gets ready to bake, she starts with a big glass jar.

She fills it with water, then adds something for flavor: maybe a few raspberries, some Douglas fir needles or a whole apple, skin and all.

She seals the jar tightly, then waits. For five to seven days.

Photo courtesy of Ian Tuttle.

Photographer Ian Tuttle was driving when he saw three backpackers resting under a tree near the Pacific Crest Trail in California.

He pulled over. Did they need water or a ride somewhere? Maybe a beer? Just the beer, the hikers told him. And so Tuttle ended up spending the next hour with them, talking over beers and taking their photos.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

It used to be that pigs would roam the fields, nose to the ground, sniffing for the musk of a buried truffle. Once hot on the trail, the hog would rout down and down for the crest of the hidden truffle.

Courtesy of Rex Hohlbein

Seattle architect Rex Hohlbein had been designing luxury homes for decades when his focus suddenly turned to the homeless.

Hohlbein says it all started during his morning bike ride to the office. He met a man named Chiaka. This encounter would change his life. 

Take 87 seconds to hear Hohlbein tell his story:

AP Photo

Think we don’t have an accent here in the Pacific Northwest? Think again.

Scientists say we do, in fact, have an accent, though our native ears may not always pick up on it. The longer we’ve lived here, the harder it is for us to hear our own distinct subtleties, according to experts.

So let’s put our ears to the test. We asked three people to say the same sentence: “Please put the fish you caught at dawn in the bag, not in the bowl.” Click on the three audio clips below to hear them, then pick out the voice you think belongs to a native Northwesterner. 

Courtesy of Clayton Kauzlaric

If Seattle's streets could talk, they’re likely to tell you the stories depicted in Clayton Kauzlaric’s photos.

Kauzlaric uses Photoshop to juxtapose archival photos with modern-day images of the same location.

Take, for instance, the stretch of Alaskan Way that houses the ferry terminal on Seattle’s waterfront. These days, it’s an unremarkable place where a McDonald’s sign greets passersby. But it has quite a history — it’s also the same place Japanese residents were made to board trains headed to internment camps back in 1942.

Read the full story on our companion site, Quirksee.org >>>

(Dorothea Lange/Farm Security Administration)

As America struggled in the throes of the Great Depression, a team of photographers was dispatched across the country to capture moments of their lives.

The project was an attempt to win political favor for government programs, including Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Resettlement Administration in 1935. The initiative aimed to aid the poorest one-third of displaced farmers through resettlement and low-interest loans.

Katrina Spade / Urban Death Project

What if after you die, your remains were turned into compost?

That’s the idea behind the Urban Death Project, which aims to introduce a new burial option in urban areas.

Martha Kang / KPLU

It’s the rare person who sees a hole in the ground and feels compelled to stick his head in it.

But cavers are “innately curious,” says veteran caver Tom Evans, who himself will not only peer in, but try to squeeze his whole body through a just-big-enough opening into Earth's damp, dark underbelly.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Boeing failed to negotiate in good faith when it refused to provide evidence to substantiate its claim that workers in the Puget Sound area cost more than workers elsewhere, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled Friday.

The ruling was in response to an unfair labor practice charge filed by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, or SPEEA.

Courtesy of Mark McCcracken.

Editor’s note: This piece is an update to our previous story on Bruce Stobie, which ran in May. 

When Bruce Stobie arrived at Denali last month, he could feel the presence of the mountain, even if he couldn’t see it.

“I felt like a guest — not a welcome guest,” said the blind climber from Des Moines, Washington. “All there was: rock, ice and snow. And cold and warm temperatures. And that’s it. There’s nothing else.”

Provided by Seattle Public Schools.

The Seattle School Board has named former Marysville School District Superintendent Larry Nyland as its interim superintendent.

The board made the announcement following a special meeting Friday.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle City Council has confirmed Kathleen O’Toole as the first female chief of the Seattle Police Department.

With an 8-to-1 vote Monday, the council approved Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s nomination. Council member Kshama Sawant cast the lone dissent vote.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has named Downtown Seattle Association President and CEO Kate Joncas as his new deputy mayor of operations.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says he plans to call an emergency meeting of the Seattle City Council to discuss the “epidemic of gun violence” in the wake of two shootings that claimed three lives in the city in the past week.

“This city and this nation must address this sense of violence,” said the mayor at a Friday news conference with dozens of community leaders standing by his side. “We have to find a way to move forward.”

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A Seattle Pacific University student managed to subdue a suspected gunman after four people were injured, one fatally, during a shooting on campus Thursday afternoon. 

Police said a young man entered Otto Miller Hall with a shotgun and opened fire shortly before 3:30 p.m. The gunman was reloading when a student, who was working as the building monitor, confronted and subdued the gunman using pepper spray. 

"Once on the ground, other students jumped on top of them, and they were able to pin the shooter to the ground until police arrived," said Seattle Police Capt. Chris Fowler.  

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Seven maximum-security inmates sit in a room with their eyes closed, not making a sound.

Shackles bind their hands and feet, confining them to a metal chair bolted to the ground. A guard stands nearby. Yells and clanks from the hallway stray in through the open door.

This is what meditation class at the Monroe Correctional Complex looks like. The students, murderer and rapists among them, listen as volunteer teacher Cathy Iacobazzi walks them through a practice session. 

AP Photo/The Herald, Dan Bates, Pool

Amanda Skorjanc was sitting in her kitchen with her baby son, Duke, when she heard “what sounded like a truck off a rumble strip.”

“And then it continued, and I thought, ‘Oh, maybe it’s an earthquake.’ And then the light started to shake. The light started to blink,” said the 25-year-old mother.

Skorjanc looked out the side door of her Oso home, and saw nothing. Then she looked out the front door.

“It was like a movie. Houses were exploding,” she said, fighting back tears. “The next thing I see is the neighbor’s chimney coming in through our front door. And I turned and I held Duke, and I did not let him go.”

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

This weekend's rain caused parts of western Washington to see the wettest March on record as was predicted by KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass

"My lawn has turned into a carpet of moss and my deck is now green," Mass said on Sunday.

AP Photo

Move over, Hempfest; there’s a new show in town, and on the same weekend.

CannaCon is coming to the Tacoma Dome, and organizers hope to make it the biggest cannabis expo in the country.

“Picture the Seattle Home and Garden Show, but with cannabis,” said Bob Smart, a medical marijuana retailer who is organizing the event with the help of the Marijuana Business Association.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

Seattle’s underground sex economy more than doubled between 2003 and 2007, when the industry shrunk in other U.S. cities, according to a study by the Urban Institute released Wednesday.

The in-depth study on the economics of the underground commercial sex trade focused on eight U.S. cities, including Seattle, through national data sets and interviews with hundreds of sex workers and law enforcement officials.

Olympic National Park

A centuries-old red western cedar tree in Olympic National Park fell victim to a storm over the weekend.

Olympic National Park spokesperson Barb Maynes said the beloved tree known as the “Kalaloch cedar” split in two on Saturday, and a large portion of it fell away.

“It certainly has been an iconic tree for many, many years,” said Maynes. 

Matthew Brown / AP Photo

Seattle has joined Spokane and Bellingham in passing a resolution to restrict oil shipments by rail until further review.

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed the resolution co-sponsored by council member Mike O’Brien and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

What to call the mammoth whose tusk surfaced in South Lake Union last month?

Starting Saturday, the Burke Museum will take public suggestions to name the prehistoric mammal the tusk once belonged to. Ideas can be submitted in person at the museum where the tusk will be on display, or online at seattlemammoth.org.

KPLU

The number of homeless students in Washington state has risen for the sixth straight year, this time topping 30,000.

The latest count by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction shows the number of students without homes rose by 11.8 percent from the previous year to reach 30,609 last school year. The figure reflects a 47.3 percent spike from the 2008-2009 school year.

An Amber Alert was canceled Thursday evening after two missing Mill Creek children were found safe in Oregon.

The alert was issued after  2-year-old Tyrel Henry and 8-months-old Alexandria Henry were taken by their mother. Tyrel, who had a tracheotomy, is on a ventilator and in need of around-the-clock medical care. 

joolie / Flickr

Seattle city leaders are working to establish a citywide system of lockers for the city’s homeless residents, council members Sally Bagshaw and Bruce Harrell announced in a guest blog post in The Stranger on Tuesday.

Lockers, the council members wrote, would free homeless residents from having to “drag your possessions with you to your interview, on your back, in bags, whatever you have, stigmatizing you for sure as homeless.”

Rachel La Corte / AP Photo

No one will be executed in the state of Washington as long as Gov. Jay Inslee is in office, the governor said Tuesday.

"Equal justice under the law is the primary responsibility of our state. And in death penalty cases, I am not convinced equal justice is being served," Inslee said.

The governor, who previously supported the death penalty, said he decided to issue the moratorium after a months-long review of strong arguments on both sides of the issue, as well as a visit to the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla where nine inmates are currently on death row. But Inslee said his decision wasn’t based on just those nine people.

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