Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Washington State’s insurance commissioner has opened up a multi-state investigation into Washington’s largest insurance carrier, Premera Blue Cross, after a data breach left 11 million customers’ private information exposed to hackers.

Premera says it found out about the hack on January 29, and the company disclosed it publicly on March 17. So the first thing Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler wants to know is, what took so long?

“Why did it take six weeks before you notified the primary regulator? I want to know why we didn’t know earlier, so that we can make sure that everything that can be done is being done to protect the consumer’s interest,” Kreidler said in an interview.

Sound Effect, Episode 11: Flight

Mar 21, 2015

"Sound Effect" is a weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer.

Each week's show explores a different theme. In this week's show, we take flight, or at least take a look at it.

Eric Bridiers / U. S. Mission General

"Early in 2015, Shin Dong-hyuk changed his story.”

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

In Oso this weekend, thousands of people are expected to turn out for memorial gatherings to mark the anniversary of one of the nation’s deadliest landslides.

First responders and families of the 43 people who died are asking the public to give them space.

One year ago, a mudslide wreaked havoc on Oso, a small community in Washington state. It took just a few minutes to topple dozens of homes, leaving 43 people dead. Volunteers and first responders rushed to the scene to save trapped residents. Yet, remarkably, none of them were hurt, at least not physically.

In the weeks and months following the landslide, thousands of people from the outlying areas formed teams. Loggers brought in heavy equipment; Red Cross and other groups organized volunteers and protected families from the throngs of media.

According to the monthly update released Wednesday by Washington's Employment Security Department, the state’s unemployment rate stayed flat in February.

Monday morning in Tacoma Troy Kelley's neighbors heard a knock on the Washington state auditor's door. Agents of the U.S. Treasury Department announced themselves, entered through the front door and searched his home for about five hours. Kelley's office submitted documents in response to a federal subpoena Thursday.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has accused a mobile home park owner of a scheme to evade inspections.

For the past two years, at an undisclosed location in the Upper Midwest, a large commercial egg farm has been probed with every tool of modern science. Researchers have collected data on feed consumed, eggs produced, rates of chicken death and injury, levels of dust in the air, microbial contamination and dollars spent. Graduate students have been assigned to watch hours of video of the hens in an effort to rate the animals' well-being.

Sunday marks one year since a deadly landslide near Oso, Washington, killed 43 people.

Here are the three most underreported stories of the week, acording to the guests of our news roundtable:

Sound Effect, Episode 10: Trees

Mar 14, 2015

"Sound Effect" is a weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer.

Each week's show will explore a different theme. In this week's show, we branch out to explore trees. 

Several artists in southcentral Washington state are responding to last month’s Pasco shooting.

Sound Effect, Episode 9: Age

Mar 7, 2015

"Sound Effect" is a weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place where we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer.

Each week's show will explore a different theme. In this week's show, something we all do and all the time - Age.

 

Here are the three most underreported stories of the week, according to the guests of our news roundtable:

How To Make A Mini Zine

Feb 28, 2015

In this week's episode of Sound Effect, KPLU's Arwen Nicks spoke with poet Amanda Laughtland about her poetry zines and small press, Teeny Tiny. 

Watch Arwen demonstrate how to create a mini zine out of a single sheet of paper.

"Sound Effect" is a weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place where we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer.

Each week's show will explore a different theme. In this week's show, we illuminate the mighty power of small things.

Herrmann Scholbe

 

The family of a man shot by police in Pasco, Washington this month is challenging police investigators' autopsy findings.

An attorney representing Antonio Zambrano-Montes' widow said in a press release Thursday police shot the man up to seven times, twice from behind.

Nicholas K. Geranios / AP Photo

 

Kennewick police investigating the police shooting this month of Antonio Zambrano-Montes told reporters Wednesday bullets entered him from the front, and a rock was found near his body.

Officers fired 17 rounds. Of those, one autopsy shows Zambrano-Montes took five shots, the other said six.

Tom Banse

New ownership is giving new hope to a decrepit, unseaworthy fishing boat with a notable literary pedigree. Northwest shipwrights will be hired to restore the Western Flyer, the vessel made famous by the author John Steinbeck.

Monica Spain

With homelessness on the rise, colleges now offer classes on the subject. At Seattle Pacific University, hosting a tent city easily integrates students with campers in the classroom. 

But students there have taken that relationship a step further. At a recent poetry slam, barriers between campers and college kids dissolved.

Anna King

New facts are emerging in the police shooting of 35-year-old Mexican farmworker Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Pasco, Washington.

Several cellphone videos posted on YouTube show the shooting in grainy but graphic detail. Zambrano-Montes was reportedly throwing rocks in a crowded intersection. Police arrived, tried to stop him then used a Taser on him. Zambrano-Montes ran across the intersection. Shots were fired.

"Sound Effect" is a weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place where we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer.

Each week's show will explore a different theme. In this week's show, we give some time to the idea of second chances.

Courtesy of Quiet Planet

On an April morning in 2011, Gordon Hempton awoke to sunshine. Spring was unfolding outside his Indianola house, and yet all was quiet.

“And I thought, ‘Well, this is kind of funny,” Hempton recalls. “’The birds should be singing.”’

Hempton says he was reminded of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” and wondered if something strange had happened to the birds in his neighborhood. He turned to his partner, Kate.

AP Photo/Dario Infante

 

All the bullet fragments have been recovered from the Pasco police shooting scene and body of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, according to the Kennewick Police Department. 

The department is leading an investigation into last week’s police shooting in southeast Washington.

WSDOT

 

Bertha has reached her goal.

The cutterhead on Seattle's troubled tunnel machine broke through the 20-foot-thick wall of a rescue pit at about noon on Thursday. Video from a television helicopter showed a big plume of dust coming from inside the pit as the machine emerges.

WSDOT

Bertha is on the move.

The broken-down tunnel machine began its journey toward an access pit where, if it makes it, workers will remove the front of the machine for repairs. It started moving on Tuesday night and had moved 3 feet by 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Bertha must travel another 17 feet to reach the pit. It must tunnel through the pit's 20-foot concrete wall.

AP Photo/Dario Infante

 

Community leaders in Pasco, Washington are asking for a federal investigation by the Department of Justice, though it's not yet clear if they'll get their wish.

Pasco police shot and killed Antonio Zambrano-Montes last Tuesday. Witnesses say he had been throwing rocks at a busy intersection.

A magnitude-4.3 earthquake rumbled under Washington state's Cascade Range, but no injuries or damage have been reported.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network says the quake struck at 1:04 a.m. Wednesday and was centered about 20 miles north of Ellensburg and 10 miles northeast of Cle Elum in central Washington.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

 

Legislative moves to limit school immunization exemptions are drawing vocal opposition from some parents. Opponents of mandatory vaccination crowded a public hearing at the state capitol in Olympia Tuesday, and the scene could repeat itself in Salem Wednesday.

A bill in the Washington legislature would no longer allow schoolchildren to skip vaccinations on personal or philosophical grounds. Religious and medical exemptions would remain.

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