Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Alison Marcote / KPLU

When 10-year-old Mohamed Mohamed thinks of Yesler Terrace, the word “community” comes to mind.

“It’s not one of those quiet neighborhoods where you’re staying at home playing video games or anything like that,” he said. “It’s somewhere where you can play outside and meet new people.”

Mohamed says he has lived in Yesler Terrace, Seattle’s oldest housing project, his whole life.

“It’s very sad they’re changing it into like houses that have elevators,” he said. “It’s not going to be the same; it’s not going to be low-income anymore. It’s just going to be sad.”

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The most destructive wildfire currently burning in the Northwest has left thousands of people without air conditioning and refrigeration. The so-called Carlton Complex fire has closed gas stations and shut down ATMs in north-central Washington.

Okanogan County currently estimates 150 to 200 homes burned to the ground. The Okanogan County Utility District says its electrical system is almost a complete loss.

About 80 people woke up in a Red Cross shelter in central Washington Friday morning after a wildfire forced the town of Pateros to evacuate overnight. Initial reports are that 40 homes and a church have burned in the small town on the Columbia River.

AP Photo

The attorney representing rescued POW Bowe Bergdahl expects the Army sergeant to be interviewed by military investigators within the coming weeks. The probe into how Bergdahl fell into Taliban hands while off-base in 2009 is already underway.

Bergdahl's attorney Eugene Fidell says it's hard to find other cases that serve as precedent for Bergdahl. Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School, met with Bergdahl in San Antonio for the first time last week after Bergdahl asked Fidell to represent him.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Residents of 860 homes have been told they should evacuate as a wildfire burns out of control in central Washington state.

The Chiwaukum Creek fire in Chelan County, believed to have been started by lightning and first detected on Tuesday, remains zero percent contained. It has now burned approximately 4,500 acres.

Anna King

Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers who are worried about getting sick turned out in droves for a public meeting Wednesday night in Richland organized by a Seattle-area watchdog called Hanford Challenge.

About 45 people squeezed into tight rows in a small conference room.

Get ready for some big delays on Interstate 90. Starting Friday night, westbound traffic will have to squeeze down from four lanes to one, beginning at Bellevue Way. Several ramps will also be closed. 

It's going to last an entire week, and yes, the Washington State Department of Transportation says it’s going to be messy.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Public health officials in the Northwest say they're seeing gonorrhea infections at levels they haven't seen in years. Three counties in Washington state are now in the midst of an outbreak, and parts of Oregon and Idaho are set to top even last year's high numbers.

And health departments are seeing some unusual trends in the data.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A series of mistakes led a truck to strike an overhead girder of the Interstate 5 bridge, causing it to collapse into the Skagit River last year, the National Transportation Safety Board said in an exhaustive list of safety recommendations released Tuesday.

Courtesy of Ross Rowsey, Washington State University

At least 15 to 20 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Biologists puzzling over what can go wrong when egg and sperm get together are now one step closer to solving the mystery.  

Alison Marcotte / KPLU

Capt. Larry Kezner blows the horn of the Fremont Avenue passenger vessel and undocks his boat from South Lake Union Park. Andy Kim’s popular ‘70s tune “Rock Me Gently” plays through the speakers as Kezner steers the boat around the southern shore of Lake Union. “Funky” background music is a staple of Kezner’s tours.

“Welcome aboard the Fremont Avenue,” he says over the intercom to the 24 passengers on board. “Thank you guys for coming out. Good sports for the cloudy day here.”

If you're a fan of "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!", the oddly informative news quiz from NPR, you won't want to miss their live show at Seattle's Paramount Theatre on Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are now on sale to the public at stgpresents.org.

Heroin-related deaths used to be associated with users in their 30s on up through middle age. But a new drug use study in King County confirms a new phenomenon: heroin deaths in young adults are on the rise. 

Michael B. / Flickr

In honor of American independence, we’ve taken the liberty (sorry) of putting together this list of things to do this Fourth of July. The list is, by no means, comprehensive. If you know of a celebration we missed, please let us know in the comment section below.

Seattle

Courtesy of Jal Schrof/Ethnic Heritage Council

The Fourth of July will carry a new meaning for 431 people at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion. At noon, candidates will be sworn in as U.S. citizens at the 30th annual naturalization ceremony hosted by the nonprofit Ethnic Heritage Council.

“It’s a great reminder of why we celebrate the Fourth of July. It’s not all about fireworks and picnics; it’s about love for this country,” said Alma Plancich, executive director of the Ethnic Heritage Council.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Washington’s prison system has announced a major policy change when it comes to inmates who harm themselves. The Department of Corrections said Thursday that it will no longer sanction inmates for cutting or other acts of self-injury.

Boise National Forest

scathing new report by a group of veteran wildfire experts says too little has been done to improve firefighter safety since an Arizona fire killed 19 firefighters a year ago. 

The group, called Safety Matters, is asking national wildfire managers to implement a series of changes aimed at putting safety above saving property.

Jessica Robinson

A day of planned celebration of Bowe Bergdahl in his Idaho hometown turned out to be a pretty uneventful one. Hailey, Idaho cancelled Saturday’s event after the city received threats.

Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives

The Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote today on whether to bring back the downtown streetcar.  

The proposed line would traverse First Avenue and link to the existing South Lake Union line and the First Hill line, which is slated to open later this year. 

Courtesy of Nathan Martin / Estelia Photography

Nathan Martin got the collecting bug in his early 20s. He accumulated more than 900 retro console games and arcade games — the same games he’d enjoyed playing as a kid growing up in Seattle, which he calls the “the Silicon Valley of video games.”

When he realized his collection was collecting dust on his shelves, he decided it was time to give back.

U.S. Census Bureau

New federal population figures released Thursday show the nation’s youngest county is in the Northwest, and not in an urban area. Madison County, Idaho is in the midst of eastern Idaho's potato country.

To give a comparison, the median age of the U.S. is almost 38 years old. The median age of Madison County is 23. That’s the lowest in the country and there’s one big reason: Madison County is home to Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Petros Giannakouris / AP Photo

Health plans in Washington state can’t refuse to cover services for transgender people if the same procedures are covered for others, according to a statement from the state insurance commissioner.

It’s not uncommon for private health plans to exclude gender transition procedures and medical services related to them. That’s what happened to Gwen Yeh of Seattle, who said her Premera plan wouldn’t pay for hormones or the frequent blood work she needed as part of her move toward living as a woman.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has issued a sweeping call for a “summer of safety,” an integrated approach to public safety that would lead to longer-term priority.

Standing before members of the Seattle City Council Wednesday, Murray touched on police reform, racial disparities, infrastructure and mental health. He said up to now, there has been a sense that the city doesn’t really have a clear, coordinated strategy for fighting crime and disorder.

Michael Coghlan / Flickr

Washington state’s prison system is projected to need 1,000 new beds by 2018. And that growth has Gov. Jay Inslee concerned.

Inslee on Tuesday announced a Department of Justice-backed review of the state’s criminal justice system. The goal is to look for ways to save money without jeopardizing public safety.

Anna King

The Timberbowl Rodeo in the town of Darrington, Washington saw some of its largest crowds ever this past weekend. Neighbors gathered at the event to hug, shake hands and heal from the tragic Oso landslide.

Alexis Blakey knows nearly everyone in the small town that lies 74 miles northeast of Seattle. A native of nearby Oso, Washington, 20-year-old Blakey said the landslide that made her town infamous is branded on her brain. She was at these same rodeo grounds that day when she saw ambulance after ambulance headed for Oso.

“I don’t know," Blakey said. "We were all just like, 'What is going on? Is this really happening right now?'”

Rachel La Corte / AP Photo

Search and rescue teams are combing the east side of Mount Rainier where a Seattle woman has gone missing amid snowy conditions.

Courtesy of Carolyn Corvi.

Editor's Note: “Senior Thesis” is a special week-long series that brings together venerable veterans in various fields with university students hoping to forge a career in the same field.

Jaime Katzer showed up at the studio in her best business attire, excited but a little nervous. The University of Washington senior was here to meet a woman who from the outside appears fearless.

Photo courtesy Alan Alabastro / Seattle Repertory Theatre

Editor's Note: “Senior Thesis” is a special week-long series that brings together venerable veterans in various fields with university students hoping to forge a career in the same field.

Actors, especially aspiring actors, can't wait for the perfect role to come along, says veteran of the Seattle stage Bob Wright.

"Put yourself in a position to work," said the actor who's been listed in Seattle Playbills with the name "R. Hamilton Wright" since 1979. "It's better to work than not work. Find ways to act."

An administrative law judge who accused the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner of pressuring her to rule in its favor broke her silence Monday, but she told lawmakers she’s not allowed to give them the whole story.

Patricia Petersen appeared before the state Senate Law and Justice Committee. She said she wants to tell the legislators what’s behind her spat with the OIC, including her accusation that the agency’s second-in-command pressured her to rule in the office’s favor.

But Petersen, in her first public comments since lodging a whistleblower complaint against her boss, said the commissioner gave her a gag order on the matter while it’s being investigated.

Courtesy of KING Broadcasting

Editor’s Note: “Senior Thesis” is a special week-long series that brings together venerable veterans in various fields with university students hoping to forge a career in the same field.

The college senior sat across from the retired anchorman. She'd brought a list of questions, but only looked at it once. She knew what to ask; she’d been thinking about it for the last four years.

“Do you feel like your career got in the way of other things?” she said.

“Oh, sure,” the anchorman said.

“I’m scared of that,” she said. “I don’t want to end up with a great career, but still have regrets of things I didn’t do.”

“Life is about choices,” he replied with reassurance, not admonition. Yes, you have to make choices, he said, so why not choose a little of everything?

Pages