Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

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.

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