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7:00 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Hanford waste shipment plan under debate in New Mexico

Elaine Baumgartel Northwest News Network

Last month, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a plan to send some nuclear waste from leaky storage tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation to southern New Mexico.

The proposed new storage site is near Carlsbad, and it's called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. WIPP, as it’s known, has been prohibited from receiving Hanford tank waste for nearly a decade. Now, New Mexicans are debating whether to reverse course, and accept some of the waste.

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12:35 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Thank you for supporting KPLU during our spring pledge drive!

Justin Steyer KPLU

The four-day spring pledge drive has ended. Thank you for your support! Also, a big thanks to the  companies who were generous enough to donate their products during the 2013 Spring Pledge Drive. If you missed the pledge drive, you can still make your pledge today.

5:00 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Costs said to hamper staffing fixes aboard Washington ferries

Washington ferries sial with the minimum required crew, leaving them no wiggle room to deal with staffing shortages.
Curtis Cronn Flickr

Washington ferry officials blame budget cuts and new rules for Monday’s cancelations, but workers say that kind of disruption could be avoided.

It didn't take much: A crew member called in sick around midnight. A captain took a vacation but still wound up on the schedule. Those routine staffing hiccups resulted in four canceled ferry runs Monday, stranding hundreds of passengers. 

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population growth
3:24 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

NOAA: Coastal population boom increases hazard risks


A population boom along the U.S. coastline threatens to put residents at increased risk in case of an extreme storm that heavily damages infrastructure, according to a new report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Latest census data states 123 million Americans, or 39 percent, live along the coast. And growth trends indicate that number will balloon to nearly 134 million people — a growth of 8 percent — by 2020.

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Other News
9:45 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Italy's high court to rule whether Amanda Knox will be retried

File photo
Associated Press

A lawyer says Amanda Knox is "very anxious" as Italy's top criminal court hears arguments from prosecutors appealing her acquittal in the murder of her roommate.

Attorney Luciano Ghirga said he spoke to Knox by phone.

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Northwest notes
12:07 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

New national monument planned in San Juan Islands

President Barack Obama is designating five new national monuments, using executive authority to protect historic or ecologically significant sites —including one in Washington state.

The San Juan Islands National Monument off Washington's northwest coast includes roughly 1,000 acres of public land already managed by the BLM.

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Other News
12:07 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Amazon CEO recovers Apollo engines from Atlantic

Two mammoth rocket engines that helped boost Apollo astronauts to the moon have been fished out of the Atlantic.

An expedition led by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pulled up the engines and is headed back to Cape Canaveral, Fla., after three weeks at sea.

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Other News
9:32 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Health officials: 1 in 50 school kids have autism

Christopher Astacio reads with his daughter Cristina, 2, recently diagnosed with a mild form of autism, in her bedroom on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 in New York.
Bebeto Matthews Associated Press

A government survey of parents says 1 in 50 U.S. schoolchildren has autism, surpassing another federal estimate for the disorder.

Health officials say the new number doesn't mean autism is occurring more often. But it does suggest that doctors are diagnosing autism more frequently, especially in children with milder problems.

The earlier government estimate of 1 in 88 comes from a study that many consider more rigorous. It looks at medical and school records instead of relying on parents.

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Other News
3:45 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

SPD: Usage of overnight parking option on the rise

The city’s overnight parking meters have proven to be a big success since being introduced nearly two years ago, according to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle Police Department.

The mayor’s office says drivers have opted to park overnight more than 45,000 times since the option was introduced in April 2011, and usage continues to climb. Seattle Police Captain Mike Nolan believes the numbers are an indication that the meters are helping prevent impaired driving. 

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Other News
5:33 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Is there a new pope? There's an app for that

Want to know the minute the Vatican has a new pope? There’s an app for that.

The aptly-named app Conclave, which includes a live stream of the Sistine Chapel's chimney, says its users will be “among the first to see the white smoke rise.”

And it appears Conclave has company.

Popealarm.com promises to notify users “as soon as the smoke [rising from the Sistine Chapel] turns white!”

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Other News
11:45 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Navy investigates what caused jet crash that killed three

The EA-6B Prowler, used by the Navy for electronic attack.
Wikipedia Commons

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Navy says it's trying to figure out what caused a plane crash that killed three crew members Monday. The military jet went down during a training exercise 50 miles west of Spokane.

The crash happened in Lincoln County, near the small town of Harrington. There were no survivors. Aerial photos showed a gash in a farm field, ending in a crater. There's barely any wreckage visible.

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Other News
10:37 am
Tue March 12, 2013

The Smoke Is Black: No Pope After Cardinals' First Vote

As the black smoke rose from the Vatican chimney Tuesday, some of the nuns and others gathered in St. Peter's Square were singing.
Eric Gaillard Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 12:25 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Sylvia Poggioli on the latest from Rome
  • Philip Reeves on the princes of the church

Update at 2:43 p.m. ET. No Pope Today:

Black smoke just poured from the chimney above the Vatican. That means, as was expected, the cardinals did not choose a pope on the first vote of their conclave to name a successor to the now-retired Pope Benedict XVI. As the cardinals' ballots are burned, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli says, chemicals are added to a fire in a second stove to turn the smoke black if there's no pope elected and white if there is.

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4:34 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Local leaders to state: Let us tax ourselves for transportation

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn joins area business, labor and elected leaders to push for "local options" for funding roads and transit.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Local leaders from across King County want to tax themselves to pay for bus service, ferries, roads and bridges, but even local measures would need approval from the state.

The coalition, which includes the mayor of Seattle and more than 40 other cities, want to be able to tack on fees to car tab renewals and vehicle transfers, among others. That requires approval from state legislators.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said local governments should be free to invest in their own infrastructure.

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Other News
10:57 am
Mon March 11, 2013

A rough guide to what will happen at tomorrow's papal conclave

Cardinals gathered in Vatican City on Monday, a day before the papal selection process known as the conclave begins.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 5:34 pm

The stage is now set for the opening act of one of the more spectacular and intriguing theatrical dramas on the planet: the election of a pope.

In Rome, TV camera crews have set up their positions on big platforms overlooking St. Peter's Square and the Vatican, where the secretive process will begin Tuesday.

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Other News
9:42 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Pasco first-grader suspended for talking about Nerf guns


The Pasco School District decided to overturn the suspension of a first-grader who was sent home for talking about toy guns.

The district determined no discipline was warranted after talking with the parents.

The father, Mike Aguirre, told the Tri-City Herald his son Noah was punished for talking about Nerf guns and there's no evidence he threatened to harm another student.

The 6-year-old was suspended Feb. 28 at James McGee Elementary School. The district said Wednesday the incident will be erased from his record.