Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

U.S. Department of Energy

 

President Barack Obama’s budget would spend $2.3 billion on cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in 2016.

But it shifts the focus of cleanup. The proposed budget would spend more on cleanup of the tank waste and a massive plant meant to treat that sludge. But the president’s proposed budget would cut about $100 million from the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations office.

USDA

 

Another new case of bird flu has popped up in northern Washington state. This one is a hobby and 4-H program flock in Oroville, Washington, not far from the Canadian border.

It’s mostly chickens and waterfowl. Another, larger flock 40 miles south in Riverside, Washington is on the chopping block as early as Tuesday.

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

"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 dive into Northwest myths and legends.

Tom Banse

 

It's been a tough winter so far for many Cascade Mountains ski resorts. Five in Oregon and Washington have suspended operations until they get more snow.

Workers at the Summit at Snoqualmie are even gathering snow from parking lots and building edges and moving it uphill to keep a few runs open.

Anna King

 

Washington state has set a six-mile quarantine circle around a new major bird flu site in near Riverside in north-central Washington.

About 5,000 birds — mainly ducks but also geese, turkeys and chickens — are in the infected flock.

Anna King

Government agriculture officials will kill 5,000 pheasants and turkeys due to a bird flu outbreak at a hunting operation Washington's Okanogan county.

About 40 birds at a game farm in Riverside, Wash. were ill over the weekend and tested positive for bird flu. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state of Washington will kill the entire flock and establish a quarantine around it.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Editor’s Note: This story originally ran as part of our new show, “Sound Effect,” which airs on Saturdays at 10 a.m.

“Smell that, Gabriel.”

Jon Preston waves a jumble of moss under my nose. It looks very much like a green wig. I oblige and breathe in a lungful of earthy air.

Sound Effect, Episode 3: Rain

Jan 24, 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, we dive into the rain.

Seattle's Rain Art

Jan 24, 2015
Ashley Gross / KPLU

The number of homeless people in King County continues to grow, according to this year’s One Night Count which showed a 21 percent jump from last year in the number of people without shelter. 

Volunteers found people sleeping in doorways, under overpasses, in cars and in alleys. Some were just wandering around, no place to go.

From Auburn to Woodinville, Seattle to Kirkland, 3,772 homeless people were counted this year, up from 3,123 last year.

Right now, according to government surveys, about a quarter of the cut-up chicken you buy — and about half of all ground chicken — is contaminated with salmonella bacteria.

It's a surprisingly high number, and it was a surprise to the USDA's food safety officials, too, when they realized this about a year ago. Because up to that point, their efforts had been focused on whole chickens, rather than the cut-up parts.

Kid Clutch / Flickr

Later this week, volunteers will fan out across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties to try to tally all of the people without a home as part of annual counts that take place at the end of January. 

Anna King

 

Three new hot spots of bird flu have been found in wild ducks and domestic birds in Idaho.

A second Oregon case was confirmed last week in a wild duck near Eugene. And a flock of 118 birds was euthanized over the weekend in Port Angeles, Washington.

Dame Edna Interview

Jan 20, 2015

 

Another case of avian flu has been confirmed in birds in Washington state, this time in a backyard flock in Port Angeles. The previous cases were in Whatcom and Benton counties.

camknows / Flickr

Come March 1, King County Metro rates will increase by 25 cents — the fifth increase in seven years. Alongside that rate hike, the county is offering relief to low-income riders with a reduced fare. 

The story starts with a letter to Earnest Oglby Punkweiler, a fictional time-traveler who answers children’s questions on a blog. The note simply read: “What color are you?”

Punkweiler may be a make-believe keeper of the universe and explorer of its history, but the question submitted at the Washington State History Museum by a young visitor sparked a conversation about race and how children learn about it.

"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 take a look at rule breakers and meet a few of them.

Handout photo

The blue-haired drag queen stood in the middle of the street in a sequined dress, a quilted rainbow affixed to her bosom. She was angry. So was the protester in front of her, a smaller man carrying a megaphone and a sign reading “REPENT.”

Just before the start of Seattle’s most recent Pride Parade downtown, a group of protestors came marching down Fourth Avenue, urging the crowd to rebuke homosexuality and profess a belief in Jesus Christ.

The drag queen, Mama Tits, turned on the microphone she was about to use to emcee the parade. Her deep voice boomed from huge speakers, echoing off tall buildings as the crowd cheered her on.

Read the story, hear the extended interview on Quirksee.org >>>

Audio: 'Mama Tits'

Jan 17, 2015
Austin Jenkins

 

A Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy has been named “officer of the year” for his actions in the aftermath of the Oso landslide.

Deputy Glen Bergstrom received the honor Friday from the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs.

Tom Banse

Up and down the West Coast, there are beach towns where it would be challenging to escape a tsunami.

That's because high ground is out of reach assuming the roads are buckled or jammed after a great earthquake. Now one low-lying Washington coastal town in that predicament is doing something about it.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Public health officials say this year’s flu shot provides less protection than in recent years, but Seattle scientists involved in the new study say the vaccine can still make a dent.

The Centers for Disease Control’s interim findings show the vaccine confers a 23 percent lower risk of getting influenza bad enough to need medical help.

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

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

 

A municipal court judge in suburban Seattle has dismissed domestic violence charges against home-grown soccer superstar Hope Solo.

That lifts a cloud over the U.S. national team's goalkeeper as she prepares for the upcoming Women's World Cup.

Courtesy of Leila Mirhaydari

Editor's Note: This story originally ran as part of our new show, "Sound Effect," which airs on Saturdays at 10 a.m. The show's inaugural episode on Jan. 10 explored the theme of newness.

Anna King

 

Several major markets for U.S. poultry products have shut down trade after discoveries of avian flu in the west, including the Tri-Cities, Washington.

Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture is testing flocks there.

John Froschauer / AP Photo

Kam Chancellor's interception and 90-yard touchdown was the biggest play of Saturday's Seahawks playoff victory, judging from seismic equipment monitoring the shaking at CenturyLink Field.

Courtesy of Shawn Forry and Justin Lichter

 

A pair of experienced long distance hikers are more than halfway through a full traverse of the Pacific Crest Trail in the dead of winter.

If Californians Shawn Forry and Justin Lichter reach the Mexican border this spring, they'll be the first on record to hike the length of the trail when it's mostly covered in snow.

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