Other News

Oso Slide
10:24 am
Wed April 2, 2014

In Oso, The Grim Accounting Continues As United Way Prepares To Distribute Relief

Workers carrying hand tools and shovels walk past a U.S. flag Tuesday, April 1, 2014, near Darrington, Wash., in the debris field of the deadly mudslide that hit the community of Oso,Wash. on March 22, 2014.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Searchers painstakingly combing through mud and debris have confirmed the deaths of 29 people, though more have been found than the official tally reflects. Twenty people are listed as missing.

Father Tim Sauer, pastor of Catholic churches in communities on either side of the slide, said the first funerals are expected within the next several days.

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Oso Slide
5:01 am
Mon March 31, 2014

How Animal Owners Are Coping After Slide In Heart Of Washington's Horse Country

The March 22 mudslide narrowly missed the Andrews family's property in Oso, Wash., where this 14-year-old horse named Cassie was kept. After flood waters threatened the property, the Andrews family had to rush to remove Cassie from the property.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Tons of donated food has already poured into the tiny Snohomish County communities touched by the deadly March 22 mudslide, and not all of it's for humans.

Dozens of volunteers spent the weekend stocking up donated feed for critters as small as chickens and as large as cows at a makeshift animal shelter and food shelf at the Darrington Rodeo Grounds, just east of the slide area.

It's one of many ways community members are coping with the disaster, which hit the heart of the state's horse country. Members of the Darrington Horse Owner's Association started the effort to accommodate animals displaced by the slide.

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Spring Pledge Drive
12:00 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Thank You For Supporting The Music And News You Love!

Thanks to our generous listeners, we received almost 3,600 gifts during our Spring Fund Drive! Your support ensures that our world-class news, jazz and blues will continue for another year. 

If you have yet to make a pledge, and would like to do so today, your gift will still count toward our overall goal and help ensure the jazz, news and blues that you love will continue year-round.

Please consider how much our service is worth to you, and to your neighbors, and make a pledge today in whatever amount fits! 

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Patient Safety
6:37 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

England's Health Secretary Models Nationwide Reforms On Seattle Hospital

English Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt (right), along with Virginia Mason Medical Center CEO Gary Kaplan, says the Seattle hospital is one of the safest in the world.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

England’s health secretary has taken the unusual step of using a Seattle hospital to announce a major policy reform in his own country. The new patient safety policies are partly inspired by Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center.

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Affordable Care Act
5:01 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Who In Washington Deserves An Extension On Monday's Obamacare Deadline?

Ads from Washington's health exchange are urging people to get covered before the March 31 deadline.
Washington Health Benefits Exchange

Washington’s health exchange is wrestling with how to accommodate people who have had trouble signing up for insurance. The March 31 deadline has been looming for months, as officials urge people to get covered or face a fine.

But considering the well-known problems at the state and federal exchanges, officials figured some people will need an extension. The question is who gets it.

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Translating Jargon
12:01 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

KPLU's Annotated Guide To The Health Insurance Gobbledygook You Need To Know

An annotated screenshot from WAHealthPlanFinder.
Justin Steyer KPLU

One thing about the Affordable Care Act is that now we’re all expected to be informed consumers about buying insurance. If you’ve never done that, you might be surprised at all the jargon you’re supposed to know. And if you’ve waited until the last minute to enroll — most people have until March 31 to sign up and dodge the fine, it’s time to start cramming.

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Homecoming
4:12 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Coast Guard Icebreaker Returns to Seattle After Trip To Antarctica

Polar Star arrived at about 10am Friday at the Coast Guard Base in Elliott Bay.
Rae Ellen Bichell KPLU

Following a 108-day trip to Antarctica, Seattle-built icebreaker Polar Star returned to its homeport at the U.S. Coast Guard base in Elliott Bay Friday.

The vessel, with its 75,000 horsepower, cut a path for a tanker and cargo ship to deliver supplies to a U.S. research station ahead of the coming Antarctic winter. 

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
2:28 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Wash. State Orders Hanford Managers To Empty Leaking Tank

FILE - Routine periodic visual monitoring (via camera) of the AY-102 annulus found material previously not seen.
U.S. Department of Energy

The state of Washington has ordered the federal government to pump out a leaking double-shell tank of waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The state says pumping must begin by Sept. 1.

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Affordable Care Act
5:01 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Washington Health Exchange Banking On A Big March Surge In Enrollments

This screen grab shows Washington Healthplanfinder's website.

Most Americans who still don’t have health insurance by March 31 could face a fine, and Washington’s health benefits exchange is hoping the looming deadline will help motivate people to enroll. But so far, the exchange is lagging behind its goals.

Massachusetts, which served as a template for the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to get insurance or pay a penalty, saw a huge rush just before the deadline. Exchange board member Phil Dyer says Washington needs a similar surge.

“Well, I feel like we’re behind the power curve. We’ve got a long way to go,” Dyer said. “Let’s wait and see if March gets us there, and then take a hard look at planning for Exchange 2.0.”

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Changing Season
1:25 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

On The First Day Of Spring, Outlook Predicts Warmer-Than-Usual Season

File image
Alex Brandon AP Photo

On this first day of spring, the seasonal outlook is calling for a warmer-than-average spring west of the Cascades, according to the National Weather Service.

The strongest signal to emerge from the Weather Service climate models foreshadows above-normal temperatures along the West Coast.

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Emergency Room
5:01 am
Thu March 20, 2014

New Emergency Room Guidelines Help Washington Save Millions, Cut ER Visits

ER visits dropped 10 percent in the last fiscal year, due in part to a set of best practices around emergency room care, says a new report.
UMHealthSystem Flickr

Washington’s Medicaid program saved more than $33 million last year, and a new report gives much of the credit to a big push to reduce emergency room visits.

ERs are a great place to treat real emergencies, but a very expensive place to do run-of-the-mill medical care. So the Health Care Authority, the agency that runs Medicaid, partnered with the Washington State Hospital Association, the Washington State Medical Association and others to adopt seven best practices aimed at ensuring ERs are used for their intended purpose.

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Helicopter Crash
4:43 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

NTSB Investigating Fatal KOMO News Helicopter Crash Near Space Needle

Investigators look through the charred wreckage of a news helicopter and two vehicles after the chopper crashed into a city street near the Space Needle, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Two people were killed inside a news helicopter when it crashed outside the KOMO-TV studios near the Space Needle in Seattle, sending clouds of black smoke into the sky during the rush hour at 7:40 a.m. Tuesday.

In addition to the fatalities, Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said a man managed to free himself from one of the burning cars at the accident scene. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of serious burns. The man, who was initially listed in critical condition, was upgraded to serious condition Tuesday afternoon.

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Transportation
1:55 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Washington State Ferries Director Resigns

David Moseley
WSDOT

After six years on the job, the head of Washington State Ferries says he will step down on April 15.

David Moseley made his announcement Tuesday. His resignation comes as the nation’s largest ferry system continues to encounter choppy seas.

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A Different Kind of Bore
12:27 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Bertha Rescue Plan On Hold While Archaeologists Check Soil For Sites

In 1884, the intersection of First Avenue South and Main Street looked like this. Bertha now sits 60 feet below the same area.
Peterson and Brothers Museum of History and Industry, Seattle

The plan to dig a shaft 12 stories deep to fix Bertha, the Seattle tunnel boring machine, has been put on hold while archaeologists make sure crews won’t dig through important historical sites. 

On Thursday, workers started boring approximately 60 holes, each about as wide as a grapefruit, and digging as deep as 40 feet down through layers of Seattle's floor, which, at the moment, is also Bertha's ceiling. 

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Alzheimer's Disease
5:01 am
Fri March 14, 2014

5 Things A Local Journalist Wishes He Knew Before His Wife's Alzheimer's Diagnosis

Linda Tong was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease at age 51.
Collin Tong

Hear KPLU's interview with Collin Tong.

Consider the twin cruelties of having a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease: On the one hand, caring for him or her is non-stop responsibility, stress and expense. On the other, you have to watch the person you love slip away, or even worse, become a disoriented or even hostile stranger.

Seattle journalist Collin Tong experienced the long ordeal starting when his beloved wife Linda was diagnosed with the early-onset variety at age 51. Tong has edited a book, composed of stories from 23 caregivers, called “Into the Storm: Journeys with Alzheimer’s.” And he shared with us a handful of the practical things he wishes he’d known before caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.

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