Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

U.S. Department of Energy

 

A bill that passed Thursday in the U.S. House includes big changes for the Tri-Cities. 

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 would create a new set of national parks in honor of the top-secret Manhattan Project. That would include a museum at Hanford and other historical sites.

Courtesy of the Kilian Family.

Farmers in eastern Washington are busy festooning their dusty machines with thousands of Christmas lights for the annual Sunnyside Lighted Farm Implement Parade.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

It used to be that pigs would roam the fields, nose to the ground, sniffing for the musk of a buried truffle. Once hot on the trail, the hog would rout down and down for the crest of the hidden truffle.

Paula Wissel

Seattle police promise to do a better job of dealing with property crime.

They acknowledge current response times are too slow. When someone calls 911, it can take 45 minutes for an officer to be dispatched to the scene of a burglary or car prowl.

Francois Mori / AP Photo

Judging from holiday advertising, lots of teenagers and grownups will find a drone under the Christmas tree this year. But the increasing affordability and popularity of remotely piloted airplanes and choppers is leading to conflict in Northwest skies.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

 

Two Washington prison inmates have committed suicide in recent weeks at the state’s main intake facility in Shelton.

The first was in October. The most recent was just before Thanksgiving.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

Federal officials have arrested a Washington state man for allegedly posting Internet threats to kill the police officer who shot and killed a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

Captain Chad Naugle / ODOC

 

In a growing number of Northwest prisons, inmates are rearing endangered plants, butterflies, turtles and frogs for release in the wild.

It started just over a decade ago at a minimum security prison near Olympia. Now inmates at four Washington prisons and three in Oregon are raising dozens of different types of plants, insects and animals to use in restoration, many of them rare or endangered.

It’s #GivingTuesday around the globe, a day to give back to the charities and causes that are meaningful to your life and community.

We are so thankful to all of our listeners for keeping the jazz, news and blues alive on KPLU, and hope you are thankful for the difference KPLU makes in your life.

On this international day of giving, support the programs that keeps you entertained, informed and give you the music and stories you remember, 365 days of the year.

Make your gift!

Paula Wissel

About 100 people gathered at Westlake Park on Monday for a peaceful protest in response to a grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in the death of Michael Brown, a black man, in Ferguson, Missouri.

Jessica Robinson

 A hospital in north Idaho is marketing itself to Canadian tourists — medical tourists, that is.

Most of the patients who come into Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls, Idaho are from the local area, plus a few from Washington and Montana.

But hospital CEO Rick Rasmussen is thinking big — Canada big. A little Canadian flag was recently added in the upper right of the hospital’s website.

Jennifer Wing

This Sunday, Tom Barbano will run the Seattle marathon — his 20th race in just three years.

The reason he keeps running: a dear friend named Mark Larson. He told us the story one early morning while running around Green Lake: 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Demonstrations continued Tuesday in Seattle as students and others took to the streets to protest the grand jury decision in Missouri not to indict a Ferguson police officer.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Five years ago, Seattle poet Heather McHugh got some unexpected news: She had been awarded a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” of $500,000.

For the next two years, she tried to figure out what to do with the money. The grant comes with no strings attached, but McHugh says she didn’t want to spend it on herself.

University of Washington Libraries, Seattle Collection

If you walk through Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood with Peter Lape, he can show you the things that used to be.

Standing at the corner of First Avenue and Washington Street on a recent day, he gestured downhill.

"About half a block down is probably where that shoreline was ... when non-Native settlers moved here," Lape said.

Kyle Stokes

Five people were arrested during a Seattle protest against the decision by a grand jury not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

KPLU's Community Advisory Council will be meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. PST.

If you are interested in attending as a member of the listening community, please contact the general manager's office at (253) 535-8732 for more information.

Monica Spain

In Washington, there are almost 9,000 children in foster care. About a quarter of them are eligible for adoption.

I visited the King County courthouse to meet a family as they welcomed their foster daughter into their home — permanently.

Tobin Fricke / Wikimedia

 

For the third time this week, there are calls to protect workers from hazardous vapors at Hanford, this time from Washington’s congressional delegation.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The 104th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution drew hundreds of protestors outside the Mexican consulate in Seattle.

The demonstration called for answers in the disappearance of 43 Mexican students in September. Protestors also want the release of a Renton woman who has ties to the students. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Three groups with ties to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation announced Thursday they intend to sue the federal government and its contractor.

They say Hanford leaders aren’t doing enough to protect workers from harmful radioactive tank vapors.

 

Workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have been complaining of vapors from radioactive sludge for decades. They say the fumes give them sore throats, headaches and dizziness. 

Now Washington state says it intends to sue the U.S. Department of Energy in 90 days if more isn’t done to protect these workers.

Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo has announced it will phase out its elephant program by moving its two remaining females to a larger herd.

The Urban Rest Stop, which has been serving the homeless population in Seattle for 15 years, recently faced a possible loss of one-third of its budget. But the Seattle City Council voted instead to continue full funding.

I toured the facility with Urban Rest Stop program director Ronni Gilboa. Here's a two-minute recap of what it's like there:

Gilboa, who was the director when the program started in 1999, says she's never wanted to leave.

AP Photo/AeroVironment

  

Commercial drones are taking to the Northwest skies even though the rules aren't clear. Now the FAA has gotten the first reports of close calls between manned aircraft and small drones in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

The King County Council has approved a budget that will preserve all 10 of the county’s public health clinics. The move took a patchwork of temporary measures to hold the planned cuts at bay.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

 The Washington State Patrol has ticketed the driver of an oversize load that collapsed the Skagit River Bridge in May of 2013. 

The State Patrol announced the $550 fine Monday and released its final report, which concludes the oversize load was 2 inches over legal height.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Washington's health care exchange will likely be off line until Sunday morning.

The site was working for the first few hours of open enrollment Saturday, until a problem with tax credit calculations was discovered.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

If you want to buy or change your health plan, state insurance marketplaces re-open Saturday for the first time since March. In the first round of enrollment, which ended in March, Washington cut its uninsured rate by more than a third. But recruiting the uninsured could be tougher this time around.

Health workers say they have collected much of the low-hanging fruit. For example, about 140,000 people bought health plans during the first open enrollment period, but three times as many got free coverage from Medicaid.

Kayla Scrivner of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said as recruiters focus more on private coverage, the sales job gets a little tougher.

The Eakin Family

The family of a woman killed by a drunk driver on State Route 509 last year also blames King County and the city of Burien. They filed a multimillion-dollar claim stating the accident could have been prevented if a guardrail had been replaced.

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