Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

"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 illuminate the mighty power of small things.

Herrmann Scholbe


The family of a man shot by police in Pasco, Washington this month is challenging police investigators' autopsy findings.

An attorney representing Antonio Zambrano-Montes' widow said in a press release Thursday police shot the man up to seven times, twice from behind.

Nicholas K. Geranios / AP Photo


Kennewick police investigating the police shooting this month of Antonio Zambrano-Montes told reporters Wednesday bullets entered him from the front, and a rock was found near his body.

Officers fired 17 rounds. Of those, one autopsy shows Zambrano-Montes took five shots, the other said six.

Tom Banse

New ownership is giving new hope to a decrepit, unseaworthy fishing boat with a notable literary pedigree. Northwest shipwrights will be hired to restore the Western Flyer, the vessel made famous by the author John Steinbeck.

Monica Spain

With homelessness on the rise, colleges now offer classes on the subject. At Seattle Pacific University, hosting a tent city easily integrates students with campers in the classroom. 

But students there have taken that relationship a step further. At a recent poetry slam, barriers between campers and college kids dissolved.

Anna King

New facts are emerging in the police shooting of 35-year-old Mexican farmworker Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Pasco, Washington.

Several cellphone videos posted on YouTube show the shooting in grainy but graphic detail. Zambrano-Montes was reportedly throwing rocks in a crowded intersection. Police arrived, tried to stop him then used a Taser on him. Zambrano-Montes ran across the intersection. Shots were fired.

"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 give some time to the idea of second chances.

Courtesy of Quiet Planet

On an April morning in 2011, Gordon Hempton awoke to sunshine. Spring was unfolding outside his Indianola house, and yet all was quiet.

“And I thought, ‘Well, this is kind of funny,” Hempton recalls. “’The birds should be singing.”’

Hempton says he was reminded of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” and wondered if something strange had happened to the birds in his neighborhood. He turned to his partner, Kate.

AP Photo/Dario Infante


All the bullet fragments have been recovered from the Pasco police shooting scene and body of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, according to the Kennewick Police Department. 

The department is leading an investigation into last week’s police shooting in southeast Washington.



Bertha has reached her goal.

The cutterhead on Seattle's troubled tunnel machine broke through the 20-foot-thick wall of a rescue pit at about noon on Thursday. Video from a television helicopter showed a big plume of dust coming from inside the pit as the machine emerges.


Bertha is on the move.

The broken-down tunnel machine began its journey toward an access pit where, if it makes it, workers will remove the front of the machine for repairs. It started moving on Tuesday night and had moved 3 feet by 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Bertha must travel another 17 feet to reach the pit. It must tunnel through the pit's 20-foot concrete wall.

AP Photo/Dario Infante


Community leaders in Pasco, Washington are asking for a federal investigation by the Department of Justice, though it's not yet clear if they'll get their wish.

Pasco police shot and killed Antonio Zambrano-Montes last Tuesday. Witnesses say he had been throwing rocks at a busy intersection.

A magnitude-4.3 earthquake rumbled under Washington state's Cascade Range, but no injuries or damage have been reported.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network says the quake struck at 1:04 a.m. Wednesday and was centered about 20 miles north of Ellensburg and 10 miles northeast of Cle Elum in central Washington.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo


Legislative moves to limit school immunization exemptions are drawing vocal opposition from some parents. Opponents of mandatory vaccination crowded a public hearing at the state capitol in Olympia Tuesday, and the scene could repeat itself in Salem Wednesday.

A bill in the Washington legislature would no longer allow schoolchildren to skip vaccinations on personal or philosophical grounds. Religious and medical exemptions would remain.

Oran Viriyincy / Flickr

If all goes as planned, commuters in Seattle will likely see more buses on the roads starting in June. A transit service funding agreement between Seattle, King County and Metro Transit is being finalized and signed this week.

The agreement promises to commuters more frequent service on weekends and at nights, more actual buses in operation and more Metro bus drivers at work.

Sound Effect, Episode 6: Vice

Feb 14, 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 delve into vice.

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

Courtesy of Danny Cords

When Danny Cords’ parents learned he was gay, they took him to a conversion therapist.

“One of the first things he wanted to try to figure out was whether I was a top or a bottom, which, of course, are sexual positions,” Cords says. “And I was 14. I had no idea. I hadn’t had sex, so I didn’t know what to say and he wanted to figure it out. So it was incredibly uncomfortable.

Anupam Nath / AP Photo

Facebook: It’s the first thing I look at when I wake up, and the last thing I look at before going to bed.

Which begs the question: Am I addicted to Facebook? Or is it just a harmless pastime?

I went to talk to an expert, Dr. Megan Moreno at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She’s the principal investigator of the Social Media and Adolescent Research Team (SMART), which studies problematic Internet usage.

Today Is New Member Day!

Feb 13, 2015

Generous listeners have made their first gift to KPLU today, and their gifts are being matched dollar for dollar by a generous Leadership Circle donor.  As an added bonus, every donor today will receive our limited edition red tote bag, and new members will receive an exclusive “I Love KPLU” mug designed just for you.

Join them now and make your gift go twice as far!

Five workers installing rebar on a concrete wall at north portal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project fell about 25 feet when a wall of rebar gave way.

Seattle Fire spokesman Kyle Moore says two Seattle firefighters walked about a half mile into the tunnel and carried out one of the injured men while the four others walked out after the Thursday afternoon incident.

One of the men who walked out was not injured, while four others were taken to Harborview Medical Center, he said. One of the men suffered a fractured arm and was in stable condition, while the three others were evaluated.

Anna King


Tuesday night’s shooting of a man near a popular grocery store by three Pasco police officers has angered many residents there. The shooting was captured in several phone videos (embedded below).

Toddlers, teens, parents and grandparents gathered outside Pasco City Hall on Wednesday night to protest the police shooting.

Austin Jenkins


Washington is under court order to keep foster youth from running away. So the state now has a team of “locators," social workers whose job it is to find runaways and bring them back.

Mike Stamp is one of these locators.

Ferran Jorda / Flickr

According to the Washington State Health Department, smoking kills more than 8,000 people in Washington State every year. To prevent the habit from spreading, lawmakers in Olympia are considering a bill that would raise the legal age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21.  

A man allegedly throwing rocks in Pasco near a popular Latino grocery store was shot dead by police officers Tuesday night.

A YouTube video (embedded below) shows several police officers running after a man across a crowded intersection. Some bystanders caught the incident on cell phone footage and posted the clip.

Austin Jenkins


Audio Pending...

Rural Thurston County in Washington is the kind of place people move to for a little elbow room. But if you’re a teenager from the suburbs, life can be less than exciting.

The day 19-year-old Amber Armstrong arrived at her foster home five years ago, she starting plotting her escape.

Paula Wissel / KPLU

Heroin deaths are on the rise in Washington and a high percentage of the overdoses are in people under 30. One Seattle mother wants to help put a human face to that statistic.

Speaking before a Heroin and Opioid Overdose Summit at the University of Washington, former news anchor Penny LeGate shared her heartbreak over her own daughter’s death. Listen to her story:

Anna King


Hanford Nuclear Reservation officials Tuesday made public their plan to improve safety for workers in the so-called “tank farms.”

Hanford is home to 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge left over from World War II and the Cold War.

National Weather Service


Scientists don't yet agree on the cause behind the dirty rain that pelted much of eastern Washington and Oregon last Friday.

The National Weather Service said the dirt may have come from southeast Oregon, near Summer Lake. But another government scientist says he thinks it was ash from a volcano in Japan.



Some Northwest lawmakers want to make it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.

The proposals come as a measles outbreak has spread to 14 states including Oregon and Washington.