Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

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.

Domestic violence calls are some of the toughest police face. Emotions are usually running high and often there’s a weapon in the mix.

On Thursday in Seattle’s City Hall, some domestic violence first responders will be honored for  extraordinary service.

David Sullivan is one of the responders:

Sullivan and the other first responders will be honored Thursday in the Bertha Knight Landes Room in Seattle City Hall at 10 a.m.

Chiang Ying-ying / AP Photo

You might think you know Kenny G, but you probably don't know this Kenny G.

Before smooth-jazz Kenny G, there was funk-in-your-trunk Kenny G, and right here in Seattle, too. Take a listen: 

Austin Jenkins

A crowd gathered at the state capitol today to celebrate Washington state’s 125th birthday. The celebration featured a historic reenactment, a time-capsule ceremony and, of course, cake.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Lynnwood’s Kenneth Bae is said to be reconnecting with family after two years in North Korean captivity. Seattle author Blaine Harden says the timing of Bae’s release is no accident.

Harden, who wrote the bestselling “Escape from Camp 14” about a young North Korean who managed to flee a forced labor camp, says the release of Bae and fellow American Matthew Todd Miller has to do with a recent dose of international pressure.

“North Korea is in the dock for its human rights violations,” he said. “This has got the attention of the government there.”

Anna King

The Carlton Complex fires burned more than 255,000 acres in Washington’s Methow Valley past summer. There are thousands of fire-scrubbed hillsides and slopes that threaten to become torrents of mud running down in nearly every direction.

Some slopes burned so hot this summer that there’s little left alive. Even the seeds are gone. Now federal and state agencies are planting nearly 10,000 acres of native seed by plane on public land. The seed mixture and planes cost about $140 per acre sown.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Washington’s health care exchange will reopen for business late this week, and exchange officials say people will have more choices and a smoother shopping experience this time around.

Saturday will mark the start of the second open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act. That means that most individuals will be able to get new health insurance or change plans for the first time since last spring.

Exchange spokesman Michael Marchand said they will find the list of options has grown.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

A Lynnwood, Washington man held prisoner for two years in North Korean is back home. Kenneth Bae landed Saturday night at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He was accompanied by Matthew Todd Miller, another freed American prisoner.

Wong Maye-E / AP Photo

The Lynnwood, Washington man imprisoned in North Korea for "anti-state" crimes two years has been freed. 

U.S. officials say American Kenneth Bae and was released Saturday, as was Matthew Miller. Both are on their way home.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Another of the teenagers wounded in a Washington state high school shooting has died, raising to five the number of fatalities after a student opened fire in the cafeteria two weeks ago.

Officials at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle said 15-year-old Andrew Fryberg died Friday evening.

Michael Duff / AP Photo

Gov. Jay Inslee says Washington will not follow the lead of states imposing harsh restrictions on health workers back from treating Ebola patients.

Governors in New York, New Jersey and Illinois have announced that people returning from Ebola-affected countries may be subject to mandatory quarantine. Inslee says Washington will take a lighter touch, based on guidelines from federal health authorities.

Courtesy of James G. Murphy Co.

A sketchbook thought to come from the hand of Pablo Picasso is among the thousands of lost treasures that will be auctioned off later this month. The items are the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes, and every few years, the state Department of Revenue is required to sell them.

Ed Ronco

Chances are, you’ve seen him perform. Come rain or shine, Jonny Hahn has been playing piano at Seattle's iconic Pike Place Market for 28 years as tourists and shoppers rush about.

With the rainy season settling in, we asked him: What’s it like to brave the weather and perform year-round? Listen to his 90-second answer:

Monica Spain

Seattle’s bike share program has been up and running for about a month, and membership is growing. But it’s rare to see a cyclist taking on one of the city’s steep hills. So I took a ride to see where the bikes turn up, and how they get there.

Tom Banse

Growing populations of wild horses in the inland Northwest are creating headaches for federal land managers. Wild and feral horse herds overrun tribal lands in our region as well.

Tribal range managers have one option that federal agencies don't, which is to send unwanted horses to foreign slaughterhouses. That's helping several Northwest tribes make headway to reduce populations of free-roaming horses, but not without creating some dismay.

While mammograms are successful in detecting early breast cancer, they are sometimes associated with false positives. Researchers at the University of Washington say 3-D mammograms are more accurate and can help find hidden tumors. 

U.S. Department of Transportation

Washington’s rail safety regulator says there are about 3,000 rail crossings in the state that inspectors have never looked at because they sit on private land.

Experts say these could be problem areas as more trains carry crude oil through the state. They plan to ask the legislature for more authority.

Andrea Parrish - Geyer / Flickr

Washington apples will soon be packed aboard boats to China. The Chinese government approved market access to Northwest fruit Wednesday after a two-year market closure.

Paula Wissel

In the wake of Friday’s deadly shooting, a makeshift memorial site is taking shape at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. A long chain-link fence is now covered with balloons, ribbons and flowers. But there’s something unusual about this memorial site.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Seattle may be booming, but a major King County agency is shrinking fast. Public Health - Seattle & King County is short $15 million a year, prompting the agency to close clinics and cut anti-tobacco efforts.

But few public health program are getting hit harder than family planning services, and experts say those cuts will cost far more than they save in the long run.

Paula Wissel

In the wake of Friday’s deadly shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, some Native children in the district have received threats, according to the Tulalip Tribes.

Tribal member Jaylen Fryberg killed himself after shooting five friends, killing two of them. In a statement, the tribes said some kids are fearful of returning to school, and some parents are reluctant to send them.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Parents and officials gathered Tuesday to discuss the aftermath of Friday’s shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School that left three students dead, including the gunman, and three others injured.

Parents listened as Tulalip tribal leaders, school district officials and law enforcement officials spoke. The main message: If we stay united, we’ll get through this together.

Courtesy of Marc Bouma

Northwest medical professionals are getting ready for Ebola. Some are volunteering to fly out and help patients in west Africa. Others are practicing and equipping their hospitals to receive a case if needed.

Marc Bouma, an E.R. nurse at Seattle's Swedish Hospital, is taking a leave of absence for Ebola. This Sunday, he’s flying to a remote county in southeast Liberia.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The gunman in Friday’s shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School had invited his friends to join him for lunch, said Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary.

During a news conference Monday, Trenary said the gunman, whom witnesses have since identified as Jaylen Fryberg, had sent text messages to five people to arrange a gathering in the cafeteria.

"Witnesses confirm that the five victims were at the table when the shooter opened fire, striking the victims before turning the gun on himself," Trenary said.

Authorities officially released the names and causes of death of one of the victims and the gunman killed during the Washington state high school shooting.

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office said Monday that 14-year-old Zoe R. Galasso died of a gunshot wound to the head and is a homicide victim.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

When a student opened fire at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Friday, a teacher confronted him, according to a union official. 

Marysville Education Association president Randy Davis said Saturday that first-year social studies teacher Megan Silberberger intervened in the shooting.

Detectives confirmed a school worker attempted to intervene in shooting, but provided no other details about the worker's actions.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Updated: Saturday, Oct. 25 at 11:35 a.m.

A student opened fire at Marysville-Pilchuck High School Friday, fatally shooting another student and injuring several others before taking his own life, according to Marysville police.

Police Commander Robb Lamoureux said the gunman began shooting inside the school cafeteria at 10:39 a.m., fatally injuring a girl. He said the gunman injured four others students, three critically, before turning the gun on himself. Police had no motive.

Monica Spain

Even with the Affordable Care Act, adults in Washington are not getting the medical care they need often because they cannot afford deductibles or get into a Medicaid provider. Others go without eyeglasses and live with toothache because they don’t have coverage at all. This week, Seattle has a temporary clinic in an unlikely place to help solve some of those problems.

Courtesy of Rex Hohlbein

Seattle architect Rex Hohlbein had been designing luxury homes for decades when his focus suddenly turned to the homeless.

Hohlbein says it all started during his morning bike ride to the office. He met a man named Chiaka. This encounter would change his life. 

Take 87 seconds to hear Hohlbein tell his story:

courtesy of Dr. Monica Coleman

Monica Coleman has an impressive resume (bachelor’s degree from Harvard, master’s of divinity from Vanderbilt, Ph.D. from Claremont School of Theology), and she doesn’t shy away from talking about tough or deeply personal things.

She’s spoken out about her own trauma of having been raped and her disappointment with the inept and sometimes callous response from church leaders to victims of sexual violence.

But as open as Coleman has been about her experience as a victim of sexual assault, there was another part of herself she kept hidden for years — her struggle with debilitating depression.

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