Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

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.

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, 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.

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.

Wikimedia

A new luxury resort has opened on a Tahitian island once owned by Marlon Brando and it could soon start to pay a dividend to Washington state’s retired public employees.

That’s because the Washington State Investment Board is a majority owner of the company that owns the resort.

AP Photo/Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa means Washington state investment officers won’t be traveling to that region anytime soon.

Anna King

In rural parts of the Northwest, many believe owning a gun is sort of like owning a garden trowel. You just have one or two around.

In November, Washington voters will decide on two gun-related initiatives. Initiative 594 aims to close loopholes on gun sales without background checks. The initiative is likely to pass, according to a recent poll. But in rural Washington, some people are skeptical the initiative will hit its intended target.

U.S. Department of Energy

The Environmental Protection Agency intends to fine the U.S. Department of Energy up to $10,000 per week if radioactive waste just a stone's throw from the Columbia River isn’t cleaned up.

Behind the old called the K-West reactor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is a huge concrete swimming pool-like basin. It was built in the 1950s and meant to last for 20 years. That’s where workers dumped hot irradiated rods until they cooled. Later, they were shuttled off to be further refined into plutonium for bombs.

AP Photo

Think we don’t have an accent here in the Pacific Northwest? Think again.

Scientists say we do, in fact, have an accent, though our native ears may not always pick up on it. The longer we’ve lived here, the harder it is for us to hear our own distinct subtleties, according to experts.

So let’s put our ears to the test. We asked three people to say the same sentence: “Please put the fish you caught at dawn in the bag, not in the bowl.” Click on the three audio clips below to hear them, then pick out the voice you think belongs to a native Northwesterner. 

Tetona Dunlap / AP Photo

Nervous air travelers might know Sea-Tac International Airport doesn’t have any flights to or from Africa. What it does have is a quarantine station that’s prepared to stop the spread of contagious diseases, such as Ebola.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has 20 quarantine stations around the U.S. In Seattle, the station is located at Sea-Tac, and it’s not new. 

John Marshall / U.S. Forest Service

The old saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words." That was the reaction of a U.S. Forest Service researcher when he rediscovered a trove of landscape panoramas called the Osborne Panoramas.

The photos were taken during the Great Depression at hundreds of fire lookouts in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Monica Spain

After years of planning, the wheels are rolling on Seattle’s bicycle sharing service. Fifty bike stations open around the city today.

Rows of identical lime-green bikes are lined up next to sky-blue containers holding sanitized helmets available on the honor system. Next to them is a kiosk, which resembles a vending machine.

Austin Jenkins

This summer’s Carlton Complex wildfire was the largest in Washington history. Scores of firefighters battled the inferno in north-central Washington. Among them were prison inmates assigned to the Department of the Natural Resources. Those inmate crews were honored Thursday at a ceremony at Cedar Creek Corrections Center.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission needs to do a better job of accounting for money spent on motor vehicle fuel and for its Discover Passes and other park revenues.

That was the finding of a report issued Thursday by the Washington State Auditor's Office.

The Boeing Co.

Managers at Insitu, a military drone maker headquartered in Bingen, Washington say they see great potential for civil and commercial uses for their best-known aircraft.

But realizing that promise requires the federal government to finalize rules for drones in the national airspace.

Brian Glanz / Flickr

Seattle’s City Council has declared the second Monday in October as Indigenous People’s Day. They voted unanimously in favor of the resolution to replace city celebrations of Columbus Day and encourage other institutions to do the same.  

Mel Sheldon, former chairman of the Tulalip Tribe, was among many who testified in favor of the measure before the vote. To rounds of drumming and warm applause, he said thanks in his indigenous language, Coast Salish. 

"This initiative makes me proud. It makes all Indian people proud, because you're thinking about the future generations — the children, the little ones, who are not born yet," Sheldon said.

Paula Wissel

The Blessing of the Animals has long been a tradition in the Anglican Church in England and Catholic and Episcopal churches in the United States. It occurs on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Thank You!

Oct 6, 2014

Thank you to our generous listeners who supported the Fall Fund Drive.  Your support ensures that our world-class news, jazz and blues will continue for another year.  Thank you for supporting KPLU!  Your commitment means the world to us!

Jessica Robinson

A group in the Boise area is in the midst of fundraising for a new attraction in the Northwest. It'll be called the Northwest Science Museum.

The planners envision a 350,000-square-foot space full of fossils, rocks and animal specimens. But this isn't your usual natural history museum. It's designed by creationists.

The Boeing Co.

State forestry departments in Washington and Oregon had hoped to try out drones this summer to provide reconnaissance at wildfire scenes. But neither firefighting agency managed to pull it off. Now both plan to try again next year.

Pages