Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Washington Consolidated Technology Services


A foil-wrapped secret room is a plausible use for unused portions of Washington’s new data center. That’s according to a national expert on what Time Magazine has dubbed “spy-proof rooms.”

nullschool (screen capture)

The Pacific Northwest is digging in for a potent windstorm, which is expected to rake the coast and then hit the inland Puget Sound region around 6 p.m.

The storm has been taking shape off the northwest coast as a tightly wound low-pressure system.

“Yeah, it looks meaning,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Josh Smith. “You’ll see the clouds spiraling around the low.”

Umptanum / Wikimedia


The Yakama Nation and neighboring tribes are strongly objecting to a Congressional move to offer public access to the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain, a place tribal members consider sacred.

The mountain lies in the Hanford Reach National Monument near Richland, Washington.

Tim Durkan

Stormy weather is not unusual this time of year. But the wind has blown in an all-time record high December temperature.

The National Weather Service says 66 degrees were charted Wednesday at Sea-Tac Airport. It’s the warmest for any December going back to 1945, when record keeping began. That caught the attention of KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

A state review of logging near the deadly March landslide in Oso has found that a timber company logged one acre more than was allowed under a 2004 permit, but the report was inconclusive on whether logging strayed into a more restrictive area.

Washington Consolidated Technology Services


The search is widening for tenants to fill Washington’s overbuilt data center. Efforts to lease the 26,000 square feet of highly-secure warehouse space to the private sector have so far been unsuccessful.

Seattle Tunnel Partners

Officials overseeing the replacement of Seattle’s Alaskan Way viaduct are trying to tamp down safety concerns. But under questioning Monday from Seattle City Council members, they had a hard time coming up with an answer for when people should start to worry.

Austin Jenkins

The agency that oversees child welfare in Washington wants to hire nearly 100 more child protection workers.

But the budget request comes after years of lawsuits that cost the state more than $150 million. Now the question is whether Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services has taken adequate steps to learn from child welfare cases that went awry.

Pacific Lutheran University

Money for education, health care and job training are services that most veterans have access to. But figuring out online who to talk to and where to go can be overwhelming. Picking up the phone can mean waiting and waiting on hold.

Veterans in the Puget Sound region are invited to attend a summit this Saturday at Pacific Lutheran University that will help them walk through the sometimes complicated web of programs that are available to them.

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.