The man in this photo has been charged with trying to sell an illegal sturgeon. Police say he used this cellphone photo of himself alongside the fish on the bank of the Columbia River to market the fish.
Courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Sturgeon Poachers Angle For Caviar On The Columbia

The high value of caviar is driving poachers to an inventive way to cash in on giant sturgeon in the Columbia River: They lash live fish with ropes to the riverbank for safe-keeping until black-market buyers can be located. Enforcement officials have also found sturgeon carcasses floating in the river with their bellies slit open to harvest their eggs.
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The Obama Administration is expected to announce a new clean water rule in the next few days, which has some Northwest farm groups worried what new regulations could mean for their operations.

The rule has also drawn criticism from property rights groups and praise from environmentalists.

Kelly Welker knew Seattle’s Georgetown area was an industrial neighborhood when she moved here nine years ago. The air quality isn’t great. But lately, she says, it’s been getting worse.

“I had never experienced going outside of my house and having my eyes burn within a couple of minutes,” Welker said. “Having my sinuses burn within a couple of minutes.”

Whether they're in a posh London school or in the slums of Kenya, in the midst of war or in a battle against bullies, kids take playtime very seriously.

That's what photographer James Mollison learned after spending five years photographing school playgrounds around the world. The project began in 2009, and took him to more than 50 schools in 17 countries.

Each photo tells a different story.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Ireland has become the first-ever country to approve same-sex marriage by referendum, voting overwhelmingly to approve it despite opposition from clergy in the heavily Catholic nation, according to official results announced today.

Reuters says in Friday's vote "more than 60 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot, the highest turnout at a referendum there in over two decades."

Earlier, both sides in the debate acknowledged that the "yes" vote had succeeded.

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

State officials said Friday that it's unconstitutional for Shell Oil to store its Arctic drilling rig at the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources sent a letter to Shell Friday, informing the energy giant that short-term mooring of Shell's Polar Pioneer rig at the Port is fine.  

But the state constitution prohibits long-term mooring outside of harbors.

How To Scare A Sea Lion: Bring In The (Fake) Orca

May 22, 2015

Astoria officials and locals have been scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to get rid of the ubiquitous barking sea lions that have arrived by the thousands this year on the city's docks. But now, the city may be bringing in the big guns, or should I say, whale.

The Daily Astorian reports that the Port of Astoria is looking into bringing a fake orca near the East End Mooring Basin to hopefully scare away pesky sea lions laying around.

Officials from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare are asking people to take precautions around ground squirrels after a squirrel south of Boise tested positive for plague.

The clock runs out Thursday on Washington’s 30-day special session of the legislature. There are indications the pace of budget negotiations has picked up, but a second special session is still likely.

Dumi Maraire, the hip hop artist better known as Draze, will be performing at Northwest Folklife Festival this weekend.
Facebook Photo/Draze

Some of the roots of Seattle hip hop go back to Zimbabwe.

In 1968, Dumisani Maraire came to the University of Washington as an artist in residence to share the music of the Shona people. He was supposed to stay a year, but stayed and raised a family here. 

Now his two sons are active in Seattle’s hip hop scene: Tendai is half of Shabazz Palaces and Dumi Jr. is the hip hop artist “Draze.” Music was life for the Maraire family. 

The Polar Pioneer at Seattle's Terminal 5, which was closed last year to cargo and needs at least $150 million in investments to ready it for mega-cargo ships - and to compete with Canadian ports.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The West Coast ports dispute is expected to end Friday.

Shipping companies have already accepted the new contract.

Port workers have also voted on the contract and are expected to release their results today.

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