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Tents are shown as people gathered to protest the sweeps of homeless camps in November, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle's City Council wants to bring back its "head tax" proposal — and soon. The idea is to tax the city's largest businesses based on their number of employees.

There’s a new plant species in Washington state, but it hasn’t been named yet. And the botanist who discovered it will auction off that opportunity this week.




Last year, five activists from the Pacific Northwest shut off pipelines bringing oil into the US from Canada. All five were arrested and charged with various felonies and misdemeanors. Now, a development in one of their trials could set a new precedent for cases in which climate change activists have been arrested for acts of civil disobedience.

What happened that day in October of 2016?

Biosphere 2
Flickr Photo/lance_mountain (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/f5VGrY

What if you looked at the world around you, saw where things are headed on this planet and said to yourself, you know what? I want to start fresh.

A group of scientists did just that — but things didn’t go as planned.


Police are investigating the apparent murder of an inmate Sunday night at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton.

Shallow, active earthquake faults are being discovered all over Oregon and Washington state. Collectively, these may present a higher risk than the better known offshore Cascadia subduction zone.

It’s been a long haul, but West Coast seal and sea lion populations have recovered over the past 40 years. All those extra predators may be eating more chinook salmon than people are catching, according to a new study.

Increasing numbers of marine predators could be bad news for chinook salmon — and for critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales.

Flickr Photo/401 (K) 2012 (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/aFAHsp

How much is your vote worth? It all depends where you live. If you had the right address on Seattle’s Eastside, it was worth $180 this year.

Seattle City Hall
Flickr Photo/Daniel X. O'Neil (CC-BY-NC-ND)/http://bit.ly/1OGMTuh

In 2014 Mayor Ed Murray ordered all City of Seattle departments to apply a racial equity lens to their work. But an examination by KUOW shows the response was less than robust.

While some departments did the work in 2015, others provided incomplete versions of what are called “racial equity toolkits.” A quarter of city departments didn’t do the work at all that year.


Carbon emissions are making the oceans more acidic. That’s long been known to harm shellfish, but new research shows more acidic water could take a toll on salmon, as well.

  Everyone poops. Even climbers on the world’s tallest mountain.

All that human waste has caused a lot of problems for local villagers near Mount Everest’s base camp. But a group of Northwest volunteers thinks they've found a fix.

Right now, Sherpas carry barrels of human excrement down from base camp on the backs of yaks. The barrels used to be dumped into large pits above a glacier that flows into the valley below. After those pits filled up, the waste has been carried to excavated sites alongside water banks.

This story was updated on Monday, Nov. 20 with new information about opposition to the decision.

The federal government has approved plans for a controversial transmission line that would cross public lands in eastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho. The Bureau of Land Management announced Friday that Idaho Power will get right-of-way on federal lands for the 300-mile project.

The Spokane City Council will consider an ordinance Monday, that would make it easier for anyone with a criminal record to be hired.

Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony.
Flickr Photo/D Coetzee (Public Domain)/https://flic.kr/p/6uEiXr

Seattle’s lively theater community will lose two of its leaders.

The 5th Avenue Theater said artistic director David Armstrong is stepping down. Meanwhile, the Seattle Symphony has announced that its president and CEO Simon Woods will leave for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Deputy Executive Rhonda Berry at a press conference announcing the intent to move youth detention oversight to Public Health Seattle King County.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

King County Executive Dow Constantine is making a change he says will help the county with its effort to dramatically reduce the practice of detaining young people arrested for crimes.

Constantine signed an executive order Thursday moving oversight of youth detention to Public Health Seattle King County.

Revelers at the McGilvra Elementary School Spring Auction on April 23, 2016. The auction brought in much of the $422,000 the school raised last year.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

It was dark and rainy in most of Seattle.

But inside a glittering event space, hundreds of middle-aged, mostly-white Madison Park residents were dressed for summer: Men in bright seersucker suits and saddle shoes. Women in sherbet-colored silk dresses and matching hats with plumage.

The Washington State Supreme Court has decided that it believes in second chances and rehabilitation in a case involving a former drug addict who transformed into a promising future attorney.

The high court ordered that Tarra Simmons of Bremerton, an honors law school graduate with a criminal past, can take the bar exam to become a licensed lawyer.

“I’m just overwhelmed,” Simmons said shortly after receiving news of the order. “I went to my knees crying because it’s been such a long and painful journey. “

Jenny Durkan at her election night party on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2017
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle mayor-elect Jenny Durkan greeted her 61-member transition team at a meeting at McCaw Hall Thursday. Members gave her a standing ovation after her introduction by former King County Executive Ron Sims, who said he is “ecstatic” about Durkan’s win.

Washington Dept. of Natural Resources

Officials with the company that spilled nearly 160,000 Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound in August say there has been no evidence the spill has done damage to the sound.

State officials agreed with that assessment at a legislative hearing in Olympia.

A picture of Rebecca and Bangally Fatty on their wedding day is shown in a photo album on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

This fall, a well-liked and top student at the University of Washington went missing. His wife was in a panic.

“Not knowing what had happened, if he was okay,” said Rebecca Fatty.

Traffic is seen on I-5 from 45th St., on Friday, October 27, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A couple of years ago, a semitruck carrying a load of fish overturned on the Alaskan Way Viaduct during rush hour on a Tuesday.

We get it: This is possibly the most stereotypical Seattle problem ever.


The Oregon Senate Republican caucus chose a new leader for the first time in more than a decade Wednesday. Jackie Winters, R-Salem, won a closed-door election to lead the 13-member Senate GOP delegation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is one of the government watchdogs monitoring the cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation. But recently the EPA’s Hanford office has shrunk in half.

The statewide unemployment rate in Washington again touched a record low of 4.5 percent in October. That's according to the Washington Employment Security Department, which has been tracking the number since the mid-1970s.

In response to recent reports about sexual harassment at the Washington state Capitol, a state Senate committee voted Tuesday night to require all senators and staff to take annual sexual harassment training.

The vote by the Senate’s Facilities and Operations Committee was unanimous.

October's California wine country wildfires damaged more than 30 wineries. Now, the Northwest wine industry and wine drinkers are stepping up to with their wallets to help.

Washington state lawmakers will likely have to come up with an extra $1 billion for schools when they convene in January for the 2018 session.

The Washington Supreme Court issued a unanimous order Wednesday that said the state is not on track to fully fund public schools by a court-imposed deadline of September 1, 2018.

Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has agreed to pay a $1,000 civil penalty to the state of Oregon for ethics violations. Kitzhaber agreed to the penalty after a review by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.

Aboard fishing vessel Marathon, Nathan Cultee tosses one of 16 farm-raised Atlantic salmon caught after a day of fishing on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at Home Port Seafoods in Bellingham.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A Washington state conservation group is suing the owners of an Atlantic fish farm that failed over the summer. 

Wild Fish Conservancy says the company negligently allowed the salmon escape to happen, which would be a Clean Water Act violation.

Beginning next year, Washington state senators and Senate staff will be required to take annual sexual harassment training. The Senate’s operations committee unanimously approved that requirement at a meeting Tuesday night.

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