News | KUOW News and Information

News

Ways to Connect

Researchers at Oregon State University have worked out a way to detect and identify whales long after they move on – just by sampling the water. 

When whales swim they leave behind a plume of genetic material in the environment: skin, poop and bodily fluids. If you know what to look for, you can use that DNA to figure out what kind of whale went by.

Saying they want to keep up the pressure on elected officials to pass new gun control measures, Seattle-area students joined a national school walkout on the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School. But they said Friday’s gathering was intended to shine a light on the rates of gun violence in the U.S., beyond shootings on school grounds. 

In Seattle, students took the podium in Occidental Square:

A Seattle Saracens rugby match
Flickr Photo/Francisco Javier Perez (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/RrAo1f

Kim Malcolm talks with Kevin Flynn about the Seattle Seawolves, and the prospects for professional rugby in Seattle. Flynn is a manager with the Seawolves and president of the Seattle Saracens Rugby Club.

The Seawolves kick off their inaugural season against the San Diego Legion on Sunday at Starfire Sports in Tukwila.

Nearly 20 percent of people in Washington and 15 percent in Oregon speak a language other than English at home. Emergency managers from around the West are grappling with how to reach people in foreign languages in the midst of a disaster. A new Washington state law seeks to raise the bar.

Construction continues on the SR-99 tunnel on Thursday, November 2, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

You know the phrase: "You have to spend money to make money." That's the case for tolling the state Route 99 tunnel in Seattle.

Washington state says it needs to spend about $500 million to pay off $200 million in debt for tunnel construction. 

This photo was posted to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office Facebook page earlier in the week.
Pierce County Sheriff's Office Facebook page

In the photo above — posted by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook and Twitter this week – a man sits on the ground after being Tased by police. He wears nothing but black underwear briefs and a rosary around his neck. His small dog looks up at the camera.

Tera Oglesby and her son join protesters outside the construction site of King County’s new youth detention center in Seattle, where three clergy members chained themselves together around a construction beam.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A protest at the site for the new King County youth detention center apparently halted construction this morning.

Screenshot from the music video for the song 'Leave Them' features childhood sexual assault survivors scream underwater as a way to highlight their silence.
YouTube

Ben Doerr is a sailboat charter captain by summer and a songwriter in Seattle’s cold and rainy months as leader of the band St. Paul de Vence.

“I write toward the darker side because I write in the winter of Seattle,” Doerr said. “It’s always gray and sad so I kind of write sadder songs but there are little themes of hope and inspiration in there.”


While searching for seabirds in July of 2017, biologist Luke Halpin instead saw a sea bubbling with about 200 bottlenose dolphins and 70 false killer whales. It would be an unusual sight anywhere — bottlenose generally travel in much smaller groups — but Halpin’s sighting was made more remarkable by where it happened. These usually tropical animals were off the west coast of Canada.

Students from Oregon State University, Granite Falls High School in Washington and the University of British Columbia are among 99 teams pushing the boundaries of automotive fuel efficiency. The Northwest students are driving in an international competition in California through this weekend.

Fifth grader Nina Perry at KUOW Public Radio in Seattle
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Eleven-year-old Nina Parry noticed a man sitting outside her neighborhood QFC. She and her mom brought him food. But there were others.

“Ever since I can remember, I've been seeing homeless people asking for money or just sitting in the streets being cold,” she said.


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is stepping up his role as chair of the Democratic Governors Association. Inslee was in Las Vegas Thursday as part of his first major campaign swing.

Cameras on the Highway 520 bridge take pictures of license plates as vehicles pass to assess tolls.
Flickr Photo/Wonderlane (CC-BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9ftjw3

Drivers will have a free ride on the state Route 99 tunnel in Seattle when it first opens this fall. After a few months, however, expect to pay a toll of $1.00-$2.50 for each trip.

The Washington State Transportation Commission has proposed multiple tolling options and will present them in public meetings this spring. 


If Gov. Kate Brown follows through on a plan to call Oregon’s Legislature into a special session in the coming months, she might wind up giving a tax break to a sliver of the businesses she’s pledged to target.

Brown announced April 6 that she wants to convene the Oregon Legislature to give a tax cut to “sole proprietorships,” which had been left out of a 2013 state tax break.

Ethan Kent, 26, uses a cart to transport his belongings as well as the belongings of friends away from a Ravenna encampment where he had been living for roughly a month and a half, on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, on the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Charlie Blackwood was running off three hours of sleep and seven cups of coffee when he packed up his belongings. He had been living with seven other people in a plot of woods in Ravenna, in northeast Seattle, when city crews arrived with trucks and shovels to clear it out.

A fish-friendly culvert in Washington state
Flickr Photo/Washington DNR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/cCuMVy

Kim Malcolm talks with University of Washington law professor Robert Anderson about a U.S. Supreme Court case involving Native American fishing rights in Washington state. At issue is whether Washington state should pay to fix culverts, which block the passage of salmon.

In 1965, Ralph and Elaine Hayes tried to put a down payment on a friend's home in Ravenna.

"And in April of '66 the United Federal Savings Bank, I think it was called, sent our check back," Elaine Hayes said. She and her husband didn't find out why for 15 years.


Seattle Preschool Program teacher Hien Do, center, sits in a circle with her students on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at the ReWA Early Learning Center at Beacon, in Seattle, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has proposed a new, bigger education levy that would take city dollars from elementary schools. That money would instead go to adding preschool slots, two years of free community college and counseling for high school students.

Bellingham, Washington, dedicates a new monument this Saturday that speaks to the Pacific Northwest's long and conflicted history with immigration. The "Arch of Healing and Reconciliation" memorializes the past expulsions of immigrant Sikhs, Japanese and Chinese.

An Emergency Evacuation Route sign is shown on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, inside the SR 99 tunnel in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Soon, state Route 99 — and the rest of us —will have a new asset: a completed Alaskan Way tunnel.

The $3.2 billion tunnel provides an earthquake-safe route under our downtown. However, the state highway department says it’s taken the highway off its list of Seismic Lifeline routes


Seattle Seahawks Sea Gals cheerleaders perform during halftime of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Seattle. The gloves were part of the Seahawks and NFL football's Crucial Catch campaign to support the fight against breast cancer.
AP Photo/Stephen Brashear

NFL cheerleading is being scrutinized after a professional cheerleader sued the New Orleans Saints. Her discrimination complaint comes on top of reports about rules dictating cheerleader behavior.

In a big grass pasture in the shadow of Mount Rainier, hundreds of chickens are crowded around a little house where they can get water and shelter from the bald eagles circling overhead. This is the original location of Wilcox Family Farms, an egg farm that also has locations in Oregon and Montana.

East of the Cascades, wheat farmers say there has been plenty of moisture over the winter and all things point to a good harvest. But the price and demand for that crop is very much in question.

SunPower, a solar manufacturing company headquartered in San Diego, California, has purchased SolarWorld Americas, a solar panel manufacturer based in Hillsboro.

Details of the sale weren't disclosed. In a news release, SunPower announced plans to use the Hillsboro solar panel manufacturing plant to make the solar panels the company currently manufactures overseas, marking the company's "return to U.S. manufacturing."

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to log trees killed or damaged in last year’s Chetco Bar Fire. Chetco Bar was by far Oregon’s largest wildfire in 2017, burning just over 191,000 acres in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

Jessie Berner is the Chetco Bar Coordinator for the Forest.

"We are trying to capture the value of those trees to try to recoup some of the economic value of that timber in support of our local communities," she says.

The road that winds around Sea-Tac Airport.
Flickr Photo/Ping Li (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) http://bit.ly/2aPcgPp

The taxi business ain’t what it used to be.

That's partly why cabbies picketed at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Tuesday, fighting back against a new ultimatum from one cab company. 

Photo courtesy of Mac Witt

Most Seattle bakeries have employed graduates from South Seattle College’s Pastry and Baking Arts program. The school is a pipeline for notable restaurants and bakeries like Macrina, Bakery Nouveau, and Grand Central.

But now the college is looking to cut $1 million, and the baking program is a target.


An Uber driver near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Last spring, an Uber heading north in Seattle hit another car so hard it was cut in half

That brings us to today's KUOW listener question: Who has more insurance coverage to handle your medical bills in case of a crash — an Uber driver or a taxi driver? 


Earlier this month, nearly half the inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla staged a hunger strike. It ended after five days. The inmates were protesting the quality of prison food.

It’s an issue that has been simmering in Washington prisons for years.

FILE: Starbucks location
Flickr Photo/Yukiko Matsuoka (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/emrGV5

Starbucks will close 8,000 stores late next month so employees can attend an afternoon-long training about racial bias. That follows an incident in Philadelphia where employees called police on two African American men who were waiting for a friend but hadn’t purchased anything.

So, will one afternoon of training work? We asked an expert.

Pages