News

Manny has worked as a janitor at the UW for three years.  He says he makes about $14 an hour and would like a raise.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Janitors and custodians at the University of Washington plan to rally in the middle of campus Tuesday. Due to budget cuts, there’s now a smaller cleaning staff to cover the huge campus. Many janitors say they’re being asked to do more with less.

A new distillery in the Tri-Cities is hoping to solar power your alcohol.

The founders of Solar Spirits are planning to distill vodka, gin and eventually whiskey – they would become one of the first distilleries in the Northwest to use solar power. The group calls their process “craft tech.”

Ever since residents in a Southern Oregon community near Gold Beach claimed weed killer sprayed from a helicopter poisoned them in late 2013, the Eugene-based environmental group Beyond Toxics has been pushing hard for stricter rules governing aerial spraying.

Now it has company.

In the Washington state Legislature this year, there's a proposal to recognize the national day of the cowboy and a requirement that yellow traffic lights last four seconds at intersections with red light cameras.

Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen says he won't slack off in his last year: "Call me if you need a stop sign put in."
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Another longtime Seattle City Council member has announced he will not seek reelection this year. Tom Rasmussen said he’ll retire from the council after twelve years. His announcement follows Nick Licata’s similar news last Thursday.

A national campaign has highlighted the thousands of untested sexual assault kits held by police. Now the Seattle Police Department has pledged to send every sexual assault kit for testing by the state crime lab.

Crowds of homeless people often gather on the sidewalks of downtown Seattle near social-service providers.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The ranks of the homeless continue to swell in King County. An overnight count found 3,772 people living on the streets — a 21 percent increase since last January.

Hundreds of volunteers fanned out across the county in the wee hours of Friday morning to take count of the region's rising homeless population.

The state of Washington announced a new confirmed case of avian flu in a wild duck in Whatcom County Friday.

Sens. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, left, and Kevin Ranker. On Christmas Day, Ashley Ahearn asked them to join her at the Spar Cafe, a bar in Olympia.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Earlier this winter, Ashley Ahearn was growing tired of polarized political debate.

She wondered: Did politicians actually believe what came out of their mouths? So she invited Sens. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, and Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, leaders, to drinks at Spar Cafe in Olympia.  

Elysian Brewery on Capitol Hill, Seattle, has a new owner.
Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf

Elysian Brewing of Seattle – and of deliciously hoppy IPAs – is being sold to Anheuser-Busch, the big beer company headquartered in St. Louis.

"Throughout our journey we've been focused on brewing a portfolio of both classic and groundbreaking beers and supporting innovation and camaraderie in the beer industry," Dick Cantwell, Elysian co-founder and head brewer told The Associated Press.

"By joining with Anheuser-Busch we'll be able to take the next steps to bring that energy and commitment to a larger audience."

KUOW Photo/Sara Lerner

A dead gray whale was found floating under a ferry terminal in downtown Seattle this week. On Thursday, word was spreading fast about the enormous creature.

Kathy Powers, a dock worker, ran down to take a look between ferry trips. 

Idaho biologists say the number of wolves is likely declining, but their count of breeding pairs of wolves -- a key number used to measure the health of the state’s wolf population -- has actually gone up.

USS Michigan moored at Fleet Activities Yokosuka for a scheduled port visit during a deployment to the western Pacific Ocean in September 2010.
Flickr Photo/US Pacific Command (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The USS Michigan, stationed at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, will be the first submarine to allow enlisted women to serve onboard. 

It’s part of the Navy's plan to have women perform 20 percent of the jobs on mixed gender subs by 2020. The Navy began allowing female officers on subs three years ago. 

Clean Water Services of Hillsboro has an advanced treatment process that can turn sewage into drinking water.

The company, which runs four wastewater treatment plants in the Portland metro area, wants to show off its "high-purity" system by turning recycled wastewater into beer.

But under current rules, the state of Oregon wouldn't allow anyone to drink it.

Seattle E.R. nurse Marc Bouma is back in the Northwest after treating Ebola patients in a remote part of Liberia.

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