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Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray
U.S. Senate

Washington state’s U.S. senators were busy Tuesday.

Senator Patty Murray helped strike a bipartisan deal to avoid President Donald Trump's recently announced cuts to health insurance subsidies. 

Tamarind Tree employees from left, Tin Dang, Loan Luong, and Mui Tang work in the kitchen on Thursday, October 12, 2017, at the restaurant in Seattle's Little Saigon neighborhood.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Tam Nguyen owns the Tamarind Tree restaurant in Seattle’s Little Saigon neighborhood. The menu features dishes like crispy coconut rice cakes with shrimp, and of course pho, which has been part of the fabric of Seattle culture since the 1980s.

Usually the parking lot at Brookings’ harbor is filled with boat trailers, rusty pickup trucks and tourists. 

But this day in late August is not a usual day. There’s a wildfire burning five miles from town – and the vehicles coming through are much, much larger.

Jesse Dubuque, a resource advisor for the Chetco Bar Fire, directs the driver of a fire truck to a large shallow pool, about 6-inches deep with metal tracks leading in and out.

“Vehicles that have been up on the fire or going up to the fire, they come and they drive up on to it,” she says.

The current Convention Place bus station is being considered as an expansion site for the Washington State Convention Center.
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

Seattle will get an additional $60 million in public benefits, including affordable housing and bike lanes, as part of the proposed expansion of the Washington State Convention Center.

That’s more than the project’s developers had originally offered. The new money is the result of long negotiations.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The cease and desist order came as a shock. It was from the U.S. Justice Department, ordering a group of Seattle lawyers to stop helping in some deportation cases.

The Pacific Northwest was once a coal mining powerhouse.

In the late 1800s, The area around Oregon’s Coos Bay had over 70 coal mines. Later, Washington’s biggest coal mine in Centralia supplied the Bonneville Power Administration with electricity.

Oregon’s six Democrats and its sole Republican in Congress sent a letter Monday urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to move forward with cleanup plans for the Portland Harbor polluted Superfund site.

In their letter, they reminded the agency that hundreds of millions of dollars have already been invested in the plans to clean up the Portland Harbor Superfund site.

Oregonians will be voting on a tax on hospital and health insurance companies next January. The Oregon Secretary of State’s office announced Monday that opponents of the tax had successfully gathered enough valid signatures to force a vote.

On Saturday, March 19 light rail stations opened serving Capitol Hill and the University of Washington (pictured).
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle suddenly seems like a very small town —  at least when you look at the mayoral candidates and their family ties.


The Washington State Book Awards have been announced and for the third year in a row, a writer from Spokane has claimed the top prize for fiction. Shawn Vestal won the 2017 award for his debut novel, "Daredevils."

A homeless encampment in Seattle's Rainier Valley, taken March 2016.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Seattle City Council members are considering a tax on big business to fund services for homelessness.

This kind of tax is often known as a “head tax” or “employee hours tax.” And it’s actually nothing new for Seattle. The city had something like it for transportation funding, until it was repealed in 2009.

The race for a Port of Vancouver commissioner seat has become highly personal in recent days, leading candidate Kris Greene to seek legal protection.

On Friday, Greene served a temporary protection order from harassment against his former campaign strategist and volunteer Robert Sabo.

In the living room of her Olympia home, Crystal opens up a large file box that contains her son’s life history.

“As a mom you keep those shot records and those test scores in their little file even if they’re in their 20s,” said Crystal, whose last name we’re not using to protect her son's identity.

But this plastic box has something else: a detailed record of her son’s battle with addiction and mental illness beginning when he was 12.

Petula Lou of Bellevue stands with other protesters outside of the Hyatt Regency where Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke at the Washington Policy Center's annual gala on Friday, October 13, 2017, in Bellevue.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Hundreds gathered outside of the Hyatt Regency hotel on Bellevue Way on Friday, October 13 to protest Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who was speaking at the Washington Policy Center's annual gala. 

Oregon farmers planted the state’s first legal crops of industrial hemp a couple of years ago. Now the first Washington state farmer to plant the non-drug cousin of marijuana has harvested the crop. 


Hemp entrepreneur Cory Sharp is fairly happy with Washington’s first legal crop in almost 90 years. His farmer partners harvested 105 acres earlier this month from irrigated fields near Moses Lake. 


But the celebration is tempered because the crop is unsold.


Amazon Spheres, downtown Seattle
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

In September, 2017, Amazon kicked off the country’s biggest lottery — a search for a second headquarters, a.k.a. HQ2. The city that wins that contest might want some insight from the city Amazon chose first. So we're launching a new podcast.   

At the Hanford Site, the job to seal in a tunnel full of radioactive waste is nearly half done according to the federal government. It became a high-priority project when the tunnel partially collapsed this past May, causing an emergency at Hanford.

Voters in one of Oregon’s largest counties will have the chance this November to dramatically reshape their county government. The question before Douglas County residents is whether or not to approve a home rule charter.

The controversy over a program that protects young, undocumented immigrants from deportation didn’t keep Wenatchee High School’s predominantly Latino Mariachi band from playing in Washington, D.C., this week.




Tiffany Hicks places her hand on her newborn son Elijah as he sleeps on Sunday, September 3, 2017, in their room at Mary's Place in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Tiffany Hicks rode a Greyhound bus for four and a half days to get to Seattle. Her brother had recently moved here and said there were jobs. 

A previous attempt at providing broadband service through a public-private partnership fell apart in 2013.
Flickr Photo/Steve Rhode (CC BY-NC-ND)

Remember municipal broadband? The idea suffered a blow in Seattle when a partnership involving the city, the University of Washington and a private company fell apart in 2013.

But the dream never died. Now supporters are pushing another campaign.

Oregon regulators have received more than a dozen requests from companies that want to throw recyclable materials into landfills, and they're expecting more as China cracks down on waste imports from the U.S.

Oregonians love to recycle, so it makes sense that we're still putting paper and plastic into our recycling bins week after week.

In 2008, Christopher Poulos went to federal prison for dealing cocaine in his home state of Maine. Today, he’s a licensed lawyer who’s been hired to lead Washington’s effort to help prison inmates transition back into society.

A bill sponsored by several U.S. House members from the Northwest aims to overturn two recent court decisions on Columbia and Snake river dams.

Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon rejected the federal plan for managing dams to protect salmon in the Columbia River Basin.

The Oregon and Washington Cascades are getting their first significant snowfall of the season at mountain pass level Thursday. It's a possible harbinger of a cool and snowy winter.

The state of Oregon has reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed against it by the lead civil rights attorney for the Oregon Department of Justice.

An unreinforced masonry wall fails a shake test at the University of British Columbia
Courtesy of UBC

Seattle has 1,100 old brick buildings that are especially vulnerable to collapsing in a big earthquake. Few have been retrofitted to withstand a major seismic event.

Now researchers at the University of British Columbia say they’ve come up with a cheap, fast way to reinforce such buildings: spray them with bendable concrete.

Great blue herons colonize in groups of about 32. Each couple has four eggs at a time.
Courtesy of Barry Troutman

Booming development in the Pacific Northwest is pricing out a lot of residents. But one Olympia neighborhood has plans to protect some of its longtime inhabitants: a colony of great blue herons.

There's one week left for North American cities to assemble their bids to lure one of the biggest economic prizes in years, the second Amazon headquarters. At least half a dozen Pacific Northwest places plan to submit proposals.

Housing costs contribute dramatically to the high basic cost of living in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

A family of four now needs annual income of nearly $76,000 just for basics to live in Seattle – up $30,000 from 2006.

That’s according to researchers at the University of Washington School of Social Work.

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