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Fred Dillon, second from left, and his son, Codi Dillon, right, return the remains of a chinook salmon to the Puyallup River after a first salmon ceremony on Tuesday in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The Puyallup Tribe welcomed the first salmon of the year back to the Puyallup River in Tacoma on Tuesday.

Strangely, perhaps, that chinook's epic journey from mid-Pacific Ocean to a Puyallup fishing net begins with a sloshing tanker truck.


Yizjuani Watson, 11, has help with her costume from Simya Gibson, 13, during a rehearsal on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at Rainier Beach high school in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The end of the school year is a time for students to show off — debates, sports championships and performances abound. And for high schools around the state, it’s musical theater season.


When I opened my front door to Enhabit Home Energy Score Adviser Peter Kernan, I was actually feeling fairly confident about my home's energy efficiency.

I bought the 1938 Tudor in the dead of winter five years ago and my first electric bill was $250. To heat the home, I had to turn on the original electric wall heaters with their glowing, red-hot coils. The leaky, old single-pane windows failed to keep the snow out of my bedroom.

How Dangerous Are The Northwest’s Volcanoes?

May 17, 2018

  

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, chances are good you can see a volcano from where you stand.

In Oregon, Washington and Idaho, magma has erupted out of the ground in at least 25 places in the last 10,000 years, a mere instant in the lifetime of volcanoes that can be hundreds of thousands of years old.

One night about a year ago, the lights in Brian's Tacoma apartment suddenly went out. He was in his bedroom. When he walked out to see what had happened, he said he found his adult daughter who lived with him had stuck a bread knife into an electrical outlet.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning in Okanogan County as slow moving storms could bring heavy rain to the region. 
Eleven rivers in north central and eastern Washington state are already near flood stage or higher.

Emergency crews have been preparing for high water in Washington state's Okanogan Valley since early in the month. The Okanogan River hasn’t even crested yet, but they’re already starting to think about what happens when the flood is over.

Seattle Police Officer and Navigation Team member Brad Devore offers services and shelter to campers
KUOW photo/Kate Walters

On a sunny May morning, the Alaskan Way Viaduct throws long shadows over a line of tents.

This cluster of tents is here illegally, one of about 400 unauthorized encampments in Seattle. It’s been cleared nine times this year, according to the city, including once this week.

Emergency management officials are trying to protect drinking water systems throughout the Okanogan Valley from flood water contamination.

The stories of patients and their families are critical to learning more about how state government operates and how our mental health system is functioning. They also shed light on personal struggles with mental health and fight the stigma attached to psychiatric disorders.

The state is currently trying to reshape the hospital and improve our long-struggling mental health system. The issue will likely be at the forefront of the Legislature's 2019 session, which begins in January.

The 15-year-old boy who pleaded guilty to igniting the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge last September could be required to pay more than $36 million in restitution to 11 parties related to fire damage.

Judge John Olson did not reach a decision on how much to award in court and said he would issue a written order on the amount of restitution as early as Friday. 

The unnamed Vancouver, Washington, teen did not attend the restitution hearing in Hood River County Thursday morning. He was represented by his attorney Jack Morris.

The entrance to a homeless shelter on Third Avenue in Seattle.
KUOW File Photo/John Ryan

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan didn't veto the head tax passed by the Seattle City Council earlier this week, but in a letter to council members last night, she criticized the council's spending plan for the new tax.

Recycling is shown on Sunday, July 30, 2017, at the Orcas Island Transfer Station on Orcas Island. KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

King County officials say China’s refusal to accept U.S. recycling could lead to increased costs and missed environmental goals. But maybe there's a way to clean up our act when it comes to recycling.

China has been the main customer for mixed paper collected in King County. But lately China has shut down that market, saying U.S. recycling isn’t pure enough — we send along too much material that can't be processed.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has said she’s calling a special session next week to correct a simple matter of unfairness in state tax policy. But the first public hearing on Brown’s proposal Wednesday suggested debate could be anything but simple.

Crews with the Washington Department of Transportation have been working for two days to fortify a stretch of U.S. Highway 97 threatened by the rising Okanogan River.

A few days ago, there were a few small piles of sandbags, some cones and a sign warned drivers to slow down at Milepost 313.

An environmental group sued the Southern Oregon city of Medford Wednesday over wastewater discharge in the Rogue River. The suit alleges outflow from the sewage treatment plant violates the Clean Water Act.

Northwest Environmental Advocates says the city’s wastewater treatment plant releasing nutrients into the river. They says Medford has known about the issue for years and has not moved to correct the situation.

A military doctor sets up surgical tools
Flickr Photo/US Army Africa (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/RRummb

Andy Hurst talks with Politico editor Arthur Allen about a new report from the Pentagon that found massive problems with the U.S. military's effort to modernize health records. 

Daniel Ramirez Medina, left, and his brother Tony Ramirez Medina outside of U.S. District Court in Seattle on May 1st, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

It’s been more than a year since immigration officials raided a Seattle-area home and detained Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year-old who was a recipient of the federal ‘dreamer’ program.

Prosecutor Kevin Barton will take the helm of the Washington County District Attorney’s Office next year, after overcoming a forceful challenge from opponent Max Wall in the most expensive DA race Oregon’s ever seen.

Washington drivers who are thinking about buying an electric car would be wise to get down to a dealership in the next two weeks. That's because a valuable tax break disappears at month's end.

Oregon Voters Select Val Hoyle As New Labor Commissioner

May 16, 2018

Former lawmaker Val Hoyle appeared poised to secure victory in the heated race for Oregon labor commissioner on Tuesday, becoming just the second woman to oversee the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) in 115 years.

Valerie Nagle, who lives in her van: 'It would be huge, if there was enough housing, affordable housing.'
KUOW photo/David Hyde

With Seattle adding tens of millions of dollars to fight homelessness, people around the city want to know: Is that money being spent effectively?

Valerie Nagle is one of them. She lives in her van.


Former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley Tuesday lost a motion to have his conviction for possession of stolen funds tossed out. But a federal judge in Tacoma did grant two of Kelley’s other motions.

It’s been a busy day along Highway 97 near Tonasket, Washington, as trucks haul sand and sandbags to communities that could be affected by extreme flooding along the Okanogan River. The river first crested last Saturday.

But residents are bracing for more.

The National Weather Service is predicting possible thunderstorms later this week around the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, Washington. That could cause the Eightmile Lake Dam above the town to fail.

And a simmering dispute between the local irrigation district and the U.S. Forest Service isn’t helping.

Volunteers joined emergency crews this week to brace for the possibility of major flooding on a number of rivers in north central and eastern Washington state.

The combination of a near-record snowpack in southern British Columbia and temperatures soaring into the upper 80s has caused flood watches starting at the U.S.-Canada border running south along the Okanogan River.

Correspondent Emily Schwing is on the scene and sent back these photos.

  

In farm fields from the Willamette Valley to the Kittitas Valley and east to Idaho, energy developers want to plant a new crop: commercial solar arrays. But a surge in utility-scale solar farm applications is generating pushback.

Workers pour concrete for a floor of an office tower in Renton. Pouring concrete carries a lot of risk for workers.
KUOW Photo/Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Around Seattle, you might think more workers are getting hurt given that construction is booming.


Men exit the Abu-Bakr Islamic Center after prayer on Friday, April 20, 2018, in Tukwila.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

For years, Tukwila’s stretch of highway 99 was known for its crime: drug sales, prostitution, burglaries and violence. Then one morning in 2013, hundreds of police officers raided the old motels where most of those crimes were happening.

Mohammed Jama ran a small shop next to the motels. He’s part of the large Somali and refugee community centered around the Abu Bakr mosque in Tukwila. 

He told us the raid changed his life.


De'Sean Quinn shows his prized possession: the key to one of the motels that used to dominate Tukwila's stretch of the old highway 99.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Everything had to work perfectly.


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