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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Seattle's mayor has announced that the city, Comcast and now Google are collaborating to make the Internet more accessible. Mayor Ed Murray revealed an action plan Wednesday for his ongoing Digital Equity Initiative.

An architect's rendering of the front of Mukilteo's kindergarten-only school, slated to open in 2017.
DLR Group/Courtesy of Mukilteo School District

Imagine a class of boisterous 5-year-olds.

Now picture 24 of those classrooms all under the same roof. That’s Mukilteo School District’s plan for a huge, kindergarten-only school on the east side of town.

It will be a haven for little learners. There will be heated floors, because kindergartners spend so much time on the ground.

The Washington legislature adjourned its special session late Tuesday night after approving an update to the state’s two-year budget. But before the final gavels fell there were some fiery moments on the floor of the state Senate.

Washington state lawmakers have flushed a proposed ban on state business travel to Victoria, British Columbia. The travel restriction surfaced last month in one version of a state budget. It was meant to pressure Victoria to stop dumping raw sewage into shared border waters.

Klamath Forest Wildfire Plan Faces Pushback

Mar 29, 2016

During the summer of 2014, wildfires burned more than 200,000 acres of the Klamath National Forest in northern California’s Siskiyou County. Last year, the U.S. Forest Service proposed a program of salvage logging, replanting and hazardous tree removal. That plan faced opposition from environmental groups and the Karuk Indian tribe. Now, a modified version of the plan has been approved, and was immediately met with a challenge in federal court.

A U.S. bankruptcy judge Tuesday approved the sale of the profitable core of the Haggen grocery chain to rival Albertsons. That brings to a close the dismantling of the Washington-based company.

Social workers Bradly Smith and Jackie St. Louis check in on Tonja Warner, who is homeless. Smith and St. Louis walk with cops on their beat and connect people they encounter with services.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

It’s early in the morning, and Capitol Hill’s homeless men and women are just waking up. 

Tanja Warner is curled up in her sleeping bag, sheltered under the roof overhang behind a business. It’s illegal to sleep here, a form of trespassing.

After weeks of gridlock, the Washington House and Senate have reached an agreement on an update to the state’s two-year budget. The deal announced late Monday ends weeks of gridlock that resulted in a 30-day special session.

A southeast Washington city council member posted anti-Latino comments to his personal Facebook page last week. It followed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ visit to Yakima.

Bella Barger and Erik Nelson take light rail to get to their methadone treatment.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Barger and Nelson live in a tent city in the University District. They used to use a lot of drugs. But that changed when they found out Barger was pregnant.

“We made steps to change really fast,” Nelson said. “We’ve come a long way in the last three months.”

Every day, the couple makes their way to a methadone clinic on Capitol Hill. They used to take the bus. Now that the light rail station is open, they take the train. Their trips are paid for with a special monthly transit pass called Hopelink.

Oregon’s water is tested for suspended solids, certain chemicals and heavy metals — but not for pharmaceuticals.

With prescription drug use on the rise unused meds too often end up in the landfill or flushed down the toilet. In Oregon, Lane County agencies are stepping up their message of what to do with unwanted drugs.

Sarah Grimm, the waste reduction specialist for Lane County Public Works, said she's seeing a problem in her industry: pharmaceutical meds being flushed down the toilet.

Part of the graffiti written on a white board at the Africatown Innovation Center in the Rainier Vista/Columbia City area.
Africatown Innovation Center Facebook

In Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood last week, Denise Madden walked out of her house and saw that someone had spray painted a racial slur on her family’s new truck.

Fifty private gun sales have been blocked since Washington voters approved a background check law in 2014. That’s according to FBI data released in response to a public records request by public radio and KING-TV in Seattle.

The share of Oregonians and Washingtonians without health insurance has dropped dramatically under Obamacare. The uninsured rate is now at a historic low in the West Coast states.

Idaho has missed out on that trend, largely because the state until now has refused to expand Medicaid eligibility on the federal dime. Idaho's Republican-controlled legislature was teetering Friday on whether to end its holdout.

Idaho will remain among the 19 states resisting a key provision of Obamacare. The Idaho Legislature adjourned Friday without agreement on whether to explore an expansion of the Medicaid program.

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