News

Eye on Olympia
3:11 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Washington "Driving While Poor" Law Prompts Changes

The Washington Department of Licensing has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed rule changes at 3 p.m., January 9 in Olympia.
Washington DOL

In 2012 the Washington state Legislature passed a law that sponsors called the “driving while poor” bill. The law aims to help people who end up with suspended licenses because they failed to pay traffic tickets.

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The Salt
12:18 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

College Students With Food Allergies Make Legal Gains

A recent settlement between a university and the Justice Department may encourage institutions to better accommodate students with food allergies.
iStockphoto.com

Many a college student lives off of microwavable meals – but some do it not by choice but because they're worried school food might make them sick.

They may have celiac disease, a digestive ailment caused by gluten, or life-threatening allergies to foods like peanuts — both are on the rise. But even as more people become aware of the issues, schools and institutions may lag behind.

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The Two-Way
11:37 am
Tue January 8, 2013

It's In The Books: 2012 Was Warmest Year On Record For Lower 48 States

July 22, 2012: In Baltimore, John Rose tried to keep cool during one of the year's heat waves.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Last year "marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States," the National Climatic Data Center just confirmed.

This probably won't surprise many, but "a record warm spring, second-warmest summer, fourth-warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn" combined to make the year's average temperature 55.3°F.

That's "3.2°F above the 20th century average, and 1.0°F above 1998, the previous warmest year."

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A Community Grieves
9:20 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Northwest Korean Community Trying To Heal After Oregon Bus Crash

Oregon State Police

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:54 am

The Northwest’s tight-knit Korean community continues to grieve the nine people who died in that bus crash just before New Year’s Eve in northeast Oregon. Some of the survivors have already filed a lawsuit against the tour bus company, saying the driver was too tired and going too fast.

Members of a Korean church in Bothell, Washington, are grieving one of their youth pastors. The Oregon State Police haven’t confirmed the death of nineteen-year-old Richard Sohn, but Community Church of Seattle members believe he was on the bus and has died.

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Afghanistan
12:49 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Future Of U.S. Troops Looms Over Afghan Leader's Visit

President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai greet each other during a May 20 meeting at the NATO Summit in Chicago. Karzai is in Washington, D.C., this week to meet Obama and other senior U.S. officials.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:06 am

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is in Washington this week for meetings with President Obama and other senior administration officials. The talks are expected to help set the framework for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan after the bulk of American and NATO forces leave at the end of 2014. One of the key issues to be discussed is the number of American troops to remain in Afghanistan after that date.

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Rig Reaches Shelter
4:40 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Shell’s Beached Kulluk Oil Rig Towed To Safe Harbor

The Kulluk aground off Sitkalidak Island, Alaska.
Credit Travis Marsh, U.S. Coast Guard.

A shipwrecked oil rig that was bound for Seattle has been floated off the rocks and towed to a safe harbor in the Gulf of Alaska. A fleet of nine ships accompanied Shell Oil’s Kulluk drill rig on the 45-mile tow. Shortly before noon Pacific Time, the rig reached its anchorage in sheltered Kiliuda Bay on Kodiak Island.  

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Presidential Politics
10:01 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Obama Nominates Hagel For Defense, Brennan For CIA

The nominees: John Brennan (left), who is President Obama's choice to head the CIA; and former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who the president has asked to be secretary of defense.
STAFF Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 11:16 am

  • NPR coverage of the Hagel/Brennan nomination announcements

President Obama this afternoon nominated former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

In those two, the president said, he has chosen men with experience in the field and who "understand the consequences of decisions we make in this town" on the men and women who serve America around the world,

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Tsunami Dock Removal
9:18 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Tsunami Debris Dock Decontaminated, Removal Poses Next Challenge

Wash. Dept. of Fish

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:01 am

State and federal biologists say they are confident they have minimized the invasive species threat posed by a derelict dock that washed ashore last month in Olympic National Park. The concrete and steel dock appears to have drifted across the Pacific Ocean after last year's tsunami in Japan. But the story is not over yet.

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Infrastructure Funding Strategy
9:17 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Talk Of A Carbon Tax In The Northwest

Portland General Electric's coal-fired Boardman Power Plant along the Columbia River. it's among the greenhouse gas emitters in Oregon and Washington not subject to a carbon tax. Some Northwest policy makers want to change that.
Portland General Electric

Keeping up with transportation infrastructure isn’t cheap. The Washington State Transportation Commission estimates that in the next 20 years around 200 billion dollars needs to be put towards the maintenance of roads, ferries and more. But how to pay for that? Some are putting forward the idea of a tax on carbon emissions.

Read the whole story on KUOW’s Earthfix

Trash Experiment Ends
8:54 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Seattle Ends Biweekly Trash Pickup Pilot Program

Garbage and Recycling Containers in Wedgewood.
Credit KUOW / Derek Wang

Many Seattle residents are grateful for the new year because it means that their garbage will be picked up every week. At least for now.

For the past six months, 800 Seattle households participated in a pilot program that experimented with picking up the trash every other week. The affected neighborhoods were roughly in the four corners of the city and included Wedgewood.

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Intensive Academic Program
7:47 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Kids Find Path To College With Rainier Scholars

"If you're packin' heat, hold 'em high!" Rainier Scholars teacher Drego Little greets his students' books with his own.
Ann Dornfeld

Every summer, five dozen mostly low-income students of color from Seattle Public Schools begin an intensive academic program designed to get them ready for college. In Rainier Scholars, middle-schoolers commit to eight-hour school days in the summer and then after-school and weekend classes during the school year. Most of these students would be the first in their families to graduate from college.

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Police Accountability
6:10 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

SPD Confronts Another Inflammatory Video

Police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb offers the department's perspective on Isaac Ocak's arrest video.
Amy Radil

The Seattle Police Department is facing another use-of-force lawsuit accompanied by video footage. Friday the department defended its conduct at a press conference.

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Fiscal Cliff
9:45 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Farm Bill Extension Leaves Out Many In Northwest

USDA

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 3:59 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – Many Northwest growers are left out of the partial extension of the U.S. Farm Bill included in this week’s fiscal cliff legislation. The new law largely covers conventional agriculture and not the organics, specialty crops and conservation programs that our region’s farmers are known for.

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Oregon Bus Crash
9:41 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Northwest's Korean Community Draws Close After Deadly Bus Crash

Oregon State Police

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:18 pm

The Northwest Korean community is grieving two more victims in that deadly bus crash in northeast Oregon. So far, seven of the nine victims’ names have been released in the accident that also injured dozens.

One of the latest two victims to be identified is Chun Ho Bahn, age 63. She was a U.S. Citizen from Bothell, Washington. Her husband is being treated at a hospital in Pendleton. The other victim is Ae Ja Kim, age 61, from Korea. Her husband is still being treated in Portland, Oregon.

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Military
9:39 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Mid-Air Crash At Joint Base Lewis-McChord Brought Down Helicopters In 2011

US Army

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:50 pm

A new Army report confirms it was a mid-air crash that brought down two Army helicopters at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord a year ago. It happened during a night vision training exercise.

The heavily redacted 190-page report aims to recreate the events of the night of December 12, 2011. That clear, moonlit evening two Kiowa Warrior helicopters took off within a minute of each other. On board each chopper was an experienced pilot instructor and a newer pilot in training.

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