News

Rules of Re-Entry
7:57 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Immigration Change Eases Family Separations

Credit sarah sosiak / Flickr

Immigrant advocates are cheering a change in federal policy. New guidelines from the Department of Homeland Security offer a small break to people who entered the country illegally and now have a spouse or child who is a US citizen.

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Weekend Traffic
5:38 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

I-5 Ramp Closures Start On Friday

Aleta Borschowa, WSDOT Project Engineer
Credit KUOW / Derek Wang

Winter is usually not the season for road construction, but this year, things are a little different. Friday marks the start of eleven planned closures of some Interstate 5 ramps.

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More Snow, More Energy
8:05 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Idaho Power Uses Cloud Seeding To Enhance Winter Snowpack

Idaho Power's Derek Blestrud and Brandal Glenn study the type of snow thats falling as a result of cloud seeding.
Aaron Kunz

Cloud seeding has been around for decades. It started out as a way to make rain for growing crops. But these days in the Mountain West, it’s used as a way to make more snow.

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Coast Guard Rescue
7:58 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Shell's Seattle-Bound Oil Rig Evacuated, Lost, Recovered In Gulf Of Alaska

A Coast Guard helicopter crew conducts hoists of the first six of 18 crewmen from the mobile drilling unit Kulluk 80 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, 12/29/12. Rescue was prompted after there were problems with the tow Friday.
Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis US Coast Guard

UPDATE: The Kulluk ran aground late Monday night, with 150,000 gallons of diesel and oil on board.

A floating oil rig that was abandoned on Saturday in heavy seas in the Gulf of Alaska is being towed away from land — a second time.

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Working Multiple Jobs
7:51 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Landing One Job No Longer Sufficient For Many In Idaho

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:28 pm

POST FALLS, Idaho - Personal incomes took a hit in the economic downturn across the nation. But according to the latest figures, no state has lower median earnings than Idaho.

A few years ago, James Drennen and his family left Lancaster, Penn., to start a new life in north Idaho.

“We figured we could come out here and live on a whole lot less money and my wife could stay home," he says. "But when we got here, we found out the jobs aren't paying as well.”

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Surviving The Cold
7:31 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Seeing More Hummingbirds In Winter Lately?

Alan Vernon Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:35 pm

As winter begins, humming bird experts say more of the tiny birds may be sticking around the Northwest instead of migrating south.

There are three types of hummingbirds Northwesterners might be seeing more of at feeders or in their yards this time of year: the Rufous, the Anna’s or the Allen’s hummingbirds. These little birds are able to survive the cold by lowering their body temperature, hiding in the lees of tree trunks, shivering to warm up and eating a lot.

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Longevity In The Northwest
7:30 am
Wed January 2, 2013

US Census Bureau Finds Lots Of Centenarians In Northwest

US Census Bureau

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:05 pm

Centenarians are still a rare breed, but their ranks are swelling. The most recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau found more people than you might expect over 100 years old in the Northwest. There are more than 1,000 centenarians in Washington state, nearly 700 in Oregon and 220 in Idaho.

"Oh, my goodness. People live to be old these days, huh?" says 100-year-old Justine Ackerman of Newport, Washington. She says she credits her longevity in part to clean living.

"I never drank or smoked, or anything like that," she says.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Tue January 1, 2013

House Votes To Approve 'Fiscal Cliff' Legislation

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden make a statement regarding the passage of the fiscal cliff bill in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House late Tuesday evening.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:23 am

The House of Representatives voted 257-167 late Tuesday to pass a Senate-approved compromise deal that stops large tax increases for 99 percent of Americans, and delays massive spending cuts for two months.

The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.

NPR's S.V. Date is reporting on the deal for our Newscast unit. Here's what he says:

"The eventual deal was hammered out by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden. It passed the Senate with overwhelming, bipartisan support.

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Foreign Adoption
6:03 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Iron Curtain Falls Around Russian Adoptions

Police in Moscow detain a demonstrator who protests Russia's new ban on American adoptions.
Associated Press

A Washington family is scheduled to return home Saturday with days to spare before a new Russian law bans American families from adopting Russian children.

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The Last Show
9:02 am
Fri December 28, 2012

This NOT Just In: The Last Episode Of J.P. Patches

J.P. Patches and Gertrude from The J.P. Patches Show.
Credit Courtesy of Chris Wedes

Chris Wedes passed away earlier this year after a long battle with cancer.  Wedes was the host of the long-running JP Patches Show on KIRO TV and one of the region's most beloved figures.  "This NOT Just In" looks back to the final weekday episode of the popular program, back in December 1978.

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Labor Dispute
8:58 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Northwest Wheat Growers Hope For Resolution At Grain Terminals

Lester L Flickr

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 5:27 pm

Northwest wheat growers are hoping for a swift resolution to a labor dispute that could keep their grain from reaching the world market. Grain terminals remain open in Portland, Vancouver and Seattle, even though the terminals' owners have implemented a contract offer unionized longshoremen rejected.

Most of the wheat that grows on the rolling hills of eastern Washington is bound for the international market. But to get there, the wheat passes through one of a handful of grain terminals in the Northwest.

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Climate Activism
6:36 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Mayor McGinn Calls On Seattle To Divest From Fossil Fuels

A historic gas pump in Issaquah, Wash. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn wants his city to not invest in oil and gas companies.
John Ryan

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn wants the city to get its money out of fossil fuels. He has called on the city’s two main retirement funds to divest millions of dollars invested in oil and gas companies.

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Natural Gas Safety
6:11 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

State Commission Finds PSE At Fault For Gas Explosion

Aerial view of a North Seattle home after it exploded in 2011.
Seattle Fire Department

A state report has found Puget Sound Energy at fault for a gas explosion that injured two people in September 2011. The blast destroyed the North Seattle home of the Ingham family.

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Backscatter scanners
11:07 am
Thu December 27, 2012

No End In Sight For Sea-Tac Airport’s X-Ray Scanners

TSA officials say the new scanners can shorten the wait at security checkpoints, like this one at Sea-Tac Airport.
John Ryan KUOW Photo

The Transportation Security Administration has been quietly replacing passenger-screening machines at some of the nation’s largest airports. The TSA has been moving them to smaller airports and replacing them with security scanners that don’t use X-rays.

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Economy
11:02 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Sen. Reid: Looks Like We're Headed Over The 'Fiscal Cliff'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., addresses reporters about ongoing discussions about the so-called fiscal cliff on Dec. 18.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 12:18 pm

Even as Air Force One was about to land in suburban Maryland this morning — bringing President Obama back from his vacation in Hawaii to resume negotiations aimed at avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was on the floor of the Senate warning that a dive off that cliff seems inevitable.

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