News

Seattle Mayors Race 2013
8:57 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Seattle Mayoral Hopefuls Still Cloaked In "Invisible Primary"

Campaign worker puts up signs at 46th District Democrats endorsement meeting
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

The August primary election is only about two months away, but you might not even know it. The Seattle mayor’s race, which involves nine candidates, has yet to hit the front pages. Ask any random people on the street, and chances are they aren't even aware that a race is underway.

The candidates have been hard at work on the campaign trail,  but much of what they have been doing is not immediately obvious.

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Health Exchange
5:53 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Washington Selects Community Groups To Promote Health Exchange

About a million Washington residents are now without health insurance. Come October, the state hopes to get many of them enrolled in a plan. That’s when Washington’s Health Exchange is scheduled to launch. But signing people up for health insurance is not as easy as it sounds. There’s still a lot of misinformation about Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

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Judge Accepts Plea Bargain
2:50 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales Pleads Guilty To Afghan Murders

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales
High Desert Warrior

Correction 6/6/2013: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Staff Sgt. Bales was from Lake Tapps, Ohio.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the American soldier from Lake Tapps, Wash., charged with killing 16 Afghan civilians during night time raids on two villages last year, pleaded guilty Wednesday to avoid the death penalty. The judge, Col. Jeffery Nance has accepted his plea agreement which takes the option of the  death penalty off the table.

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Immigration Enforcement
1:07 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Facing Deportation, Wash. Immigrants Face Long Holds

Flickr Photo/Seattle Globalist



Forty-eight days: That’s the average time people who are suspected of immigration violations are held in detention in Washington state before they are released or deported. A new report from researchers at Syracuse University also concludes that among states with the largest populations of detainees, Washington ranks among the worst for long detention times: number 20 out of 30.

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Special Legislative Session
9:39 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Washington Budget Impasse Prompts Finger Pointing

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 5:24 pm

There’s one week left in Washington’s special legislative session and still no budget deal. Governor Jay Inslee and the Senate majority caucus held dueling news conferences Tuesday complete with plenty of finger-pointing.

The governor went first. Inslee, a Democrat, blasted the mostly Republican Senate majority for an estate tax measure that passed out of committee late last week. Inslee called it a new tax break for more than 200 wealthy Washingtonians at the expense of public schools.

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Battling Prostitution
6:20 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Seattle "John School" Educates Men Who Pay For Sex

People take long flights to pay low prices for sex. In a radio story from WGBH, Phillip Martin explores the international sex tourism industry. Here in the Seattle area, Highway 99 hosts one main corridor where prostitution is easy to see. Hot spots dot the roadway, from Northgate to Sea-Tac. 

Some of those prostitutes are also underage girls, forced by pimps to walk the streets. That's called child sex trafficking.

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Patent Battles
5:26 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Bellevue-Based Intellectual Ventures Now Targeting Financial Firms

Intellectual Ventures co-founder Nathan Myhrvold giving a TED Talk in 2010.
Flickr Photo/Red Maxwell

After numerous high-profile lawsuits against tech companies, a Bellevue-based patent company is now setting its sights on the financial industry.

On Tuesday, Intellectual Ventures announced it has filed lawsuits against two banks, JP Morgan Chase and Fifth Third Bank, for patent infringement. This is Intellectual Ventures’ second round of lawsuits targeting financial firms in the past week. On May 29, the company filed suit against First National Bank of Omaha and PNC.

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Mountain Safety Training
5:18 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Ranger's Death During Mt. Rainier Rescue Sparks Changes

Ranger Nick Hall, who died on Mount Rainier June 21, 2012.
Courtesy of the National Park Service

The National Park Service said Tuesday it is increasing safety training and altering some rescue techniques in the wake of the death of ranger Nick Hall on Mt. Rainier last June.

Park Service officials made the recommendations following a report released Tuesday, detailing the incident. As a result of the review, they said the Park Service would begin favoring a technique that puts the ranger on a wire dangling from a helicopter, instead of on the ground battling a rescue litter.

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Threatened Plant Species
10:45 am
Tue June 4, 2013

White Bluffs Bladderpod Brouhaha In Southeast Washington

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:50 am

An ankle-high plant with a funny name is stirring up controversy in southeast Washington. The federal government is considering whether to list a yellow-flowering plant known as the White Bluffs Bladderpod as a threatened species. Landowners worry the listing could curtail farming.

I’m out on the edge of a ridiculously steep precipice on the Hanford Reach National Monument – it’s a swath of protected federal ground. This spot overlooks old nuclear reactors just across the brimming Columbia River.

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Jailtime Skype
10:44 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Inmates' Families Say They're The Ones Punished By Switch To Video Visits

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 4:32 pm

Even if you've never visited a jail, you probably have a pretty clear image of what inmate visitation is like – a shatterproof glass barrier, two people sitting on either side, speaking into telephones.

But that's changing in some parts of the Northwest. More and more county jails are switching to privately operated video conferencing systems. Sort of like Skype, for inmates. But these systems have technical difficulties and come with costs for the inmates’ families.

Delayed visits

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Aging Bridge Concerns
8:58 am
Tue June 4, 2013

King County Plans To Close Kent Bridge Earlier Than Scheduled

King County Executive Dow Constantine (left) accompanies inspectors during a recent review of the Alvord T. Bridge
King County

Correction 6/4/2013: A previous version of this story had a typographical error. The bridge is scheduled to be closed June 5, not June 6.

King County plans to close an old bridge near Kent earlier than originally scheduled, officials said Monday.

The Alvord T. Bridge is both structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. It’s the first such closure since last month’s I-5 bridge collapse in Skagit County.

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DNA Testing
8:52 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Supreme Court Decision Revives Washington State Debate Over DNA Collection

US Supreme Court Building
flickr/afagen

A legislator in Washington state says she will revive a bill that would make it easier for police to collect DNA samples. That’s in the wake of a US Supreme Court ruling Monday. The five-to-four ruling upheld a Maryland law that allows police to collect DNA samples at the time of arrest from people who are charged with certain violent crimes or sex offenses.

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Crime
5:11 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Seattle Police Advise Vigilance After Three Apparent Child-Snatching Attempts in 24 Hours

Seattle Police are warning parents to keep their young children within sight after a rash of apparent kidnapping attempts involving 3- and 4-year-old boys.

The latest incident happened Monday morning outside Coe Elementary School in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. Seattle Police spokeswoman Renee Witt says a woman told police she had left her 4-year-old son inside her parked car while she walked her daughter to the school.

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Hospital Mergers
4:50 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

ACLU Calls For Moratorium On Washington Hospital Alliances

The ACLU is asking Governor Jay Inslee to call for a moratorium on hospital mergers and affiliations for six months.  Many of these partnerships involve faith-based health care providers. The ACLU, along with ten other local organizations, sent a letter to the governor saying they’re worried that these mergers will hurt patients in the long run.

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Building More Transit
4:02 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

New Details For Seattle Streetcar Expansion

A streetcar in South Lake Union.
Flickr Photo/Kosmosxipo

New streetcars might be running through downtown Seattle in a few years, under a plan announced Monday by Mayor Mike McGinn. The new route would be a link between the existing streetcar route in  South Lake Union, and the one under construction that will serve Capitol Hill, First Hill and Pioneer Square.

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