News

Society
10:47 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Northwest's Rural Gay Community Coming Out Of The Shadows

Joe Palisano and Tom Bry have a farm just south of Sandpoint, Idaho. Photo by Jessica Robinson

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 3:55 pm

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Washington legalizes same-sex marriage next month at a time when the geography of the Northwest’s gay and lesbian population is changing. Their numbers are still largest in metropolitan areas. But if you look for the biggest increases – that trend is happening in small towns and rural areas. In Idaho more gay and lesbian couples are making a choice that was once unthinkable in rural areas -- they’re living openly.

Joe Palisano is used to a certain kind of reaction when he tells people where he lives.

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Seattle Police
10:37 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Applicants Ready To Keep Tabs On Seattle Police

Seattle Police
Flickr/elfsternberg

Seattle city officials will soon begin sifting through applications for police watchdogs.  Last month, the city put out a call for citizens to serve on a new community police commission.  It’s being created as part of an agreement with the US Department of Justice  to reform the Seattle Police Department.

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Environment
6:57 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Northwest's Remaining Reindeer Butt Heads With Snowmobilers

Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:11 pm

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - The last herds of reindeer in the continental United States are found in the Northwest. But even here, there aren't very many left. Next week , federal wildlife authorities are expected to designate the animal's high-elevation stomping grounds as protected “critical habitat.” The move has riled another winter visitor to the area –- snowmobilers.

Reindeer -- or caribou -- used to be found along the northern tier of the U.S., from Washington, to Maine. But that is changing according to Bryon Holt, a biologist with U.S. Fish & Wildlife.

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Health
6:19 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Pediatric MS Cases Rise In The Northwest: Younger Patients Put A New Face On An Old Mystery

Allexis in her room at her home in Silverdale in front of a life "to-do" list she had painted on her wall.
Carol Smith

The Pacific Northwest has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world, yet the reasons why remain elusive. It’s an old mystery, but one that now has a new face. Today, doctors are seeing a growing number of cases in kids. They hope these young patients will yield more clues to what causes the disease.

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Recreation
12:55 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Avalanche Deaths Inspire Safety Efforts In Backcountry Skiing And Snowboarding

Joel Hammond is the Northwest sales representative for Salomon Sports. He says his job comes with a responsibility: to educate consumers about the dangers in the backcountry.

As the slopes open, skiers’ and snowboarders’ giddy enthusiasm is overshadowed by an accident near Stevens Pass last season.  Three people were killed: Jim Jack, Johnny Brenan and Chris Rudolph.  They were caught in an avalanche in the nearby backcountry — the wilderness just outside the Stevens Pass ski resort, unmonitored by ski patrol.  Jack, Brennan and Rudolph were all well-known and experienced skiers in the Washington ski scene.

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History
10:52 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Hijack, Ransom, Parachute Plane Jump: The Unsolved Mystery Of D.B. Cooper

A FBI sketch of D.B. Cooper, 1972.
Credit Courtesy/Wikipedia

On November 24, 1971, a man who is referred to as D.B. Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 on a flight between Portland, Oregon and Seattle. He extorted $200,000 in ransom, and parachuted from the plane. A look back at the hijacking which has become legendary in the Pacific Northwest and the rest of America.

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Remembrance
9:17 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Three Years Later, Former Officer Recalls Lakewood Shootings

The Lakewood Police Department Fallen Officer Memorial, which honors the victims of the November 29, 2009 Lakewood police officer shooting. Photo by Marques Hunter via Wikipedia

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 11:04 am

Three years ago this Thanksgiving weekend, an Arkansas parolee named Maurice Clemmons shot and killed four Lakewood police officers in a coffee shop. Chris Sorrells was one of the first officers at the scene. In the years since, his life has changed dramatically.

Chris Sorrells is probably alive today because of a twist of fate. He says he would have been at coffee that morning with his fellow officers. But his wife had gotten up early with him and made coffee at home – something she didn’t normally do.

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Health
7:51 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Janitors And Secretaries More Prone To Flu Symptoms

Workers in the cleaning industry are more prone to the flu than any other job.
Credit Yuya Tamai / Flickr

Here’s another reason why it’s tough being a janitor: In a recent survey, people who clean work places are more prone to the flu. 

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Legal
7:00 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Letter To Attorney General Urges Cooperation On Marijuana

US Attorney General Eric Holder. Photo via US Department of Justice

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 3:45 pm

A coalition of law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors and federal agents have signed a letter asking US Attorney general Eric Holder not to interfere with Washington and Colorado’s new legal marijuana laws.

The letter to Eric Holder was organized by the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, otherwise known as LEAP.

The communication asks Attorney General Holder to respect the will of the people of Washington and Colorado. Both states passed laws legalizing recreational use of marijuana by roughly a 55 percent majority.

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Teacher Evaluations
5:51 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Seattle Public Schools Releases Snapshot Of Teachers' Student Growth Ratings

This chart illustrates the distribution of teachers who received ratings in each category. The ratings will be used as part of teachers' evaluations.
Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools has released new aggregate student growth ratings that will be now used as part of some teachers' evaluations. The ratings reflect how students did on state and district tests from one year to the next and factor in students' poverty levels, learning disabilities and English language proficiencies.

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Business
5:41 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Are You A Business? Seattle City Light Wants To Give You Money

An energy efficient lightbulb
Hasby/flickr

Seattle City Light has an unexpected pot of money on its hands. The utility says it needs to give away $5 million before the end of the year.

The money is earmarked for businesses that want to become more energy-efficient. It will pay for up to 70 percent of the cost of new lighting, heating and cooling systems, or other energy-efficient equipment.

But even with the subsidy, businesses have been slow to sign on this year.

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Health
12:13 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Administration Lays Down Rules For Future Health Insurance

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 3:14 pm

You've got questions about the health law? The Obama administration has some answers. Finally.

Now that the Supreme Court has found the Affordable Care Act constitutional and the president's re-election made clear that big chunks of the law will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, the administration is finally releasing rules of the road that states and insurance companies have been clamoring for.

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Weather
10:22 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Mudslides Shut Down Amtrak And Sounder Trains

A mudslide buries the BNSF railroad tracks running alongside Puget Sound, near Everett.
Credit Gus Melonas / BNSF

People who ride the train between Everett and Seattle got a familiar taste of winter this week. Due to mudslides, Amtrak and Sound Transit canceled service on that route until at least Wednesday.

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Food
9:25 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Women, Hispanic Farmers Say Discrimination Continues In Settlement

Hispanic and women farmers have been combined in the USDA's final settlement over discrimination in farm loans. Photo courtesy of HispanicFarmerJustice.com

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 10:18 am

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a long history of discriminating against farmers who are women, Hispanic, Native American and African American. Numerous lawsuits have cost the government several billion dollars. The latest legal settlement is for women and Hispanic farmers who can prove they were discriminated against in the 1980s and ‘90s. But some of these farmers say the deal to make amends for discrimination is itself discriminatory.

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Environment
9:14 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Heavy Rain Sets Off Landslides Around Region

Flood waters buried E. Main Street and Brown Park in Gaston, Oregon Monday. Photo by Randy Hoodenpyl

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 4:11 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Heavy rains and high winds are making it hard to get around parts of western Washington and northwest Oregon this afternoon. Flood watches and warnings are in effect across a wide area of the Northwest. At least half a dozen mudslides have blocked highways and rail lines since this morning .

The freight train of storms pummeling the Northwest has saturated soils. Some places are not getting enough time between downpours for the water to drain off. Oregon's Department of Geology put all of western Oregon on notice for increased potential of landslides.

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