News

Health
6:15 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Tacoma Public Housing To Become Smoke-Free

Beginning March 1, 2013, Tacoma public housing will be smoke-free.
Credit Mikl Roventine / Flickr

Tacoma’s public housing is becoming completely smoke-free.  Right now residents can’t smoke in common areas.  But beginning March 1, 2013 residents won’t be allowed to smoke in their apartments.  The ban also includes outdoor areas like patios and balconies. 

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Referendum 74
12:54 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Ad Against Gay Marriage Only Tells Part Of The Story

Credit Darcyandkat / Flickr

The latest TV ad from same-sex marriage opponents in Washington focuses on school children, warning “schools could teach that boys could marry boys.”

The ad mirrors those that ran in other states when gay marriage came up for a vote, notably when Prop 8 was on California’s 2008 ballot. Campaign strategists on both sides agree the “schools ad" has been a game changer.

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Law
8:56 am
Thu November 1, 2012

O'Dea HS Principal Resigns Amid Sex Abuse Claims

A member of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests outside Seattle’s O’Dea High School.
Credit Christine Beaderstadt

This story has been updated since it was first published.

A member of the Christian Brothers religious order who served as principal at Seattle’s O'Dea High School has resigned. Brother Karl Walczak is being accused of sexually abusing a minor in Chicago about 40 years ago.

The school is operated by the Christian Brothers but owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle.

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Culture
8:19 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Some Northwest Latinos Blend Halloween, Day Of The Dead

Day of the dead bread, called pan muerto, has the shapes of bones and skulls baked right in at Viera’s Bakery in Pasco. Photo by Anna King

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:15 pm

PASCO, Wash. – Just as this year’s Halloween fades into memory, many Northwest Latino families are getting ready for the Day of the Dead. The traditional Mexican holiday is on Friday. Some families blend the two holidays.

In Pasco, Washington, bakeries can hardly churn out enough seasonal pan muerto . It’s a type of semi-sweet bread that has the shapes of bones and skulls baked right in.

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News
8:01 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Statistical Models Help Modern Day Campaigns Project Outcomes

In vote-by-mail states, campaigns can find out on a daily basis whether or not you’ve returned your ballot. Photo by Kevin Mooney

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:01 pm

What if there was a crystal ball that could reveal the outcome of an election? Turns out modern day campaigns use forecast models to project the winner of a race long before a single vote is counted.

In vote-by-mail states like Washington or Oregon, political parties and campaigns have an advantage. They can find out on a daily basis if you’ve returned your ballot.

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History
6:08 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Oregon Panel Considers Proposals For Renaming 'Squaw Creeks'

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:53 pm

Two relatively obscure waterways in rural southeast Oregon are generating a heated dispute over geographic names. The small streams are both named "Squaw Creek," which is considered offensive to Native Americans. But the landowners in each case object to the proposed new names.

A 25-member volunteer panel called the Oregon Geographic Names Board is methodically working to erase the term "squaw" from the state map. Often, the new names are suggested by Native Americans.

Board president Sharon Nesbit says that's the case for two remote creeks in rural Harney County.

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Elections 2012
7:09 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

MAP: Washington's Biggest Spenders Trying To Influence 2012 Elections

Private docks line the shore of Cozy Cove in Hunts Point, Wash., home to some of the state's priciest real estate -- and biggest political donors.
Credit John Ryan

Each election season, little-known political action committees -- and the campaign ads they fund -- assume a central role in American politics. This year, the ostensibly independent committees known as super PACs have raised more money than ever before. Their vaguely patriotic names often disguise their true purpose: spending lots of cash to get certain candidates into power.

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Health
6:34 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Washington State To Cover Autism Therapy For Medicaid Kids

Low-income parents will soon have a way to get treatment for their children with autism. Starting in January, Washington state will cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for kids with Medicaid coverage. The new benefit is part of a legal settlement between the state and a local advocacy group for children with autism. 

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Audit
6:11 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

State Auditor Wants Tighter Billing Procedures At Seattle Utilities

Washington state Auditor Brian Sonntag has issued a report citing significant deficiencies in the billing systems at Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). His report is based on annual audits by accounting firms.

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Economy
9:54 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Paper Mill Reopening On Wash. Coast Is Cause For Celebration

Ron Grant is back on the job at the recently reopened paper mill in Grays Harbor County. Photo by Austin Jenkins

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 6:03 pm

HOQUIAM, Wash. – Nearly 300,000 people in Washington are still unemployed and looking for work. But there was reason to celebrate Monday in coastal Grays Harbor County – where the unemployment rate is tied for the highest in the state. A shuttered paper mill there recently roared back to life. With it came 175 jobs.

It was a party atmosphere inside the long, narrow shipping warehouse at Harbor Paper. Several hundred people milled about as dignitaries, including Governor Chris Gregoire, mounted a makeshift stage.

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Wildlife
9:49 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Washington Considers Another Impact Of Wolves: Skinny Cows

Washington ranchers who can show that wolves are making their cattle lose weight could get reimbursed under a new proposal before the state's Fish and Wildlife Commission. By Anna King.

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 3:29 pm

Washington ranchers who can show that wolves are making their cattle lose weight could get reimbursed under a new proposal. The rule before the Fish and Wildlife Commission would expand a compensation program for ranchers living in wolf country.

Washington’s cattle ranchers aren’t the first to complain about skinny livestock. Ranchers in Idaho and Oregon also say the reintroduction of wolves has made sheep and cattle move more and eat less.

That translates into the bottom line, says Dave Ware. He’s the game manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Economy
9:47 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Halloween Spending Up Across Nation

Twenty-four-year-old Brian Williams and 22-year-old Jennifer Reed of Kennewick say they spent about $200 this year on Halloween costumes, decorations and candy. Photo by Anna King

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 4:10 pm

KENNEWICK, Wash. – If Halloween spending is an indicator of the economy, Americans are appear to be feeling better than this time last year -- or at least more ghoulish.

A new survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation found that seven of 10 Americans will celebrate Halloween this year. And they’re spending more says spokeswoman Kathy Grannis.

“The average person is expected to spend about $79 on Halloween decorations, costumes and candy.”

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Election 2012
8:58 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Political Donations From 3 Big Washington Employers Favor GOP

60 percent of Boeing’s, 52 percent of Microsoft’s, and more than two-thirds of Amazon’s PAC money went to Republican campaigns.
Credit Flickr/401 (K) 2012 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Businesses have poured millions of dollars into political contributions this election season. But you may be surprised to learn that in Democratic-leaning Washington, the state’s three largest employers tend to favor Republican candidates.

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News
5:25 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Court Appoints Independent Monitor For Seattle Police

Seattle police patrol cars.
Credit Flickr Photo/Brittney Bollay

A federal judge has appointed Merrick Bobb as the independent monitor to oversee reforms to the Seattle Police Department. Bobb’s appointment follows disagreement between the Seattle city council, the police department,  and the mayor over whether he was the best choice.

Bobb was one of four finalists. As monitor he will assess the City’s compliance with a settlement agreement between the police and the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Environment
5:10 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

New Report: Puget Sound Ports Curb Emissions

Air pollution from the major shipping ports in Puget Sound has decreased, according to a new report released Tuesday. The 300-page report compared emissions of diesel particulates, greenhouse gases and other air pollutants in five Puget Sound ports from 2005 to 2011. Overall, emissions have gone down.

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