News

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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Election 2012
9:10 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Philosophical Control Of Washington State Senate Hangs In Balance

Republican state Senator Don Benton (L) and Democratic challenger Tim Probst are separated by only 105 votes.

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 1:28 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Two southwest Washington legislative races are headed for hand recounts. They are that close. One of them could hand control of the Washington state senate to a coalition of Republicans and conservative Democrats.

One hundred and five votes. That’s all that separates incumbent Republican state Senator Don Benton from his trailing Democratic challenger Tim Probst. The two men are battling it out to represent the Vancouver area in the Washington legislature.

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Weather
6:27 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Record Rain Falls On Seattle, Brings Snow To Mountains

Meghann Kelley helps a group of wet elementary school kids board a bus for a field trip.
KUOW/Deborah Wang

Western Washington is bracing for more precipitation after record heavy rains snarled traffic and caused localized flooding on Monday.

According to the National Weather Service, 2.03 inches of rain fell at Sea-Tac Airport between midnight and 5:00 p.m. Monday. That breaks the previous record for the day of 1.23 inches set in 1962.

The National Weather Service says a second storm is expected to hit the region Tuesday, and an even stronger weather system will move in on Wednesday, bringing high winds to the coast.

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Weather
3:23 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Record Rainfall Impacts Transportation, Increases Mudslide Risk

Puget Sound's wet November has arrived.
Credit Instagram photo/ John Tseng

This story is developing and will be updated as details emerge.

National Weather Service is reporting a record-breaking 2.16 inches of rainfall in the last 24 hours, and has issued winter storm advisories and flood warnings for parts of the Puget Sound region. Heavy rains in the area are posing a number of potential hazards, from mudslides to highway closures.

Commuters are being urged to check their routes as rain continues to fall.  Sound Transit's northbound Sounder service from Seattle to Everett has been canceled for Monday evening. North Cascades Highway is temporarily closed due to heavy snow and avalanche danger.

Deborah Wang spoke Sarah Miller with Seattle Public Utilities on Monday afternoon about the emerging problem of standing drainage water.

"With 80,000 drains in the city of Seattle, we can't be everywhere. We do clean the drains regularly," Miller explained. "However, when the trees drop their leaves, that happens in a relatively compressed period of time. Much as we get out there to clean the drains throughout the year this problem is exacerbated because the leaves drop at the beginning of November and then plug those drainage outlets."

Miller has been urging Seattle residents to adopt their local drains, to clear them of leaves and debris.

UPDATE at 5:00 p.m. on November 19:

Amtrak's Cascades passenger train service between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, has been temporarily canceled. A 48-hour moratorium due to mudslide danger was issued Monday afternoon and may be lifted by Wednesday. Amtrak Cascades announces cancelations and disruptions through their Twitter feed.

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Politics
10:17 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Phone Companies Say Reception For Regulator Unrelated To Proposed Fee

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 5:03 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – You know all those fees and charges listed on your home or wireless phone bill? Well, rural telephone companies in Washington want to add one more: a state Universal Service Fee. Recently they co-sponsored a wine and beer reception for a key state regulator.

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City Budget
7:57 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Seattle City Council Expects To Approve Budget After Clash On Youth Programs

Alrick Hollingsworth picks cover art for his upcoming book as part of a Seattle-funded program..
Amy Radil

Members of the Young Urban Authors program meet twice a week in a small storefront near 23rd and Jackson in Seattle. The program is one of many funded by Seattle’s Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. In this program, the teenagers spend months writing and editing their own books — fiction or non-fiction — which are then printed in paperback form.

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Military
7:38 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Army's I Corps Role Will Shift To Pacific Rim

Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, I Corps commander
Photo courtesy of I Corps

This month Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta laid out plans for the future of the US military. And as troops return from Afghanistan, that strategy includes shifting security operations to the Pacific Rim. Soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) will play a major role in that plan.

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