News

Budget
4:27 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Wash. Schools Chief Asks For 39 Percent Budget Increase

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn speaks in Olympia, Wash., to the House Education Appropriations Committee in 2009.
(AP Photo/John Froschauer, File)

Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has asked for an additional $4.1 billion for basic education in his biennial budget proposal, a 39 percent increase compared to the current budget. Dorn says that’s what it’ll take for the state Legislature to fulfill its constitutional duty to fully fund K-12 education.

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Metro Bus Service
9:07 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Free Downtown Bus Shuttle Draws Few Riders

Lots of empty seats on the first day of Metro's free downtown shuttle.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

People who ride the bus around Seattle are adjusting to major service changes this week. One huge shift is the end of the ride-free zone downtown.

In its place, the city’s paying for a free shuttle to help low-income people get around.  It runs in a loop downtown Seattle to seven stops near services for homeless and low-income people.

Derek Mitchell got on after his appointment at the WorkSource employment office. “It’s convenient," he says. "It’s very comfortable — a little lightweight jazz in the background. I love it.”

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Politics
6:21 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Proposed Tacoma City Budget Includes Big Layoffs

Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax
City of Tacoma website

Tacoma officials are proposing slashing 217 city jobs over the next two years in order to bridge a looming budget gap of $63 million.

The police and fire departments would both lose 27 officers and two support staff. Other layoffs would result from the restructuring of several city departments.

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Boeing
3:28 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Boeing Engineers Reject Contract Offer, Return To Bargaining Table

Boeing 747.
Flickr Photo/Pylon757

Negotiators for the Boeing Company and its engineering and technical union are back at the negotiating table today. That’s after union members soundly rejected the company’s latest contract offer.

More than 21,000 members of SPEEA, the Society For Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, voted by mail on the company’s contract proposal. When the votes were counted last night, 96 percent of engineers and 97 percent of technical workers had voted ‘no.’

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Theater
10:49 am
Tue October 2, 2012

New Play At Seattle Repertory Theatre Honors Pullman Porters

A Pullman porter helps passenger onto train.
Wikipedia photo/unknown

For most of the 20th century, luxury travel meant train travel. And if you were lucky enough to afford it, you spent the night in a private Pullman sleeping car.

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Fraud
5:23 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Elusive Evergreen State Professor Found In Chile

Former Evergreen State College professor Jorge Gilbert. Photo from Openlibrary.org

Washington state is heading south in its quest to recover the largest ethics fine in state history. As KUOW reported this spring, a former Evergreen State College professor has evaded efforts to collect the $120,000 fine against him.

But the state hasn't given up just because Jorge Gilbert has moved to South America.

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Legislature
4:19 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Religion Not A Factor In Latino Politics

Pablo Monroy
N3 Photo/Florangela Davila

Religion is one of the most defining characteristics of Latino culture. But pollsters say it plays virtually no role n how they vote. And for two Mexican–American siblings, faith shapes their lives but not their politics.

I learn a lot about Marielena Hernandez just by where she wants to meet for an interview.

Marielena is 21 years old and she greets me while holding her infant daughter Nicole at her childhood home, in Pasco, in Eastern Washington where her parents still live.

We head to Marielena’s favorite place – the kitchen – where her mom is cooking.

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Mental Health
3:25 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Safety And Suicide At Western State Hospital

What happens behind this door -- the main entrance of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash. -- is hard to find out.
Credit John Ryan / KUOW

Editors' Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of suicide. If you or someone you know might be suicidal, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800.273.8255 (800.273.TALK).

Western State Hospital in Lakewood is the largest psychiatric institution in the Pacific Northwest. Its mission statement says the hospital:

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Mental Health
3:23 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Through The Cracks: The Life And Death Of Megan Templeton

Megan Templeton on her 20th birthday at Sunnyside Beach Park, Steilacoom, Wash. She died four days later.
Suzanne Kuhns

Editors' Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of suicide. If you or someone you know might be suicidal, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800.273.8255 (800.273.TALK).

In the past decade, a dozen Western State Hospital patients have killed themselves. More than a hundred others have tried.  Megan Templeton was the most recent. In April, she hanged herself in her hospital room. She had turned 20 the day before.

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