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Regulators in Salem, gardeners in Portland, lab technicians in Washington — they've all been studying toxic lead this summer. Health regulators want to add one more group to that list: building contractors.

“As many as 50 percent of all poisoning cases result from some kind of renovation activities in homes," said Perry Cabot, lead specialist in Multnomah County's Public Health Department. "That is the next big thing that’s been really tackled, but not fully and not successfully yet around the country.”

A series of intense wildfire seasons has taken a toll on the Oregon Department of Forestry. That's according to an audit released Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

Lawyers for victims of the deadly 2014 Oso landslide say the state of Washington has engaged in a “shocking” cover-up to hide evidence. The allegation, first reported by The Seattle Times, comes just five weeks before the state goes on trial.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday declared a state of emergency in 20 counties mostly on the dry side of the Cascades, an area vulnerable to wildfire. Resources are stretched thin in the battle to save homes and property.

The Sammamish River Valley.
Flickr photo/Keith and Kasia Moore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Seattle Times reporter Lynn Thompson tells KUOW's Kim Malcolm about how farmers and the wine industry are tussling over zoning along a small outpost of agricultural land south of Woodinville.

You can read Thompson's story here.


A large group of mountain goats moves along slope near Mount Baker. The photo was taken from the air in late July by state wildlife researchers.
Courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

That’s a lot of mountain goats – 90 to be exact. The aerial photo was taken in late July near Mount Baker by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

There's been a recent rebound for a species that was decimated decades ago by hunting, the department’s Rich Harris told KUOW’s Emily Fox.


Anna Ponder teaches a dance called stepping at the Steppers Unite Dance Studio - built in her garage. Ponder dances here with her student, Askia Heru.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Gentrification: It’s what happens when the people living in a low-income neighborhood get pushed out by new people with more money.

But some long-time residents manage to stay in gentrifying neighborhoods and thrive, like Anna Ponder, who teaches a dance style called stepping in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood.

The police department in Pasco, Washington, needs to hire more women, more Spanish speakers and have more diversity in general. That’s one finding of a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice that was prompted by the February 2015 shooting of farmworker Antonio Zambrano-Montes by three Pasco police officers.

Monday marked 20 years since the welfare system was overhauled by the federal government. The reforms have played out differently in every state, including Washington.

The 1996 reforms ended some welfare benefits, and in turn encouraged people to find work by offering job-training and money for things like child care.

Unionized teachers and Realtors boast the largest political action committees in Washington state this election year. Both PACs have raised more than $2 million.

Spokane, Washington, the state’s second largest city, found itself surrounded by flames Monday after high winds and heat Sunday caused the rapid spread of three separate wildfires.

As Shoreline's planning commission met Thursday night, people in the Ridgecrest neighborhood hold the biggest event on their calendar: their annual ice cream social. Shoreline mayor Chris Roberts, in green, is serving ice cream.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Shoreline’s planning commission has approved the rezoning of a large area around the future 145th Street light rail station near the city’s border with Seattle.

It happened as its citizens learned that more residents would be displaced than previously thought.

birth control contraception
Flickr Photo/Raychel Mendez (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7o4hRZ

People’s medical records and personal information are protected under federal law, but there’s a loophole in the law that allows employers to access information about employees’ health.

You know those wellness programs that employers use to help improve workers’ health?  They hold a wealth of information about employees: their lifestyles, diet, and medication, including birth control. 

Eight more Olympic medalists with ties to our region stood on the podium this weekend before Brazilian music brought the Summer Games to a close in Rio de Janeiro.

People walk along sun-baked University Way Northeast in Seattle on Friday.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

If you're dripping with sweat during this heat spell, you can blame Canada (kind of).

Washington state climatologist Nick Bond told KUOW's Kim Malcolm that warm air is flowing down from the northeast, contributing to this hot weather.

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