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The turkey is a quintessentially American bird, exported from the New World like corn and potatoes. But the turkey is not native to the Pacific Northwest. The wild turkeys you may have seen here are part of the bird’s comeback story.

The Northwest's wild turkeys are out-of-state newcomers. In fact, you might have lived here longer than turkeys have. A few were introduced in the 1960s, and then, “In the 1980s and 1990s, wild turkeys were brought into the Pacific Northwest," says This is Mikal Moore, a biologist with the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Hanford Managers Mull Solutions For Leaky Tanks

Nov 15, 2012

RICHLAND, Wash. – Some of the decisions made over the last 40 years at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are coming back to haunt the site’s current managers. A new report out this week examined why a double-hulled tank of radioactive waste recently sprung a leak in its inner shell. That has raised the possibility of having to pump out the waste from the tank.

The tank is called AY-102. And it’s about the size of a house. It’s buried in the sandy soil north of Richland.

SEATTLE, Wash. – Washington Governor-elect Jay Inslee says states are the incubators of new ideas – and that should extend to marijuana legalization. Inslee Wednesday said he’s hopeful Washington’s new recreational pot law can take effect without federal interference.

Inslee didn’t support Washington’s marijuana legalization initiative. But now that it has passed he says, “The voters have spoken.”

Inslee says he will work in a “rational and mature” way to persuade the Obama administration to allow Washington to implement the law.

Catrena Hampton

Washington State Department of Transportation officials gave the media a tour Wednesday of pontoons on the State Route 520 floating bridge. The pontoons are part of a massive concrete structure that will keep the new bridge afloat.

blue faucet
blockpartypress / Creative Commons - flickr

Last Tuesday's general election marked a decisive moment for the city of Shoreline: 70 percent of voters there agreed to buy water services back from the city of Seattle and create their own water utility. 

RICHLAND, Wash. – Workers the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are readying pumping equipment at a slow-leaking radioactive waste tank in case the leak gets worse. A newly released report details why the tank became unstable.

Hanford officials say so far they’ve found no waste leaking into the environment from the tank called AY-102.

The new report says many of the tanks original welds from 40 years ago didn’t meet standards and had to be fixed before it was filled. Later, super-hot waste was added that was likely corrosive to the tank’s metal walls.

3 striking union members outside Hostess plant
KUOW/Deborah Wang

Striking members of a bakers’ union are still picketing a plant in Seattle that makes Hostess Twinkies and Ho Hos. That’s despite the fact the plant is now closed for good.

Nalini Prasanna / Flickr

The charter school initiative appears to have passed. The first charter schools would likely open their doors in Washington next school year, at the earliest. Here's the countdown of what's next.

The charter school initiative has passed by a narrow margin, according to the Associated Press. The vote stands at 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent. That's a difference of about 44,000 votes. Statewide, 269,000 ballots remain to be counted. The No on 1240 campaign Facebook page says campaign managers won't consider the race over until every vote is counted.

Groves of olive trees might bring to mind for you sun-soaked Mediterranean or Californian landscapes. But in the last 10 years, a few Northwest growers have significantly ramped-up their production of domestic olive oil. They harvest just in time for the holidays.

The Durant family started in the wine grape business in Yamhill County, Oregon. The family diversified into olive growing about seven years ago.

PORTLAND - If you watched some of last month's coverage of Superstorm Sandy, you probably saw rescues of people who refused to evacuate. Many stayed behind despite the danger to be with their pets.

Emergency shelters for people usually don't let you bring your house pets or livestock along. The same issue cropped up here during wildfire season last summer. And it could loom over the next flood or earthquake.

Oregon Humane Society trainer Jo Becker starts a recent workshop in Portland with a slide montage of Hurricane Sandy scenes.

Democrat Concedes Secretary Of State Contest

Nov 13, 2012
Courtesy Citizens for Kim Wyman - GOP

Democrat Kathleen Drew has conceded the race for Washington secretary of state.

In a statement Saturday, Drew said of her Republican rival Kim Wyman, "I know that she will carry forward Washington’s tradition of fair and impartial elections, and I am optimistic that she will work on measures to remove barriers and increase voter participation."

For Young Adults, Autism Diagnosis Opens Doors, Minds

Nov 10, 2012
Dorian Hinkle and Jordan Howard
KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

Growing up, Jordan Howard always felt like an outsider. He had trouble making friends, and he felt awkward in groups. He says he felt like one of those misunderstood high school clichés. And he could never put his finger on why.

Alex Brenner, Jordan Howard and Dorian Hinkle
KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

The first time Rolando Elias came to work at the Federal Way farmers market, Dr. April Walter was nervous.

“That was a big-time risk,” April says. “It could have blown up in my face.” She opened a tent at the market to give young adults with autism a chance to work.

Cautiously Optimistic: Off To College, With Autism

Nov 10, 2012
KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

Alex Brenner walked into his psychologist's office one day this summer and right away, he thought he had done something wrong. Both his parents were standing at the front desk. As he closed the door, his mom handed him a letter. “She said, 'read it.' I sat down. It said, ‘you’re getting into the University of Washington.’”

Alex was stunned. His dad helped him uncork a bottle of champagne and they celebrated on the spot. The University of Washington in Seattle was Alex’s first choice among schools. He had been studying for four years at a community college to get his grades up. All his hard work had finally paid off. But sitting there holding his acceptance letter, another wave of realization washed over him. Soon he’d be living on his own in a new city, a long drive from his parents’ home in Tacoma. He suddenly felt nervous.

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