News

Flooded with requests for public records, local officials want to put limits on how much information public servants have to make available to the public.  

The concepts have long been enshrined in Washington state law:

  • Information held by the government belongs to the people.
  • Public access to that information is essential to a functioning democracy.

It might be the best classroom assignment professor Loren Davis’ students will ever get.

On Friday, Davis directed his anthropology students to dig through a pile of soil excavated from the school’s football field, where workers recently discovered the remains of an ancient mammoth.

They spent the afternoon searching for extinct animal bones and fragments and learning how to identify them.

Anthropology student Annie-Rose Eaton said it's the first time she's done any excavating.

One of the Northwest’s selling points is its cheap hydropower. That’s why in recent years data centers have sprouted along the Columbia River in both Washington and Oregon.

But in north central Washington, an emerging power-hungry industry is meeting with some resistance. It involves the making and managing of the virtual currency called bitcoin.

The Jungle: a green beltway east of Interstate 5 where dozens of homeless people live.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Advocates for the homeless have welcomed Seattle’s new tent cities and RV parking for homeless people. But they condemn the ongoing sweeps of illegal campsites. Mayor Ed Murray said Tuesday's shootings in a homeless encampment only reinforced the need to move people out of them.

People from three Pacific island nations have the right to live and work in the United States, thanks to a unique 1986 treaty. But a separate Congressional action 20 years ago means that they are not eligible for Medicaid -- even those who become taxpayers.

Many have settled in Oregon, where lawmakers will consider a bill in February that would require the state to subsidize medical care for people from these nations.

The Marshall Islands are an independent nation made up of more than 1,000 small islands near the equator, about 2,000 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Oregon lawmakers return to the state Capitol Monday for a whirlwind legislative session. Legislators are expected to debate topics such as the minimum wage, corporate taxes, and gun control.

One Night Count Team Lead Daniel Hubbell spots a van that volunteers reported as occupied while driving down a deserted side streets in one of the last stops of the night. Click on this image to see the slideshow.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

A slumped body in the passenger seat.

Foggy car windows.

A foot, maybe a blanket, pressed against the window.

These are signs of people living in cars.

FBI: Standoff Continues In Oregon, Video Of Rancher Death

Jan 29, 2016
LaVoy Finicum, a rancher from Arizona, was shot by police on Tuesday night. The FBI has released a silent video of what happened.
OPB/Amelia Templeton

Four people remain inside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge south of Burns, Oregon, the FBI said during a press conference on Thursday evening.

“The negotiators continue to work around the clock to talk to those four people in an effort to get them to come out peacefully,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing.

The remaining militants inside are David Fry of Blanchester, Ohio, husband and wife Sean and Sandy Anderson of Janesville, Wisconsin, and Jeff Banta of Elko, Nevada.

Low Oil Prices Hurting Northwest Oil Terminals

Jan 29, 2016

With plans for new oil terminals still pending throughout the Pacific Northwest, low oil prices are hampering operations at existing crude-by-rail operations in the region.

The Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, one of Washington's top 10 sources of greenhouse gases.
Flickr Photo/Scott Butner (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/e4EJ5B

The biggest climate polluters in Washington have been identified, according to numbers out this week: the TransAlta coal-burning power plant in Centralia, the BP oil refinery at Cherry Point and the Shell Oil refinery in Anacortes.

As the state gears up to regulate climate-harming pollution, the Washington Department of Ecology has been tracking emissions from the state's biggest sources.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he’s “undaunted” after a partisan dust up over school funding. The Democrat Thursday sounded a hopeful note that lawmakers will find common ground.

Washington prison officials have said a computer programming error led to the accidental early release of more than 3,000 inmates over 13 years. Documents obtained by public radio reveal that a decade ago sentencing calculation errors plagued a major IT upgrade.

Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife officials are debating whether to close the only Columbia River sturgeon fishery below Bonneville Dam to protect the fish until the population rebounds.

Darcie Day heads out to sell Real Change newspaper in Seattle after shooting in the 'Jungle.'
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Word of the shootings at the homeless encampment known as the Jungle on Tuesday spread quickly among the vendors for the weekly newspaper Real Change. Many of them are homeless or have been homeless. They spoke to KUOW’s Amy Radil in the newspaper’s offices in Pioneer Square about the danger of being homeless.

Included in this audio postcard are Darcie Day, Nick Maxwell and Susan Russell.

The Eagle Huntress, a documentary film set in Mongolia directed by Otto Bell and starring teenager Aisholpan Nurgaiv, debuted Sunday at Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. With its focus on a charismatic girl who has accomplished something other women have not in 2,000 years — she hunts on horseback with the help of a golden eagle — the film has earned standing ovations.

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