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Cars Caught Speeding On Camera Now Get $189 Tickets

Nov 26, 2012

Starting Monday, drivers who speed past any of four Seattle schools will get tickets in the mail. Vehicles that go more than 20 miles per hour when school is in session are caught on camera.

The four schools with speed cameras are Thurgood Marshall Elementary on the I-90 lid, Gatewood Elementary in West Seattle, and Olympic View Elementary and Broadview Thomson K-8 in the north end.

Northwest's Rural Gay Community Coming Out Of The Shadows

Nov 26, 2012

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Washington legalizes same-sex marriage next month at a time when the geography of the Northwest’s gay and lesbian population is changing. Their numbers are still largest in metropolitan areas. But if you look for the biggest increases – that trend is happening in small towns and rural areas. In Idaho more gay and lesbian couples are making a choice that was once unthinkable in rural areas -- they’re living openly.

Joe Palisano is used to a certain kind of reaction when he tells people where he lives.

Flickr/elfsternberg

Seattle city officials will soon begin sifting through applications for police watchdogs.  Last month, the city put out a call for citizens to serve on a new community police commission.  It’s being created as part of an agreement with the US Department of Justice  to reform the Seattle Police Department.

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - The last herds of reindeer in the continental United States are found in the Northwest. But even here, there aren't very many left. Next week , federal wildlife authorities are expected to designate the animal's high-elevation stomping grounds as protected “critical habitat.” The move has riled another winter visitor to the area –- snowmobilers.

Reindeer -- or caribou -- used to be found along the northern tier of the U.S., from Washington, to Maine. But that is changing according to Bryon Holt, a biologist with U.S. Fish & Wildlife.

Carol Smith

The Pacific Northwest has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world, yet the reasons why remain elusive. It’s an old mystery, but one that now has a new face. Today, doctors are seeing a growing number of cases in kids. They hope these young patients will yield more clues to what causes the disease.

As the slopes open, skiers’ and snowboarders’ giddy enthusiasm is overshadowed by an accident near Stevens Pass last season.  Three people were killed: Jim Jack, Johnny Brenan and Chris Rudolph.  They were caught in an avalanche in the nearby backcountry — the wilderness just outside the Stevens Pass ski resort, unmonitored by ski patrol.  Jack, Brennan and Rudolph were all well-known and experienced skiers in the Washington ski scene.

D.B. Cooper
Courtesy/Wikipedia

On November 24, 1971, a man who is referred to as D.B. Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 on a flight between Portland, Oregon and Seattle. He extorted $200,000 in ransom, and parachuted from the plane. A look back at the hijacking which has become legendary in the Pacific Northwest and the rest of America.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Heavy Rain Sets Off Landslides Around Region

Nov 20, 2012

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.

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.

Woman with unbrella helps kids get on a bus
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.

Seattle rain
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.

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.

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.

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.

The Radical Roots Of Yesler Terrace

Nov 16, 2012

Yesler Terrace is Seattle's oldest public housing project. It was revolutionary when it was completed in 1940. In the near future, though, it will be completely demolished.

In its place will sprout a series of high rise towers with a limited number of low-income housing units alongside up to 4,000 market-rate private housing units, offices, retail and commercial spaces. The ultimate goal, says the Seattle Housing Authority, is to create a sustainable, healthy, mixed-income neighborhood.

It's a radical plan, controversial, and every bit as transformational as that which gave rise to Yesler Terrace in 1940.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Utility regulators are on the verge of ending the automatic delivery of White Pages phone books to Washington households. Legislation to do the same in Oregon hasn't gone anywhere.

In Washington and Oregon, state law requires the local phone company to deliver a phone book to each landline customer. But telecom companies contend most consumers no longer want a printed copy of the White Pages dropped on their doorsteps.

Frontier Communications government affairs manager Carl Gipson made that case to state regulators in Olympia.

Many teachers in Seattle Public Schools will learn today how they rank on a new scale based on student performance. They’ll be rated by how their students’ test scores changed from one year to the next. Teachers with high ratings may qualify for bonuses or promotions. Teachers with low ratings will get closer oversight.

Next fall Washington’s health exchange is expected to be up and running.  The exchange is an online market for health plans, mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act.  Right now the state's Health Exchange Board is trying to figure out how to pay for itself. 

Darcyandkat / Flickr

King County plans to pull an all-nighter on the first day marriage licenses are available to same-sex couples under Washington state law. On Thursday, Dec. 6, at 12:01 a.m., the county is scheduled to open its licensing office in downtown Seattle.

Andrea Allen was a force to be reckoned with. For more than two decades she ran Seattle Repertory Theatre's Education Program, but her passion for theater and for kids transcended the Rep. Allen shared her expertise with other Seattle arts groups. She was involved with teen writing programs.  And she was involved in arts advocacy at the state level, as a leader of Arts Ed Washington.

Rachel Neville / Dance Theatre of Harlem

When Dance Theatre of Harlem was forced to close its professional company in 2004, it was a blow to dance lovers around the country and to fans in the Pacific Northwest.  Seattle had been a frequent stop during the company's 35-year history, attracting raves for its productions of classical ballets as well as contemporary work influenced by African and African-American cultural traditions.  So it seems fitting that after Dance Theatre of Harlem re-started its company two years ago, then mounted its first national tour in 2012, Seattle would be on the itinerary.

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.

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