News

EarthFix Reports
9:15 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Oregon Bill Would Limit Household Pesticide Use To Protect Bees

Lori Vollmer, owner of Garden Fever nursery in Portland, removed pesticides containing neonicotinoid chemicals from her store shelves after an estimated 50,000 bumblebees were killed in Wilsonville.
Cassandra Profita

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 1:30 pm

An Oregon lawmaker is looking to restrict household use of four common pesticides that pose risks to bees.

Rep. Jeff Reardon, D-Portland, says given the toxicity of certain pesticides and their track record for killing bees, untrained home gardeners shouldn't be allowed to use them.

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Social Media
7:42 am
Mon January 6, 2014

More Than 300 Sharks In Australia Are Now On Twitter

A shark warning is displayed near Gracetown, Western Australia, in November. An Australian man was killed by a shark near the area that month, sparking a catch-and-kill order.
Rebecca Le May EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 7:35 am

Sharks in Western Australia are now tweeting out where they are — in a way.

Government researchers have tagged 338 sharks with acoustic transmitters that monitor where the animals are. When a tagged shark is about half a mile away from a beach, it triggers a computer alert, which tweets out a message on the Surf Life Saving Western Australia Twitter feed. The tweet notes the shark's size, breed and approximate location.

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Swine Flu
7:36 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Flu Season Arrives In Northwest, Bringing New Cases Of H1N1

The H1N1 influenza virus
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 5:18 pm

The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Washington, Oregon and Idaho are among 25 states now facing widespread cases of the flu.

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Contract Vote
10:41 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Machinists Vote To Accept Offer: 51 Percent Say Yes

Boeing machinists line up in Everett to vote on a contract offer Friday.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Machinists have spoken, and the vote was 51 percent in favor of the contract extension.

After a nail-biter day of tense waiting, Machinist local Chief of Staff Jim Bearden announced the results to a small crowd of reporters gathered at the union’s Renton headquarters, as union members learned the same news next door.

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Viaduct Project
4:11 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

What's Blocking Bertha? Probably An 8-Inch Steel Pipe

A glimpse of the steel pipe burrowing into Bertha.
Credit WSDOT Photo

An 8-inch-wide steel pipe.

That’s what is likely blocking Bertha, the boring machine creating a tunnel through downtown Seattle to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

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Labor
11:08 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Future In Balance: Boeing Machinists Prepare To Vote Again

The local union posted this image of machinists opposed to Boeing's contract. The machinists are scheduled to vote on the contract at 8 p.m. on Friday.
Credit IAM District 751’s Facebook page

Carolyn Adolph reports on what the union vote could mean for the workers and the state.
Joshua McNichols produced this audio postcard from Everett, where machinists have been rallying.

Boeing machinists will vote Friday evening on a contract for the second time, and this time, the aerospace giant has made it clear that a yes vote guarantees Washington will keep production of the 777X in state.

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International Rescue
10:23 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Antarctic Rescue: Chinese Vessel 'May Now Be Stuck In Ice'

Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy (pictured) has been stuck in thick Antarctic ice since Dec. 24. Now the Xue Long, a Chinese ship sent to aid in the rescue of the passengers, is also caught.
Credit AP Photo/Andrew Peacock

The Chinese ice-breaker that helped rescue passengers stranded on the Akademik Shokalskiy vessel in Antarctica may now itself be stuck.

An Australian ice-breaker carrying the rescued passengers has been placed on standby in case the Chinese ship, Xue Long, needs assistance.

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Unemployment Benefits
9:01 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Jobless In Seattle: Researcher Struggles To Get Back In The Market

Suzan Del Bene (left) held a round table discussion on unemployment benefits, January 2, 2014, at the WorkSource Affiliate Office at North Seattle Community College.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

More than 24,000 Washington residents lost their federal unemployment benefits late last month. Congress let expire an emergency federal jobless program that was created in 2008 during the great recession.

One Seattle researcher has been struggling to find work since last spring. 

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Marijuana
7:45 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Tour A State Permitted-Medical Marijuana Grow

Workers at Solstice, a medical marijuana facility in Seattle's Sodo neighborhood, trim raw, dried buds.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Ross Reynolds interviews Alex Cooley, vice president of Solstice, a medical marijuana grow.

Ross Reynolds tours Solstice, a medical marijuana grow in Seattle's Sodo neighborhood.

At Solstice, a nondescript warehouse in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood, four people in white lab coats sit at tables in a brightly lit room.

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Oil Equipment
9:46 am
Thu January 2, 2014

New Year Likely To Bring More 'Megaload' Fights

Members of the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho block the passage of a “megaload” being shipped by Omega Morgan in August.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:45 pm

Two large pieces of oil equipment crossing the Northwest are expected to start moving again after the New Year's holiday.

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A Whale's Wail
5:00 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Call Of The Sound: Romance Of Foghorns Endures

A Washington state ferry moves through the fog.
Flickr Photo/Steve Johnson

If you live near downtown Seattle, you may have recently heard a long, low horn reverberating through the soupy nighttime air.

It happens every once in a while and has some Seattleites mystified. Where does the sound come from? It is a train? A boat? Last call at a Capitol Hill bar?

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Babies
4:27 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Twins Born Minutes Apart But In Different Years

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. If little Lorraine Begazo turns out like many big sisters, she'll lord it over her brother Brandon that she's the older one. And she was born the year before he was. The news is that they're twins. Lorraine was born two minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve 2013. Brandon came along one minute after we rang in 2014. The twins' father says they'll celebrate with two cakes and blow out the candles over two years. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Prison
12:53 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Food As Punishment: Giving U.S. Inmates 'The Loaf' Persists

Lisa Brown for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 12:49 pm

In many prisons and jails across the U.S., punishment can come in the form of a bland, brownish lump. Known as nutraloaf, or simply "the loaf," it's fed day after day to inmates who throw food or, in some cases, get violent. Even though it meets nutritional guidelines, civil rights activists urge against the use of the brick-shaped meal.

Tasteless food as punishment is nothing new: Back in the 19th century, prisoners were given bread and water until they'd earned with good behavior the right to eat meat and cheese.

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Postscripts
5:18 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Six Months Later, Girl With Autism Thrives With Trained Teachers

This is how Chloe Burton draws herself today, complete with freckles and a wide smile.
Chloe Burton

Chloe Burton had a great year in kindergarten.

Although she has autism, she had no problem learning in a general education classroom alongside her peers.

But in first grade, things went downhill. Chloe wandered the classroom instead of finishing her work.

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Labor
5:08 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Highest Minimum Wage In US Takes Effect In SeaTac

Small businesses in SeaTac, Wash., are exempt from a new minimum-wage law but owners say they'll be affected anyway.
KUOW/John Ryan

The nation's highest minimum wage goes into effect Wednesday in the city of SeaTac, Wash. For all the national attention the new $15 an hour minimum has received, it affects a small number of businesses.

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