News

Business And Housing
7:27 am
Wed April 9, 2014

The Ultimate Reuse: Shipping Containers For Buildings

Starbucks has been rolling out drive-through, walk-up locations made out of recycled shipping containers. This location is in Tukwila, Washington.
Flickr Photo/vmax137 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The cost of housing in the city is making many people think small, to embrace the micro movement that loves to reuse and recycle. Enter the idea of a shipping container as a building — a natural in a port city like Seattle, which handles 1.6 million container units in a year.

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Breaking
6:22 am
Wed April 9, 2014

At Least 20 Students Injured In Knife Attack At Pa. High School

Emergency responders gather in the parking lot on the campus of Franklin Regional High School in Murraysville, Pa., on Wednesday after an attack there left at least 20 people, nearly all of them students, injured. Most suffered stab wounds or lacerations.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 3:48 am

(This post is being updated as news comes in.)

At least 20 teenagers and one adult were injured, two of them critically, Wednesday morning at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., when a 16-year-old fellow student attacked them with two knives.

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EarthFix Reports
6:13 am
Wed April 9, 2014

The Wetland That Saved Highway 101 From Flooding

A restoration project last year allowed this wetland to flood while an infamous stretch of Highway 101 stayed dry this winter.
Credit North Coast Land Conservancy

Every winter on Oregon's north coast, the Necanicum River spills out over its banks during heavy rains and swallows the road just south of Seaside. This happens at least once — and up to seven times — a year.

But not this year.

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Education Reform
10:10 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Washington Teachers' Union Supports Families Opting Out Of State Testing

Flickr Photo/mammal (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The state’s largest teachers’ union has passed a motion to support parents and students who opt out of statewide standardized tests. The union also promotes opting out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium state test coming next school year to align with the new Common Core State Standards.

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Community Resilience
8:08 am
Tue April 8, 2014

One Man's Story Of Rebuilding After 'Total Devastation'

Mike Peroni's farm in Curtis, Wash. was wiped out by a 2007 flood. It took him and his family years to rebuild.
Liz Jones KUOW

Mike Peroni knows what it’s like to live through a disaster. In 2007, a massive flood wiped out his home and farm in Curtis, Wash., about 40 miles south of Olympia.

For him, stories from the tragic landslide near Oso, Wash., on March 22 have hit an emotional scar.

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EarthFix Reports
6:15 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Urged To Support Oil Train Funding, Northwest Senator Seeks Answers

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden, left, and Jeff Merkley met with local officials in Portland to discuss oil train safety earlier this year. Now they're calling for a new fund devoted to it.
Credit EarthFix Photo/Tony Schick

Fellow U.S. senators are calling on Washington’s Patty Murray to support major investments in oil train safety, but first she wants some answers.

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Tech Entrepreneur
6:04 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Central Washington Home To Nation's Biggest Bitcoin 'Mine,' More Coming

MegaBigPower CEO Dave Carlson inside North America's biggest bitcoin 'mine.'
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 2:47 pm

Here's a surprising fact: the largest bitcoin "mine" in North America is located on the outskirts of Wenatchee, Wash.

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EarthFix Reports
5:39 am
Tue April 8, 2014

'Silicon Forest' Could Gain New Meaning With High-Tech Uses For Trees

The cellulose from trees, like these being harvested for pulp and paper, can now be processed into high-tech energy storage devices.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 4:49 pm

Scientists at Oregon State University may have discovered a new high-tech use for the state’s abundant forests: the trees could play a big role in making energy storage devices.

It's the cellulose found in trees that scientists have zeroed in on. That cellulose could be a key component in something called supercapacitors.

Supercapacitors are high-power energy devices with applications ranging from electronics to cars, aviation to alternative energy.

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Mathematics
5:32 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Northwest Students To Test Their Code-Breaking Skills

Stuart Boersma is a professor at Central Washington University. He’s organizing a code-breaking completion for Northwest college and high school students.
Stuart Boersma

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 4:43 pm

Code language is probably as old as language itself. Now, two Northwest university professors have launched a competition to test students’ code breaking skills.

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Aquaculture Harvest
2:46 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Can Fish Farms Thrive In The USA?

Live tilapia are loaded into a truck bound for New York.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on

Why hasn't fish farming taken off in the United States?

It's certainly not for lack of demand for the fish. Slowly but surely, seafood that's grown in aquaculture is taking over the seafood section at your supermarket, and the vast majority is imported. The shrimp and tilapia typically come from warm-water ponds in southeast Asia and Latin America. Farmed salmon come from big net pens in the coastal waters of Norway or Chile.

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Oso Clear-Cut
12:24 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Oso Logger: We Followed Rules, Cut Edge Of Landslide Zone Cautiously

Washington Department of Natural Resources image shows 2004 clear-cut (near dotted purple line) extending into no-logging zone (marked with yellow line) at site of Oso landslide.
Credit Washington Department of Natural Resources

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that land above the Oso landslide zone was logged in 2005. The site was logged in 2004 and replanted in 2005.

The forester who clear-cut land above the Oso, Wash., landslide zone in 2004 says he followed standard procedures and state regulations when logging there.

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Judicial System Overload
10:23 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Justice Suffers When There Are 'Too Many Cases, Not Enough Time'

Credit Flickr Photo/Joe Gratz (CC BY-NC-ND)

On a Friday in April 2013, King County District Court Judge Victoria Seitz had 66 cases on her docket. “We have too many cases and not enough court time, and so forth, to deal with them,” she announced to the court.

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Transportation
9:02 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Megaloads Opponents Seek More Public Input

File photo of a megaload parked along Idaho’s Highway 12.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 5:11 pm

The latest dispute over whether huge megaload trucks should be allowed on Northwest roads is currently in Oregon.

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Agriculture
9:02 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Low Prices Prompt Northwest Asparagus Growers To Try To Delay Harvest

File photo
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 5:48 pm

Northwest asparagus growers are just starting to harvest spears in the warmer sites around Pasco, Wash.

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Elections
7:44 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Popular King County Bus Routes On The Chopping Block If Prop. 1 Fails

King County Metro buses are facing cuts if Proposition 1 fails to pass. Of those lines facing possible extinction, routes 4, 21 and 72 have the highest ridership, each moving thousands of riders per day.
Credit Flickr Photo/Atomic Taco (CC BY-SA)

King County Metro says if voters don’t approve Proposition 1, the agency will have to cut 70 bus routes. The three most popular lines on the chopping block are routes 4, 21 and 72.

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