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When you call 911 from a mobile phone, software at the carrier and dispatch center triangulates your location. But in places where cell towers are widely spaced, like rural Pacific County, Washington, it doesn't work so well.

View of the Guemes Island ferry dock from the beach. The Guemes Island ferry is Skagit County's only ferry, with 20 runs a day.
Flickr photo/amanda (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/8sZuX2

Diesel-burning ferry boats could be a thing of the past for Skagit County. The county plans to replace its passenger ferry with an all-electric model. It would be the first of its kind built anywhere in the U.S.

Critics of a new Oregon law that would make it easier to get guns out of the hands of people suffering from mental health crises are gathering signatures to overturn it.

There’s no way to know for sure how many fishers lived in the Cascades historically, because the small brown mammal was almost entirely eradicated by trappers by 1930.

But this week, there’s evidence that they are reproducing.

It's official: Oregon taxpayers will receive a kicker rebate. Nearly $464 million will be sent back to taxpayers when they file their state income taxes next year.

Ever been stuck in traffic and wished you could just levitate and fly over the crawling cars? Flying cars of various sorts entered the popular imagination more than five decades ago. Think “The Jetsons.” 

And now, a division of aerospace giant Airbus is getting ready to test a pilotless flying air taxi.

Aboard fishing vessel Marathon, Nathan Cultee, right, and Nicholas Cooke, left, unload 16 farm-raised Atlantic salmon into a container after a day of fishing on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at Home Port Seafood in Bellingham.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It was a convenient explanation.


Racist graffiti and a possible bomb threat forced the evacuation of more than 100 Washington State University students from their residence hall in the middle of the night Monday.




Seattle's gun tax needs to be higher, according to City Council candidates Jon Grant and Teresa Mosqueda.

Grant announced today that if elected he would propose doubling the tax to $50 per firearm.


Oregonians will find out Wednesday if they'll receive a kicker rebate on their taxes next year.

The kicker is that unique Oregon institution that dishes out money to taxpayers when the state's official economists under-predict how much revenue the state will collect over a two-year period.

Washington lawmakers passed a budget this summer that aims to fully fund basic education.

But some argue it may hurt teacher recruitment in more rural districts, where teacher attrition is high and the local pool of candidates is often small. 

In Cowlitz County, school districts often recruit teachers from places as far away as Vancouver or Portland.

Longview Schools Superintendent Dan Zorn said he relies on hiring teachers from outside counties to fill the 450 teaching positions in his district.

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Two Seattle police officers who shot and killed Che Taylor, an African-American man, last year are suing City Councilmember Kshama Sawant for defamation.

A count of Oregon's homeless population shows a 6 percent increase in the number of people living in shelters or on the streets. The tally takes place every two years in January and is meant to be a snapshot of a specific point in time.

David Williams, a 20-year full-time resident of Orcas Island, sorts through garbage and recycling in the back of his truck on Sunday, July 30, 2017, on the tipping floor of the Orcas Island Transfer Station on Orcas Island. KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When writer Knute Berger was a kid in the 1960s, vacationing on Shaw Island, his family had a creative way of dumping some of their trash.

The solar eclipse is in the books, but the scientific analysis goes on. Teams of high school and college students scrambled Monday afternoon to locate and recover cameras and experimental payloads they launched to the edge of space during the eclipse.

Eclipse revelers whooped and hollered as the sun went black at a major encampment in the remote town of Durkee on the Burnt River Ranch in eastern Oregon.

As the sun slipped more and more behind the moon, the revelers whooped and screamed. A black shadow zoomed across the deep valley and people exclaimed as they took off their glasses.

Whether in the path of totality or not, the solar eclipse brought a memorable experience to our reporters across the Northwest. They sent us their audio postcards from Olympia, Spokane and Prosser, Washington, and Portland and Durkee, Oregon.

Ayush Jakhotia, 7, left, watches the solar eclipse with his grandmother, Radha Jakhotia, right, on Monday, August 21, 2017, from Gas Works Park, in Seattle. KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Even the cynical couldn't resist the eclipse on Monday morning. 

The temperature dropped precipitously here in Seattle, and the light turned the colors rich and dark — like an Instagram filter IRL. 

Eclipse 2017: The View From The Northwest

Aug 21, 2017

The eclipse is here.

Up to 1 millions visitors have flocked to Oregon to watch the first total solar eclipse viewable from the contiguous United States in 38 years. 

Hundreds of eclipse revelers from all over the nation have flocked to a remote ranch outside of Durkee in eastern Oregon. They’re camping in yurts, tents and RVs.

A white nationalist clash that left a woman dead last week in Charlottesville, Virginia was followed by the removal of Confederate statues, memorials and plaques around the country, either by protesters or at the behest of government officials. Several Confederate memorials still stand in the Northwest. We visited three of them.

The Washington State Department of Transportation will activate its emergency operations center on Monday morning in case solar eclipse traffic turns horrible. In Oregon, state and county emergency coordination centers were activated on Thursday.

Businesses across Oregon are reaping the benefits of the throngs of tourists descending on the state for the solar eclipse. But one tiny radio station in the path of totality will benefit from the eclipse in an unexpected way.

Miss out on eclipse glasses? If so, there’s still plenty of time for a homemade science project. 


All you need to make a pinhole projector is a cereal box, a pin, a pair of scissors, some aluminum foil, and a roll of tape.



Cell phone towers in Oregon’s path of totality are expected to overload. That’s because of selfies-with-the-sun that thousands of visitors might try to upload.

But there’s an unexpected consequence of cell coverage going down: farm irrigation circles could go dry.

Baristas at Natte Latte, where women wore white tank tops and pink bun shorts, reminiscent of the Hooters restaurant uniform. The coffee stand never ventured into bikini barista territory.
Courtesy of Mary Keller Wynn

A new ordinance passed in the city of Everett this week puts limits on how much skin so-called bikini baristas can show. The new rules basically take the bikini out of bikini barista coffee stands.

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has made a name for himself this year by battling the Trump administration in court. Now he wants to take on tribal governments at the U.S. Supreme Court over salmon.

Why more Native Americans are homeless in Seattle

Aug 18, 2017
Colleen Echohawk, executive director of the Chief Seattle Club.
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

The number of Native Americans on King County streets is greater than ever. A recent survey found that there are more American Indians and Alaska Natives than a year ago.

Colleen Echohawk said there are many reasons for that, but the most important is that Natives are nervous about trusting the current system of finding houses for them.

On Saturday August 12, a woman was killed at the "Unite the Right Rally" in Charlottesville, Virginia where Confederate flags flew, racist and anti-Semitic insults were chanted and KKK robes were donned. After President Donald Trump's initial statement blamed "both sides," Republicans across the country were scrutinized for what they said, what they didn't and when. We collected some online statements of Northwest Republicans in the week after Charlottesville.

Ranchers in eastern Oregon are trying to cash in on eclipse visitors by opening their spreads to campers. Some have already signed on hundreds of visitors while others are hoping for a rush of last-minute eclipse-ers.

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