News

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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Comforting Traditions
7:25 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Funeral Dinners Help Darrington Cope With Losses

Darrington Community Center hosted a meal for librarian Linda McPherson as part of the community's long-running tradition.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The first wave of memorial services honoring the victims who perished in the Oso landslide took place this weekend.

In Darrington, residents gathered to remember Linda McPherson, a longtime resident and librarian. After the service, the community gathered for a meal together. It's a special tradition that goes back many decades in this small community.

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Malaysia Mystery
6:29 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Signal 'Just Like' Emergency Beacon Detected In Search For Flight 370

Angus Houston displays a map of the search area for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 Monday. Houston says an Australian navy ship has detected underwater signals consistent with aircraft black boxes, calling it the "most promising lead" so far in the month-old search.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 10:13 am

Calling it the "most promising lead" so far, the leader of the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner says ships have again detected a signal on the same frequency used by "black box" emergency beacons. But Angus Houston also reiterated that it's too early to draw conclusions.

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EarthFix Reports
6:15 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Pollution Is Not The Top Priority At Oso Landslide Site, But It Is A Concern

Propane tanks floated to the surface of the massive landslide debris field that engulfed 42 homes near Oso, Wash.
EarthFix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

An orange backhoe beeps in the background as cleanup workers and search dogs slog through the gray-blue clay of the Oso landslide zone. In the distance a muddy American flag waves over hummocks of exposed roots, broken trees and the remnants of the 42 homes that used to line this stretch of highway in the Cascade Mountains northeast of Seattle.

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Parties On Wheels
6:09 am
Mon April 7, 2014

After Fatalities Nationwide, Washington Regulators Target Party Buses

Party bus owner William Prigmore says his industry helps keep drunk drivers off the road.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:12 pm

These days an old fashioned stretch limo can look a bit stodgy. The new rage is party buses.

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