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A main corridor at the King County Juvenile Detention in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Updated 5:54 p.m., 12/11/2017: The King County Council on Monday signaled a commitment to jailing fewer young people.

The council told County Executive Dow Constantine to use an expert report to guide county policy for reducing youth detention.

Conservation groups are offering a hefty reward for information leading to the poachers who killed two protected wolves in northeastern Washington state.

Housing costs contribute dramatically to the high basic cost of living in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

Washington cities are prohibited from regulating rent prices, but one lawmaker wants to change that. Democratic state Representative Nicole Macri says she'll propose a bill in 2018 to end the rent control ban.

The Environmental Protection Agency says it’s targeting a former creosote plant in the Seattle suburb of Renton for “immediate attention.”

The Quendall Terminals, on the southern shore of Lake Washington, joins Oregon’s Portland Harbor on the EPA's list of 21 Superfund sites across the country for expedited cleanup and redevelopment.

Ocean Trash: What You Need To Know

Dec 11, 2017

The story of a piece of litter doesn’t end at your curbside. Every year, millions of tons of trash find their way down storm drains and rivers to the ocean. Ocean currents take over from there, carrying man-made stuff thousands of miles away to far-flung corners of the planet—even to places otherwise thought to be untouched by people. And that makes marine debris difficult to clean up.

Here’s what you need to know about the trash that’s piling up on Pacific Northwest beaches and around the world’s oceans:

A photo of Charleena Lyles stands in memorial.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

An attorney for the family of Charleena Lyles says a police review board’s finding that Seattle officers acted within department policy when they shot her last June is inadequate.

The board’s decision was revealed last month, but a newly released report lays out the thinking behind it.

This story has been updated

Washington state Rep. Matt Manweller has been placed on paid leave from his job as a professor at Central Washington University pending an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct.

The university released no details of the allegations, but said in a statement that the investigation will be conducted by an outside investigator and “will be thorough, objective, and fair."

Previously Manweller has been accused of sexually harassing and even propositioning females students at the university—allegations he denies.

Julia Yesler, pictured, is the offspring of a Duwamish woman and white settler Henry Yesler.
Courtesy of Kathie Zetterberg

Chief Seattle was the leader of the Duwamish tribe in the days when white settlers were entering the region that would eventually bear his name.

The chief had an unusual way of brokering peace: encouraging his family members to marry the settlers.


You might be in the market for a Christmas tree right about now, but have you thought about what type of Christmas tree you want in eight years?

Believe it or not, it might be hard to find one. That’s because of a tree seedling shortage happening right now across the West.

The ex-wife of Matt Manweller contends the embattled GOP state representative leveraged his age and status as her former high school teacher to marry her when she was 18.

In an interview with The News Tribune, The Olympian and Northwest News Network on Friday, OraLynn Reeve spoke at length about her courtship and marriage to Manweller, who has been investigated for allegations of inappropriate interactions with students at Central Washington University, where he teaches political science.

The Environmental Protection Agency says its targeting the Portland Harbor Superfund Site in the Willamette River for immediate attention.

An aviation visionary from the Seattle area with a famous last name has joined the crowded field of personal air taxi startups. His new company unveiled a design that competes with a similar Airbus prototype expected to begin flight testing in Oregon soon.

California billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer is hoping Oregon will be the next state to fight the Trump administration’s policies on climate change.

Oregon Democrats are working on legislation for the upcoming February session that would cap greenhouse gas emissions. Steyer, who was active in California’s push to pass cap-and-trade legislation, is lending his financial support to the state’s progressive endeavor.  

Courtesy U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Sanctuary policies in Seattle and King County have put some money on the line, and drawn questions from the feds. Local officials defended their position this week against what they call a threat to withhold federal law enforcement aid.

The U.S. Department of State and the Canadian government announced Thursday that formal renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty will begin in early 2018. Fish, electric rates and flood protection all figure to be part of the talks when updating the 53-year-old international treaty between the U.S. and Canada.


KeyArena in Seattle Center.
Flickr Photo/Doug Kerr (CC BY SA 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1WeuApa

Seattle is a step closer to getting a pro hockey team.

The National Hockey League has announced that they will consider a Seattle application for a professional hockey franchise.

'OPB Politics Now': Oregon National Monument Faces An Uncertain Future

Dec 8, 2017

President Trump ordered the shrinking of two national monuments in Utah this week. Attention immediately shifted to the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says should also be smaller. We talk through the politics of these moves and get into Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's actions on the thorny issues of the state budget and PERS. Short answer: task forces!

Geoff Norcross talks with EarthFix reporter Jes Burns along with OPB political reporters Jeff Mapes and Lauren Dake.

A new report about the radioactive tank waste at Hanford says the cleanup could take decades longer and cost billions more than estimated. The document, called “System Plan 8”, proposes 11 complex scenarios for how the 56 million gallons of radioactive tank waste could be moved out of those tanks and treated. 


Paulette Jordan, a Native American politician from North Idaho, will run for governor in the Gem State in 2018. Jordan, a Democrat, announced her candidacy at her 38th birthday party in Moscow, Idaho, on Thursday. 

A fiery top Republican in the Washington Legislature is facing renewed scrutiny over allegations he sexually harassed students as a professor at Central Washington University.

Federal agencies are a step closer to deciding how best to manage the Columbia River system and protect endangered fish. They outlined goals for a range of plans at a public meeting Thursday.

A series of public meetings this past year gave the agencies plenty to think about. They received more than 400,000 comments about how to protect endangered salmon and steelhead and, at the same time, maintain navigation channels for river traffic, control floods, and meet hydropower demands.

The U.S. Department of Energy is about start shoring up another train tunnel full of old radioactive equipment at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state. This is all happening because a similar train tunnel full of waste—called Tunnel 1—collapsed this spring.

Senator Patty Murray in the KUOW offices, Jan. 2016.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Minnesota Senator Al Franken said today he'll resign in the coming weeks. He's repeatedly apologized as several women accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The Trump administration told a federal appeals court Wednesday that the president has broad authority to prevent people from any country from traveling to the U.S.

The Trump administration is rolling back a requirement for trains carrying highly explosive liquids — like the oil trains that run through the Columbia River Gorge en route to Northwest refineries.

The 2015 rule was supposed to make these hazardous trains more safe, following a number of derailments. But that was under President Obama, Now, President Trump's Department of Transportation says railroads with trains carrying highly flammable liquids will not have to update their braking systems.

A six-year-long decline in the number of homeless people in the U.S. reversed in 2017, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.The report said that was largely because of rising homeless populations on the West Coast.

The price of bitcoin set another new all-time high Wednesday, shooting past $13,000. The meteoric rise in the value of bitcoin and lesser known virtual currencies is having a real world effect in the Pacific Northwest.

Entrepreneurs are bombarding the public utilities in Central Washington with requests for cheap hydropower to run bitcoin computers.

A band of raccoons scamper over a downed tree. A coyote sneaks a drink from a mossy pool. The black and white photos that flash across Professor Mark Jordan’s computer screen look like they could have been shot out on the Olympic Peninsula or maybe at a remote spot in the Cascades — until a curious house cat sneaks out of the underbrush.

Teresa Mosqueda greets supporters on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at Optimism Brewing Company in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda is serving her first full week in office after winning the November general election.

Oregon Sending Help To Battle Growing Southern California Fires

Dec 6, 2017

Teams from Multnomah County all the way down to Jackson and Josephine counties are en route to Southern California where a series of fast-moving fires continue to rip through the Los Angeles area. 

The Oregon State Fire Marshal sent 10 strike teams consisting of 50 engines and about 100 personnel overnight Tuesday, making Oregon the first state to send resources to the Golden State for this event.

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