News

Costly Coverage
12:55 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Federal Disaster Declaration Could Bring Relief To Oso Homeowners Without Landslide Insurance

Governor Jay Inslee signs the request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the Oso mudslide.
Flickr Photo/GovInslee (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Monday filed a formal request for a federal disaster declaration. If this is granted, it means the survivors of the massive landslide near Oso, Washington, would be eligible for federal assistance. Many of them will be counting on that since they don’t have landslide insurance.

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Healing Ritual
8:59 am
Mon March 31, 2014

The Last Curandera: A Generation Of Immigrants Says Goodbye To An Old Tradition

Esther Davilla's daughter, Maria Ortiz, receives a cleansing ritual from her mother where a collection of herbs and an uncooked egg are dipped in Orange Blossom fragrance and dragged across her forehead, arms and legs.
Credit KUOW Photo/Alisa Reznick

Skagit Valley is home to thousands of Mexican immigrants. Many make their livings working as farmhands. They've brought with them some of their traditions from their homeland. But as the years pass and younger generations move in, some of those traditions die off. One Mexican family in Burlington is trying to keep an old ritual alive.

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Oso Mudslide
7:59 am
Mon March 31, 2014

One Week Later, Prayers For Landslide Victims And Stories Of Survival

Isaac Hall (center) was one of the first on the scene after the devastating March 22nd landslide near Oso, Wash.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

One week after a massive landslide wiped out the community of Oso, Wash., community members gathered at Darrington's First Baptist Church on Sunday to pray and tell stories of survival.

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Oso Devastation
6:52 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

Gov. Inslee: 'We're Providing Every Opportunity To Find That Miracle'

A young boy attends a Sunday church service at the First Baptist Church in Darrington, Wash., a week after the devastating Oso mudslide.
Credit KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

As the local community held Sunday church services a week after the devastating Oso mudslide, searchers continued their work in the sodden destruction zone.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner confirmed on Sunday evening that 21 people have died in the mudslide. Of these, only 15 have been officially identified.

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EarthFix Reports
6:06 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

U.S.-China Talks On Shellfish Ban Lead To New Testing For Contaminants

A geoduck clam from Puget Sound. China's ban on importing such shellfish remains in place, but recent U.S.-China talks have led to plans for a new testing protocol to ensure food safety.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:15 am

U.S. officials say they will develop a new testing protocol to detect certain contaminants in shellfish, following their meeting with the Chinese government to discuss an end to that country's ban on importing shellfish from most of the U.S. West Coast.

U.S. officials said during a briefing with reporters Friday that the Chinese are satisfied with U.S. testing methods for paralytic shellfish poisoning but they’re still concerned about arsenic. High concentrations of inorganic arsenic, a carcinogen, were found in the skin of geoduck harvested near Tacoma, Wash., last fall.

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Landslide Damage
4:05 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

The Landslide Statistic Everyone's Using Is From 1985

Aerial photo of the mudslide in Snohomish County, Wash.
Office of the Governor Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 6:24 pm

The massive landslide in Oso, Wash., has shined a national spotlight on the damage this kind of natural disaster can cause.

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Oso Tragedy
8:38 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Landslide Death Toll Rises, Number Of Missing Drops

Dog rescued from mudslide debris on March 25, 2014.
Flickr Photo/Snohomish County

The death toll has risen to 18 following the devastating landslide near Oso, Washington. One bright spot: The number of people missing has fallen dramatically. It's now down to 30. 

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Oso Mudslide
11:11 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Clear-Cut Crossed Into No-Logging Zone In Oso

Washington Department of Natural Resources image shows 2005 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

KUOW's John Ryan talks with host Ross Reynolds about his report.

State officials say they didn't approve clear-cutting inside a no-logging zone directly above Saturday's deadly landslide that struck the town of Oso. But aerial photos show a clear-cut extending into the zone where a loss of trees would heighten the risk of landslides.

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Oso Tragedy
10:09 am
Fri March 28, 2014

A Hard Day Ahead For Search Operations In The Mudslide

Search and rescue workers on the west side of slide.
Flickr Photo/GovInslee (National Guard) (CC-BY-NC-ND)

With 100 percent chance of rain in the forecast for Friday, Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots held a brief conference in the morning to update on the progress of the Oso mudslide.

Hots said the rain makes the efforts of the workers in the debris field, now in their seventh day of search operations, slow and complicated. “We’ve got a hard day ahead of us,” Hots said.

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Program Venture Fund
9:52 am
Fri March 28, 2014

'A Weighty Subject:' A Family Comes To Terms With A Trans Child

A drawing by Bridget, who came out as trans when she was four years old.
Credit KUOW Photo/Rosette Royale

Her eyes focused on the arcade screen, Bridget awaits her moment of transformation.

The 9-year-old is playing the video game Ms. Pac-Man, where the title character eats a magic pellet that turns her into a super being. As Bridget grips the joystick, the sunlight streaming in through a nearby window highlights her features: She has a face full of freckles, glinting, grey eyes and brown hair that tumbles past her shoulders.

“I’m good at this,” she says of the game.

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Oso Mudslide
8:39 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Disaster Response Includes Concerns For Mental Health

Snohomish County Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:30 pm

The waiting continues for family and friends of the dozens of people missing after last weekend's deadly landslide near Oso, Wash.

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Oso Mudslide
8:39 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Landslide Debris Field Has To Be Approached As Hazmat Scene

Homes destroyed by the Oso landslide are barely recognizable as such.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:10 pm

In a clearing on a hillside above one side of the mudflow, searchers in all sorts of uniforms and bright safety vests are picking through the crushed and barely recognizable remains of homes.

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Oso Devastation
7:21 am
Fri March 28, 2014

At The Landslide Front Line, Comparisons To Mount St. Helens Devastation

Members of the Washington Air National Guard wade through mud and debris looking for signs of missing persons.
Spc. Matthew Sissel, 122D PAOC Washington National Guard

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 7:11 am

A local fire chief is warning communities around the deadly landslide in northwest Washington to brace for a jump in the death toll Friday.

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Affordable Care Act
12:27 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Obamacare's National Enrollment Looks OK, But States Matter More

Maygan Rollins, a field organizer with Enroll America, talked health insurance options with Jerry Correa during a recent campaign in Miami.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:23 pm

With this year's deadline to register for individual health insurance just a weekend away, much attention is being lavished on two numbers — the 6 million Americans who have signed up so far, and the percentage of those folks who are (or aren't) young.

But experts say the national numbers actually don't mean very much.

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EarthFix Reports
3:00 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Fish-Eating Birds To Be Killed At 5 Dams

The ring-billed gull. It's one of three types of bird that will be shot if non-lethal hazing fails to stop them from eating juvenile salmon and steelhead at five dams on the Columbia and lower Snake rivers.
Flickr Photo/Ken Slade (CC BY-NC-ND)

Operators of five dams on the Columbia and lower Snake rivers will start killing birds that eat migrating juvenile salmon.

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