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More people than ever—1.2 million in Washington state and more than 570,000 in Oregon—are registered to participate in the annual Great ShakeOut earthquake and tsunami drill Thursday morning.


Not coincidentally, a Washington state agency is using this week to highlight how the Evergreen State needs to play catch up with neighboring states on earthquake preparedness.

Voters in the Portland suburb of Sherwood, Oregon, have voted overwhelmingly to remove two city council members from office.

Employment numbers are out for both Washington and Oregon. Since last September, Washington has gained more than 91,000 jobs and Oregon has gained more than 37,000 jobs. 



The largest growth in both states has taken place in the government sector.

Flash Flood Watch In Effect For Chetco Bar Fire Area

Oct 18, 2017

A flash flood watch is in effect Thursday for the Chetco Bar Fire area, 16 miles west of Selma, Oregon.

Damaged soil, loosened vegetation and heavy rain in the forecast has increased the risk of landslides in recently burned areas ­— a threat that can last months and even years after a fire has burned out.

With less than three weeks before the November election, the two candidates for Vancouver Port Commissioner District 1 are getting big checks.

This week Kris Greene accepted $140,000 from Tesoro Savage. The oil companies are behind an effort to build the nation’s largest oil-by-rail terminal at the port.

Matthew and Mariah Hicks attend Lowell Elementary School in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, where they are just two of the school's many homeless students.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Lowell Elementary School sits across from million-dollar houses on a quiet street in Capitol Hill. But this school serves some of the poorest children in the city.

Self-driving cars would one day take over Interstate 5 to the exclusion of human drivers under a proposal aired out before Washington state transportation advisors Tuesday.

With Election Day less than a month away, money is pouring into Washington state political action committees. Much of that cash will likely find its way to a special state Senate race on the east side of Lake Washington.

The outcome of that race will determine which party controls the Senate. 


In January, Oregon voters will decide whether to overturn a new tax on hospitals and other health-care providers. Secretary of State Dennis Richardson's office ruled this week that opponents of the tax collected more than enough signatures to put the repeal on the ballot.

Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray
U.S. Senate

Washington state’s U.S. senators were busy Tuesday.

Senator Patty Murray helped strike a bipartisan deal to avoid President Donald Trump's recently announced cuts to health insurance subsidies. 

Tamarind Tree employees from left, Tin Dang, Loan Luong, and Mui Tang work in the kitchen on Thursday, October 12, 2017, at the restaurant in Seattle's Little Saigon neighborhood.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Tam Nguyen owns the Tamarind Tree restaurant in Seattle’s Little Saigon neighborhood. The menu features dishes like crispy coconut rice cakes with shrimp, and of course pho, which has been part of the fabric of Seattle culture since the 1980s.

Usually the parking lot at Brookings’ harbor is filled with boat trailers, rusty pickup trucks and tourists. 

But this day in late August is not a usual day. There’s a wildfire burning five miles from town – and the vehicles coming through are much, much larger.

Jesse Dubuque, a resource advisor for the Chetco Bar Fire, directs the driver of a fire truck to a large shallow pool, about 6-inches deep with metal tracks leading in and out.

“Vehicles that have been up on the fire or going up to the fire, they come and they drive up on to it,” she says.

The current Convention Place bus station is being considered as an expansion site for the Washington State Convention Center.
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

Seattle will get an additional $60 million in public benefits, including affordable housing and bike lanes, as part of the proposed expansion of the Washington State Convention Center.

That’s more than the project’s developers had originally offered. The new money is the result of long negotiations.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The cease and desist order came as a shock. It was from the U.S. Justice Department, ordering a group of Seattle lawyers to stop helping in some deportation cases.

The Pacific Northwest was once a coal mining powerhouse.

In the late 1800s, The area around Oregon’s Coos Bay had over 70 coal mines. Later, Washington’s biggest coal mine in Centralia supplied the Bonneville Power Administration with electricity.

Oregon’s six Democrats and its sole Republican in Congress sent a letter Monday urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to move forward with cleanup plans for the Portland Harbor polluted Superfund site.

In their letter, they reminded the agency that hundreds of millions of dollars have already been invested in the plans to clean up the Portland Harbor Superfund site.

Oregonians will be voting on a tax on hospital and health insurance companies next January. The Oregon Secretary of State’s office announced Monday that opponents of the tax had successfully gathered enough valid signatures to force a vote.

On Saturday, March 19 light rail stations opened serving Capitol Hill and the University of Washington (pictured).
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle suddenly seems like a very small town —  at least when you look at the mayoral candidates and their family ties.


The Washington State Book Awards have been announced and for the third year in a row, a writer from Spokane has claimed the top prize for fiction. Shawn Vestal won the 2017 award for his debut novel, "Daredevils."

A homeless encampment in Seattle's Rainier Valley, taken March 2016.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Seattle City Council members are considering a tax on big business to fund services for homelessness.

This kind of tax is often known as a “head tax” or “employee hours tax.” And it’s actually nothing new for Seattle. The city had something like it for transportation funding, until it was repealed in 2009.

The race for a Port of Vancouver commissioner seat has become highly personal in recent days, leading candidate Kris Greene to seek legal protection.

On Friday, Greene served a temporary protection order from harassment against his former campaign strategist and volunteer Robert Sabo.

In the living room of her Olympia home, Crystal opens up a large file box that contains her son’s life history.

“As a mom you keep those shot records and those test scores in their little file even if they’re in their 20s,” said Crystal, whose last name we’re not using to protect her son's identity.

But this plastic box has something else: a detailed record of her son’s battle with addiction and mental illness beginning when he was 12.

Petula Lou of Bellevue stands with other protesters outside of the Hyatt Regency where Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke at the Washington Policy Center's annual gala on Friday, October 13, 2017, in Bellevue.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Hundreds gathered outside of the Hyatt Regency hotel on Bellevue Way on Friday, October 13 to protest Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who was speaking at the Washington Policy Center's annual gala. 

Oregon farmers planted the state’s first legal crops of industrial hemp a couple of years ago. Now the first Washington state farmer to plant the non-drug cousin of marijuana has harvested the crop. 


Hemp entrepreneur Cory Sharp is fairly happy with Washington’s first legal crop in almost 90 years. His farmer partners harvested 105 acres earlier this month from irrigated fields near Moses Lake. 


But the celebration is tempered because the crop is unsold.


Amazon Spheres, downtown Seattle
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

In September, 2017, Amazon kicked off the country’s biggest lottery — a search for a second headquarters, a.k.a. HQ2. The city that wins that contest might want some insight from the city Amazon chose first. So we're launching a new podcast.   

At the Hanford Site, the job to seal in a tunnel full of radioactive waste is nearly half done according to the federal government. It became a high-priority project when the tunnel partially collapsed this past May, causing an emergency at Hanford.

Voters in one of Oregon’s largest counties will have the chance this November to dramatically reshape their county government. The question before Douglas County residents is whether or not to approve a home rule charter.

The controversy over a program that protects young, undocumented immigrants from deportation didn’t keep Wenatchee High School’s predominantly Latino Mariachi band from playing in Washington, D.C., this week.




Tiffany Hicks places her hand on her newborn son Elijah as he sleeps on Sunday, September 3, 2017, in their room at Mary's Place in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Tiffany Hicks rode a Greyhound bus for four and a half days to get to Seattle. Her brother had recently moved here and said there were jobs. 

A previous attempt at providing broadband service through a public-private partnership fell apart in 2013.
Flickr Photo/Steve Rhode (CC BY-NC-ND)

Remember municipal broadband? The idea suffered a blow in Seattle when a partnership involving the city, the University of Washington and a private company fell apart in 2013.

But the dream never died. Now supporters are pushing another campaign.

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