News

Big-Cat Rescue Shelter
7:37 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Oregon Fines Wildlife Sanctuary Following Deadly Cougar Attack

File photo of a female cougar
Steve Jurvetson Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 5:21 pm

The state of Oregon is fining a wildlife sanctuary $5,600 after a cougar attack last fall left its head keeper dead.

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Electronic Surveillance
4:20 am
Tue March 25, 2014

White House To Propose Halting NSA Bulk Collection Of Phone Data

The sign outside the National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Md.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 12:42 pm

President Obama is preparing to announce a plan to scrap the government's systematic collection of bulk phone records as part of a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency's controversial electronic surveillance activities.

The New York Times, quoting senior administration officials, reports:

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Oso Mudslide
6:49 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Death Toll Rises From Oso Mudslide, Search Continues For Missing People

Governor Jay Inslee talks with Darrington resident Pete Selvig at Darrington's City Hall Monday evening.
KUOW Photo/Phyllis Fletcher

KUOW's Carolyn Adolph reports from a Darrington Town Hall meeting on Monday night and gets reactions from local residents.

KUOW's Phyllis Fletcher reports on Governor Jay Inslee's plan to open up the Mountain Loop Highway in place of state Route 530.

KUOW's Phyllis Fletcher reports from the Darrington Library about the death of retired librarian Linda McPherson in Saturday's mudslide.

The search for survivors of a deadly mudslide near Oso grew Monday to include scores of people who were still unaccounted for as the death toll rose to at least 14.

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Mudslide Devastates Community
6:42 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Small Town Of Darrington Grieves For Slide Victims, Waits For News

Darrington residents gather outside town grocery store for word of missing.
KUOW Photo/Phyllis Fletcher

People in the town of Darrington struggled Monday to comprehend the scope of the disaster just a few miles from them. The people who lived in the homes destroyed by Saturday's devastating mudflow are friends, relatives and neighbors.

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EarthFix Reports
6:36 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Authorities Relieved As Flow Levels Return To Normal Post-Landslide

On Saturday, March 22, a massive mudslide blocked both directions of State Route 530 near the town of Oso, Wash.
Washington State Department of Transportation

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 3:25 pm

Authorities are breathing a small sigh of relief, amidst all the destruction from the fatal landslide on the Stillaguamish River.

They’re relieved because the river flow is getting back to normal.

When the landslide blocked the Stillaguamish River, water began to collect above all the muck and debris, causing flow rates down river from the landslide to plummet.

"It was a pretty quick drop, like turning off the faucet, not turning it off all the way but letting it drip a little bit," said Marijke van Heeswijk, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Wanapum Dam
5:36 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Irrigators Struggle To Secure Fish Screens And Water In Time

Many irrigation pipes don’t reach the lowered Columbia River behind the cracked Wanapum Dam
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 4:53 pm

Dozens of central Washington fruit farmers are still high-and-dry without water for their valuable fruit trees.

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World TB Day
11:16 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Former TB Patient On Time In Local Sanatorium: 'I Look Back On It Very Sweetly'

Alice Brannman was diagnosed with bone TB in 1947. She spent two years at Firland Sanatorium in Shoreline.
Credit Courtesy of TB Voices Project

Some people may think tuberculosis has been wiped out, but the disease still infects one third of the world’s population.

Closer to home, tuberculosis is on the rise in Washington state, after years of decline. There were 209 tuberculosis cases reported last year.  

These days the disease is treated with oral medication.

But there was time, not too long ago, when TB patients were quarantined in sanatoriums, sometimes for years.   

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Oso Landslide
10:21 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Mudslide Witness: There Were 'Belongings All Over The Road'

A house is seen destroyed in the mud on state Route 530 next to mile marker 37 on Sunday, March 23, 2014, the day after a giant landslide occurred near Oso, Washington.
Credit AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Lindsey Wasson, Pool

Search and rescue crews enter their third day after the 1-square-mile mudslide wiped out dozens of homes in Oso — a town of about 200 people between Arlington and Darrington in Snohomish County.

As of Monday morning, officials said they have recovered eight bodies and will continue to search for dozens of people still missing.

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EarthFix Reports
9:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

EarthFix Conversation: 25 Years Later, Scientists Remember The Exxon Valdez

Killer whales swimming in Prince William Sound alongside boats skimming oil from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Scientists report that orca populations there have not recovered and oil is still being found.
Credit Courtesy of State of Alaska/Dan Lawn

Twenty five years ago today the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, Calif., ran aground in Prince William Sound.

Eleven million gallons of oil spilled out, polluting 1,300 miles of Alaska’s coastline.

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Plane Crash
4:53 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Analysis Shows Flight 370 'Ended' In Indian Ocean, Malaysia Says

Relatives of passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 embrace each other in a Beijing hotel after learning of news today that the flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
Rolex Dela Pena EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 5:14 pm

This post was updated at 8:14 p.m. ET.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday that new analysis of the flight path of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 showed that it "ended in the southern Indian Ocean."

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Ukraine Pullout
4:17 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Ukraine Orders Its Troops Out Of Crimea As G-7 Meets On Crisis

President Obama tours the Rijksmusuem with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (left) and others ahead of the G-7 summit in The Hague, Netherlands, which is certain to focus on the situation in Crimea.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:12 am

Ukraine announced the pullout of its troops from Crimea after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula and took control of the military bases there. The decision comes as President Obama arrived in the Netherlands on Monday for a summit of the G-7 group of industrialized nations that is certain to focus on discussion of the international crisis.

Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said Monday that the Defense Ministry has been ordered to redeploy Ukrainian servicemen from the Crimea to Ukraine's mainland, in remarks confirmed by his office.

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Nuclear Waste
4:14 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Washington State Orders Hanford Managers To Empty Leaking Tank

View inside the space between the two walls of Tank AY-102 at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
U.S. Department of Energy

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 8:37 am

The state of Washington has ordered the federal government to start pumping out a leaking double-shell tank of waste at Hanford by September 1.

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Tobacco Sales
4:10 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Study: Cigarette Tax Evasion Sky-High In Washington, Idaho A Big Supplier

Tax Foundation/Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 9:23 pm

Nearly half of the cigarettes smoked in Washington went untaxed by the state according to an estimate from a new study by two think tanks.

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Exxon Valdez
2:07 am
Mon March 24, 2014

25 Years After Spill, Alaska Town Struggles Back From 'Dead Zone'

Orca Inlet, Cordova's fishing harbor, on a blustery day this month. Commercial fishing is the small Alaskan town's primary industry.
Marisa Peñaloza NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:25 am

On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in U.S. history. In a series of stories, NPR is examining the lasting social and economic impacts of the disaster, as well as the policy, regulation and scientific research that came out of it.

It's a blustery, snowy March day when Michelle Hahn O'Leary offers a tour of Cordova, Alaska, situated on the eastern shore of Prince William Sound.

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Geology
8:06 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Site Near Oso Had Previous Landslides, Potential For More

An image from Google Earth, taken before the current slide, shows the scars from a landslide that took place at the same spot in 2006.
Credit Google Earth

Satellite images show the area on the Stillaguamish River near Oso, Washington, experienced a landslide in 2006. According to the Sliding Thought Blog, the "Hazel Landslide" that year was caused by groundwater and erosion by the north fork of the river.

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