News

Washington state lawmakers are considering a bill that paves the way for a partial closure of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in Montana.

In the face of mounting environmental regulations, Puget Sound Energy wants to develop a plan to close two of Colstrip's four coal units – a move that could reduce the amount of coal-produced electricity used by Washington consumers.

The Washington utility is one of six owners of the overall plant, but co-owns units 1 and 2 with just one other company, Talen Energy.

The Washington Supreme Court will likely decide the fate of a voter-approved tax-limiting measure. A judge in King County ruled Thursday that Initiative 1366, approved in November, is unconstitutional.

The union-backed group that's seeking to increase taxes on some of Oregon's largest corporations is ramping up its signature collection efforts this weekend.

The outside of the Francia Russell Center in Bellevue. The Francia Russell Center is part of Pacific Northwest Ballet and will soon have to move because it is in the light rail pathway.
Google Maps

UPDATE: On Monday, Jan. 25, King County Superior Court Judge Theresa Doyle ruled against Pacific Northwest Ballet. The judge said Sound Transit may use fair market value for PNB’s eastside school, rather than the replacement value of the facility. The ruling only determines the method of assessment for the property value. A jury may still place a higher value on the school. A court hearing on the issue is set for June.

Pacific Northwest Ballet has performed in a lot of places.

But Friday the dance company will be on a new stage: a King County Superior Court room.

PNB wants a judge to settle a dispute with Sound Transit.

Terry, Suzette and their dog Lulu live in a van in Ballard. They store their belongings in an SUV, and they tow a boat.
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Terry lives with his ex-wife and their dog in a minivan parked on a residential street in North Ballard. 

Jamie Steeb, a former nursing assistant at Overlake Hospital, filed a complaint with the Department of Labor about the 2010 nursing mothers law.
Courtesy of Jamie Steeb

Jamie Steeb’s breasts hurt.

Steeb was a nursing assistant at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue. She had returned from maternity leave and needed time to pump breast milk; when she didn’t get breaks, her breasts throbbed with pain. After a while, she said she developed an infection.

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Stephen Lam/Reuters

While elite colleges tend to publicize their diversity, a new report finds that the admissions process at selective colleges actively works against high-performing, but low-income students.

“When I was schools chancellor, I thought if you were really poor and really smart, you could write your own ticket,” says Harold Levy, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and former chancellor of New York City schools. “That turns out to be just wrong.”

The cure for a doctor shortage: primary care and teamwork

Jan 21, 2016
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Lauren Silverman

By 2025, the U.S. could face a shortage of as many as 90,000 physicians. That’s according to the latest report from the Association of American Medical Colleges. The lack of doctors – particularly primary care doctors –  is a concern across the country, but it’s particularly severe in southern states. But filling the patient-doctor gap is not as simple as training more doctors.

Welcome, new prime number!

Jan 20, 2016
prime.PNG
Stephanie Hughes

We like to do the numbers on Marketplace. and this week, a new number has arrived: M74207281

If you think that name sounds long, be warned: it is an extreme abbreviation. The largest known prime number, discovered this week by University of Central Missouri computer science professor Curtis Cooper, actually has more than 22 million digits.

When was the last time you talked about prime numbers? High School?  Reminder: it’s when a number only has multiples of one and itself.  Examples include two, five, seven, et cetera. The higher you get, the harder it is to find primes. 

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is renewing his push to raise the smoking and vaping age to 21. The Democrat announced the bipartisan effort Wednesday at a Capitol news conference.

Jim McDermott, left, and James Joseph McDermott, right. Jim is retiring and Joe wants his spot.
U.S. Congress; King County Council

Seattle's longtime U.S. Representative Jim McDermott will retire this year – and another Jim McDermott wants to take his place.

Jackie Williams had just gotten off her night shift at Swedish when I interviewed her outside the Salvation Army shelter on Capitol Hill. She would have a few short hours to sleep before the shelter closes for the day.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Jackie Williams arrived in Seattle with nothing but a suitcase full of clothes. She had been hired as a certified nurse’s assistant.

West Woodland Elementary in North Seattle hosts Kids Inc child care center. Seattle Public Schools will be reclaiming space at elementary schools that are currently occupied by child care groups. The district has not released a list of impacted sites.
Google Maps

The Seattle School Board is scheduled to vote Wednesday night whether to take back 19 classrooms now used for preschool and before-and-after-school care.

A listener took this photo on Wed., Jan. 13, after noticing that the homeless the tent city at Ballard Blocks had been fully cleared.
Courtesy of Manya Gorman-Knutson

Seattle City Council members got an update Tuesday on how the city removes homeless camps -- and they want to see changes.

City staff and police have cleared out about 40 unsanctioned homeless sites since November and have a list of 170 more to consider. Most of those camps consist of a few people living in tents or sleeping bags.

Why the crisis over Flint's water could really happen anywhere in the US

Jan 20, 2016
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Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama declared a federal state of emergency in Flint, Michigan, where residents have been dealing with the aftermath of lead-tainted water for more than a year now. It's a situation that's led to lead poisoning and brain damage in some children.

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