News

Workers sort through strawberry roots on a planter pulled behind a tractor at Sakuma Brothers Farm in Burlington, Wash.,
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

BURLINGTON, Wash. – On a recent morning at Sakuma Brothers Farm, eight Latino workers sat on a bench seat behind a tractor, planting strawberry roots that will bear fruit in a few years. Dust masks and goggles covered their faces.

There’s a good chance these field workers have joined, or work side by side, with a group calling for a union contract here.

On a hillside in southeastern Washington, bunch grasses ripple in the wind. A storm is forming off in the distance, and crickets chirp nearby.

It’s here where botanist Mark Darrach has found three rare flowers previously unknown to science. That’s a lot. He said many botanists are lucky to find one in their career.

“It’s a unique plant community that hasn’t been recognized until just a couple years ago when we stumbled across these and started scratching our heads, like ‘Where did this come from? We’ve never seen this before,” Darrach said.

A file picture from Oct. 17, 2008, shows the "B" cell and bunk unit of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Guaranteed payments to contractors at federal detention centers have helped to create a quota system for immigration enforcement, according to a report released Thursday by advocates for detainees.

Jesse Jackson visited Seattle on Wednesday, asking that the tech industry focus on hiring more people of color and women.
KUOW Photo/Jamala Henderson

Rev. Jesse Jackson called out Amazon during a visit to Seattle on Wednesday.

“The board of the directors is all white in 2015,” Jackson said at Northeastern University’s newest building on South Lake Union. “Our challenge is not just to point the blame, but to point out the solution. Which is inclusion.”

By the end of the year, the Washington State Patrol could need more than 200 new troopers because many are closing in on their retirement.

So the agency is turning to community job fairs as one way to recruit new troopers, as well as other employees.

Horse Therapy Helps Veterans Heal Invisible Wounds

Jun 10, 2015
Veteran Richard Dykstra leads Abby in a corral for equine therapy as part of the Animals as Natural Therapy program north of Bellingham, Wash.
KUOW Photo/Sarah Eden Wallace

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Horses are intuitive creatures. Sometimes they’re so sensitive a veteran’s pain can overwhelm them.

At Animals as Natural Therapy, a five-acre farm north of Bellingham, two Iraq War veterans recently worked with horses Abby and Artemis as part of an equine therapy program for vets with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Approximately 40 small wildland fires are burning across the Northwest -- and it’s only early June.

Oregon state Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, has introduced a measure that would try to protect government whistleblowers.

Oregon lawmakers are advancing a measure that would require many employers to offer paid sick leave.

The issue of forest policy is once again heating up in the Northwest. On Tuesday federal officials presented their latest assessment of the Northwest Forest Plan, which covers more than 2 million acres of federal land in Washington, Oregon and California.

Q: Can you remind us what the Northwest Forest Plan is?

Seattle moms Sarah Weigle and Julia Crouch and their daughter Maya. Although married in Washington state, Crouch chose to adopt their daughter to protect her status as a parent across the U.S.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on gay marriage this month. The high court decision could mark the end of a complicated legal era in which same-sex couples have had to jump through legal hoops to legally protect their family unit.

In this 2012 file photo, Troy Kelley, the Democratic candidate for state auditor at the time, takes questions at a debate.
Flickr Photo/Daniel Brunell (CC-BY-NC-ND)

State Auditor Troy Kelley is facing another investigation. This time the state is looking into possible criminal activities.

The state’s investigation is separate from the federal charges he currently faces.

Two technicians balance on a floating fish trap about the size of a double bed. They dip nets into the water and scoop out small fish and mats of vegetation. The fish are carefully placed in five-gallon buckets and the weed is casually tossed back into to river.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife techs are recording their catch from shallow side channel of the middle Klamath River. They're observing variety, inspecting the fish for signs of trouble, and packing up hatchery for disease testing at a lab.

Waiting for Laverne Cox to enter the room.
Marlo Mack

As the mother of a young transgender child, my response to Caitlyn Jenner’s headline-grabbing announcement is a visceral one.

Yes, I’m kind of put off by the hype. No, I’m not a big fan of celebrity culture or reality television. But when I look at the cover of Vanity Fair, and read the news articles that respectfully use Jenner’s new name and female pronouns, I’m overwhelmed by this new state of affairs, and by a world that might just be ready to accept my daughter. And that knocks me off my feet with awe and gratitude.

Nelida Martinez, one of the farmers growing their businesses at Viva Farms, a farm incubator project
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

  Strawberries, beware. Blueberries and raspberries are ripening early this year.

A warm winter has given way to a hot spring, which means berries are ripening early this year in the Pacific Northwest. That’s great for some growers in the short term – and the rest of us hankering for juicy fruit – but it’s also created competition among farmers.

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