News

Federal Shutdown
6:48 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Air Traffic Controllers Getting Reduced Pay Due To Shutdown

Air-traffic control tower at Sea-Tac airport.
Credit Flickr Photo/Tom Collines

For federal employees, Tuesday is payday. But because of the partial government shutdown thousands of federal employees are getting a reduced paycheck.

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Elections 2013
8:01 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Dueling Liberals: Bellevue Council Likely To Shift Left

Bellevue City Council candidates Vandana Slatter and Lynne Robinson.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil, Lynne Robinson's Facebook page.

During the fight over light rail, Bellevue was described as having a conservative majority on the city council. Those members challenged Sound Transit’s light rail route and Bellevue’s share of the cost.

But then long-time incumbent Don Davidson lost in the August primary, leaving two more liberal candidates in the runoff for his seat: Lynne Robinson and Vandana Slatter.

Although city council races are nonpartisan, both candidates sought the endorsement of the King County Democrats.

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News
7:52 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Murder Reveals 'Lord Of The Flies' Street Culture In Washington's Capital

22-year-old “James” from Tillamook, Oregon shows off his graffiti art in an Olympia alleyway.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 5:08 pm

Just a few blocks away from Washington’s Capitol campus in Olympia you can find a street culture where young adults and teenagers live by their own rules – sometimes with tragic consequences.

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Elections 2013
5:20 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Poll: Seattle Mayor McGinn Still Far Behind Challenger Murray

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and state Senator Ed Murray at a recent campaign forum.
Credit KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

A new poll is out in the Seattle mayor’s race, and it doesn’t bode well for the incumbent.

The SurveyUSA poll, commissioned by Seattle TV station King 5, was conducted just after the first televised debate between Mayor Mike McGinn and state Senator Ed Murray last week.

Of the 557 likely voters reached by phone, 52 percent said they would vote for Murray if the election were held today, 32 percent said they would vote for McGinn.

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Public Indecency Laws
11:29 am
Mon October 14, 2013

King County Bans Public Urination And Defecation (Yes, It Was Still Legal)

County Councilmember Lambert says if you have "to go" and there's no public restroom, find a tree.
Flickr Photo/Rick Webb

Updated at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

And until Monday night in unincorporated King County, going in public was allowed. That's when the council voted to ban public urination and defecation and to fine violators $125. The new rule doesn't apply to those younger than 12.  

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Elections 2013
7:34 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Ghost Of Light Rail Drama Haunts Bellevue Races

Bellevue City Council candidates Steve Kasner and Kevin Wallace.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Light rail has been a contentious issue for the Bellevue City Council in recent years, with members divided on the project. Now the Eastside’s light rail line is in final design and no longer in doubt. But those light rail disputes are still campaign fodder for incumbent Kevin Wallace and his challenger Steve Kasner, one of three races for the council that will be taking place in November.

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Mystery Marine Killer
7:30 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Mass Starfish Die-Off May Be Headed For Washington

Disembodied arms of a diseased sea star near Popham Island, 12 miles northwest of Vancouver, B.C.
Courtesy Vancouver Aquarium

Scientists in two nations are on the lookout for an underwater epidemic that is killing starfish. 

In September, divers in Vancouver Harbour and Howe Sound near Vancouver, British Columbia, noticed the pizza-sized starfish known as sunflower stars wasting away and dying in large numbers.

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Timber
5:43 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Shutdown Halts Logging On Northwest's National Forests

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:29 pm

  Loggers are packing up and leaving timber sales uncut across the Northwest. It's another effect of the partial government shutdown. Timber companies say even if a deal is reached soon at the nation's capitol, the effects from the logging hiatus could be felt all the way into next spring.

Timber companies received letters from the Forest Service telling them to cease operations. That's because the employees who oversee and inspect timber sales were furloughed.

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Northwest Arson Cases
1:36 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Eco-Saboteur Changes Plea To Guilty For Role In Firebombing Spree

Booking photo of Rebecca Rubin
Multnomah County Jail

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 3:11 pm

An eco-saboteur charged in a fire-bombing spree that spanned the American West changed her plea in federal court on Thursday.  Rebecca Rubin pled guilty to conspiracy and multiple counts of arson. 

Rubin is now 40 years old. When she was in her twenties, she joined a cell of radical environmentalists loosely affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front.

Federal investigators blame the shadowy cell for around 20 arsons spanning five Western states. The attacks happened between 1996 and 2001.

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Public Education Funding
1:36 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Wash. Schools Superintendent Proposes Taxes For Education

Randy Dorn
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 2:14 pm

Washington schools chief Randy Dorn says the time has come to raise taxes to increase funding for public education. And he’s prepared to lead the fight.

Dorn styles himself as a bit of a maverick. He says his job is to make adults uncomfortable. He recently gave the legislature a grade of "incomplete" for its first down payment on a Supreme Court decision that says Washington is not adequately funding public schools.

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North Korea Prisoner
1:34 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Kenneth Bae And Mom Embrace In Tearful North Korea Hospital Reunion

Kenneth Bae, right, an American man detained in North Korea for the past 11 months, and his mother Myunghee Bae met at the Pyongyang hospital where Bae has been receiving care.
Credit AP Photo/The Choson Sinbo, Mun Kwang Son

When Myunghee Bae stepped into the hospital room in North Korea on Friday, she wept as she embraced her son.

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Maritime Law
1:14 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Luxury Yachts Steer Clear Of Washington State Taxes

Serene has been at Pier 90 in Seattle since August 18.
Flickr Photo/Drewski2112

A 440-foot superyacht named Serene is approaching a deadline date with Washington’s tax authorities.

If it cruises through that deadline by staying longer than 60 days, its owners will have to pay 10 percent of the yacht’s value, which is $30 million. 

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Shutdown Activities
12:49 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

NOAA Continues Only Essential Work In Seattle: Feeding The Fish

Access to the NOAA Sandpoint facility in Seattle is restricted to a skeleton crew of employees who are considered essential.
KUOW Photo/Audrey Carlsen

Paychecks and research have come to a halt at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle due to the partial government shutdown. Some NOAA researchers have been given special dispensation to come in to work only to feed the fish and invertebrates they study.

Morale at NOAA is pretty low for the skeleton crew that continues to come in to forecast the weather. So on Thursday they held a potluck to raise their spirits, serving up dishes with names like sequester quencher soda and filibuster parfait.

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Mental Health
8:00 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Assaults Are "Constant Disruption" At State Mental Hospitals

The main entrance of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash.
John Ryan KUOW

Violence is a “constant disruption” at the state’s two main psychiatric hospitals, according to a new report jointly commissioned by The Department of Social and Health Services and the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW union that represents much of the front-line staff at the hospitals. 

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Nobel Peace Prize
7:41 am
Fri October 11, 2013

What You Need To Know About The Group That Won The Nobel

U.N. chemical weapons experts carry samples collected on Aug. 28 from a site of an alleged chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital Damascus. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is dismantling Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 8:40 am

The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday awarded the 2013 peace prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a group that's only recently been thrust into the spotlight as it works to dismantle Syria's chemical program.

The OPCW, which is based at the Hague, was established in 1997 and now has an annual budget of $100 million and a staff of about 500 people. Here's a profile of the group.

Where is the OPCW working?

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