News

Hanford Cleanup
11:26 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Some Hanford Water Cleanup Exceeds Expectations

CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 5:02 pm

Cleanup of a hazardous chemical called hexavalent chromium in the groundwater at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington is going faster than expected.

Hexavalent chromium is the nasty stuff that made Erin Brockovich famous down in California. The chemical was used to inhibit rust in coolant water in Hanford’s reactors. But that water was dumped into the desert, and now the cancer-causer is making its way toward the Columbia River in large groundwater plumes.

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Duwamish Contamination
10:44 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Time To Speak Is Now On $305 Million Duwamish Cleanup Plan

People in communities along Seattle's Lower Duwamish River, a superfund site, came together to learn about the EPA's proposed cleanup plan, open for public comment until June 13.
Earthfix / Ashley Ahearn

A century’s worth of contamination in Seattle's only river is about to get a $305 million cleanup. Before finalizing a decision on the proposed plan, the Environmental Protection Agency is asking the public to weigh in.

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Standardized Testing
6:00 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Seattle Schools Chief Scales Back Controversial MAP Test

COCOEN daily photos Flickr

The standardized test that inspired boycotts by teachers across Seattle School District will be scaled back next school year.

In a letter to district staff today, Superintendent Jose Banda announced that the Measures of Academic Progress test will still be required in kindergarten though eighth grade, but it will be optional at the high school level.

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Guilty Verdict
3:27 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Guilty Verdict At JBLM In Trial Of Sgt. Accused of Baghdad Shooting Spree

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 11:39 am

A case that featured harrowing testimony of combat-related mental illness ended Monday with a guilty verdict. Army Sergeant John Russell was convicted for murdering five fellow servicemen at a military mental health clinic in Baghdad in 2009.

A military judge found the 48-year-old Texas native guilty of premeditated murder. A public affairs spokesman at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma says Sergeant Russell showed no visible reaction.

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Gun Buyback
1:12 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

McGinn: Next Gun Buyback In Seattle Will Be Different

Sometime this summer, the Seattle Police Department is expected to hold another gun buyback event. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said there was enough money left over from private donations for the first event in January to hold a second buyback.

Like the first time, people who turn over firearms will be rewarded with a gift card. And this time, McGinn said the SPD will better organize and structure the event, to deal with things like the informal gun market that cropped up just outside the January event and some negative community response.

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Unauthorized Immigrants
10:24 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Wash. Dreamers Pin Hopes On Special Session

Students wave signs at an immigration rally in Seattle on May 1, 2013.
Liz Jones KUOW

As lawmakers reconvene in Olympia Monday, the headliner is the state budget, but momentum is building to get the Washington State Dream Act added to the lineup too.  Under the measure, young immigrants who are living in the US illegally would become eligible for college financial aid.

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State Budget
10:06 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Washington Special Session Starts With No Budget Deal

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:20 am

  The Washington legislature reconvenes Monday for a 30-day special session. But there’s still no budget deal in sight – despite a two week break to negotiate.

Senate budget chair Andy Hill, a Republican, says both sides are “working in good faith.” But “true negotiations” have yet to begin. That’s because the House, Senate and governor are still working to agree on the basic assumptions for the next two year budget.

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Sobriety Checkpoints
9:36 am
Mon May 13, 2013

The Constitutional Question Of Sobriety Checkpoints In Washington State

Flickr Photo/Greg Matthews

Correction: The broadcast version of this story states that the Fourth Amendment protects against illegal search and seizure, when in fact it protects against unreasonable search and seizure. 

Washington’s lawmakers are debating new penalties for driving under the influence during a special legislative session beginning Monday.

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Intimidation At Work
4:12 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

Farm Worker Harassment Draws Increased Scrutiny

Farm workers picking strawberries.
Flickr Photo/Au Zut

In her green minivan, Angelica Villa navigates the farm roads north of Bellingham like a seasoned tour guide. She points out a cannery, a potato plant and miles of berry fields.  Villa previously worked at many of these places and she rattles off story after story about harassment on the job.

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Details From Pyongyang
3:00 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Kenneth Bae Convicted For Christian Mission To North Korea

A South Korean man watches a television news program showing Kenneth Bae at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 2, 2013.
AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

North Korea said through its government news agency Friday that Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood, Wash., used his tour company as a front to bring a Christian mission within its borders. Bae was arrested in North Korea in November 2012 and was sentenced last week to 15 years of hard labor on charges of subverting the North Korean government.

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Seattle Start-ups
11:56 am
Fri May 10, 2013

GeekWire's John Cook: Seattle's Start-up Businesses Get A Boost

John Cook, Co-founder of Geekwire
Credit John Cook

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced a new start-up business initiative Thursday May 9  to support and boost technology business start-ups in Seattle. Technology reporter and GeekWire co-founder John Cook was part of the advisory group that aided the city’s process.

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Employment Discrimination
9:49 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Washington Exemption For Faith-Based Employers Challenged

The State Supreme Court today heard arguments in a case that could decide whether faith-based employers in Washington have some exemption from the state’s anti-discrimination law.

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Strength Of Evidence
9:45 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

King County Wants Derailed Death Penalty Case Back On Track

Prosecutor James Whisman delivering oral arguments in State of Washington v. Joseph T. McEnroe & Michele K. Anderson, May 9, 2013.
TVW

The Washington Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in the case of the Christmas Eve murders of six people in Carnation in 2007.

The central issue in this case is when prosecutors should consider the strength of the evidence against defendants in a capital murder case. The parties differed on whether evidence should be a consideration in deciding to seek the death penalty.

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Data Security
3:39 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Washington Courts Announce Potential Massive Data Breach

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 3:20 pm

A hacking incident involving Washington’s court system could affect upwards of a million people. The Administrative Office of the Courts announced that hackers breached its public website sometime last fall or early this year and social security and potentially driver license numbers were accessed.

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Genital Herpes
12:14 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Seattle Scientists Identify Cells That Could Lead To Herpes Vaccine

Scanning electron micrograph of a red blood cell (left), a platelet, and a T lymphocyte (T cell).
NCI-Frederick Photo

Scientists at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have found a class of cells they think suppresses herpes. This could explain why some people have no symptoms or lesions when the virus is reactivated. It also changes the way scientists understand how the virus works.

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