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Prison bars file photo.
Flickr Photo/Neil Conway (CC BY2.0)

A few years ago Theresa Nolte fell in love with Kelly Beard, an inmate at the Monroe Correctional Complex. Nolte was a prison staffer.

Consensual or not, sexual contact between prison staffers and inmates is illegal.

Special, important, brilliant: That’s the rave review from Nancy Pearl for this week’s reading pick, and she doesn’t use those words lightly. The book is “The Sympathizer,” by Viet Thanh Nguyen,  an associate professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicities at USC who was born in Vietnam and came to the United States as a refugee in 1975.

His novel follows an unnamed main character from South Vietnam who acts a spy for the North around the end of the war.

Pearl told Marcie Sillman on KUOW’s The Record that it should be on everyone’s must-read list, but it’s not an easy read.

“It is laugh-aloud funny in many places and terrifying and harrowing to read in other places,” she said. “But it took a lot for me to read it. It took a lot of compartmentalizing on my part.”

Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Only around half of Washington students passed the new state tests in math and English.

That’s a big drop in scores from the old tests. But it’s what schools officials had predicted for the new Common Core assessments.

The Shell Oil drilling rig Polar Pioneer sits on a transport vessel in Port Angeles, Wash., this spring.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The federal government on Monday gave Royal Dutch Shell the final permit it needs to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska's northwest coast for the first time in more than two decades.

Former NAACP chairman Julian Bond takes part in the "Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement" panel during the Civil Rights Summit on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)
AP Photo/Jack Plunkett

Julian Bond, a leading civil rights activist and anti-war campaigner who helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and later served as chairman of the NAACP, has died at age 75.

In 2008, Bond spoke with Steve Scher, then host of the KUOW program Weekday. He told Scher that nonviolence was an “overwhelmingly effective weapon.”

Neighbors, police and pastors gather at a vigil for Torrence Spillers.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Get outside. Talk to your neighbors.

That’s the advice of Minister Gregory Banks of First A.M.E. Church.

He was talking about the recent spate of shootings in central and south Seattle. Shooting incidents in the city have increased 33 percent over last year.

A drive-by shooting has claimed the life of another young, black man in Seattle’s Central Area.

Police said the 24-year-old man was walking his dog when he was hit with multiple gunshots around 7:30 p.m. Thursday near the corner of 26th Avenue East and East Columbia Street.

Two teenagers in Kivalina, Alaska, play near a skinned polar bear. Scientists predict Kivalina, an Alaskan village, will be the first casualty of climate change and sea rising in the U.S.
Suzanne Tennant

President Barack Obama is coming to Alaska later this month.

The White House released a video Thursday morning to explain why he will be the first sitting president to visit Alaska’s Arctic. 

The folksy video (it starts with the president saying, “Hi, everybody”) features dripping glaciers, raging wildfires and Alaska Natives hanging salmon to dry.

Seattle police have arrested a suspect in a recent gang-related shooting in the New Holly neighborhood.

The arrest is connected to a drive-by shooting two weeks ago that left 20-year old Zakariya Issa dead on the street.

My Parenting Advice: Don't Kill Them

Aug 14, 2015
Ijeoma Oluo
Courtesy of Ijeoma Oluo

Editor's note: This essay contains strong language.

Having had kids before most of my friends, I’ve now reached the stage in life when many in my circle are coming to me for parenting advice.

“Your boys are so fun, so precocious, so well-mannered. What’s your secret?” they ask.

“Don’t kill them.” I answer.

'The Blog' is indicated by dark orange on the West Coast of the U.S. The Blob is a patch of warm water that was detected by a University of Washington climatologist in 2013.
Courtesy of Nick Bond

Warm, dry weather will probably continue in the Pacific Northwest -- and may last until at least next spring.

New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates the warming ocean phenomenon in the Pacific, known as El Nino, is getting stronger.

Mountlake Terrace resident Jennifer Calnon, 67, recently discussed her advance directive with her doctor. Starting January, Medicare plans to pay physicians for end of life counseling.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

For Jennifer Calnon, end-of-life discussions boil down to this: “This is my life,” she says. “I should be the one who gets to make the decision.”

Calnon, of Mountlake Terrace, is 67 years old and fairly new to retired life. These days she has a list of projects she wants to finish. Like finishing the pillowcase she started years ago for her daughter’s birthday and cleaning out her junk room. 

Foss Maritime tugs pull the Polar Pioneer past downtown Seattle on the way to Terminal 5 on Thursday, May 14, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Shell’s Polar Pioneer, briefly a resident at the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5,  is drilling for oil in the Chukchi Sea. The question is whether the rig can return to Seattle this fall -- and whether it can stay the winter. 

The Port of Seattle and Foss Maritime Co. are appealing a city decision to try to stop the rig. A city examiner is hearing arguments about what should happen next.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle; All Rights Reserved

As World War II came to a dramatic end 70 years ago on Aug. 14, the role that the Northwest played in the conflict was fully revealed in the aftermath of the atomic bombing in Japan.

Former PNB dancer Ariana Lallone at Teatro Zinzanni.
Courtesy of Teatro Zinzanni/Michael Doucett

She may kill me for revealing her age, but what the heck? 

Ariana Lallone is 47 years old, and she’s as striking and vibrant as the first time I saw her dance with Pacific Northwest Ballet 20 years ago.

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