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Senator Patty Murray in the KUOW offices, Jan. 2016.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Just days into Congress' new session, major topics are on the table.

Washington Democratic Senator Patty Murray says she will fight back against a Republican plan to defund Planned Parenthood. This week House Speaker Paul Ryan said he wants to cut off federal financial support to the health organization.

This heat map produced by real estate company Trulia shows the commute times for Seattle residents. The warmer the color, the longer the commute away from Seattle's core.
Screenshot with permission from Trulia

About 236 people move to the Seattle area every day, according to the Puget Sound Regional Council.

This means more people driving to their jobs, some more than an hour. About 100,000 people commute to the region from Whidbey Island, Aberdeen, Mount Vernon and beyond, according to the regional council.

This week, we're the target

Jan 6, 2017
'Week in Review' panel Joni Balter, Knute Berger, Eli Sanders and Bill Radke.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

The Washington State Legislature convenes on Monday and one of the issues on the table is a bill that would ban drivers from holding their phone while driving. Is this a necessity or distracted legislating?

The former head of the CIA General Michael Hayden said that by the end of Trump’s first four years in office, North Korea could have a nuclear weapon that would reach Seattle. Richard Ellings of the National Bureau of Asian Research says Seattle would be the perfect target. Is it time to move?  

Homeless RV
Flickr Photo/A. Kwanten (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Bv6MSo

It's cold for everyone this week in the Northwest - especially those who are homeless. An estimated 4,500 people are without shelter in King County alone, according to last year's one-night count.

Housing construction in Marysville.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

In Cora Milholland's lifetime, Marysville has grown from under 2,000 residents to over 60,000.

Since the time he arrived in the 1990s, Loren Cook says the population has tripled.

Six new developments have sprung up on all sides of  Nichole Cleland since 2004, when she moved to a new development in Marysville. 

Karam Maan says his Subway franchise has been hit hard by wage increases in Seattle
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Thousands of Seattle workers got a raise on January 1 when the city's minimum wage increased to $15 per hour.

The raise is for people working at Seattle's companies with more than 500 employees worldwide.

Ken Cage, president of the Marysville Historical Society, says important parts of Marysville history were bulldozed to make room for this mall.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Marysville is the fastest growing big city in western Washington because there’s space to build housing. But there aren’t many jobs in Marysville. So one in six people end up commuting more than an hour to work.

It's a bedroom community that failed to make itself over in the 1980s. Now it's trying again.


Washington state Senator Tim Sheldon says people in Mason County bought the economic message that Donald Trump was selling.
KUOW Photo / David Hyde

When you first hit the road from Seattle on your way to Mason County there are lots of signs that the economy is buzzing, like construction cranes, shiny new buildings and hybrid cars.

But when you wind around past Olympia into Mason County, you're more likely to see a pickup truck with a gun rack than a Prius. And the average wage in Mason in 2015 was about half as much as in King County.


Prosecutors filed charges Wednesday against the man accused of fatally shooting five people at the Cascade Mall in Burlington last September.

Arcan Cetin, a 20-year-old Oak Harbor resident, is charged with five counts of aggravated murder.

KUOW Illustration/Kara McDermott

If you live in Seattle, four democracy vouchers will soon arrive in the mail.

What to do with them? Ideally, you would be inspired by a political candidate and mail them your vouchers in lieu of actual cash.

White House 2014 World AIDS Day
Flickr Photo/Ted Eytan (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/2hT2Rem

Author David France faced the fear and reality of AIDS first hand as a gay man, an investigative reporter and a New Yorker. He was there when word of the illness spread through the gay community and was largely ignored by politicians, religious figures and the press.

He writes about that dark history and how a small group of activists forged a way out in “How To Survive A Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS.”

KUOW general manager Caryn Mathes
KUOW Photo

Journalism is so white.

That’s a criticism of newsrooms in America, and the numbers show that it’s true: In radio, just 9.4 percent of journalists are people of color.

Dixy Lee Ray, Washington state's first female governor. She was a Democrat who wore knee-high white socks and men's shirts and who refused to pull punches.
Washington State Archives/Harold (Scotty) Sapiro

Dixy Lee Ray wore white knee-high socks and men's shirts.

And when she ran for governor of Washington state, her motto was "Little lady takes on big boys."

She was blunt and brash, an outsider who didn't play well with others, but there was never any doubt where she stood. Seattle historian Knute Berger spoke with KUOW's Bill Radke  that Dixy Lee Ray was a little like President-elect Donald Trump.

photo courtesy of UW Innovative Programs Research Group

Heavy alcohol use and binge drinking are on the rise in the military. And many service members with a problem don’t voluntarily seek treatment.

Research from the University of Washington found that allowing soldiers to assess the impacts of their drinking confidentially can help them cut down.


Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/e4kQ16

Washington state Republicans split over their party's move Monday night to weaken Congress's only independent ethics watchdog. House Republicans quickly abandoned the move in an emergency meeting the next morning after a firestorm of criticism.


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