Isolde Raftery | KUOW News and Information

Isolde Raftery

Online Managing Editor

Year started with KUOW: 2013

Isolde Raftery became the online editor at KUOW in October 2013. Previously, she worked for NBCNews.com and the Columbian and Skagit Valley Herald newspapers here in Washington state. She has also written extensively for The New York Times, where she was a fellow on the Metro desk in 2010, The Chicago Tribune, Seattlepi.com and Seattle Business magazine.

Isolde was promoted to Online Managing Editor in 2018.

Born in Ireland to an Irish dad and a French mom, Isolde grew up mostly in Seattle, where she attended James A. Garfield High School. She later graduated from Barnard College in New York City and received a master's degree in literary nonfiction from the University of Oregon. 

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A man was killed on Sunday after a tree fell on his station wagon. A female toddler in the car was transported to Harborview with minor injuries.
Seattle Fire Department

A man was killed on Sunday after a windstorm pushed a large pine tree onto his car. He had been driving a navy blue station wagon in the upper loop of Seward Park.

Glass covers a sidewalk at the scene of a gas leak explosion in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood in the early hours of Wed., March 9, 2016.
KUOW Photo/Derek Wang

Update 12:20 p.m.

Residents and businesses affected by the natural gas explosion in Greenwood early Wednesday morning are waiting for word on when they can re-enter their buildings.

One of them is Daniel Miller. He lives in an apartment just behind the site of the explosion, over the Mexican restaurant Gorditos.

Donald Slyter, a resident of The Jungle, a homeless encampment in Seattle believed to have been around since the 1930s. It gets its name from the name for homeless encampments at the time -- hobo jungles.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

There’s a reason it’s called The Jungle.

It’s a stretch of woods between Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood and Interstate 5.

James Q. Tran, 33, and Jeannine L. Brooks, 45, also known as Jean Zapata, were fatally shot there Tuesday night; three others were wounded.

Jamie Steeb, a former nursing assistant at Overlake Hospital, filed a complaint with the Department of Labor about the 2010 nursing mothers law.
Courtesy of Jamie Steeb

Jamie Steeb’s breasts hurt.

Steeb was a nursing assistant at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue. She had returned from maternity leave and needed time to pump breast milk; when she didn’t get breaks, her breasts throbbed with pain. After a while, she said she developed an infection.

Michael J. Cody
BishopAccountability.org

The Archdiocese of Seattle on Friday named 77 Catholic clergy or religious order members accused of sexually abusing minors.

Those on the list served or lived in Western Washington between 1923 and 2008, the archdiocese said in a statement. The list includes names of priests that haven’t been disclosed publicly before.  

A photocopy of the Seattle Times' front page the day after 9-year-old George Weyerhaeuser returned home to Tacoma. A sports reporter found him in Issaquah and drove him home.
Seattle Public Library archives

It was the Northwest’s most notorious kidnapping case. Little George Weyerhaeuser had been snatched off the streets of Tacoma and held for $200,000 ransom.  

Eighty years later, Weyerhaeuser, the timber titan, told me he hadn’t read much news coverage about his kidnapping. 

He has a vivid memory of those eight days, he said, but he hadn’t dug through those old stories from 1935. He was 9 at the time, after all, and his parents wanted to leave the kidnapping in the past. They wanted him to grow up without this traumatic event hanging over his life.

Aliya, Batoul and Amina Al-Sadi. Aliya Al-Sadi, a student at the University of Washington, spoke with her older sister Amina, a KUOW producer, about how she processed the San Bernardino shootings.
Courtesy of Amina Al-Sadi

After the deadly shooting in San Bernardino, California last week Muslims across the country held their breath.

Was the shooter a Muslim? They hoped not.

ermine methow valley ashley siple
Courtesy of Ashley Siple

Ashley Siple, a cross-country skier, was spending the weekend in the Methow Valley when she spotted a tiny white creature bounding across the snow.

John Luther Adams
MELANIE BURFORD FOR NPR MUSIC

A Grammy-winning recording by the Seattle Symphony has caught Taylor Swift’s ear: The pop star just donated $50,000 to the symphony after hearing its performance of “Become Ocean.”

Swift wrote to symphony music director Ludovic Morlot praising the composition and reminiscing about going to her local symphony with her grandmother.

Shannon Braddock, left, and Lisa Herbold ran to represent District 1, which encompasses West Seattle, on the City Council.
KUOW Photos/Jason Pagano

West Seattle’s ballots from the November election will be recounted, the King County Elections department said on Tuesday.

That's because the race between candidates Lisa Herbold and Shannon Braddock is too close to call. Herbold led Braddock by 36 votes for the District 1 position. 

Lead zookeeper Hugh Bailey and zoo veterinarian Dr. Darin Collins take a close look at the newborn girl behind the scenes at Woodland Park Zoo.
Woodland Park Zoo

It’s a girl!

Nadiri, a 19-year-old gorilla at the Woodland Park Zoo, gave birth to her daughter at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Starchild Abraham Cherrix, 16, pictured with his parents, fought to be able to obtain alternative treatment to cancer.
AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

Teens as young as 12 can make their own medical decisions in certain states.

That’s because of the mature minor doctrine. The doctrine allows teens to get abortions, mental health care and drug treatment without their parents’ permission.

Dennis Lindberg was 14 when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He refused to received blood transfusions, which ultimately led to his death three weeks after he was diagnosed.Dennis Lindberg was 14 when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He refused to received
Skagit Valley Herald/Scott Terrell

The first time I interviewed Dennis Lindberg, he was alone on a weekday evening. He had just turned 12, and he had set out Saltine crackers on a paper towel and poured me a glass of tap water.

He sat up straight on the couch and folded his hands in his lap. “What questions may I answer?” he asked. He was polite, tall for his age, with light blue eyes and acne scattered across his nose.

Seattle City Council District 5 candidate Debora Juarez and Sandy Brown.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

We’ve been asking Seattle City Council candidates to answer whimsical questions.

What animal would they be? What magical power would they have? Who is their political hero?

Seattle City Council position 8 candidates Jon Grant and Tim Burgess.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Standing outside the KUOW station, we asked Seattle City Council candidate Jon Grant what he would do if he lost.

He would pay off his debt, he said. Then he paused.

Did we know that 54 percent of the city voted against his opponent in the primary? (Grant got 31 percent in the primary.)

Deborah Zech Artis, left, and Sally Bagshaw drove off in a car2go together. Bagshaw was driving Zech Artis to her car up the street.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The candidates in District 7 are both dog people.

Sally Bagshaw, the incumbent, used to have golden retrievers. Deborah Zech Artis has a blind bichon frise named Thomas Jefferson.

Seattle City Council position 9 candidates Lorena Gonzalez and Bill Bradburd.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Cringey.

That was the feeling inside the tiny booth off the studio during a recent Seattle City Council candidate debate.

Seattle City Council District 6 candidates Mike O'Brien and Catherine Weatbrook.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

The candidates for Seattle’s District 6 could not be more Seattle.

Catherine Weatbrook – she used to be a Tubs girl.

Tubs was a shady, windowless establishment in the University District that rented out hot tubs by the hour. It was rumored to be the best place in town to get a urinary tract infection.

Seattle City Council District 1 candidates Shannon Braddock and Lisa Herbold.
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Ten minutes before West Seattle candidates Lisa Herbold and Shannon Braddock arrived at the KUOW studios, host David Hyde paced around his desk.

A Seattle hospital employee works too far from the official lactation rooms, so she must find private spaces to pump. Often, that means she ends up sitting on the floor of a bathroom.
Courtesy of Anonymous

The lactation room wasn’t a room at all.

It was a corner of the lunch room in an old King County building in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood.

A shoji screen was set up for privacy, although cracks allowed people to see through. A vent blew in cold air.

The White House sent out this pool report by Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner.
White House local pool report

Our radio friends at KEXP and KNDD got some love from the Obama press corps when the president was in town last week.

Jim Brunner, a government reporter at the Seattle Times, was taking notes for local reporters. At 6:39 p.m., Brunner filed a brief report that was later shared by the White House press office. The motorcade had just left the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle, where Obama was fundraising for Sen. Patty Murray.

Bertha K. Landes served as mayor of Seattle from 1926 to 1928. She was Seattle's first and only female mayor -- also Seattle's first female police chief, according to journalist Emmett Watson.
University of Washington Digital Archives

Before Bertha was a boring machine stuck under Seattle, she was Seattle’s first female mayor.

In 1926, her campaign motto was “municipal housekeeping.”

Bertha K. Landes was her full name and “she was wonderful,” according to columnist Emmett Watson.

An injured person is taken from the scene of the Aurora Bridge bus crash on Sept. 24, 2015
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

The Duck vehicle had a fatal flaw.

As investigators picked through the wreckage that killed five students and left dozens badly injured, they saw the front left axle had been sheared off.

The tall ship Monogahela passes under the uncompleted Aurora Bridge circa 1931.
Library of Congress

When Mike Warren of Queen Anne turned on his TV Thursday, his gut tightened.

Four people had died in a collision on the Aurora Bridge beneath his house. Another 50 or so had been injured. They were international students enrolled at North Seattle College.

“I was going back through the craziness from when Jonathan died,” Warren said.

teacher salary education
KUOW Graphic/Kara McDermott

Standing outside Roosevelt High School on Thursday, a Seattle teacher held up the gold standard.

It was the tentative contract for Everett schools, which promises veteran teachers with a master’s degree and the maximum education credits nearly $100,000 by 2017.

A DC-10 flies over Chelan within hours of a wildfire starting on Aug. 14. Sunbathers on holiday watched as the fire effort took hold.
Flickr Photo/Ben Brooks (CC BY-SA 2.0) http://bit.ly/1KSv09n

It was a hot Friday morning when a bolt of lightning stretched out three fingers and hit Chelan Butte.

Then a deafening clap of thunder. Then several rings of fire appeared. They would morph into huge wildfires threatening Chelan, a tourist destination in central Washington state.

Ben Brooks, a digital media manager from Fife, Washington, started taking photos. His images are striking and remarkable because of the sunbathers in the corners of his images. 

A juvenile inmate crew from Naselle Youth Camp in Southwest Washington. There were 30 kids part of the fire effort until last week, when a 16-year-old broke free, assaulted one of his supervisors and stole a gun.
Courtesy of Juvenile Rehabilitation Adminstration

Crews of juvenile inmates have been sent to fight wildfires in Washington state since the 1960s.

Until a teen escaped last week, assaulted a supervisor and then shot himself, there were 20 youth working on the fire line at the Chelan Complex Fire in central Washington. Another crew of 10 made sandwiches and meals in Okanogan County.

Firefighters from Salem, Oregon, mop up hotspots on Judy Doran McBride's ranch near Twisp this weekend.
Courtesy Judy Doran McBride

Wildfire was roaring toward their 640-acre ranch near Twisp, but Judy Doran McBride and her husband stood their ground.

“If the fire comes our way, we’re going to stay and defend our home,” McBride told KUOW’s Marcie Sillman.

Tom Zbyszewski is seen in a family photo. His father, Richard, called it one of his favorite photos of his son.
Courtesy of Zbyszewski family

The three firefighters who were killed Wednesday in the Okanagon Complex fire in north-central Washington have been identified.

They are Tom Zbyszewski, a 20-year-old student at Whitman College; Andrew Zajac, a 26-year-old Forest Service worker stationed in Winthrop; and Richard Wheeler, 31. The three men were part of a five-person engine crew that got into a collision.

This photo from Aug. 16, 2015 shows several of the wildfires being fought in Washington and Oregon.
Courtesy of NASA

From space, the West looks like it’s on fire.

In Washington state, brown smoke obscures the Cascades in these photos taken by a NASA  satellite.

Most of the fires across the West have been triggered by lightning strikes, but years of drought have turned the forests bone dry.

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