Kate Walters | KUOW News and Information

Kate Walters

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2015

Kate is a daily news reporter at KUOW. Originally from Australia, Kate studied journalism at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology before coming to work in public radio. Kate began her career as a reporter with WXXI Public Radio in Rochester, NY, where she worked as part of a Local Journalism Center (LJC) called the Innovation Trail. At KUOW, she started as a producer on The Record before joining the news desk.

A few years ago, Nikita Smith was named in an eviction case by her landlord.

They ended up resolving the issue and she was never evicted.

But being named in the case was enough to disqualify her when she applied for a home in Renton in 2015.

Now, Smith has filed a lawsuit targeting the landlord screening policy that stood in her way.


Sound Transit bus.
Flickr Photo/wings777 (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/63X142

Sound Transit has agreed to work with the state legislature on concerns over car tab fees.

Voters approved an increased car tab tax when they voted for the Sound Transit 3 package in November. However, as car-tab bills began arriving, the increases shocked some voters. And there's growing outrage over the way the tax is calculated.

In just over 20 years from now, it's expected that one in four adults in King County will be 60 or older.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says the city needs to do more to address the issues faced by this growing population.

And one of the biggest challenges is affordability.

Prison jail bars
Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk (CC BY NC 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1MLz2Y5

King County executive Dow Constantine is calling for the creation of two new centers to help keep young people in King County out of jail.

In his annual State of the County address Monday, Constantine proposed two facilities, "Safe Spaces," which would provide services to young people dealing with challenges like homelessness, expulsion or low-level run-ins with the law.

A sculpture of the microorganisms that help treat wastwater at the West Point Treatment Plant at Seattle's Discovery Park.
Courtesy of Ellen Sollod

Workers continue their efforts to get the West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle up and running.

The plant was crippled by a flood last month and it continues to spew solid waste into the Puget Sound every day.

And restoring the plant's full treatment capacity relies on its tiniest workers – bugs: microorganisms that kill harmful bacteria and help in the treatment process. But there's a problem: These tiny little bugs are hibernating.

The City of Seattle says this homeless camp is a public health and safety hazard.
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Seattle is starting a pilot program to help decrease litter on city streets.

Part of that program will target trash generated by homeless camps. Officials are hiring someone to head up the pilot program.


Kurt Geissel, owner of Cafe Racer, says he needs to move on
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Seattle's Cafe Racer, where four people were shot and killed in 2012, is being sold. 

The cafe, bar and restaurant has been a fixture of the University District for years.

Lime green on the outside with velvet paintings hanging by the bar, it’s known as a popular meeting spot for local musicians and artists.


Dan Satterberg (left), Andre Tayor (brother of Che Taylor who was fatally shot by police), and former SPD Chief Norm Stamper at a community meeting.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Two Seattle police officers who shot and killed a 47-year-old African-American man last year will not face criminal charges.

Che Taylor's family called the decision disappointing. 

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said Tuesday that the officers acted within the scope of the law.

Sketch of a possible suspect in the shooting of a Sikh man in Kent.
Courtesy of Kent Police

The FBI and the Kent police department are asking the public for help.

They continue to investigate the non-fatal shooting of a Sikh man in Kent on the evening of March 3.

Now they’re calling on the community to help them identify a suspect and report any suspicious behavior.

People gather March 8, 2017 to remember the homeless men and women who have died on Seattle's streets in the past year
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray unveiled details Wednesday for how money from a proposed homelessness levy would be spent. 

The proposed property tax increase would raise $275 million over five years. The goals, as laid out by the city, are to get 5,000 people into stable housing, open up 5,000 new addiction treatment slots, increase mental health treatment, and increase outreach to get people off the streets and into services.


Mohamed Rashid Mohamed has lived in Dadaab for more than 20 years. He hopes to move to Seattle, where he has relatives.
Courtesy of Rwaida Gharib

In the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya, there’s a baby waiting to be vetted by the U.S. government. He’s just over a year old. And he’s the reason that his family is still living in limbo, instead of in Seattle.

To understand this story, we have to go back to March 2015.

Salam Abdi Hadul and Mohamed Abdi in Dadaab refugee camp
Photo courtesy of Rwaida Gharib

Seattle has a large Somali population. And some of those families have relatives in refugee camps who are directly affected by the Trump administration's travel ban. 

For refugees in the world's largest refugee camp — Dadaab, Kenya — the ability to immigrate to the U.S. has a profound impact not only on individuals who leave, but also on those they leave behind. 

Listen to the story above and see more of Kate Walter's coverage from Dadaab.

George Kerns is moving to another homeless camp. He knows it won't be the last time he's told to move on
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Work crews began clearing a homeless camp in Seattle's Sodo neighborhood Tuesday morning.

The city says the camp has become a public health and safety hazard. The closure also comes on the heels of two arrests for rape and prostitution in the camp.

Sahan Abdi Korane is tired of waiting. She's taking her family home. dadaab camp
Rwaida Gharib

DADAAB, KENYA — Here, at the largest refugee camp in the world, the name Trump is uttered hundreds of times a day.

Housing in the Yesler Terrace area.
KUOW Photo/Dominic Black

Just over half the households in Seattle are renters. And they may soon get a formal voice at City Hall.

Legislation to be introduced to the City Council this week would create a 15-member commission to advise on issues of development and affordability and represent tenant rights.

Danni Askini, the executive director of the Gender Justice League.
Courtesy of Danielle Askini

Washington state won't be directly affected by President Donald Trump's new policy about transgender students.

The administration said Wednesday that states should decide whether trans students should be allowed to use school bathrooms that match their gender identity, reversing guidelines issued by then President Obama.

KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Teen birth rates fell by 55 percent in King County between 2008 and 2015, according to officials.

County Executive Dow Constantine credits expanded access to long-lasting birth control and preventive care, as well as greater insurance coverage.

Flickr Photo/NASA Goddard Photo and Video

The command module that took humans to the moon for the first time is coming to Seattle.

The Apollo 11 module went to the moon in 1969. It's coming to Seattle's Museum of Flight in 2019 for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

Mohamed Rashid Mohamed has lived in Dadaab for more than 20 years. He hopes to move to Seattle, where he has relatives.
Courtesy of Rwaida Gharib

DADAAB REFUGEE CAMP, KENYA — Mohamed Rashid Mohamed has lived in the Dadaab refugee camp for more than two decades. It’s a sprawling desert camp, home to more than 265,000 refugees.

Seattle is a step closer to more civilian oversight of the city's police department.

Mayor Ed Murray announced Wednesday that long-awaited police accountability legislation is ready to go before the City Council. 

From left, Haider Kadhem, Sarmd Hady, Wafaa Fakhri and Mustafa Kadhem. Fakhri had gone to visit her sister, who is ill, in Iraq. She worried she wouldn't be allowed back in to the U.S., even though she is a green card holder.
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Nervous families gathered at Sea-Tac airport on Monday morning, three days after the president's executive order banning travelers from seven majority Muslim countries.

Muwafag Gasim, of Sudan and Seattle, was detained for five hours upon return from a family visit. Gasim is a construction engineer in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Muwafag Gasim, a construction engineer in Seattle, touched down at Sea-Tac International Airport at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday.

He lined up with his fellow passengers to present his passport and visa to U.S. Customs and Border Protection – a step required of passengers flying in from abroad.

Registered nurse Sammy Mullally holds a tray of supplies to be used by a drug addict at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday May 11, 2011.
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck

It's official: Seattle plans to be the first city in the United States to open a site for users to inject illegal drugs – without police intervention.

Some residents of the Jungle keep tidy encampments, like William Kowang above, while others live in garbage with needles strewn about.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

On January 26, 2016, five people were shot in Seattle’s largest homeless camp, a stretch of greenbelt under Interstate 5 known as the Jungle.

The shooting thrust the camp into the spotlight and city officials immediately vowed to shut it down.

In the intervening year, they've made good on that promise and the camp has been cleared. 

Elle Christensen watches the crowd for Seattle's women's march past her perch at Seventh and Jackson on Jan. 21.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Here's how big Saturday's women's march in Seattle was: The front reached Seattle Center (the end) before the back had left Judkins Park (the start). That's a distance of a 3.6 miles.


Protesters crowd into the University of Washington's Red Square.
KUOW photo/John Ryan

UPDATE 1/22/17, 1:25 p.m. The victim's condition has improved to serious. He remains in the intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center but is breathing on his own.

UPDATE 1/21/17, 1:31 p.m. University of Washington Police said they have released the shooting suspect taken into custody Friday night and that no suspects remain outstanding. 


Tonia Arehart offered some encouragement to the high school students and others joining a protest at Seattle Central College on Friday.
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

The day started with an inauguration viewing event at Town Hall. And Friday night, Seattle was wrapping up with a big protest at Westlake Park and another at the University of Washington.

In between ...

Leeching Tran with Lunar New Year decorations at Viet Wah Supermarket. She's worried the Womxn's March on Seattle will mean fewer sales
KUOW Phot/Kate Walters

Organizers expect up to 60,000 people to hit the streets for the Womxn's March on Seattle on Saturday.

The march is being held in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington D.C., and it will follow a 3.6 mile route from Judkins Park to Seattle Center.

File photo of a homeless encampment under a bridge.
KUOW Photo

Homeless advocates and two homeless individuals are suing the City of Seattle and the Washington State Department of Transportation over how they treat people's possessions when they clear out homeless encampments.

Soccer ball on artificial truf
Flickr Photo/Rupert Ganzer (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/mhyWMj

Washington state health officials say artificial turf that contains crumb rubber does not appear to cause cancer.

Crum rubber is commonly made from old tires.

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