Patricia Murphy

Reporter

Patricia Murphy is an award-winning reporter at KUOW Public Radio in Seattle focusing on military affairs, veterans' issues and criminal justice. She began her career at WBUR Boston in 1994 and has worked at KUOW since 2000.

Patricia's most recent series, “Less than Honorable,” investigated how the military handles more than 3,000 sexual assault cases each year. Her 2011 collaboration with the Seattle Times, “The Weight of War,” looked at heavy loads carried by troops and the increase in chronic orthopedic injuries as a result; the series won a national award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism from the Association of Healthcare Journalists. She also received a national Edward R. Murrow Award for a documentary on IV drug use and has had her work recognized with awards from the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2012, Patricia was inducted into the Dart Society, a network of journalists who cover trauma, conflict and social injustice. In a briefing document accidentally sent to her by an Army public affairs officer, Patricia was described as “a professional, no-nonsense reporter who comes to the table fully prepared,” though her colleagues at KUOW might also describe her as the station cut-up.

Patricia holds a B.A. from Emerson College in Boston.

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Soldier Award
8:19 am
Tue July 30, 2013

JBLM Solider To Receive Medal Of Honor

Staff Sgt. Ty Carter.
US Army

A solider from Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Spokane-born Staff Sgt. Ty Carter of  will be one of only a handful of living American soldiers to receive the nation’s highest military honor. The Army says US troops were far outnumbered that day in 2009 at Combat Outpost Keating in eastern Afghanistan. During the battle the Army says Carter killed enemy troops and risked his own life to save an injured soldier pinned down by a barrage of enemy fire.

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Injured Troops
9:07 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Military Disability System Making Progress, Still Falling Short Of Goals

Sgt. Jake Koetje while on deployment to Afghanistan in 2010.
Credit Courtesy Sgt. Koetje

For soldiers who are injured or wounded, the process for determining whether they’re eligible for medical retirement is long.

Many, including the Government Accountability Office, say too long.

In a 2012 report to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, the GAO found that soldiers at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord and other military installations were waiting nearly 400 days to get through the system.

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Jail Officers Reinstated
4:12 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Wash. Department Of Corrections Ordered To Reverse Firings After Officer's Death

Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl was murdered at Monroe Correctional Complex in 2011.
Credit Washington State Department of Corrections

An arbitrator has ordered the state Department of Corrections to reinstate three staff members who were fired after Officer Jayme Biendl was murdered at Monroe Correctional Complex two years ago.

Biendl was strangled inside the prison's chapel by inmate Byron Sherf, who was serving time for rape.

After the investigation, three corrections officers were fired. One was demoted. The DOC accused them of misconduct, dereliction of duty and intentionally misleading investigators.

The union filed a grievance on their behalf.

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Sequester Furloughs
8:13 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Mandatory Furloughs Tough On Employees At Madigan Army Medical Center

Staff Sgt. David Kolodziejczak draws blood out of the arm of an ROTC cadet at the Madigan Army Medical Center (Joint Base Lewis-McChord).
Flickr Photo/Army Medicine

Correction 7/8/2013: A previous version of this story contained an error. Furloughs begin Monday, July 8, not Friday, July 12.

Beginning Monday, more than 2,600 civilian employees at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma will begin mandatory one-day-a-week furloughs.

The furloughs are a result of the federal spending cuts known as sequestration.

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State Supreme Court
4:08 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

State High Court Weighs Prosecutors Call For Death Penalty in Monfort

Washington's Supreme Court justices will decide if King County prosecutors can seek the death penalty against Christopher Monfort.

Monfort is accused in the shooting death of Seattle Police Officer Tim Brenton on Halloween night four years ago. One other officer was wounded that night.

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Troop Reductions
2:37 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Army Will Reduce JBLM Troop Numbers By Deactivating 4th Stryker Brigade

Soldiers from 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of JBLM prep their Stryker fighting vehicles and equipment for training.
Flickr Photo/The U.S. Army

The Army says Joint Base Lewis-McChord's 4th Stryker Brigade will be one of 10 combat teams deactivated nationwide. The move is just one part of the Army’s plan to reduce its forces as the war in Afghanistan winds down.

The brigade has about 4,000 soldiers. Nearly 350 of them returned home Sunday after a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan. Overall, the Army plans to reduce the force by 80,000 soldiers by 2017.

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Veterans Higher Ed
9:10 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Veterans In College Face Unique Challenges

Courtesy of the Husky United Military Veterans Facebook page.

Sam Talkington is cramming. It’s finals week at the University of Washington and he’s got an economics exam soon.

Talkington is majoring in finance at the Foster School of Business and he’s been feeling the crunch. “I have an extremely heavy course load right now,” he said. “I’m taking four courses and some stuff I’m not familiar with but becoming more familiar with as the days progress.”

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Judge Accepts Plea Bargain
2:50 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales Pleads Guilty To Afghan Murders

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales
High Desert Warrior

Correction 6/6/2013: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Staff Sgt. Bales was from Lake Tapps, Ohio.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the American soldier from Lake Tapps, Wash., charged with killing 16 Afghan civilians during night time raids on two villages last year, pleaded guilty Wednesday to avoid the death penalty. The judge, Col. Jeffery Nance has accepted his plea agreement which takes the option of the  death penalty off the table.

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Shooting Anniversary
9:01 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Legislative Session Yields New Mental Health Bills, Advocates Say More Needs to Be Done

Flowers and notes in front of Cafe Racer in Seattle. The cafe closed in remembrance of victims of last year's shooting.
Credit KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Seattle’s Café Racer is closed today in remembrance. 

It's been a year since a gunman shot five people inside the eclectic coffee shop and bar. Drew Keriakedes, Joe Albanese , Kimberly Layfield, and Don Largen were killed. The cafe's cook, Leonard Meuse, was the lone survivor.

After the gunman fled the scene, police say he made his way downtown where he  killed  Gloria Leonidas and stole her car before shooting himself in West Seattle. 

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Emergency Support
2:34 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Chaplain Training Academy Prepares For Support And Safety

Pastor Joel Ingebritson teaching a class for on-call chaplains.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

During an emergency, first responders are trained to work quickly to save lives. They’re deliberate and methodical.

People in emotional distress after a fire or accident need someone with different training. For them an emergency department may send a chaplain. The Police and Fire Chaplain's Training Academy in Seattle just graduated a new crop of chaplains for emergency departments around the country.

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Mental Health Crisis
10:02 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Pierce County Judge Says Boarding The Mentally Ill In ERs Violates State And Federal Law

A Pierce County Superior Court judge said Monday that temporarily boarding the mentally ill in hospital emergency rooms without treatment violates state and federal law. County and state attorneys have asked for the ruling to be put on hold while they appeal.

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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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Military Sexual Assault
9:56 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Washington Senator Patty Murray Introduces Bill To Combat Military Assault

Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, chief of sexual assault prevention in the Air Force, was arrested and charged with sexual battery over the weekend.
Arlington County Police Department

The latest report on military sexual assault from the Department of Defense shows a sharp increase in assaults from previous years.  For fiscal 2011, the military estimated there were 19,000 cases of sexual assault, while 3,192 cases were reported. In fiscal 2012, the estimate spiked to 26,000 cases, with just 3,374 cases reported. The estimates are based on surveys given by the DoD to military service members.

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Monitoring DUI Offenders
10:52 am
Fri May 3, 2013

DUI: The Challenge Of Repeat Offenders

Todd Ossorio was killed by a drunk driver while riding his bike in Kent on December 23, 1992. His brother, David Ossorio, speaks about his death during victims' impact panels around King County.
Credit Photo courtesy of David Ossorio

After 20 years in the business, Lenny Padayao has seen it many times: Alcoholics gaming the system to avoid addressing their disease. “The alcoholic, they’ll do everything they’re required to do by cheating,” he says. “You have to keen in on these guys, because if you don’t you’ll never catch them.” 

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DUI Law Compliance
10:50 am
Thu May 2, 2013

DUI Monitoring And Enforcement: An Imperfect System

Drivers convicted of an alcohol related DUI are required to install a breathalyzer device in their vehicle. Since January they're also required to install cameras so that the test taker can be verified.
Credit KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Washington state lawmakers are poised to impose tougher laws against drivers caught driving drunk. They were moved to action following two fatal crashes involving drivers with previous DUIs.

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