Sara Lerner

Reporter

In her role as reporter and afternoon news anchor, Sara responds to events as they unfold: from an approaching tsunami to unbearable gridlock during the Alaskan Way viaduct closure. Sara's reporting has covered a range of subjects including the Dalai Lama's Seattle visit, local controversies about racy coffee shops, and the ups and downs of real estate in the Puget Sound region.

In 2009, Sara was awarded a KUOW Program Venture Fund grant which supported her four–part documentary on human trafficking in Washington state. In 2008, her piece, "No More Lemon Bars For Voters," brought Sara a national award from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated. Sara continues to produce stories for NPR and radio shows like Studio 360 and Voice Of America. She joined the station in 2005.

Prior to her radio career, Sara researched cacao in the Costa Rican rainforest, worked for a Palestinian/Israeli co–existence group in Tel Aviv and visited nearly every country in Latin America. Her interest in travel stems from the same place as her passion for reporting: an intense curiosity about the world around us and the people who inhabit it. She says her motivation as a journalist is to continue asking questions and telling stories, truthfully.

Ways To Connect

Premera Blue Cross, a health insurer based in Mountlake Terrace, north of Seattle, said Tuesday that it was the victim of a cyberattack that could affect 11 million people.

The company said hackers gained access to its systems on May 5 and that it did not discover the breach until Jan. 29.

A large highway sign lies across the median on state Route 520 after a construction crane knocked it down. The sign struck a bus, injuring several people.
Sonny Behrends

Eight people were injured late Tuesday night when a construction crane knocked down a large highway sign on state Route 520, sending it crashing onto a bus, authorities said.

The injuries were minor but all eight people were taken to hospitals, the Seattle Fire Department said on Twitter.

The Washington State Patrol said the crane dropped a large steel pipe that bounced off the bus and hit the overhead traffic sign, causing it to fall onto the bus too. The incident occurred about 10:20 p.m. just east of Lake Washington Boulevard and blocked all lanes.

Susan Dean, 78, says doing her taxes by hand would be impossible without the IRS instruction booklet, which the IRS no longer widely distributes.
KUOW photo/Sara Lerner

Alert, tax prep procrastinators: You might want to force yourself to start earlier this year.

When the federal agency in charge of tax collection gets hit with budget cuts, there are problems – and reduced IRS services are creating real roadblocks.

A portion of a page on SBTickets.com, provided by the state Attorney General's Office, offers reassurances to potential ticket buyers for the Super Bowl
Washington Attorney General's Office

Yes, the Seahawks 2015 Super Bowl loss was heartbreaking for fans. We'll leave that in the past. But here's something new: The state is filing a lawsuit against one Super Bowl ticket vendor. KUOW's Sara Lerner reports.

A screen capture shows the South Sound Magazine website after a hacking attack by a group claiming to be ISIS.
South Sound Magazine

South Sound Magazine is among several businesses across the country whose websites were hacked over the weekend by a group claiming to be the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

NBC News reported that investigators were skeptical that ISIS was behind the attack, believing the hackers just claimed the affiliation to gain more attention.

On Saturday, the Tacoma-based magazine's normal website was replaced with an all-black background and a message beginning, "HACKED BY ISLAMIC STATE."

Newborn baby with big brother and mom.
Flickr Photo/Sheila Dee (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The City of Seattle may soon offer its employees four weeks paid leave to take care of a new child. Mayor Ed Murray and City Council Member Jean Godden laid out the details Monday at a news conference.

Godden said paid parental leave helps reduce the gender wage gap and that women who work and have kids will be better supported.

Ana Mari Cauce
Courtesy of University of Washington

The University of Washington has named its new interim president. As KUOW’s Sara Lerner reports, Ana Mari Cauce is a veteran of the institution.

The Seattle Aquarium Photo/Lesanna Lahner

The Seattle Aquarium has a new sea otter pup named Mishka – that’s “little bear” in Russian. She was orphaned in Alaska last July, after she got caught in a fishing net.

Now she's getting used to her new home. At the aquarium earlier this week, Dr. Lesanna Lahner stands among throngs of elementary school kids.

Michael Young at the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

As KUOW's Sara Lerner reports, President Young says he hasn't officially accepted the offer.

TRANSCRIPT

Michael Young says he hasn't accepted an offer but almost in the same breath, he says:

Young: "I am leaving, I believe, one of the greatest universities in the world and I believe I’m leaving it in very good hands and I believe it's on an extraordinary trajectory."

Young was speaking at a campus event Tuesday.

Samantha and Joel Manalang, owners of “Sweetpea and Boy,” at Seattle’s Fremont Sunday Market.
KUOW Photo/Sara Lerner

On an unseasonably warm Sunday in January, Seattleites at the Fremont Sunday Market seemed extra happy as they squinted into the stalls.

One vendor, Samantha Manalang, was also amped.  It's the build-up to a second Seahawks Super Bowl in a row, which is amazing of course, but also a boost to her small business. She designs and prints apparel, much of it sports-themed.

One item is a onesie with the top of the space needle on it and a 12th man flag flying on top. That simple image has become a surprising lesson in intellectual property law.

KUOW Photo/Sara Lerner

A dead gray whale was found floating under a ferry terminal in downtown Seattle this week. On Thursday, word was spreading fast about the enormous creature.

Kathy Powers, a dock worker, ran down to take a look between ferry trips. 

In this Nov. 20, 2008, file photo, the execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary is shown with the witness gallery behind glass at right, in Walla Walla, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Sara Lerner speaks with Robert Boruchowitz, one of the lead authors of a new Seattle University study released Wednesday that finds that Washington state cases where the death penalty is pursued cost the justice system a million dollars more on average.

"Natalie" sits in the kitchen of her parents house. She was 16 when she ran away from home and fell in love with a guy who turned out to be a pimp.
Courtesy Tim Matsui/ Alexia Foundation

The Long Night,” a documentary about child sex trafficking in the Seattle area, is being released online Monday. Sara Lerner speaks with filmmaker Tim Matsui, who says he believes exploiting minors in this way is a symptom of underlying causes.

21 Things RadioActive Learned At Third Coast

Nov 20, 2014
KUOW Photo

KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media recently spent three days in Chicago with 550 of the world's most talented  radio makers at the 2014 Third Coast International Audio Festival.

“I washed my hands next to [NPR health reporter] Alix Speigel,” said youth producer Madeline Ewbank. "Once [former Planet Money reporter] Alex Blumberg passed so close to me that I could've tripped him. Not gonna lie, I seriously considered it.”

Sara Lerner interviews Cooper Broggel, 16, who realized a classmate at The Center School had a Molotov cocktail, an incendiary device, at the school Monday. He describes the situation.

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