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Amber Larkins and Terry Jaeger of the Pierce County Medical Examiner's office hold up vessels containing unclaimed cremated remains.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When the nameless die, they often end up in a potter’s field, a common grave. In Pierce County, unclaimed remains or bodies get cremated and placed up on a shelf in the medical examiner’s office. 

But that shelf has gotten crowded lately. So medical examiner Thomas Clark decided to give those unclaimed ashes a respectable burial – at sea.

Lisa Southworth and her dad
Courtesy of Lisa Southworth

Nando Ferahaha was a real man.

Nando was 48 and newly slim, with a shaved head and a septum pierced with a ring, like a bull. He said he was an amateur body builder.

Nando said he was an active member in our metropolitan area’s search and rescue team. He had $10,000 of new REI gear to prove it.

A still from the music video Mississippi Misfit by Seattle band INLY.
INLY / Vimeo

The camera pans across four bathroom stall doors, revealing a set of legs in each.

It stops at the last stall, where no legs are visible. Instead, a muscular arm reaches down, and Seattle musician Mindie Lind lowers her body to the floor, to the beat of the tune she wrote, “Mississippi Misfit,” performed by her band INLY.

It’s part of Lind’s not-so-secret strategy to create a public conversation about what she calls “Crip Culture” – the issues that people with physical disabilities face every day.

Becoming A Man (Finally) At 48

Dec 18, 2014
Over the last two years, Kim has transitioned into a male body. He chronicled his transition in YouTube vlogs. This screen grab is from Aug. 4, 2014.
Kim Dogluv on YouTube

Nov. 8, 2012: Female To Male

I’m Kim, and I’m beginning my transition. Right now I’m pre-everything.

I’m 48 years old. I have been wanting to do this for 27 years. I put it off because I didn’t want to tell my family and parents. And also, not to name any names, but various girls I’ve known, some lesbians close to me, kind of put it out there that it’s not necessary. And I went with that instead of my gut feeling.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Woodland Park Zoo officials are looking for a new home for their two remaining elephants.

Last month, they announced they would close their exhibit and send their two female Asian elephants, 35-year-old Chai and 47-year-old Bamboo, to another zoo to be part of a larger social herd.

“It’s going to be a bit of a match.com, just in terms of personalities,” said Nancy Hawkes, Woodland Park Zoo’s general curator. 

A new Census Bureau report out Wednesday indicates the economic recovery is lifting children out of poverty unevenly around the Northwest.

A 44-year-old northern white rhino named Angalifu died this week at the San Diego Zoo of old age.

Now only five animals remain in this subspecies, all in captivity. Four are females. The lone male lives in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

So it would seem the northern white rhino is doomed to extinction. Poachers are to blame — they've slain thousands of the rhinos to get their horns, which are hawked in Asia as a health tonic.

A slowdown at Western ports is now aggravating farmers across the Northwest.

Joanne Hubacka has been doing hair for four decades at a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Getting your hair done can be good medicine. It’s one reason why Joanne Hubacka, 69, is so busy. For four decades, Hubacka has been fixing people’s hair at life care center, a nursing home in Kirkland. Her profile is part of an ongoing series of audio portraits of people who challenge our assumptions of old age. 

Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET

President Obama announced today the most significant change in U.S. policy toward Cuba in more than 50 years, paving the way for the normalization of relations and the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana.

Obama said "we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is making a high-stakes bet that it will prevail in a pending lawsuit over Snake River dredging.

Governor Jay Inslee unveiled a new transportation plan at a Eastside Transit Project site atop SR520 on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Governor Jay Inslee has been traveling around the state to unveil portions of his budget proposal. Tuesday morning he stopped in Medina, where workers are completing the Eastside Transit Project atop the 520 floating bridge, to announce his transportation plan.

Maria Moses of Dockside Cannabis in Shoreline, Washington, shows off a jar where customers can smell a marijuana sample.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

When you talk to the state’s licensed growers and sellers of marijuana, you discover that many initially opposed Initiative 502. They favored marijuana legalization, but they didn’t like the details of the initiative itself.

That was the case for Danielle and Juddy Rosellison of Bellingham, Washington. But once voters approved the initiative, Danielle said they jumped right in. 

“We got two mortgages on the two homes that we own," she said. "I called all our credit cards and told them I was going to put a BMW on it and they extended our limits to ridiculous amounts.”

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien, longtime opponent of the waterfront tunnel, has been pushing Washington State Department of Transportation officials to be more transparent.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Pioneer Square sank more than an inch, and Bertha the giant tunnel boring machine is still stuck, but state officials are putting on a happy face.

Washington State Department of Transportation officials returned to the Seattle City Council Monday to discuss worst-case scenarios for the waterfront tunnel project. Bertha, stuck under downtown Seattle for nearly a year, was mid-rescue when officials realized that buildings were settling deeper into the ground.

Yikes.

A condemned house on the edge of the Ledgewood Beach landslide on Whidbey Island.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

new report from the SR 530 Landslide Commission makes 17 recommendations for improving public safety in a state that is dotted with landslide-prone slopes. Recommendations range from mapping Washington state's most dangerous ground in detail to improving emergency response.

The independent commission set up in response to the deadly March 22 Oso landslide says more money is needed to prepare for slides statewide.

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