government

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers in the Washington legislature launched a move Tuesday to ban powdered alcohol.

Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler says Premera Blue Cross has been cooperating with an investigation of a cyberattack that exposed data on millions of customers.

Kreidler hopes the investigation will reveal exactly how 11 million customers had their social security numbers and medical information compromised.

A grain handling facility in Eastern Washington has been leaking chemicals into the only source of drinking water for a local school district. The Environmental Protection Agency now wants to add it to the Superfund list of hazardous waste cleanup projects.

Congressional Democrats from up and down the West Coast are asking the House Appropriations Committee to allocate more money for a new earthquake early warning system.

The warning system uses sensors to detect the initial, less destructive waves of an earthquake.

So it doesn't give much advance notice. Somewhere between a few seconds and a minute.

Gloria Hoeppner holds her VA choice card with her husband Earl Kornbrekke at their home in Friday Harbor, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Twice as many veterans in rural areas will be able to go to a doctor near their home after a policy change made Tuesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The change follows a scathing report less than 24 hours earlier on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," which featured a KUOW story.

The Idaho House passed an anti-bullying measure Monday after some impassioned pleas from several lawmakers -- who talked about the experiences of their own children.

The federal probe involving Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley continues to expand.

In this 2012 file photo, Troy Kelley, the Democratic candidate for state auditor at the time, takes questions at a debate.
Flickr Photo/Daniel Brunell (CC-BY-NC-ND)

If you're confused by the headlines about the investigation into Troy Kelley, Washington state's auditor, you're not alone. Below, we unpack the news and put it in context. 

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley said he is "puzzled" by the federal government's investigation of a real estate escrow and title business Kelley closed before he took office in 2013.

The federal probe involving Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley is casting a wide net.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced his bid for president early Monday. The Republican has been making the rounds with other 2016 hopefuls, so it's hardly a surprise, but he's the first major one to make it official. And if the early campaign trail is any indication of how the race will play out, Cruz, 44, will be exactly who he's always been. He's relatively new to public office, having been elected to the Senate in 2012. But he has made his career — and attracted support from the right's base along the way — as a staunch defender of conservative values.

Here's what you need to know:

The U.S. Supreme Court is tackling a question of great interest to America's auto-loving public: Whose speech is that on your specialty license plate? Specifically, when the government issues specialty tags at the behest of private groups or individuals, can it veto messages deemed offensive to others?

The Washington State Auditor’s office has released a federal grand jury subpoena it received earlier this month.

Federal agents searched the home of Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley on Monday. Now, the Democrat’s office confirms it turned over documents to the U.S. Department of Justice Thursday in response to a subpoena.

Larenda Myres holds an iced coffee drink with a "Race Together" sticker on it at a Starbucks store in Seattle, Wednesday, March 18, 2015.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Why did the Starbucks race initiative bother us THAT much? Should you be able to smoke in a Seattle park? And should you fight wage discrimination by talking openly about how much money you make? (How much DO you make?)

Bill Radke analyzes this week’s top stories with former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, Northwest News Network’s Phyllis Fletcher and The Stranger's Eli Sanders.

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