government

'Criminal Mischief'
9:22 am
Thu December 26, 2013

New Laws In Washington: Rioting Gets Name Change, Seahawks Fandom Licensed

November 1999 photo of WTO protests in Seattle.
Isabel Esterman Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:36 pm

After January 1, rioting will still be a crime in Washington. But it will get a new name. And Seahawks fans will have a new way to show their loyalty to the team.

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Sobriety Tests
9:21 am
Thu December 26, 2013

New Year Brings Sobriety Testing For Repeat Drunk Drivers

Officer Durbin of the Portland Police Department tests volunteer Jennifer Van Vleet for blood alcohol level in this 2009 file photo.
Oregon Department of Transportation

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:59 pm

Repeat drunk drivers in Washington who get arrested in the New Year may find themselves ordered to blow into a breathalyzer twice a day.

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Marijuana
10:13 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Which Plants Will Kick Off Legal Pot Sales? State Regulators Don't Want To Know

Credit Credit Katherine Hitt / Flickr

State officials promise that Washington’s new legal marijuana market will be airtight, and that plants will be tracked “from seed to sale.”

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Prisons
8:01 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Recruiting Prison Health Care Workers Could Get Harder Under Affordable Care Act

Eric Larsen is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner for the Washington Department of Corrections.
Eric Hernandez Washington Dept. of Corrections

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 9:21 am

It’s no easy task to find doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to take a job in a prison. The stigma alone is a major barrier. Not to mention concerns about personal safety.

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SR 99 Tunnel
2:45 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Is An Ice Age Boulder Blocking Bertha?

Flickr Photo/WSDOT

Jeannie Yandel talks with University of Washington geology professor Terry Swanson about glacial erratics and how one might be blocking the tunneling machine named Bertha.

Tech Trash
12:03 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Washington Recycles Millions Of Gadgets, But That's Barely Keeping Up

A worker at Total Reclaim pulls apart what has become known as "tech trash." Although Washington state recycles 100,000 pounds every day, it's still just a drop in the bucket.
Credit KUOW Photo/Jamala Henderson

The loading dock at Total Reclaim in Seattle is piled high with electronic discards: phones, old TVs and computer carcasses. It is also deafening: Computer boards are shredded, and trucks roar in with new loads.

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Marijuana Legalization
2:10 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Medical Pot Advocates Have Their Own Recommendations For Regulation

Flickr Photo/Goodiez

David Hyde talks with John Davis, medical pot advocate and CEO of Northwest Patient Resource Center, about his take on the liquor control board's recommendations for medical pot regulations.

The Week In Review
2:02 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

New Force Guidelines For Police, High Pot Consumption, And More From The Week In News

Flickr Photo/Crash Zone Photography

This week, Seattle Police announced new use of force guidelines that will take effect Jan. 1. Also starting in the new year, customers will be able to buy pot over the counter, and a report this week indicates that locals are consuming a lot more pot than the state had initially estimated.

We review these stories and more with news analyst Joni Balter, The Stranger's Eli Sanders and Crosscut's Knute Berger. Plus, Live Wire host Luke Burbank checks in from Christmas City, U.S.A.

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Transportation Budget
10:02 am
Fri December 20, 2013

No Deal On Washington Gas Tax Package, Talks To Resume In January

Governor Jay Inslee has a light moment with transportation co-chair Senator Curtis King, R-Yakima after announcing there is no deal on a gas tax package.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:50 am

Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s hopes for a gas tax package agreement before the end of the year have been dashed.

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Economy
10:02 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Governor Inslee Says Time For Statewide Minimum Wage Discussion

File photo of Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Christina Salerno TVW

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 10:02 am

 Washington Governor Jay Inslee says it’s time for a discussion on raising the state’s minimum wage - already the nation's highest.

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Labor
9:40 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Murray Appoints Task Force To Avoid Ballot Initiatives On Minimum Wage

Mayor-elect Ed Murray presents his "income inequality" task force.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

At a press conference on Thursday, Seattle Mayor-elect Ed Murray said Seattle must figure out ways to help low-wage workers, or it risks becoming a city of the rich. He has appointed a task force to study “income inequality,” but no one expects the process to be easy.

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State Legislature
3:22 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Tis' The Season Of Inaction In Olympia

Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova

Marcie Sillman talks with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about how many of Gov. Inslee's pet projects aren't getting off the ground.

Watchdog
1:09 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

State Deal To Give Media Organizations Student Data Alarms Privacy Experts

Students in a PE class at Salmon Bay K-8 School in Seattle. KUOW has learned that the Washington state schools office in Olympia has signed agreements to share non-public student data with media organizations.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Editor’s Note: This story has been changed to strengthen its focus on student data privacy. The original version, which contained more specifics from an agreement between the state schools office and The Seattle Times, left some of our readers mistakenly believing that their children’s names and Social Security numbers had been released to the Times. While the story did not say that, we want to remove any doubts. The agreement can be viewed below.

KUOW has learned that the Washington state education department has signed agreements to share non-public student data with media organizations including The Seattle Times and The Associated Press.

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Animal Rights
7:45 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Protesters Clash With Residents In Forks Over Dog Shelter

Images posted by two groups at odds over the conditions at the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, Wash., show starkly different portrayals of life in the shelter.
Credit From Facebook.

About 18 months ago, a volunteer at a Forks, Wash., animal sanctuary took photos of the shelter where she worked. She captured grim images of a rundown warehouse where the animals – mostly dogs but also reptiles – were housed, focusing on their cages, rib cages, feces and exposed wiring.

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Unemployment
7:31 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Long-Term Unemployed Scramble As Loss Of Benefits Looms

Job seekers look for work at the Worksource Oregon office in Salem.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 4:58 pm

About 45,000 people in the Northwest will face the new year without the unemployment benefits they've come to rely on.

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