public safety

Queen Anne hill in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/craterdweller (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/5tqcxH

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times reporter Jessica Lee about the growing trend in Magnolia, Queen Anne and Ballard of hiring private police to watch out for crime in the neighborhoods. Radke also gets reaction from Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on the trend of private police.  

On the surface, Flint, Mich., and Kabwe, Zambia, don't seem to have a lot in common.

They're half a world away from each other. One is a city of 99,000 in one of the richest countries in the world. The other is a city of 203,000 in a lower-middle-income country.

Making school buildings strong enough to withstand a major earthquake is one of the highest priorities for emergency planners on the West Coast. Washington state is taking small steps to identify the most vulnerable schools, while Oregon is actually spending to fix things.

A view from the Columbia Tower in downtown Seattle. Sheriff John Urquhart offered three tips on what to do if a shooter enters a building: run, hide or fight like hell -- in that order.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Three things you can do when a mean-mugging man with an assault rifle blazes into your office, according to King County Sheriff John Urquhart:

“The first is run,” Urquhart said. “Go out a back door, go out the front door if you can, break out a window, climb out a window.”

Plan B: Hide. Go into an office, barricade the door and keep quiet until you’re sure police are on the other side of that door.

Your third option is to be fierce.

Emily Au, right, a junior at Rainier Beach High School, walks home from school with her cousin, Rebecca Chung. Au says the walk is dangerous, and that some students skip class or show up tardy because they don't want to walk in the dark.
KUOW photo/Ann Dornfeld

When Emily Au walks to school, she worries about getting jumped – again.

Last time, it was a woman at a bus stop asking for bus fare. The woman didn’t take no for an answer.

Oregon should create an anonymous statewide tip line and a database of school floor plans. Those are some of the recommendations in a report released Wednesday by a task force on school safety.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli, grown in culture and adhered to a cover slip.
Flickr Photo/NIAID (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1MtIngO

The sleuthing is under way to figure out what has sickened at least 22 people in an E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants.

Health officials said Monday that they’re still unsure which food is responsible, but the number of cases is expected to rise beyond the 19 in Washington and three in Oregon reported so far. Seven people have been hospitalized in Washington, one in Oregon.

The state of Washington has issued workplace safety fines in a bridge demolition accident that killed a couple and their infant son. The fines announced Monday target four construction contractors.

Tsunami warning sirens wailed up and down the Washington coast Thursday. Students, businesses and medical workers drilled for an earthquake and tsunami as part of an annual event called "The Great Shakeout."

More than 1.5 million Northwesterners signed up to take part in this year's "Great ShakeOut" on Thursday morning. While "drop, cover and hold" is part of the annual earthquake safety drill everywhere, some coastal schools and offices followed up with tsunami evacuation practice.

The state of Oregon has updated its master plan for what to do in case of a major earthquake and tsunami.

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.

The site of the deadly Oso, Washington mudslide on March 22, 2014.
Flickr Photo/Washington State DNR (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to David Montgomery, University of Washington geology professor, about his geological recommendations for the state after last year's Oso landslide and how much progress has been made since the slide.

This week’s fiery oil train derailment in West Virginia has lawmakers thinking about oil-by-rail safety through the Northwest. There has been a dramatic increase in oil trains traveling through the region to reach West coast refineries.

traffic, transporation Variable speed signs on northbound Interstate 5 into Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Wendi Dunlap (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Mark Hallenbeck about the implications of reducing speed limits in Seattle. Hallenbeck directs the Washington State Transportation Center at the University of Washington.

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