public safety

Valley Fever
8:19 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Source Of Fungal Illness Discovered In Eastern Washington Soil

Coccidioides’ tube-shaped cells living in the soil can break into spores and go airborne.

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:57 am

A disease-causing fungus thought to be confined to the deserts of the U.S. Southwest has been discovered in soil samples from eastern Washington.

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Top Cop
5:15 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

The Three Finalists For Seattle Police Chief

Three candidates remain in the running to become Seattle’s next police chief.

Search committee co-chair Ron Sims says the short list became shorter by one candidate after the committee gave the four original finalists a written exam, conducted reference and background checks, and did intensive site visits.

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Earthquake Safety Measures
12:50 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Life In The Cascadia Subduction Zone

Credit Oregon State University (OSU) Press

Ross Reynolds speaks with Bonnie Henderson about her new book "The Next Tsunami: Living on a Restless Coast."

Just off the coast of Washington and Oregon is a fault line with potential to unleash an earthquake larger than the deadly magnitude 9 Japan quake in 2011 that triggered a tsunami.

Henderson tells the story about how geologists learned of the Cascadia Subduction Zone and how public officials have tried to adopt safety measures.

Spoiler alert: when you hear a siren, walk and keep walking.

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Public Safety
8:17 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Washington Schools Face Multiple Threats From Natural Disasters

A new draft report finds that Washington schools face threats from nine different kinds of natural hazards.

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 7:23 am

The Oso landslide, with 41 dead and two still missing, could be the the third-worst natural disaster in Washington history after the Stevens Pass Avalanche of 1910 and the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.

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'Re-Pressurizing' Volcanco
8:17 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Magma Rising Beneath Mount St. Helens, But No Eruption Imminent

File photo of Mount St. Helens

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 5:22 pm

Scientists monitoring Mount St. Helens confirmed Wednesday that magma is on the rise and "re-pressurizing" the volcano in southwest Washington.

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Disaster Preparedness
12:36 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Oso's Lesson For Emergency Managers: 'We're Not Ready'

Flickr Photo/Phil Rhoeder (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Eric Holdeman, a former Emergency Management Director for King County, about the lessons from the Oso slide response, and how they can help Washington State prepare for the next disaster.

Apple Patent
12:25 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Using Technology To Fix The Texting-While-Driving Problem

Driving while distracted by your phone is a nationwide problem. A new proposed phone function from Apple could play a big role in helping teens — and adults — avoid accidents.
Nils Kahle iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 2:29 pm

On a Wisconsin street, a woman in a white hoodie stands frozen in the act of stepping out of the road and onto the curb, her left hand reaching behind her. As part of a public service announcement, she explains why she's there, as string music slowly plays under her voice.

"I had my brother in my hand, and all of a sudden my hand was empty," Aurie says as a car drives past. Her little brother, 8 years old at the time of the PSA, was left paralyzed after being hit by a car driven by a texting driver.

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Public Safety
10:40 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Regulators Target Party Buses After Fatalities

Party bus owner William Prigmore says his industry helps keep drunk drivers off the road. But state regulators point to nearly two dozen fatalities around the country as evidence the industry needs more regulation. (Austin Jenkins)

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 12:30 pm

Prom season is coming up. That means tuxes, gowns and limos. But these days, an old fashioned stretch limo can look a bit stodgy.

The new rage is party buses. They carry more people and you can even stand up, dance and drink as you cruise down the road.

But these parties on wheels can come at a price. Nationwide there have been nearly two dozen fatalities on these buses and regulators say a crackdown on the industry is in order.

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Public Safety
1:24 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

EPA Cleans Up 'Chemical House' In Seattle's Green Lake Neighborhood

Containers were found inside and outside the house.
EPA Photo

The Environmental Protection Agency is working to remove hundreds of containers of hazardous chemicals from a Craftsman home in Seattle's Green Lake neighborhood.

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U-Drive, U-Text, U-Pay
8:04 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Statewide Special Patrols To Crack Down On Distracted Driving Starting Thursday

Flickr Photo/Skip&Nell (CC BY-NC-ND)

You’ve probably heard the slogan “Click It or Ticket” to promote seatbelt safety. Now, Washington state is joining in a new national campaign to target people who text and drive.

Special patrols will be out statewide, starting Thursday, with a new snappy slogan to add: “U-Drive, U-Text, U-Pay.”

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Oso Tragedy
11:58 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Dogs Most Effective Search Tool As Landslide Death Toll Mounts

Search dog Stratus leaps through a debris field while working with a handler on the Oso mudslide site.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Rescuers are employing high tech electronics to help locate buried victims in the Oso mudslide. But old fashioned tools have actually worked best according to local fire chief Travis Hots.

“In the last three days, the most effective tool has been dogs and just our bare hands and shovels uncovering people," he says. "The dogs are the ones that are pinpointing a particular area to look. We’re looking and that’s how we’re finding people.”

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Oso Mudslide
8:27 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Latest Landslide Science Not Connecting With County Planning

The cabin that Bonnie Brown's family built in the 1970s that was in the path of the Oso mudslide.
Credit Courtesy of Bonnie Brown

Bonnie Brown still has photos to remind her of the cabin her parents built in the 1970s near the Stillaguamish River. It was the kind of place that kids dream of.

“It was just a very beautiful place,” she said. “With beaver ponds and streams and meadows and trails through the wood.”

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Oso Tragedy
4:44 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Washington Mudslide: Fewer Missing As Death Toll Stays Put, For Now

There was a candlelight vigil Tuesday near the site of the mudslide that tore through the tiny community of Oso, Wash.
Rick Wilking Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 2:30 am

This post is being updated. Click here to jump to our latest additions.

Weary searchers resumed their dangerous work Wednesday near Oso, Wash., where it's thought at least 25 people — and possibly many more — died when a massive mudslide buried dozens of homes and businesses on Saturday.

Headlines and news outlets' updates helped tell the story as the day began:

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Oso Mudslide
4:28 am
Wed March 26, 2014

More Bodies Found In Mudslide Debris

The mudslide resulted in flooding of the Stillaguamish River east of the slide.
Flickr Photo/GovInslee (CC-BY-NC-ND)

It's another wet day of rescue efforts at the landslide in Snohomish County. As of last night, two more bodies were recovered, while eight more were located.

That brings the likely death toll to 24, though authorities are keeping the official toll at 16 until the eight other bodies are recovered.

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Oso Devastation
12:24 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Residents And Reporters Show The Human Face Of Washington’s Mudslide Via Social Media

A hand-lettered sign outside Darrington's grocery store thanks rescue workers.
KUOW Photo/Phyllis Fletcher

As the search continues through the debris for the dozens who have been reported as missing, people on the ground — reporters, politicians, volunteers and others — have shared their impressions from the catastrophic scene.

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