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caption: An elections worker removes ballots from a ballot sorting machine on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at King County Elections in Renton.
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An elections worker removes ballots from a ballot sorting machine on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at King County Elections in Renton.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

KUOW Daily Digest: Over 11K ballots have issues and cannot be counted in King County

KUOW's daily news blog updates throughout the day with news briefs by KUOW journalists.

Check out KUOW's updates on the Covid-19 pandemic here

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30

Another good earnings report for Amazon

8:30 a.m. -- Amazon posted record sales and profits in the third quarter. Revenue was up to $96 billion -- a 37% increase from the year before.

Profits grew by a whopping 197% to $6.3 billion.

Analysts say Amazon's been able to capitalize on online shopping amid the pandemic.

But The Seattle Times reports that heavy spending on hiring and the costs associated with operating during the pandemic may cut into these profits in the fourth quarter.

Nonetheless Amazon is still expected to exceed fourth quarterly sales of $100 billion for the first time.

-- Angela King

More vote centers are opening up on Saturday

8:15 a.m. -- In addition to the six announced in King County, Snohomish County is opening up three voting centers on Saturday.

They'll be in Lynnwood, Everett, and Arlington. There will also be a voter center at the Snohomish County Auditor's office.

Drop by if you need to register to vote, update registration information, or have any questions about your ballot.

Voters can use one of the 30 the drop boxes in the county.

-- Angela King

National Guard will stage soldiers around western Washington ahead of election

National Guard preparing for possible election-related unrest in western Washington

National Guard preparing for possible election-related unrest in western Washington

8 a.m. -- The Washington National Guard is planning to "pre-stage" citizen soldiers around Western Washington in case there's election-related unrest next week.

The Washington State Military Department declined for "security reasons" to go into detail about the number of National Guardsmen involved or which places they will be staged during Election Week.

Agency spokeswoman Karina Shagren cautioned that the state has no intel to suggest any specific threat of unrest, but wants to be prepared to respond quickly.

"It is important to remember that the National Guard does not self-deploy," Shagren said. "The National Guard only sends help when it is requested from either local jurisdictions or local law enforcement. At this point, there have been no official requests for our support."

Earlier this month, the Washington National Guard announced it would train hundreds of additional soldiers in crowd control so they can assist in case of post-election violence. Other guard members previously pulled that duty in June at the height of racial justice protests in the Puget Sound region.

-- Tom Banse

Seattle superintendent responds to NAACP

7:45 a.m. -- The superintendent of Seattle Public Schools is now responding to calls from the local NAACP for her to step down.

Superintendent Denise Juneau spoke out about the controversy for the first time Thursday, saying she was surprised by the news. Earlier this month, the NAACP said she's not meeting the needs of students of color and has inflamed racial tensions within the district.

There were also claims that she's purged black male leaders from the district.

"Several of the men they listed chose to leave Seattle Public Schools for bigger and better roles in other districts and organizations," Juneau said. "A couple were asked to leave because of performance issues. Our district has actually surpassed its diversity hiring goal by an average of 10% in every category."

But leaders with the state chapter told KOMO 4 News they wound up in a better place because they had to jump ship. While Juneau said she respects the NAACP and is committed to increasing the diversity among the leadership and helping black students, she has no plans to step down.

Her contract expires in July. The Seattle Public Schools board president said the board would vote December 16 on Juneau’s contract.

-- Angela King

More than 60% of ballots returned in Washington

7:35 a.m. -- Early voting is way up this year in Washington State. More than 60% percent of ballots have already been returned statewide -- far more than during the same time period in 2016.

As of now, first place for early voting goes to Jefferson County on the Olympic Peninsula. More than 74% of ballots have been returned. That’s about a big increase from this time in 2016.

"This is an extremely liberal community. With a lot of old people. The county has the oldest demographic in Washington State," said Jason Victor Serinus, a writer who lives in Port Townsend, in Jefferson County.

In 2016 Jefferson County voters went heavily for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

Pacific County in southwestern Washington is a close second to Jefferson County. Most voters there picked Donald Trump in 2016. But they went for Barack Obama in 2012.

-- David Hyde

Seattle Council discusses SPD funding

Seattle Council continues budget discussions around SPD

Seattle Council continues budget discussions around SPD

7 a.m. -- The Seattle City Council set to resume debating Friday on how to change the police department in 2021.

On the table is laying off 35 police positions.

The measure to cut 35 SPD jobs, through out-of-order layoffs, is one of about 20 policing proposals the budget committee will review.

The Council already voted to eliminate dozens of positions, and if this one is approved, it will mean 100 jobs cuts overall in 2021.

The council already asked for these layoffs, but Councilmember Lisa Herbold says because of police union bargaining, they're not likely to happen.

So, this new request would order the police chief to immediately work toward making 35 layoffs.

Discussions are ongoing, but the final votes on the budget are expected in November.

The Council's discussions on this issue have been closely watched as activists call for cuts to the police department, by as much as 50%, and to divert that funding to community groups instead.

-- Paige Browning

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29

Latest statistics show continued spike in gun violence in King County.

3 p.m. -- Through the end of September this year, there were 59 fatal shootings in King County, according to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. That’s up nearly 60% from the previous three-year average over the same time period. There were 767 incidents in which shots were fired overall, a 15% increase from previous years.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said, “I recently was on a call with district attorneys from around the country and this is a national phenomenon.”

He said as in previous years, the shooting victims are disproportionately young Black men. The reasons for the increase aren’t clear but he said the pandemic is likely a factor.

“Young people particularly are not surrounded by the supportive environments that they usually are, they don’t have school they don’t have family and friends,” Satterberg said. “They’re isolated. And they’re anxious.”

Satterberg said he’s seeking $10 million dollars from the King County Council in new spending for community groups to intervene with young people at risk of gun violence. His office refers names of young people present at these encounters to organizations like Choose 180.

“We give them the names and then we trust them to go make a contact,” he said.

-- Amy Radil

The race to vote first in Washington State

2:45 p.m. -- Early voting is up this year in Washington State, and no place more so than Jefferson County on the Olympic Peninsula.

More than 70% of ballots have been returned there so far, which is about a 40% increase from this time in 2016, according to Sandi Eldridge with Jefferson County elections.

“It is a very energized and active population that is extremely aware,” said Jason Victor Serinus, a writer and performer who lives in Port Townsend in Jefferson County.

In 2016 Jefferson County voters went heavily for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

But early voting is also high this year in red counties in the state. Columbia County in southeastern Washington is a close second to Jefferson County with 67% of ballots returned. Most voters there favored Donald Trump in 2016.

Ballot return statistics are updated daily by the Secretary of State’s office at 5 p.m.

-- David Hyde

Six voting centers opening in King County this weekend

9:30 a.m. -- King County Elections is going to open six voting centers on Saturday to help people register, update their voter information, and deal with other issues like getting a replacement ballot.

In Seattle, a voting center will open at Century Link Field Events Center and the Dempsey Indoor Center at the University of Washington. Other centers are opening up in Bellevue, Kenmore, Kent, and Federal Way.

Just be sure to follow social distancing procedures and wear a mask. And if you don't have one, a mask will be provided for you.

-- Angela King

Renewed talk about safe drug injection sites in Seattle

8:50 a.m. -- A proposal brought before the City Council last month calls for letting people use opioids and other drugs under medical supervision at some existing social service and health care locations.

The Seattle Times reports that funding would come from $1.4 million the city had already set aside for a supervised drug use program.

In recent years, the U.S. Attorney in Seattle has said he wouldn't allow one of these sites to open in the city. City and county leaders have also faced bans on safe injection sites in places like Bellevue and Kent.

In a statement, the mayor's office said supervised consumption services will be in partnership with Public Health Seattle & King County.

-- Angela King

Two Murder Hornet queens found

8:10 a.m. -- The Washington State Department of Agriculture says it's captured two Giant Asian Hornet queens. They were located in the same nest that officials recently found in a tree near Blaine, Wash. That nest has been destroyed.

They used a vacuum to suck out 98 hornets from the nest over the weekend, but just found the queens (about two inches long) on Wednesday as they were taking down the tree in Blaine, They don't know yet if these were two virgin queens or if one was an old queen.

Ag officials say they've removed the section of the tree with the nest and plan to open it today.

-- Angela King

57% of Washington ballots turned in so far

7:45 a.m. -- The number of returned ballots keep rising, outshining the figures for the 2016 election. Nearly 57% of registered voters in Washington state have now turned in their ballots.

During this same time in 2016, 32% of ballots were returned.

Elections workers will be picking up ballots every day including Sunday at designated drop boxes.

Voters have until 8 p.m. November 3 to either get their ballot postmarked or placed in one of the drop boxes.

If your ballot is challenged you have until November 23 to correct it and have it counted. About 11,000 returned ballots have issues and cannot be counted. Read more about that below in Wednesday's updates.

-- Angela King

Rural voters in Walla Walla

7 a.m. -- This election season, Correspondent Anna King is making a 1,000-mile tour of rural Northwest towns to talk to voters. Today's stop -- Walla Walla.

Walla Walla began as native ground, then a frontier mission. Now it’s a college town known for elegant wine.

People here lean Biden, but everyone is anxious.

Trump supporter Wylie Warner is about to lose his job.

“Oh, I don’t think Trump’s gonna win," Warner said. "It’s who I voted for, but I don’t think he’s gonna win.”

“Finding a way to revitalize and bring hope to people is what’s really important right now,” said Rebecca Schwartz.

“I feel gloomy about the election," David Mumm said. "I think I am one of those guys who’s decided to settle for Biden.”

Kristin Hallak recently moved to Walla Walla to get out of Seattle. She’s undecided.

“For me, there is personally no perfect candidate,” Hallak said.

-- Anna King

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28

Council President González : changes to misdemeanor prosecutions should wait

1 p.m. -- Significant changes to prosecutions of lower-level crimes in Seattle may be on hold for now.

Last week Councilmember Lisa Herbold proposed amending the city budget to change Seattle’s criminal code. The proposed change would allow defendants to argue that if they commit a misdemeanor crime in order to meet basic needs, or while suffering from a mental health or substance use disorder, the case should be dismissed. The defense would not apply in cases of domestic violence or driving under the influence.

In a hearing Wednesday, Seattle City Council President Lorena González said this legislation should wait because the changes aren’t specifically budget-related, and council staff don’t have time to analyze their impact. “It is too much, I think, to ask [staff] to add this first-in-the-nation legislation to their workload on top of the budget obligations that they currently have,” she said.

González said she supports the intent to reduce prosecutions for people struggling with poverty or addiction. But she said the policy changes should be analyzed in Herbold’s public safety committee once the city budget is completed in late November. Councilmember Andrew Lewis agreed, saying, “We should take a step back, commit to doing it right, and make sure we can do it without hyperbole, exaggeration, or unfair attacks.”

-- Amy Radil

King County Elections officials: About 11,000 ballots have signature issues

11:45 a.m. -- King County Elections officials say more than 11,000 ballots submitted so far have issues and cannot be counted. But they say the problems can be easily fixed.

County Elections’ chief of staff Kendall Hodson says for most of the problem ballots, the issue is the signature is missing or doesn't match what the county has on file.

“We recommend folks go to our website, kingcounty.gov/elections, and then they can actually download the form they need to resolve that right off that page, so that’s gonna be the fastest way," she said in an interview Wednesday.

Hodson says county election workers will also call, email, or snail-mail every person who has a ballot issue.

Signature corrections don’t have to happen until the ballots are certified, which is three weeks after election day.

Nothing else on the ballot can be changed, including the votes.

Hodson also says the fact that so many people have voted early will help them resolve these sooner, and means less pressure on the elections staff.

People who need to resolve more complex issues, or register to vote, can do so at the county elections office, or at the half-dozen voting centers that will open up this weekend.

-- Paige Browning

Voting and the pandemic

9:30 a.m. -- Governor Jay Inslee has suspended any coronavirus restrictions that could restrict access to voting in Washington.

Inslee clarified Tuesday that people can gather for the purpose of voting, registering, or other voting related activities.

The state's position on healthy protocols remains the same: elections personnel and voters should practice physical distancing and use masks.

-- Paige Browning

Ballot count is now at 52% in Washington

9:15 a.m. -- A total of 52% of Washington state voters have already returned their ballots, with six days to go until the election deadline.

That's compared with only 28% returned by this stage in 2016.

People have until Tuesday, Nov. 3 to fill out and return their ballot. Elections officials encourage people to vote early.

So far, Columbia and Jefferson counties have the highest early turnout, at more than 63%.

King County has received 56% of ballots so far.

-- Paige Browning

Boeing to cut thousands of jobs

9 a.m. -- Boeing has announced it will cut thousands more jobs this year and next.

The news comes as the company faces more losses during the pandemic, and with its 737 MAX planes still banned from flying.

Boeing had already announced it could cut jobs by 10%, but today increased that number to 19%. It includes 7,000 layoffs or buyouts by the end of 2021.

Boeing has not revealed the breakdown of locations, such as Washington state positions.

The company reported third-quarter losses, and revenues dropped to $14 billion, compared to $20 billion a year ago.

-- Paige Browning

Congressmember DelBene wants investigation of Redmond post office

8:45 a.m. -- Washington Congressmember Susan DelBene wants an investigation of a post office in Redmond.

The Democratic congress member she has concerns about election interference.

Delbene is calling on the state's Attorney General to investigate whether actions at the Redmond Post Office would intentionally slow down their ability to process mail.

The USPS has acknowledged removing mail-sorting machines from this office over the summer, but has not confirmed to DelBene whether they've been replaced, as ordered by a federal court.

-- Paige Browning

Large boost for broadband internet access in Washington this week

8:30 a.m. -- The Washington Public Works Board has approved nearly $18 million in grants and loans to build broadcast in rural areas.

Applicants requested nearly $73 million for 29 proposed projects (300% more than available funds), which the board says it could not fully fund.

"Completing homework, filing important forms, visiting with the doctor, ordering groceries and prescriptions - the COVID pandemic has made it abundantly clear that high-speed internet service is the critical lifeline for our most basic daily interactions," said Washington Commerce Director Lisa Brown. "Bridging the 'digital divide' is essential to strengthen communities and ensure an equitable economic recovery throughout Washington state. These investments by the Public Works Board are another step toward our goal to provide every community, and ultimately every household, with access to reliable and affordable broadband service."

The grants and loans include:

  • $5 million grant for the Kalispel Tribe
  • $810,000 grant and $810,000 loan for Grant County PUD
  • $1,687,500 grant, and $1,687,500 loan for Port of Skagit
  • $380,000 grant the Makah Tribe
  • $2,337,380 loan for the Port of Ilwaco
  • $196,202 loan for Hood Canal Telephone
  • $809,084 grant, and $4.1 million loan for Wahkiakum County PUD

-- Paige Browning

Seattle-Tacoma area home prices are up

8:15 a.m. -- Home prices in the Seattle-Tacoma area are still among the fastest-rising in the country, second only to Phoenix.

The Case-Schiller home price index shows home prices in the region were up 8.5% year-over-year in August.

Seattle's growth in home prices has been above the national average since the beginning of the year.

Economists say more home buyers are entering the market fueled by demand for more space, and record low mortgage rates.

-- Kim Malcolm

Checking in with rural Oregon voters

What rural voters in Mission, Ore are thinking about

8 a.m. -- The pandemic, and the economic downturn are top issues around Mission, Oregon. Passions also run high on civility, immigration and climate change.

Mission is on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla reservation. Northwest News Network stopped by to hear what locals have to say about the upcoming election as it continues to cover rural voters.

“The science is telling us that we have to change our ways," Jerrid Weaskus said. "And we’re not listening. Why? Because money is too important, right?”

“You know, I didn’t cross the border, swim the river and come here illegally, you know,” Jim Harrison said.

”We are people, we are humans. We all deserve a president who represents that,” said Kaeleen McGuire.

Also here, like other rural towns, was hope and anxiety.

-- Anna King

Tech comes under scrutiny in the Senate

7:45 a.m. -- The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google are facing a grilling by the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday morning. This includes ranking Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell.

"Let's harness the information age, as you are doing, but let's also make sure that consumers are fairly treated and that we are making it work for all of us," Cantwell said. "To guarantee our privacy, our diversity of voices, and upholding our democratic principles and the fact that we, the United States of America, stand for freedom of information and freedom of the press."

In his opening statement, the Republican chair of the committee said he intends to focus on how big tech has suppressed Conservative viewpoints.

But, Cantwell said she has bigger concerns, including how Google's control of the online ad market has suppressed revenue for small news agencies.

-- Kim Shepard

Gov. Inslee's harsh words for Idaho

7:30 a.m. -- Washington Governor Jay Inslee has sharp words for Idaho officials who refuse to mandate masks in response to a surge of Covid-19.

Inslee referred to reports that some Idaho hospitals have sent or may have to send patients to other states because they’ve run of bed space. This includes Seattle and Portland.

He mentioned the vote last week by the board that governs public health for five north Idaho counties. That board removed a mask mandate for Kootenai County, which includes Coeur d'Alene.

"Instead of increasing the common sense measures that we know work to reduce the pandemic, they went backwards and removed the mask mandate," Inslee said. "I heard a comment, he says he just didn’t think Covid was real. I mean, what planet are they living on?"

On Monday, the Coeur d’Alene City Council adopted a mask mandate for the city.

Inslee says Washington hospitals will accept Idaho patients, if they are asked. He said Washington has not, and probably would not consider asking Idaho residents to quarantine for a period of time when they enter the Evergreen State.

-- Derek Wang

Winter adds new layer of risk for homeless during pandemic

7 a.m. -- The recent cold snap is a reminder that people experiencing homelessness in the Seattle area will face greater-than-normal risks this winter during the pandemic. King County Executive Dow Constantine says congregate shelters will be made Covid-safe.

And he says the county is working to make more housing available.

“I'm going to say this and it's going to be unpopular, but it is just not OK for us to continue to allow encampments on every piece of public land without doing the things to get people into a better situation," Constantine said. "It is not acceptable for us to let them stay there when we could instead get hotels, get old nursing homes, get new housing and get them out of that situation and on a path to a better life.”

Constantine says that ultimately, local jurisdictions will have to insist that people living in encampments move into housing.

-- John O'Brien

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27

CenturyLink Field to be turned into voting center

1:30 p.m. -- The Seattle Seahawks and King County Elections announced Tuesday that CenturyLink Field will be turned into a socially-distanced voting center.

The CenturyLink Field voting center will be open Oct.31 through Nov. 3 for people to register, obtain a replacement ballot, or receive assistance in-person. There will be drive-up and walk-up options. Masks will be provided to people who do not arrive wearing one.

The location was also used as a polling center during the August primary.

Check here for polling locations in the Seattle area.

-- Dyer Oxley

Senators Cantwell and Murray comment on Amy Coney Barrett confirmation

Noon -- Senator Maria Cantwell didn't hold back in her opposition to last night's confirmation vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court.

On the floor of the Senate Monday evening, Cantwell said she was worried about a judicial nominee who might overturn Roe v Wade and other reproductive rights for women.

"When someone wants to chip away at the rights of American women to healthcare ... my state is going to take it personally," Cantwell said.

While Cantwell went on to say Washington state codified Roe v Wade into law back in the '90s, she also said the majority of Americans support a women's right to choose.

Washington Senator Patty Murray also commented on the confirmation.

"Over the last three years, I've seen Republicans rubber stamp hard-right judicial nominees like it's all they came here to do, but watching them explicitly reject attempts to help families get through this pandemic, and press on with this grotesque power grab, is a new low for this body," Murray said.

Murray is specifically concerned about women's access to health care, abortion rights, and the rights of LGBTQ people now that the court has a conservative majority.

-- Angela King and Paige Browning

Bellevue police chief explains decision to issue civil emergency

11 a.m. -- Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett is defending the decision to call a civil emergency, and prohibit weapons in downtown, in response to last Saturday's protest.

Mylett credits the decision for the outcome -- no injuries, property damage, or fires -- which can be observed on video from the evening. He notes that there were also counter protesters in the area during this time, which also prompted concern.

“It was a safe event. We were able to provide a safe environment for everybody," Mylett said.

In a 17-minute video posted on October 26, Mylett offers the BPD perspective on what happened that day, and argues that the weekend demonstration was aimed at a different result. He received a considerable amount of emails and calls about the decision. Some criticized BPD for overreacting.

“…they were coming into Bellevue and they were going to engage in the same type of behavior that they were known for in Seattle,” the chief said, noting that when BPD initially saw social media posts about the demonstration on the previous Monday, they reached out to their "partners across the lake and asked them what their experience was with this particular group. They gave us a lot of information."

Mylett said the group has been active on Capitol Hill and is known for destruction and setting fires. BPD asked for support from outside police departments. The fire department also staged in downtown in case of any fires. Despite the lack of violence or fires, Mylett argued that the caution was warranted.

“They engage in violent behavior, and we’re not going to tolerate that in Bellevue,” Mylett said. “In addition to that, they posted something on social media and it was obvious they were doing recon in our city. They were seen doing it … businesses in Bellevue found buckets of rocks strategically placed in the area where they had later marched throughout the city. There were propane tanks strategically placed near a business that was a target of that particular group; these propane canisters were found in the bushes.”

Mylett says that there is other intelligence information that he cannot share. Though he did say that the group posted maps of downtown on social media with instructions on areas that could provide cover. They also outlined an area of the downtown business district where cameras are located, with instructions to avoid those areas since the video could be given to police and used to identify them.

Cheif Mylett said that once demonstrators "started putting on body armor, gas masks, and they pulled out shields," on Saturday, it met a legal threshold for the city to issue the civil emergency.

"I’ve never seen a group do that unless they were gearing up for a fight or gearing up for violent behavior. So when that happened, we are not waiting … in Bellevue for windows to get broken, we’re not waiting for dumpsters to get set on fire, and we’re not waiting for the IEDs to come out and be launched at police officers.”

Bellevue police made one arrest over the evening, for a driver with a suspended license. Some protesters tagged the street along the route.

In June, large groups of people mixed among peaceful protesters before breaking into downtown stores and Bellevue Square to loot from the shops. A total of 70 people have been charged in relation to that incident. Chief Mylett has previously said that the June looting was part of a coordinated criminal act, and not related to any demonstrations or protests.

-- Dyer Oxley and Kim Shepard

Amazon on a hiring spree ahead of online holiday shopping

9:15 a.m. -- Amazon is looking to hire 100,000 seasonal workers with so many people expected to buy their holiday gifts online this year, Business Insider reports.

Amazon will have hired more than 400,000 people since March when the pandemic took off in the United States.

Other retailers are also preparing for a spike in online sales around the holiday and are slated to hire hundreds of thousands of workers, such as Walmart, Target, and Kohl's.

-- Angela King

More and more ballots coming in

9 a.m. -- Nearly 47% of registered voters in Washington state have now returned their ballots. The count is nearly 48% in King County.

That's up from 42% statewide, and 45% in King County on Monday.

In Snohomish County, at least 39% of ballots have been returned.

About 37% of Pierce County registered voters have turned in their ballots.

Voters have until 8 p.m. November 3 to have their ballots postmarked or dropped in a designated drop box.

-- Angela King

Seattle businesses, community groups pen letter arguing parks are unsafe

8:30 a.m. -- More than a dozen community and business groups are calling on Seattle's Mayor and City Council to do something about city parks which they say are no longer safe.

A letter penned by the Downtown Seattle Association along with local community groups and businesses was recently sent to city officials, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reports.

The group says they've experienced a serious downturn since the pandemic hit, in part, because maintenance work and other activities in parks have been suspended. They also argue that some protesters have continued to damage parks like Cal Anderson.

They also say tent encampments that have popped up in some parks are making people feel unsafe.

The group is asking for an interagency team to be formed to address the issue.

-- Angela King

Seattle Council restores some funding for homeless outreach team

8 a.m. -- The Seattle City Council has voted to restore some funding for a team of city outreach workers aimed at homeless encampments. The funding will cover the end of the year.

The decision comes after voting to defund the Navigation Team in the latest budget vote. The new budget proviso will allow for about $2 million in spending.

No police officers or city workers will be doing the direct outreach. Instead, that will be handled by groups and non-profits that the city already has contracts with.

-- Angela King

Hunt for murder hornets in Washington continues

One nest down, but the Murder Hornet hunt continues

One nest down, but the Murder Hornet hunt continues

7:30 a.m. -- Researchers from Washington's Agriculture Department are looking for more Asian giant hornet nests after taking out one nest in Blaine this weekend.

This hornet attacks honeybee hives in the fall. For that reason, it poses a threat to agricultural crops that depends on honeybees for pollination.

But researchers are optimistic they can keep the hornets from getting a foothold in the U.S. and Canada.

Many of the hornets they captured last weekend are still alive. That means they can be studied. They’ll be washed down, and the wash water analyzed for pheromones. They’ll be tested with different chemical lures. Their genomes will be sequenced.

And the remaining dead hornets will be pinned and mounted and sent to insect collections to help agricultural agents identify them in the wild.

But they still need help from Washington residents. If anyone sees a hornet that looks like a yellow jacket, but is up to 2 inches long, they should call it in.

-- Joshua McNichols

150 days of protesting in Seattle

7 a.m. -- Protests in Seattle have now entered their 150th day. It all started in May after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. That prompted a summer of protests for racial justice across the United States, including in Seattle.

"I’ve been peacefully protesting since Occupy Wall Street and this is the most dangerous peacefully protesting has ever been and I just can't let it stop me," said Karen Taylor who has been a regular at these marches.

On Monday night, protesters started at Cal Anderson Park and marched down to the Seattle Police Department’s West Precinct. The demonstration remained peaceful. There were no police present most of the evening.

They were led by groups like the Every Day March and Seattle Black Collective Voice who have committed to marching every day and night. About 100-300 people took part.

"With the budget meetings coming up here and the fact it’s a symbolic day with the 150th, I mean the City Council made some pretty big promises," Taylor said. "And as I listen to their meetings, they’re not living up to those promises that’s for sure. We got to hold them accountable.”

Organizers reminded demonstrators that the Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted 381 days.

Seattle, they say, is just getting started.

Read more details here.

-- Esmy Jimenez

MONDAY, OCTOBER 26

Wash. election officials hope for best, prepare for worst

4:18 p.m. -- Washington election officials are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. Contingency plans are in place in the event bad actors try to interfere with the election.

Federal officials have already said Russia and Iran are trying to interfere with the election. So far officials in Washington state say there’s no evidence our election systems have been compromised. But National Guard cybersecurity experts are on duty helping monitor. And county election offices say they’ve taken additional security measures. Carolyn Fundings-land, auditor in Cowlitz County, said they've taken steps to safeguard the election.

“We’ve implemented dual factor authentication on all of our computers. We have isolated elections computers to our own server. And we’ve also designated one laptop specifically for opening online ballots and attachments,” she said.

Read more about what Washington state election officials say here.

Ballot drop box security is another concern. With voters on edge, police are getting calls about suspicious activity. And when a truck knocked over a ballot box in Snohomish County the auditor there said people immediately thought it was a nefarious act. But the auditor says it was just an accident.

-- Austin Jenkins

"Trick or street" in Seattle for Halloween

1:30 p.m. -- Seattle is encouraging residents to apply for a special Oct. 31 permit for its Stay Healthy Streets and Blocks program.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is calling it "trick or streets." Residents can apply to block off a section of non-arterial roadway to car traffic, and open it up to costumed walkers and bikers for the Halloween holiday.

The Stay Healthy Streets and Blocks program began in Seattle when the pandemic initially struck in early 2020. It is aimed at providing outdoor, open spaces for people to walk and bike while practicing social distancing.

-- Dyer Oxley

Issaquah man pleads guilty to attempting to defraud Covid-19 relief programs

1 p.m. -- An Issaquah man has pleaded guilty to attempting to commit fraud against federal government Covid-19 relief programs.

The Seattle PI reports that 35-year-old Baoke Zhang pleaded guilty to crafting multiple fake applications to receive more than $550,000 in relief funds from federal pandemic programs.

Zhang is accused of submitting four fake applications to three lenders for forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. He also reportedly submitted applications to Seattle-area grant providers giving financial relief for local small businesses and restaurant workers.

Zhang reportedly received $5,000 from the programs before his fraud was discovered. The Seattle PI reports that Zhang does not own any businesses and is a software developer.

-- Dyer Oxley

La Niña winter ahead

10 a.m. -- Following freezing temps over the weekend, warmer days are expected over the week. But the long term winter forecast calls for La Niña conditions.

"There's increasing evidence that this La Niña will be of the type with probably more storms, cool, and pretty copious amounts of precipitation, and quite a bit of snow to the mountains," said Nick Bond, Washington state's climatologist.

Bond says the winter will start off wet in Seattle and the mountain snow will really start to pile up in January.

The early forecast is looking good when it comes to the state's snowpack levels.

Right now, most of Washington is dealing with abnormally dry or drought conditions.

-- Paige Browning

Man pulls gun after demonstrations in Woodinville

9:15 a.m. -- Police in Woodinville are trying to determine exactly what happened right before a man wearing a pro-Trump hat pointed a gun at a group of people Saturday.

The man was pointing the gun at a group of people who oppose the president.

The incident was caught on video. It followed dueling, peaceful demonstrations in the area. But as things were winding down someone threw a bucket of liquid on the man. That's when he pulled out the gun and pointed it at the group before a woman pushed him away.

No charges have been filed.

One witness told the Associated Press the person who threw the liquid wasn't involved in either demonstration. Woodinville police say while it appears the man was assaulted prior to pulling out the gun, they're still investigating everything that happened.

-- Angela King

Latest ballot count

9 a.m. -- When it comes to the latest ballot count approximately 42 % of registered voters in Washington state have already returned their ballots. That number is closer to 45% in King County.

Of the 1.4 million registered voters in King County, a total of 641,477 have turned in their ballots.

Voters have until 8 p.m. election night to get their ballots postmarked or dropped off in a designated drop box.

If you plan on mailing in your ballot, the US Postal Service recommends you send it no later than Wednesday, Oct. 28.

-- Angela King

Last day to register to vote online

8:45 a.m. -- You have until the end of Monday to get online and register to vote or update your existing voter registration

If you can't do so online or by mail on Monday, you'll have until November 3 -- election day -- to do so in person at your local county elections office.

-- Angela King

You can now order online from the Ballard Farmers Market

8:30 a.m. -- As of Monday, customers can order from the Ballard Farmers Market online and get their orders delivered at home.

It's a first for the more than 20-year-old market.

But a limited number of deliveries will be made and only to the 98107 zip code. The service will be free if you spend more than $120.

The outdoor market was shut down entirely for several weeks during the worst of the pandemic.

-- Angela King

King County sheriff considers changes to use-of-force policy

8 a.m. -- Outside experts have criticized the King County Sheriff’s Office when it comes to how it questions deputies after they use deadly force. They say the interviews should be more thorough and happen more promptly.

On Friday, the sheriff’s office submitted its response to the review of the death of 17-year-old Mi’Chance Dunlap Gittens. Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht says she plans to meet immediately with affected labor unions to work on changes to those policies.

"It’s that initiation of improving process, getting with best practices across the nation, continuing to evolve our policy," Sheriff Johanknecht said.

Deputies can wait up to 48 hours before they submit a statement and their interviews can't be recorded under current labor agreements.

These reviews are internal, and separate from any criminal investigation. Johanknecht said there’s no set timeline for these discussions, but she plans to start immediately.

-- Amy Radil

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25

These photos of the eradication of a murder hornet nest near the Canadian border are surreal. Check out all the photos here.

caption: Washington State Department of Agriculture workers, wearing protective suits and working in pre-dawn darkness illuminated with red lamps, vacuum a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash.
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Washington State Department of Agriculture workers, wearing protective suits and working in pre-dawn darkness illuminated with red lamps, vacuum a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash.
Credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
caption: Washington State Department of Agriculture workers, wearing protective suits and working in pre-dawn darkness illuminated with red lamps, vacuum a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash.
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Washington State Department of Agriculture workers, wearing protective suits and working in pre-dawn darkness illuminated with red lamps, vacuum a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash.
Credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Flickr Floss 50465300562 E0b4508603 K
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Flickr Floss 50465300562 E0b4508603 K
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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23

Seattle Public Schools will operate remotely through January 28th

8:30 p.m. - Most students in Seattle Public Schools will do all of their work online through January, if not longer.

Superintendent Denise Juneau told staff and families this afternoon that school buildings would remain closed due to the pandemic through first semester, aside from in-person services for some special education students.

"This approach is in response to an increase of COVID-19 cases in King County and after consultation with Seattle Education Association, Seattle Council PTSA, and the Principals' Association of Seattle Schools," Juneau said in an email.

She said there was "also no guarantee" that students would go back to buildings later in the school year, and that the district would be monitoring virus transmission rates - including in communities of color.

Schools in the district have been operating remotely since mid-March.

More places in the Puget Sound region offering free flu shots for uninsured adults

4:15 p.m. -- If you don’t have insurance, you can now get a flu shot for free at a Safeway right off a major street – maybe even in your area. The Washington State Department of Health is working with fourteen Safeway pharmacies in Western Washington, including:

  • Auburn: 101 Auburn Way S, Auburn, WA 98002
  • Kent: 210 Washington Ave S, Kent, WA 98032
  • South Seattle: 3820 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118
  • Shoreline: 15332 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133
  • Everett: 1715 Broadway, Everett, WA 98201 and 4128 Rucker Ave, Everett, WA 98203

For the full list, including Safeways in Tacoma, Olympia, Bellingham, and Bremerton, go here.

Drive-thru flu shot clinics are ongoing at North Seattle College and Seattle Public Schools. They’re free for uninsured people, but this is the last week they’re open.

Ahead of flu season, health officials are pushing for everyone to get vaccinated who can. More hospital beds are starting to fill up with Covid-19 patients. So, health officials want to prevent even more people from getting hospitalized with the flu.

--Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Seattle police officers used excessive force in punching and pushing protesters, accountability office finds

10:15 a.m. -- The Seattle Office of Police Accountability has found that two officers, who arrested protesters in May and June, used excessive force when doing so.

The findings, released on Friday, include those from a case in which an officer punched a man several times in the torso while being restrained, and another in which an officer pushed a demonstrator to the ground twice, causing injuries to their head and face.

Read more details about these cases here.

Liz Brazile & Dyer Oxley

Another orca is pregnant

9:30 a.m. -- It looks like another one of our southern resident orcas is pregnant.

A belly bulging J46 was spotted this week near Vashon Island. And if all goes well with this pregnancy, it'll be the third orca calf born since last month.

At least two new calves have been born recently, including one to J35 (aka Talequah), which was the orca who carried around her dead calf for 17 days a couple years ago.

-- Angela King

30th anniversary of Pearl Jam's first show

9 a.m. -- On Wednesday, Pearl Jam marked the 30th anniversary of when they played their first show -- under the name Mookie Blaylock -- at Seattle's Off Ramp.

That venue, in Eastlake, eventually became El Corazon and Funhouse.

-- Angela King

Washington car company sets new world record for fastest car

8:45 a.m. -- A Washington state car company has broken the world record for speed. At 316 miles per hour, the car flew past the previous record of 278 set by a Swedish car company.

Richland, Washington based SSC North America tested its car and speed in Nevada this week, touting its Tuatara engine with 1,750 horse power.

“There was definitely more in there. And with better conditions, I know we could have gone faster,” said Oliver Webb, who piloted the record run. “As I approached 331 mph, the Tuatara climbed almost 20 mph within the last five seconds. It was still pulling well. As I told Jerod, the car wasn’t running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realizing the car’s limit.”

The Tuatara also set records for “Fastest Flying Mile on a Public Road” at 313.12 mph (503.92 km/h); “Fastest Flying Kilometer on a Public Road” at 321.35 mph (517.16 km/h); “Highest Speed Achieved on a Public Road” at 331.15 mph (532.93 km/h).

This car is on sale for nearly $1.9 million.

-- Angela King

19 year old Washington ties arrested for child porn; found with guns and research on killing Joe Biden

8:30 a.m. -- A man with potential ties to Washington, who was indicted last month on child porn charges in North Carolina, had a cache of weapons and researched online how to kill Joe Biden.

The Associated Press reports that 19-year-old Alexander Hillel Treisman traveled to within four miles of the former Vice President's home with a checklist that included the word "execute." He also an AR-15 rifle.

Treisman was eventually arrested in North Carolina after investigators say he tried to retrieve a van that was filled with explosive materials, guns, night vision goggles, and ammunition.

Investigators also searched his electronic devices and found child pornography along with a meme that said "Should I kill Joe Biden." They also found video on his devices that he allegedly took while driving past the site of a 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, as well as images of the mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019.

According to AP, "a search of the van revealed approximately $509,000 in cash; books on survival, bomb making, improvised weapons and Islam, drawings of swastikas and planes crashing into buildings. The search also turned up additional firearms, according to the agent."

Investigators found fakes drivers licenses for California, Florida, and Washington in his van.

-- Angela King

Man draws gun, screams "All lives matter" at Renton mural artist

8:15 a.m. -- A man accused of pointing a gun at an artist who he thought was painting a Black Lives Matter mural in Renton is now in custody.

Prosecutors claim the 49-year-old man also vandalized the mural and harassed the artist on at least two other occasions before he pulled over in his car last month and pointed the gun at her while shouting "All lives matter."

But police told The Seattle Times that the city-commissioned mural, in the Cascade neighborhood, which depicts a diverse group of people has nothing to do with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The paper also reports that the King County sheriff's department previously investigated the man for malicious mischief in 2018 after he was seen writing "Trump" and "die u communists" over bumper stickers on a vehicle parked at the Snoqualmie Casino.

-- Angela King

Murder hornet nest found

8 a.m. -- The Northern Light Newspaper reports that officials with the state Department of Agriculture have located the first Asian Giant Hornet nest in the United States. It was found on the east side of Blaine, Wash.

They were able to locate the nest after one of two hornets they captured and tagged earlier this week led them to the nest.

Read more about tagging a murder hornet here

Now, entomologists are planning to destroy the nest on Saturday, Oct. 24. But they think there's still another nest somewhere in north Whatcom County. So the hunt continues.

The hornets are known to destroy entire honey bee colonies.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23

Seattle Public Schools will operate remotely through January 28th

8:30 p.m. - Most students in Seattle Public Schools will do all of their work online through January, if not longer.

Superintendent Denise Juneau told staff and families this afternoon that school buildings would remain closed due to the pandemic through first semester, aside from in-person services for some special education students.

"This approach is in response to an increase of COVID-19 cases in King County and after consultation with Seattle Education Association, Seattle Council PTSA, and the Principals' Association of Seattle Schools," Juneau said in an email.

She said there was "also no guarantee" that students would go back to buildings later in the school year, and that the district would be monitoring virus transmission rates - including in communities of color.

Schools in the district have been operating remotely since mid-March.

More places in the Puget Sound region offering free flu shots for uninsured adults

4:15 p.m. -- If you don’t have insurance, you can now get a flu shot for free at a Safeway right off a major street – maybe even in your area. The Washington State Department of Health is working with fourteen Safeway pharmacies in Western Washington, including:

  • Auburn: 101 Auburn Way S, Auburn, WA 98002
  • Kent: 210 Washington Ave S, Kent, WA 98032
  • South Seattle: 3820 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118
  • Shoreline: 15332 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133
  • Everett: 1715 Broadway, Everett, WA 98201 and 4128 Rucker Ave, Everett, WA 98203

For the full list, including Safeways in Tacoma, Olympia, Bellingham, and Bremerton, go here.

Drive-thru flu shot clinics are ongoing at North Seattle College and Seattle Public Schools. They’re free for uninsured people, but this is the last week they’re open.

Ahead of flu season, health officials are pushing for everyone to get vaccinated who can. More hospital beds are starting to fill up with Covid-19 patients. So, health officials want to prevent even more people from getting hospitalized with the flu.

--Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Seattle police officers used excessive force in punching and pushing protesters, accountability office finds

10:15 a.m. -- The Seattle Office of Police Accountability has found that two officers, who arrested protesters in May and June, used excessive force when doing so.

The findings, released on Friday, include those from a case in which an officer punched a man several times in the torso while being restrained, and another in which an officer pushed a demonstrator to the ground twice, causing injuries to their head and face.

Read more details about these cases here.

Liz Brazile & Dyer Oxley

Another orca is pregnant

9:30 a.m. -- It looks like another one of our southern resident orcas is pregnant.

A belly bulging J46 was spotted this week near Vashon Island. And if all goes well with this pregnancy, it'll be the third orca calf born since last month.

At least two new calves have been born recently, including one to J35 (aka Talequah), which was the orca who carried around her dead calf for 17 days a couple years ago.

-- Angela King

30th anniversary of Pearl Jam's first show

9 a.m. -- On Wednesday, Pearl Jam marked the 30th anniversary of when they played their first show -- under the name Mookie Blaylock -- at Seattle's Off Ramp.

That venue, in Eastlake, eventually became El Corazon and Funhouse.

-- Angela King

Washington car company sets new world record for fastest car

8:45 a.m. -- A Washington state car company has broken the world record for speed. At 316 miles per hour, the car flew past the previous record of 278 set by a Swedish car company.

Richland, Washington based SSC North America tested its car and speed in Nevada this week, touting its Tuatara engine with 1,750 horse power.

“There was definitely more in there. And with better conditions, I know we could have gone faster,” said Oliver Webb, who piloted the record run. “As I approached 331 mph, the Tuatara climbed almost 20 mph within the last five seconds. It was still pulling well. As I told Jerod, the car wasn’t running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realizing the car’s limit.”

The Tuatara also set records for “Fastest Flying Mile on a Public Road” at 313.12 mph (503.92 km/h); “Fastest Flying Kilometer on a Public Road” at 321.35 mph (517.16 km/h); “Highest Speed Achieved on a Public Road” at 331.15 mph (532.93 km/h).

This car is on sale for nearly $1.9 million.

-- Angela King

19 year old Washington ties arrested for child porn; found with guns and research on killing Joe Biden

8:30 a.m. -- A man with potential ties to Washington, who was indicted last month on child porn charges in North Carolina, had a cache of weapons and researched online how to kill Joe Biden.

The Associated Press reports that 19-year-old Alexander Hillel Treisman traveled to within four miles of the former Vice President's home with a checklist that included the word "execute." He also an AR-15 rifle.

Treisman was eventually arrested in North Carolina after investigators say he tried to retrieve a van that was filled with explosive materials, guns, night vision goggles, and ammunition.

Investigators also searched his electronic devices and found child pornography along with a meme that said "Should I kill Joe Biden." They also found video on his devices that he allegedly took while driving past the site of a 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, as well as images of the mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019.

According to AP, "a search of the van revealed approximately $509,000 in cash; books on survival, bomb making, improvised weapons and Islam, drawings of swastikas and planes crashing into buildings. The search also turned up additional firearms, according to the agent."

Investigators found fakes drivers licenses for California, Florida, and Washington in his van.

-- Angela King

Man draws gun, screams "All lives matter" at Renton mural artist

8:15 a.m. -- A man accused of pointing a gun at an artist who he thought was painting a Black Lives Matter mural in Renton is now in custody.

Prosecutors claim the 49-year-old man also vandalized the mural and harassed the artist on at least two other occasions before he pulled over in his car last month and pointed the gun at her while shouting "All lives matter."

But police told The Seattle Times that the city-commissioned mural, in the Cascade neighborhood, which depicts a diverse group of people has nothing to do with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The paper also reports that the King County sheriff's department previously investigated the man for malicious mischief in 2018 after he was seen writing "Trump" and "die u communists" over bumper stickers on a vehicle parked at the Snoqualmie Casino.

-- Angela King

Murder hornet nest found

8 a.m. -- The Northern Light Newspaper reports that officials with the state Department of Agriculture have located the first Asian Giant Hornet nest in the United States. It was found on the east side of Blaine, Wash.

They were able to locate the nest after one of two hornets they captured and tagged earlier this week led them to the nest.

Read more about tagging a murder hornet here

Now, entomologists are planning to destroy the nest on Saturday, Oct. 24. But they think there's still another nest somewhere in north Whatcom County. So the hunt continues.

The hornets are known to destroy entire honey bee colonies.

-- Angela King

Winter storm warning for Cascades means new snow

7:30 a.m. -- The Cascades will be under a winter storm watch Friday for elevations above 2,000 feet.

About an inch to one foot of new snow falling is expected, depending on the elevation.

Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass is expecting between 2-9 inches of s now. It's a good idea to have tire chains ready if you plan to drive over the passes.

-- Angela King

Car drives into Seattle business

7:15 a.m. -- Seattle police say seven people were hurt after a car crashed into a restaurant in Seattle's International District.

It happened Thursday afternoon at the Dim Sum Kim Restaurant near South Jackson Street and Maynard Avenue South.

Police say the driver was trying to park when they went over the sidewalk and right into the front of the building.

Of the seven hurt, at least two were said to have life-threating injuries according to KOMO 4 News.

-- Angela King

New president of Seattle University

7 a.m. -- Seattle University is getting a new president -- Eduardo Penalver.

He will become the first Latino to hold the top post there. The former dean of Cornell's Law School, Penalver will start the new job next July.

-- Angela King

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22

What analysts say about Washington's high voter turnout

4:00 p.m. -- Voter turnout is projected to be as high as 90 percent in Washington state this election. So, what does that mean for the results?

Historian Margaret O'Mara says in an already blue state, the drive to support the Biden-Harris presidential ticket could lean even more to the Democratic party's favor. O'Mara is an author and history professor at UW.

She says it "can be good for the members of the party down the ballot whether state level or local who are members of the same party, because if you have a great deal of turnout, people will most often vote a straight party ticket."

But there’s an adjacent theory this year, from Seattle University political science professor Patrick Schoettmer. He says high turnout could bode well for Republicans in certain local races.

"In Western Washington, like around Grays Harbor, [it] could be problematic for Democrats because that area has been trending Republican in recent years," says Schoettmer.

He says working class white voters are starting to trend more Republican in Washington. Could have a different impact on Democratic Congressmembers Susan DelBene and Kim Schrier. "You know, really high turnout could be really beneficial for say Susan DelBene in the first district," says Schoettmer, "Kim Schrier may or may not benefit depending on if turnout is among rural whites or if it's more among Hispanic farmworkers."

DelBene’s district includes Redmond and runs north to the Canadian border. Schrier’s district runs from the Cascade foothills to Central Washington.

People have until November 3rd to register and turn in their ballot.

-- Paige Browning

LGBTQ Commission asks Mayor Durkan to resign

3:00 p.m. -- The Seattle LGBTQ Commission sent Mayor Jenny Durkan a letter this morning asking her to resign.

They join an earlier call from the Human Rights Commission, and a recall campaign against her, saying that Durkan has failed to uphold the human rights of residents. They cite repeated use of force by Seattle police, such as tear-gassing, and the ongoing homelessness crisis.

Durkan, in response to KUOW today, brought up the fact that the official recall campaign against her already failed in the courts.

"I hope to meet with all the commission heads this week", she says. "It shows that we've got strong divisions in our city and we've gotta find a way to come together and focus on the work that I think we all agree on." She says, for example, work to undo the harms of systemic racism.

Durkan is the city's first openly lesbian mayor. She has so far brushed off the calls for her to resign, that have come in the aftermath of this year's racial justice protests. The LGBTQ commission's letter says, "we do not take this call lightly, and have come to it after months of deliberation".

--Paige Browning

Seattle, Portland, NY sue Trump administration over "anarchist" title

Noon -- Seattle, Portland, and New York are joining forces to legally challenge the Trump administration's labeling of them as "anarchist" cities.

The cities argue that the designation could harm potential federal funding they receive.

In September, the Trump administration said that the three cities are "permitting anarchy, violence and destruction."

NPR reports that a lawsuit is slated to be filed on Thursday in Seattle.

Read more details here.

-- Dyer Oxley

SPD partners with policing equity firm

10:30 a.m. -- The Seattle Police Department says it's launching a new partnership with the Center for Policing Equity.

The Los Angeles based research firm helps departments analyze and identify racial disparities in their policing practices.

The CPE will spend the next few months looking into the Seattle police training policies, accountability, and impacts on communities of color.

Members of the community will also weigh in. The firm will then convert that data into strategies for the SPD to use and should have a final list of recommendations to the department and the mayor by next March.

The CPE has partnered with more than 25 police departments nationwide over the past decade.

-- Angela King

Washington election systems have not been compromised

9:45 a.m. -- Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman says she has not seen any evidence that voter registration or election systems have been compromised.

This comes following Wednesday's announcement about recent foreign interference in the upcoming election. The Director of National Intelligence and the head of the FBI said both said Iran and Russia have obtained voter information and are trying to influence the election.

There are reports of some Democratic voters receiving threatening emails that initially appeared to be from the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group. The emails ordered the voters to vote for Trump, and if they didn't, the Proud Boys would come after them. An investigation into the matter revealed that the emails actually came from Iran.

As of Thursday morning, 25% of registered voters in Washington state have already turned in their ballots. That includes more than 367,000 ballots in King County.

Voters have until November 3 to get ballots postmarked or dropped into one of the official drop boxes.

-- Angela King

Lt. Governor debate Thursday night

8:45 a .m. -- The two candidates vying for lieutenant governor will square off in a debate Thursday night. Representative Denny Heck and State Senator Marco Liias will make their final pitch to voters at 8 p.m. It will air on TVW and most local TV stations and websites.

There is a lot of new interest in the elected position, especially if Joe Biden wins the presidency and Governor Inslee wins a third term. There's been ongoing speculation that Inslee could be tapped for a position within a Biden administration, and that would mean a shakeup in Washington's leadership.

-- Angela King

Boeing considers moving out of Renton

8:30 a.m. -- Boeing says the company is considering relocating its commercial airplane division headquarters in Renton.

The Daily Herald reports it's an effort to reduce costs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Boeing Executive Bill McSherry confirmed that the company is evaluating whether to vacate the Renton headquarters and move to either the Boeing Field in Seattle or the campus in Everett.

McSherry said this week that the pandemic has forced the company to take "some very difficult steps."

-- Casey Martin

Winter storm watch for Cascades

8:15 a.m. -- The Cascades will be under a winter storm watch Friday for elevations above 2,000 feet.

We're talking between one inch to one foot of new snow, depending on the elevation.

Places like Snoqualmie and Stevens Pass could get between 2-6 inches. It might be a good time to dust off those chains and have them ready for any plans to drive over the passes.

-- Angela King

Seattle Storm endorses Joe Biden

8 a.m. -- In a rare move, the Seattle Storm are endorsing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for the upcoming election.

The WNBA champs expressed their support in a tweet and so did the team co-owners.

Co-owner of The Storm Ginny Gilder said “We don’t typically endorse candidates, but these are NOT typical times,” adding “Our country our world needs to show up and vote for a better future.”

In endorsing Biden and Harris, Gilder said she hopes for a “return to civility,” along with a better handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and social justice needs. She also said she hopes for a White House that NCAA champions and women’s pro sports champions can return to.

While the move is a rarity for a professional sports team, The Storm — along with the WNBA — has for years been at the forefront of the sports world in pushing for social and political change. The WNBA, has been heavily involved in promoting social justice, highlighted by the league’s “Say Her Name” campaign during the 2020 season, dedicated to Breonna Taylor, a Black women who was killed by Louisville police last March.

-- Angela King

25% voter turnout so far in Washington

7:45 a.m. -- It's 12 days to go before election day and 25% of registered voters in Washington state have already turned in their ballots.

That includes more than 367,000 ballots in King County.

-- Angela King

Timber jobs in Washington state and the election

7:30 a.m. -- New state economic data shows timber industry jobs in Mason County have continued to decline since 2016. Mason was one of two reliably Democratic counties in western Washington that went for Donald Trump in the last election when he promised to bring timber jobs back to the Northwest.

But the jobs haven’t come back.

"We have definitely seen employment kind of trend down, even when harvest levels remain the same, and that's just because places are getting more efficient," said Mindy Crandall, a professor of forest policy at Oregon State University.

In other words logging operations and mills are getting more done with fewer workers. Meanwhile, there's been only a slight uptick in timber jobs in neighboring Grays Harbor County which also voted for Trump.

And so far, neither county has recovered from job losses that came from the great recession of 2008.

-- David Hyde

Shifting voters could impact Washington races

7 a.m. -- High voter turnout in Washington might not necessarily help Democratic candidates in every part of the state.

Patrick Schoettmer is a political science professor at Seattle University. He says working-class white voters are starting to trend more Republican in Washington. And that could have a different impact on Democrats like Congressmembers Susan DelBene and Kim Schrier.

"You know, really high turnout could be really beneficial for say Susan DelBene in the first district, but Kim Schrier may or may not benefit depending on if turnout is among rural whites or if it's more among Hispanic farmworkers," Schoettmer said.

DelBene’s district includes Redmond and runs north to the Canadian border. Schrier’s district runs from the Cascade foothills to Central Washington.

-- Paige Browning

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21

How energy consumption changed during the pandemic

1:30 p.m. -- One of the most clear indications of how daily life has changed since the pandemic prompted lockdowns in Washington state is the shift in energy consumption.

A recent assessment by Commercial Café shows that Washington state’s overall energy consumption declined by 5% over the second fiscal quarter in 2020, when compared to the same time in 2019. At the time (April through June) the coronavirus was spreading across the nation, prompting widespread changes from canceled classes, to working from home, and shutting down industries.

But not all corners of Washington state's energy consumption declined.

  • Residential energy actually went up by 7%, meaning people started using more electricity at home. Nationally, it went up by 8%.
  • The uptick in residential energy was offset by a decline in industrial and commercial usage. Industrial energy use went down by 11%, and commercial went down by 12.4%.
  • Washington beat out national stats, too. Overall national energy usage between April and June went down by 4%, with similar trends (higher residential energy, lower industrial/commercial usage).

Commercial Café used data from national energy sales in its assessment. From that, it was also able to find another interesting factoid – renewable energy beat out coal by 7%. In fact, a total of 23% of the nation’s energy was renewable between April and June. It's the first time this has happened in 50 years.

Washington stands out in the region, with energy usage declining the most along the West Coast. Oregon’s energy sales went down by roughly 2%; California’s went up by .1%. Idaho’s energy sales went up by 3.2%.

And looking across the nation to the other Washington, power consumption in Washington DC went down the most between April and June -- by 15.6%.

-- Dyer Oxley

Vigil at Seattle's oldest Black church

Noon -- To help cope with troubling times, a vigil was recently held at Seattle's oldest Black church. Pastors spoke to the ongoing pandemic, protests for racial justice, and even the election -- calling for more unity among the community.

The Mourning for Unity vigil was also held virtually and featured leaders from a range of faiths.

“For people of African-American descent, our forefathers and foremothers died so that we could get the right to vote,” Reverend Carey Anderson said. “It’s not good enough for us to have our ballots sitting on the kitchen table and we leave them blank. Let’s get up, let’s put our pen to the paper and let us mark our conscience. Let us mark our choice.”

"...Give us peace in our polling places. Safeguard each ballot that it truly be counted. Make of us all a more perfect union, that you might delight in the diversity of our democracy and our America."

Read more about the vigil at Seattle's oldest Black church here.

-- Amy Radil

Sex education and the one referendum on the 2020 ballot

11 a.m. -- During this election, there's just one referendum on the ballot. It's asking voters whether to approve a law, already passed by the state Legislature, requiring K-12 schools to teach comprehensive sex education.

Associated Press education reporter Sally Ho joined KUOW's Kim Malcolm to discuss Referendum 90 -- what's in it, and what is not.

In short, age appropriate sex education will be required across the state, but local districts can implement their own curriculums. And parents still have the ability to pull their children out of class.

For grades K-3, the education has more to do with social emotional learning, such as managing feelings, and making friends. There's no sexuality taught in these grades.

What is taught in the older grades is what makes it one of the most progressive statewide sex ed mandates in the country, because it addresses relatively new concepts in the classroom — like affirmative consent, which was born from the Me Too movement — and also LGBTQ issues, and bystander training.

Read more details from KUOW's discussion with AP Reporter Sally Ho here.

-- Kim Malcolm, Andy Hurst

$9M donation to Seattle's arts community

10 a.m. -- Seattle's art community just got a $9 million boost. The massive donation to the arts arrives at a time when pandemic shutdowns have greatly affected the local community.

The rush of funds is expected to produce entirely new works coming from Seattle artists.

The $9 million donation comes from the estate of the late art patrons Jane Lang Davis and Richard Lang. The donation will be split between nine different arts organizations.

Half of those gifts will endow the creation of new work. The rest can be used at the recipients’ discretion.

Read more details about this sudden $9 million arts donation here.

-- Marcie Sillman

Trump vs Biden vs Climate Change

9 a.m. -- KUOW's John Ryan took a recent hike to a well-known glacier in the Olympic Mountains. One problem arose, however -- it wasn't there.

It was on the map, yet much of the ice was gone. Comparing the scene to images of the mountain peak from decades ago, it's clear that the glacier is diminishing.

It all had Ryan considering climate change's place in the current election. Read more about that here as Ryan takes a look at the climate records of President Trump and Joe Biden.

-- Dyer Oxley

Increasing number of fentanyl overdoses in King County

8:45 a.m. -- Public Health officials say as of October 15 that 135 people have died from fentanyl overdoses in King County -- compare to 116 for all of last year, KING 5 reports.

Doctors say one of the main reasons for the increase is more fentanyl-laced pills -- that look exactly like prescription drugs -- are being sold on the streets.

And while they say they can't specifically link the spike to fall out from the pandemic, health officials said they did see a spike at the beginning.

About 75% of overdose deaths from fentanyl are people under the age of 40.

Fentanyl-related deaths only made up 1% of all overdoses in King County in 2015. That number has gone up to 40% in 2020.

-- Angela King

WSU urges fans to stay home for 2020 Apple Cup

8:15 a.m. -- No one will be allowed in the stands at Martin Stadium and tailgating is banned for the November 27 game. The university wants to keep people from gathering for large watch parties to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

A total of 68 people in Whitman County have tested positive for Covid-19 since Friday, bringing the county’s total to 1,682 cases.

“We understand how much our fans look forward to returning to Pullman for home games, but due to the ongoing public health crisis, we are asking them to cheer from the safety of their homes with members of their own household,” WSU President Kirk Schulz said. “The best way to help keep our Cougs playing this season is for our fans to stay home.”

No spectators will be allowed at any Pac-12 football games this season and tailgating is being prohibited on the WSU Pullman campus. All games will be televised either by the ESPN or FOX broadcast family of networks and can be heard on the Washington State Learfield IMG College Sports Network.

Just because fans won’t be allowed in the stadium, doesn’t mean the Coug nation has to be silent. WSU said there are a variety of options for fan engagement being planned for game days so fans can still safely cheer on the team.

In Pullman, steps are being taken to enforce the conference restrictions and discourage gatherings during home games. Campus parking lots will be closed to tailgating on game day weekends. No camping or portable structures such as canopies will be allowed on campus, including in parking lots. Recreational vehicles will be turned away from campus.

The Compton Union Building, traditionally a popular gathering spot during home football games, will be closed. Screening and other measures will be used to obstruct viewing from outside the stadium to discourage congregating. No public watch parties will be hosted on campus.

WSU is also is partnering with Pullman and the greater Palouse community to help enforce all health and safety measures.

Additionally, the Pullman Police Department will have extra staff on duty during football weekends to address health proclamation violations such as off-campus parties.

All are intended to discourage large gatherings and mitigate potential community spread of Covid-19. Failure to prevent large gatherings and rising case counts could prematurely end the sports season.

-- Angela King

Options for troubled West Seattle Bridge

8 a.m. -- The West Seattle Bridge Community task force will meet Wednesday to talk about new cost benefit analysis for the West Seattle Bridge.

The Seattle Department of Transportation released the report Tuesday and it found the bridge could be repaired and reopened by next year, but the fix would only last between 15-40 years and would cost about $1 billion -- the same as a partial replacement over time.

As for a partial replacement, it could be ready by 2026. That would last for 75 years. The report didn't recommend any particular solution.

But it presented a few more options like building a tunnel or getting rid of the bridge completely.

-- Angela King

90% voter turnout likely for the 2020 election

caption: A King County voter gives a thumbs up to the next voter in line to submit their ballot at a drop box in Seattle's Lake City neighborhood. The drop box has seen a steady stream of voters walking up and driving up to turn in their ballots.
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A King County voter gives a thumbs up to the next voter in line to submit their ballot at a drop box in Seattle's Lake City neighborhood. The drop box has seen a steady stream of voters walking up and driving up to turn in their ballots.
Credit: Dyer Oxley / KUOW

7:45 a.m. -- Turnout in Washington state for this year's election just might reach the predicted 90% turnout.

More than 848,000 people have already voted statewide. That's more than triple the turnout during this same time for the 2016 election (6.2% voter turnout).

Turnout is especially high in King County, where there has been 20% voter turnout in the first five days after ballots went out. County Executive Dow Constantine says the county's drop boxes have become very popular with voters.

"Folks do seem to really like the single-purpose drop boxes, and of course if you need it, there are places you can come in and vote in person around the county," Constantine said.

Constantine is also stressing that voting by mail is also safe. Just remember to sign and properly seal your ballot before you drop it off.

The ballots are scanned as they are gathered. At 8 p.m. on election night, officials hit a button and official tabulations begin. Officials ran test ballots through their machines on Tuesday.

Voter turnout has also tripled in Pierce County, compared to the same time in 2016 -- more than 37,000 ballots so far.

It's not too late to register to vote, or update your registration. You have until October 26 to do that online or by mail. After that, you can only register or update your registration in person at the county elections office.

-- John O'Brien, Angela King

No cancelation of family services contract

7:30 a.m. -- The head of child welfare in Washington state says he has no plans to cancel contracts with a troubled out-of-state provider – despite calls to do so.

But Ross Hunter says his staff is monitoring facilities operated by Sequel Youth and Family Services and continues to work to bring Washington youth home.

Washington currently has 16 youth at out-of-state facilities. That’s down 80% from just two years ago. Even so, advocacy groups recently sent Governor Jay Inslee a letter asking him to cancel all state contracts with Alabama-based Sequel. It operates facilities all over the country that house vulnerable youth. The company has faced critical news coverage of late following the death of a Michigan teen.

Hunter heads Washington’s Department of Children Youth and Families. He says he’s not willing to immediately pull all Washington kids out of Sequel facilities.

"I take their concerns seriously, but I have to have a better option for kids and I’m not going to tar all the facilities cause of who owns them,” Hunter said.

Instead, Hunter says his department is reviewing each placement and has stopped placing youth at certain facilities. He says they’re also working to increase therapeutic options here at home.

-- Austin Jenkins

NAACP wants Seattle superintendent out

7:15 a.m. -- The Seattle King County NAACP is calling for the removal of the superintendent of Seattle Public Schools.

Angelina Riley is president of the group’s Youth Coalition. She says Superintendent Denise Juneau is not meeting the needs of students of color, such as prioritizing ethnic studies in the curriculum.

"We do not want people who are not embodying anti-racist practices and are not supporting constituents out of spaces and positions of power," Riley said.

Juneau’s strategic plan has focused on uplifting black male students but Riley says she's not seeing that in practice.

The Rainier Beach High School senior recently resigned from the superintendent’s student advisory board in protest along with several other members.

The superintendent did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Juneau has led the state’s largest district for two years. Her contract expires next year.

-- Ann Dornfeld

Seattle's Proposition 1 slightly ups sales tax, nixes $60 car tab fee

Seattle proposition raises sales tax, but nixes $60 car tab fee

Seattle proposition raises sales tax, but nixes $60 car tab fee

7 a.m. -- One of several measures on the long ballot in 2020 is Proposition 1.

The proposition renews part of the sales tax in Seattle (slightly increasing it), which is about to expire. If voters approve it, the city's sales tax will bump up to 10.15%, from the current 10.1 percent.

The revenue would pay for King County Metro's bus routes that serve Seattle and historically disenfranchised communities in the county. Another chunk of the money would pay for transit passes for low-income residents, seniors, and kids. The measure would also boost transit in places that are hard hit by Covid-19 and the West Seattle bridge closure.

The original version of Prop. 1 included a $60 car tab fee, which was part of the previous voter-approved transit proposition that expires this year. But the $60 fee was ultimately nixed and is not part of the proposition that made it onto the 2020 ballot (court cases over the recent $30 car tab initiative prompted proponents to hold off on that part).

There's no formal opposition to Proposition 1, but proponents say it's a must to ensure transit remains strong across the region.

-- Paige Browning

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20

Seattle King County NAACP calls for firing of Seattle Public Schools superintendent

3:25 p.m. - The Seattle King County NAACP is calling for the removal of Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau.

NAACP Youth Coalition President Angelina Riley, a senior at Rainier Beach High School, said Juneau is not meeting the needs of students of color, such as prioritizing ethnic studies in the curriculum.

“We do not want people who are not embodying anti-racist practices in the work that they're doing, and [who] are not supporting constituents, out of office, out of spaces and positions of power,” Riley said.

Juneau’s strategic plan has focused on uplifting black male students, including boosting test scores and creating a department that aims to improve their academic outcomes. Riley said the superintendent's actions, however, do not reflect those goals. Riley recently resigned from the superintendent’s student advisory board in protest, along with several other members.

Juneau did not immediately reply to a request for comment. She has been superintendent for two years, and her contract is up for renewal next year.

Seattle council member proposes new homeless outreach program

8:45 a.m. -- Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis is proposing the city create a new homeless camp outreach program now that the council has voted to dismantle the Navigation Team.

If passed, the proposal would conditionally approve more than $2 million in the 2020 budget to expand non-profit contracts that the city currently has to do the work.

The job was once handled by SPD officers along with social service workers.

The new groups would be coordinated by an eight-member team in the city's Human Services Department. The proviso would only last through the remainder of year unless the Council adopts the changes as part of its larger actions with the 2021 proposed budget.

Lewis expects the Council to vote on the legislation Monday, October 26. Mayor Jenny Durkan says she would like to fast-track the legislation, along with providing $3 million for hotels to move hundreds of people off of the streets.

If approved, it would stay in place unless the city comes up with a more detailed plan for next year's budget.

-- Angela King

Seattle to pay $35K to settle lawsuit

8:30 a.m. -- The city of Seattle will pay $35,000 to settle a lawsuit that accused the City Council of breaking the state's Open Public Meetings Act when it suddenly repealed the head tax it (shortly after they approved it) in 2018.

The city didn't admit to any wrongdoing under the settlement, but according to The Seattle Times, a spokesman for the City Attorney's Office said "this was the prudent decision, and we’re pleased to have this matter concluded.” [

The council’s abrupt repeal of the controversial head tax came a month after it unanimously passed it. The tax aimed to generate an estimated $47 million annually for housing and homeless services.

The repeal vote also came after a series of phone calls and texts in the days before members formally voted to dump the controversial tax. It was alleged that those communications violated open public meetings rules.

-- Angela King

Lawsuit over CHOP moves forward

8:15 a.m. -- A lawsuit against the city of Seattle over its handling of the CHOP this summer can move forward.

A federal judge denied the city’s motion to dismiss the case Friday.

The Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reports that the lawsuit is brought by a group of small business owners in the area, along with residents and real estate developers.

The group says the city violated their property rights and failed to provide them equal protection by letting the Capitol Hill Organized Protest continue for weeks over the summer.

-- Angela King

More and more ballots

8 a.m. -- The 2020 ballots keep pouring in.

The King County Elections Office is now reporting more than 86,000 ballots have already been returned.

That's eclipsing the 2016 numbers. At this same time in 2016, about 10,000 ballots were returned.

Pierce County reports that more than 37,000 ballots have been returned so far. Compared to this same time in 2016, that's three times as many ballots.

You can watch live streams of the King County Elections Office as they process the ballots here.

-- Angela King

American Airlines plans to start flying 737 Max planes again

7:45 a.m. -- The Boeing 737 Max might be flying over the East Coast before the end of 2020.

American Airlines says it plans to put the 737 Max back on the flight schedule before the end of the year. A company spokesperson said they hope to operate a single daily Max flight between Miami and New York and will start booking the flights this Friday.

But that all depends on the FAA approving changes made to the plane which was grounded last year following two deadly crashes overseas.

-- Angela King

Earthquake prompts tsunami warning in Alaska

7:30 a.m. -- A 7.5 magnitude earthquake near the Alaskan Peninsula triggered a tsunami warning Monday afternoon, but it was downgraded to an advisory.

The quake's center was near Sandy Point, a city of about 900 people.

And while there was no threat to Washington state, the Department of Natural Resources say this serves as a good reminder to check your evacuation routes and make sure you have the proper emergency supplies.

-- Angela King

Mountain resorts plan to open

7:15 a.m. -- Good news for skiers and snowboarders. Crystal Mountain says it plans to open with some restrictions on November 20.

Stevens Pass says it will try to open some of its slopes on December 4, but visitors will need to make reservations to hold their spot ahead of time. Season pass holders will get priority.

-- Angela King

Washington wildfire season is winding down

7 a.m. -- Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz says the Department of Natural Resources is sending some of its seasonal firefighters home for the winter after they dealt with some unusual circumstances.

"This year, we were limited, Covid-wise," Franz said. "We couldn’t get fire fighters internationally. But we are fortunate in that, when it came to us, the number of firefighters that we have on our team that contracted Covid was much less than we expected. I put that to the fact that we wrote that manual literally in the midst of Covid; the manual of how to protect our firefighters, and they followed direction."

Franz says only two or three firefighters tested positive for Covid while on duty and another one tested positive before reporting to the fire lines>

She says another unusual aspect of this year's fire season is that most of the major fires in the region came all at once -- around Labor Day.

-- Derek Wang

MONDAY, OCTOBER 19

100+ community groups send "Solidarity Budget" to Mayor Durkan

4:00 p.m. -- A growing list of community groups is demanding major cuts to the Seattle Police Department budget, and that Seattle commit to its Green New Deal.

The organizations have signed a "Solidarity Budget," listing six amendments they want made in Mayor Durkan's 2021 proposal. They want her budget centered on Black lives, climate change, and Covid-19 community recovery.

Along with the larger requests, they propose funding specific community improvements like a new Georgetown to South Park Trail.

Peaches Thomas, with Duwamish Valley Safe Streets, is one of the signatories.

"We ask that the city adopt an anti-austerity approach and pursue progressive revenue measures, to prevent funding being taken away from essential community-based projects," said Thomas in a news conference.

"True progress is addressing the needs of community and funding projects like the Georgetown to South Park trail, without pitting communities against each other."

The groups want SPD's budget cut by 50%, in order to free up funding for community public safety programs, and they want community members to influence how that money's spent. They also propose dropping certain misdemeanors for people having a mental health crisis or who can't meet their basic needs.

King County Equity Now, Got Green, and Transit Riders Union are among 100+ signatories so far.

"Because the mayor's proposal does not significantly disinvest from policing, in order to fulfill her 100-million dollar commitment to Black communities she has pulled money from the city's general fund and from the Jump Start Seattle tax," said Katie Wilson with the Transit Riders Union.

She says that means cuts to transportation projects, parks, and housing programs that the community has backed. Those include the Georgetown to South Park trail.

A statement from Durkan's office says she has proposed reducing SPD's budget by 12%, and investing $100 million in 2021 to address disparities in the city. A spokesperson says Durkan is committed to a community engagement process led by Black, indigenous, and people of color communities.

-- Paige Browning

Early voters setting records in King County

8:30 a.m. -- The King County Elections office says it has collected 60,000 ballots from drop boxes since Thursday, October 15.

That's a far greater return than for the 2016 election, when the first five days saw about 10,659 returned ballots.

The drop boxes were so full recently, that workers had to empty many of them more than once over the weekend. King County is anticipating a 90% voter turn out this year.

Voters have until 8 p.m. on November 3 to drop off ballots or have them postmarked through the mail.

Find the nearest drop box in King County here.

-- Angela King

$60M sale sets record for home sold in Washington

8:15 a.m. -- At $60 million, a Hunts Point property is the most expensive home ever sold in Washington state.

The one-acre property at the tip of Hunts Point was built eight years ago. It has five bathrooms, three bedrooms, and more than 7,000 square feet.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports the estate wasn't even on the market, but the new owner apparently wanted it so badly that he made an offer the owners couldn't refuse.

The assessed value is less than half of what the new owner paid.

As for who that new owner is, the deed filed with King County lists the buyer as a limited liability company. But, neighbors say the company's CEO is the real buyer -- Gurpreet "Sunny" Singh. Singh and company representatives have declined to comment.

-- Kim Shepard

Washington AG preparing for legal disputes after election

8 a.m. -- A legal team in Washington state is getting ready in case there is a contested election this year.

Officials at the state Attorney General’s Office says this is a new initiative for them, and they'll bring on other states to help.

Noah Purcell is the state Solicitor General. He's responsible for arguing cases before the supreme court.

"Well frankly, we've never had an election cycle like this, where the sitting president's saying things like 'I refuse to commit to a peaceful transfer of power,' and making false claims about voting by mail and election rigging and that sort of stuff," Purcell said. "So I would say the level of concern and preparation that we have about this election is different."

Purcell say they'll be ready to fight against any election interference, or if someone tries to stop the ballots from being counted. There's no evidence that's happening now.

-- Paige Browning

Stabbing at event to celebrate religious differences

7:45 a.m. -- Renton police are investigating a stabbing at a Sikh Temple that sent one person to the hospital. Authorities say a fight broke out among about 50 people who were gathered at the Gurudwara Singh Sabha temple on Sunday.

No word yet on what started the fight, but KIRO 7 reports that the temple was hosting an event celebrating religious differences at the time.

Several people suffered minor injuries and the stabbing victim was expected to be released overnight.

-- Angela King

Seattle giraffe is leaving town

7:30 a.m. -- Remember the giraffe born at the Woodland Park Zoo last year, which had to wear therapeutic shoes because of abnormalities in his hind legs?

Well, not only is Hasani now able to walk and run with no problems, he's getting ready to move to a new home. Zoo officials say he will be driven by trailer this week to a breeding facility in Texas.

At a year and a half (13 feet tall and nearly 1,300 pounds) handlers say this is the natural age for a giraffe calf to leave its herd.

-- Angela King

New Sound Transit annual pass

7 a.m. -- Sound Transit is now offering a new annual pass at no cost for customers with little to no income.

It covers travel on services provided by King County Metro, Sound Transit, and the city of Seattle.

Riders can use the passes for King County Metro buses, Sound Transit buses and trains, Seattle streetcars, the King County Water Taxi, the Monorail, and Metro’s paratransit service.

The passes are not good for trips on Washington State Ferries, Community Transit in Snohomish County, or Pierce Transit.

The new program is designed for people who earn about $10,000 for an individual and $21,000 for a family of four. To be eligible, you must be enrolled in one of six state assistance programs.

-- Angela King

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16

Threats against Seattle mayor continue

Noon -- The Seattle Mayor's Office reports that harassment and threats against Mayor Jenny Durkan have increased recently and the Seattle Police Department is investigating a few that are deemed credible.

The incidents come after federal authorities have made a series of arrests in other states where militia members plotted violence and the kidnapping of public officials.

Mayor Durkan's home address is confidential due to her role in cases involving potentially dangerous groups, such as the sovereign citizen movement and drug cartels. Her address was revealed after recent protests that marched to her home.

The Seattle Times initially reported that Mayor Durkan (and Gov. Jay Inslee) have increasingly been threatened over the past year. They mayor's office says that many of the threats have an antigovernmental sentiment.

The mayor also says her home and street have been frequently vandalized, as recently as Thursday night; some with homophobic rhetoric. Some involve attaching male genitalia to pictures of Durkan, a lesbian.

Over the summer, Durkan reports that other messages have been left, including: “Guillotine Jenny,” “Bring out the Guillotine,” and “Die. ” Also, "dozens" of “Jenny is a bitch” and “Resign bitch.”

The mayor's office also reports: In addition to threatening messages outside of her home this summer, the Mayor saw an increase in threats and/or hateful messages via her email, swatting, social media, the Mayor’s Office voicemail, and letters, including death threats. Because of the increase in threats to staff and the Mayor, the Mayor’s Office and the Seattle Police Department implemented a new threat reporting system that allowed staff to easily send over messages to SPD that were at all concerning for staff or Mayoral safety.

Warning: The images below include profane language and may be offensive and disturbing to some readers.

caption: Vandalism left outside Mayor Jenny Durkan's Seattle home in mid-October 2020. 
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-- Dyer Oxley

737 MAX approved in Europe

8:45 a.m. -- Bloomberg News is reporting that Europe’s top aviation regulator says the 737 MAX is safe to fly again and could return to the skies by the end of the year.

The executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency said earlier Friday that he’s satisfied with the changes Boeing has made to the aircraft.

Still, additional upgrades are being demanded by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and won't be ready for another two years.

The planes were grounded in March after two crashes killed nearly 350 people. And while the FAA has yet to sign off on the planes' return, the head of the agency said he was satisfied with the changes Boeing made to the plane after taking one out for a test flight last month.

-- Angela King

New initiative to counter election interference

8:30 a.m. -- State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is announcing a new initiative to combat election interference and guarantee a peaceful transition of power.

Ferguson says he has convened a legal team to coordinate these efforts and to work with attorneys general around the country. This comes in response to recent tweets from President Trump suggesting the November election would be "rigged."

Ferguson says many people have written to his office expressing fears the president is attempting to undermine election results and set up a constitutional challenge.

But, he says his office will be ready to defend Washingtonians and ensure every vote counts.

-- Kim Shepard

Man accused of arson during May 30 Seattle riot in court today

8:15 a.m. -- A man accused of setting a police car on fire and stealing a police rifle during the May 30 riots in downtown Seattle is expected in federal court Friday morning.

He was arrested Wednesday in Bremerton where he was meeting with his probation officer. He's now facing federal felony charges for arson and for possessing a stolen firearm.

The man was identified through video of the incident that allegedly shows him lighting a paper towel on fire and then putting it in the back of a Seattle police patrol car parked outside Nordstrom in downtown Seattle, according to the criminal complaint. The video showed identifying tattoos and jewelry.

-- Angela King

Nearly 13K ballots already returned in King County

8 a.m. -- The King County Elections office says nearly 13,000 people have already returned their ballots for the upcoming election.

Those ballots only started arriving in the mail Thursday.

There are approximately 1.4 million active registered voters in the county and officials are predicting a 90% turnout.

Meanwhile, the Pierce County election office will mail out its ballots Friday.

-- Angela White

Greater number of officers leaving SPD

7:45 a.m. -- An “unprecedented” number of officers left the Seattle Police Department in September, according to a report released Friday.

A total of 39 officers, including three trainees, left SPD last month -- more than five times the usual number. It comes after a summer of sometimes chaotic protests against police violence and pressures to “defund” police.

City officials expect the shortage to affect emergency responses and investigations.

“The poorer communities, it’s sad for us. I’m so disgusted,” said Victoria Beach chairs SPD’s African American Community Advisory Council.

Read more details here.

-- Amy Radil

Pandemic repercussions affecting women more than men

7:30 a.m. -- Women are leaving the workforce four times more frequently than men, according to the US Labor Department. And that's having repercussions for their careers in the long run, as well.

Joan Palmiter Bajorek is one such Seattle tech worker whose dream has been put on hold. She has expertise with voice assistants, like Siri and Alexa.

“My dream was to start a company," she said of her goals before the pandemic.

But she was laid off from her day job in August.

“When you lose your job, you’re making sure you pay your rent. Rather than those cool ambitious things that you want to be doing.”

In the meantime, venture capital has dried up for women, more than it has for men, according to Pitchbook. And a new survey by the Female Founders Alliance shows a majority of women are putting their startup dreams on hold.

Read more details here.

-- Joshua McNichols

Response to court striking down $30 car tabs

7:15 a.m. -- Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is applauding the state Supreme Court for striking down I-976 -- the so-called $30 car tab measure.

"It's a really strong and important ruling for the people of Seattle, and it vindicates the people of Seattle's vote, to tax themselves to provide better transit," Durkan said. "Transit is critical to equity in our city. It's critical to our fight for climate change, and it's going to be critical coming out of Covid to make sure that we have an equitable transportation system."

Car tab fees help pay for a wide range of transportation projects.

Washington's high court ruled yesterday that the ballot title was deceptive and misleading. Also, that the measure violated constitutional rules for initiatives which require them to contain only one issue.

Washington voters approved the initiative last year by 53%. It was sponsored by anti-tax activist Tim Eyman. In a press conference Thursday, Eyman said the court's suggestion that voters were confused by the wording of the measure was "truly maddening."

Washington state Republican Representative Jim Walsh wants Governor Jay Inslee to call a special session to lower the price of car tabs. Governor Inslee says officials should be open to some kind of car tab reform, but declined to give specifics Thursday.

Washington State Transportation Association Director Justin Leighton says that transit agencies can now collect car tab fees again, at a time when they're facing the pandemic recession.

"We lost revenues due to the deep economic impacts we're feeling, but for the moment I think myself and our members are just gonna take a sigh of relief today and know that we have more work to do tomorrow," Leighton said.

-- John O'Brien

Plane crashes upside down on top of car in Puyallup

7 a.m. -- No one was hurt when a small plane crash-landed --upside down -- on top of an empty car in a Party City parking lot in Puyallup.

A witness named Doug told KING 5 that "Somebody started to honk, then I started to scream 'Move, move, move!' And then the plane kind of started to side-to-side. It hit the ground about the same time it hit the car. Pushed the car, rolled over. And at that point in time, my wife and I were in full sprint to the, to the plane."

Doug said he helped the pilot out of the plane right after it crashed in the South Hill area. The pilot was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department says the Cessna apparently lost power after taking off from a nearby air field. The FAA and NTSB are also investigating the crash.

-- Angela King

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15

Seattle Police make arrest in police vehicle arson

3:08 p.m. — Seattle police have arrested a suspect who they say set fire to a police vehicle while an officer was inside, near Dexter Avenue and John Street in South Lake Union. The officer sustained non-life threatening burns and has been taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment.

Police say the man threw a burning lumber into the patrol car, ultimately engulfing the vehicle in flames. Responding officers chased the man into a parking garage and deployed a taser before taking him into custody.

The Seattle Police Department says a police firearm is believed to have been discharged during the arrest, but the suspect was not hit.

Court strikes down voter-approved $30 car tabs

8:45 a.m. -- The Supreme Court of the State of Washington struck down the voter-approved $30 car tab initiative Thursday morning.

In an opinion written by the court, the $30 car tab initiative violated constitutional rules for passing legislation. Specifically, the court states that the title of the initiative was not "accurately expressed." Also there was more than one subject in the title, when only one subject is allowed for legislation.

"The people of our state have the power to propose and approve legislation. WASH. CONST. art. II, § 1. When the people act in their legislative capacity, they are, like any other legislative body, bound by constitutional constraints. Under our constitution, “[n]o bill shall embrace more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.” WASH. CONST. art. II, § 19. Initiative Measure 976 (I-976) contains more than one subject, and its subject is not accurately expressed in its title. Accordingly, it is unconstitutional."

Read more details here.

-- Dyer Oxley

Postal Service rolling back changes ahead of election

8 a.m. -- The U.S. Postal Service has agreed to roll back some recent changes when it comes to election mail. It reached a settlement on a suit brought by the Governor of Montana who argued changes made in June harmed access to mail services.

So now the postmaster general has agreed to reverse all changes, some of which included reduced retail hours, and the removal of collection boxes and mail sorting machines.

The agreement, which applies to all states, also requires the Postal Service to prioritize election mail.

-- Angela King

Ballot box security

7:45 a.m. -- Plain-clothes officers will be keeping an eye on those ballot drop-off boxes in King County.

The Seattle Times reports the elections department with work with the Sheriff's Office to make sure voters aren't intimidated.

King County Elections Director Julie Wise says she expects voter turnout to reach 90% this year. The previous high was 85% in 2012.

Thurston County plans to send deputies to go out with election workers when they pick up ballots at their drop boxes.

-- Angela King

36 dogs taken into custody after alleged abuse

7:30 a.m. -- A total of 36 dogs have been seized from a home in Pierce County after a worried neighbor took video of the animals allegedly being abused.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department says the owner was seen shooting the dogs with a pellet gun.

A search warrant was served Wednesday at the property along Portland Avenue in the Midland area. The dogs have all been taken to be evaluated by a vet.

The same property was the site of a similar warrant in December 2019. That case is reportedly still under review by prosecutors for possible Animal Cruelty and Fighting charges.

-- Kim Shepard

More accounts on fatal shooting of antifa suspect in Lacey

More accounts on fatal shooting of antifa suspect in Lacey

7:15 a.m. -- Widely differing accounts are emerging about what happened when members of a US Marshals Task Force fatally shot an anti-fascism activist outside an apartment near Olympia last month.

Michael Reinoehl was suspected of killing a right-wing activist in downtown Portland in August. An investigation by Oregon Public Broadcasting found the US Marshals task force pulled up in unmarked vehicles with no sirens or lights, blocking Reinoehl’s car outside a Lacey apartment, on the night he died.

One officer claimed Reinohel pointed a gun at him. Another said Reinoehl was reaching for his gun, but didn’t point it. But witnesses say the officers shot quickly and Reinoehl did not have time to point a gun.

“Our team recovered the gun in his front right pants pocket. And we’re still working through a little bit of that," said Lt. Ray Brady with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office, and is overseeing the investigation.

Witnesses say officers were wearing khaki pants and bulletproof vests -- rather than a standard law enforcement uniform -- during the fatal encounter. It's also unclear if police identified themselves before shooting.

-- Conrad Wilson, Oregon Public Broadcasting

2020 census nears conclusion Thursday

Final push to complete Washington's 2020 census

7 a.m. -- Washington state census workers and volunteers will make a final push Thursday to get people to respond to the 2020 Census.

In other words, people have until Thursday night to go to 2020census.gov.

More than 72% of households in Washington state have self responded to the census. That's higher than the average self-response nationwide.

For the other 28% of households, census workers either visited them at their door, or will make an estimate of who lives there. That's where inaccuracies can occur, and why census volunteers wanted more time.

The survey ends 16 days early, after the Trump Administration pushed for counting to stop. The results will determine how much federal money, and how many US House seats, are allocated to Washington state.

Washington got a new congress member after the last census in 2010.

-- Paige Browning

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14

Climate Pledge Arena selected for NCAA championships

11:45 a.m. -- The intense remodel of KeyArena, transforming it into the Climate Pledge Arena, is not yet complete. But already, it has been selected to host more than one NCAA basketball championship.

"It is a privilege to be selected as a host city by the NCAA,” said Seattle Sports Commission President Beth Knox. “This is an important step in positioning our region as a world-class sports market while showcasing state-of-the art venues like Climate Pledge Arena and the hosting abilities of our university partners. We look forward to having student-athletes competing again, and the opportunity to provide them an extraordinary experience in the Seattle region."

The arena is expected to open in 2021, which will be well ahead of two championships it is slated for:

  • NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Regionals in 2023
  • NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds in 2025

“A key part of the vision behind the Climate Pledge Arena’s redevelopment was to secure world-class events like the NCAA® Championships, and we are proud to see that vision realized with today’s announcement,” said Steve Mattson, executive vice president and general manager, Climate Pledge Arena.

-- Dyer Oxley

More National Guard being trained on crowd control

8:30 a.m. -- The Washington National Guard is training more citizen soldiers to handle crowd control ahead of the election next month.

The state military department calls the move prudent, but is also stressing this is not in response to any specific threats.

This actually began back during the summer when there was civil unrest following the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. National Guard members were deployed to cities at the request of local officials.

That prompted the Guard to send more of its members through what’s known as Military Assistance for Civil Disturbances training. Now as the election looms along with concerns about unrest following Election Day, more Guard members who didn’t get that training in June are getting it now.

"Looking at the national dialogue, it’s clear that we don’t know what to expect following the election," said Karina Shagren, a spokesperson for the state military department.

She emphasizes that the Guard doesn’t self-deploy.

“And at this point there hasn’t been any sort of official request for the National Guard to support any local law enforcement organization in the days leading up or after the election, this is more a prudent move to be prepared should anything happen.”

Governor Jay Inslee would have to authorize any deployment.

-- Austin Jenkins

Investigation recommends firing deputy after social media posts

8:15 a.m. -- The King County undersheriff is recommending that a detective be fired after an investigation into his conduct. The detective shared social media posts that mocked a deadly crash involving Black Lives Matter protesters on I-5 in July.

Det. Mike Brown was placed on leave after he shared a number of Facebook posts, including one that read "All Lives Splatter" after a car ran over protesters on the freeway, injuring one and killing Summer Taylor.

In a statement, Undersheriff Patti Cole-Tindall recommended Brown be fired, but said that the detective can present his position to the department before any final decisions are made

"Brown said he didn't know posts were offensive ... the blow to the department’s integrity was staggering," Cole-Tindall wrote. "The damage to your integrity and ability to continue to serve as a law enforcement officer cannot be repaired."

-- Angela King

Crews working to restore power after Tuesday windstorm

8 a.m. -- Crews around western Washington are still cleaning up and making repairs after Tuesday's windstorm.

The wind storm turned deadly after a large branch fell on and killed a Key Peninsula man.

Winds recorded at the top of the Space Needle Tuesday afternoon averaged 52 mph, with a gusts of 61 mph.

Wind also knocked out power to approximately 100,000 people Tuesday. Utility crews are making progress on those repairs Wednesday morning.

Puget Sound Energy reported about 15,000 customers were without power around 5:45 a.m. By 8 a.m., that number was down to about 8,300. By that same time, Seattle City Light had its outages down to 13 incidents, affecting 114 customers.

-- Angela King

Washington's lt. governor is in California studying to become a priest

7:45 a.m. -- Washington's lieutenant governor Cyrus Habib is continuing to do some work for the state of Washington, only now without a paycheck.

Habib announced earlier this year he wouldn't seek re-election, as he started the process of becoming a priest. He's been on unpaid leave of absence since September and living in California.

Spokeswoman Kristina Brown says Habib keeps in regular phone contact with staff and approves any documents needing his signature.

She said he feels that foregoing his compensation during these months is the right thing to do because of the state's budgetary crisis.

-- Rob Wood

Ballots are in the mail

Ballots are arriving in Washington mailboxes

Ballots are arriving in Washington mailboxes

7:30 a.m. -- Your 2020 ballot should be arriving in the mail soon. King County elections officials are mailing them out Wednesday and voters should receive them no later than Monday.

If you don't get it by then, call your King County elections office.

Voters have until 8 p.m. November 3 to either mail in, or drop off ballots in one of the designated drop off boxes.

Whether it's your first time voting, or you need a refresher, here is a primer on voting in Washington.

-- Angela King

New King County sales tax to fund housing for homeless

7:15 a.m. -- The King County Council has approved a new .1% sales tax to help pay for housing for the homeless.

It was an 8-1 vote with Councilmember Reagan Dunn submitting the lone “no” vote.

The new tax is slated to take effect on Jan. 1, 2021

-- Angela King

Hydro power brings environmental and industry groups together

How hydro power is bringing some environment and industry groups together

How hydro power is bringing some environment and industry groups together

7 a.m. -- Environment and industry groups are usually on the opposite sides of the river dams debate. Now, some have agreed to look at hydropower to help curb greenhouse gas emissions.

They say that means some aging or unsafe dams should be removed. Others across the nation could be rehabilitated or retrofitted. Dams that don’t currently produce power could be modified to add hydropower turbines.

Malcolm Woolf is with the National Hydropower Association. He says about 97% of dams don’t generate electricity.

“You could use the existing infrastructure and create a whole lot more clean, renewable power without having to build new impoundments,” Wolf said.

Conservation group American Rivers signed onto the agreement. But CEO Bob Irvin says American Rivers remains strongly opposed to building new dams. He says it will also continue to advocate for the removal of Washington’s four Lower Snake River dams and the four dams on the Klamath River near the Oregon-California border.

-- Courtney Flatt

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13

Hate crime being investigated in Bellingham

Noon -- Bellingham businesses found swastikas posted to their windows and doors over the weekend. The incident is now being investigated as a hate crime.

The Bellingham Herald reports that stickers with swastikas along with the message "We are everywhere" were left on businesses in downtown Bellingham as well as the neighboring Fairhaven area. Businesses reporting the stickers include Acme Ice Cream, Village Books, Northwest Yoga, and Brandywine Kitchen.

The newspaper notes that the swastika is among certain acts listed in Washington state's hate crime laws. Bellingham police consider the incident a high priority hate crime and have a person of interest who was captured on surveillance video.

-- Dyer Oxley

High wind advisory in effect for Western Washington

11 a.m. -- Following a considerably breezy night, Western Washington was struck with a series of power outages Tuesday.

The outages were relatively light when compared to extensive winter outages common to the region. Still, Puget Sound Energy reported that it was still working on restoring power to 10,464 customers throughout its system by 11:30 a.m. At the same time, Seattle City Light was responding to eight outages, serving 81 customers across its system.

A wind advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday. The National Weather Service expects winds between 20-30 mph with gusts from 45-50 mph spanning from Tacoma north through Seattle.

-- Dyer Oxley

Amazon Prime Day offers great deals, warehouse injuries

9:30 a.m. -- Tuesday is one of the busiest days in the retail calendar -- Amazon Prime Day.

An investigation found it's also the time Amazon sees a spike in safety issues for warehouse workers. Will Evans is a reporter at Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

He says the Amazon warehouse in Dupont is one of the worst offenders, with 22 serious injuries per 100 workers.

"I talked to a medical representative who ran the onsite medical clinic and he said there wasn't support from the leadership on safety," Evans said. "He would see managers all the time looking the other way when they saw workers doing unsafe things. As long as they were meeting their production quotas, that was the most important thing. I talked to another woman at the warehouse who said she likes her job, she just wishes they would pay more attention to how this is affecting workers bodies and rotate people throughout the day so they don't have these repetitive strains. She's been injured a few times and is in constant pain, she says."

Amazon tells KUOW the company has a generous "Stay at home until you're better" policy and they don't see evidence that injuries increase during Prime Day.

But, Evans says, Amazon's own data doesn't support that statement.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also warned Amazon they need to make changes to address the high rate of repetitive motion injuries at its warehouses.

-- Kim Shepard

Scientist tag live Asian giant hornet

9 a.m. -- A homeowner in rural Blaine trapped a female Asian giant hornet recently, aka a "murder hornet. It's the second live specimen spotted in Washington. Then scientists tagged her with a tiny device that uses Bluetooth technology to track her location.

Sven Spichiger is an entomologist with the Washington State Department of Agriculture. He says they released the hornet, but researchers soon lost the signal from the tag.

Scientist think they can track her back down. Then, they will kill the hive of invasive insects with a vacuum system and carbon monoxide.

So far, 18 giant hornets have been positively identified in the state. They pose a threat to honey bees and ag officials say they could post threats to the environment, economy, and public health.

Read more about the hunt for the Asian giant hornet in Washington here.

-- Esmy Jimenez

TikTok video gives boost to Washington farmers

8:30 a.m. -- Northwest farmers produce 90% of the nation’s frozen red raspberry crop -- largely in Washington state’s Whatcom County. Those growers, along with Northwest cranberry growers, might have gotten an unasked-for boost from a viral TikTok video.

You’ve might have seen it -- there have been 35 million views so far. An Idaho skateboarder filmed himself rolling down a highway singing to Fleetwood Mac and drinking from a giant bottle of cran-raspberry juice.

The video was a product of happenstance. Nathan Apodaca was on his way to work in Idaho when his truck broke down along the side of the road. So he got out his skateboard, grabbed his bottle of juice, and rolled down the highway. He filmed himself en route, singing to Fleetwood Mac, and posted it to TikTok. The video featuring a bottle of Ocean Spray cran-raspberry went viral.

Raspberry grower, Rolf Haugen of Lynden, Washington, says he and his fellow Northwest growers could use the boost.

“I’m just amazed that he would be able to ride his skateboard, have his phone out there, singing to the music and be listening to his music, and then just drinking the greatest cranberry juice that they make -- the one with raspberries in it,” Haugen said.

Last year about 65 million pounds of Northwest red raspberries were harvested. About 20% is turned into juice each year.

The video has inspired a range of homages from Jimmy Fallon to state lawmakers. And in appreciation for the marketing boost, Ocean Spray sent Apodaca a new truck.

-- Anna King

Court rejects Councilmember Sawant's appeal to recall effort

8:15 a.m. -- A recall effort against Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant can proceed. A King County judge has rejected Sawant's appeal to halt it from moving forward.

On Monday, Judge Jim Rogers ruled that four of the six charges leveled against Sawant are specific enough and sufficient to permit the process to continue. Sawant has the option to appeal to the state's high court.

Sawant opponents are pressing four allegations. They include her actions during protests for racial justice, particularly a protest in front of the mayor's home and also letting hundreds of protesters into City Hall, after hours, during a pandemic.

They also allege that Sawant violated city hiring rules by handing over hiring decisions to a political party; and that the council member misused city resources when she promoted a ballot initiative.

Meanwhile, the state's Supreme Court has ended the separate recall effort against Mayor Jenny Durkan.

Some citizens and the Seattle Human Rights Commission are still calling for Durkan to resign, over her handling of recent racial justice protests.

-- Paige Browning

Twitter pays fine for violating Washington election laws

8 a.m. -- Twitter will pay $100,000 for violating campaign finance laws in Washington state.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office says at least 38 Washington candidates and committees paid for political ads from Twitter since 2012, and Twitter filed to maintain records for those ads.

Washington law requires records of political ads, because the public has a right to see them.

The political campaigns paid about $200,000 for the ads in question.

-- Paige Browning

Microsoft takes legal action on cybercrime network

7:30 a.m. -- Microsoft says it has taken legal action to try to disrupt a major cybercrime digital network.

The Redmond-based tech company says this crime network uses more than one million zombie computers to loot bank accounts and spread ransomware. Some experts consider the network, known as Trickbot, a threat to the U.S. election.

A reported attempt by U.S. military cyber experts to knock the network offline was unsuccessful. Microsoft launched a court order last week to attempt to kick Trickbot servers offline.

-- Paige Browning

Europe gets permission to impose tariffs on US goods in retaliation for Boeing tax breaks

7:15 a.m. -- The European Union could soon be imposing tariffs on $4 billion worth of American products in retaliation for what were deemed "illegal subsidies" given to Boeing.

The New York Times reports that the move could result in levies on American airplanes, agricultural products and other goods.

Tuesday's decision from the World Trade Organization is in response to Washington state tax breaks provided to Boeing several years ago -- between 2012 and 2015. Those breaks have since been repealed but the WTO says the damage was already done.

This is the latest development in a 16-year battle between the US and Europe that began when Europe provided subsidies for Airbus.

Last year, the WTO gave the US permission to impose tariffs on European planes, wine, cheese and other products.

-- Kim Shepard

Ballots are arriving for Washington voters

7 a.m. -- Washington state voters are starting to receive their ballots this week. There are hundreds of state-provided drop boxes to return them to.

King County alone has more than 70 of the large, metal drop boxes. Voters also have the option to mail the ballots in.

Once a ballot is received in Washington state, election workers will verify the signature, and prepare the ballot for counting.

Counting of votes will not start until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3. The first round of results each year is announced after the initial 8 p.m. count.

Tabulation is done on a computer system that is not connected to the internet.

-- Paige Browning

MONDAY, OCTOBER 12

Today is Indigenous People's Day

8 a.m. -- Monday is Indigenous People's Day in Seattle, Edmonds, Bainbridge Island and a number of other US cities that have made the designation.

It's Coast Salish Day in Bellingham.

Nationwide, banks and some federal offices are closed for the federal Columbus Day holiday.

In Seattle, Daybreak Star Indian Cultural center will host a virtual celebration this year, with live drumming, dance, and other performances streamed today.

Also today, Potlatch Fund hosts a virtual book reading, on the new children's book by Alyssa London about a Tlingit tribe child.

There are 32 Native American tribes in Washington state, including the Duwamish tribe which is not federally recognized.

-- Paige Browning

Seattle talk show host removed from Seahawks broadcasts

7:45 a.m. -- KIRO Radio in Seattle has suspended host Dori Monson after a tweet last week that mocked transgender people.

The Seattle Times and Seattle Pride say the radio station is suspending Monson, indefinitely, from hosting the Seahawks' pre- and post-game radio shows. Monson has been contracted to host pre- and post-game coverage for nearly 20 years.

Monson was not on the air Friday. He has deleted the transphobic tweet since his suspension.

Seattle Pride is calling on KIRO's owner, Bonneville Seattle, and the Seahawks owner, Vulcan, to terminate Monson.

The organization says "mocking the very real issue of gender identity" is "insensitive, irresponsible and unacceptable for anyone," especially a public figure.

It's not the first time Monson has come under fire for his rhetoric or antics. On October 9, 2019, he dedicated much of his show to an RV that was parked outside a Seattle city council member's home, under the assumption it was a form of protest from residents unhappy with the homeless crisis in the city. Monson did not have the facts, however. Instead, it was an RV that a father had purchased for his pregnant daughter and her family who were homeless. They planned to fix up the vehicle -- which was in poor condition -- and leave Seattle to get back on their feet. Before they could do that, Monson's show ordered a reporter to trespass into the RV, livestream inside it, and report live on the air. Monson's followers also hunted down the RV and tagged it with graffiti (Monson's name).

-- Paige Browning

Bellevue reviewing police use-of-force policies

7:30 a.m. -- The city of Bellevue has hired an outside firm to review its police department’s use-of-force policies. This week the public has opportunities to weigh in.

Three listening sessions are scheduled in Bellevue this week for people to discuss any concerns they have with the use-of-force by Bellevue police.

Mayor Lynne Robinson says the city undertook this process after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. She’s also heard from people upset about a 2018 video showing a Bellevue police officer using a neck restraint to arrest a Black woman at the Factoria mall.

“Watching that little snippet, you can’t feel comfortable watching that," Robinson said. "But you don’t know the whole story. And I want to make sure that we’re doing everything right in Bellevue for every resident, and everybody the police encounter.”

Bellevue police said the woman refused to cooperate during a traffic stop. They have now suspended the use of neck restraints.

A witness complaint said they perceived Bellevue police as effective and friendly until that encounter.

The outside review could recommend changes by the end of this year.

-- Amy Radil

Lightning strikes ferry in Puget Sound

7:15 a.m. -- Lightening struck a passenger ferry Saturday night, putting it temporarily out of service.

The M/V Puyallup was near the dock in Edmonds, during a run between Edmonds and Kingston, when it was struck.

No injuries were reported, but the ferry was docked for a time because the lightening strike impacted its navigation system.

The lightning capped an afternoon of wild weather in the North Sound, with heavy rain, hail and lightning to southern Snohomish County into northern King County.

-- Paige Browning

Advocates call on Washington to end contract with foster youth company

7 a.m. -- Child advocates in Washington are demanding that Governor Jay Inslee cancel all contracts with Sequel Youth and Family Services. The Alabama-based company operates facilities all over the country that house vulnerable youth.

In an email, Inslee’s office said it’s reviewing the letter and takes the issue seriously. It also said the state is monitoring youth at out-of-state facilities and is working to increase capacity so that foster kids with complex needs can be served in-state.

The letter to the governor's office is signed by groups like the ACLU, Disability Rights Washington and the King County Department of Public Defense. It points to the death earlier this year of a Michigan teenager named Cornelius Frederick at a Sequel facility.

Frederick, who was Black, died after he was restrained for 10 minutes by a group of staff members. As of August, the state of Washington had 13 youth at Sequel facilities around the country, although not at the one where Frederick died.

However, in 2018, Disability Rights Washington issued a scathing report about the treatment of Washington youth at a Sequel facility in Iowa. In their letter, the advocates say Inslee should order all state agencies to disassociate from Sequel in order to protect children from abuse.

-- Austin Jenkins

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9

Many movie theaters will remain closed, despite new rules

4:24 p.m. -- Movie theaters can now open in the Puget Sound Region at 25 percent capacity, but you’d be hard pressed to find an open movie theater this weekend.

Many theaters are staying closed for now, including Central Cinema, a small dinner theater in Seattle’s Central Area.

With costs from staffing and utilities to cleaning supplies, it’s cheaper to stay closed said owner Kevin Spitzer.

“It’s not like they give you plexiglass shields,” he said. “Restarting right now, it’s not free. And then the 25 percent capacity really limits what kind of income we can have to pay those bills.”

Under the new rules for Phase 2 and 3 counties, Central Cinema could have 30 customers max – a slow night in regular times.

Spitzer is also worried about safety, he said. “I don’t want our space to become a hot zone,” he said.

Beginning next Friday (October 16) 14 AMC theaters will open in Washington state.

All Regal theaters in the U.S. are closed, following an announcement Monday.

SIFF cinemas are staying closed until 2021.

-- Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Upcoming forums scheduled on Bellevue Police use of force policies

1 p.m. -- The city of Bellevue has hired an outside firm to review its police department’s use of force policies. Three public listening sessions are scheduled in Bellevue this week for people to discuss any concerns they have: October 13, 15 and 17.

Mayor Lynne Robinson said the city undertook this process after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. She’s also heard from people upset about a 2018 video showing a Bellevue police officer using a neck restraint to arrest a Black woman at the Factoria mall. “Watching that little snippet, you can’t feel comfortable watching that,” Robinson said. “But you don’t know the whole story. And I want to make sure that we’re doing everything right in Bellevue for every resident, and everybody the police encounter.”

Bellevue police said the woman refused to cooperate during a traffic stop. The officer said he was afraid the woman would access a weapon or ram him with her car.

A witness complaint said, “I think the Bellevue Police Department is very effective, very friendly, but when I saw this situation...I'm sorry but my opinion of the Department really changed!”

The department has now suspended the use of neck restraints. The review by The OIR Group could recommend changes by the end of this year.

-- Amy Radil

Gun deaths are way up in Seattle. Grieving parents meet to find solutions

10:30 a.m. — Alicia Dassa is a parent whose son Conner Dassa-Holland was shot and killed in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood last May. She said she is struggling not only with her son’s death, but the deaths of so many other young people since then.

“Right now as a community and as parents, I’m just at a loss,” she said. “I’m at a loss for where we are, what we can do, it’s so overwhelming in the last few months.” Keep reading...

King County Could Expand Social Service ‘Navigators’ Alongside Police

10 a.m. -- The King County Council is deciding whether to fund -- and expand -- a program that helps police officers connect people with social services. For several years, the cities of Shoreline, Kirkland, Bothell, Lake Forest Park and Kenmore in the north end of King County have cobbled together funding to pair police officers with “navigators.” The navigators have a mental health background, and they connect people with services to address mental health, homelessness, family conflict and other needs that arise during 9-1-1 calls.

Retired Bothell police chief Carol Cummings launched the program there. “It’s not enough to just have an officer show up and solve the problem that they called for that day," she said. Cummings said cities are trying lots of new programs to broaden the response to emergency calls, and that’s a good thing. “As we do this for the next few years, we will see, where do we get the biggest bang for the buck,” she said.

The County Executive’s proposed budget includes $1.3m to continue funding the Radar/Navigator program in the existing cities, and to expand it to unincorporated areas. The council will vote on the budget next month.

-- Amy Radil

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8

Real estate market is hot in Washington state

9 a.m. -- Western Washington had more home sales in September 2020 than anytime in the past two years.

Brokers with the Northwest Multiple Listing Service completed more than 10,000 transactions in September. The MLS numbers were last that high in a single month in June 2018.

New data from the listing service says inventory has dropped 43% since a year ago, but there's a surge in home-buying, and a 19% increase in prices for houses and condos.

The data is across 23 counties, mostly in Western and Central Washington.

-- Paige Browning

Bye bye to Seattle's iconic pink elephant

8:30 a.m. -- This may be the end for the iconic Pink Elephant car wash sign in Seattle.

The landowner, Clise Properties, has filed an early plan with the city to demolish the building in the Denny Triangle.

According to the Daily Journal of Commerce, there are no landmark protections for the sign. The giant pink sign has overlooked Denny and Battery Street for decades.

-- Paige Browning

Seattle Human Rights Commission calls for Mayor Durkan to resign

8 a.m. -- The Seattle Human Rights Commission is calling for Mayor Jenny Durkan to resign or be removed from office.

In a letter issued Wednesday to the Mayor and City Council, the advisory body accuses Durkan of “failing to uphold her duty to serve and protect the rights of Seattle citizens.”

The commission cited actions related to police brutality, homelessness, income inequality, and city governance in arguing that Durkan should no longer lead Seattle.

The commission said it's their belief that the city cannot wait for the November 2021 election to remove her.

Durkan didn’t immediately comment Wednesday. She was elected in 2017, defeating Cary Moon with 56% of the vote.

Durkan's critics have also launched a recall effort that's currently in the court system.

-- Derek Wang

Snow?

7:30 a.m. -- There's a word in the weather forecast this weekend that Washington hasn't seen in months -- snow.

Seattle and the lowlands have a 20% chance of rain today, and it will build up to heavy rain Friday night, leading into a wet and cool weekend.

Meanwhile, that precipitation could fall as snow in the mountains Friday night and Saturday. It could be the first of the season in many places in the Cascade mountains.

It won't be quite low enough to fall on the highway passes, but is a taste of the season to come.

-- Paige Browning

Inslee and Culp debate climate change, recent demonstrations

7 a.m. -- Recent forest fires and climate change were topics of intense disagreement at Wednesday night’s Washington gubernatorial debate. As were points made about the region's recent protests and riots.

Republican challenger Loren Culp argued the destructive forest fires are not the result of climate change.

“This climate changes," Culp said. "I don’t dispute that. But these are not climate fires. These fires are the result of very poor management on the state level. We don’t log our forests and replant them, we don’t thin the forests, we don’t clean up the carbon on the forest floor.”

That prompted this response from Governor Jay Inslee who has made climate change his signature issue.

“To have someone run for governor in the state of Washington following Donald Trump over this cliff into the abyss of climate change, that just I believe is unacceptable in our state," Inslee said. "We deserve better. We believe somebody will not just follow science but will act on it.”

Inslee added that Washington can grow its economy by tackling climate change. Culp responded that the way to get more jobs is to get “bureaucrats out of the way.”

The candidates also sparred over the response to civil unrest in Seattle, Bellevue, and Spokane over the summer.

Culp assailed Governor Inslee’s decision to deploy the National Guard unarmed.

“I will never, ever send our young men and women in uniform into a violent situation without the means to protect themselves and other people," Culp said.

Inslee responded that he was following the lead of the state’s National Guard commander, Major General Bret Daugherty.

“He did not believe that more firearms was the answer to sort of magnify and give potential violence to the situation," Inslee said.

Inslee noted that no National Guard members were injured. Culp said if he was governor and there was civil unrest, he’d have the National Guard help local police make arrests and put people in jail.

Read more details and analysis of the debate here.

-- Derek Wang

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7

SPD launches new citywide unit to reduce emergency response times

4 p.m. -- Seattle police say they've created a new unit to help local precincts that have been spread thin.

Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said the department’s week-old Community Response Group is a floating unit of 100 officers and 10 sergeants, that goes where they are most needed in the city.

“We’ve had a couple demonstrations that we’ve literally had to pull every officer out of patrol to respond,” he said. “When it comes to a situation like that where you have no one responding now if there was a shooting, a rape a robbery or whatever that call might end up being … that’s a problem.”

Diaz said during a few chaotic hours last Friday the group helped SPD respond to multiple shootings and traffic accidents plus demonstrations that blocked streets. SPD has faced criticism for the police use of crowd control weapons against demonstrators. Diaz said there have been fewer confrontations since this new group was created.

On September 30th, the Seattle Police Department debuted its Community Response Group. The CRG is comprised of 100+...

Posted by Seattle Police Department on Wednesday, October 7, 2020

-- Amy Radil

Rite Aid purchases Bartell Drugs

10:35 a.m. -- Bartell Drugs -- a 130-year-old Seattle-based company -- has been purchased by Rite Aid.

“Looking forward to the future with Rite Aid,” said George D. Bartell, Chairman of Bartell Drugs, in a statement. “We are excited about the opportunity to expand upon our mission to be the best neighborhood drug store in the Pacific Northwest. Rite Aid’s vision fits well with what we think will best serve the needs of our customers. This is a day to celebrate the 130-year success story of Bartell Drugs, while eagerly anticipating the future.”

King 5 and The Seattle Times report that the pandemic contributed to the decision to sell.

Rite Aid -- a Pennsylvania-based company -- is slated to pay $95 million for the 67-store Bartell chain.

Ever since the first Bartell Drugs store was opened in Seattle's Central District in 1890, the chain has been owned by the same family. The sale to Rite Aid is expected to close in December.

-- Dyer Oxley

Inslee vs Culp: Debate for Washington governor is tonight

8:15 a.m. -- Incumbent Democrat Jay Inslee will debate Republican challenger Loren Culp at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The debate will air live on KUOW and on local TV stations.

Inslee is seeking a third term as governor. Washington state has had a Democrat governor for the past 36 years. It's a trend that Culp aims to disrupt.

Caleb Heimlich is chairman of the state Republican Party. He says they are eager to get their candidate in front of voters.

"I think number one is he needs to introduce himself to the voters," Heimlich said. "A lot of people, this may be their first time seeing him. And so I hope he presents himself as what I've seen behind the scenes, which is a veteran, a small business owner, and a member of law enforcement."

-- Paige Browning

Spike in search and rescue missions in Snohomish County

8 a.m. -- More people who headed out to the wilderness got lost or needed rescuing in Snohomish County this year.

The county sheriff's office says this has been the busiest year ever recorded for search and rescue. They have responded to 330 missions, compared to and average of 200 missions in the previous years.

A sheriff's office spokesperson thinks the spike is due to Covid-19, which has people looking to go outdoors more often.

Most recently, Snohomish County search and rescue crews came to the aid of two hikers over the weekend.

-- Paige Browning

It's almost time to vote -- "vote early"

7:30 a.m. -- King County will start mailing out voter ballots next week.

"Vote early, vote early, vote early," said Elections Director Julie Wise.

Wise says voting early gives election officials enough time to deal with unexpected issues that might pop up.

"Time for -- if there’s any signature issues, if there is any delay in the mail, that we give ourselves time for that, but that’s not what I’m expecting going into this election."

And if you prefer to skip the post office, Wise notes there are 73 ballot drop boxes across the King County.

The drop boxes will be open starting next week, and will be emptied daily.

-- Ruby de Luna

Seattle Storm win fourth WNBA title

7:15 a.m. -- The Seattle Storm won the WNBA title Tuesday night with a defeat over Las Vegas. It's the team's fourth championship and a tie for the league record.

Breanna Stewart says she will always look back on this season with pride.

"You know, I don't even think about the games. But, I think about the things that we did as a collective unit. We did a lot. And, we tried to impact people in other ways besides on the basketball court. I'm extremely proud to be part of this group - obviously a part of Seattle - but a part of the WNBA."

Stewart scored 26 points during Tuesday's game. In addition to the championship, she took home the title of WNBA Finals MVP.

"We were able to do something as a league that on one else was. We were able to show our strength in numbers. What we did, how we represented ourselves on and off the court was something that was extremely special. It just goes to show that people need to get behind women and people need to get behind the WNBA."

Sports writer Chantel Jennings at the Athletic says this team, and the entire league, has placed social justice at the forefront this year, not basketball.

"They have educated their viewers about the US census, they have advocated for specific politicians," Jennings said. "This is a league that I think has always had a conscience, more so than any other league in the world. And you see a league that has always been activist but this year they've almost become organizers in a sense ... in how they've connected the dots between social justice and voting."

-- Kim Shepard, Paige Browning

Appeals court grants new trial in death of Snohomish County man

7 a.m. -- Washington's Court of Appeals has granted a new trial in the death of Cecil Lacy Junior, a man who died while officers restrained him.

Lacy Junior was held down by a deputy in Snohomish County and told them he couldn't breath. He later died, and his widow alleges that officers used excessive force.

A trial judge in 2018 ruled that the excessive force case could not proceed.

But Tuesday the state's court of appeals concluded she can pursue a civil battery claim against the Snohomish County Sheriff's office and Deputy Tyler Pendergrass.

-- Paige Browning

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6

Misleading ads are just as common on credible news sites

9:30 a.m. -- Misleading ads are so prevalent that they can be found both in mainstream and misinformation news sites.

That’s according to a new study out of the University of Washington.

A research team at the Paul Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering collected more than 55,000 online ads in January. Researchers aimed to see if and where the quality of ads differed.

They found that both mainstream and misinformation sites contained problematic ads in roughly the same quantities.

The sampling of online ads was collected before the pandemic struck, ongoing protests, and the election ramped up. Researchers plan to continue collecting data to analyze campaign tactics leading up to the election.

-- Ruby de Luna

Fewer children getting vaccinated in Washington

8:30 a.m. -- Public health officials say they're tracking another concerning trend in Washington state as fewer children are getting scheduled vaccinations for diseases such as measles. the trend began when the coronavirus pandemic emerged in the region.

The Seattle Times reports that the number of Washington children (ages 18 and younger) getting vaccinated dropped by 31% in August -- compared to that month's average from 2015 to 2019.

The downward trend began in February and bottomed out with a 39% drop in April.

-- Paige Browning

Campaign to remove Snake River dams

8 a.m. -- Environmental groups are vowing to continue their fight to remove four dams on the Snake River they argue are killing salmon that are a key food source for endangered killer whales.

But instead of working with federal agencies, conservationists plan to seek removal through the political or legal systems.

The four dams are part of a vast and complex hydroelectric power system operated by the federal government in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

The 14 federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers together produce 40% of the region's power -- enough electricity for nearly five million homes.

-- Ruby de Luna

Washington officials respond to Trump's Covid tweet

Washington officials respond to Trump's 'reckless and nonsense' Covid tweet

Washington officials respond to Trump's 'reckless and nonsense' Covid tweet

7:30 a.m. -- Top officials in Washington state are responding President Trump’s Monday tweet that said “Don’t be afraid of Covid.”

The tweet drew swift condemnation nationally. In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee issued a statement calling the president’s comments “reckless” and “nonsense.”

“His only statement now should be an acknowledgement that COVID is dangerous,” Inslee said.

The governor added that it’s easy for Trump to downplay the dangers because of the above par medical care he has access to.

In a separate statement Secretary of Health John Wieseman called the president’s tweet “highly irresponsible” and said it makes “every public health official’s job that much more difficult.” He added that Covid-19 is a serious disease that is easily spread.

KUOW spoke with 57-year-old Bellevue resident Andrea Alfred who says she was disappointed to see the president remove his face mask Monday after returning from the hospital.

“Now that he has it, he still acts as though he doesn't know what to do," Alfred said, adding that she is worried the president’s supporters will follow his lead,

“It's just sad because I'm one of those high risk people; my health is very poor," Alfred said. "You know, so I have to protect myself at all costs.”

While waiting for his bus at the Bellevue Transit Center, Taft Sweat told KUOW that he doesn't feel the president has taken the pandemic seriously in the past, and worries he still won't despite being infected with it.

“Oh man, he's still gonna be infected and he may infect others," Sweat said. "He's trying to get out of the White House so he can finish you know, for the election. That's the only reason he's trying to get out of hospital.”

“ No, I won't believe nothing come out of his mouth," Sweat added. "I'm sorry. He's just a big liar bro.”

-- Austin Jenkins, KUOW staff

MONDAY, OCTOBER 5

Should the King County sheriff be appointed or elected? Voters will decide

10 a.m. -- Charter amendments tend to be obscure, and they can take voters by surprise. That’s why King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski says he’s spending his own money to campaign for them this fall.

Dembowski is the single biggest contributor to the Charter for Justice campaign committee. He’s given $2,500. So far the money is going for a website supporting the passage of seven amendments to the charter that governs King County.

The highest profile amendments relate to law enforcement: one (Amendment Number Five) would make the sheriff an appointed position rather than an elected one. Another (Amendment Number Six) would allow the council to restructure or reduce the duties of the sheriff’s office.

King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht, the King County Police Officer's Guild, and the Republican members of the King County Council oppose those two amendments.

The Keep Our Sheriff Elected campaign has raised $1,125 and launched the Save Our Sheriff website.

Read more details here.

-- Amy Radil

Washington gubernatorial debate slated for Wednesday

9:30 a.m. -- The Washington state governor's debate is on track for Wednesday night.

Democratic Governor Jay Inslee will debate the Republican challenger in the race, police official Loren Culp.

Culp spent the weekend holding an in-person rally in Yakima, and has more in-person events planned next weekend in Bellevue and Kent.

Inslee has run a mostly low-profile campaign, focusing on his day job and holding regular press conferences. His campaign will have a live, virtual event with Hillary Clinton Thursday.

The gubernatorial debate will is Wednesday night, directly following the vice presidential debate.

-- Paige Browning

SPD arrests 16 during Saturday protests

9 a.m. -- Seattle Police Department says officers arrested 16 people on Saturday during protests for racial justice.

SPD says some people vandalized a Starbucks cafe, some spray painted buildings, and set off fireworks in the Capitol Hill area.

About 100 people were out in protest Saturday night over police brutality.

Protesters in Seattle continue calling for reducing the police budget further, and justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans killed by police.

-- Paige Browning

Update on West Coast wildfires

8:45 a.m. -- As wildfires ravage through large parts of California, at least two large wildfires are underway in Washington state.

Another dozen fires have either been contained or are no longer active in the state. The Big Hollow fire has burned 24,000 acres near the Oregon border and the town of Carson. It is only 40% contained.

The Downey Creek fire in the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest is more than 3,000 acres.

Another 15 wildfires burn in Oregon.

California's fires have now damaged or destroyed 4 million acres in just this year, a historically-damaging season for wildfires.

-- Paige Browning

Critical time to catch murder hornets

8:30 a.m. -- Six Asian Giant hornets, aka “murder hornets,” have been spotted or caught since September 21 in Northwest Washington.

They were first spotted in the U.S. in the Blaine/Bellingham area last year.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture says this time of year is critical for catching the hornets, because they're entering what's known as the slaughter phase. They will visit hives and attack them in force.

During a Facebook news conference, department of ag officials told the public the wasps need to be reported and caught, The Seattle Times reports.

-- Paige Browning

Seattle Storm advance

8:15 a.m. -- The Seattle Storm are one win away from the WNBA Championship title.

The Storm have won the first two games in the WNBA finals against the Las Vegas Aces, and play their third game Tuesday.

It's a best-of-five series.

The Storm have three league titles, more than any other professional Seattle sports team, and are going for a fourth.

-- Paige Browning

Mental health clinicians ride along with Skagit deputies in latest example of reimagining policing

Skagit County Sheriff's Office reimagines mental health response

Skagit County Sheriff's Office reimagines mental health response

8 a.m. -- In a newly-launched pilot project, civilian mental health crisis responders are riding alongside Skagit County Sheriff's deputies on 911 calls.

It's the latest example of reimagining policing in the Northwest.

Skagit County Sheriff's Detective Anne Weed broached the idea for a partnership months before the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police ignited the national debate about reform.

Weed says two existing mental health clinicians from Compass Health are now being embedded with regular patrol deputies. They get assigned the 911 calls involving people acting out who may have mental health problems or addiction issues.

"911 is the number that people call when they need help because that's the only number that people know when they need help," Weed said. "We do have mental health training and de-escalation training, but we're not clinicians."

The Skagit County model is a little different than others taking similar reforms -- in Eugene-Springfield, Seattle, and Olympia, for example. The clinician and sheriff's deputy respond to calls together in the same patrol car in Skagit's plan. Alternative models have dispatchers deploy an unarmed case worker instead of an officer to certain calls.

--Tom Banse

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4

PHOTOS: Artists complete the re-painting of the Black Lives Matter street mural

caption: Mixed media artist Future Crystals paints the letter E in the Black Lives Matter street mural on Friday, October 2, 2020, on E. Pine Street in Seattle. 
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Artists have completed the re-painting of the Black Lives Matter street mural on East Pine Street in Seattle. The mural is now a permanent piece of the city.

The 15 artists who created the mural formed a plan with the City of Seattle's Office of Arts and Culture to preserve it after parts became faded or chipped.

They created the mural, painted in colorful block letters on Pine Street on Capitol Hill, in June during the Capitol Hill Organized Protest. One of the artists, Takiyah Ward, said city crews were actually going to etch the letters into the street.

"We're just digging into even further this message — this idea, the movement, making it really permanent. And so we're all super excited about that fact. They're going to etch the letters out in stone ... which will then allow us to layer the paint and colors in a way that makes them more permanent."

Ward uses the artist name T-Dub Customs, and painted the "T's" in Black Lives Matter. Ward and the other artists are collaborating under the Vivid Matter Collective.

A city statement says the preservation of the mural is "an acknowledgement of the cultural significance of the site in the Black Lives Matter movement."

Ward said etching the phrase into concrete is one step in a long journey the city needs to take toward racial justice.

"The etching in stone of our mural is a great look but it's also really about action, as far as, you know, policy and law. So we're hoping, we're hopeful the city can really come through in a real way with regard to proving that Black lives matter."

-- Paige Browning, Megan Farmer

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2

Divide over SPD funding

8:30 a.m. -- Seattle Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz is pushing back against the City Council's plan to shrink the police budget.

Council members say they want to transfer some police funding to community groups. But Diaz says the SPD still needs to fulfill its core responsibilities.

“Right now, we were struggling to be able to do that and we’ll continue to struggle if we see a smaller sized department,” he said.

Diaz said Thursday that the department will still need at least 1,400 sworn officers to staff its patrols. And while Councilmember Lisa Herbold says the Council, the mayor and the chief agree on moving certain functions -- like 911 dispatch -- outside the police department, the Council still wants things to move more quickly.

"What I’m concerned about is the amount of time it’s going to take per the Chief’s estimation and the Executive’s estimation in order to make that shift,” Herbold said Thursday.

Mayor Jenny Durkan says she will conduct an analysis on the issue that could stretch into next year.

-- Amy Radil

Seattle wants to rent hotel rooms

8 a.m. -- The Seattle Times says Mayor Jenny Durkan wants to lease upwards of 300 hotel rooms for those experiencing homelessness.

If approved by the City Council, it would be the first time since the pandemic hit that Seattle directly leased hotel rooms to use as shelter spaces

The mayor also wants new housing vouchers and more than 100 new shelter beds for those experiencing homelessness.

Funds for the effort would come from the federal Emergency Solutions Grant as will as money from the CARES Act -- a total of $34 million.

-- Angela King

Seattle court makes changes to break down barriers

7:45 a.m. -- Seattle’s Municipal Court is rolling back practices it says disproportionately create barriers for people of color.

At a City Council budget hearing Thursday, city staff said the court will no longer charge any discretionary fines or fees. Probation will be limited to domestic violence, driving under the influence, and critical mental health cases.

Probation manager Carol Bell-Daniel said they're also phasing out a program that required people to report to the court on a daily basis.

"We’re looking at other ways to check in so that it’s not a burdening those people, especially if they’re low-income but they’re still working," Bell Daniel said. "That was one of the populations we were concerned about. We didn’t want to pull people away from employment having to come in and check in in person."

The program was intended to help people show up for their court dates. Bell-Daniel says they are using phone texting and other more flexible methods to check on people instead.

-- Amy Radil

Boeing tax breaks face scrutiny after Everett move

7:30 a.m. -- Governor Jay Inslee says the state is going to review the massive tax incentives it have been giving to Boeing now that the company is moving the 787 production line out of Everett. He says about 1,000 jobs will be lost as a result

"The Boeing Company never asked or suggested to the state of Washington anything we could do to assure continued production of this airplane," Inslee said. "Simply put, we did everything we could to keep this production here. The dynamics of our partnership with the Boeing Company, to some degree, have changed, and we have a fundamental obligation to our taxpayers to consider that."

Washington gives Boeing $100 million in tax advantages every year. But now Inslee says he and lawmakers will discuss whether to maintain that.

He also says he'll work to bring the jobs back to Washington, especially once the economy improves and people are flying again.

-- Paige Browning

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1

Washington's Governor response to Boeing 'Dreamliner' departure, and election concerns

5:44 p.m. -- Governor Jay Inslee is frustrated -- to say the least -- about Boeing moving its 787 Dreamliner wide-body jet production.

"We've done a lot for, and with, the Boeing Company," he told reporters. "We're going to continue to work with the Boeing Company. but a review of this history shows we have some thinking to do."

That history? That involves the fact that Boeing receives $100 million in tax incentives in Washington annually. (Prior to this year, the incentives were so high that the World Trade Organization ruled against them.) Inslee says that's not even close to the only thing the state has done for Boeing.

"This state has moved heaven and earth to make sure Boeing had that talent" needed to produce jets, he said.

"We've worked to restore the export-import bank, which is so important to Boeing's international business. We've worked to strengthen Boeing's supply chain. And we have fostered innovation in everything from advanced manufacturing of composites, and artificial intelligence, and aviation biofuels."

That's why he says Washington needs to rethink the relationship with Boeing Company now. Could that mean stripping the tax incentives the aerospace giant receives, or asking to be paid back? Inslee wouldn't commit to that today, but says he will convene with lawmakers on it.

Washington state wants Boeing to keep jobs here, and potentially bring back the Dreamliner production one day. However, the state and taxpayers have given up a lot. Washington extended $2.2 billion in tax relief to get the airplane production here, and now Boeing is going to drop about 1,000 jobs in Washington (on the Dreamliner line).

Going forward, state officials said today Washington is this is still an aerospace industry state and they don't see that changing.

On elections...

Governor Inslee told a press conference today he's extremely concerned over Trump's repetition of false statements about vote by mail. And, Inslee says he's concerned Trump could try to stop ballots from being counted after election day.

He says it's on Republicans to stop Trump from causing damage to the election.

-Paige Browning

Everett city officials respond to Boeing moving 787 Dreamliner production

3:24 p.m. —After Boeing announced its decision to move all 787 Dreamliner production out of Everett, local officials said they knew the change was inevitable.

Mayor Cassie Franklin said the city had started making plans to expand its aerospace industry and diversify the economy.

“Pre-pandemic we were right on track, we were on a fantastic growth trajectory and then Covid-19 hit,” she said.

Franklin added that the city will continue its efforts to grow aerospace and protecting existing jobs in the region.

“This isn’t fighting to retain jobs between one half of the country and the other half of the country," she said. "This is a fight to retain the sector in an incredibly challenging economic downturn.”

Boeing’s decision to move all 787 Dreamliner production to South Carolina is expected to be completed by the middle of 2021.

Ruby de Luna

Boeing officially announces move out of Everett

9:20 a.m. — Boeing will move production of the 787 Dreamliner out of its Everett facility and consolidate it at its South Carolina operation.

Read more details here.

The Seattle Times is reporting that Boeing leadership sent an email to employees Thursday morning, announcing the move which they expect to be final by mid-2021.

The announcement comes after rumors that Boeing was considering such a move. That prompted many of Washington's elected officials to weigh in on their disappointment that Boeing was even considering a move. Governor Jay Inslee said that if Boeing did take production of the 787 out of Washington, the state would have to reconsider its relationship with the company, which has provided Boeing a series of tax cuts and incentives.

Inslee signals that Boeing could be punished for moving production out of Everett

Inslee signals that Boeing could be punished for moving production out of Everett

Potential Boeing move is 'short sighted', Rep. Larsen says

Potential Boeing move is 'short sighted', Rep. Larsen says

Rep. Jayapal comments on potential Boeing move out of Everett

Rep. Jayapal comments on potential Boeing move out of Everett

State Sen. Frockt on potential Boeing move out of Everett

State Sen. Frockt on potential Boeing move out of Everett

Dyer Oxley

Local GOP leaders comment after president's failure to denounce white supremacist groups

8:30 a.m. -- Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane was once considered by Trump for a cabinet position. This week, she told KUOW in a statement: "I believe that violence and extremism of any kind, whether perpetrated by white nationalist groups like the Proud Boys, or radical left groups like Antifa, is unacceptable and must be condemned."

She added that "We must unite against white supremacy."

McMorris Rodgers represents Washington's 5th Congressional District, and is one of Washington's three Republican Congress members. Her statement comes after President Trump refused to condemn right wing hate groups, such as the Proud Boys, during Tuesday's debate.

She did not say specifically that the president should condemn these groups, however. Neither did Dan Newhouse, who represents Washington's 4th congressional district, in a statement to KUOW. But he says there is no room for racism in our society.

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (Washington's 3rd congressional district) took her comments a step further, saying "The President needs to clarify his remarks immediately," and that all of us must reject white supremacy.

Washington and Oregon have historically been home to white supremacist hate groups, including a branch of the Proud Boys, which President Trump told to "stand down and stand by" during Tuesday's debate.

UPDATE: On Thursday, President Trump stated that he condemns the KKK, all white supremacists, and the Proud Boys. He again mentioned violence from radical left groups as a threat to the country.

-- Paige Browning

Successful 737 test flight for FAA administrator

8 a.m. -- The head of the FAA says he's satisfied with the changes made to the now-grounded 737 MAX plane.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson took one out for a test flight around the Seattle area Wednesday. He said he's comfortable with the upgrades made to the flight control system which was implicated in two deadly crashes overseas.

Meanwhile, a congressional committee has approved legislation to change the way the FAA certifies new planes. It would give the agency a say in which employees can carry out safety oversight work on its behalf.

Boeing and the FAA had come under fire for previously letting workers complete certification tasks for the 737 MAX.

-- Angela King

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30

Boeing’s move to South Carolina would sacrifice ‘quality,’ Rep. Jayapal says

5:45 p.m. -- Representative Pramila Jayapal said in a statement that moving production to South Carolina would “sacrifice” “quality, safety and overall success.”

She pointed to reported safety lapses and production flaws at the South Carolina plant that just last month caused Boeing to pull eight planes made there from service.

Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement — quote — “We have asked the Boeing Company multiple times what it needs to keep 787 production in Washington. We’ve heard nothing back.”

Inslee estimated that moving all that production would mean losing about one thousand of Washington state’s 70,000 aerospace jobs. He said he remains willing to work with the company to keep production here.

Boeing has previously had disputes with the Everett plant’s unionized workers. South Carolina is a right-to-work state, and efforts to unionize the workers at the Boeing factory there … have so far failed.

Aerospace supply businesses in the Pacific Northwest say they aren’t yet sure how it would affect them.

Chris Mefford, interim CEO of the Snohomish County Economic Alliance, says so many workers have already been laid off or will be laid off due to the pandemic, and that job losses from shifting 787 production could just be a drop in the bucket.

Suppliers say the move would affect them if Boeing finds new suppliers in South Carolina.

--Eilis O'Neill

The Berlin Patient, who was from Seattle, dies of leukemia

5 p.m. -- Timothy Ray Brown, the first person cured of HIV after undergoing a stem cell transplant for leukemia, has died. The Seattle man was 54.

He was known as “the Berlin patient” because he was the first to be cured of HIV via stem cell transplant. His donor had rare genes that were resistant to HIV. Six other people have also been cured of HIV this way.

“He was such a symbol of hope for so many people living with HIV and an inspiration for those of us working toward a cure,” said Fred Hutch virologist Dr. Keith Jerome.

In an essay posted to the National Institutes of Health, Brown wrote his story:

“While attending university in Berlin in 1995, I received a positive HIV diagnosis. I started out taking low-dose zidovudine (AZT), but the next year protease inhibitors hit the market and I, like many HIV-infected people at the time, lived a rather normal life and had a nearly normal life expectancy.

“That continued for the next 10 years. After attending a wedding in New York City and feeling exhausted the entire time, I flew back to Berlin, rode my bicycle about 10 miles to work (which I generally did weather permitting), and felt drained when I arrived…

“I had acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and needed to be treated at a hospital. We chose one of the Berlin university hospitals near my apartment. He called there and got Dr. Gero Huetter on the phone who said “Send him in.”

He underwent two rounds of chemotherapy treatment.

“Before the third chemo treatment, Dr. Huetter took a sample of my blood to send to the stem cell donor bank with the German Red Cross to look for matches for my tissue type in case I needed a stem cell transplant.”

He had 267 matches.

“This gave Dr. Huetter the idea of looking for a donor who had a mutation called CCR5 Delta 32 on the CD4 cells making them nearly immune to HIV.

"CCR5 is a protein on the surface of the CD4 cell that acts as doorway for the HIV virus to enter into the cell. Take away this entryway and CD4 cells will not be infected and the person will not get HIV. His team found a donor with this mutation on the 61st attempt. The donor agreed to donate should it be necessary.”

His leukemia went into remission, and he declined the stem cell donation.

Six other people with HIV and cancer who received a stem cell transplant have also been cured of HIV, according to Javier Martínez-Picado from IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain, according to New Scientist.

It is not an ideal cure, however, as those six all developed graft-versus-host disease.

--Isolde Raftery

GOP representatives condemn white supremacy

4 p.m. -- Washington state's three Republican congress members are condemning white supremacy in statements today, something Republican President Donald Trump refused to do in last night's debate.

But, they stop short of calling on Trump to denounce white nationalism as well.

Only one of Washington's Republican Congressmembers, Jaime Herrera Beutler, is addressing Trump's comments directly today.

She says, "Last night's debate was the worst I've ever seen. Since it wasn't made clear last night, let me state unequivocally that all of us must reject white supremacy in all its forms and violence by anyone for any reason. The President needs to clarify his remarks immediately.”

Representatives Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers would not address Trump's remarks directly today.

McMorris Rodgers says "we must all unite in standing against white supremacy." Her full statement reads:

“I believe that violence and extremism of any kind, whether perpetrated by white nationalist groups like the Proud Boys, or radical left groups like Antifa, is unacceptable and must be condemned. As I have said many times before, we must all unite in standing against white supremacy and bigoted violence. It’s repulsive and has no place in the United States of America.”

Newhouse states, "There is no room for racism or violence of any kind in our society, and I will continue to honor that conviction as I represent Central Washington in Congress."

Trump named a known hate group in the debate last night, which today put out merchandise with his words. It is among a cluster of hate groups that have called Washington and Oregon home in recent years.

--Paige Browning

Snake River dams will stay in place

9:30 a.m. -- Federal agencies have finalized a plan that will keep the Snake River dams in place. To help salmon, it will allow for more spill over dams to help juvenile salmon migrating to the Pacific.

After four years of study, managers and dam supporters say it will benefit salmon, reliable hydropower and the economy. Salmon advocates and tribes say this decision will hurt salmon and the orcas that depend on them for food.

Don Sampson is a member of the Umatilla Tribe and a spokesperson for the newly formed Northwest Tribal Salmon Alliance. He says the decision doesn’t come close to meeting tribal treaty obligations.

“Salmon that their livelihood depends on is being exterminated," Sampson said. "It’s time that people take a look at that and say, ‘Wait, this is a social justice issue. This is a human rights issue.’”

Concerns from environmental groups could lead the plans back to court. Dam advocates say increasing spill over dams will make it easier for young salmon.

-- Courtney Flatt

Boeing moving 787 out of Everett?

9 a.m. -- There's little doubt left that Boeing will be moving all production of the 787 Dreamliner out of Everett to its factory in South Carolina.

The rumors were confirmed overnight in a story from the Wall Street Journal. But, Aviation Analyst Scott Hamilton says Boeing hasn't publicly announced when that will happen.

"What Boeing has said publicly is that by 2022 the production rate of the 787 will fall to six a month, and by that point production would be consolidated, I think, in Charleston," Hamilton said. "There's no point in trying to have any portion of that six-a-month done in Everett, so I think the transition will be completed when that rate falls to six a month. Now, is that January first? Is that June 30? Is that December 31? We don't know. Boeing has not said."

Wednesday morning, the head of the FAA, Steve Dickson, will be taking the grounded 737-MAX for a test flight. It's one of the final hurdles before that plane can be re-certified.

He's scheduled to take off from Boeing field at 9 a.m. for a two-hour flight.

-- Kim Shepard

Massive hacking effort targets Washington state agencies

8:30 a.m. -- The state of Washington continues to experience a high volume of sophisticated phishing emails.

Dozens of state agencies have reported the phishing attempts. These are emails designed to get the recipient to click on an innocent-looking link or attachment that really has malware. The malware is a program that will provide access to the hacker.

"We have no indication right now that the state of Washington has been specifically targeted for any reason and so therefore we’re continuing to go out of due diligence and exercising extreme caution as to how we go about what we’re looking to do from a blocking, containing and eradication process," said Jim Weaver, the state’s chief information officer.

Weaver says these attacks mirror what other public and private organizations throughout the country have been experiencing. At this time, there’s been no ransomware attack and no indication of data being lost.

He would not say how many state employees fell for the phishing scheme or how many agencies are involved.

Bloomberg has reported that several Washington state agencies have been infiltrated by the hackers. State officials, however, will not confirm those reports.

"Our sources tell us we don't know whether anything was taken, or how far they've gotten," said Dina Bass, who covers tech for Bloomberg. "But one important thing is that it does appear that they were not targeting election disruption."

Bass says we don't know yet who's behind the attacks and there hasn't been any disruption in state services. The agencies affected include the Department of Corrections, Parks & Recreation, and Fish & Wildlife.

The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and Microsoft are all helping the state as it investigates what happened.

-- Derek Wang and Andy Hurst

Potential new King County sales tax

8 a.m. -- King County residents may pay a slightly higher sales tax in 2021, under a proposal by County Executive Dow Constantine.

He's proposed increasing sales tax by .1%. The money would be used to build permanent housing for approximately 2,000 people who are homeless.

"The population we're talking about is essentially the population you see on the streets in downtown Seattle, people who have fallen all the way to the bottom with services so that they don't return to the tents and the streets," Constantine said.

Constantine says if the tax is approved, then bonded against, it could raise $400 million all to be used for housing.

Voters won't have a say in this increase. Instead, it'll be up to the county council to vote on it by the end of the year, because of a state law that allows for a 1/10 cent sales tax for housing and related services.

-- Paige Browning

Domestic violence homicides are up in King County

7:30 a.m. -- The number of domestic violence homicides in King County has nearly doubled this year.

“Domestic violence homicides are up. It’s cause of enormous concern to us," said David Martin who manages the domestic violence unit in the King County prosecutor’s office.

He says with 13 domestic violence related deaths so far this year, 2020 is almost twice as a bad as the past two years.

Reports of domestic violence first surged in the spring, when the pandemic first hit.

"People being home and so much stress and anxiety, and loss, and increases in substance abuse, and increases in mental health issues, exacerbate what goes on in any household," Martin said.

King County has resources online for people needing help. The national domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

-- Casey Martin

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29

Suspect in Edmonds market triple shooting now in custody

9 p.m. — The Edmonds Police Department says the person suspected of shooting three people at the Edmonds Boo Han market Tuesday afternoon has turned himself in. He is described as a 27-year-old man from Everett.

3 people shot at Edmonds market, police searching for suspect

4:03 p.m. — Three people have been taken to the hospital after being shot at the Boo Han Market in Edmonds in the 22600 block of Highway 99. No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting.

The Edmonds Police Department tweeted that Highway 99 and streets surrounding the area have been either closed or significantly impacted. A canine unit is actively searching the area for the suspect believed to be behind the shooting.

Head of FAA to test fly 737 in Seattle

8:30 a.m. — The head of the FAA is scheduled to jump behind the controls of a 737 MAX plane Wednesday, and take it out for a test flight.

But before then, Steve Dickson will try out one of the full motion flight simulators and review all the training the pilots will receive.

Dickson used to be a commercial airline pilot. He has said in the past that he would not sign off on recertifying the now-grounded plane until he flew it himself and was satisfied it was safe enough to "put my own family on it without a second thought.”

Meanwhile, The Washington Post is reporting leaders of the House Transportation Committee will introduce legislation Tuesday. It would give the Federal Aviation Administration a say in which Boeing employees can carry out safety oversight work on the agency’s behalf.

The company came under fire for letting Boeing workers complete certification tasks for the MAX. And earlier this month, the committee said grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA was partly to blame for the two deadly 737 crashes overseas.

Angela King

Man from SPD bike incident speaks out

8:15 a.m. -- The man who had his head and neck run over by a Seattle police bicycle officer during a protest last week is speaking out about the incident.

The protester who goes by Trumpet Man spoke about the incident via his Instagram page. He has been a regular at recent protests for racial justice and calls to defund the police.

"I got a little soreness, tweaked neck," he said. "I'm no martyr. There are some real martyrs in this movement, and we were out there for one of them that night."

He says he was hurt more by the arresting officer that night than the bike officer. he says that he received no medical attention in jail.

He also says that he doesn't want his case to co-opt the racial justice movement, adding that as a white man he can only be an ally in the fight.

The officer who rode his bike over the protester neck is now on administrative leave while the case is investigated by both the Office of Police Accountability and the King County Sheriff's Office.

This blog post has been corrected, it originally misidentified the man who was run over by the Seattle police officer.

View this post on Instagram

How we're doing and what's to come @abolitionistsforpeace

A post shared by Trumpet Man (@trumpetmanmusic) on

-- Angela King

Wildfire smoke could soon return to the NW

8 a.m. -- Just when you were starting to enjoy having blue skies and clean air again, the National Weather Service is warning that wildfire smoke from California could be making a comeback this week.

Smoke could arrive in Western Washington on Wednesday morning. It could hang around for 2-3 days. However, it's not supposed to be as bad as earlier this month.

-- Angela King

Wildfire smoke prompts farm groups to ask for worker protections

7:30 a.m. -- Farmworkers in Washington have continued picking apples even when the air quality was hazardous because of wildfire smoke. Now, advocates are urging action from the state.

Northwest Public Broadcasting’s Enrique Pérez de la Rosa reports.

Latinx civil rights groups have called on Governor Jay Inslee to provide relief to farmworkers affected by wildfires this year. But now that most of the recent smoke is gone, United Farm Workers is calling on the state to prepare for next year.

Zaira Sanchez coordinates emergency relief for the related UFW Foundation. She says the nonprofits want the state Department of Labor and Industries to draft rules that protect farmworkers from the health and financial impacts of wildfires.

"Some folks have expressed that, yeah, their hours were cut, they were sent home, and it’s unfortunate because they’re depending on that income to provide for their families," Sanchez said.

Sanchez says farmworkers who spoke to the union would like to see their wages protected. They’d also like the state to make a requirement for farmers to provide personal protective equipment when smoke rolls in.

-- Enrique Pérez de la Rosa

Northwest ski season makes pandemic plans

7 a.m. -- It may not feel like it this week ... but ski season is right around the corner. Pacific Northwest ski areas are hiring and making plans to open on schedule. Still, the pandemic is reshaping things on the slopes.

Ski areas across the Northwest have mostly worked out their Covid-19 protocols for the upcoming season. The plans have a lot in common. One thing widely eliminated is walk up ticket sales.

"The question about it's a big powder dump and I want to come up that day and enjoy it, that may be more difficult this year than any other year," said Dave Tragethon with Mount Hood Meadows.

Ski areas are limiting lift ticket sales to prevent overcrowding. So, skiers will need to make a habit of advance reservations for a specific date and time, except in some cases for pass holders. Lift lines are going to be spaced out and face coverings will be required at all times in base areas, on lifts and in lodges (except when eating).

-- Tom Banse

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

Seattle considers raise for Uber, Lyft drivers

8:30 a.m. -- Uber and Lyft drivers in Seattle could be getting a pay bump next year.

The Seattle City Council is expected to vote this week on a minimum wage for rideshare drivers.

Right now most Uber and Lyft drivers make less than $10 an hour in Seattle, according to a July study. Mayor Jenny Durkan wants to raise that up to the city’s minimum wage of $16.39.

If approved by the City Council on Tuesday, rideshare companies would also have to cover expenses like gas and insurance. The companies would also have to pay out all rider tips to the drivers.

Lyft and Uber have fought the wage hike, saying it will make rides more expensive and ultimately hurt drivers.

Drivers say during the pandemic they’ve seen a decrease in rides and need a minimum wage now more than ever.

If approved, the new minimum wage would go into effect January 1.

-- Casey Martin

10 arrested during weekend protests

7:30 a.m. -- Protests continued in Seattle over the weekend, leading to property damage and arrests.

Protests peaked on Saturday night when Seattle police arrested 10 people, including a 19 year old from Kirkland who had allegedly started a dumpster fire in the street.

Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz said his department was being stretched thin.

“My issue is not with peaceful demonstrations. However, information shared online, by some of the parent organizers of these events, make it clear what their goals are. To compromise the wellness and health and wellness of my officers, to tie up SPD resources, to decrease the support that SPD has in the community and to disrupt normal community activities.”

Another protest on Sunday was relatively peaceful.

Read more details here.

-- Joshua McNichols

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

Inslee aiming to keep Boeing 787 production in Washington

9 a.m. -- Governor Inslee is trying to stop Boeing from moving its 787 production line out of Washington state.

Boeing hasn’t announced any decision on that yet, nor have company executives answered the governor's question about how to keep the assembly line open.

“We will continue to ask the Boeing company what, if anything, the state of Washington could do to assure that this plane will continue to be made in the state of Washington,” Inslee said.

Nearly 20 years ago, Boeing got big tax breaks to bring Dreamliner production to Washington.

Inslee says he hasn’t decided what he will do to try to keep 787 production in Washington if Boeing decides to make the move.

-- Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Hackers targeting Washington state systems

8:30 a.m. -- State officials say Washington state is being targeted by a sophisticated hacking attack, known as phishing.

Phishing is a form of internet fraud where hackers try to get users to disclose confidential information. It can also be a way for hackers to trick users into installing ransomware.

Jim Weaver, state Chief Technology Officer, told KUOW's Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins that Washington is taking steps to protect state systems.

"There has not been, and I’ll say it again, not been a successful ransomware attack. Nor is there any indication of any state services being impacted at this time," Weaver said.

Officials wouldn't say where the hacking attacks are coming from. But they're reminding people to carefully review any official looking emails that ask for information. Also make sure the email addresses match official state agency addresses.

Officials also say the state’s voter registration system, vote.wa.gov, has not been affected.

-- Derek Wang

Mayor Durkan comments on protest incidents

8 a.m. -- Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says a police officer seen on video rolling his bicycle over the head of protester lying on the ground should be prosecuted if the action was intentional.

The incident happened at a protest near Cal Anderson park early Thursday morning. Video of the incident has been circulating on social media.

On Thursday, Mayor Jenny Durkan spoke on KUOW's The Record.

"They had the Force Review Board in immediately, they contacted OPA, they referred an officer for criminal investigation. And the video clip I saw was very brief. My view is, if it was intentional, that that officer should be prosecuted and should be terminated from the police department."

The officer has been placed on administrative leave and the King County Sheriff’s Office is now reviewing the case for a potential criminal investigation.

Durkan also addressed another video from that same night and protest. It shows an officer being attacked by a protester with a metal bat.

"But I also saw a video of a protester hitting a police officer in the back of the head with a baseball bat, or what appeared to be a baseball bat. That person should be prosecuted, too."

No word yet if that person has been identified or arrested.

-- John O'Brien

Fires set amid protests in Capitol Hill

7:30 a.m. -- Another night of protest in the Seattle area following the Breonna Taylor ruling out of Kentucky.

A demonstration that started off peaceful took a turn when someone set several items on fire near the Seattle Police Department's east precinct in Capitol Hill.

Officers used fire extinguishers to keep the flames under control until firefighters arrived.

Police say people also threw items at officers, and fireworks at the building, before they cleared the streets.

No word if anyone was injured.

-- Angela King

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

QFC, Fred Meyer employees told to not wear BLM buttons

8 a.m. -- Workers at *QFC and Fred Meyer (both under the Kroger Kroger company) are pushing back against their employers over buttons that say "Black Lives Matter."

Sam Dancy works at the Westfield Village QFC in West Seattle where store where employees recently started to wear Black Lives Matter buttons.

“It’s a human rights issue and it’s a movement,” Dancy said.

But Dancy says store managers wouldn’t allow associates to wear the pins.

"Associates were approached by management and asked to take the buttons off," Dancy said.

A spokesperson for the grocery stores didn’t give KUOW an explanation for the button ban. But she said employees have the option to wear company-issued wristbands instead, including one that's intended to symbolize anti-racism. However, it doesn’t say "Black Lives Matter."

The buttons were distributed to employees by the grocery workers’ union UFC 21. The union says the buttons should be allowed and have filed formal labor charges.

*Fred Meyer and QFC are business supporters of KUOW.

-- Deborah Wang

Protests in Seattle Wednesday night

7:30 a.m. -- People throughout the country, and here in Seattle, took to the streets to protest a grand jury decision to not criminally charge officers for shooting and killing Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.

Two separate and peaceful protests broke out at Westlake Center and Cal Anderson Park Wednesday evening.

But overnight, Seattle police arrested 13 people near Cal Anderson Park after they clashed with demonstrators.

Police used pepper spray on the crowd after they say people started throwing bottles at them and some sort of explosive at the East Precinct -- where the security cameras were cut.

The SPD is also saying Thursday morning that the Office of Police Accountability is investigating a moment - caught on video - that showed a bike officer rolling over the neck and head of a demonstrator. Those arrested are facing charges for property destruction, resisting arrest and failure to disperse as well as assault on an officer.

Another online video showed an officer, after falling to the ground off their bike, being struck in the head with a baseball bat. That video has since been deleted.

-- Angela King

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

Seattle protesters lead solidarity marches with Louisville, KY

10:30 p.m. -- A group of around 200 demonstrators marched from Westlake Center to the federal courthouse where they created a vigil for Breonna Taylor.

Organizers hand out yellow flowers and candles. For 8 minutes, the crowd is silent. One woman softly sings "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

8:30 p.m. -- Protesters are guarded by a car brigade as they march downtown. There is no sight of law enforcement at the Westlake march.

At the other march that began in Cal Anderson, Seattle police appear in cars and on bikes. One car brigade driver is arrested and dispersal orders are given. This comes after some protesters smash parking meters and vandalize two Starbucks stores in First Hill.

7 p.m. -- A small crowd gathers in Seattle's Westlake Center for a solidarity march with Louisville, Kentucky after updates on Breonna Taylor's case. Today a grand jury indicted a single former police officer for shooting into neighboring apartments but did not move forward with charges against any officers for their role in Breonna Taylor’s death.

Another protest is taking place at Cal Anderson park, the former area that hosted the CHOP/CHAZ.

-- Esmy Jimenez

King County budget proposals include a new sales tax, and a few cuts

8:30 a.m. -- King County Executive Dow Constantine has unveiled his his two-year budget proposal.

He's asking for a new .1% sales tax to pay for housing for those experiencing homelessness. He also wants to give more than $4 million in marijuana tax revenue to community organizations. That money is currently being used to help fund the sheriff's office.

Also up for consideration -- cutting 450 county jobs to make up for the economic effects of this pandemic.

The County Council expected to vote on the plan by mid-November.

-- Angela King

Where does all the wildfire smoke go?

8:15 a.m. -- Rains have washed away the thick smoke that fouled the Northwest region's air this month. But that smoke didn’t just disappear.

Wildfire smoke is mostly water vapor and other gases. But it’s also made of tiny particles of soot. Once a good rain knocks them out of the sky, they wind up on the ground and in the water.

Markus Van Prause is a stream ecologist with the Department of Ecology.

He says streams can be overwhelmed with a pulse of pollution when the first big rains arrive after a wildfire.

“It’s like sending a biological system into complete shock," Van Prause said. "You’re just basically taking a lot of contaminants and moving them all at once.”

It can be hard to separate out where water pollution comes from. But scientists say the biggest problem isn’t the smoke.

It’s the soil eroding from areas that have been denuded by fire. The first heavy rains can also send gunk like motor oil into streams near roadways.

That makes October a rough month for Coho salmon and other things that live in suburban streams.

-- John Ryan

Seattle Council overrules mayor's veto on SPD cuts

8 a.m. -- Cuts to the Seattle Police Department budget will move forward. The Seattle City Council voted Tuesday to override Mayor Jenny Durkan, who vetoed the Council’s cuts last month.

They include laying off 100 people from the police department and cutting the salaries of commanders. Council members called these first cuts a “down payment” on future action.

The Council now has to work with the Mayor on next year’s full budget, and those negotiations could take months.

Read more details here.

--Casey Martin

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

Seattle Schools considers in-person return to buildings

4 p.m. -- A small number of Seattle students with special needs are already receiving services in school buildings. Other students with special needs may return to school this year as well, as the district checks in with families by mid-October. These family meetings could result in more students returning to school buildings.

The Seattle School Board convened on Tuesday afternoon to discuss what school reopening might look like for schools. The focus was on special education students and those from bilingual families.

Online learning has “created a major disruption in the delivery of all education,” said Concie Pedroza, chief of student support. That is particularly true among special education students, she said, and Black, indigenous, families of color.

A slide that Pedroza shared said, “Families of color already have racialized trauma; the pandemic has added racial trauma to their lives.”

Tacoma's first Black mayor Harold Moss dies

2 p.m. -- Harold Moss has a few "firsts" behind his name -- Tacoma's first Black council member and first Black mayor. He was also the first Black Pierce County council member. He passed away this week at the age of 90.

Moss became involved in local social justice causes after he faced discrimination when trying to buy a house in the Tacoma area. He went on to become president of the local NAACP, and then on to a career in politics. He was involved in Tacoma politics starting in the 1970s when he served on the City Council. After an absence, he returned to the Council in the 1980s, and then moved on to the mayor's office in the 1990s. From there, he became a county council member until 2004.

Last year, Tacoma named a bridge after Moss.

-- Dyer Oxley

Former Washington auditor plans to take case to Supreme Court

10 a.m. -- Former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley has one last avenue of appeal and his lawyer says he plans to take it -- petitioning the US Supreme Court to review his case.

Kelley was convicted in 2017 of possession of stolen funds and other crimes related to his prior real estate services business. Kelley has long maintained his innocence and previously appealed to the 9th Circuit.

In July, Kelley lost that appeal and earlier this month the 9th Circuit refused to reconsider its ruling.

Kelley’s petition to the Supreme Court is something of a long shot. Four justices would have to agree to take his case on appeal. That only happens in a small percentage of cases.

Read more details here.

-- Kim Shepard

Restoration effort for Capitol Hill BLM mural

9:30 a.m. -- Efforts to make the Black Lives Matter mural in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood permanent get underway Tuesday.

Parts of it are already faded and chipped, so crews are going to use heavy machinery to etch it into the ground so it can be redone.

"The etching in stone of our mural is a great look, but it's also really about action, as far as you know policy and law," said Takiyah Ward with the Vivid Matter Collective of artists. "We're hopeful the city can really come through in a real way with regard to proving that Black lives matter."

The artists who painted the mural back in June during the Capitol Hill Organized Protest are collaborating with the city's arts and culture office in this restoration effort. The city says it wants to save the mural due to the cultural significance of the art itself.

The work - weather permitting - is scheduled to be finished by this weekend.

-- Paige Browning

Census official wants more time

9 a.m. -- West Coast states, including Washington and Oregon, want more time to ensure a complete count during the 2020 Census.

The census is scheduled to end next week, on September 30. Census workers are close to the finish line for the once-every-10-years count. They've collected responses from 97, 98 or 99 percent of known addresses in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, respectively.

This is a remarkable feat given everything that's happened this year, says Washington state's point person on the 2020 Census, Marc Baldwin.

However ... "We need to make sure that the census counts are accurate. Washington could use another month. I think most states could use another month on the census collection."

Baldwin says the stakes are high for capturing billions of dollars of future federal funding based on population and for the reapportionment of state and federal legislative seats.

-- Tom Banse

SPD withdraws subpoena for media companies

8:30 a.m. -- The city of Seattle has withdrawn a subpoena that called on several Seattle-area media companies to hand over their raw video footage from the May 30 protests.

Investigators wanted the video so they could try to identify people who set a number of police cars on fire. But last month the state Supreme Court ruled temporarily in favor of the news outlets.

On Monday, the Seattle Police Department announced on its website that is is withdrawing the subpoena because the decision was being delayed, adding that detectives have done excellent work on the cases in the interim.

-- Angela King

Seattle responds to "Anarchist Jurisdiction" label

8 a.m. -- Mayor Jenny Durkan is calling the Department of Justice's label of Seattle as an "Anarchist Jurisdiction" blatantly unlawful.

The label means that the DOJ could attempt to cut federal funding from Seattle, as well as New York and Portland which share in the designation.

Durkan said that Attorney General Bill Barr's obsession with "Seattle and me is irrational."

The DOJ claimed local crime rose by more than 500% during the time of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone. But King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg released a statement Monday night saying, in part, "the designation seems more of a political statement than a factual one" adding the DOJ never contacted his office for any actual data.

President Trump's earlier attempts to stop federal funding to jurisdictions that declared themselves sanctuary cities have so far been blocked in the courts.

Read more about the DOJ's anarchist label below, under Monday's updates.

-- Angela King

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

Competition emerges for access to Lower Spokane Street Bridge

9:45 a.m. -- The West Seattle Bridge is expected to take years to either replace or repair. But while it’s out of service, more people want to be able to use the Lower Spokane Street Bridge during the day.

The city says it’s looking at ways to make that happen, while the Port of Seattle is getting nervous.

Just over a year ago, the Port announced that it would invest half a billion dollars in Terminal 5. And that means many more freight trucks that can’t use the West Seattle Bridge and only use the much smaller lower bridge.

With commuters now wanting access to the lower bridge, that could cause greater traffic and potential delays.

Terminal 5 is expected to open next summer.

Read more details here.

-- Carolyn Adolph

Redmond police kill woman

9:30 a.m. -- Redmond police officers shot and killed a woman Sunday evening after she called 911 saying someone was trying to kill her, according to KING 5 News.

When officers arrived, they found her on the balcony of her apartment. She said that she may have shot someone and confronted officers with a gun. That's when Officers opened fire.

-- Angela King

DOJ designates Seattle as "Anarchist Jurisdiction" in move to cut fed funds

9 a.m. -- The Department of Justice has declared New York City, Portland, and Seattle as "Anarchist Jurisdictions" under guidelines issued by President Trump earlier this month.

Those guidelines direct federal agencies to cut funding to cities with this designation.

“When state and local leaders impede their own law enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to peacefully assemble and protest,” Attorney General William Barr. stated in the declaration. “We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance. It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens.”

The DOJ says Seattle allowed violence and property destruction during the summer protests against police violence. It cited seven incidents in its justification for the anarchist designation, including the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone.

As stated in the DOJ declaration:

  • For nearly a month, starting in June, the City of Seattle permitted anarchists and activists to seize six square blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, naming their new enclave the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) and then the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” (CHOP).
  • Law enforcement and fire fighters were precluded from entering the territory. The Seattle Police Department was ordered to abandon their precinct within the CHOP.
  • Person-related crime in the CHOP increased 525% from the same period of time in the same area the year before, including by Mayor Durkan’s own count “two additional homicides, 6 additional robberies, and 16 additional aggravated assaults (to include 2 additional non-fatal shootings).”
  • The CHOP was allowed to stand for nearly a month, during which time two teenagers were shot and killed in the zone.
  • The Seattle City Council, Mayor Durkan, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee publicly rejected federal involvement in law enforcement activities within the city of Seattle.

-- Angela King

King Co. considers cutting marijuana revenue from Sheriff's budget

8:45 a.m. -- Should the King County Sheriff’s Office stop receiving tax revenues from marijuana sales?

That's one of the 2021-2022 budget proposals going before the King County Council this week.

Executive Dow Constantine proposes that the county use that revenue on youth drug prevention, employment programs, and to help people with old marijuana convictions.

That would take $4.6 million out of the sheriff's departments roughly $400 million budget.

But the idea already has an opponent on the County Council -- Reagan Dunn.

Dunn issued a statement saying "It’s time for leaders to stand for law and order.” It’s a phrase that resembles President Trump's campaign messaging.

Executive Constantine also wants to boost community safety programs, and support youth offenders instead of filing charges against them, among other proposals.

The cuts to the sheriff's office are supported by the county’s Prosecuting Attorney's Office, as well as Black Lives Matter Seattle and King County.

--Paige Browning

Boeing could move 787 Dreamliner production out of Everett

8:30 a.m. -- Reuters is reporting that Boeing may shift more of its 787 Dreamliner production from Everett to South Carolina.

The move is a cost-cutting strategy.

According to Reuters' sources, a final decision is expected to be announced by late next month when Boeing issues its next earnings report.

-- Angela King

Potential cause of fire that struck Malden, Pine City

8:15 a.m. -- We may now know what caused the fire that nearly wiped out the eastern Washington town of Malden.

Avista Utilities told the Spokesman Review that a tree may have made contact with a power line in the area and sparked the fire. But the utility says it has not found any evidence that any equipment deficiencies or vegetation management were to blame.

The fire not only wiped out an estimated 80% of the town Malden, it also destroyed more than half of homes in the neighboring town of Pine City.

-- Angela King

King County deputy shoots and kills man in Auburn

8 a.m. -- A King County sheriff's deputy is on leave after shooting and killing a man in Auburn Saturday afternoon.

A person waved down the deputy and said they saw the man firing a gun in a nearby back yard, according to KOMO News. The sheriff's office says a 32-year-old came out and got into some sort of altercation with the deputy. That's when the deputy opened fire.

It is unknown if the man was armed at the time.

-- Angela King

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Child pepper spray case: Seattle Police accountability office finds no wrongdoing

10:05 a.m. — The city's Office of Police Accountability has wrapped up five investigations into complaints filed against the Seattle Police Department amid ongoing protests, including a case in which a child was hit with pepper spray.

The office has received roughly 19,000 complaints about police officers' conduct since May 30, and is still working through more than 100 use of force investigations.

The newly released findings, detailed below, involve the following cases:

  • A young boy hit with an officer's pepper spray at a May 30 protest in Downtown Seattle. No violations found were found in this investigation and the deployment of the pepper spray was found to be "lawful and proper."
  • An officer placing his knee in the back of a person's neck during an arrest in Downtown Seattle on May 30. Video of the arrest circulating online Two violations were found in this case: Improper use of force and a violation of the Seattle Police Department's professionalism policy.
  • An officer allegedly shoving an elderly man during a May 30 demonstration in Downtown Seattle. The Office of Police Accountability determined the evidence in this case was inconclusive, citing the inability "to identify whether and when this occurred and, if so, who the involved officer was."
  • An officer threatening to hit demonstrators and stating that he has "a hard on for this shit." That officer was found to be in violation of the Seattle Police Department's professionalism policy by making that commentary.
  • Allegations that officers used excessive force when pushing demonstrators back and were particularly aggressive with a man because of his sexual orientation. Investigators found that the use of force in this case was "lawful and proper" and that the claims of discrimination were unfounded.

Read more here.

Liz Brazile

Federal judge blocks changes to USPS ahead of November election

10 a.m. — A federal judge in Yakima has temporarily blocked some of the controversial US Postal Service changes that have been slowing mail delivery across the country.

Judge Stanley Bastian called them "a politically-motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service" ahead of the November election.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson led the charge by Washington and 13 other states.

Under the ruling, the USPS has to stop telling drivers to leave some mail behind and it will need to reassemble and reconnect some of the mail sorting equipment that was ordered to be removed.

Angela King

BLM files request with Seattle inspector general for SPD conduct

9:30 a.m. — Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County is asking the city's inspector general to investigate "the Seattle Police Department's potentially unlawful actions against protesters during demonstrations earlier this year."

The BLM group filed a request with the City of Seattle Office of Inspector General on Thursday, asking for them to look into:

  • If elected officials or city staff interfered with SPD’s response to protesters.
  • Who gave the order for police to abandon the East Precinct -- which they argue could have jeopardized public safety. Also, if officers used city resources to prolong their absence from the building.
  • If Seattle police used less-than-lethal weapons on protesters after a court ordered them not to.
  • If Seattle police illegally surveilled protesters using non-SPD devices, and if police illegally access personal records of protesters.
  • If the Office of Police Accountability shared information about police conduct and disciplinary decisions with the media.

In a statement, BLM Seattle-King County says "This probe, along with another filed this week with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC), are together designed to ensure that elected officials and city staff are held accountable."

Angela King

Air quality in Puget Sound region

9 a.m. — The rain may be on the way, and the smoky conditions improving, but an air quality alert for places like King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties has been extended through 10 a.m. Saturday.

Right now the Department of Ecology still has the air quality listed as unhealthy for most of the Puget Sound region -- despite slight improvements in some areas.

A storm that's set to move through the area later Friday will help scrub out the air.

Angela King

New momentum for ban on native mascots

8:45 a.m. — Democratic state representative says she's drafting a proposal for the next legislative session that would ban Native-themed mascots and team names at public schools.

And while Native American leaders have been calling for something like this for a while, the argument has found new momentum.

This move is "long overdue" according to a panel of Native education leaders who spoke to the Washington State Board of Education on Wednesday. Willie Frank is a Nisqually Tribal Council member.

"One of the most degrading things for us as Native people is to see a non-native running around in our regalia with their face painted and they're war whooping or they're chanting," Frank said. "That's tough to see."

The state Board of Education has twice passed resolutions urging school districts to discontinue monikers such as Chiefs, Indians and Warriors. But about two-dozen schools in the state still use team names like that because the resolutions were nonbinding. If the Washington Legislature passes a mandatory phase out next year, it'd be about six years behind Oregon and 15 years behind the NCAA. Both of those, though, make exceptions for schools to keep a Native-related team name by written agreement with a nearby tribe.

Tom Banse

Ballard P-Patch saved

8:30 a.m. -- The Ballard P-Patch has been saved from development, but there’s a caveat.

A church that owned the property wanted to sell the land beneath the garden in order to pay for a remodel. The gardeners staged a dramatic effort to raise $2 million to save the community garden. Their efforts came close, but fell a little short.

Nonetheless, this week they announced that a non-profit land conservancy called "Grow Northwest" had stepped in and officially purchased the garden from the church.

The catch is that the money for the purchase is not a gift, but a two year loan.

Still, that gives the gardeners a little breathing room to raise the $300,000 that remain, and to wait for King County to deliver a promised grant.

They’re hosting a fundraiser – a virtual 5K run - later this month.

Joshua McNichols

NW smoke reaching New York

8 a.m. — There's so much smoke in the Northwest that it's drifting all the way to the East Coast.

According to the National Weather Service, the wind patterns this week have carried smoke eastward. It has reached the Dakotas, New York, and some has even spread over the Atlantic Ocean.

Meteorologist Matt Solum is watching this pattern from the National Weather Service's western headquarters.

"Just happens to be the perfect set up for just having enough smoke and the right wind direction the higher up in the atmosphere you go, to bring it clear across the country," Solum said.

He says because there is so much smoke, it's being pushed up into the jetstream.

Solum says forecasts for the Seattle area still call for a storm pattern Friday evening that could clear out some of the smoke, sending it elsewhere instead.

The smoke and particulate matter that has traveled to the East Coast is not low enough for people to breath, but is visible as haze and red skies.

Paige Browning

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

Washington facilities are on the front lines of a new innovation in veterans’ health care

10 a.m. -- Next month, Spokane’s Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center and the VA’s Puget Sound Health Care system will switch to a new electronic medical records system. Agency officials believe it will help veterans and active duty service members better navigate multiple health care systems.

John Windom is the executive director of the VA’s Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization.

"Right now we’ve got about 130 different Vista systems in VA that don’t really speak to each other," he said. "So that’s going to knock down that barrier. The VA facilities and medical centers will be able to speak to one another and exchange information."

He says the VA will also be able to access records from health facilities on military bases and from private providers who care for veterans.

Dr. Laura Kroupa, the VA’s chief medical officer, says the system will also help the agency on a macro level.

"We’ll be able to discover new things about how military service affects health," Kroupa said. "When we think about having a nationwide network across multiple hospitals and over time, the amount of information that we’ll be able to use to advance research and understanding veterans’ health care issues is going to be phenomenal."

The Washington facilities will be among the first hospitals in the nation to begin using the new system next month.

-- Kim Shepard

Separate deaths in two Seattle-area parks

9:45 a.m. -- A teenager was shot and killed at Houghton Park in Kirkland Wednesday evening. Kirkland police haven't released any suspect information, but they say two men were seen running from the scene around 8 p.m.

In Seattle, a man wanted in connection with a woman found dead in Cal Anderson Park Wednesday night has died himself.

Officers say he barricaded himself inside a nearby building, and after hours of trying to talk him out, police found him dead at the bottom of a 10 foot tank filled with a bleach solution.

-- Angela King

Judge hears arguments around postal service changes in Yakima

9:30 a.m. -- A federal judge in Yakima is set to hear arguments Thursday in a motion from Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Ferguson wants the judge to immediately block changes at the US Postal Service that he says are threatening critical mail delivery nationwide.

Among some of the requests -- have the USPS replace, reassemble, or reconnect all mail sorting equipment that's been removed and hold off on any more changes until after the election.

-- Angela King

Wildfire update: Friday brings potential to clear out smoke

9:15 a.m. -- Fire officials say they continue to make progress against the Cold Springs wildfire in Washington state -- it's 80% contained. Another large fire, the Pearl Hill Fire, is 94% contained]. Both are burning in north central Washington.

But the air quality throughout the state remains unhealthy.

The National Weather Service says the smoke should start clearing out of the region on Friday. That's when a new storm will bring rain and smoke-clearing winds.

-- Angela King

King County could cut millions for law enforcement

9 a.m. -- King County Executive Dow Constantine is proposing a $4 million cut from county law enforcement and instead investing that money in community programs.

He also said the county should establish new programs to keep young people out of jail, in what he calls a commitment toward racial justice. It's all part of his new biennial budget plan announced Wednesday and it's supported by community groups like Black Lives Matter Seattle and King County.

"The priorities presented today will begin to address some of the injustices the Black community and other communities of color have experienced for decades in King County," said BLM Seattle-King County Board member Marlon Brown. "We want to acknowledge that this is a marathon, not a sprint."

Brown says more change is needed, including ending cash bonds.

Constantine’s budget proposal will go to the county council next week.

In addition, King County Metro will not enforce bus fares for the rest of this year, as enforcement can disproportionately impact people of color.

-- Paige Browning

Seattle gets e-scooters

8:30 a.m. -- They've got two wheels and a lot of power. Electric scooters are now available to rent in Seattle.

The company Lime rolled out its first 500 e-scooters Wednesday. I took one on a test ride, cruising down the Seattle waterfront, near the Aquarium.

The scooter is zippy. I moved along at about 13 miles per hour. The scooter maxes out at 15 mph. There’s a hand break plus a bell.

Seattle is one of the last major U.S. cities to get scooters. In the past, there’s been concerns about scooters cluttering sidewalks. And also the city has a lot of hills; many are far too steep for this scooter to climb.

Now, there are now hundreds of green, free-floating scooters around Seattle. Just remember your helmet.

-- Casey Martin

Recall Sawant petition gets the green light in court

8 a.m. -- A petition to recall Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant got the green light Wednesday in King County Superior Court.

King County Superior Court Judge Jim Roger ruled that the facts in the case for four of the six charges against Sawant were "sufficient" to let the recall move forward.

"The courts role in this case is very limited and acts only as a gatekeeper, reviewing allegations only for legal and factual accuracy and not for their truth," he wrote.

PDF Icon

9-16-20 DECISION ON RECALL COUNCILMEMBER SAWANT.pdf

In his order, Judge Roger is careful to note that while four charges are sufficient for the recall effort to move forward, his decision is not a finding of guilt.

The four sufficient charges include:

  • Sawant's role in leading a protest march to Mayor Jenny Durkan's home. The location of Durkan's home is confidential by law due to her previous role as a US attorney. The judge notes that Sawant says she was unaware of this, but also states that the violation is a class C felony.
  • Sawant allegedly handing over hiring and firing authority for city employees to an outside political organization in violation of the city's hiring rules (this issue has previously come up with the city's ethics commission).
  • Sawant allegedly using city resources in support of a ballot initiative and therefore participated in electioneering.
  • Sawant allowing hundreds of protesters into city hall after hours, amid a pandemic with a state order against large gatherings.

The next stop for the recall campaign, legally, could be the state Supreme Court if Sawant appeals, as expected.

While the recall campaign moves forward, Sawant will be getting legal help from the city. The City Council voted 7-to-1 Tuesday afternoon to provide her with legal representation. The majority of council members say she's due that help, under the law, even if they don't agree with her.

"So I realize this is not a popular position in my district, and supporters of mine will be asking for a long time, how can you support Councilmember Sawant," said District 4 Councilmember Alex Pedersen.

Debora Juarez was the only council member who voted against this move.

-- Gil Aegerter, David Hyde, Dyer Oxley

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Seattle Councilmember Gonzalez reflects on 'harm' of past votes

11 a.m. -- Lorena Gonzalez, Seattle City councilmember, has been reflecting on votes that she has made and apologizing for them.

“As public safety chair over the last four years, I have taken votes to expand the footprint of law enforcement in a way that didn't recognize the need to have equal or greater amount of investments in community programs around education, affordable housing, health care systems that really help BIPOC community members be resilient and successful,” she said.

“This is a moment for us as elected leaders to acknowledge when we've created harm through our policy choices and decisions,” she said. “I hope that other elected leaders in Seattle and across the state take an opportunity to reconcile past policy decisions and acknowledge that now is a moment to move in a different direction.”

Read/listen to more of the interview with KUOW's Angela King.

--Angela King, Kim Shepherd

Seattle police arrest 11 people at Denny Park

10 a.m. -- Seattle police arrested 11 people Tuesday during an anti-police demonstration at Denny Park.

The SPD says those who were arrested were breaking out windows and spray painting businesses as they moved along 5th Avenue near the Space Needle.

According to the Seattle Times, a livestream recording showed some bicycle officers walking next to the group, pulling people out, and taking them into custody.

SPD used pepper spray when, officers say, some tried to intervene with the arrests.

At least one person was taken to the hospital.

Officers say they later recovered bear mace, spray paint, a baton and a knife from those who were arrested.

-- Angela King

Inslee and Culp to debate in October

9:30 a.m. -- A date has been set for a gubernatorial debate between incumbent Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Loren Culp -- October 7.

The two candidates will square off in a televised debate slated to air at 8 p.m. following the U.S. vice-presidential debate.

Two candidates for lieutenant governor -- State Sen. Marko Liias and U.S. Rep. Denny Heck -- will debate on October 22.

-- Angela King

Recall Sawant petition gets the green light in court; City Council votes to help Sawant in legal fight to dismiss recall effort

Updated at 4:45 p.m. 9/16/2020

9 a.m. -- A petition to recall Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant got the green light today in King County Superior Court.

King County Superior Court Judge Jim Roger ruled that the facts in the case for four of the six charges against Sawant were "sufficient" to let the recall move forward.

"The courts role in this case is very limited and acts only as a gatekeeper, reviewing allegations only for legal and factual accuracy and not for their truth," he wrote.

Former U.S. attorney John McKay argued on behalf of the petition brought by Ernie Lou and other residents.

The charges against Sawant include using her official position to let hundreds of protesters inside city hall, after hours, during a pandemic in June. They also object to Sawant leading a protest march to Mayor Jenny Durkan's home, which is protected under state confidentiality laws.

“I hope that we are not living in a time in which our elected officials are not held accountable for violations of the law,” McKay said.

Dmitri Iglitzin represented Councilmember Sawant. He said the petitioners failed to provide evidence that any specific laws had been broken, and argued the court should set a high bar for recalls.

The next stop could be the state Supreme Court if Sawant appeals, as expected.

Either way, Sawant is getting legal help from the city. The City Council voted 7-to-1 Tuesday afternoon to provide her with legal representation. The majority of council members say she's due that help, under the law, even if they don't agree with her.

"So I realize this is not a popular position in my district, and supporters of mine will be asking for a long time, how can you support Councilmember Sawant," said District 4 Councilmember Alex Pedersen.

Debora Juarez was the only council member who voted against this move.

-- Gil Aegerter, David Hyde

Congressional committee releases findings on 737 MAX

8:45 a.m. -- A congressional committee in Washington D.C. has released its findings into what caused two deadly 737 MAX crashes.

It blamed a culmination of design flaws, management failures, a lack of transparency, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA. It also said Boeing made faulty assumptions about how pilots would respond to the flight control system that was implicated in the crashes.

The committee also said Boeing employees were under pressure to keep costs down, and the planes on schedule.

In a statement, Boeing says it's learned many hard lessons from the crashes and is making both manufacturing and workplace changes.

-- Angela King

Seattle makes another step toward backyard cottages

Seattle pushes backyard cottage designs to cut through red tape

Seattle pushes backyard cottage designs to cut through red tape

8:30 a.m. -- This week, the city of Seattle unveiled 10 pre-approved designs for backyard cottages. The goal is to cut through red tape and make backyard cottages easier and cheaper to build.

Gary Olmeim is one of the designers whose backyard cottage plans have been pre-approved by the city. He says people can build his tiniest cottage for about $130,000. It comes in pieces, in a kit.

“They’re kind of like a flat-pack IKEA box," Olmeim said. "Except they’re not in a box, because you couldn’t have a box big enough. But they’re these flat panels that get delivered to your house with a set of instructions and you can put them together out there like a bunch of IKEA pieces.”

The city of Seattle surveyed residents about why they’d want to build a backyard cottage. In North Seattle, more people want to rent them out for extra income. In South Seattle, more people want to house an aging parent.

-- Joshua McNichols

Lime scooters unleashed in Seattle

8:15 a.m. -- The company Lime is deploying 500 e-scooters around Seattle Wednesday.

The City Council approved a citywide pilot program last week, and officials granted Lime a permit for e-scooters Tuesday.

But local leaders are advising residents to limit any travel while the unhealthy wildfire smoke remains lingering throughout the region.

Under city rules, first-time riders will be limited to speeds of up to eight miles per hour. After that, the scooters can travel up to 15 miles per hour.

The city expects that up to 1,500 scooters could be rolling through Seattle streets once other companies like LINK and Wheels apply and get their permits by the fall.

Some healthcare workers say severe injuries to riders have risen as e-scooters have grown in popularity in other cities.

Councilmember Alex Pedersen, who chairs the Council's Transportation Committee, cast the sole no vote, saying he had unanswered questions about the program's viability in Seattle.

-- Angela King

Increase in calls for trouble breathing

Seattle health clinics report spike in calls for difficulty breathing

Seattle health clinics report spike in calls for difficulty breathing

8 a.m. -- Health clinics have been getting more calls this week from people concerned about the smoke.

Neighborcare Health in South Seattle – a nonprofit health center - says people are having trouble breathing, wondering if they’ve developed asthma, asking about inhalers, and just how to avoid the smoke.

There is a smoke shelter available in SoDo for people who don’t have some place inside to go. The county says that’ll be open through Wednesday morning.

-- Casey Martin

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Bill Gates Sr. dies at age 94

Bill Gates Sr. has passed away

Bill Gates Sr. has passed away

3:46 p.m. — William H. Gates Sr., perhaps best known as the father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, has died at age 94. In a letter publicly shared online, Bill Gates Jr. wrote that his father had passed away peacefully in his home on Monday.

"We will miss him more than we can express right now," he wrote. "We are feeling grief but also gratitude. My dad’s passing was not unexpected — he was 94 years old and his health had been declining —so we have all had a long time to reflect on just how lucky we are to have had this amazing man in our lives for so many years."

Bill Gates Sr. was a prominent civic leader and philanthropist. Gates Sr. was born in 1925 in Bremerton, Washington. After serving in World War II he earned a law degree from the University of Washington.

Starting in 1994, he helped launch and run the William H. Gates Foundation, which later became the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He was also involved with the board of Planned Parenthood before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision making abortion legal in Roe v. Wade.

In his 80s Gates Sr. campaigned for a Washington State income-tax on high earners like himself and his son.

Alaska Airlines cancels fights due to wildfire smoke

9:30 a.m. -- We hadn't seen much in the way of smoke causing problems for major air travel, but Alaska Airlines said Monday that it was temporarily suspending all flights into and out of Portland and Spokane because of wildfire smoke.

But the airline is hoping to resume those flights by 3 p.m. Tuesday. The cancellations also include Horizon Air flights.

Alaska and Horizon have also canceled flights at smaller airports in Oregon, including Eugene, Medford and Redmond/Bend. In Washington, flights were canceled in Pasco and Walla Walla.

-- Angela King

Wildfire smoke threatens Northwest harvests

Wildfires and smoke are threatening Washington's harvests

Wildfires and smoke are threatening Washington's harvests

9 a.m. -- Wildfire smoke from California and the Northwest is choking the harvest of many Northwest crops. And it's causing a headache for agricultural workers.

The Northwest apple harvest got going at the end of July. And it will run until winter. There’s an estimated 134 million boxes of apples to be harvested in Washington. And losing a few days because workers can’t be in heavy smoke is a big deal.

Tim Kovis with the Washington State Tree Fruit Association says the quality of the fruit can also be affected.

“There is an optimal window for our industry where the sugar content, the color, shape, size is right for that piece of fruit to go to market,” Kovis said.

Farmers in the region are also having trouble harvesting their veggies, and are worried about wildfire smoke affecting the flavor of valuable wine grapes.

-- Anna King

Audit finds Seattle bridge maintenance lacking

8:30 a.m. -- A new audit says the city of Seattle isn't spending enough on bridge maintenance and some of our bridges have gotten pretty bad over the past 10 years.

And not just the West Seattle Bridge, which has been closed since March. Five bridges, including the Magnolia Bridge and University Bridge, are listed in poor condition.

Seattle City Council member Alex Pedersen, who chairs the Transportation Committee, asked for the audit following the West Seattle Bridge closure. He said the city needs to spend closer to $36 million on maintenance. Right now it spends about $7 million.

Pedersen says that bridge maintenance shortcomings need to be addressed in the next budget.

SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe said the transportation department is already in the process of developing a more comprehensive and proactive bridge preservation program.

--Angela King

2 decisions around recall campaign for Councilmember Kshama Sawant

The effort to recall Councilmember Kshama Sawant faces 2 decisions this week

The effort to recall Councilmember Kshama Sawant faces 2 decisions this week

8 a.m. -- There are two big events this week in the recall campaign against Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant.

First, the council will hold a special meeting Tuesday to vote on whether the city should pay to defend Sawant against the recall campaign. The proposal says the city attorney's office should defend her and bring possible appeals. The attorney's office has defended council members before. For example, in 2011 for council member Richard Conlin.

A second action comes Wednesday when a judge is scheduled to decide whether the recall campaign has enough merit to move to the next step and collect petition signatures. A Seattle resident created the recall effort last month, saying that Sawant violated city rules by participating in a protest march to the mayor's house.

Her supporters will rally outside the King County Courthouse Wednesday morning in solidarity with Sawant,

There are also recall campaigns underway against Mayor Jenny Durkan and Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney.

-- Paige Browning