Idaho Mine Collapse
9:19 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Seven miners rescued at Lucky Friday

Crews have rescued seven miners after a collapse at the Lucky Friday Mine in north Idaho. It’s the third major accident there this year. The Lucky Friday’s owner says the silver mine has been evacuated until further notice.

A rockburst occurred Wednesday evening nearly 6,000 feet underground near Mullan in Idaho’s Silver Valley. Local law enforcement and the mine’s rescue crew were called in. Twenty-five people were working in the vicinity at the time.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu December 15, 2011

What are memories and what's the brain doing with them?

Memory explained
luciana christante Flickr

Whenever we think about the past it brings back so many memories.

But what are memories, exactly?

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Reception Notice ...
3:45 am
Thu December 15, 2011

KPLU's West Seattle listeners may encounter reception problems

KPLU's long-time signal to West Seattle at 88.1 FM may encounter interference due to a new radio station broadcasting on that same frequency beginning Monday, December 19.

Because of terrain and distance, it's possible that some KPLU listeners in West Seattle will still be able to hear the station, but others may experience some signal disruption.

At the present time, KPLU is unable to do anything about the interference. However, the station has a license application in to the FCC to move its West Seattle signal to a new frequency.

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Salmon virus controversy
5:51 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Hearing Thursday on decline of salmon in Canada's Fraser River

In British Columbia on Thursday, Canadian scientists will testify about the decline of salmon in the Fraser River. 

Even if you don’t like fish, advocates say you should still be concerned.

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K-12 Education
2:01 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Hundreds of high school students ditch school to protest state budget cuts

More than 100 Ballard High School students walked out of their classrooms Wednesday afternoon to join a protest at UW against cuts to education.
Katie Kennedy

Hundreds of high school students are rallying at the University of Washington in protest of cuts to education. They walked out of their classrooms this afternoon and marched or rode buses to the University District. 

Students from at least five high schools, including Ingraham and Nathan Hale - and even a few students from Tacoma - have banded together for the protest. 

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Bad billing
1:39 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Regulators accuse PSE of improper fee charges

OLYMPIA, Wash. — State regulators say Puget Sound Energy improperly charged a residential-visit disconnect fee to some electricity and natural gas customers.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission staff says the utility should refund the $13 fee to more than 1,600 customers. The utility also could be fined as much as $1,000 for each violation.

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Economy
1:31 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Washington job growth reaches four year high

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington added more than 12,000 jobs in November. That drops the state unemployment rate to 8.7 percent.

In fact, employment statistics released Wednesday show that job growth has reached a four-year high in Washington.

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The Impact of War
9:25 am
Wed December 14, 2011

Retired Kiowa pilot discusses crash over Lewis-McChord base

OH-58 Kiowa Warrior. Photo courtesy Bell Helicopter

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 5:17 pm

THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. – The bodies of four Washington-based Army helicopter pilots have been recovered from the wreckage of two military choppers that went down on a training flight. The crash happened Monday night under reportedly clear skies over Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

An Army spokesman says the pilots were flying OH-58 Kiowa helicopters and would have been using night vision goggles. It's not clear yet if this was a mid-air collision.

Retired Kiowa pilot Justin Rich says flying with night vision is like looking through a paper towel tube.

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Food for Thought
5:26 am
Wed December 14, 2011

When's the last time you had a nice baloney sandwich?

Don't be coy – you know you want it.
Dick Stein KPLU

 Don't you think you're due? It had been about ten years for me and that was too long. 

Traditionalist that I am I went with Oscar Mayer, spongy white bread,  mayo, iceberg lettuce and house-brand chips. The result is pictured above. Was it good?

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jets and rockets
5:14 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Paul Allen's dramatic spaceship joins Bezos in space-race

Paul Allen and aviation innovator Burt Rutan announce their latest space partnership, called Stratolaunch, from Allen's headquarters in Seattle.
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

Paul Allen is bankrolling a dramatic new space-craft, which aims to launch satellites later this decade, and maybe people, too. The project uses an airplane made from two rebuilt Boeing 747’s. 

It looks a little like a flying catamaran. It will be the largest airplane ever built, with six jet engines. And hanging from the wing in the middle will be a rocket.

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Education
5:12 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Wash. Governor wants to toughen teacher evaluations

Gov. Chris Gregoire announces education reform proposals. Photo by Joe Concannon

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 2:54 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington Governor Chris Gregoire wants to put teeth into a statewide system for evaluating teachers and principals. In Olympia Tuesday, Gregoire said she'll ask the Legislature to approve a new four tier performance rating. It would go from unsatisfactory, to basic, to proficient, and top out at distinguished.

The governor wants the law to require educators in the two lowest tiers improve within a year or be fired.

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Japanese Tsunami
4:30 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Most tsunami debris must be removed from the ocean by hand

The whole crew of Project Kaisei tries to lift an island of net and plastic estimated at over a ton.
Ryan Yerkley

How do you remove from the ocean more than 100,000 tons of Japanese tsunami debris heading for Northwest shores? By hand, says one expert.

“When you’re talking about open ocean … It’s a very big ocean,” says Andrea Neal, an experienced ocean cleaner. “There isn’t a whole lot being done in the open ocean.”

That’s because most programs devoted to cleaning marine debris focus on prevention and coastal cleanup. When crews do confront debris in the open ocean, cleanup efforts require hands, a ship and supplies which can cost more than $35,000 per day to operate, because the composition of the debris makes it difficult to get out of the ocean.

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Environment
1:46 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Pierce County burn ban elevated to stage two

Air quality is worsening in Pierce County. 

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has raised the burn ban in Pierce County to Stage 2. No burning is allowed in ANY wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves, fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves. The only exception is if a wood stove is a home's only adequate source of heat.

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Space Travel
1:11 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Paul Allen to open airport operations - for space!

What Paul Allen's new ship -- carrier aircraft with spaceship hanging in the middle -- will look like.
Stratolaunch Systems

Paul Allen’s new company, Stratolaunch Systems hopes to bring airport-like operations to the launch of commercial and government payloads and, eventually, human missions. Plans call for a first flight within five years, according to a company press release.

The air-launch-to-orbit system will mean lower costs, greater safety, and more flexibility and responsiveness than is possible today with ground-based systems, the company declares.

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