Public Health
2:40 am
Mon April 4, 2011

Northwest very familiar with Iodine-131

An alfalfa field near Richland, Wash., Mar. 30, 2011.
Anna King Northwest News Network

The small amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 found in milk in Spokane has been causing ripples of concern throughout the Northwest. Officials say the tiny amounts of radiation found in the milk were probably blown over from Japan’s stricken nuclear plants.

Just outside the Tri-Cities, Drex Gauntt’s alfalfa fields roll out like a plush emerald shag carpet. One of the ways that cows can pass Iodine-131 into their milk is by eating grass or hay that’s been contaminated with the radioactive isotope. Gauntt says he’s not too concerned.

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Spring Fund Drive: March 30 - April 4
1:28 am
Sat April 2, 2011

VIDEO: Good Radiation (Public Radio Rap)

Here's a little something from a couple of talented young Public Radio fanatics to lift you spirits during the final few days of our Spring Fund Drive!

Sports with Art Thiel
4:01 pm
Fri April 1, 2011

Mariners start 2011 season with a major shuffle

Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki stretches before a spring training game in Arizona last month. Art Thiel says Ichiro is the only player to be starting in the same position he played last year, as the Mariners shuffle things around.
Lenny Ignelzi AP

The Mariners are making some changes to their starting lineup as the 2011 season gets underway. Will it bring them better luck than last year's losing season?

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is skeptical, but he says there are some bright spots coming out of spring training.

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Seattle Pillow Fight 2011
3:43 pm
Fri April 1, 2011

Feathers and fluff beneath the Space Needle on Saturday

Get out your angst, frustration, or joyful inner child. Seattle is ready to stage its third Pillow Fight.

The 2008 event at the Pike Place Market was the first-ever held in Seattle, a worldwide event with 'fights' now staged in 115 cities, called International Pillow Fight Day. 

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Northwest Economy
2:01 pm
Fri April 1, 2011

Booming demand from China for Northwest logs & lumber

A logging truck passes the Weyerhaeuser Pulp Mill on Friday Oct. 21, 2005, in Cosmopolis, in Grays Harbor County.
Jim Bryant AP

There’s good news and bad news for logging and saw-milling jobs in the Northwest. The bad news is new figures out show construction spending dropped in February to the lowest level in more than a decade. The good news is that timber demand from China is soaring.

Russia has traditionally been China’s main wood supplier. An export tax by the Russians combined with the expanding Chinese economy has created an opening for exporters on the West Coast.

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Spring Rains
11:38 am
Fri April 1, 2011

Snoqualmie Falls shows off its majesty as flood waters crest

The Snoqualmie River is cresting at the falls this morning. These two videos were shot by Carol Wells yesterday on an Android-platform smart phone. 

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Japanese Culture
8:00 am
Fri April 1, 2011

Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival strives for balance of celebration and solace

The organizers of Seattle's Cherry Blossom Festival say this year's festival will inform attendees about recent events in Japan while still celebrating spring.
Gray Davis KPLU

The Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival starts today. This year, the annual event isn’t just a celebration of spring. Organizers say it’s also an opportunity to work through feelings about the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan last month.

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News Roundup
7:41 am
Fri April 1, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

State transportation workers blow snow from US Hwy. 2 at the town of Scenic, near Stevens Pass, on Thursday. Avalanches closed the road early Thursday, and another hit yesterday afternoon. The pass remains closed today.
WSDOT

It's Friday, April 1st. Here's what's making headlines around the Northwest:

  • Work to Clear Avalanches on Highway 2 Continues
  • Flood Update: Snohomish River To Crest This Morning
  • WTO Ruling on Boeing: May Not Mean Much
  • UW's Thomas Opts for NBA Draft

 

Stevens Pass Still Closed

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John T. Williams Shooting
6:08 am
Fri April 1, 2011

Wood carver's killing subject of federal review

Tribal members gather at the Chief Seattle Club in Pioneer Square last September to call for accountability in the police shooting death of native carver John T. Williams.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

"We have nothing to hide" – those were the words of Seattle's chief of police yesterday.  The department is under fire. 

The questions stem from a federal review of the fatal shooting of a first nation's wood carver last August, as well as what many people perceive as a prior pattern of  abusive violence against minority groups.

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JBLM Soldier
6:06 am
Fri April 1, 2011

Lone survivor of massive bomb in Afghanistan dies in car crash

Cpl. Roger Scherf Jr. was the sole survivor of a bomb blast in Afghanistan. He died in March in a car accident.
U.S. Army

He was the sole survivor of a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan that killed seven of his comrades and their interpreter. Now, Corporal Roger Scherf, Jr. has also died, the victim of a car accident on an icy highway.

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Law and Justice
3:03 pm
Thu March 31, 2011

Feds launch civil rights investigation of Seattle Police

A protester named Redweezil holds up a photo of John T. Williams, a Native woodcarver killed by Seattle Police officer Ian Birk in August 2010. The killing sparked protests and was among the events prompting the ACLU to call for a federal investigation.
Ted S. Warren AP

Update 2:55 p.m.

The federal Department of Justice is launching a full-scale investigation into possible discrimination and excessive use of force in the Seattle Police Department. The probe will review the department’s policies, practices and behavior.

The investigation will look for what’s called a “pattern or practice” of civil rights violations in how the Seattle police use force, especially against minorities.

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Domestic Partnership
2:26 pm
Thu March 31, 2011

Washington to recognize same-sex marriages from other states

Same-sex marriages performed in other states will be recognized as domestic partnerships in Washington State under a bill now awaiting Gov. Chris Gregoire's signature. 

House Bill 1649 passed the state senate Wednesday 28-19. It was already approved by the House of Representatives.

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KPLU's Spring Fund Drive
10:24 am
Thu March 31, 2011

April Fools: Today is Fund Drive Free Friday!

You may notice when listening to KPLU today that the fund drive sounds a little different. What’s going on? Well, because we know you like shorter fund drives and we do like to show gratitude to our listeners, we have given you back a day of regular programming smack in the middle of our spring fund drive!

If you have already supported our Spring Fund Drive thank you for you support! If you haven’t had a chance, you can show us how much you LOVE having a Fund Drive Free Friday by making a pledge here, without the on-air pitching!

Remember we can only have shorter fund drives because we are able to reach our fundraising goals. These goals are only met because of listeners like you who make it happen every time!

Enjoy your Friday, and thanks again for all you do for KPLU!

Aerospace competition
9:24 am
Thu March 31, 2011

WTO rules Boeing received illegal government subsidies

Airplane manufacturing at Boeing's Everett plant, in 2010.
AP

The World Trade Organization has ruled that some U.S. government aid to aircraft maker Boeing Co. is illegal. 

The WTO's report details findings first issued in private to the EU and U.S. in January. It says the EU has demonstrated the U.S. gave Boeing "export subsidies that are prohibited" and recommends the U.S. either withdraw them or "take steps to remove the adverse affects." 

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Environment
8:42 am
Thu March 31, 2011

Some river flooding, road closures after rains

A road near the Carnation Golf Course is covered with water Thursday morning, March 31, 2011, in this Twitpic image from KING-TV's Chris Daniels.
ChrisDaniels5 Twitpic

Some major western Washington rivers are expected to flood today, including "major" flooding forecast along the Snohomish and Snoqualmie, according to the National Weather Service.

Heavy rains the past few days, with heavy concentrations in the Cascades and Cascade foothills, and warmer mountain temperatures, have produced rapid runoff.

Flood warnings are issued for these rivers in Snohomish and King counties:

  • Snohomish
  • Skykomish
  • Snoqualmie
  • Tolt
  • Stillaguamish (north and middle forks)
  • Green (middle reach upstream of Auburn)
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