News Roundup
8:07 am
Fri March 25, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

A Sailor greets his young daughter moments after arriving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln at Everett Thursday.
Colby K. Neal US Navy photo

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Pierce County Jury Convicts Lakewood Robbery Mastermind
  • More Learned About Seattle Actor's Death
  • Thousands Greet Returning Sailors in Everett

 

Verdict for Plotter of Violent Walmart Robbery

Odies Walker will spend the rest of his life in prison for planning out the violent 2009 robbery at the big-chain store that resulted in the killing of an armored-car guard, Kurt Husted. Pierce County Judge Bryan Chushcoff has ordered Walker held without bail until sentencing on April 8th. 

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Military
7:42 am
Fri March 25, 2011

Northwest airmen soldiers aiding in Libya operation

A C-17 Globemaster sits on the tarmac with Mt. Rainier in the distance at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Lakewood.
Biggunben Flickr

Some Air Force and Army bases in the Northwest are helping with the Libyan fight. Seven tankers and about 100 airmen from Fairchild Air Force Base are already working in undisclosed locations in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

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Seafood Business
6:59 am
Fri March 25, 2011

Eco-label pays quick dividend for Dungeness crab fishers

Crab pots on the docks at Newport, Oregon
Tom Banse N3

To consumers, the welter of eco-labels on various food products can be nebulous or confusing. But the first crab fishery on the West Coast to get a green friendly label says it is seeing a really quick payoff.

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Renewable energy
3:59 pm
Thu March 24, 2011

Clash over changes to renewable energy law

hippyshopper.com

An effort in Olympia to broaden Washington’s renewable energy law is running into opposition.

Green energy groups say the proposed change would weaken the voter-approved Initiative 937.

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Ali Tarhouni
3:34 pm
Thu March 24, 2011

UW professor integral part of new Libyan opposition government

Flags of Libya's opposition, the pre-Gadhafi regime banner, are waved by opposition supporters on Tuesday in Cairo, Egypt, outside the Arab League meeting.
AP

A longtime University of Washington economics professor has quickly found himself in a lead role with fellow Libyans fighting to defeat ruler Col. Moammar Gadhafi's forces. 

Shortly after Ali Al Tarhouni returned to Libya weeks ago, he was named finance minister for Libya's opposition movement, according to a statement Wednesday from the University of Washington press office.

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Washington State Legislature
1:00 pm
Thu March 24, 2011

School buses could get traffic-ticket cameras

Automated traffic ticket cameras could soon show up in a new place. They’d be attached to school buses. Opponents of photo traffic enforcement are mounting a late effort to stop the idea in the sate Legislature.

Brenner Beck is a school bus driver in Gig Harbor. He says motorists go around his bus when the flashing stop sign paddle is out.

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Humanosphere
11:19 am
Thu March 24, 2011

One of every three of us on planet has TB; Seattle rates remain twice national average

In this 2003 file photo, Dr. Masa Narita, TB Control Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County, looks at x-rays of tuberculosis patient lungs. There were 116 cases of TB in King County in 2010.
John Froschauer AP

My friends always tend to disbelieve me (in general, but also specifically) when I tell them that one out of every three people on the planet has been infected with tuberculosis.

So where are all these consumptive folks, they might say? — This is assuming they know that TB used to be called consumption because of the way it “consumed” and withered the body as the infection progressed.

They’re everywhere, I’d reply, including right here in wealthy and smug Seattle.

Seattle, in fact, has one of the worst problems with TB in the nation. But it’s always here, managed by the public health folks, so it’s hardly news.

The news is that it’s World TB Day.

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K-12 Education
10:02 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Bonuses aren't attracting teachers to low-income schools, UW researchers find

Hundreds of public school teachers in Washington are working toward their National Board certification, a highly rigorous program. Some, like Seattle School teacher Drea Jermann, pictured in 2009, teach in schools termed "challenged."
Gary Davis KPLU

Money is not enticing Washington’s top teachers to move to low-income schools, according to University of Washington researchers. They studied a state program that gives bonuses to teachers who go through a rigorous evaluation process called National Board Certification.

Supporters of the program, however, say it's successful because more teachers at struggling schools now have the high level proficiency endorsement.

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News Roundup
8:18 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

The Washington State History Museum in Tacoma could be closed temporarily due to state budget cuts. A new proposal would keep it, and others in Spokane and Olympia, open.
Gary Davis KPLU

Good morning. Will it be as sunny as Wednesday? No, but we will see occasional sun breaks along with clouds and showers around western Washington today, according to the National Weather Service. 

Making headlines this morning:

  • Guilty Plea in Afghan Civilian Murders
  • Seattle Pays Out Millions in Madison Valley Flood Suit
  • New Plan Could Keep State History Museums Open

 

Morlock Pleads Guilty to Murder

Army Spc. Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty to three counts of murder of unarmed Afghan civilians, admitting the motive in the deaths was "...to kill people."  Morlock's plea came at a Joint Base Lewis-McChord court martial hearing Wednesday, a process followed closely by KPLU's Austin Jenkins.

Morlock will be a key witness in hearings of four Stryker Brigade platoon mates who are also charged in the deaths, reports The News Tribune's Adam Ashton: 

Morlock will be a key witness against Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, who allegedly plotted to murder Afghan civilians and brought his comrades along with him. Gibbs denies the charges and is expected to face a court-martial in June.

The war crimes are the subject of international attention, with photographs of soldiers posing with corpses published online this past week by Germany's Der Spiegel.

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Afghan War Crimes
7:55 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Soldier sentenced to 24 years for war crimes

Attorney Frank Spinner, left, and other members of Spc. Jeremy Morlock’s defense team speak with reporters following Morlock’s sentencing.
Austin Jenkins N3

A Washington-based soldier has been sentenced to 24-years in prison for killing unarmed civilians in Afghanistan. Specialist Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty to three counts of premeditated murder and other crimes.

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Record Bin Roulette
2:10 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Oompah! Singin' about beer

Free Beer!
fengergold / Flickr Flickr

The world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, and the third most popular drink overall.

The invention of beer is argued to be responsible for humanity's ability to develop technology and build civilization. Think about that for a moment the next time you crack open a cold one. Those early Neolithic humans were tipsy.

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Law & Justice
5:44 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

Spokane backpack bomb suspect plea: not guilty

FBI evidence photo of backpack found on a downtown Spokane street corner bench.
FBI

The Colville man accused of planting a bomb along Spokane’s Martin Luther King Day parade route pleaded not guilty today.

It was Kevin Harpham’s second appearance in federal court. The 36 year old wore a tan Spokane County Jail uniform and ankle shackles. His plea means the case is now headed to trial.

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Coffee Culture
5:39 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

Stock price surges as Starbucks annual meeting presents another starstruck affair

Starbucks baristas who the company calls "partners" dole out coffee and memoires at the 2011 Annual Meeting, outside Benaroya Hall in Seattle.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU

Starbucks stocks have surged. That's thanks in part to the German financial company Deutsche Bank, which has resumed its coverage of the Seattle coffee giant and is saying investors should buy the stock. 

It's just one sign of confidence in the rebound of the company, as its executives outlined its latest growth strategies.

An annual love affair with coffee and other addictive treats

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Humanosphere
4:16 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

Local relief agencies weigh in on whether Japan is still in need of international aid

Odd as it may seem, that’s a big question right now within the aid and development community.

By a simple measure of the number of news stories and organizational appeals out there, clearly the answer is: Yes, people should donate to disaster relief in Japan.

Perhaps the most blunt argument answering the question in the negative has come from Felix Salmon, economics columnist for Reuters, who said simply: Don’t Donate Money to Japan.

I’ve posted on this debate a few times, including an anonymous post from an aid worker decrying the “ugly game” of fund-raisingaround the Japan quake-tsunami disaster.

Others have written as well about the question of whether Japan needs/wants help from outside groups such as Stephanie Strom at the New York Times and Saundra Schimmelpfennig at Good Intentions Are Not Enough.

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Education
2:11 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

More college kids stumped on research papers

Jackson Hathorn recently graduated from the University of Washington after finishing his history thesis. He says it's easy for students writing research papers to get bogged down with how many sources there are out there.
Rachel Soloman KPLU

Writing a research paper should be easy for students today. They’ve got libraries, online databases and all of Google at their fingertips.

But an ongoing study out of the University of Washington’s Information School is finding that college students find it tougher to do research today than in the past—even with access to more sources than students have ever had before.

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