Northwest Farmers
11:13 am
Tue April 15, 2014

'This Is The Kind Of Hay Year That Makes A Hay Farmer Smile'

Drex Gauntt grows some of the earliest-harvested alfalfa in the Northwest near Burbank, Wash.

 

Many Northwest alfalfa growers had a rough year with bad weather last summer. Rain can leach nutrients out of drying hay and rot away any profits. 

But this year, hay markets are primed if growers can duck the storm clouds. Drought in California and parts of the Midwest means hay buyers are focusing in on Northwest crops. 

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Life Behind Bars
10:34 am
Tue April 15, 2014

How Meditation Is Changing Monroe's Maximum-Security Inmates

Justin Steyer KPLU

Seven maximum-security inmates sit in a room with their eyes closed, not making a sound.

Shackles bind their hands and feet, confining them to a metal chair bolted to the ground. A guard stands nearby. Yells and clanks from the hallway stray in through the open door.

This is what meditation class at the Monroe Correctional Complex looks like. The students, murderer and rapists among them, listen as volunteer teacher Cathy Iacobazzi walks them through a practice session. 

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Food for Thought
10:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Join Dick Stein And Nancy Leson For A Food For Thought 'Happy Hour'

C'mon, Get Happy with Dick and Nancy!

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS NOW!

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Oso Slide
5:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Slide Survivor: I Called County 3 Times Before Buying Home, But No One Warned Me

What's left of Robin Youngblood's property is seen in the wake of the mudslide.
Courtesy Robin Youngblood

Former Oso resident Robin Youngblood calls the mudslide she survived last month “devastating, horrific and totally unnecessary.” Thirty seven people are confirmed dead, and seven remain missing as crews search for remains. 

Youngblood was pulled from the ruins after her mobile home was flattened. She’s now on a mission to get laws changed to prevent people from building or remaining in slide-prone areas once the danger is known.

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Health Care
4:29 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Audit: State Overpaying Medicaid Providers

Washington state has been overpaying for health care under the Medicaid program, according to state auditors.

The audit found the state spent about $17 million more than it should have on free health care for the poor in 2010. The amount is a tiny, tiny part of the billion-dollar Medicaid budget. But the auditor found the overpayments could feed a vicious cycle, increasing each year.

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Total Eclipse Of the Moon
3:12 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Seattle-Area Skygazers May See Glimpse Of 'Blood Moon' — If They're Persistent

The "blood moon" glows reddish in the Earth's shadow.
Fred Espenak NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

The Puget Sound region won’t be the best place to take in the lunar eclipse in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. High clouds are likely to obscure the so-called “blood moon,” which flushes reddish in the shadow of the Earth.

University of Washington atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass says the northwest Washington coast might fare better. And cloud breaks might give even Seattle-area moon-gazers a glimpse — if they keep looking.  

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Jazz Appreciation Month
3:05 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Song Of The Day: Coltrane's Classics, Including A Beautiful Ballad For His Daughter

smithsonianjazz.org

“My music is the spiritual expression of what I am — my faith, my knowledge, my being. When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups...I want to speak to their souls.” ― John Coltrane

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Politics
2:45 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Wash. Senate Majority Leader Tom Announces He Won’t Run For Re-Election

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, looks over a document on the first day of the 2014 session of the Washington state Legislature, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

One of the most influential and controversial members of the Washington state Legislature made a bombshell announcement Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, announced he is dropping his bid for re-election. Tom is one of two Democrats who joined with Republicans last year to help them take control of the state Senate.

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Minimum Wage
1:19 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Seattle Group Files $15 Minimum Wage Initiative

AP Photo

A Seattle group seeking a $15 an hour minimum wage has filed the paperwork for a city initiative, increasing pressure on Mayor Ed Murray and the city council to pass a wage increase without exemptions or delays.

The group, 15 Now, will have to collect more than 30,000 signatures to make the November city ballot, a number seemingly within their reach following election wins last year by candidates who supported a wage hike, including Kshama Sawant, a socialist who clinched a city council seat. Sawant is also a leader in 15 Now.

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Ski Season
12:18 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Extended Season For Some Northwest Ski Areas, But Profits Scarce

Notice the brown hills around Sun Valley in this Dec. 29, 2013 file photo. Snowmaking allowed the famous resort to operate during the crucial holiday period.
Tom Banse

Thanks to late-season snow that fell in many areas, some Cascade ski areas will welcome skiers and snowboarders well past Easter.

There will be end-of-season parties at at least nine Northwest ski resorts this weekend. Timing means everything for the bottom line of these resort companies. But a strong finish doesn't necessarily make up for a late start like we saw this season.

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