Graduation Requirements
5:31 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

New High School Diploma Rules Make Clear Which Credits Students Can Waive — And Which They Can't

A high schooler hugs a classmate after receiving her diploma.
Brennan Linsley AP Photo

High school students in Washington will soon be able to drop up to two courses if they encounter "unusual circumstances" and still earn their diplomas under new state rules, which will also lift the number of required credits from 20 to 24.

But should schools be allowed to waive credits in subjects like English, math or science? The State Board of Education said no Thursday, voting 8 to 5 to approve rules marking 17 "core" credits as off-limits to these waivers. The board's decision mean districts can only excuse a student from elective or world language credits.

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Washington Supreme Court
4:24 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Says ‘Stop And Frisk’ Went Too Far

Police in Washington can “stop and frisk” individuals they have specific reason to believe may be armed. But if that search goes beyond a “brief and nonintrusive” search, then it’s unconstitutional, according to a finding by the Washington Supreme Court Thursday.

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Wildfire Season
1:00 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Start A Wildfire? Expect A Bill

File photo of 2013's Little Queens Fire near the town of Atlanta, Idaho.
Inciweb

Whether it’s due to negligence or arson, thousands of wildfires each year are caused by humans. And the person or business who starts a fire can expect a bill.

Jeff Bonebrake is with the Oregon Department of Forestry. It's his job to investigate how a fire started. Once that’s pinned down, he figures out who pays and how much. He says the bulk of the charges are for firefighter salaries and equipment use.

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Law
10:28 am
Thu July 10, 2014

FTC Sues Amazon Over Kids' App Charges

File image
Mark Lennihan AP Photo

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon over charges that the company has not done enough to prevent children from making millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app purchases, according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court.

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Wildfire Season
9:43 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Study Finds Forests Recover 'Quickly' After Fire — In Tree Years, Anyway

Odessa Lake and subalpine forest in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
Philip Higuera University of Idaho

Fire season has come alive in the Northwest. On Monday, 20 homes in Idaho's Sun Valley area were briefly under evacuation when a fire broke out in a nearby canyon. And a 5,000-acre fire north of Wenatchee, Washington continues to threaten houses in the area.

Fires can be devastating to people's lives. But according to new research, at least certain types of forests recovery fairly quickly.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:21 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Hanford Vapors: It's Still Difficult To Track Down The Fix

Handheld air monitors are used in the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's tank farms to help keep workers safe. But a human nose can detect far less concentrated chemicals, than this high-tech machinery.
Anna King

Since the spring, many workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have needed medical attention from exposure to chemical vapors. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Energy led a busload of journalists to points across the site to show off what they’re doing to keep workers safe.

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Cancer Research
5:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Seattle Scientist Trying To Disrupt HPV, Which Hacks Your Cells To Cause Cancer

Rachel Katzenellenbogen
Gabriel Spitzer

The human papillomavirus is a bit like a tiny hacker — black hat, of course — that sneaks into your cells, hijacks your hardware and uses it to copy itself. For nearly 80 million Americans, this is happening right now, and nearly all sexually-active people will pick up HPV at one time or another.

For a smaller number of us, that bit of forced entry touches off a chain of events that leads to cancer — mainly cervical cancer, but also penile, rectal, throat and tongue cancers. If scientists could figure out exactly how that happens, they might able to intervene and disrupt the process.

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

The Procrastinator's Guide To Planning A Quick Getaway

Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park
Zengame Flickr

Don't be ashamed. We all procrastinate. The car needs an oil change. The living room needs to be vacuumed. And you still haven't planned your summer vacation.

We can't help you with the first two, but if you're still looking for a getaway this summer and finding no available reservations, read on. 

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No Child Left Behind Act
4:08 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

With Wash. State's NCLB Waiver Now Gone, Seattle Schools Seeks Its Own Exemption

Seattle education officials have asked U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, pictured, to grant the district a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law. It's not clear how open federal officials will be to Seattle's request.
Jacquelyn Martin AP Photo

Earlier this year, Washington became the first state in the nation to lose its reprieve from the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Now, Seattle Public Schools wants to become the first district in the nation to regain that flexibility on its own.

Superintendent Jose Banda sent a letter Wednesday asking for a Seattle-specific waiver from the outdated federal law.

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Environment
1:12 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Inslee Proposes Higher Fish Consumption Rate As Part Of New Clean Water Plan

FILE - In a Sept. 28, 2011 file photo, a native fisherman displays a salmon he pulled from his net on the Duwamish River, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed dramatically increasing the fish consumption rate that drives clean water standards in the state.

Inslee said Wednesday he plans to set the fish consumption rate at 175 grams a day, which would protect people who eat about a serving a day of fish. Current water quality standards assume only one serving of fish per month, or 6.5 grams a day.

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