News
11:43 am
Fri January 13, 2012

One Year Later: Pipe Bomb Gives Determination To Spokane's MLK Event

Ivan Bush is a longtime organizer of Spokane's Martin Luther King Day parade. Photo by Jessica Robinson

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 8:52 am

SPOKANE, Wash. - It's been a year since a white supremacist from rural eastern Washington planted a bomb along Spokane's Martin Luther King Day parade route. Thirty-seven-year-old Kevin Harpham now awaits a 32-year prison sentence. But the cloud of the incident still looms as Spokane prepares for this year's event.

Ivan Bush stands in the sun outside the Spokane Convention Center. Hundreds of people gathered here a year ago to listen to a recitation of King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

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Washington State Legislature
11:40 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Democrats abandon teachers' union over health benefits fight

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 4:43 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Democrats in the Washington Senate have endorsed a state takeover of K-12 employee health benefits similar to what Oregon did in 2007. The goal is to save money, but it angers a key Democratic constituency — Washington's teachers' union.

For decades, the Washington Education Association in partnership with Premera Blue Cross has provided health coverage to school employees. This is big business. We're talking about nearly 300 school districts in Washington, some 200,000 staff and their dependents and $1 billion a year in public funds.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:23 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Snow? Probably yes, for most of western Washington

A vision of things to come ...
Adam DeClercq Flickr

But not too much. 

"It's not going to be the big snow-storm," says KPLU weather expert, and UW professor, Cliff Mass.

The areas most likely to get a couple inches of snow are the so-called "convergence zone," between north Seattle and Everett, and in the Bellingham area. For everyone else, Mass says it will be "hit and miss" depending on so many factors that it's hard to generalize.

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I Wonder Why ... ?
4:30 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Mima Mounds continue to mystify scientists

Aerial photo of some Mima Mounds, courtesy of the WA Dept. of Natural Resources.

There’s a large swath of native prairie southwest of Olympia that’s very strange looking. So strange, in fact, that some have even said it was created by aliens. 

What makes it strange are “things” called The Mima Mounds.

We can tell you some things they are not, but we can’t tell you what they are. In fact, people have been trying to figure them out for centuries.

“It’s probably one of the most poorly understood phenomena in earth science,” says Paul Butler, professor emeritus of Earth Science at the Evergreen State College.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Cost too great for Seahawks to go for Heisman winner

Robert Griffin III in action for Baylor. Art Thiel says he's one of the greatest athletes he's ever seen, but says the cost would be too great for the Seahawks to try to draft him in April.
Sharon Ellman AP File Photo

The NFL draft isn't until April, but a lot of Seahawks fans are talking about it this week. That's because Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III announced he's skipping his final college season to enter the draft. 

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Seahawks have a very slim chance of drafting Griffin, if they make a bunch of concessions to move up in the trade order. But he says it's not worth it.

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Washington State Legislature
4:12 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Senate Democrats unveil government reform ideas

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Senate Democrats are unveiling a series of reform ideas that won't bank much money for the state's immediate budget problem, but which they say will save hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years.

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Afghanistan
3:45 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Viral images, the military's recurring nightmare

A still frame taken from a YouTube video purportedly shows Marines who desecrated three dead men thought to be members of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 2:26 pm

The U.S. military says it's investigating a video that appears to show Marines desecrating the corpses of Taliban fighters killed in Afghanistan. Regardless of those findings, the outrage in the Islamic world is likely to be severe, as with other disturbing images that have surfaced during U.S. wars in Muslim countries over the past decade.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

How Do Land Birds End Up In A Tiger Shark's Belly?

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 1:39 pm

Scientists are facing a riddle. For two years, researchers at Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama have been studying the diets of Tiger Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico and they found that the sharks not only eat sea creatures, but also make a habit of eating land birds. Yep that's right woodpeckers, catbirds, kingbirds and swallows have all been found in their bellies.

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Washington State Legislature
2:25 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Bill would allow 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote in Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington 16 and 17-year-olds could preregister to vote while getting their first driver’s license under a bill in Olympia. That idea got a hearing Thursday. But those teens still won’t be able to vote until they turn 18.

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Business
2:13 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

The agony of Steve Ballmer: From Monkey Boy to mogul?

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laughs as he talks at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Thursday in 2007. Back then, Ballmer compared Microsoft's search technology to a precocious toddler - one who would eventually grow up to rival nemesis Google.
Associated Press

No question, Steve Ballmer has always been a mogul, it just hasn’t seemed like it in the media. For instance, there’s all that “monkey boy” business on YouTube that so far has been watched 4,078,680 times.

Then there was the guy who made international news by calling for Ballmer to be fired.

Now, though, the love is on. In a long and humanizing article in Business Week today, Ballmer gets his due as the man at the top of a resurgent Microsoft.

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