Shots - Health Blog
8:54 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Screening kids for cholesterol can raise awareness and anxiety

The latest subject in standardized tests for kids: cholesterol.

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 7:26 am

Does it help or hurt children to know they have high cholesterol? We're about to find out.

New guidelines from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute say every child should be screened for high cholesterol once between the ages of 9 and 11 and again between 17 and 21.

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Street Cents
4:30 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Rough time refinancing? Try again.

Bank vault full of cold, hard cash.
Adolph B. Rice Studio Collection Library of Virginia

Is it true that there there's a bank vault out there full of cold, hard cash that's now available to people trying to refinance? That's what KPLU's John Maynard asked Seattle-area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar when he dropped by KPLU's studios recently. Without skipping a beat, Hagar responded:

"The good news is if you've missed some mortgage payments or you were in foreclosure, banks now have more cash available. And they've loosened up the purse strings a bit."

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Budget crisis
5:27 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Washington lawmakers push driving-related fee hikes

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state lawmakers are pressing ahead with a series of mostly driving-related fee increases to raise money for road repairs and other transportation needs.

The fee increases, which include an 80 percent hike for driver's licenses, passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee Monday. They would raise an estimated $52 million next year and an average of $80 million each year over the next decade.

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Port of Seattle
5:02 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Faith and community groups rallying for short haul truckers

Fuad Eltayeb (l) and Yemane Berhane have stopped driving their short-haul trucks to terminals at the Port of Seattle. They say hundreds of cargo drivers like them face unsafe conditions. Often, the trailer loads they pick up are too heavy or insecure.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

As many as 30 or 40 percent of the short-haul truckers who normally move containers from docks to railcar terminals at the Port of Seattle have stopped working.  

The work stoppage comes after one of the drivers was retaliated against for attending a hearing in Olympia last week on a proposal to improve their working conditions.

They’re independent contractors, who are predominantly immigrants, and say the conditions they’re forced to contend with make the job unsafe.  

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4:22 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Housing bust has green lining: More farmland preserved

Lower real estate prices may have a silver lining for those trying to save disappearing farms. A new study on farmland protection shows between the lull in development and the high interest in “locavore” food, the time is ripe to keep Puget Sound farms from turning into urban sprawl.

Since 1950, the Puget Sound region has lost 60 percent of its farmland, mostly to development. 

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3:55 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Police: Powell planned deadly fire killing sons for some time

This pool photo provided by the Pierce Co. Sheriff's Dept. shows the charred remains of the home of Josh Powell, husband of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012 near Frederickson, Wash.
The Associated Press

GRAHAM, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say Josh Powell planned the deadly house fire that killed him and his young sons for some time, dropping toys at charities and sending final emails to multiple acquaintances.

Powell, the husband of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, died along with his children Sunday.

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3:44 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Pierce County burn ban lifted

Air quality is improving. The Stage One burn ban in Pierce County ends at 4 p.m. today.

During a Stage One ban, burning is prohibited in uncertified wood stoves and fire places. Outdoor fires are also not allowed.

You can learn more about burn bans and air quality at

Guest Feature from Geekwire
3:06 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Hospitalized kids get personalized concerts through Seattle's Melodic Caring Project

Braydon Hutchison, 11, and Melodic Caring Project founder Levi Ware jam at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle.
Courtesy of Photo: Melodic Caring Project

Guest feature by

On Friday, Dec. 2 at Seattle Children’s Hospital, 11-year-old Braydon Hutchison was crying. It wasn’t because of his leukemia, which kept him quarantined, or the nausea and vomiting that had made him sick all day. A musician he’d never met was playing a concert across town in his honor, calling out his name to the crowd. Braydon could see the live stream on his laptop from his hospital bed, and it finally moved him to tears.

It was the best thing that ever happened to him in the hospital, Braydon would later say. “It made me feel really good.”

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Election 2012, Governor’s race
11:25 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Candidate for Gov. Inslee releases economic plan for Washington

Jay Inslee.
The Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee has released an economic development plan that focuses on six key industries.

Inslee told a news conference in Spokane on Monday that his plan focuses on aerospace, life sciences, the military, agriculture, information technology and clean energy.

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Gay rights
11:15 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Stage set Stage set for final passage of gay marriage bill this week

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A House committee approved a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state, setting the stage for final passage this week.

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