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10:22 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Washington prisons running out of room

Marc Soller Flickr

With about 16,000 inmates, the Department of Corrections says Washington prisons are at 102 percent of capacity and they need to find space by this summer to hold 160 more.

The department found space last week for 140 inmates by deciding to house two inmates each in single-inmate cells at the state Reformatory in Monroe.

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Healthcare overhaul
5:09 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Gov. Gregoire signs insurance exchange bill into law

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed into law a bill setting rules for insurers preparing for the state's online insurance exchange.

Online exchanges are key to the federal health care overhaul signed into law by President Obama in 2010. The state exchanges for individual and small-group plans are set go live January 1, 2014.

The U.S. Supreme Court will start hearing on Monday a challenge to the federal health care law. If it is overturned in its entirety, the state's exchange could still be put in place but federal funding would likely be lost.

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2:12 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Tacoma leopard cubs to meet public, need names!

You can help the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium name these cubs! Go to the survey link in the story.

TACOMA, Wash. — Two newborn leopard cubs are making their first public appearance Saturday at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma.

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Seattle landmark
11:39 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Seattle's Smith Tower sold for nearly $37 million

Petra Franklin, producer of Artists Toolbox in her apartment in the Smith Tower.
Monica Spain KPLU

Seattle's historic Smith Tower was sold Friday for nearly $37 million in a foreclosure auction on the steps of the King County Administration Building.

The buyer is CBRE Capital of New York, which acquired the delinquent mortgage last fall after Chicago-based Walton Street Capital defaulted on $43 million in loans. When it bought the building in 2006 it intended to convert the tower into condos, but the condo market collapsed in the recession.

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War in Afghanistan
4:25 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Bales to be charged with murder; had two assault cases

A U.S. official says Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who had been stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, will be charged with 17 counts of murder in the massacre of Afghan villagers.

It has also come to light that Bales was accused in a second incident involving alcohol and violence.

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Planned Parenthood dustup
2:41 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Several executives leave Komen after controversy

Susan G. Komen Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker from her "Straight Talk" video (which is no longer available on Youtube).

DALLAS — At least five high-ranking executives with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity have resigned in the aftermath of the organization's decision to eliminate its funding for Planned Parenthood.

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11:48 am
Thu March 22, 2012

520 bridge toll will hit $4.35 in 2016

The peak toll on the Highway 520 floating bridge that began at $3.50 at the end of last year will rise to $4.35 in 2016 after a series of scheduled increases.

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Animal cruelty
9:07 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Montana man charged with getting small dog drunk

HELENA, Mont. — A Montana man is charged with animal cruelty after his 20-pound dog was so intoxicated it couldn't stand up.

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Snow and Ice
6:41 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Studded tire deadline extended for Wash.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Transportation Department has extended the deadline to remove studded tires to April 16.

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Same-sex marriage
1:43 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Anti-gay marriage group wants Starbucks boycott

Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz, center, listens to a question from an audience member with general counsel Paul Boggs, left, and CFO Troy Alstead at the annual Starbucks shareholders meeting Wednesday in Seattle.
The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A national group opposed to gay marriage is calling for a boycott of Starbucks in response to the company's public support of a new same-sex marriage law in Washington state.

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1:20 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Seattle sex offender faces possible life sentence

A sex offender accused of breaking into a house in Seattle's University District and threatening six women with a knife would face a life sentence if convicted of the latest charges.

Robert D. Hitt is charged with burglary, robbery and kidnapping with sexual motivation, which makes the 34-year-old subject to Washington's "two strikes" law for repeat sexual offenders.

The Seattle Times reports he pleaded not guilty Wednesday at his arraignment.

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Landscape art
9:44 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Seattle trees to be painted blue in enviro campaign

Image of a tree at an installation in Vancouver, B.C.
Konstantin Dimopoulos

A King County arts organization says 56 trees in Seattle and Kenmore will be painted blue starting April 2 in a temporary art project meant to make people aware of global deforestation.

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8:20 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Transit tunnel reaches milestone in Seattle

Sound Transit says it reached another milestone in construction of a light rail line through Seattle on Wednesday when a tunnel boring machine reached the Capitol Hill station site after a 10-month dig from the direction of Husky Stadium.

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space exloration
12:06 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

NASA considering space station for Mars dry run

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The International Space Station may provide the setting for a 500-day pretend trip to Mars in another few years.

NASA said Tuesday that consideration is under way to use the space station as a dry run for a simulated trip to and from Mars. It would be patterned after Russia's mock flight to Mars that lasted 520 days at a Moscow research center. Six men were involved in that study, which ended late last year. They were locked in a steel capsule.

Economic woes
8:24 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Count: Number of homeless in Bellingham drops

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – A count by a volunteers showed the number of homeless people in Bellingham is declining.

Housing advocates say their organizations have had success in a difficult economy by targeting services to the most vulnerable. The Bellingham Herald reports that volunteers counted 500 homeless people during the Jan. 26 "point in time" count, compared to 700 last year.

Homelessness as defined for the count includes living on the street or in a vehicle, an emergency shelter or transitional housing.