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ENDANGERED SPECIES
11:46 am
Mon February 14, 2011

Ocelot born at Woodland Park Zoo

An ocelot, an endangered species, was born at Woodland Park Zoo on January 15. Shown here at nearly 3 weeks old, the kitten remains off view with its mother.
Jamie Welk Woodland Park Zoo

A set of new spots and striping has appeared at Woodland Park Zoo with the birth of an ocelot. The single kitten was born on January 15 at the zoo, marking the second litter between mother Bella, and father Brazil. The mother and kitten are off public view in a birthing den where they are being monitored via a web cam:

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Jayme Biendl murder
4:23 pm
Fri February 11, 2011

Monroe inmate confesses to killing guard Jayme Biendl

Convicted rapist Byron Scherf has admitted killing Monroe Reformatory corrections officer Jayme Biendl, according to a search warrant released Friday.
AP

Byron Scherf, a convicted rapist already serving a life sentence has confessed to the killing of Monroe Reformatory guard Jayme Biendl.

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AIR FORCE TANKER
10:17 am
Fri February 11, 2011

Verbal sparring begins as military refueler bids submitted - again

An F-16 from the California Air National Guard aligns with the boom from a Boeing, KC-135 Stratotanker. On Thursday, Boeing and Airbus’ parent company EADS America submitted competing bids for the third time for a contract to build a new tanker. (File)
AP

Final bids were submitted Thursday by Boeing and Airbus' parent company, EADS for the contract to build the Air Force's in-flight refueling tanker. The Air Force could announce the winner as early as next month, but the award is likely to be sidetracked by politics and protests.

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NEWS ROUNDUP
6:15 am
Fri February 11, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

Students from Tacoma's Foss High at a recent rally to keep the school open. Last night Superintendent Art Jarvis announced he'll look at other cost-saving options to close a budget gap, rather than temporarily closing the school.
Luan Nguyen-Tran

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • King County Property Taxes to Rise as Home Values Fall
  • Foss High School Won't Close After All
  • Hempfest Sues Seattle Over Permit Denial

 

Lower Property Values, Higher Taxes

It's a "counter-intuitive" reality according to King County Assessor Lloyd Hara. He tells the Seattle Times that many home owners will see their property taxes go up as the value of their homes goes down. Hara says this reality is primarily the result of new voter-approved levies and bonds. Voters approved 44 tax increases in 2010, 38 of them for schools.

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Weather forecasting
12:19 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

Work starting on Washington coastal Doppler radar

Langley Hill (in blue square at top of image) between Copalis and Ocean Shores will be the site of the National Weather Service's new coastal Doppler radar station.
Google Earth

The National Weather Service expects to have a Doppler radar station operating by September on the Washington coast to give forecasters a better look at Pacific storms.  KBKW radio reports that Doug McDonnal with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association said they've always had a blind spot in Grays Harbor County.

Construction should begin in the next few months at the site at Langley Hill in northern Grays Harbor County.

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Romance Survey
11:35 am
Tue February 8, 2011

U.S. most romantic city: Tacoma?

A national survey lists Tacoma as America's most romantic city.
AP

Which Washington town is the most romantic? Port Townsend? La Conner? Leavenworth? Guess again.

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PRISONS
2:20 pm
Fri February 4, 2011

Corrections chief changes policies after Monroe guard's murder

Under new procedures announced today, state prisons (such as this one in Shelton) will operate under new security guidelines. The revisions stem from guard Jayme Biendl's killing last Saturday at Monroe.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The state Department of Corrections is changing some of its procedures in response to the killing of a female guard at the Monroe prison last weekend.

Jayme Biendl was found strangled in the prison's chapel last Saturday night. An inmate has been arrested in the killing.

Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail said Friday that prisons will immediately:

  • begin counting staff members whenever an offender is missing;
  • officers will begin regular check-ins on guards who serve at duty posts alone;
  • conduct drills on the use of silent alarms on the hand-held radios that guards carry.

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TRANSPORTATION
9:59 am
Thu February 3, 2011

Metro bus route changes take effect this Saturday

Waiting for public transit Metro bus in downtown Seattle on 4th Avenue.
Gary Davis KPLU

King County's Metro Transit is making lots of changes to its bus schedules starting this Saturday, February 5.

Who's affected?

The changes will impact all areas of the county and include routing and bus stop changes for approximately two dozen routes from various areas of the county that pass through downtown Seattle.

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Education
3:21 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

Gregoire makes rare appearance before legislature to tout education system reforms

Christine Gregoire says she had an "aha moment" last summer about why Washington's education system isn't getting any better.

The governor made a rare appearance before a legislative committee Wednesday to talk about her proposal to create a new cabinet-level Department of Education that would oversee all the state's education efforts, committees and boards, from early learning to college.

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Environment
10:00 am
Wed February 2, 2011

Visitors rave over new boardwalk at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge

Visitors on the new boardwalk at the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge experience the estuary in a way nobody has since the early 1900s.
U.S. Department of the Interior

For over a hundred years, nobody saw the mouth of the Nisqually River in its original, natural state. Now, thanks to a new, mile-long boardwalk and the removal of the dikes that fenced the water out, you can experience the estuary in a way that no living person ever has.

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E-GOVERNMENT
12:03 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

City of Seattle launches customizable web portal

Chief Sealth compass at 4th and Pine
City of Seattle website

Need to report a pothole in your neighborhood? Or pay a parking ticket? The City of Seattle has launched a new one-stop website that it hopes will improve customer service and foster public participation.

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Seahawks
3:16 pm
Fri January 14, 2011

Real-life Seahawks have landed at Woodland Park Zoo

Sea eagles can have a wing span of up to 7.5 feet and weigh 11 to 20 pounds.
San Diego Shooter Flickr

Have you ever seen an actual Seahawk? No, we're not talking about Matt Hasselbeck or Marshawn Lynch here, but the natural, feathered namesake of Seattle's NFL team.


The bird's proper name is the Steller's sea eagle and two of them now are now in residence at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo. The pair, which arrived last month from the Los Angeles Zoo, have just emerged from a standard 30-day quarantine and can be seen in the zoo's Northern Trail section.

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