KPLU News Staff

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Law
5:48 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Billboards to stop human trafficking

These billboards are being rolled out across Western Washington, from Tacoma to Bellingham.
Kelly Gibbs

Billboards depicting the outline of a young girl and a short story about abuse have sprung up across western Washington. Seattle Police Captain Dave Emerick is in charge of the high risk victims unit. He says at any given time, between 300 and 500 young people are being sexually exploited in King County alone. He says the police want to hear from anyone who sees suspicious behavior.

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Business
5:00 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Research shows that simple scents can increase retail sales

Researchers say that simple scents are best for getting customers in the shopping mood.
siegridsaldana Creative Commons

Since shopping on the internet is easier now than ever, you may have gotten comfortable buying gifts in your pajamas. An experiment conducted by Washington State University and Switzerland's University of St. Gallen found that scents in stores can make people more likely to take their Christmas shopping off-line. Eric Spangenberg, Dean of WSU’s College of Business, says the study will help retailers make in-store shopping more enjoyable.

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FINAL DAY!
7:23 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Favorite Things Weekend: Here are the 12 top KPLU stories in 2012

Trumpet legend Arturo Sandoval's studio session performance from January tops our list with more than 260,000 views on YouTube, alone.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Today is the last day of our Favorite Things Weekend. Join us as we celebrate December and all the things listeners love most about KPLU. 

In the spirit of the season we hope you will consider making an online gift this weekend in any amount to KPLU.

'Tiz also the season for lists – best of lists, most of lists, longest lists, naughty and nice lists … so, here’s ours in honor of the 12 days of Christmas. Here are the 12 most-read stories of 2012 (so far):

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Environment
5:01 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Seattle Animal Shelter opens rabbit spay and neuter service

Pet owners are encouraged to get their bunny spayed or neutered to prevent surprises.
Peterastin Creative Commons

Though well known for their amorous natures, pet rabbits still aren’t fixed as often as they should be. To help curb the problem, the Seattle Animal Shelter will open its rabbit spay and neuter service to the public in January.

Shelter veterinarian Mary Ellen Zoulas says a common cause of unexpected pregnancy in rabbits has to do with folks mistaking Peter Cottontail for a female.

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Other News
5:00 am
Mon December 3, 2012

State officials: Know where your donation is going

State officials want you to know the good bell ringers from the suspect ones.
Bible Dude Flickr

You may have already run into shop-front bell ringers signaling the season of giving. It’s also a season of discernment when it comes to knowing who’s going to do the most good with your hard-earned buck. To help people make wise decisions about donating to charity, the offices of the Secretary of State and the Attorney General have released the 2012 Commercial Fundraiser Activity Report. Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed suggests doing some research before you give.

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Weather roundup
2:09 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Winter weather hits region hard: heavy rains, mudslides, street flooding

Seattle pedestrians had to jump from here to there at some street corners as the rains fell hard this morning.
Jake Ellison KPLU

Forecasters say the wet and windy weather with mountain snow will continue this week in Washington, but there may be a lull on Thanksgiving Day. The current deluge so far has resulted in a few mudslides, street flooding and a state trooper’s car being smashed.

The National Weather Service says a series of Pacific storms are aiming to hit the Northwest every day or two.

Getting around

The morning commute around Seattle was tough, but the commute home today may be a bit easier.

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Legal marijuana
3:37 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

King, Pierce county prosecutors dismiss more than 200 marijuana cases

With the passage of Initiative 502, prosecutors are dropping misdemeanor pot cases.

Prosecutors for King and Pierce counties announced this afternoon that all misdemeanor marijuana cases in their counties have been dropped.

With legal possession of up to an ounce of pot just around the corner, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg said that dismissing these cases is the right thing to do.

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2012 Elections
1:17 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Same-sex marriage foes concede; marriage industry gearing up

The marriage industry in British Columbia is worried business will wan after Tuesday's elections.
Nimataradji photography Flickr

Foes of the same-sex marriage referendum in Washington have conceded the law will pass. The group that sponsored Referendum 74 declared victory yesterday.

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2012 Elections
7:21 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Same-sex marriage backers declare win; Feds expected to battle legal pot

"The Department of Justice's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged," read identical statements issued by the U.S. attorney's offices in Denver and Seattle.
Kathleen Ann Flickr

Washington joined Colorado in voting to become the first states to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana for recreational use, but people shouldn't expect to be able to buy a bag of legitimate weed any time soon.

Nor should they expect the law to go into effect with out a fight with federal law agencies, said Sam Kamin, professor of law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

“My gut feeling is that the federal government won’t currently tolerate the commercial recreational sale of marijuana, that is they will not allow it to be regulated like alcohol. That just seems a bridge too far,” he said.

Complete I-502 story.

Same-sex marriage backers say they've won

Washington United for Marriage has declared victory in the same-sex marriage referendum.

“This is a clear win,” the group's campaign manager Zach Silk said in a press release.

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2012 Elections
12:32 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Same-sex marriage backers declare victory; video tells couple's story

Dan Coles & Steve Lelievre of seattle's Ballard neighborhood cheer on fellow Ref 74 supporters at the Westin Hotel on Tuesday night.
Gary Davis KPLU

"I just phoned our son up in Bellingham and said, get ready for the wedding."

Washington United for Marriage has declared victory in the same-sex marriage referendum. Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote last night.

“This is a clear win,” the group's campaign manager Zach Silk said in a press release.

“We have run the numbers every which way, and we can now confidently say that we have won. This is an historic day for Washington, an historic day for our country and, most of all, for families across the state who have dreamed of this day and the wedding celebrations to come.”

So far, official “Yes” votes have a slight advantage of 52 to 48 percent. Counties were expected to post additional vote results Wednesday afternoon.

However the group said in the press release:

With 60 percent of the vote counted, R74 already has the support of 65 percent of King County and is performing well in key Eastern Washington counties.  Simply put, it’s now impossible for opponents to overcome the 52-48 percent spread for R74.

Video: KPLU videographer David Kellogg captured the hopes and tensions of election night as one same-sex couple waited for elections results:

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Referendum 74
9:15 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Same-sex marriage law leading in Washington

Supporters of same-sex marriage pose at the Democrat’s party at the Westin Hotel in Seattle.
Gary Davis KPLU

Washington voters are narrowly approving same-sex marriage in the state, following the lead of voters in Maryland and Maine, where ballot measures on same-sex unions also are holding slim leads.

With about half of the expected vote counted Tuesday night, Referendum 74 was passing with 53 percent of the vote.

The referendum asked voters to approve or reject the state's new law legalizing same-sex marriage. That law was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire earlier this year, but it's been on hold pending the election's outcome.

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Initiative 502
9:00 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Marijuana legalization initiative becomes law in Washington

At right, Alison Holcomb, one of the lead organizers for I-502, checks result at the pro-I-502 party in Seattle.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Washington voters have made their state the first in the nation to legalize recreational pot use, setting up a showdown with a federal government that backs the drug's prohibition.

Update: Colorado also passed a law making possession of up to an ounce legal. That state will also allow individuals to grow six marijuana plants. Oregon's pot legalization effort failed.

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2012 Elections
10:48 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Countdown: First round of elections numbers due Tuesday night

The first big wave of results for elections in Washington state are expected at about 8:15 pm. Here's a countdown clock set for that time.

2012 elections
10:52 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Update: 'Rape thing' not cause for abortion, says Wash. GOP hopeful

John Koster is seen in this screen grab from a video on his campaign website.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A Washington state congressional candidate says abortion should not be legal, even when it involves "the rape thing."

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