KPLU News Staff

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Winter Weather
10:06 am
Mon January 17, 2011

WSDOT worker killed by falling tree; Worst of storm & flooding over

A veteran Washington State Department of Transportation worker has died after being hit by a falling tree during Sunday night's rain storm.  Maintenance Superintendent Jim McBride said the worker was setting up safety cones to alert motorists to downed power lines when the tree fell on his truck and killed him on Highway 203 just south of Carnation. 

Department spokeswoman Kris Olsen identified the man as 66-year-old Billy Rhynalds, a 12-year veteran of the department.

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NFL Playoffs
12:43 pm
Sun January 16, 2011

Seahawks' season ends in loss to Bears

Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (33) breaks up a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks' Mike Williams (17) during the second half of an NFL divisional playoff game Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011, in Chicago. The Bears beat the Seahawks 35-24.
AP

Snow flurries and a fired up Bears team proved too much for Seattle, as Chicago controlled the game through most of three quarters, and held on for a 35-24 NFC semifinal playoff win at Soldier Field.

The NFC North champs scored on their first possession, led by the steady arm of quarterback Jay Cutler, making his professional post-season debut. The Bears offensive line protected Cutler all afternoon, leading to a 28-0 margin in the 3rd quarter. 

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MLK Holiday
1:43 am
Sun January 16, 2011

MLK Day in the Northwest

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963 at the civil rights march on Washington, D.C. where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
By U.S. Information Agency Wikimedia Commons

Many of us are happy to have a day off, whenever and wherever we can get it. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is no exception. But besides sleeping in and catching up on chores, there is an opportunity to spend part of the day celebrating the life and values of King, honored for his nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement.

Many of the celebrations take place over three days. And many of them are opportunities to participate in service activities such as EarthCorps' event to remove invasive plants. 

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Weather
7:58 am
Fri January 14, 2011

Mudslides, some flooding around Puget Sound as rain continues

Mud oozes over the West Valley Highway near Sumner on Thursday. The highway is still closed today, as worries continue over the stability of hillsides.
Lauren Padgett Bonney Lake-Sumner Patch.com

Rain continues to fall Friday, and forecasters say over the next few days some areas may get 9 inches or more. Combined with past days' heavy rain and warmer temperatures melting mountain snow, some areas King, Pierce and Snohomish counties report minor flooding and road-blocking mudslides.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for most of western Washington. The statement lists areas of main flooding concern, including:

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K-12 education
8:45 am
Thu January 13, 2011

Another Tacoma middle school joins list of low-performers

A new Baker Middle School is under construction next door to the old one in Tacoma's South End. This photo of the construction site was taken Thursday morning, Jan. 13, 2011. Will students have a new principal to go with a new school next year?
Via Tacoma Public Schools website

Half of Tacoma's middle schools now rank among the lowest-performing in the state. Baker Middle School is the fifth to land the dubious distinction.

The bright side? Low-scoring schools become eligible for federal grants intended to help turn things around. 

The News Tribune's Debbie Cafazzo reports Baker's student scores may reflect their challenges at home:

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Winter Weather
8:34 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Snow turns to slush around western Washington

Snow blanketed the region, creating scenes such as this Tuesday night on Seattle's First Hill, near downtown.
Gary Davis KPLU

Predicted snow fell across western Washington on Tuesday evening, largely sparing the evening commute. This morning people are waking up to rain, thick slush and closed or delayed schools.

A driver in Tukwila slid down a hill and onto the tracks of Sound Transit's Central Link light rail. The car landed on its roof. The driver received minor injuries, according to KING-TV.  Those tracks were closed for a time, with service resuming before midnight.

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Environment
1:48 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Goldmark promotes plan to make jet fuel from wood waste

Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark says he'll propose legislation to promote making aviation fuel out of wood waste.

Goldmark told the Pacific West Biomass Conference in Seattle on Tuesday that he wants to start a pilot project to make jet fuel as part of the Department of Natural Resources' forest biomass program. 

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Politics
8:47 am
Tue January 11, 2011

State senator sworn in amidst controversy

The first day of the Washington Legislature included an intra-party drama on the floor of the state senate. It happened during opening ceremonies Monday when an incumbent Democratic Senator tried to block a new senator from being sworn in. 

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News Roundup
7:27 am
Tue January 11, 2011

Tuesday's headlines

Making headlines this morning:

  • Snow Threat Reduced
  • Protests Greet Lawmakers at Session Start
  • Eyman Files New Initiative
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Winter Weather
5:39 pm
Mon January 10, 2011

Lowland snow forecast: less than earlier prediction

Snow graces the Pioneer Square pergola on Seattle's First Avenue during November's pre-Thanksgiving winter storm. Will the scene be repeated Tuesday or Wednesday?
Gary Davis KPLU

Updated 3:58 p.m., Mon., Jan. 10th

The latest weather foreceast shows much less snow may fall than had been predicted, and warmer temperatures will bring rain and wind on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service office in Seattle has eased off forecasts of larger amounts of snow for western Washington, as the latest models show warm air pushing in faster than expected. 

“We feel pretty confident the system will stay on the warmer side, and we will not see large amounts of snowfall” in the lowlands of western Washington, says Dennis D'Amico of the NWS Seattle office.

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John T. Williams shooting
7:48 am
Mon January 10, 2011

Inquest begins into shooting of Seattle woodcarver

Tribal members gather at the Chief Seattle Club in Pioneer Square last September to call for accountability in the police shooting death of native carver John T. Williams.
KPLU/Bellamy Pailthorp

King County's inquest into the death of native woodcarver John T. Williams at the hands of a Seattle policeman is expected to last all week. The fact-finding work will review last August's shooting, and will determine whether prosecutors bring any charges against Officer Ian Birk.

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News Roundup
6:05 am
Mon January 10, 2011

Monday morning's headlines

Making headlines today:

  • Legislature convenes today
  • State worker job losses add up
  • Seahawks get Chicago next

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NFL Playoffs
6:40 pm
Sat January 8, 2011

Seahawks upset Saints

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch breaks through the New Orleans defensive line on way to a 67-yard touchdown run late in the 4th quarter on Saturday. Seattle pulled a major upset in defeating the Saints at Qwest Field in an NFC wildcard playoff
Elaine Thompson AP

The Seattle Seahawks sent shock waves around the NFL Saturday by beating steep odds and pulling off one of the biggest upsets in league history, defeating the defending Super Bowl-champion New Orleans Saints, 41 to 36. 

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw four touchdown passes, lifting the 'Hawks offense, tallying 272 yards in the air. It was Hasselbeck's best passing performance in a playoff game. 

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Crime
11:40 pm
Fri January 7, 2011

Buried explosives and weapons found in Puyallup

An informant's tip has led authorities to find four homemade explosive devices and other weapons buried at a Puyallup site.

Traffic was diverted Friday afternoon from the site on Shaw Road East and several homes were briefly evacuated. Puyallup police, federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents and members of the Pierce County sheriff's bomb squad responded.

ATF spokeswoman Cheryl Bishop says the cache may be tied to a fugitive killed in a confrontation with bail bond agents in Lakewood more than two years ago.

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NCAA College Football
11:37 pm
Fri January 7, 2011

Eastern Washington wins Div. 1 football title

Eastern Washington's Eagles staged a thrilling comeback against the University of Delaware to win the NCAA Division 1 football title, the first for the school. 

After trailing much of the game, Eastern rallied for a 20-19 victory in Frisco, Texas, before a crowd that included enthusiastic Delaware alum Joe Biden. The Vice President and Mrs. Biden. 

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