Monica Spain

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family reunification day
5:01 am
Fri June 28, 2013

'People can change’: Families celebrate reunion after foster care

Nina Caso is seen with her daughter, Isabella.

Close to 9,000 children were in foster care in Washington state last year, but the majority of these kids will eventually return home. Today, as part of Family Reunification Day, families are celebrating their reunions after overcoming obstacles that range from drug abuse to struggles with parenting skills.

Born addicted to heroin       

Talking to a professionally-dressed Nina Caso, it’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, her life was in total crisis. She hit rock bottom, and lost custody of her 2-year-old daughter.

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Business
5:00 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Skagit Valley eatery goes for the laughs to attract business

Facebook post of bratwurst sushi from Sakura Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar in Burlington, WA.
Alex Kim

As state engineers work around the clock to install a temporary bridge to replace the collapsed Interstate 5 bridge span in Mount Vernon, one nearby restaurant manager is finding creative ways to keep customers coming. 

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police & crime
5:01 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Seattle police ready for high-crime season with predictive policing

It’s known as the “Moneyball” approach to policing because it harnesses data to predict crime. 

For a few weeks now, Seattle police have started their shift by consulting a map that forecasts hot spots for property crime. 

The maps use red boxes to highlight areas where officers are more likely to catch a burglar rifling through a home or a car. The boxes are generated by software that analyzes five years of crime patterns to spit out reports highlighting where and when the next break-in could take place.

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park safety
5:38 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Seattle to place full-time park rangers at two troublesome parks

This photo shows the fountain at Cal Anderson Park in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Bryan Ochalla Flickr

As warm weather approaches, Seattle is preparing for a spike in crime, particularly at two urban parks that have been sites of recent violence. The city will hire two full-time park rangers to patrol Occidental Park in Pioneer Square and Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill. 

Interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel says the rangers are uniformed but unarmed, and work closely with the Seattle Police Department.

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Law and Religion
12:56 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Hijab approved for King County jail inmates

The King County Jail in Seattle, and it's companion in Kent, have new policies on religious garb
Manuel W. Flickr

Red jumpsuits might be the usual jail uniform in King County. But a new policy has the jail issuing headscarves and yamulkes to inmates.

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Arts
4:22 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Archivists may want your old film, meeting in Seattle to talk about it

Hannah Palin, a film archives specialist at the University of Washington, hard at work. Archivists are meeting in Seattle this week.
KPLU News

Capturing and playing back video of your kid’s first steps or a few minutes of concert footage is almost too easy with smart phones. The immediacy kind of makes you forget how much effort it was to break out the Super Eight camera and project it later in your living room. 

This week as the Association of Moving Image Archivists hold their annual convention in Seattle, we are reminded that sometimes there is value in hanging on to outmoded technology. Hear to KPLU’s Monica Spain story by clicking the listen button above.

Election 2012
5:00 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Voting on Seattle's seawall

Seattle's seawall has been standing at the edge of the waterfront since the 1930s.
WSDOT

If you stand at the edge of Elliott Bay on Pier 59 where the Seattle Aquarium sits, you can peer straight down to see a water-stained, barnacle-pocked concrete slab. It's part of the seawall which extends under Alaskan Way, the major surface street along the waterfront. Much of it is deteriorating, especially the old growth timbers that are hidden behind the concrete where the wall has been patched.

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I Wonder Why ... ?
11:53 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Why are Seattleites averse to stepping out in style?

Paul Williams Flickr

Do most of the clothes in your closet range from hiking fleece to dress fleece, or some variations of plaid and jeans?

That’s probably what has fueled Seattle’s reputation as an unfashionable city.

Overdressing – something that’s just not possible in many American cities – can become a sort of phobia.

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Business
10:23 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Feds order T-Mobile to pay whistleblower $345,000

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered cellphone company T-Mobile USA to pay a fired whistleblower more than $345,000.

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Privatizing liquor
2:14 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

The surprising places you might find liquor in Washington

A hardware store in Lake Forest Park has gotten into the liquor business. The proprietors noted that in addition to the booze you might expect, they carry boutique liquors from Washington distillers.
Hannah Jacobson For KPLU

Liquor in a hardware store? Mini’s at the checkout stand? Mega-stores around the corner?

Woman on the street: “My parents actually needed a gift for a friend of ours, and they were able to buy it at a convenience store – like a nice bottle of liquor. I think it’s convenient!”

Now that Washington State is out of the liquor sales business, bottles of booze are showing up in some unexpected places.

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Mental health
7:41 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Advocates: Veterans with PTSD should get purple hearts, benefits

“These wounds are as real as any wound that’s inflicted on a body part of any person, man or woman who is out there," Ron Morton, Vietnam veteran.
Monica Spain KPLU

Advocates for the mentally ill say the federal government isn’t going far enough to help veterans who return from war with psychological wounds. They’re in Seattle this week, demanding a change in military culture and better mental health care for veterans.

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Sports
10:05 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Title Nine turns 40 tomorrow

The federal law that is famous for elevating women’s place in collegiate sports marks its 40th anniversary tomorrow. But Title Nine isn’t just about athletics. It was designed to focus on the overall success of girls and women in school.

For the story, please hit the listen button above.

Puget Sound Environment
2:55 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Algae bloom on Puget Sound 'more intense' this year

This is probably the more intense Noctiluca bloom we’ve seen in central Puget Sound, according to the Department of Ecology.
Department of Ecology

If you’ve taken a ferry across Puget Sound recently, you may have wondered if someone dumped out cans of tomato soup in the water. Some have worried there's been an oil spill.

Large levels of algae called Noctiluca are visible in Puget Sound and people sailing on the water are noticing. The Washington State Department of Ecology says they are getting more worried calls this year.

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NBA arena
5:29 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

New arena backers will study traffic, have confidence it'll work

Chris Hansen: "I think you all should just know that when we undertook a site evaluation, traffic was one of the key benefits of this area. When we looked at a lot of the other potential sites, we thought this one was the best.”
Monica Spain KPLU

Seattle basketball and hockey fans are inching closer to having a new stadium. The mayor and hedge fund manager Chris Hansen announced plans to study transportation and parking impacts south of downtown.

Private investor Chris Hansen announced that he will pay for the fast-tracked study, due to be out in six to eight weeks. 

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Washington State Legislature
3:26 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Age verification for 'sex-ads' now the law in Washington; first in nation

New law is "the first time in the nation criminalizing those who advertize minors online if they have not done the verification of age,” said Rose Gundersen is co-founder and Executive Director at Washington Engage, a non-profit.
The Associated Press

Washington state has become the first in the nation to require verification of age for online ads that promote sex-related services, such as the escort ads that appear in backpage.com.

The bill, Senate Bill 6251, was among a dozen anti-trafficking bills signed into law by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire today.

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