Paula Wissel

Law & Justice Reporter

Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KPLU since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KPLU, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.

Paula's most memorable moment at KPLU: “Interviewing NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr about his ability to put current events in historical context. It’s something I aspire to.”

Pages

Budget shortfall
12:50 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Projections gloomy for Tacoma city budget

Tacoma is facing a $26 million dollar budget shortfall. That was the grim news Interim City Manager Ray Arellano delivered to the Tacoma City Council during a 2011-2012 budget update. 

Read more
Seattle Public Schools
3:34 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Theft charges brought against former Seattle schools manager

Interim Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Susan Enfield answers questions Tuesday following the announcement that charges of theft have been filed against former school district manager Silas Potter.
Paula Wissel KPLU

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg has brought felony theft charges against former Seattle Public Schools manager Silas Potter Jr. and two associates, David A. Johnson and Lorrie Sorensen.

Potter was at the center of a financial scandal that led to the firing last March of former Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johsnon and Seattle Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Don Kennedy.

Read more
Election 2011
1:40 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Like Seattle, Tacoma marijuana initiative would limit pot arrests

Sherry Bockwinkel, volunteer campaign chair for the marijuana initiative, owns a printing and lamp repair shop in Tacoma's hilltop neighborhood.
Paula Wissel KPLU

Tacoma ballot Initiative 1 directs police to give the lowest priority to enforcing minor marijuana laws.  If the Initiative passes, arrests would be unlikely in Tacoma for  possession of 40 grams or less of marijuana.

Sherry Bockwinkel, who has run a lot of statewide initiative campaigns, is volunteering her time to run the  Tacoma marijuana initiative campaign.  She believes Tacoma police have better things to do than bust people for pot.

Read more
Protesting Wall Street
12:57 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Occupy Seattle protesters still say they won't abandon Westlake Park

Occupy Seattle organizers pack up some supplies in anticipation of the city removing a large tent. However, protesters say they don't plan to leave Westlake Park.
Paula Wissel KPLU

Mayor Mike McGinn has once again told Occupy Seattle protesters at Westlake Park that they must follow the rules against camping in the park. 

Occupy Seattle protesters say they will expand to City Hall but won’t abandon Westlake.

Read more
Protesting Wall Street
7:34 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Homeless find home at Occupy Seattle, so is it still a protest?

Protesters or homeless or both? What's happening to the Occupy Seattle gathering at Seattle's Westlake Park has some wondering, but those you ask have an answer to why they are there.
Jake Ellison KPLU

More and more homeless people are joining protesters occupying Seattle’s Westlake Park. The Occupy Wall Street movement has a special attraction for people who sleep on the streets.

When you walk through Westlake Park, in the heart of downtown Seattle’s shopping district, you notice the donated tarps and sleeping bags on hand to keep people warm. And there's a big tent where you can get a cheese sandwich or receive first aid.

If you don’t have a home, it seems like a good place to hang out. 

Read more
Protesting Wall Street
12:20 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Occupy Seattle: Still at Westlake Park, still wet and still staying

Getting the basics at the Occupy Seattle protests in Westlake Park. Protesters say they have been allowed to put up a single bigger tent for food and some first-aid supplies.
Jake Ellison KPLU

Occupy Seattle protesters continue to weather the rain and exposure, with the aid of one structure for storing and distributing food and some first-aid care.

Monday morning, roughly 50 occupiers of Westlake Park milled about while many still slept or huddled against the rain under plastic tarps and whatever other makeshift barriers they could create to stay warm and dry.

One protestor and organizer said she intended to stay in the park indefinitely or until the "National Guard rolls in with tanks."

Read more
Amanda Knox in Seattle
5:56 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Amanda Knox returns to Seattle, thanks supporters

Amanda Knox at a news conference in Seattle Tuesday after returning home from Italy.
Associated Press

SEATTLE — Amanda Knox has thanked all those who believed and defended her during her trial in Italy over the sexual assault and fatal stabbing of her British roommate.

"Thank you for being there with me," she said through tears Tuesday, shortly after the plane carrying her to freedom landed in her hometown of Seattle.

Read more
Italy trial
3:13 pm
Mon October 3, 2011

Seattle vigil for Amanda Knox supporters ends ecstatically

Supporters of Amanda Knox react as they watch a television news broadcast about her appeal verdict as they sit in a hotel suite in downtown Seattle on Monday.
Associated Press

SEATTLE – Hometown friends and supporters of Amanda Knox kept an early morning vigil at a Seattle hotel while awaiting the verdict from Italy. The group of about a dozen burst into applause and cheers when they got word that the murder charge against Knox was overturned.

Read more
Hikers freed in Iran
5:37 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Seattle man's nephew one of Americans freed by Iran

Freed American Josh Fattal, left, meets his relatives and friends upon his arrival from Iran, in Muscat, Oman on Wednesday.
Associated Press

A Seattle man has a special reason to celebrate the release of two American hikers from an Iranian prison. One of those who was freed, Josh Fattal, is his nephew.

Read more
Fraud
10:54 am
Tue September 20, 2011

ATM skimming scams on the rise

Federal authorities are warning consumers to take precautions when using ATMs. Illegal 'skimming' is a growing industry.
Paula Wissel KPLU

If you’ve ever used a cash machine, here’s something you should be aware of. The Justice Department has disrupted one of the largest debit and credit card skimming rings on the West Coast.

Read more
Test scores
2:11 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Washington students tops on SAT

Washington students seem to be putting their No. 2s to good use when it comes to the SAT test.
Krug6 Flickr

Washington students appear to be acing one test, the SAT test. 

Average scores were the highest in the nation among states where more than 50 percent of eligible students take the college-entrance exam.

Read more
Native American Health
10:10 am
Wed September 14, 2011

NW 'healing' totem pole heading to National Library of Medicine

Jewell James, holding baby, and the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Indian Nation in front of the healing totem at a blessing ceremony at the Seattle Center.
Robin Cedar KPLU

A brightly colored totem pole was given a send off celebration at the Seattle Center. The carved cedar log is embarking on a 4,000 mile journey.  It’s headed to the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., where it will be the centerpiece of an exhibit on Native American concepts of  healing. 

Read more
9/11 Anniversary
11:07 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Slade Gorton says 9/11 Commission got to the facts

Former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton interviewing witnesses appearing before the 9-11 Commission in June of 2004.
9-11 Commission

'NORAD provided us and the public with a highly erroneous history of what happened ...'

On Sept. 11, 2001, former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton was at a conference in Leavenworth, Wash.  He'd gone out for an early morning run when he got word a plane had flown into the World Trade Center in New York.  He drove home to Seattle over a  Steven's Pass, which had almost no traffic on it,  trying to absorb the news of the attacks.

Gorton was later tapped to serve on the 9/11 Commission by President George Bush.  He considers the work he did some of the most important of his life.

Read more
Storm water runoff
12:20 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Seattle removes rain gardens in Ballard

This photo, taken in the winter of 2011, shows one of the failed rain gardens in Ballard the city is spending $500,000 to remove.
Ballard Raingardengue blog

Just a year ago, Seattle was promoting its roadside rain garden project in Ballard. Now, the city is spending half a million dollars to dismantle huge sections of it.

Some neighborhood residents say, despite good intentions, the whole thing has been a fiasco.

Read more
cat trappers
1:00 pm
Fri September 2, 2011

Cat trappers fix feral felines and return them to the wild

A trapped feral cat waits for his medical procedure at the feral cat spay/neuter clinic in Lynnwood.
Paula Wissel/KPLU

If you have feral cats in your neighborhood, you know they can be a major headache, what with the loud cat fighting and territorial spraying. 

In Grays Harbor County, two women have taken it upon themselves to fix the problem, literally. They trap cats in order to get them spayed or neutered. They then release them back where they came from.

Read more

Pages