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.”

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transportation
1:27 pm
Tue May 31, 2011

SeaTac airport expects busy summer travel season

Travelers waiting in line to go through a security check at Sea-Tac International Airport fill the concourse in this file photo. The number of people flying in and out of the airport is ahead of projections so far this year.
Elaine Thompson AP

With Memorial Day over, the summer travel season has begun. If recent data from Sea-Tac airport is any indication, it will be a busy one.

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Mobile phones
9:45 pm
Tue May 17, 2011

Using tragedy to teach dangers of texting while driving

The car that a teenager died in is parked outside Roosevelt High School in Seattle, May 17, 2011.
Paula Wissel/KPLU

How do you convince someone not to text or talk on the cell phone while  driving?  How about an in-your- face reminder of what can happen if you do?  That's the tactic Seattle Police have been using this week. 

They've been parking a black Honda, with the driver's side smashed in, outside area high schools.  A Tumwater teenager, Heather Lerch, died in the car in February of 2010 while texting and driving.

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"Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
4:40 pm
Tue May 10, 2011

Lesbian Air Force Major agrees to retire

Air Force Major Margaret Witt, shown here in December 2010, who challenged her discharge and won the right to be reinstated, will retire with full benefits and have her discharge erased.
Paula Wissel/KPLU

A lesbian Air Force Major who was trying to get her job back has decided to retire instead.  Under an agreement reached with the Pentagon, flight nurse Margaret Witt will retire with full benefits and her discharge will be removed from her record.

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Waste reduction
12:54 pm
Mon May 9, 2011

Federal judge okays Seattle's yellow pages opt-out program

ezlocal.com

A federal judge has ruled the city of Seattle can go ahead with its effort to limit free phone books on doorsteps. Yellow pages companies were trying to block the city’s anti-phone book plan.

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Osama bin Laden
2:07 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Former 9/11 Commissioner says intelligence changes made a difference

The 9/11 Commission Report, released in 2004, called for major changes in U.S. intelligence agencies.
Department of Homeland Security

Former U.S. Senator from Washington state, Slade Gorton,  says the killing of bin Laden is proof that intelligence agencies in the United States have improved.  Gorton sat on the 9/11 Commission, which investigated the terrorist attacks.

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Law & Justice
11:33 am
Tue May 3, 2011

Helping refugee women fight domestic violence

Refugees face a lot of stress.  They’re usually escaping war or poverty.  They land here unable to speak English and without a means of support.  But for some women, there’s the additional burden of domestic violence.

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Osama bin Laden killed
11:04 am
Tue May 3, 2011

Tacoma man remembers meeting with bin Laden

It was during the siege of Sarajevo in 1995 that Tim Smith sat in a room with Osama bin Laden, who was one of the international donors helping the Bosnians.
AP Photo

Tim Smith, who lives in south Tacoma,  is glad Osama bin Laden is dead.  He says he feels a certain amount of closure.  He says he's been involved with the bin Laden story since 1995.  That's the year he met bin Laden, sort of.

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Airplane safety
4:53 pm
Wed April 27, 2011

Boeing CEO says workmanship to blame for 737 problem

A Southwest Airline plane, seen here Mon. April 4, 2011, had to land after a section of fuselage tore from the plane during flight.
AP

Boeing’s CEO says it was likely sloppy work, not a design flaw, that resulted in a hole in a Southwest Airlines jet. On April 1st, a Boeing 737 developed a 5-foot tear in the roof while in flight.

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social media
4:57 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Issaquah tweens charged with cyberstalking

Two girls, ages 11 and 12, are charged with a felony for allegedly hacking into a former friend's Facebook page.
Paula Wissel/KPLU

Two pre-teen girls in King County have been charged with cyberstalking for allegedly posing as another girl on Facebook and posting sexually explicit pictures and messages.  If convicted of first degree computer trespass, the Middle School students face up to 30 days in juvenile detention.

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Law enforcement
10:12 am
Tue April 26, 2011

Teaching police talk tactics

Seattle Asst. Police Chief Mike Sanford, King Co. Sheriff Sue Rahr and Joe Hawe, Exec. Dir. Wa. State Criminal Justice Training Commission announce plans to teach cops better communication skills.
Paula Wissel/KPLU

Police in Seattle and King County will soon be trained in the importance of talking.  They’ll learn to treat people with respect as a way of diffusing tense situations.  Law enforcement officials hope the new approach helps build trust with the community.

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World War II history
9:32 am
Mon April 25, 2011

Want to fly in a B-17 bomber?

The Liberty Foundation

You might hear an unusual rumbling overhead today in Seattle. An original World War II bomber will be in the sky. The Boeing B-17 is part of a traveling history exhibit that lets you actually fly in the plane. 

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Rising fuel costs
2:59 pm
Tue April 19, 2011

Local business hurt by gas prices seek help from Congress

Doug McClure, owner of Zeeks Pizza, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, and Warren Aakervik, owner of Ballard Oil, at a news conference April 18, 2011.
Paula Wissel/KPLU

U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell say Wall Street speculation in the oil and gas market is directly affecting small business in Washington. 

At a news conference held at Local Roots Organic in Seattle they were joined by several business owners who said high gas prices are taking a toll on their bottom line.

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New citizens
11:57 am
Wed April 13, 2011

Public library hosts naturalization ceremony

Twenty-eight countries were represented at a citizenship ceremony at the downtown branch of the Seattle Public Library on April 12, 2011.
Paula Wissel

For the first time, the Seattle Public Library was the venue for a naturalization ceremony.  Eighty-six people from twenty-eight countries were sworn in as American citizens.

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News Business
3:50 pm
Tue April 12, 2011

Reporters stop tweeting

AP reporters and photographers rallied outside their Seattle offices to call attention to contract negotiations with the company.
Paula Wissel

The Associated Press reporters and photographers around the country weren't tweeting or uploading their stories to Facebook today.  They also refrained from using their personal cell phones or cars for business.

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Healthy Lifestyle
7:18 pm
Wed April 6, 2011

Ready, set, walk!

Hundreds turned out at Seattle city hall for National Start Walking Day
Paula Wissel

How about going out for a stroll? Today is National Start Walking Day.  The American Heart Association, which sponsors the day,  says taking just 10 minutes three times a day to walk will help you live longer.

Several hundred people turned out at Seattle city hall to kick off Start Walking Day by taking a 30 minute walk around downtown. Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine led the way.

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