Other News

Infectious Diseases
9:40 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Researchers: We Shared The Flu Virus With Olympic Peninsula Sea Otters

Unfortunately, one of the few things humans share with sea otters is the flu virus.
Tania Larson U.S. Geological Survey

Humans are particularly generous with the flu, otter-wrangling scientists have found.

People shared the 2009 swine flu epidemic with ferrets, dogs, cats, raccoons and pigs, and new research shows even wild sea otters in Washington state got hit. 

"These otters, which we think were living in a relatively pristine environment off the Olympic Peninsula, were exposed to pathogens that are more commonly associated with people," said Virologist Hon Ip with the U.S. Geological Survey, who co-authored the study published in the May 2014 issue of “Emerging Infectious Diseases.”

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Philanthropy
3:41 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

$20 Million Gift From Bezos Family To Support Cancer Therapies At Fred Hutch

CT scans of a patient with stage 4 lymphoma before (left) and five months after (right) treatment with T cells show how tumors melted away.
Courtesy of Dr. David Maloney Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

The family of Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has given Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center its largest-ever single gift.

The $20 million donation will fund research into cancer immunotherapy, a field that uses the body’s own immune system fight tumors. Fred Hutch president Dr. Larry Corey says the line of research is making huge strides.

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Oso Slide
5:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

In Wake Of Deadly Slide, Chaplains Responding To Emotional Emergencies

Based at the Darrington fire station, Reverend Owen Couch greets first responders when they come in from long days searching in the muck.
Rae Ellen Bichell KPLU

As the weeks go by after the deadly mudslide in Oso, the number of volunteers helping to clean up the muddy mess is dwindling. But there’s another team working on an invisible mess — the emotional one. They’re volunteer, emergency response chaplains. Long after the funerals are over and the debris has been disposed of, their work will continue. 

Steve Schertzinger, Owen Couch, and Suzanne and Ray Thompson were some of the first volunteers to arrive after the mudslide in Oso. The chaplains will likely be some of the last to leave. 

Since they retired as a nurse and a firefighter, Suzanne and Ray Thompson have bounced from disaster to disaster.

"Tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, ice storms," Ray Thompson recalled. "I've kind of lost count."

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Homeless Youth
4:59 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Voices From The Street, Part 1

Florangela Davila

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of radio conversations between homeless youth. Voices will also be broadcast as part of the Kids@Risk coverage on Crosscut.com. 

Oso Slide
11:59 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Universities, Bank Offer Financial Relief For Victims As Slide Death Toll Rises To 30

Emergency workers walk at the scene of a deadly mudslide that happened over a week earlier, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Oso, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Washington State University will waive next year's tuition and fees for students who live near the site of the deadly March 22 mudslide in Snohomish County, school leaders announced this week.

The slide "was such an obvious tragedy for our state and for the folks in that area that the troops rallied early and discussions started about how WSU could help," said university spokesperson Kathy Barnard.

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Oso Slide
10:24 am
Wed April 2, 2014

In Oso, The Grim Accounting Continues As United Way Prepares To Distribute Relief

Workers carrying hand tools and shovels walk past a U.S. flag Tuesday, April 1, 2014, near Darrington, Wash., in the debris field of the deadly mudslide that hit the community of Oso,Wash. on March 22, 2014.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Searchers painstakingly combing through mud and debris have confirmed the deaths of 29 people, though more have been found than the official tally reflects. Twenty people are listed as missing.

Father Tim Sauer, pastor of Catholic churches in communities on either side of the slide, said the first funerals are expected within the next several days.

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Oso Slide
5:01 am
Mon March 31, 2014

How Animal Owners Are Coping After Slide In Heart Of Washington's Horse Country

The March 22 mudslide narrowly missed the Andrews family's property in Oso, Wash., where this 14-year-old horse named Cassie was kept. After flood waters threatened the property, the Andrews family had to rush to remove Cassie from the property.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Tons of donated food has already poured into the tiny Snohomish County communities touched by the deadly March 22 mudslide, and not all of it's for humans.

Dozens of volunteers spent the weekend stocking up donated feed for critters as small as chickens and as large as cows at a makeshift animal shelter and food shelf at the Darrington Rodeo Grounds, just east of the slide area.

It's one of many ways community members are coping with the disaster, which hit the heart of the state's horse country. Members of the Darrington Horse Owner's Association started the effort to accommodate animals displaced by the slide.

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Spring Pledge Drive
12:00 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Thank You For Supporting The Music And News You Love!

Thanks to our generous listeners, we received almost 3,600 gifts during our Spring Fund Drive! Your support ensures that our world-class news, jazz and blues will continue for another year. 

If you have yet to make a pledge, and would like to do so today, your gift will still count toward our overall goal and help ensure the jazz, news and blues that you love will continue year-round.

Please consider how much our service is worth to you, and to your neighbors, and make a pledge today in whatever amount fits! 

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Patient Safety
6:37 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

England's Health Secretary Models Nationwide Reforms On Seattle Hospital

English Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt (right), along with Virginia Mason Medical Center CEO Gary Kaplan, says the Seattle hospital is one of the safest in the world.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

England’s health secretary has taken the unusual step of using a Seattle hospital to announce a major policy reform in his own country. The new patient safety policies are partly inspired by Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center.

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Affordable Care Act
5:01 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Who In Washington Deserves An Extension On Monday's Obamacare Deadline?

Ads from Washington's health exchange are urging people to get covered before the March 31 deadline.
Washington Health Benefits Exchange

Washington’s health exchange is wrestling with how to accommodate people who have had trouble signing up for insurance. The March 31 deadline has been looming for months, as officials urge people to get covered or face a fine.

But considering the well-known problems at the state and federal exchanges, officials figured some people will need an extension. The question is who gets it.

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Translating Jargon
12:01 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

KPLU's Annotated Guide To The Health Insurance Gobbledygook You Need To Know

An annotated screenshot from WAHealthPlanFinder.
Justin Steyer KPLU

One thing about the Affordable Care Act is that now we’re all expected to be informed consumers about buying insurance. If you’ve never done that, you might be surprised at all the jargon you’re supposed to know. And if you’ve waited until the last minute to enroll — most people have until March 31 to sign up and dodge the fine, it’s time to start cramming.

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Homecoming
4:12 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Coast Guard Icebreaker Returns to Seattle After Trip To Antarctica

Polar Star arrived at about 10am Friday at the Coast Guard Base in Elliott Bay.
Rae Ellen Bichell KPLU

Following a 108-day trip to Antarctica, Seattle-built icebreaker Polar Star returned to its homeport at the U.S. Coast Guard base in Elliott Bay Friday.

The vessel, with its 75,000 horsepower, cut a path for a tanker and cargo ship to deliver supplies to a U.S. research station ahead of the coming Antarctic winter. 

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
2:28 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Wash. State Orders Hanford Managers To Empty Leaking Tank

FILE - Routine periodic visual monitoring (via camera) of the AY-102 annulus found material previously not seen.
U.S. Department of Energy

The state of Washington has ordered the federal government to pump out a leaking double-shell tank of waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The state says pumping must begin by Sept. 1.

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Affordable Care Act
5:01 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Washington Health Exchange Banking On A Big March Surge In Enrollments

This screen grab shows Washington Healthplanfinder's website.

Most Americans who still don’t have health insurance by March 31 could face a fine, and Washington’s health benefits exchange is hoping the looming deadline will help motivate people to enroll. But so far, the exchange is lagging behind its goals.

Massachusetts, which served as a template for the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to get insurance or pay a penalty, saw a huge rush just before the deadline. Exchange board member Phil Dyer says Washington needs a similar surge.

“Well, I feel like we’re behind the power curve. We’ve got a long way to go,” Dyer said. “Let’s wait and see if March gets us there, and then take a hard look at planning for Exchange 2.0.”

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Changing Season
1:25 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

On The First Day Of Spring, Outlook Predicts Warmer-Than-Usual Season

File image
Alex Brandon AP Photo

On this first day of spring, the seasonal outlook is calling for a warmer-than-average spring west of the Cascades, according to the National Weather Service.

The strongest signal to emerge from the Weather Service climate models foreshadows above-normal temperatures along the West Coast.

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