Other News

Emergency Room
5:01 am
Thu March 20, 2014

New Emergency Room Guidelines Help Washington Save Millions, Cut ER Visits

ER visits dropped 10 percent in the last fiscal year, due in part to a set of best practices around emergency room care, says a new report.
UMHealthSystem Flickr

Washington’s Medicaid program saved more than $33 million last year, and a new report gives much of the credit to a big push to reduce emergency room visits.

ERs are a great place to treat real emergencies, but a very expensive place to do run-of-the-mill medical care. So the Health Care Authority, the agency that runs Medicaid, partnered with the Washington State Hospital Association, the Washington State Medical Association and others to adopt seven best practices aimed at ensuring ERs are used for their intended purpose.

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Helicopter Crash
4:43 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

NTSB Investigating Fatal KOMO News Helicopter Crash Near Space Needle

Investigators look through the charred wreckage of a news helicopter and two vehicles after the chopper crashed into a city street near the Space Needle, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Two people were killed inside a news helicopter when it crashed outside the KOMO-TV studios near the Space Needle in Seattle, sending clouds of black smoke into the sky during the rush hour at 7:40 a.m. Tuesday.

In addition to the fatalities, Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said a man managed to free himself from one of the burning cars at the accident scene. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of serious burns. The man, who was initially listed in critical condition, was upgraded to serious condition Tuesday afternoon.

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Transportation
1:55 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Washington State Ferries Director Resigns

David Moseley
WSDOT

After six years on the job, the head of Washington State Ferries says he will step down on April 15.

David Moseley made his announcement Tuesday. His resignation comes as the nation’s largest ferry system continues to encounter choppy seas.

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A Different Kind of Bore
12:27 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Bertha Rescue Plan On Hold While Archaeologists Check Soil For Sites

In 1884, the intersection of First Avenue South and Main Street looked like this. Bertha now sits 60 feet below the same area.
Peterson and Brothers Museum of History and Industry, Seattle

The plan to dig a shaft 12 stories deep to fix Bertha, the Seattle tunnel boring machine, has been put on hold while archaeologists make sure crews won’t dig through important historical sites. 

On Thursday, workers started boring approximately 60 holes, each about as wide as a grapefruit, and digging as deep as 40 feet down through layers of Seattle's floor, which, at the moment, is also Bertha's ceiling. 

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Alzheimer's Disease
5:01 am
Fri March 14, 2014

5 Things A Local Journalist Wishes He Knew Before His Wife's Alzheimer's Diagnosis

Linda Tong was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease at age 51.
Collin Tong

Consider the twin cruelties of having a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease: On the one hand, caring for him or her is non-stop responsibility, stress and expense. On the other, you have to watch the person you love slip away, or even worse, become a disoriented or even hostile stranger.

Seattle journalist Collin Tong experienced the long ordeal starting when his beloved wife Linda was diagnosed with the early-onset variety at age 51. Tong has edited a book, composed of stories from 23 caregivers, called “Into the Storm: Journeys with Alzheimer’s.” And he shared with us a handful of the practical things he wishes he’d known before caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.

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Drug Overdose
5:45 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Nasal Spray Antidote To Opiate Overdose To Be Widely Available On WSU Campus

An educational pamphlet and samples of naloxone, a drug used to counter the effects of opiate overdose, are displayed.
Elise Amendola AP Photo

Drug overdoses, mostly from opiates, are the leading cause of accidental death in America. But there is an antidote, and it may soon be much more widely available on the Washington State University campus. 

For someone who overdoses on heroin or a prescription painkiller, a quick shot of naloxone could make the difference between life and death. In the past, this has meant an actual injection, which can be hard to administer for someone who isn’t trained, as well as carrying risks of blood-borne diseases.

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Wanapum Dam
8:17 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Newly Exposed Bones On Columbia River Shore Churn Up Old Questions

Newly exposed riverbank sprawls out upstream on the Columbia River from Wanapum Dam
Anna King

 

Grant County officials and Native Americans are patrolling round the clock to keep sacred and sensitive sites protected on miles of exposed Columbia River shoreline.

The drawdown of water behind the damaged Wanapum Dam and the nearby Rock Island dam has exposed lots of rocky shoals. But new-found bones are churning up old questions.

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Transportation
12:20 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Report: Poor Roads, Congestion Cost Seattle-Area Drivers $1,800 A Year

This photo shows a traffic jam at Spring Street and Third Avenue in Seattle.
Oran Viriyincy

Seattle-area drivers are losing about $1,800 a year due to driving on poor roads, congestion delays and traffic crashes on roads that are unsafe, according to a new report by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group. The same report says drivers are wasting 48 hours a year stuck in traffic.

The report highlighted the large number of roads in the city and the state in need of repair, and the costs to drivers from things like wear and tear on their vehicles.

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Homelessness
10:25 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Pilot Program In Pierce County Helping Families Escape Homelessness

Simya Gantt
Taylor Winkel

Across the country, more than one million kids may not know where they’re going to sleep tonight. It could be in a car, on a friend’s couch, in a homeless shelter, or even on the street.

In Washington state alone, there are more than 30,000 homeless children. And for these kids, getting their homework done is the least of their problems. Now a unique program out of Tacoma is trying to help those kids do better in school, one family at a time.

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Transportation
12:37 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

WSDOT: Cracks Found On Viaduct, But Roadway Still Safe For Traffic

WSDOT

State highway engineers will shut down a stretch of the Alaskan Way viaduct later this month to take a closer look at cracks found on the roadway.

What workers found during a routine inspection of the viaduct on March 1 isn’t that unusual, says Tom Baker, an engineer with the Washington state Department of Transportation.

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Affordable Care Act
1:17 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Edgy Washington State Ads Urge Young People To Buy Insurance

They drink. They dance. And they love the Sasquatch Music Festival, an annual phenomenon in Washington state. But will young people sign up for insurance on the state's health exchange?

The folks who run the exchange were sponsors of the music festival's launch party last month, reminding people they have until the end of March to pick health insurance and see if they qualify for help paying for it.

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Consumer Protection
10:46 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Are You A Prime Target For Online Scams? A Fifth of Washington Adults Are, Says Report

File image
Damian Dovarganes AP Photo

More than one in five Washington adults are at high risk of falling prey to online scams, according to new research funded by the AARP.

Few would be surprised to hear that clicking on pop-up ads or opening emails from unfamiliar sources increases your risk of getting ripped off. But the AARP report, based on a survey of more than 11,000 adults nationwide, also identified some less obvious risk factors.

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Homelessness
5:00 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Seattle's Union Gospel Mission Launching Clothing Line

A limited number of OLU t-shirts will feature a homeless person being served by Seattle's Union Gospel Mission. Pictured on this shirt is R.J. Burrows.
Seattle's Union Gospel Mission

Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission is getting into the fashion merchandising business with the launch of a clothing line called OLU, or Others Like Us.

The line will include T-shirts, a hoodie, a baseball cap and a beanie featuring a logo that looks like a face. One T-shirt design will also feature a photo of a homeless person.

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Affordable Care Act
4:52 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Wash. Health Exchange Beefs Up Call Center For March Rush, Warns Of Long Hold Times

This screen grab shows Washington Healthplanfinder's website.

Washington’s health insurance exchange has ramped up its customer-service call center in anticipation of a big surge in enrollments this month. But callers should still hunker down for a long wait.

The Spokane-based call center got an average of more than 40,000 calls a day in January, but managed to answer just 15 percent of them. Of the rest, the vast majority got a message telling them to give up and call back later, while others hung up due to wait times that averaged 40 minutes or more.

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On Strength
5:26 am
Mon March 3, 2014

5 Steps To Overcoming Trauma, As Explained By Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Jerry White speaking to veterans and mental health workers at the American Lake VA Medical Center in Lakewood.
John Froschauer

There comes a time in people’s lives when an event changes everything in their world.

For Jerry White, that moment came when he was 20, while studying abroad in Israel. That’s when he lost his leg.

White was hiking with friends when he stepped on a landmine.

“Suddenly, I was hiking, and boom! I have no foot,” he said.

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