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Sun May 4, 2014

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May Day
9:40 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

May Day Grand Jury Resister 'Still Has Nightmares' About Solitary Confinement

Matthew Duran spent nearly 6 months in the Federal Detention Center at Sea-Tac.
Paula Wissel KPLU

The May Day violence that happened in downtown Seattle two years ago is still affecting how one Olympia man is living his life.  Matthew Duran, a political activist, wasn’t even in Seattle when windows were smashed in the Nakamura Federal Courthouse in 2012. But he paid dearly for his refusal to talk about who might have been involved.

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May Day
2:11 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Seattle Police Mount Their Bikes And Prepare For A May Day Ride

Bikes were a big tool in the Seattle Police Department's response to downtown May Day protests last year.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

What’s the best tool when you have boisterous crowds mixing with police officers in a dense urban area? For the Seattle Police Department, it might be bikes. SPD officers took a refresher course last week on managing demonstrations on bicycles. Captain Chris Fowler, Commander of the West Precinct, said when the department trades tactical tips with other agencies, that’s what they always want to know more about.

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May Day
1:42 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Businesses To Receive Email Alerts As May Day Events Progress

Vandals broke glass during last year's May Day demonstrations.
Aaron Hushagen

As May 1 approaches, downtown business owners are getting ready. In recent years, factions of May Day protesters have broken windows and taken over the streets. Police officers have responded with tear gas and bike barricades. Anarchists have indicated they plan to march again Thursday.

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Public Safety
12:41 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

With Warm Weather, A Warning About Cold Water

The onset of warm weather in Seattle means more people will be out on the water.
Brianna Flickr

Warmer temperatures this week mean more people will be out having fun on the water. Authorities say it’s a good time to remember that while the sun might be warm, the water is cold. 

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Affordable Care Act
5:45 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Wash. Health Exchange Reports Strong Enrollment Numbers Despite Early Glitches

CEO Richard Onizuka announces the latest enrollment numbers for Washington's health exchange.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

After a rocky start, Washington’s health benefits exchange is taking a victory lap. Officials say the exchange got the late surge in enrollments it was counting on, pushing up its final numbers.

The first open enrollment period of Obamacare ended in March, and now that the exchange has processed most of the stragglers, it has released new numbers: 164,062 people enrolled in private plans, with another 423,205 enrolling in Medicaid through March 31. Factor in those now required to use the exchange’s website to re-up their Medicaid, and the number exceeds a cool million.

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Oso Slide
4:56 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Trying To Help Slide Victims? Beware Of Disaster Relief Fraud

In this Wednesday, April 16, 2014, photo, a flag hangs on one of two buildings pushed together near the edge of the massive deadly mudslide that hit the community of Oso, Wash., on March 22, 2014.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Think twice before clicking on a link soliciting money for victims of the March 22 mudslide that has claimed 41 lives. U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan says fraud is always a problem as people begin to recover from a disaster. 

Durkan and Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe are urging anyone who is aware of disaster relief fraud to call the toll-free National Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721, send an email to disaster@leo.gov.

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Health Insurance
5:00 am
Mon April 21, 2014

New State Rules Could Limit Cheaper Health Plans With 'Narrow Networks'

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidelr (File image)
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

The practice of offering relatively inexpensive health plans with bare-bones provider networks has created tension between making health care affordable and keeping it accessible. It’s set to come to a head this week in Olympia.

The growth of “narrow networks” in Washington comes as the Affordable Care Act limits the ability of insurance companies to control their costs. That’s made it harder to offer plans at a range of prices — something the companies want to do as they compete for comparison shoppers on the health exchanges.

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On Resilience
4:59 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Washington's Own Bill Iffrig A Reluctant Hero Of Boston Marathon Bombing

Bill Iffrig
Jessica Robinson

An elderly man from Lake Stevens has become a reluctant symbol of resilience in the face of terrorism. 

An image of 79-year-old Bill Iffrig, blown off his feet in an orange singlet near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, went around the world. He was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and interviewed for a 12-minute online documentary titled "The Finish Line." 

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Oso Slide
2:30 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Flags Lowered Statewide For One Week To Honor Landslide Victims

Tom Banse Flags fly at half mast in front of Washington state Capitol.

Flags will fly at half-mast across Washington state until next Tuesday to honor the victims of last month's deadly landslide. Earlier Tuesday, the Snohomish County medical examiner raised the death toll by one to 37. Seven others remain missing.

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Oso Slide
5:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Slide Survivor: I Called County 3 Times Before Buying Home, But No One Warned Me

What's left of Robin Youngblood's property is seen in the wake of the mudslide.
Courtesy Robin Youngblood

Former Oso resident Robin Youngblood calls the mudslide she survived last month “devastating, horrific and totally unnecessary.” Thirty seven people are confirmed dead, and seven remain missing as crews search for remains. 

Youngblood was pulled from the ruins after her mobile home was flattened. She’s now on a mission to get laws changed to prevent people from building or remaining in slide-prone areas once the danger is known.

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Zoo Doo
5:00 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Everything You Need To Know About Woodland Park Zoo's Precious Doo

This steaming pile is just a few months away from becoming prime fertilizer.
Ryan Hawk Woodland Park Zoo

  People from North Everett to Bainbridge Island are lining up at Woodland Park Zoo to collect the winnings from an exotic lottery. They've won the right to buy a full truckload of composted animal dung.

In all, 743 people submitted their names in this spring’s “Fecal Fest," but only 200 will drive away with the prized loads.

Meet 'The GM Of BM, The Number One Of Number Two'

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Data Security
2:11 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Audit: State Gave Away, Sold Computers Containing Sensitive Personal Data

Mikkel Ronne Flickr

State agencies have likely given away or sold hundreds of surplus computers without removing confidential data from their hard drives, according to the state auditor.

A performance audit released Thursday says a spot check of more than a thousand remaindered machines found about 9 percent of them still contained sensitive data, such as social security numbers and medical information.

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911 Outage
5:02 am
Thu April 10, 2014

CenturyLink, Agencies Say 911 Service Restored After Overnight Outage

Emergency 911 phone service has been restored in Washington after a 6-hour-long statewide overnight outage.

CenturyLink spokeswoman Kerry Zimmer in Spokane says service was restored about 8 a.m. Thursday in Washington. Service was restored about 6:30 a.m. in parts of Oregon that also were affected.

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Oso Slide
2:01 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Slide Survivor Haunted By Memories Of 'Horrible, Rumbling, Wet' Sound, Guilt

Washington mudslide survivor Amanda Skorjanc, left, talks to the media with her partner Ty Suddarth at Harborview Medical Center, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Seattl
AP Photo/The Herald, Dan Bates, Pool

Amanda Skorjanc was sitting in her kitchen with her baby son, Duke, when she heard “what sounded like a truck off a rumble strip.”

“And then it continued, and I thought, ‘Oh, maybe it’s an earthquake.’ And then the light started to shake. The light started to blink,” said the 25-year-old mother.

Skorjanc looked out the side door of her Oso home, and saw nothing. Then she looked out the front door.

“It was like a movie. Houses were exploding,” she said, fighting back tears. “The next thing I see is the neighbor’s chimney coming in through our front door. And I turned and I held Duke, and I did not let him go.”

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