Paula Wissel | KNKX

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 KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.

Paula's most memorable moment at KNKX: “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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Health insurers in Washington state are now required to provide 12-month refills of birth control pills.  

Although the Affordable Care Act requires most insurance plans to provide birth control for free as part of preventive medicine, a lot of insurers had limited customers to a 30-day supply at a time.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

A Somali refugee who lives in Seattle is one of the people challenging President Trump’s travel ban saying it’s illegally preventing him from reuniting with his family. Oral arguments will be heard Thursday, December 21, before U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle. Robart has ruled on a number of travel ban cases and was one of the first federal judge's to grant an injunction temporarily halting enactment of the  travel ban after President Trump signed an Executive Order putting it in place.

Paula Wissel / KNKX

Undocumented young immigrants, including a contingent from Washington State, are descending on Capitol Hill to push for passage of the Dream Act before Congress leaves on Friday. The Act would provide a path to citizenship for more than a million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

Paula Wissel / knkx

People selling the street newspaper Real Change are now easier to see.  They’ve been issued bright green reflective vests. 

The paper is sold on the street by people who are homeless or formerly homeless, who pay 60 cents for each paper and sell it for $2.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says the Seattle Police Department will continue its reform efforts, even as a search is launched for a new Police Chief. Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced she’s stepping down and will leave by the end of the month.

Paula Wissel / knkx

Not showing up for a court date can result in a warrant for your arrest. But now, anyone with an outstanding warrant from Seattle Municipal Court has a chance to get it cleared.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The first woman mayor since the 1920s has taken the helm in the booming progressive city of Seattle.

Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan was sworn in Tuesday at an Ethiopian community center, 91 years after the city elected Bertha Knight Landes as mayor.

Charles Sykes/Invision for Hasbro / AP Images

A consumer advocacy group has released its annual survey of dangerous toys. In addition to warnings about toys that pose physical hazards like choking, the group is sounding the alarm over toys that could threaten children's privacy.

Paula Wissel / knkx

Memorial Stadium at the Seattle Center could be closer to getting a makeover. Seattle Public Schools, which owns the stadium, has signed an agreement with the city of Seattle to come up with a plan for the 70 year old high school sports facility.

Mark Stone / University of Washington

When you think of a smart gadget, you probably think of a phone or an appliance. But, how about a piece of paper? That’s what a team of scientists at the University of Washington have developed. And they say its use could range from manufacturing to medicine.

Monica Spain / knkx

More than a hundred families will gather at county courthouses around Washington state Thursday and Friday to finalize their adoption of children.

The annual statewide event is part of National Adoption Day, which is intended to celebrate adoptees and their families and encourage adoption of kids still waiting for  permanent homes.

Jennifer Wing / knkx

King County Metro Transit fares are being simplified. Beginning in July 2018, bus riders will pay a flat adult rate of $2.75. The new fare system eliminates different fares for peak times and for traveling between zones.

Abhinaba Basu / Wikimedia Commons

If you trek to Mount Rainier National Park every summer to catch the spectacular display of wildflowers, take note: In the future, some flower species may bloom earlier while others could disappear altogether, according to a study from the University of Washington.

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Those trying to tackle the opioid crisis say solving it will take more than money and government help. It will take a change in attitude. 

Lauren Davis, with Washington Recovery Alliance, says the stigma attached to addiction makes it less likely that people will seek treatment.

Unless Congress acts soon, nearly 18,000 children in Washington state will lose health coverage because Congress still hasn’t reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP.

Neil Conway/Flckr

Criminal justice reform advocates say Washington state has room to improve when it comes to making the bail system more equitable. 

A report card issued by the Pretrial Justice Institute, which pushes for bail reform, gives Washington a "C" grade, which is better than the "D" national average grade.

Paula Wissel / knkx

Community leaders in King County are reacting angrily to what they say is a dangerous and divisive flyer targeting undocumented immigrants.

As Crosscut first reported, the mailer sent to Burien residents by the group Respect Washington purports to list the addresses and names of local people who are in the country illegally and have committed crimes.

KNKX Photo

The American Civil Liberties Union says a proposed new data collection system in the King County Sheriff’s Office could cause people to be unfairly tracked by law enforcement. The ACLU says the county needs to be more transparent on exactly what the Mark43 records management system would do.

University of Washington

Scientists say it’s not a matter of if, but of when a devastating earthquake will hit the Pacific Northwest.

University of Washington researchers have now done detailed simulations to find out just how intense the shaking from such a quake off the Oregon and Washington coast would be.

Paula Wissel / knkx

Two Seattle police officers recently filed a lawsuit against Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant for defamation of character.

They say she defamed them when, shortly after it happened, she referred to the police killing of Che Taylor, an African American man, as a “brutal murder.” They point out they were eventually cleared of wrongdoing in the killing by an inquest jury. 

Paula Wissel / knkx

Puget Sound Energy wants to raise electricity rates by 4.1 percent and lower natural gas rates  by 2.4 percent. The Washignton Utilities and Transportation Commission has to approve the request and is holding hearings this week.

Paula Wissel / knkx

Six nonprofit organizations have been awarded grants from a $1.5 million legal-defense fund the City of Seattle has set up to help immigrants who face deportation or are in danger of losing their legal status.

A Washington state high school football coach took advantage of his position when he prayed on the field after games, and he's not entitled to immediately get his job back, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.

Seth Perlman / AP Photo

Washington law prevents domestic violence abusers from possessing guns. But advocates for victims say the courts aren’t doing enough to enforce the law.

Passed by the Washington state legislature in 2014, the law requires people with protection orders against them because of domestic abuse to temporarily surrender their firearms to law enforcement. 

Paula Wissel / knkx

We weren't in the path of totality, but that didn't dampen the excitement in Seattle and around the Puget Sound region.

Nearly everywhere, people stepped outside their workplaces to look up at the sky and watch as the eclipse obscured 92 percent of the sun.

Paula Wissel / knkx

Restaurants in most of King County, including in Seattle, are now required to post their “smiley face” health department food safety rating.

Public Health Seattle and King County began rolling out the system in January. The final phase will be completed in October, when Auburn is included.

Initial evidence shows the ratings may be having an impact.

Ricardo Arduengo / AP Photo

Middle school students who are severely depressed could be at an elevated risk of developing a problem with marijuana by the time they finish high school, according to a study conducted by University of Washington researchers, published in the journal "Addiction".

#FiveMinutes campaign

Can a five minute video change negative perceptions of people who are Muslim? That’s the goal of a social media campaign started in Seattle by a group of attorneys.

Paula Wissel / knkx

A Yakima man who falsely confessed to rape and served nearly a decade behind bars before being exonerated says he wants the real rapist brought to trial. He says prosecutors should examine new DNA evidence uncovered by a private investigator.

Paula Wissel / KNKX

Are you willing to pay an extra $30  in sales tax a year to help support museums, theaters and other cultural institutions? That’s the question King County voters are being asked in the form of Proposition 1, Sales Tax for Cultural Access Program.