moretopstories

Since 2011, Washington’s prison system has deported 339 convicted felons instead of locking them up. The deportations are part of a voluntary program designed to reduce prison costs.

STILL FROM YOUTUBE VIDEO / ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION

An Oregon man is this year’s world elk calling champion. It’s a distinct talent that apparently runs in the family.

The World Elk Calling Championship was in Salt Lake City this month, drawing dozens of people who took their turn before the judges.

The winner of the Professional Division was Bryan Langley of McMinnville. He describes his winning bugle.

“I just went to Walmart and bought a Wiffle Ball bat, cut the ends off of it and put a fleece cover over it.”

Daniel Ramirez Medina/Public Counsel via AP, File

SEATTLE (AP) — A Mexican man who has spent more than six weeks in immigration detention despite his participation in a program designed to protect those brought to the U.S. illegally as children can be released from custody pending his deportation proceedings, an immigration judge ruled Tuesday.

Will James / KNKX

Sound Transit board members on Thursday met for the first time since anger erupted over a spike in car tabs tied to the transportation upgrades. 

Transit officials largely defended their formula for calculating the fees, which residents have criticized for inflating the values of vehicles.

The Gonzaga University men's basketball team will advance to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Division One Tournament for only the third time in the program's history. Top-seeded Gonzaga beat No. 4 West Virginia 61-58 Thursday night in a tense, defensive Sweet 16 round battle.

"Aerial photo of Port of Tacoma" by D Coetzee is licensed under CC by 2.0

Tacoma has a decades-old reputation as an industrial city. But leaders say it’s time to rethink which specific industries are welcome. 

A City Council proposal would direct the Planning Commission to draft new land-use recommendations for Tacoma’s industrial tideflats area, which includes the Port of Tacoma.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX Pacific Public Media

Dramatic cuts proposed for the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency could hit home in the Puget Sound region.

The Region 10 office here, which covers ecosystems in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska, employs more than 500 people.

In turn, many smaller firms around the Seattle area and beyond help write documents such as environmental impact statements to support EPA policies that many people fear could be wiped out by the Trump administration.

Washington Senate Republicans are looking for ways to save money on state subsidized child care for low-income families. And they think they’ve found a way.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Starbucks has long taken on the mantle of socially conscious retailer. The Seattle-based coffee chain pledged commitment to those endeavors at Wednesday's annual shareholders meeting at McCaw Hall.

Kayla Roberts

Necessity drove more women to the workplace in the 20th century. Ambition - and just being good at their jobs - kept them there. But women were held to different standards, and this is especially obvious in dress codes throughout the early and mid-1900s.

Alice Miller has been collecting women’s work uniforms for 20 years. She has more than 150 outfits dating from 1909 to 2014.

Come1Job

Despite the often heard phrase “see you in court,” more and more conflicts are actually being resolved through mediation, without going to trial. 

At the University of Washington School of Law, the 23rd annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference begins Thursday featuring more than 40 national experts in the field of dispute resolution.

U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT

The Trump administration is calling out cities and counties for their policies toward undocumented immigrants, and Washington state is well-represented on the list. 

Eleven Washington counties appear in a report the administration published Monday identifying jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

Washington Senate Republicans have proposed a $5 billion increase in state spending over the next two years, including $1.8 billion more for public schools in an attempt to satisfy a Supreme Court ruling that found the state is not adequately funding K-12 education.

Peter Morrison / AP

To get a first-class room on the RMS Titanic in 1912, it might have cost upwards of $4,300. In 2017 dollars, it's roughly $105,000.

Incidentally, that's how much it costs to get on the private submarine that will take dozens of people to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, where the Titanic now lies.

Everett-based OceanGate is building that sub here in the Puget Sound. The company will take 54 people along with their crew next spring to comb over the wreck.

Sara Taksler

Free speech and the powers of the government in this country have been talked about a lot recently. A new documentary being screened March 21 in Seattle takes a look at those issues through the lens of the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and the man known as the “Egyptian Jon Stewart.”

 

The film “Tickling Giants” focuses on Dr. Bassem Youssef. He used a nightly television show watched by tens of millions of people as his way to protect free speech and fight political leaders.

 

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle says it has a plan to reduce pedestrian traffic fatalities by half. It involves a minor tweak to the traffic lights

When you’re on foot in Seattle, it can be a little nerve wracking crossing the street at a traffic signal. Just as the walk sign comes on, the green light for cars goes on as well. If a car is turning, you just hope it sees you.

But Scott Kubly, Seattle Department of Transportation director, says, as part of the city’s pedestrian master plan, those walk lights are going to be reprogrammed so that the walk sign comes on first.

How do you dispose of an old totem pole? Fortunately, this is not a problem we regularly face. But a tall totem gifted by Seattle to its sister city in Japan renewed this question.

Lawmakers in Salem are considering a bill that would allow Oregonians to continue to use their driver's license to board airline flights next year.

JSSWA WASHINGTON NATIONAL GUARD / FLICKR

A Washington congressman says the House Intelligence Committee may subpoena associates of President Donald Trump over ties to Russia. 

Democratic Rep. Denny Heck, who lives in Olympia, is the only Pacific Northwest representative on the committee. 

A northbound train pulls into Westlake Station in downtown Seattle.
Simone Alicea / knkx

As the president's proposed budget ripples through various sectors of Washington state, one question that arises is what potential cuts to transportation could mean for Sound Transit's ambitious light rail plans.

The biggest potential problem is the president's proposal to eliminate all grant funding for transit projects that don't already have it.

POOL / GETTY IMAGES

Our democracy limits the government’s executive branch to a largely administrative role. 

But that doesn’t stop mayors, governors, and presidents from making big campaign promises on policy. And sometimes they seek creative ways around the limitations of their office. 

Take Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

President Donald Trump has made it clear climate change is not a priority for his administration, but it is still a top issue for Democratic governors and lawmakers in Washington and Oregon.

In Oregon, there’s talk of a cap-and-trade system. And in Washington, the idea of a carbon tax keeps popping up as Democrats and Republicans face off over the budget.

The state of the salmon population in Idaho’s Snake River was the topic of a passionate discussion during a conference hosted by members of Idaho’s Nez Perce Indian tribe over the weekend.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Temporary fans and sump-pump hoses are whirring along inside the West Point Treatment plant. It’s still dark inside the tunnels where on February 9, a flood of sewage busted doors off and submerged everything up to 12-feet high.

Where we’re standing, we would have been underwater.  Plant manager Robert Waddle switches on a flashlight to show me around.

Ned Ahrens / King County Wastewater Treatment Division

The breakdown last month of Seattle’s wastewater treatment plant has poured hundreds of millions of gallons of untreated stormwater and raw sewage into Puget Sound. Repairs alone will cost an estimated $25 million. And it’s expected to take till the end of April to get the West Point Treatment Plant back to normal. Until then, the broken wastewater facility will be violating its permit and polluting Puget Sound.

Updated at 3:30 a.m. ET Thursday

Hours after a federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order against President Trump's travel ban, U.S. District Court Judge Theodore D. Chuang, in Maryland, issued a nationwide preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the 90-day ban against travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Chuang's order denies the plaintiffs' request to block other parts of Trump's March 6 executive order, including the temporary ban on refugees.

Artist Carolyn Sherer stands in front of the portrait she made of Lucy, a 15-year-old girl who identifies as trans. The portrait is part of a National Portrait Gallery exhibition touring the country, on display at the Tacoma Art Museum through May 14.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

Carolyn Sherer wants you to meet Lucy.

Lucy is a 15-year-old girl who self-identifies as trans. She’s wearing a dress of white and tan stripes with a darker print on top. And she’s not actually here in person. Lucy is the subject of a photograph Sherer made. And at the moment, Lucy is at the Tacoma Art Museum.

Alaska Airlines

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would let state workers keep the frequent flyer miles they earn while traveling on official business. The measure passed the Senate Tuesday.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Washington state lawmakers are trying to limit the scope of non-compete agreements.

A non-compete agreement is part of a contract that says an employee can't work for a competitor for a certain period of time after leaving a company.

There have been several attempts to restrict the use of non-compete agreements in Washington. Some states, like California, have all but banned them.

Will James / KNKX

Treating homeless people takes special training, but it's not something doctors, nurses, and other health care providers typically learn in school.

That's according to Lois Thetford, a physician's assistant with decades of experience working with the homeless. 

Pages