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Candidates are breaking spending records in a special election that will decide which party controls the Washington Senate.

Republican Jinyoung Englund and Democrat Manka Dhingra are vying to fill an open state Senate seat in Washington’s 45th legislative district which stretches from Kirkland to Duvall.

Will James / KNKX

Why would Amazon build its second headquarters just 30 miles from its first headquarters in Seattle? 

If you ask leaders in Tacoma, it's because their city has everything the retail giant loves about the Pacific Northwest, plus plenty of room to grow. 

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Seattle’s Cafe Racer, the iconic coffee house and bar in the University District will be closing its doors for the last time Wednesday night.  Many remember Cafe Racer as the scene of a deadly mass shooting in 2012. Yet,  for regulars it’s the real deal in a city where it’s getting hard to find that kind of character.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Hawaii has partially blocked President Trump's third attempt to restrict entry into the U.S. for citizens of certain countries. The Department of Justice says it plans to appeal.

The newest version of the travel ban was due to go into effect on Wednesday. Like two previous executive orders, it was challenged in multiple courts. The new ruling by Judge Derrick K. Watson is only one piece of the complicated legal puzzle over the long-term fate of the president's efforts to limit travel to the U.S.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

A legend of the Pacific NW blues scene, Curtis Salgado’s long list of credits include co-leading the Robert Cray Band, being the inspiration for the Blues Brothers, fronting the band Roomful of Blues, singing with Santana, and leading his own bands.

Seattle City Council

The City of Seattle is asking the public to weigh in on the potential environmental impacts of making it easier to build accessory dwelling units.

Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is expected to draw large crowds when she speaks Friday evening at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue.

She is speaking at the Washington Policy Center's sold-out gala, where the minimum ticket price was $350, though the group says tickets for people in its Young Professionals program were $50 and some college students will attend for free. The organization is expecting 1,500 people for DeVos's first visit to Washington state as education secretary.

There's one week left for North American cities to assemble their bids to lure one of the biggest economic prizes in years, the second Amazon headquarters. At least half a dozen Pacific Northwest places plan to submit proposals.

Washington’s economic climate is the fourth best in the nation. That’s according to a new report by produced by Washington’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

This week, Seattle schools have been putting an extra emphasis on Native culture because of Indigenous Peoples' Day. 

But some parents at the school with the highest concentration of Native kids are frustrated with the school district. They say a shortage of classroom space in the brand-new facility for Licton Springs K-8 threatens their kids’ ability to learn.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Political organizer Kirsten Harris-Talley is the newest member of the Seattle City Council.

Harris-Talley was appointed Friday to fill in while Tim Burgess is mayor through the end of November. She is currently the program director of Progress Alliance of Washington.

Efforts to turnaround Washington’s troubled Western State Hospital are taking longer than expected. The federal government this week granted yet another extension to give the state’s largest mental hospital more time to fix systemic problems.

Will James / KNKX

Leaders in Tacoma say they’re attacking homelessness on two fronts.

Since the summer, they have spent millions of dollars on new services while also cracking down on people sleeping outside.

Five months into what officials describe as an emergency plan, they're now talking about doubling down on both strategies next year. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it conducted a major operation last week targeting so-called “sanctuary cities," including Seattle.

Focusing enforcement on certain cities because of their local laws would represent a new tactic for immigration authorities, according to immigrant advocates and local government leaders.

But details of the operation raise questions about whether it really differed from normal enforcement activities in the Northwest. 

Did Washington’s prepaid Guaranteed Education Tuition program give VIP service to state lawmakers with accounts?

John Raoux / AP

One of the region’s largest blood banks is sending some of its supply to help victims of the shooting in Las Vegas.

On Sunday night, a gunman opened fire during a music festival where 58 people have died and more than 500 were injured.

Bloodworks Northwest is asking donors of all blood types to help replenish local supplies and help with the ongoing needs in Las Vegas.

This spring, an underground train tunnel full of radioactive waste was discovered partially collapsed at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state. Now, federal contractors are prepping the site to fill the unstable tunnel with grout. They’re planning to start Tuesday night.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a challenge Monday to Washington’s voter-approved background check law for person-to-person gun transfers.

Updated at 6:09 p.m. ET

A gunman holed up in a hotel room high above the Las Vegas Strip fired down upon thousands of people attending a music festival Sunday night, in a brutal attack blamed for at least 59 deaths, a law enforcement official says. In the mass shooting and panic that ensued, 527 people were injured.

Last week’s earthquake in Mexico provided another reminder about the risks of poorly reinforced buildings. According to government studies, there are literally thousands of older brick and concrete buildings in Oregon and Washington that could collapse in a strong earthquake.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

The legal troubles facing makers of prescription painkillers continue to grow as the City of Seattle and Washington state have each filed lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, arguing the companies downplayed risks of the drugs and deceptively marketed them to boost profits.

Will James / KNKX

Pierce County's proposed 2018 budget includes a number of programs aimed at combating the interconnected crises of homelessness, addiction and mental illness. 

Among them: A plan to offer homeless people jobs as day laborers. 

If you buy individual health insurance through Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange get ready for sticker shock. Rates will go up by an average of 24 percent next year.

 


The state of Washington will petition to join a lawsuit that challenges President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military, Democratic Governor Jay Inslee announced on  Monday.

 

Joe Mabel / Flickr

 


The University of Washington admitted its most diverse incoming class in the school’s history this year, but black students made up less than 3 percent of that population. Students like Mayowa Aina say that’s no surprise. She saw very few students who looked like her during her five years on campus.

 

Competition for your garbage is increasingly fierce. It's become an important, if mostly hidden, industry in the Columbia River Gorge.

The victim of a high school shooting outside Spokane was memorialized over the weekend. At the same time, his friends and neighbors remembered him at a big event that is important to the small community of Freeman, Washington. 

Russian hackers attempted to penetrate Washington and Oregon’s voter registration systems last year. Top elections officials in both states received that confirmation Friday from the Department of Homeland Security.

People who buy individual health insurance in Washington state can expect another round of rate hikes next year.

“I’d say double-digit [increases] are almost a certainty,” state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in an interview Thursday on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” program.

Geologists for the state of Oregon are warning of the risk of major landslides in parts of the Columbia River Gorge that were hit by wildfires this year.

A new report released Thursday focuses on areas of the Gorge that are highly susceptible to landslides—which also happen to overlap with some of the areas hit by this year’s wildfires.

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