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Seattle Hires New Director For City's Labor Office

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 19:53


The Seattle office charged with enforcing the $15 minimum wage law has hired Dylan Orr to be its new director. Before taking the job Orr was the first openly transgender person appointed by the Obama Administration, or any presidential administration.

High School Testing Bill Stalls, Putting Fate Of 2,000 Students' Diplomas In Doubt

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 19:50

More than 2,000 high school seniors in Washington state appear unlikely to graduate this year because they didn't pass a required biology test.

But while their predicament has caught Olympia's attention, a last-minute push to let those students get their diplomas anyway appears to have stalled in the State Senate as lawmakers debate what tests to link to graduation going forward.

Win Tickets To Eliane Elias At Victoria JazzFest

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 17:00


Eliane Elias Made In Brazil featuring Marc Johnson (bass), Rafael Barata (drums), and Rubens De Lacorte (guitar).

Sponsored by KPLU 88.5

Win Tickets To CSI: Oly

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 17:00
  • CSI: Oly
  • @ Hands On Children's Museum in Olympia
  • Friday, June 26th  7-10 p.m.


The museum is turning into a crime scene!

Win Passes To A Screening Of "I'll See YOu In My Dreams"

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 17:00


In this vibrant, funny, and heartfelt film, a widow and former songstress discovers that life can begin anew at any age.

Trickster Journalist Explains Why He Duped The Media On Chocolate Study

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 15:21
On Thursday we told you about an elaborate hoax carried out by a science journalist who wanted to teach the media a lesson about being more responsible in reporting on nutrition science.

As we reported, John Bohannon conducted a real — but deeply and deliberately flawed — study on how chocolate affects weight loss. He wrote press releases to alert the media, then sat back and watched who bit.

When Are Employee Wellness Incentives No Longer Voluntary?

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 14:52
Scotts Miracle-Gro makes products for the care and health of lawns. The Marysville, Ohio, company says it wants to nurture its 8,000 employees the same way.

"It's very much of a family culture here," says Jim King, a spokesman for the Scotts company, which offers discounted prescriptions, annual health screenings and some free medical care.

In states where it's legal, the company refuses to hire people who smoke.

"We've been screening for tobacco use for about a decade," King says. "We no longer employ tobacco users."

That provision landed the company in court several years ago.

As Police Body Cameras Increase, What About All That Video?

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 14:46
You know what a pain it can be storing and organizing the millions of videos you've shot on your smartphone. Now imagine you're a police officer, and you wear a body camera every day.

Police cams have suddenly become a big business. In the months since Ferguson, share prices for the camera manufacturer Taser International have doubled.

Reports: Ex-Speaker Hastert's Payments Linked To Sexual Misconduct

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 14:02
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was paying a man to not reveal that Hastert had abused him years ago, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times are reporting.

Hastert was indicted Thurs

Texas Politicians And Businesses Feud Over Medicaid Expansion

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 14:00
Dallas's Parkland Hospital treats a lot of people without health insurance. On a November day in 1963, emergency room doctors at this county hospital frantically tried to save an American president who could not be saved. These days, emergency room doctors frantically try to treat 240,000 patients every year.

"So you can see we have every treatment area filled up. Beds are in the hallways and the rooms are all full," says Dr.

Death Toll In Southern Plains Flooding Rises To 25

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 13:54
The number of people who died because of storms that have inundated parts of Texas and Oklahoma this week has hit 25 people, after search crews found a drowned truck driver whose vehicle had overturned in a culvert near Dallas.

That's the word from member station KERA, where Lauren Silverman reports that a new batch of storms that hit Dallas-Fort Worth "dumped three to seven inches of rain on an already over-saturated area" last night.

All that water created treacherous conditions for this morning's commute; widespread and serious delays were reported.

"Flooding on roadways submerged veh

EU, Japan Express Concern Over China's Moves In South China Sea

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 13:23


Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 13:05
Ross Ulbricht, the San Francisco man who created Silk Road, was sentenced Friday to life in prison for his role in operating the shadowy online marketplace.

Ulbricht faced at least 20 years in prison, but federal prosecutors had sought a "substantially" longer sentence.

As we reported in February, Ulbricht was found guilty of seven drug and conspiracy charges.

America's Elite Cows Don't Give Birth — Their Surrogates Do

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:56
Panda, standing six feet tall and weighing almost a ton, is everything a show cow should be: broad-backed and round-rumped, with sturdy legs holding up her heft. Her hide — thick and black, with splotches of creamy white — fits her name.

"She's a big-time cow," says Dan Byers, owner of Byers Premium Cattle, Inc. "She's a freak of nature is what she is."

Because of her impeccable physique, Panda's descendants sell for a high price. Byers, an elite-cattle breeder in Roseville, Ill., owns several of Panda's daughters.

Warm Weekend Weather Will Depart For June Gloom Early Next Week

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:29

Expect continued warm weather through the weekend in Western Washington with morning clouds and temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s, according to Cliff Mass, KLPU's weather expert.

But the summer weekend weather won't hold through the early part of next week as clouds and rain move in and the temperature drops into the 60s, he added. Hikers in the Cascades will see the wet weather earlier with thunderstorms in the mountains predicted for this weekend.

"It will be quite a show," Mass said.

June Gloom

Mass said the what people in the western United States talk about when they mention 'June Gloom' actually begins in late May. The eastern Pacific Ocean area as far south as San Diego gets blanketed in low cloud layers. This is because the ocean is still cool but the atmosphere has begun warming up. 

The warm upper air caps the cool lower layer of air and turns it into a consistent cloudy blanket. Coupled with high pressure in the eastern Pacific, it forms and then it lingers like an unwelcome house guest.

5 Things You Should Know About Martin O'Malley

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 10:46


Idaho's Abortion Ban Is Unconstitutional, Federal Court Says

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 10:44
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says Idaho's law prohibiting abortions after 20 or more weeks of pregnancy is "unconstitutional because it categorically bans some abortions before viability."

The court ruled in favor of Jennie McCormack and Dr. Richard Hearn (on behalf of himself and his patients), who had challenged Idaho's Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that restricts abortion in the state.

In 2011, McCormack was arrested and faced criminal charges after she ended a pregnancy by taking what's known as the abortion pill, RU-486.

First-Quarter Revision Puts GDP In The Red

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 09:55
It turns out that the harsh winter and a growing trade deficit took a bigger dent out of the U.S. economy in the first three months of the year than previously thought — with revised first-quarter GDP actually shrinking by 0.7 percent, according to the Commerce Department.

Commerce had earlier estimated output growing by 0.2 percent.

At FIFA Meeting, Israeli And Palestinian Delegates Shake Hands

KPLU News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 08:44
Confusion and emotion broke out at Friday's FIFA Congress — and it wasn't over embattled leader Sepp Blatter. The leaders of the Israeli and Palestinian soccer organizations shook hands.

The much-discussed "handshake for peace" happened after the Palestinian Football Association withdrew its proposal that FIFA suspend Israel from international competition.

It was perhaps the only issue that could compete with the wide-ranging accusations of corruption and bribery that have dominated the international gathering of soccer's governing body this week.