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Transportation Officials Say 3,000 Rail Crossings In Washington Go Uninspected

KPLU News - 2 hours 51 min ago

Washington’s rail safety regulator says there are about 3,000 rail crossings in the state that inspectors have never looked at because they sit on private land.

Experts say these could be problem areas as more trains carry crude oil through the state. They plan to ask the legislature for more authority.

Funny, Dirty, Sad: The 'Holy Trinity' For 'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway

KPLU News - 3 hours 1 min ago
When Jill Soloway's father came out as a trans woman — fairly late in life — Soloway says for her it was a huge relief.

"It's interesting, I think, to grow up in a family with this really huge missing piece and not know what that piece is — sort of like you're feeling around in a dark room," Soloway tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's like the elephant in the room, but all the lights are off. So you're feeling around and you're feeling this quite huge thing.

Thomas Menino, Boston's Longest-Serving Mayor, Dies At 71

KPLU News - 3 hours 20 min ago
Boston's longest-serving mayor, Thomas Michael Menino, who held the job for more than two decades until stepping aside earlier this year, has died. He was 71.

"At just after 9 a.m. this morning the Honorable Thomas M. Menino passed into eternal rest after a courageous battle with cancer.

Medicare Concedes, Agrees To Pay For Woman's Home Health Care

KPLU News - 3 hours 24 min ago
A disabled woman with serious health problems who successfully challenged Medicare for denying her home health care coverage has racked up another win against the government.

In her latest federal lawsuit filed in June, Glenda Jimmo, 78, argued that Medicare should have paid for the nursing care and other skilled services she received at her home during 2007.

GDP Posts Strong 3.5 Percent Growth Rate In 3rd Quarter

KPLU News - 3 hours 30 min ago
The U.S. economy grew at the solid pace of 3.5 percent for the third quarter, helped along by gains in business investment, exports and a big jump in military spending, the Commerce Department says.

The latest GDP number for the period July-to-September, was better than economists had expected.

4 People Dead After Plane Crashes Into Building At Kansas Airport

KPLU News - 3 hours 30 min ago
A small airplane crashed into a building in Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport and killed at least four people on Thursday.

KAKE-TV reports that five others were injured and four are still missing. The station reports:

"Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro says a twin-engine Beechcraft King Air 200 reported losing engine power just after takeoff around 9:50 a.m.

'The Great Invisible' Views An Environmental Catastrophe From Many Sides

KPLU News - 4 hours 17 min ago
The Great Invisible, Margaret Brown's soft-spoken documentary about the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, recognizes that disasters — from shootings to extreme weather events — often beget entrenchment. Tragedies tend to drive us to our most defensive ideological corners, from which we can see little beyond more impassioned arguments for our own side.

What A Brush With SARS Taught A Doctor About Ebola

KPLU News - 4 hours 18 min ago
Back in 2003 I was a junior doctor working at a Chicago teaching hospital.

As one of the newer docs, my daily appointment schedule had lots of openings.

Unlikely Marriage Of Diseases: TB And Diabetes Form A 'Co-Epidemic'

KPLU News - 4 hours 19 min ago
The world is facing a double-barreled pandemic reminiscent of the dual epidemic of tuberculosis and HIV that emerged in the 1980s – only potentially much bigger.

It's a "co-epidemic" of TB and diabetes that's beginning to affect many countries around the globe — poor, middle-income and even rich nations.

The problem is that people with diabetes – a galloping global epidemic in itself – are two to three times more likely to get active TB.

So Who Was Socrates, Anyway? Let's Ask Some Kids

KPLU News - 4 hours 33 min ago


Apps Aim To Guide You On 'Sustainable Food' (Whatever That Means)

KPLU News - 5 hours 53 min ago
If you're reading The Salt, it probably comes as no surprise to you that consumers increasingly want to make food choices based on not just their health, but their ethics.

Why It's OK To Worry About Ebola, And What's Truly Scary

KPLU News - 5 hours 53 min ago
Public-health types are getting increasingly annoyed with people freaking out about Ebola in the United States, from governors to the general public. It's easy to see why; when I heard a swim coach was getting questions from parents worried that their children might get Ebola from the pool water, it's hard not to cue the eye roll.

On the other hand, I suspect I'm not the only person whose husband asked her to buy chlorine bleach and gloves the next time I went to the store.

Fear of the new, unknown and deadly is normal; it's what prompts us to act to protect ourselves.

After 2-Year Market Closure, Wash. Apples Headed To China Again

KPLU News - 6 hours 24 min ago

Washington apples will soon be packed aboard boats to China. The Chinese government approved market access to Northwest fruit Wednesday after a two-year market closure.

The Amazing Head-turning Owl

KPLU News - 7 hours 33 min ago

An owl's seeming ability to rotate its head in a complete circle is downright eerie. An owl's apparent head rotation is part illusion, part structural design. Because its eyes are fixed in their sockets, it must rotate its neck to look around. It can actually rotate its head about 270 degrees – a marvelous anatomical feat. You can learn more about this Eastern Screech-Owl at Cornell's AllAboutBirds. 

At Makeshift Memorial, School Shooter Remembered Alongside Victims

KPLU News - 11 hours 33 min ago

In the wake of Friday’s deadly shooting, a makeshift memorial site is taking shape at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. A long chain-link fence is now covered with balloons, ribbons and flowers. But there’s something unusual about this memorial site.

Huge Costs, Hundreds Of Pregnancies Will Follow Cuts To Family Planning, Workers Say

KPLU News - 11 hours 33 min ago

Seattle may be booming, but a major King County agency is shrinking fast. Public Health - Seattle & King County is short $15 million a year, prompting the agency to close clinics and cut anti-tobacco efforts.

But few public health program are getting hit harder than family planning services, and experts say those cuts will cost far more than they save in the long run.

With McCleary Mandate Looming, Will Wash. Class Size Initiative Help Or Hurt?

KPLU News - 11 hours 33 min ago

If a recent poll is any indication, Washington voters appear poised to again pass a ballot initiative that calls for steeply reducing public school class sizes, this time by hiring more than 7,000 teachers over the next four years.

Voters passed a similar measure in 2000 that had little effect. Lawmakers repealed it two years ago and the state's student-to-teacher ratio remains one of the nation's largest.

But the group behind that 2000 class-size initiative has urged voters to reject this year's version, Initiative 1351. The group joins skeptical lawmakers and newspaper editorial boards who fear a class size-reduction measure would complicate their task of meeting a state Supreme Court order to pump another $2 billion into the state's K-12 budget. 

Vienna: 'The Seattle Of The 19th Century'

KPLU News - 11 hours 33 min ago

It’s known for its coffee culture. Many famous musicians got their start here. And you don’t have to travel too far out of town to get into the mountains.

We’re not talking about Seattle, but rather Vienna, the largest city in Austria.

Close To 100,000 Hungarian Demonstrators Protest Internet Usage Tax

KPLU News - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 20:31
Some 100,000 people took to the streets of Budapest, Hungary, on Tuesday to protest a proposed plan to tax Internet use.

The New York Times reports Balazs Gulyas, 27, a former member of the country's socialist party, set up a Facebook page, which spurred the protests.

Dozens Of Countries Take In More Immigrants Per Capita Than The U.S.

KPLU News - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 20:30
If you think the United States is every immigrant's dream, reconsider. Sure, in absolute numbers, the U.S. is home to the most foreign-born people — 45.7 million in 2013.

But relatively, it's upper-mid-pack as an immigrant nation. It ranks 65th worldwide in terms of percentage of population that is foreign-born, according to the U.N.