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State Freezes Part Of Seattle's Special Ed Funding As District Takes Step To Improve

KPLU News - 1 hour 43 min ago

State education officials have raised the stakes in Seattle Public Schools' efforts to improve services for the district's most vulnerable students, recently announcing they will hold back $3 million in federal funding until the district can get its troubled special education department back on track.

On Wednesday night, the Seattle School Board members took a step toward potentially getting that funding back, hiring an outside firm to help district officials implement a plan to fix its special education offerings.

On The Alert For Ebola, Texas Hospital Still Missed First Case

KPLU News - 6 hours 31 min ago
Hospitals have been on the lookout for the Ebola virus in the United States, and Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas was no exception. A nurse there did ask about the travel history of the patient who later turned out to be infected with the virus. But some members of the medical team didn't hear that the man had recently been in West Africa.

NRA Says It's 'Very Committed' To Defeating Gun Background Check Measure

KPLU News - 6 hours 46 min ago

The National Rifle Association says it’s “very committed” to defeating a background check measure on Washington’s November ballot.

But the gun rights group says it has no plans to compete financially with the campaign in favor of Initiative 594.

Unions Want Tougher Tax Breaks That Make It Harder For Boeing To Move Jobs

KPLU News - 7 hours 4 min ago

Unions representing Boeing engineers and machinists are pushing Washington state lawmakers to toughen a package of aerospace tax breaks passed last year. They’re aiming to make it harder for Boeing to move work out of state.

Eastern Oregon Drone Test Range Chalks Up First Flight

KPLU News - 7 hours 34 min ago

A drone test range in northeastern Oregon launched its first flight Tuesday.

A small quadcopter made two five-minute flights over a fallow wheat field outside Pendleton. Then high winds scrubbed the rest of the day’s planned testing.

Long-Term Birth Control Works Best For Teens, Pediatricians Say

KPLU News - 7 hours 44 min ago
"Always remember to use protection" is a fairly straightforward message for sexually active teens. But young women have a lot of options when it comes to the types of protection they can choose to use.

This week, the American Academy of Pediatricians recommended long-acting reversible contraceptives such as IUDs and contraceptive implants as the best line of defense against teen pregnancies.

Oregon Man Gets 30 Years In Christmas Bomb Plot

KPLU News - 8 hours 9 min ago

An Oregon man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for plotting to bomb a crowded holiday event in Portland's town square in 2010.

Mohamed Mohamud was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland in the plot that actually was an FBI sting.

FBI Director Comey Says Homegrown Terrorists A Problem Everywhere

KPLU News - 10 hours 8 min ago

The Pacific Northwest isn’t immune to home grown terrorists. That’s what FBI director James Comey told reporters during a stop in Seattle.

Comey, who’s been in his position for a year, is visiting all 56 FBI field offices.

Amid Scandal, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns

KPLU News - 10 hours 12 min ago
After a series of embarrassing incidents that called into question the efficacy of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, the agency's director, has resigned.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Pierson offered her resignation today and he accepted it.

"I salute her 30 years of distinguished service to the Secret Service and the Nation," Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson announced that Joseph Clancy, formerly the special agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division of the Secret Service, will leave the private sector to serve as the agency's acting director.

Experimental Drug Jams Ebola Gene To Fight The Virus

KPLU News - 10 hours 14 min ago
Plans are afoot to test drugs to treat Ebola in West Africa — and those studies could have far-reaching benefits far beyond this rapidly expanding epidemic.

That's because some of the drugs are based on nascent technologies that can be used to treat other infectious diseases — and even inherited ailments, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

We've written about some of these drugs here on Shots previously

Hey CDC, We've Got A Lot Of Questions For You About Ebola

KPLU News - 10 hours 16 min ago
After confirming the first U.S. case of Ebola virus, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stepped up its public education efforts, including tweets like the one above about how Ebola is spread.

But we've still got questions, lots of questions. That's especially true for people who live in Dallas, where the man fell ill. There's been a lot of concern expressed in social media about that fact that the man was turned away the first time he went to the hospital, and how many people may have been exposed as a result.

5 Things We Learned From New Database Of Payments To Doctors

KPLU News - 13 hours 49 min ago
The federal government unveiled data Tuesday detailing 4.4 million payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals by pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

The launch of the so-called Open Payments website, mandated under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, was far from glitch-free: Some users encountered long delays and sometimes error messages trying to access its seven data tables.

The Little Red Spot on a Gull's Bill

KPLU News - 14 hours 22 min ago

  In the mid-20th Century, Dutch scientist Niko Tinbergen studied nesting Herring Gulls. He noticed that newly hatched chicks were fed by their parents only after they pecked at the adults' bills. Tinbergen devised experiments that varied the shape and coloration of the adult's bill. It became clear that the red spot on the adult gull's bill was a crucial visual cue in a chick's demands to be fed, and thus its survival. Learn more about Herring Gulls and about Tinbergen's research.

'If You Can't Beat 'Em, Eat 'Em' Say Diners Noshing On Invasive Species

KPLU News - 18 hours 22 min ago

 

It may be difficult to eat our way out of the invasive species problem, but it can be satisfying to try.

Chefs and adventurous diners converged at Zenith Vineyard in Oregon's Willamette Valley near Salem Sunday as more than 200 people paid handsomely to nibble on course after course of invasive species like nutria, dandelion and carp.

The point of this affair was to highlight the range of edible invasive weeds, birds, fish and mammals around us. These invaders are costly to control. They crowd out native plants and animals and can change entire landscapes.

One slogan heard here, "If you can't beat 'em, eat ‘em."

Nancy Leson Knows Her Apples, Including The Best Kind To Grow In The Northwest

KPLU News - 18 hours 22 min ago

Nancy Leson now knows more about apples, thanks to her friend Bill Davis, who really knows his apples. Which is way more than I knew, never having bitten into one in my whole life. But even fruitophobic me learned plenty of interesting stuff this week, including the best kind to grow in the Pacific Northwest.

Ebola Researchers Have A Radical Idea: Rush A Vaccine Into The Field

KPLU News - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 21:50
Today, the World Health Organization concludes a two-day meeting to discuss a radical idea: bringing a vaccine into the field without having tested its effectiveness.

Traditional means of containing Ebola — such as isolating people who are infected with the disease and tracing the people they've come into contact with — aren't working fast enough to get ahead of the epidemic. So the question is: Will giving an experimental vaccine to willing volunteers help contain the disease or put people at greater risk?

Dr.

'Human Flesh' Burger Is A Treat To Tempt The Walking Dead

KPLU News - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 21:49
Here's something to make even the most carnivorous among us shudder: a burger that tastes something like human flesh.

It's not just the stuff of horror flicks anymore, thanks to two pioneering foodies out of London. For a publicity stunt to promote Season 5 of The Walking Dead, which premieres Oct. 13 in the U.K., they've created a zombie-inspired burger they say actually turned out "delicious."

Jim Thomlinson is a freelance chef who creates exotic dishes for special events.

BRAIN Initiative Bets on Wearable Scanners, Laser-Controlled Cells

KPLU News - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 21:48
Eighteen months after its launch, President Obama's plan to explore the mysteries of the human brain is finally taking shape. During separate events Tuesday, the White House and National Institutes of Health offered details about which projects are being funded and why.

At a morning press conference, NIH officials announced $46 million in grant awards to more than 100 investigators.

First U.S. Case Of Ebola Confirmed In Dallas

KPLU News - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 21:45
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Tuesday that the first case of Ebola has appeared in the U.S.

A man in Dallas has tested positive for the virus, the agency said. The man flew to the U.S. from Liberia, arriving on Sept. 20, NPR has learned. He wasn't sick on the flight, and had no symptoms when he arrived.

He first developed symptoms on Wednesday, Sept. 24, according to the CDC, and first sought care on Friday.

Snohomish County PUD Cancels Tidal Power Project

KPLU News - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 14:24

Snohomish County Public Utility District has pulled the plug on its high-profile research project to develop technology that harnesses the tides to generate electrical power. The utility says the U.S. Department of Energy was not willing to share in escalating costs for the project.

It was to be located in Admiralty Inlet, west of Whidbey Island.

The federal agency committed in 2006 to cover a fixed dollar amount that, at the time, covered half of the total bill for the tidal energy project. But it was not clear how to cover increased costs for materials and new mandates for studies, and the DOE said Friday it would provide no additional funding for the effort.