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Nearly $6 Million And Counting For Wash. Fall Ballot Measures

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 17:32

Washington’s November election will decide three statewide ballot measures. So far, nearly $6 million has flowed to these campaigns, and it’s still early.

Initiative 594 to expand background checks for gun sales is far out in the lead when it comes to fundraising. So far, nearly $3.4 million raised with recent $500,000 contributions each from Paul Allen, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates. Plus, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer just contributed $1 million.

Toddlers Can Figure Out A Game Of Chance Quicker Than You Might Think

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 16:16

Toddlers use intuition for probability to their advantage, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Washington.

The researchers don't contend children as young as age 2 understand statistics, but they do wonder about potentially tapping into the intuition to help prepare children for concepts older students often struggle with, like fractions.

Weyerhaeuser Moving Headquarters To Seattle's Pioneer Square

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 16:02

Weyerhaeuser is moving its headquarters from Federal Way to Seattle's historic Pioneer Square neighborhood, the company announced Tuesday.

The 114-year-old timber company will "divest the land and buildings it owns in Federal Way, Washington," according to a news release.

VA's Inspector General Finds Faked Data At Hospitals Across U.S.

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 14:39
President Obama addressed the annual convention of the American Legion in North Carolina with a raft of new proposals for vets. The speech comes as the inspector general at the Veterans Affairs Department is releasing a report on the scandal over phony wait times at the Phoenix VA hospital. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Depressed Teens May Need Extra Support To Stick With Treatment

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 14:39
Say a pediatrician notices that one of her teenage patients is showing signs of depression. In most cases, the doctor will notify parents and prescribe an antidepressant or recommend a therapist.

The trouble is, many of those teens won't go to therapy or won't stick with it.

Has Next Tuesday Already Happened?

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 14:36
Why is next Tuesday different from Amsterdam's Central Station?

Next Tuesday is off in the future. It hasn't happened yet, and you can't say what it's going to look like. Maybe it will be like today. No big deal. But maybe you'll get hit by a falling meteor on Monday and be in the intensive care ward. Bummer. Amsterdam's Central Station, however, exists now. It's just over the Atlantic Ocean, and even as you read these words people are there, scurrying to get their trains or milling about buying weird Dutch fast food (try the greasy fried rice balls ...

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh Returns To Surgery Following Crash

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:32
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh was returned to surgery at a New Hampshire hospital on Tuesday, after suffering serious injuries in what police say was a one-car crash Monday, according to the Burlington Free Press. The newspaper also reports that Freeh is under armed guard.

The crash took place in Barnard, Vt., where Freeh owns a house. He was airlifted from the scene to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh Returns To Surgery Following Crash

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:32
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh was returned to surgery at a New Hampshire hospital on Tuesday, after suffering serious injuries in what police say was a one-car crash Monday, according to the Burlington Free Press. The newspaper also reports that Freeh is under armed guard.

The crash took place in Barnard, Vt., where Freeh owns a house. He was airlifted from the scene to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.

HealthCare.gov Recruits Leader Of Successful Connecticut Effort

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:10
The federal government has recruited the leader of one of the most successful state health insurance marketplaces to lead the federal health exchange, in the hope that the second year of Obamacare will go more smoothly than the first.

Kevin Counihan, the head of Connecticut's health insurance marketplace, will be the new CEO of HealthCare.gov, the website that 36 states use to sell insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell tapped Counihan to lead the site as part of a

Bronx Baker Turns Dominican Cakes Into A Sweet American Dream

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:00
For many immigrants arriving in the U.S., opening a family food business can be a pathway to economic stability. While many fail, one Dominican woman in the Bronx has managed to get her family off food stamps, send her kids to college and share her heritage with new friends and neighbors.

Cosmic Query: What Color Is Marty McFly's Vest?

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 09:47
Please understand that the following discussion is as much about memory as it is about minutiae. It's as much about childhood as it is about the color wheel.

Exclusive First Read: 'The Bone Clocks' By David Mitchell

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 09:42
David Mitchell's new novel, The Bone Clocks, is a treat for longtime fans and people who've never picked up one of his books before. It's a decades-spanning saga that switches perspective from section to section among a wildly disparate group of people — but the center of it all is Holly Sykes, at the start of the book a psychically sensitive runaway who gets caught up in a war between two factions of ancient near-immortals.

Is Google's Free Software A Good Deal For Educators?

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 09:39
Kaitlin Morgan says, this year, her school district is going "full Google."

Morgan teaches U.S. and world history and advises the yearbook at Woodlake Union High School in California's Central Valley. At Woodlake, "full Google" means a plan to have one Google Chromebook for every two students by the spring, running Google Apps.

The Chromebook is a relatively cheap, stripped-down laptop. It's become popular in the education world, with 85 percent of its U.S. sales last year going to the ed market.

And the Chromebook is just the beginning.

Federal Officials Order Medicaid To Cover Autism Services

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 09:39
When Yuri Maldonado's 6-year-old son was diagnosed with autism four years ago, she learned that getting him the therapy he needed from California's Medicaid plan for low-income children was going to be tough.

Medi-Cal, as California's plan is called, does provide coverage of autism services for some children who are severely disabled by the disorder, in contrast to many states which offer no autism coverage.

Jewish Center Targeted During 2008 Mumbai Attacks Reopens

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 09:38
Rabbis from across Asia attended Tuesday's ceremony to mark the reopening of the Jewish center in Mumbai, India, that was one of the scenes of the bloody attacks on the city in November 2008.

The Nov. 26, 2008, attack on India's commercial capital killed more than 160 people, including six people at Nariman House, the Chabad center in historic south Mumbai. Among those killed at the Jewish center were Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his pregnant wife, who had lived in Mumbai since 2003.

Burger King To Buy Canada's Tim Hortons For $11 Billion

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 09:34
In a deal that would create the third-largest fast-food chain, Burger King announced on Tuesday that it intended to buy Canada's Tim Hortons for about $11 billion.

The deal, reports Bloomberg, also moves the company's headquarters to Canada.

Health Organizations Call For A Ban On E-Cigarettes Indoors

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 09:31
Tobacco control advocates disagree on whether e-cigarettes are a useful tool to get smokers off tobacco, or just a sleeker form of one of the world's deadliest addiction.

A lot of that discord comes from the fact that there's just not enough science to know the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine in a vapor rather than through tobacco smoke.

Buyers Of Underage Sex Get Little Jail Time, New Study Shows

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 05:05

Men who are convicted of paying for sex with minors are unlikely to serve much time behind bars, says the finding of new research conducted by Arizona State University and released by Shared Hope International, an organization trying to stop sex trafficking.

The study examined 134 cases in Seattle, Phoenix, Portland and Baltimore-Washington, D.C.

Seattle Scientists Find Brain Area Linked To Motivation To Exercise

KPLU News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 05:01

Seattle scientists have zeroed in on a part of the brain that seems to have an interesting job: motivating the brain’s owner to exercise. The findings could have implications for understanding depression.

The dorsal medial habenula is a little structure tucked inside the brain, above the brainstem. Psychiatrist Eric Turner of Seattle Children’s Research Institute knew it had something to do with regulating mood, but not a lot more.

“People asked me, 'Well, what does it do?' And I actually didn’t know. And when I looked it up I found that very little is known about this area of the brain,” he said.

Washington Supreme Court Puts Hospital Boarding Decision On Hold

KPLU News - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:44

The state of Washington will not have to start discharging severely mentally-ill patients starting this week. The Supreme Court on Monday put a hold on a recent ruling that says it’s illegal for the state to “board” psychiatric patients in non-psychiatric hospital beds.