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Whooping Cough
7:47 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Whooping Cough Vaccine May Explain Outbreak

There have been 397 confirmed whooping cough cases this year. This is because whooping cough peaks and then drops down every 3-4 years. Another reason is the vaccine itself.
Credit AP Images

Washington State’s whooping cough outbreak continues to grow. So far this year, there’ve been 397 confirmed cases, compared with 85 last year. Here’s why: for one, whooping cough is cyclical; every 3-4 years, it peaks and then drops down.

Another reason is the vaccine itself, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chas Debolt is senior epidemiologist with the state department of health, and co-authored the study. The study looked at the duration of the vaccine’s level of protection, starting from the time a child receives a vaccine.

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Spokane Measles
7:34 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Spokane Measles Quarantine Includes Six Infants

Epidemiologist Dorothy MacEachern is monitoring people who may have been exposed to the measles in the Spokane area.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Six infants may have been exposed to the measles in a recent outbreak in the Spokane area.

It’s the first measles outbreak in Spokane in two decades. Both cases are in unvaccinated adults. Both are recovering.

But the potential infection of infants before the cases were discovered is especially worrisome, says Dorothy MacEachern . She’s an epidemiologist with the Spokane Regional Health District. The infants were too young to be vaccinated -- the measles vaccine is usually done at 12 months -- and MacEachern says measles in babies can lead to ear infections, pneumonia …

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Press Freedom in Pakistan
7:32 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Pakistani Journalists Face Censorship, Threats

Lawrence Pintak, founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at WSU.
Credit Courtesy of Lawrence Pintak

Sunday was World Press Freedom Day. Lawrence Pintak, founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at WSU, spent the day in Pakistan, one of the most dangerous places in the world for a journalist.

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Oyster Bed Pesticides
6:52 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Shellfish Growers Decide Against Spraying Oyster Beds

Credit Masaaki Tsuyuguchi / Flickr

Shellfish growers in Washington’s Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay are canceling plans to spray their shellfish beds with pesticides. The state granted the growers the permits to spray last month, prompting a public outcry.

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Air Pollution
5:45 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Washington's Air Quality Is Back In Line Again

For the first time in seven years air pollution caused by wood stoves in Washington is in line with federal clean air requirements.
Credit kaylaword / Flickr

Air pollution caused by wood stoves in Washington is in line with federal clean air requirements for the first time in seven years.

In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency lowered its limits on air pollution. For most of Washington state, that wasn’t a problem. But the air in Pierce County was too polluted from wood stove smoke. The fine particulate from that smoke has been linked to asthma and heart attacks and high blood pressure.

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May Day Demonstrations
5:15 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Seattle May Day Rallies

Ralliers in Seattle's Central District protested for workers and immigrant rights as part of annual May Day protests.
Credit Chuck Taylor / Flickr

Demonstrations went underway Friday in Seattle's Central District as part of annual May Day protests for workers and immigrant rights.

Alex Bautista is with the group El Centro de la Raza.

He said Friday's gathering was to raise awareness of immigration policy reform. He worried some ralliers had a different goal.

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Water Conservation Tips
9:24 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Here Are Some Unexpected Ways To Save Water At Home

Credit Flickr user gosheshe

Governor Jay Inslee recently expanded a drought declaration for Washington. Almost half the state is now covered by a drought emergency.  The drought is due to low snowpack, and while city water supplies are not threatened, there are concerns about agriculture and fish.

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School Funding
5:36 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Washington Lawmakers Discuss Education Funding Options for McCleary

Credit Credit Franz Jantzen / Supreme Court Website

Washington lawmakers are already days into a special session, but they still need to deal with a court mandate to fund basic education.

Lawmakers met today to discuss options. They’re torn between competing plans to give more funding to schools.

In the McCleary decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature was not fulfilling its constitutional obligation to fully fund education.Lawmakers need to find a way to do that before 2019. 

Republican Senator Bruce Dammeier says lawmakers have unfairly burdened school districts.

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Police Videos
4:25 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Unpacking Videos of Police Shootings—At The Police Academy

Instructor Russ Hicks looks on as recruits perform a mock arrest.JPG
Credit Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

At the Criminal Justice Training Center in Burien, instructor Russ Hicks spends part of every day scanning the internet for commentary and videos on officer-involved violence around the country. As a string of police killings of unarmed black men has focused the attention of the country on use of force and racial bias in policing, Hicks says many of the clips he sees are brought forward by his students, often within hours of their release.

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Idaho Legislative Session
4:43 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Idaho Governor Calls Another Special Legislative Session

Lawmakers are heading back to the Capitol for a special legislative session on May 18th.
Credit Google Images

    

Idaho’s governor has called lawmakers back to the Capitol for a special legislative session on May 18th. Governor Butch Otter said today that a special session is the only way to keep Idaho’s system for collecting and distributing child support payments, intact.

The state processes more than $200 million a year in child support. On the last day of the regular session earlier this month, a few lawmakers killed a bill to keep Idaho compliant with federal child support requirements.

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