Amy Radil


Residents of Lynden, Washington, were surprised that presidential candidate Donald Trump is coming to their small town near the Canadian border. Now Trump’s campaign has offered an explanation -- and it has nothing to do with border security or any other issue Trump plans to talk about.  

Overnight, Washington Republicans have had to change gears.

Tuesday they were preparing to welcome candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich at presidential campaign rallies and events in the state. 

Now with those candidates out of the race, they’re deciding whether they want to support Donald Trump, the party's apparent nominee, or anyone at all.

Amy Radil / / KUOW

The battle over restroom and locker room access for transgender people has come to Washington state. Critics of the state’s open access policy are gathering signatures to put an initiative on the November ballot.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton by a wide margin Saturday in Washington state's Democratic caucuses, according to party results.

Amy Radil / / KUOW

Washington state Democrats will hold their presidential caucuses at 10 a.m. Saturday. There they will choose their preferred presidential candidate and elect delegates to the next level. State party chair Jaxon Ravens predicts about a quarter million voters will show up, just shy of the numbers that turned out in 2008.

Ryan Kang / Associated Press

Washington authorities are accepting applications for new marijuana retail licenses. Gone are the license quotas and lotteries used to award licenses when marijuana was first legalized. Now, there are no limits on the number of licenses to be granted.

When I-502 was first implemented, state regulators made a map, with a certain number of marijuana stores anticipated in each city or county. Licenses were highly sought after. But when state legislators opened the licensing process to medical marijuana businesses in the spring, they lifted those quotas.

Amy Radil / KUOW

Democratic Senator Patty Murray visited a Planned Parenthood clinic in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood today.

She says Republican attempts to de-fund the organization could lead to a government shutdown.

Amy Radil / KUOW

Washington could get lots more pot stores. State regulators will allow medical marijuana providers to seek retail licenses later this fall. There are no strict limits on how many new licenses could be granted, and there is no requirement that they focus on medical patients.

Katheirne Hitt Flickr

The city of Seattle is developing new rules to license medical marijuana dispensaries and stem their growth.

The city also wants to crack down on illegal marijuana-delivery businesses.

David Mendoza is a policy advisor for Seattle. He’s developing the city’s new medical marijuana rules.
He told the city council today that the Seattle Police Department is looking at seizing marijuana from these businesses, without filing criminal charges.

Auraelius / Flickr

Washington’s ballot measure requiring universal background checks for gun sales takes effect Thursday. 

Opponents of Initiative 594 are protesting what they see as overly broad restrictions on gun transfers. They plan to openly exchange guns at a rally in Olympia on Dec. 13 under the banner “I Will Not Comply.” But sponsors of the new law said the transfer provision will not infringe the rights of legal gun owners.

Sandy Brown is the president of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility.

M Glasgow / Flickr

Washington’s Initiative 594 requires universal background checks for gun purchases and transfers. Initial results show the measure passing with nearly 60% of the vote . The opposing measure to bar expanded background checks, Initiative 591, has fallen short of passing so far. Backers of 594 say they are energized by this victory.

With the likely passage of Initiative 594, Washington has joined a handful of other states that require universal background checks for gun sales. Supporters say this success is just the beginning of their efforts.


Washington state expects to adopt final rules for the structure governing legalized marijuana under I-502 by next week. So officials with the state’s Liquor Control Board are touring the state to get feedback before the rules take effect.

In draft rules filed Wednesday, the Washington State Liquor Control Board laid out new rules for advertising, packaging and labeling marijuana. The rules forbid ads by “Joe Camel”-type cartoon characters. But they don’t restrict marijuana-infused gummy bears. 

courtesy of the DEA

As Washington state moves toward licensing marijuana retail stores, a major concern for public health experts is preventing kids from eating marijuana. They are asking the state to ban marijuana-infused candy and other sweets, and require packaging and flavors that are less appealing to kids. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

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An outside review was strongly critical of the Seattle Police Department’s planning and communication during last year’s May Day demonstrations. Police officials say they’ll be much better prepared as May Day approaches this year. But the report also recommended that SPD and the city attorney adopt a strategy to deal with self-declared “superheroes.”

Pot possession is now legal in Washington. But state regulators are drawing the line at marijuana use in bars.

Wikimedia Commons

Under Washington law, is a consumer entitled to emotional distress damages when a fast-food employee spits in his or her hamburger, even though the consumer did not eat the hamburger? The Washington Supreme Court Thursday said the answer is possibly “yes.”

Photo Credit: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons

Initial election results place King County Council member Bob Ferguson in the lead for Washington Attorney General. Ferguson, a Democrat, gave a tentative thumbs-up during his appearance Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Wiki Commons

Former president Bill Clinton’s appearance drew over 3,000 supporters to downtown Seattle Saturday. Organizers called it one of the biggest political fundraisers in recent memory.He came to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee. Inslee faces Republican Rob McKenna in one of the tightest governors’ races in the country this fall.

Early primary totals indicate that two advocates for defendants’ rights could compete for the open seat on the Washington supreme court: Sheryl Gordon McCloud and Richard Sanders. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

Four candidates had sought to replace retiring supreme court justice Tom Chambers. They included longtime King County Superior Court judge Bruce Hilyer, and former Pierce county executive John Ladenburg. But primary night totals showed appellate defense lawyer Sheryl Gordon McCloud and former state supreme court justice Richard Sanders in the lead.

Photo by Brettdr / Wikimedia Commons

In the newly created Tenth Congressional District, Democrat Denny Heck will face Republican Dick Muri in the general election. Pollsters say the district skews slightly Democratic. But Muri says his military experience will help balance that. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

Washington Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez was appointed to the state’s high court six months ago. Now he’s up for reelection.

His opponent is Bruce Danielson, a Kitsap county attorney who has declined to campaign. The race will be decided in the August 7th primary, and Gonzalez says he’s rushing to build name recognition. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

A former police officer in Lakewood, Washington will spend 2 years, 9 months in federal prison, and pay immediate restitution. That was the sentence handed down in federal court today after he pleaded guilty to embezzlement. Amy Radil of KUOW reports.

In federal court in Tacoma, former Lakewood police officer Skeeter Timothy Manos faced the anger of the people he stole from.

Manos has admitted to embezzling over $150,000 from his police officer’s union and the families of fallen officers.

The man who sued the Seattle police department over a racially charged threat has settled his case. The city of Seattle will pay him $150,000 but admit no wrongdoing. Martin Monetti’s case helped prompt Justice Department scrutiny of Seattle police. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

The room was largely divided Friday at the state Republican Party convention in Tacoma, between supporters of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul for president.

The audience saw a videotaped message from Rick Santorum, urging them to come together behind Romney. That was also the message from Washington’s former chairman for the Newt Gingrich campaign.

Mitt Romney’s son Josh addressed the crowd in person. He said he wanted to make a pitch about what he calls the state party’s “congressional slate”, to assign delegates. . . to his dad.

U.S. Congress

Both the Washington state Republicans and Democrats are gathering at state conventions today.

The Republican state convention is being kept lively by supporters of Ron Paul for president. They seem to make up about one third of the crowd here.

One of Mitt Romney’s sons, Josh, spoke this morning and asked for support for his father.

He was followed by Matt Dubin for the Ron Paul campaign. Dubin said Ron Paul’s supporters are not going to unify behind Romney.

Seattle city council members say the spate of shootings in the city has heightened their interest in seeking new gun control regulations. But they say they’re proceeding carefully, since the city’s previous ban on guns in parks was struck down by the courts.

Wikimedia user Nova77 / Wikimedia Commons

The Washington State Liquor Control Board has turned down Seattle’s request to set its own hours for bars and nightclubs.

All bars and nightclubs in Washington state must stop serving liquor by 2 a.m. Seattle officials including police chief John Diaz, had supported allowing extended hours. They said staggered closing times would work better for police.

But Liquor Control Board chair Sharon Foster said she believed extended hours would cause more public safety problems. And she said neighboring cities would feel the consequences as well.

President Obama made a quick fundraising trip through Seattle Thursday. The trip included his first appearances since announcing his support for gay marriage. Democrats at the fundraiser were quick to show their appreciation. But they also predicted that his stance will energize his opponents as well as his supporters. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

Potjie / Flickr

OLYMPIA -- Washington’s Public Records Act and other transparency measures have earned the state a high score in a nationwide study. The State Integrity Investigation looked at every state’s disclosure practices. It ranked Washington third in the country, with a letter grade of "B-."

But budget cuts are curtailing investigations by government watchdogs. And all three branches of government have tried to put more of their records outside the law’s scrutiny. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.