John Ryan

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Tesoro Explosion
7:09 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Federal Investigation Seeks To Find Accountability In Explosion

Inspectors examine a Tesoro oil refinery after an explosion.
Credit John Ryan / KUOW

It was Washington state’s worst industrial accident in nearly 50 years.

“Skagit 911. What’s your emergency?” “I’m trying to find out what's going on at the refinery.” “You know, we don’t know at this point, sir.” “Well, all I can tell you is I live two and a half miles from it, and the explosion was hard enough to rock my house, and there’s one hell of a fire going there.”

That explosion in 2010 at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes killed seven workers.

Four years later, no one has been held publicly accountable for the seven deaths. As John Ryan reported, state efforts to penalize Tesoro have stalled. To improve worker safety, the federal government is wielding a tool it rarely uses: criminal prosecution of one of the nation’s largest corporations.

Here’s John Ryan with part two of our investigation.

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Tesoro Explosion
7:43 am
Tue July 8, 2014

In Refinery Explosion, Who's Accountable?

Charred towers and machinery at the Tesoro Corp. refinery in Anacortes, Washington, following the blast.
Credit Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

It's been four years since a deadly explosion at an oil refinery shook the town of Anacortes, Washington. The question of who's responsible for seven workers' deaths still hasn't been answered fully. Refinery owner Tesoro agreed to pay millions to families of the dead, but the company is fighting accusations that it willfully put its workers in harm’s way. With multiple legal proceedings continuing to swirl around the accident, it remains unclear whether anyone will be held accountable for the human cost of Tesoro gasoline. John Ryan brings us part one of this KUOW investigation.

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Seattle Drilling
11:15 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Tunnel Machine Set To Dig Under Seattle -- But It's Not Bertha

A tunnel machine is set to resume digging beneath the streets of Seattle in June. This machine isn't named Bertha.

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Goldmark Campaign Finance
6:14 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Despite Vow, Washington Lands Chief Takes Timber Money

In 2012 Goldmark took in at least $80,000 from the timber industry, about 15% of his campaign funding.
Credit John Ryan

Fundraising for this November's elections is kicking into high gear. That means candidates are cozying up to people with money. Sometimes, elected officials even get friendly with the companies they regulate.

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Oso Landslide
7:32 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Inslee Seeks More Federal Disaster Aid

For the second day in a row, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has asked the federal government to boost its disaster assistance to victims of the Oso landslide.

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Oso Landslide
7:44 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Oso: Clearcut Extended Into No-Logging Zone

Washington Department of Natural Resources image shows 2005 clearcut extending into no-logging zone at site of Oso landslide.
Credit Washington Department of Natural Resources

State officials say they didn't approve clearcutting inside a no-logging zone directly above Saturday's deadly landslide in the town of Oso.  But aerial photos show a clearcut extending into the zone where a loss of trees would heighten the risk of landslides. 

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Overcrowding Jails
7:53 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Snohomish Jail Overcrowded, Understaffed

A new federal report says overcrowding and understaffing puts the health of Snohomish County Jail inmates at risk. The report comes after eight deaths at the jail in the past three years.

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Shots - Health News
2:25 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

To Reduce Patient Falls, Hospitals Try Alarms, More Nurses

Some patients at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center in Washington are given wristbands showing that they have a high risk of falling.
John Ryan KUOW

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 3:39 pm

A bad fall in the hospital can turn a short visit into a long stay.

Such falls featured in congressional discussions about patient safety, and in a new study in the Journal of Patient Safety about medical errors. Falls are one part of a multistate clash between nurses and hospitals over how to improve the safety of hospitalized patients.

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Underwater Epidemic
5:56 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Mass Starfish Die-Off Hits Vancouver, May Happen in Washington

Sunflower stars on a minus tide in Southeast Alaska.
John Ryan

Scientists in two nations are on the lookout for a rapidly spreading epidemic. This epidemic is under water, and it’s affecting starfish.

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Violence Reports at State Mental Hospitals
6:53 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Violence A 'Contant Disruption' At State's Mental Hospitals

The main entrance of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash.
Credit KUOW/John Ryan

A new report says violence is a “constant disruption” at Washington state’s two main psychiatric hospitals. But the CEO of the state’s biggest mental hospital isn't sold on some of the findings.

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