John Ryan

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. In Washington state, hospitals are required to report falls that happen on their watch to the state health department. Some hospitals have installed bed...

John Ryan

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

KUOW/John Ryan

A new report says violence is a constant disruption at Washington states two main psychiatric hospitals. But the CEO of the states biggest mental hospital isnt sold on some of the findings.

Nine men and one woman from Washington state have made Forbes magazine’s latest list of American billionaires. The group of ten had an oversized influence on Washington state politics last year. But so far this year, they’re mostly sitting on the sidelines.

John Ryan

Governor Jay Inslee said on Tuesday he wants to call a special session of the state legislature this fall. But he stopped short of actually doing so.

John Ryan

Backers of a Washington state ballot initiative to require labels on genetically modified foods have raised four times more cash than their opponents. Both sides’ contributions have mostly come from outside Washington state.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Some of the results may not be known for weeks, but the most expensive election ever in Washington state wrapped up last night.

Washington state is heading south in its quest to recover the largest ethics fine in state history.

Forbes magazine released its list of the 400 wealthiest Americans today Wednesday. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has once again topped the list of America's richest people. KUOW's John Ryan reports from Seattle.

Photo by John Ryan / Northwest News Network

Problems in Puget Sound have led Shell Oil to cancel its plans for drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean this year. KUOW's John Ryan reports from the Bellingham waterfront. The Arctic Challenger is Shell's oil-spill containment barge. It's here behind me at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal. It's supposed to be in place in the Arctic to help mop up any oil spills. It's been under construction here at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal for months. This weekend, a tugboat pulled it out into Puget...

Photo Credit: John Ryan

One of Washington's largest environmental groups is shutting down. People for Puget Sound announced it will close its doors at the end of the month.

Photo by John Ryan / Northwest News Network

Western State Hospital, near Tacoma, is the largest psychiatric institution in the Pacific Northwest. Its mission statement says the hospital-- Actor: "provides a healing environment free from danger, fear, hurt, injury, coercion, or intimidation for people with psychiatric disabilities. … Through vigilant attention and effort, WSH ensures a safe haven." One week in April, Western failed to live up to those words, and the consequences were dire. Attention was less than vigilant, and two patients wound up dead. In part one of our public radio investigation, KUOW's John Ryan reported on the case of one of those patients. She committed suicide. In part two of our investigation, John looks at the safety improvements Western has, and hasn't, made since April.

Photo by Suzanne Kuhns

In the past decade, a dozen Western State Hospital patients have killed themselves. More than a hundred others have tried. Megan Templeton was the most recent. In April, she hanged herself in her hospital room. She had turned 20 the day before. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults in Washington.

A second patient at Western State Hospital has died violently in less than a week. Lakewood Police say 20-year-old Megan Templeton hanged herself with a bed sheet at the states largest psychiatric hospital.

Fifty-three people died on the job in Washington state last year. It was the least deadly year in Washington workplaces in three decades.

Photo by John Ryan / KUOW

SEATTLE, Wash. -- A bill aimed at improving the safety of workers in mental hospitals passed the Washington state senate on Monday. KUOWs John Ryan reports from Seattle.

Photo Credit: John Ryan / Nothwest Public Radio

BOEING FIELD, Wash. -- Lead paint was banned in the United States in the 1970s. Leaded gasoline was slowly phased out over the next 20 years. Those efforts drove one of the great public-health improvements of the past century. The amount of lead found in human bloodstreams has dropped by more than 90 percent.

What do Nike, R-E-I, the Vancouver Olympics, and the Washington State government have in common? Theyve all promised to eliminate their impact on the climate by going carbon-neutral. R-E-I aims to have zero output of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide by the year 2020. But since REI set the zero-impact goal, its emissions have been heading rapidly in the opposite direction. Mountain hemlocks and Alaska cedars shade a three-story-tall waterfall outside REIs flagship Seattle store. Inside the...

What do Nike, R-E-I, the Vancouver Olympics, and the Washington State government have in common? Theyve all promised to eliminate their impact on the climate by going carbon-neutral. R-E-I aims to have zero output of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide by the year 2020. But since REI set the zero-impact goal, its emissions have been heading rapidly in the opposite direction. Mountain hemlocks and Alaska cedars shade a three-story-tall waterfall outside REIs flagship Seattle store. Inside the...

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