John Ryan

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.

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.

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 state's 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. KUOW's 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? They've 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.

What do Nike, R-E-I, the Vancouver Olympics, and the Washington State government have in common? They've 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.

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