x - Northwest Feature Archive

Northwest Boxer Wins At Olympic Trials

Feb 20, 2012
Photo credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

SPOKANE, Wash. - A 27-year-old pipe fitter from the Northwest has earned a spot on the USA's first-ever women's Olympic boxing team. Queen Underwood of Seattle is considered to be one of the top contenders for the gold in boxing – male or female – at the 2012 London Games. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has more.

Photo courtesy University of Idaho

MOSCOW, Idaho -- University of Idaho President Duane Nellis says he’s disappointed in the decision made by the State Board of Education last week to remove the word ‘flagship’ from the university’s proposed mission statement. Northwest Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports.

Photo credit Wikimedia User Anayst / Wikimedia Commons

WildWilTHORP, Wash. – As snow blankets the mountains around Ellensburg, Washington, elk herds traditionally make their way to the valley below. Now that farmers have planted their roots near the Yakima River, elk are not able to graze there during winter months.

Photo by Ashley Ahearn / Northwest News Network

SKYKOMISH RIVER, Wash. -- The Skykomish is one of the only major rivers in Washington that has not been dammed for hydropower. The river runs from the Cascade Mountains and empties into Northern Puget Sound. It’s a hot spot for wildlife and outdoor recreation. It could also be a hotspot for hydropower. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Photo courtesy the Genesis Project

SEATAC, Wash. – Critics of backpage.com have accused the classifieds website of promoting child prostitution. The company has defended its policies but lawmakers in Olympia are considering new requirements for the site. They are also considering more funding for anti-prostitution programs. And where do they plan to get this extra money? From the Johns and pimps themselves. Azusa Uchikura has this profile of a program in SeaTac called the Genesis Project.

Photo Source: University of Washington

This week, Washington state’s public university presidents met for a Seattle Town Hall discussion on the risks of continued cuts to higher education. The state now ranks 48th in per capita enrollment in public baccalaureate programs. Some say these cuts are permanently undermining our state economy and killing job creation.

StoryCorps Northwest

Life in Seward, Alaska wasn't easy for English major Amy Buckler and her husband. They had a tough time making ends meet. One day, they decided to leave and start a new life in Oregon with their young daughter. In today's StoryCorps Amy tells her now 10-year-old daughter, Mina Black, about a trip that would prove tougher than they'd ever expected.

Washington State transportation officials say they'll issue refunds after a glitch in the tolling system on the Highway 520 bridge caused drivers to be overcharged twenty-five cents.

Motorists who made the trip between Seattle and Bellevue from January seventeenth to twenty-fifth will get a refund, even those who were billed correctly. The twenty-five-cent transaction fee is charged for those who travel the bridge infrequently and pay by the license plate.

State officials say the billing problem was related to the toll equipment's internal clock.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For years, Republicans in the Washington legislature have demanded that state lawmakers vote on the education budget first. Democrats have generally rejected that idea. But this week, for the first time, a “fund education first” proposal will get a public hearing. Azusa Uchikura has more from Olympia.

What’s fueling the decision to consider the education budget first is a ruling earlier this month by the Washington Supreme Court. In McCleary v. Washington, the justices said state lawmakers are not adequately funding education.

StoryCorps Northwest

Growing up with an alternate gender or sexual identity isn't easy for many young people. Oasis, a GLBTQ youth group in Tacoma, Washington, provides support and assistance. Lori Bundrock is the Prevention Director for the Pierce County Aids Foundation, and former director of Oasis. She spoke to her best friend and current Oasis director Seth Kirby about a young man who came to Tacoma from the deep South, and became one of the Oasis "superstars."

StoryCorps Northwest

Have you or a loved one struggled to overcome illness?  Walla Walla teacher Deborah L. Smith watched her husband Troy battle brain cancer for several years.  Smith tells Troy's childhood friend, Jack Tollefson, about Troy's efforts to be part of the 2002 Olympic torch run despite his cancer, and the help his family gave him.

StoryCorps Northwest

In any era, tough times call for families to use resourcefulness and plenty of resilience to transcend their struggles. Today we hear from retired librarian Mary Ann Olson who grew up poor in a Sumner, Washington. Her family had a rather unusual housing situation until Mary Ann took matters into her own hands. She shares the story with her daughter, Lynn Olson.

StoryCorps Northwest

It's Christmas vacation for many kids, and there are probably students who wish they wouldn't have to go back to school, ever. A kid's dream, right? For 24-year-old James Thames that was a reality, but as he explains to his case manager, Jason Scales, it was anything but a dream come true.

VASHON ISLAND, Wash. - More than a century after the discovery of electricity, billions -- yes, billions -- of people still heat and cook with wood fires. In the developing world, indoor air pollution from smoke is blamed for nearly 2 million deaths per year.

We're focusing on the dangers of wood smoke as part of a public media collaboration with Investigate West and Seattle TV station KCTS. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on how the Northwest became home to a cluster of non-profits that aim to sell millions of cleaner-burning cook stoves to the world's poor.

StoryCorps Northwest

Imagine having two birthdays. One, the actual day of your birth. The other, the day you could have died. This is the case for Cambodian-American Sok-Khieng Lim. Her friend, T.J. Pietz of Tacoma, interviewed her for StoryCorps Northwest about her two birthdays.

StoryCorps Northwest

Today is the 70th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Kenneth Merrill Sr., or Mudhole as his fellow marines call him, was a junior in high school then. In today's StoryCorps Northwest he talks with his nephew, Vernon Lott, about that day, and how he got his nickname.

StoryCorps Northwest

When you were a little kid, did you want a pony? Many little girls have wished for a pony. Tacoma sisters Denise Nichols and Claudia Casebolt they got their wish, but sometimes what you wish for is a lot of work!

With Thanksgiving coming up, we're all thinking of some of our best family stories. Every family has those tales that come up around the dinner table every year. For Celest Allen, it's a family vacation gone awry.

StoryCorps Northwest

Muffin, sweet pea, munchkin, these are some nicknames given to children, if you’re a parent, what nicknames did you come up with? For Dani and Adam Small, it’s “Monkey Pumpkin.” Six months ago, the Tacoma residents had their first child: Sophia. Adam talks about his favorite fatherhood duty.

StoryCorps Northwest

Many think the family farm is disappearing, but the USDA says more than 97% of U.S. farms are family operated.  One such farm belongs to Randy Mullen in Pasco, Washington. Randy has been an independent farmer since 1984, but his farming roots go back much further.

StoryCorps Northwest

Next year, the Pierce County AIDS Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary. They’d hoped they’d never have to. But the AIDS epidemic has not ended. Pierce County has more than 1,000 residents living with HIV. Hilary Klein is the lead medical case manager for the PCAF. She spoke to her co-worker, Jill Frey, about her brother and how he inspired her to become an AIDS activist.

StoryCorps Northwest

In the mid-1950s and 60s, eight to nine nuclear reactors were in operation in Hanford, Washington. Water used to cool the reactors went into the Columbia River, and carried with it radioactive elements downstream. Scientists monitored radiation levels in school children around the Tri Cities using radiation monitoring counters. Roy Gephart is the author of Hanford: A Conversation about Nuclear Waste and Cleanup. One day while he was researching radiation monitoring counters, his then girlfriend, Sheila Zilar, came to him with valuable information. 

StoryCorps Northwest

After his father's sudden death in 1943, Art Oberto, with the help of his mother, took over snack company O Boy! Oberto. He was just 16. In 1954 he married Dorothy and they started to run the company together, Dorothy minding the books. The couple had four children, and as their family expanded, so did the the company, with many ups and downs. Their marriage had its ups and downs too, as many relationships do, but to their granddaughter, Cindy, they are rock solid. Married for 57 years, they share their relationship advice with Cindy on StoryCorps Northwest.

StoryCorps Northwest

For 11 year old Anand Hernandez there's a lot of things to worry about; gym class, scary 8th graders and making your family happy. In today's StoryCorps we listen in on a conversation between Anand and his mother, Sarah Avant, about potentially expanding the family.

StoryCorps Northwest

It's 1900 a German immigrant, along with 15 partners bought 900,000 acres of timberland in Washington state. The company was Weyerhaeuser. Decades later, under president and CEO Jack Creighton, Weyerhaeuser found itself facing environmentalists, who wanted logging to stop, in order to protect the spotted owl. For StoryCorps Northwest, Jack Creighton shares a lesson learned from that experience with Jimmy Collins.

StoryCorps Northwest

Imagine never knowing your mother, but having a sense that your birth caused her death. Your father holds you responsible, and he himself, overwhelmed with grief, attempts to end his own life. In the midst of this despair, a stranger is awoken by God and gets in his car to save your father. That's Pat Cabbage's story. Here he shares the story of his birth, with his wife Beverly, and their daughter Katie, for StoryCorps Tri Cities.

StoryCorps Northwest

The city of Richland was once a very small agricultural community. Then during the Second World War, the US army turned it into a bedroom community for workers on the Manhattan Project in neighboring Hanford. Richland became a closed city. Only residents had access, along with those who got Army clearance. Retired chemist Steve Buckingham, telling his daughter Theresa Bergsman about life in Richland in 1947.

StoryCorps Northwest

Imagine meeting the love of your life and spending a whole blissful summer together traveling the east coast. Then, you're off to different colleges and one day, you get news that the love of your life has died. That's what happened to Celeste Allen, but as it turns out, Ed Allen wasn't dead. He was very much alive. From StoryCorps Tri Cities, a love story with a happy ending.

In the 1950s Pasco, Kennewick and Richland were rival towns. It would take a couple of decades before the residence would accept a common moniker, the Tri Cities. The mayor of Pasco, Matt Watkins brought his mother, Sue Frost, to the mobile recording booth in the Tri Cities to share how their family's laundry business and hydroplane races brought the towns closer together.

StoryCorps Northwest

Jack Briggs and Ken Robertson share the story of how the Tri Cities got its name. They were the first inteview in the Tri Cities at the StoryCorps mobile recording booth.

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