Paula Wissel | KNKX

Paula Wissel

Law & Justice Reporter

Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.

Paula's most memorable moment at KNKX: “Interviewing NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr about his ability to put current events in historical context. It’s something I aspire to.”

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Wikimedia Commons

Last year, there were four suicides among 1,473 tenants who were evicted from their home in Seattle.  That's just one statistic included in a study of eviction in the city in 2017. The Seattle Women's Commission and the Housing Justice Project prepared the report using court records, medical examiner data and renter surveys.

Minot Air Force Base

If you own a gun in unincorporated King County, you could soon face a fine if it isn't properly stored away. The King County Council is considering a law requiring safe storage of firearms. Seattle has passed a similar law.

Museum of History & Industry / Seattle PI Collection, 1986.5.53075

In 1970, three years before the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision, voters in Washington State legalized abortion. Referendum 20, as it was called, did require that women reside in the state for 90 days and get the permission of their husband before getting an abortion.

UW Libraries Special Collections

Political cartoons reflect the mood of the times. That’s apparent in a new exhibit at the University of Washington Libraries.

On display in Special Collections  are the drawings of the late Northwest editorial cartoonist Howard Fisher, whose work for the Oregon Journal spanned the period just after World War I to the mid-1950s. His cartoons, which cover the rise of fascism, World War II  and the early days of the Cold War, were syndicated in newspapers across the country.

Seattle City Council

Seattle has passed a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.  Under the city ordinance, house cleaners, nannies, gardeners and other domestic workers will be covered by the city’s $15-an-hour minimum wage and other labor protections.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

If you work an evening or night shift and wonder how your work schedule is affecting your child, a University of Washington study could come as good news. The study, published in the June issue of Journal of Family Issues finds a beneficial impact on children in two-parent families where one parent works a non-standard shift.

Susan Fried / Seattle Globalist

The annual naturalization ceremony at the Seattle Center will take place at Fisher Pavilion on July Fourth beginning at 11:15 a.m.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Amazon’s cloud based real time facial recognition product, called Rekognition, has come under fire from civil liberties groups. They’re petitioning the company to stop selling it to police departments and other government entities.  Some shareholders have are also signed a letter to the company expressing concern.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The City of Seattle is being sued for violating the Open Public Meetings Act. The three attorneys who filed the suit claim the city didn’t notify the public adequately ahead of a city council meeting Tuesday, during which the council voted to repeal a “head tax” on large businesses.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

In a major reversal, the Seattle City Council is expected to vote Tuesday to repeal a controversial business “head tax” it approved less than a month ago.

Alessandro Della Valle / AP Photo

Janitors and custodians have some of the highest on-the-job injury rates of any occupation, ranking higher than heavy equipment operators and tractor trailer truck drivers. Although not usually deadly, the injuries among people who clean for a living can leave the workers with chronic and lifelong pain. At the University of Washington, there’s an effort to reduce the injury rate.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Healthcare premiums for individual plans are going up in Washington.  According to Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, companies are proposing an average rate increase of 19 percent for 2019.

Melissa Kagerer

You may have wondered about a series of billboards that have been up during May in Seattle. They include cryptic messages such as “you’re not alone” and “my destiny is louder than my comfort.” The signs don’t give you any indication of the sponsor. It turns out they are part of an art exhibit called A LONE.

Whole Washington via Facebook

Single-payer health care could be on the ballot in Washington state in November, but it's a long shot.

As with all citizen initiatives, proponents need to gather 259,622 signatures of registered voters by July 6 in order to qualify. Whole Washington, the group behind the intiative, says it's gathered around 50,000 signatures so far.

Paula Wissel / KNKX

When a new technology comes out, there is a lot of focus on the good it will do. It’s touted as something that will better connect people or even save lives. But a University of Washington professor is encouraging students who will be entering the tech industry to focus on the evil it might do.

Mikecogh/Flickr

When you think of Mother’s Day, you probably don’t think of someone sitting in jail. But the Northwest Community Bail Fund is hoping you will this year.

As part of a national effort, called 2018 Mama’s Day Bailout, the Seattle based nonprofit is trying to raise $10,000 for moms who are in jail awaiting trial because they can't afford bail.

Oak View Group via AP

Seattle is moving forward on environmental review of its planned KeyArena renovation. A draft Environmental Impact Statement was released April 23. The public has until June 8 to comment. A public hearing on the Seattle Center arena plans will be held May 14.

The upgrade to the facility is being done to attract more professional sports teams to the city, including a National Hockey League franchise and an NBA team.

flckr/lawdawg1

From washed out roads to deteriorating buildings, the National Park System in the U.S. has a lot of deferred maintenance needs. It’s estimated it will take $11.6 billion to fund all of them. The U.S. Congress is debating how best to come up with the money.

Elaine Thompson / AP

A federal judge in Seattle says the Trump administration still has to prove its ban on transgender troops is constitutional. The judge says people who are transgender can continue serving for now.

Snohomish Co. Sheriff's Office via AP

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Authorities in Washington state on Wednesday released composite sketches based on DNA evidence of a suspect in an unsolved, 30-year-old double slaying of a young Canadian couple.

Stephen Brashear / AP Photo

A federal judge in Seattle is deciding whether the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people in the military is legal. The state of Washington and human rights groups are urging the court to overturn the ban.

Paula Wissel / KNKX

Along with the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats, the Trump Administration has ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle, the last remaining Russian consulate on the West Coast.

The U.S. order comes in response to Moscow's alleged involvement in the poisoning of a former spy in Britain.

Creative Commons/Pexels

For thirty years, it’s been illegal for couples in Washington to pay a surrogate to have their child. A new law signed by Gov. Jay Inslee this week changes that. 

Paula Wissel / knkx

Correction: A previous version of this story stated an incorrect number of deaths of homeless people investigated by the medical examiner. The correct number is 169. We apologize for the error.

Between 2012 and 2018, the number of homeless deaths in King County more than doubled. Last year alone, the King County Medical Examiner investigated 169 deaths of people determined to be homeless.

Paula Wissel / knkx

King County now has a permanent Immigrant and Refugee Commission. King County Executive Dow Constantine joined hundreds of immigrants and refugees in a signing ceremony Tuesday morning at a community hall in Seattle’s Columbia City to celebrate.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

SEATTLE (AP) — Sixteen years after federal prosecutor Thomas Wales was shot to death in his Seattle home, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Wednesday the unsolved case remains a top priority of the Justice Department.

Paula Wissel / knkx

The Bellingham Herald reports a 400,000-pound 'acid ball' is moving to its new home on the Bellingham waterfront. The artifact is a remnant of an old pulp and paper mill and will eventually turn into a piece of public art.

KNKX visited the 'acid ball' in 2016. What follows is our original story, published on Dec. 5, 2016. 

Paula Wissel / knkx

The Northwest Flower and Garden Festival opened Wednesday at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. It runs through Sunday.

Danny Alpert / No Small Matter via University of Washington

Babies are aware of what’s happening to others far earlier than you might think. That’s what University of Washington scientists found when they studied how the sense of touch is reflected in a baby’s brain.

Matthew Purdy/FLKR

(Updated at 12:30 pm, January 29, 2017 to correct the spelling of Dr. Ojemann's name.)

New research on concussions in young athletes may be the key to better treating or monitoring the injuries.

The study, published in the journal "Neurology," was conducted at Seattle Children’s Hospital. It was indirectly funded by the National Football League, part of the millions of dollars the NFL has spent on concussion research.

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