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Tacoma

Ashley Gross / KNKX

This story was updated at 4:24 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, to reflect that teachers have approved a salary agreement.

A bitter labor dispute that delayed the start of school in Tacoma by more than a week  has now come to an end.

The Tacoma Education Association, which represents more than 2,400 teachers, librarians, office professionals and other school staff, has approved an agreement with the school district over salaries. 

Ashley Gross / KNKX

The strike by teachers in Tacoma has gotten increasingly bitter as it’s stretched into a second week. One long-time middle school teacher tearfully announced her resignation in a short video clip posted by a USA Today correspondent on Twitter.

Wil James / KNKX

Leaders in Tacoma are moving closer to passing a tenant-protection law designed to help renters weather upheavals in the city's housing market. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

More than 46,000 immigrants have been detained in Pierce County over the past two decades, the fourth highest number of any county in the U.S.

It's because Tacoma is home to the Northwest Detention Center, one of the nation's largest holding spaces for people facing deportation due to suspected immigration violations. It's the only such facility in the Pacific Northwest. 

Will James / KNKX

This story originally aired on November 18, 2017.

If you go to the base of Point Defiance in Tacoma and look east, you'll see a finger of earth jutting into Puget Sound. 

It formed as toxic slag spilled from a copper smelter during the city's industrial heyday. 

For years, it was a foreboding sliver of black, glassy material. Today, workers and machines roam the peninsula as they transform it into a grassy park with Puget Sound views.

Patti Ramos Photography

The actors in "Room For Rent" wear elaborate animal masks. A hen, a cuckoo bird, a cat, a squirrel. 

Behind the masks are people who are homeless or have experienced homelessness in the past.

Three times this summer, they've stood before audiences of people who know little about what that's like and tried to bridge a gap of understanding.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The long-running McCleary lawsuit is over now that the state Legislature approved big changes in how the state funds public education. But school districts and teachers’ unions across the state are now trying to figure out what that means for salaries.

Will James / KNKX

This story originally aired on September 27, 2017.

Growing up Roma meant growing up fast -- and learning how to hustle. 

That's how Miller Steve describes it. He was raised in Tacoma's Roma community in the 70's and 80's, when it was a close-knit collection of families, all descended from a nomadic minority group in Europe

In the U.S., more than 4 out of 10 undergraduate college students are above the age of 25. When people talk about these adult students, you usually hear words like "job skills" and "quickest path to a degree."

But for more than four decades, a special program in Washington state has sought to offer much more than that.

Courtesy of Henry Waymack Design

Tacoma resident Halley Knigge was in her kitchen Sunday when she checked Facebook and saw friends posting about flyers stuck to utility poles around the city. 

"Keep America American," many of the flyers read. They included the phone number of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement tip hotline and urged residents to report people they suspect of being in the country illegally.

"Color block living" by Sheila Sund is licensed under CC by 2.0 https://bit.ly/2Iw9bmf

Four neighborhoods in Tacoma top a new list of the Seattle area's fastest-rising rents, according to a report that could intensify concerns about affordability in a city once viewed as a housing bargain.

Rents in central Tacoma rose nearly 10 percent over the past year to $1,591, putting it at the top of the list, according to the real-estate company Zillow.

Will James / KNKX

Residents of the Tiki Apartments in Tacoma say they know their complex is run down. 

But they say it's served as a refuge for renters who struggle to find apartments elsewhere, including people with disabilities, fixed incomes, or criminal records. 

Gexydaf / <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/90821451@N00/5527708847/">Gexydaf</a> Flickr via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

The Federal Transit Administration has approved $75 million dollars for expansion of Tacoma’s Link Light Rail line.  

The money will be used to more than double the line, which currently runs from the Tacoma Dome to the Theater District downtown. The extension will connect it to a U-shaped route that heads first north to the Stadium District then back south into the Hilltop neighborhood.   

Courtesy of Tiki Tenants Organizing Committee

A mass eviction from a Tacoma apartment complex is causing city leaders to take a hard look at tenant protections that have lagged behind Seattle's. 

Tacoma Concert Band Founder and Conductor Retires

Apr 26, 2018
Tacoma Concert Band

 

 


Robert Musser is passionate about music. His eyes light up as he talks about a passage that gives him chills. His voice fills with emotion as he describes his career as an educator and conductor.

 

Will James / KNKX

Tacoma City Council members voted Tuesday to allow up to six legal tent cities or other temporary shelters to open throughout the city.

That could give Tacoma a total of seven legal encampments, even more than Seattle's six.

Will James / KNKX

Leaders in Tacoma could allow up to six legal tent cities to open. The move is part of a yearlong shift in the way city officials manage homelessness.

Will James / KNKX

 


To stand outside Bob’s Bar-B-Q Pit in Tacoma is to see a gentrification wave just beginning to curl.

 

A block away, a new artisanal coffee shop is brewing. Down the street, a developer plans to build an apartment building with studios renting for up to $1,400 a month.

 

But to walk inside Bob’s is to walk into the past.

 

"Theater District Light Rail Stop" by Paul Sableman is licensed under CC by 2.0 http://bit.ly/2H4hwwU

A swath of Tacoma has made one company's list of the "most gentrified" ZIP codes in the United States.

"OUTSIDE NWDC" BY SEATTLE GLOBALIST IS LICENSED UNDER CC BY 2.0 http://bit.ly/2EN7Dav

A guard punched a detainee at a Tacoma detention center for immigrants facing deportation in retaliation for a hunger strike, a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington claims.

Raccoons at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, Washington.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

If you visit Tacoma's Point Defiance Park most any afternoon, you'll see raccoons lounging about the trails by day, often next to signs warning visitors to not feed them. 

If you drive slowly enough through the park's roads, they might rush out of the misty old-growth forest to greet you, tiny paws outstretched for food. If you're on a bike, they might scurry after you for a stretch.

Will James / KNKX

Paramedics in Tacoma are giving out plastic bags full of lifesaving nasal spray to people who survive overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids. 

Will James / KNKX

Leaders in Tacoma have hired two artists-in-residence to help the city grapple with human elements of a homelessness crisis.

"Moving day for Russell" by Scott Hingst is licensed under CC by 2.0 http://bit.ly/2Ft6FfX

State Farm Insurance is clearing out of Tacoma by the end of the year, the company said Thursday, meaning some 1,400 jobs will leave the city's downtown as local leaders name attracting employers as a top priority. 

"Old Buildings With Adverts In Tacoma" by Bradley Gordon is licensed under CC by 2.0 http://bit.ly/2mth1EP

Tacoma's city council this week approved a property tax break of about $250,000 a year for a developer of market-rate apartments that are expected to rent for $1,200 to $1,600 a month. 

It's a common practice in the city, despite a growing need for less expensive housing. Tacoma had among the nation's the fastest-rising rents last year, according to the listing service RENTCafe. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The City of Tacoma's legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation is struggling to attract donors. 

Just under $2,000 has flowed in from 21 donors since the fund's creation in late October.

Will James / KNKX

Puget Sound Energy is close to getting all the official okays it needs build a liquefied natural gas plant at the Port of Tacoma.

Environmental activists and neighbors have fought for about two years to halt the project. They say their last real chance lies with a local clean-air permitting process. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Seattle is getting its first woman mayor since Bertha Knight Landes was elected in in 1926. Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan is set to become mayor. 

Women will now likely hold the top office in three out of four of Washington state’s biggest cities.

Will James / KNKX

Former City Councilwoman Victoria Woodards leads local architect Jim Merritt by about four percentage points in Tacoma's mayoral race.

"I-5 northbound from S Delin Street" by SounderBruce is licensed under CC by 2.0 https://tinyurl.com/ya4snvqd

People driving through Tacoma on Saturday evening say they saw a banner with the phrase "white lives matter" unfurled over I-5. 

It's the latest in a string of white nationalist messages reported in Pierce County.

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