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Nicole MacMaster says she still has unanswered questions about the death of her mom, Frankie "Ellen" Schmitz. She says her mother didn't get the death investigation she deserved.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Coroners in Washington lack clear oversight, leaving some families without closure

Nicole MacMaster remembers her mom, Frankie "Ellen" Schmitz, as a doting grandmother who loved to crochet. Christmastime was her favorite, and she always kept her house spotless. Nicole says she can practically smell bleach just thinking about her mom’s home, even all these years later. “She had a really good heart,” she said. Mother and daughter had their ups and downs, but they spent time together right up until the end. Nicole says she wouldn’t trade her for anything.

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Paige Pettibon is a multidisciplinary artist with an insatiable desire to explore all the facets of her creativity by boldly diving into wildly varied mediums. And she intends to never stop learning more.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Paige Pettibon wants Tacoma to do more — and be more — for artists.

But we’ll get back to that.

Pettibon (Salish and Black) is a multidisciplinary artist, working in mixed media, jewelry design, graphic arts, Lushootseed language and creative writing – and that’s just the beginning. She has an insatiable desire to explore all the facets of her creativity by boldly diving into wildly varied mediums. And she intends to never stop learning more.

Sven Spichiger, Washington State Department of Agriculture managing entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest in a tree behind him Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Workers from the state Department of Agriculture managed to destroy the first nest of so-called murder hornets discovered in the U.S. without suffering any stings or other injuries, the agency said Monday.

State and local election officials in Washington sought to reassure voters Monday that robust security measures are in place to protect against interference with the general election, even as they acknowledged the likelihood that bad actors will try to sow distrust and undermine confidence in the national election results.

Gen Nashimoto, of Luminalt, installs solar panels in Hayward, Calif., on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. From New York to California, the U.S renewable energy industry is reeling from the new coronavirus pandemic
Ben Margot / The Associated Press (file)

The clean energy sector was one of the fastest growing parts of the economy before the pandemic, and it’s been one of the hardest hit. But researchers say jobs in energy efficiency or solar or wind power are still some of the best paid.

The fight over salmon and dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers could be headed back to the courtroom. Conservation and fishing groups say the federal government’s newest plans to manage dams and protect salmon is inadequate. Now, they’re ready to sue.

Coronavirus cases are spiking. A major election is looming. And Washington’s legislative session is still two months away. But Washington’s beer lobby has a message for top elected officials that apparently can't wait.

Overton Berry
Alex Crick

Pianist Overton Berry played all over the world but he always called Seattle home, and Seattle jazz fans were proud to call him one of our own. When he passed at the age of 84 last Monday, he was one of the last of popular Seattle jazz artists from "The Jackson Street Era" that included Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, Floyd Standifer, Buddy Catlett, Jabo Ward and others. His career developed around the time of the Seattle World's Fair, when he played at The House of Entertainment, Dave's Fifth Avenue, the Marine Room at the Olympic Hotel and the Doubletree Inn.

Adrian Florez / KNKX

This week on Sound Effect, it’s all about music. We take a look back at some of our favorite stories about musicians, their work and what inspired it. First, we meet a software engineer who created a map of Seattle bands and their connections. Then, a bassist for the band Great Grandpa discusses the intersection of nursing and art.

Monica Martinez


This story originally aired on November 16, 2019.  


The sheer physicality of aging and dying are things we try not to think about, so it’s especially striking when these subjects turn up in unexpected places — say, your indie rock playlist. 

This story originally aired on November 22, 2019. 

At first glance, “hidden” is not the word you’d use for Chance McKinney’s talents. As an athlete in high school and college, he got plenty of recognition. 

“I got a track scholarship to throw (javelin), and went to a Pac-12 school...I mean I kept qualifying for the Olympic trials,” said McKinney.

But this very capable guy has a whole other set of gifts that weren’t so obvious. They emerged years later, when he was teaching high school math in Mukilteo. 


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A podcast about homelessness aimed to help you understand one of the most complicated issues facing the region.

Featured Studio Session

Nate Wood of Kneebody.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Kneebody gets comfortable in the KNKX studios

Having just flown in that day from Vancouver, the four men of Kneebody settled into the KNKX studios to briefly catch their breath and play a few songs. Their new album Chapters comes out Oct. 18, and their world tour is kicking into gear.

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Featured Jazz Northwest

Amber French

Recent Releases By Northwest Artists On Jazz Northwest

A sampling of new and recent releases by resident Northwest musicians is featured on Jazz Northwest this week. One of the most unusual is Recording Ban by Jacob Zimmerman. The title refers to the musicians' union strike against the recording companies 1942-1944. The Recording Ban occurred at a time when jazz was evolving from Swing to Bop and as a result some significant music was not played in recording studios during those years. Jacob Zimmerman zeroed in on that period for his debut...

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