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Students who attend dropout re-engagement programs, such as the Learning Center in the Highline School District, are excluded from district-level graduaton rates under a state policy. The programs have low graduation rates.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

State policy artificially boosts district-level grad rates by leaving out some at-risk students

This story is the first in a three-part series called "Who's Counted: Taking a Closer Look at School District Graduation Rates." The second and third stories will examine publicly funded online schools.

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When blues singer, Shemekia Copeland performs live, it's almost guaranteed to be an electrifying experience. In this session, recorded in KPLU's Seattle studios, we get a rare opportunity to hear Shemekia's voice in an intimate performance context. Instead of bringing her whole band, Shemekia arrived with just her guitar player, Arthur Neilson.  See the slideshow and video of her performance.

Gary Davis / KPLU

Kids in Pierce County are confronting the community's violent reputation. The county has seen mass arrests of gang members, many of them teens, and is too often in the news as the scene of tragic shooting deaths. A coalition of local groups has embarked on a multi-year effort to provide kids alternatives to violence.

Their work is aimed at involving and empowering local youth to help lead the campaign and carry it forward. Dominique Lewis, who is 19, says the problem for his fellow teenagers usually begins at home.

Jim Wilke Photo

A sun-washed Summer evening in the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park provided a perfect setting for the infectious Brazilian music of Jovino Santos Neto for the Art of Jazz Concert this month. The concert was recorded for broadcast and will air Sunday, August 22 at 1 PM (PDT) on Jazz Northwest, 88.5, KPLU.

AP Photo

Programs aimed getting adults to quit smoking are continuing to pay off. That's the word from state officials who say Washington now has the third-lowest smoking rate in the nation.

Over the years the state's thrown just about every possible resource at helping smokers quit, according to Tim Church with the Washington's Department of Health.

"Programs in schools, programs in local communities, a quit line, and a large advertising campaign."

Manuel Valdes / AP Photo

This week the 4th Stryker Brigade from Lewis McChord made international headlines. It's the last full combat brigade to leave Iraq though 50,000 U-S troops will remain. Lt. Steven DeWitt spoke with NBC news as the convoy sped toward Kuwait.

NBC News Clip: "This is a war that has been burned into the American mindset for the last seven years And here driving out we're showing the end of it."

The Auburn All-Stars will take the field Friday for one of the biggest games of their lives. The group of 11 and 12-year old baseball players has made it to the Little League World Series.

It's the first time a team from Auburn has ever been to the tournament.

Right off the bat, the Auburn All-Stars will have to show their stuff. The team is first up in the series against Fairfield, Connecticut.

That's the only rival they know for sure. After that, they could face off against teams from as far away as Japan or Mexico.

Reed Saxon / AP Photo

Several major grocery chains in Washington say if you shopped there, you don't need to worry about salmonella from tainted eggs. Officials from the Food and Drug Administration said they don't have detailed information about the distribution of the recalled eggs and wouldn't confirm the report. But representatives of Albertsons, Safeway, Fred Meyer and QFC say none of the bad eggs were carried by their stores. The FDA says consumers should check their egg cartons to see if they're on recall lists to be certain.

When blues singer, Shemekia Copeland performs live, it's almost guaranteed to be an electrifying experience. In this session, recorded in KPLU's Seattle studios, we get a rare opportunity to hear Shemekia's voice in an intimate performance context. Instead of bringing her whole band, Shemekia arrived with just her guitar player, Arthur Neilson.

In addition to chamber music, the Olympic Music Festival offers patrons a chance
Florangela Davila / KPLU

It's 24 hours before performance time out here on the Olympic Peninusula, so while the grounds are getting soaked by sprinklers, I walk into a barn being bathed in Mozart.

A string quartet rehearses -- A pair of violinists, a cellist, a violist - all focused on perfecting music written for an intimate setting.

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Space Needle Monitors
PMEL/NOAA

Seattle's iconic Space Needle routinely hosts sightseers, educational tours, even advertising messages. Now, it's also the site of a research project that could help design better ways to fight global warming. Scientists studying climate change typically measure carbon dioxide emissions away from cities. That's so they don't confuse local concentrations of the greenhouse gas with overall global levels. But a project that gauges CO2 from atop the Space Needle seeks to understand urban carbon emissions. Dr. Chris Sabine is with the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.

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Dick Stein and Nancy Leson share their views on food, cooking and eating. Sometimes they even agree.

Featured Studio Session

Reid Anderson of The Bad Plus in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The Bad Plus is in a good mood

After 17 years with pianist Ethan Iverson, Orrin Evans made his Seattle debut with The Bad Plus to sold out shows. Stopping by for a live session at the KNKX studios, it was clear that the moods of bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King had improved for the better, and their playing showed it.

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Featured Jazz Northwest

Jazz Northwest debuts new releases from Seattle spanning 50 years

Jazz Northwest celebrates the release of new albums ranging from the Sixties to the teens from sessions that took place in Seattle. A new gatefold double LP set recorded from live radio broadcasts in 1966-1967 features The Cannonball Adderley Quintet at The Penthouse, a jazz club in Pioneer Square during the Sixties.

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