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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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Anna King / N3

PASCO, WA (N3) -

"My name is Rochelle Walchli, and we have Hermiston Melon Company out of Hermiston, Ore. The easiest and best way is to pick the melon up and hold it in your hand and use the flat of your hand and cup the melon and tap it. If you feel a vibration all the way through the melon and not a thud, then that's a solid melon."

SOUND: Tap, tap, thud

"Hear the difference? The higher pitched melon is going to be a solid melon, once you cut it, it will be a perfect cut."

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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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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