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In this photo taken June 21, 2017, a razor-wire fence is shown around a recreation yard at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. The company that owns and operates the center is planning another expansion.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press file

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Wednesday banning all private, for-profit prisons. The new law means the privately run Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Tacoma will have to close after its contract expires in 2025.

People take part in a rally against hate and the rising violence against Asians living in the U.S., at Columbus Park in the Chinatown section of the Manhattan borough of New York, on Sunday, March 21, 2021.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / The Associated Press

The King County Council will soon consider setting up a Hate Crimes Task Force. It would include a new four-person unit in the King County Sheriff’s Office dedicated to investigating hate crimes and two deputy prosecutors working full time on hate and bias crimes.

Jazz Appreciation Month: Jaco and Joni

Apr 14, 2021
Bassist Jaco Pastorius
Brian Risner / NPR

Bassist Jaco Pastorius was a musical innovator, a celebrated master and an audacious free spirit, who proved an inspiring—and challenging—force to all who played music with him. KNKX’s Michael Stein tells us more.

The 100 day countdown to the opening ceremony of the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics begins Wednesday. Yes, the summer games are proceeding amid an ongoing global pandemic. Olympic hopefuls and Pacific Northwest athletes already picked for Team USA invariably said they are eager to go.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

This story is the third in a three-part series, “Divided Together,” looking at the urban-rural divide in the United States through the lens of one town: Lynden, Washington. The project was funded by a grant from Election SOS, which works to improve news coverage of elections. You can find the first installment here and the second here.

Researchers are monitoring this gray whale after it potentially developed health complications due to a satellite tag being implanted in its body.
NOAA Fisheries

Federal scientists say a gray whale that might have developed complications from a satellite tag appears to be doing OK.

Audit: Unemployment fraud in WA likely higher than $647 million

Apr 13, 2021
This photo shows a sign at the headquarters for Washington state's Employment Security Department Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press file

The amount of fraudulent payments of unemployment benefits distributed in Washington state during the height of the coronavirus pandemic was likely higher than the $647 million identified by the Washington state Employment Security Department, according to a new set of reports released by the state auditor's office Tuesday.

Boxes of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Budapest, Hungary, on April 13, 2021.
Szilard Koszticsak / MTI via AP

The Washington Department of Health is immediately pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine following reports of blood clots.

People enjoy a sunny day outside the Washington state Capitol.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press file


Changes are happening on the COVID front in Washington this week. Three counties are moving back to Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan. That announcement comes as all Washingtonians age 16 and older are about to become eligible for the COVID vaccine.

King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

King County Executive Dow Constantine has urged the county sheriff to retire after she defended a deputy who fatally shot a high school student in 2017.