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When Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old poet from Los Angeles, took to the stage on Wednesday, it was immediately clear why the new president had chosen her as his inaugural poet.

Gorman echoed, in dynamic and propulsive verse, the same themes that Biden has returned to again and again and that he wove throughout his inaugural address: unity, healing, grief and hope, the painful history of American experience and the redemptive power of American ideals.

The now-closed Trump International Hotel & Tower in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Jan. 17, 2021.
Craig McCulloch / KNKX

The Trump International Hotel and Tower opened to much fanfare almost four years ago. It temporarily closed due to the pandemic last April, and for good at the end of August.

A grain ship sails the Columbia River at the Port of Kalama, where a Chinese-backed company wanted to build a methanol plant.

Officials in Washington state denied a key permit for a large proposed methanol plant Tuesday, saying the project that aims to send the chemical to China to be used in everything from fabrics and contact lenses to iPhones and medical equipment would pump out too much pollution.

Reports: Seattle police violated policies at summer protests

Jan 19, 2021
Smoke rises as police clash with protesters during a protest near the Seattle Police East Precinct headquarters in Seattle on July 25, 2020.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press file

A Seattle police officer who threw a tear gas canister that hit a reporter, and other officers who threw blast balls that hit individuals during last summer's Black Lives Matter protests violated policies, according to reports from an independent agency tasked with investigating police misconduct. 

A nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a patient at a recent clinic.
Urban Indian Health Institute

Many Washington tribes seem to be rolling out COVID-19 vaccines quicker than the state. But there’s also something identified as “vaccine hesitancy” among some indigenous groups.

A5 pod is seen with a new calf on Jan. 4, 2021.
Jared Towers / Fisheries and Oceans Canada

A pod of orcas has returned to a part of British Columbia where they have not been seen for years. 

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Roll out of bed, turn on your laptop, wander to the kitchen to get food during class – online school during a pandemic is pretty different from regular school.

And while some districts are in the process of bringing the youngest kids back to classrooms, the majority of older students will continue learning from home for the time being.

The state of Washington, hamstrung as many states have been by a slow distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, will deploy the National Guard, set up mass vaccination sites and create a new public-private partnership to lead a renewed effort to get the vaccine into the arms of people.

The move comes as the state prepares to immediately advance to the next phase of people eligible for a vaccination beyond health care workers, first responders and those living and working in nursing homes.

Some of the most resilient musicians finding ways to keep music alive during COVID-19 are local jazz students.  The kids are alright—and KNKX is proud to bring you our first virtual School of Jazz studio session with the Red Combo from Seattle Academy (SAAS) on Thursday, January 28 at 7 p.m., hosted by Abe Beeson.  REGISTER HERE.  The event is pre-recorded and will be live streamed on Zoom.  We invite you to join the live chat during the event.

The Washington State Historical Society is collaborating with Write253 on a poetry event to honor Martin Luther King Jr.
Washington State Historical Society

In Tacoma, the observation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day is typically marked by celebrations, workshops and performances across the city. But this year, civic-minded organizations are finding ways to engage participants from a distance. The Washington State Historical Society, in collaboration with literary arts organization Write253, is doing this through poetry.