King County | KNKX

King County

U.S. Department of Justice seal
Simone Alicea / KNKX

The Trump administration is suing King County after a 2019 directive that resulted in the stoppage of flights at Boeing Field chartered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Paula Wissel / KNKX

A new youth detention center opens later this month in King County. Although activists opposed to a youth jail protested and fought it in court, construction went forward on what is now the Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center. In 2012, voters approved a $210 million levy to build the facility as a replacement for the current juvenile justice center.

Tents under an overpass in Seattle
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

A plan to create a new homelessness authority serving Seattle and King County cleared a key vote Thursday. But tensions over how the new authority will be governed could delay the creation of the agency into the new year.

The "Feel Just Like Home" exhibit features ordinary towels embroidered with Yelp reviews of a down and out motel.
Ruth Kazmerack

An exhibit at Gallery 4Culture in Seattle's Pioneer Square lets you touch and feel Yelp reviews. 

Artist Cicelia Ross-Gotta embroidered reviews written about a down and out motel along a roadside in Kansas onto hand towels she sewed from pieces of frayed towels and sheets. She said she hopes it helps shine a light on the people we don't often think about— those who are just one step up from living on the street.

Criminal street gangs in King County are starting to recruit younger members. That's one of the trends the Sheriff's Office says it's seeing. During a briefing, a gang detective told the King County Council that there are now 116 active street gangs operating in the county with 15,000 members.

news that informs graphic
Adrian Florez / KNKX

King County Public Health officials are contacting needle exchange programs, treatment clinics and emergency rooms to alert people to the dangers of fentanyl. They say the deadly narcotic is largely responsible for an increase in overdose deaths in the county.

Tents under an overpass in Seattle
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle and King County leaders are taking a big step toward combining their response to homelessness. The mayor and county executive on Wednesday put forward legislation to create a new regional homelessness authority.

Rick Bowmer / The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Public Health — Seattle & King County officials say drug-related deaths have continued to increase in the county, with fatal overdoses involving methamphetamine and fentanyl on the rise.

 Screenshot of the King County Connect app, available in the Google Play or Apple app store
Courtesy King County

King County has a new mobile app that aims to make it easier for residents to reach local government services. As officials unveil the app this week, they’re highlighting its use in the fight against noxious weeds, for which it has so far been most fully developed.

King County has 17 specialists who work to stop the spread of new invasive species and poisonous plants that spread quickly, such as giant hogweed, tansy ragwort or poison hemlock. King County's program tracks dozens of weeds in five categories.

Beverage ordinance would pollute King County farms, opponents say

Jun 14, 2019
Matt Long / Flickr

Farmers and residents of the Sammamish Valley spoke in opposition Wednesday against a proposed King County ordinance that could allow wineries and breweries to operate closer to rural farmland.

The beverage ordinance would update development regulations for alcohol producers opperating in unincorporated King County.


Adrian Florez / KNKX

The high-paying jobs in the Puget Sound region can seem out of reach for a lot of people. Officials from King County and the City of Seattle say they want job training to benefit people who have been left behind as the local economy has grown.

In this photo taken Thursday, March 23, 2017, nurse Eric Seitz, right, talks with a camper living in a tent along a sidewalk, as part of a new team of outreach workers and police officers that go out and connect homeless people to services in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / AP file

Local leaders working to solve homelessness plan to spend 2019 on the administrative puzzle of joining Seattle and King County's service systems.

As King County gets older there's more demand for geriatric services, including the revival of a program county officials say was a valuable tool in the fight against elderly abuse
Shapecharge / Getty Images

Reports of elder abuse are on the rise in King County, and they're not expected to go down anytime soon as more residents age into their golden years. The county aims to relaunch a program some geriatric experts see as a valuable tool in the fight against elder abuse. 

Paula Wissel

Free speech advocates are criticizing a levy that would renew funding for King County's fingerprint identification program, saying the measure would open the door for law enforcement officials to use facial recognition technology in investigations. 

"Amazon headquarters sphere domes" by Kiewic is licensed under CC by 2.0

Business leaders in King and Pierce counties took stock of the local economy at two separate summits Thursday, as they sought ways to harness the region's record job growth to solve pervasive problems.

Will James / KNKX

King County is unique in the state because it requires an inquest to be held whenever there is a fatal shooting by police. But the process can be confusing and controversial, with some critics arguing that it's biased toward law enforcement.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Three counties in the Puget Sound region are going to receive a substantial amount of money to spend on education because of an amendment in a state transportation law.

The King County Council is figuring out its priorities for its share of the money, which will total about $315 million spread out over a number of years.

Richard Drew / AP Photo

The average American household tosses out at least a quarter of its food   – and that increases over the  holidays. In the wake of Thanksgiving, King County wants to remind people why it’s not just better for their pocketbooks to waste less food.  

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Joel’s Law allows families in Washington state to petition a court to involuntarily commit a mentally ill loved one. In Pierce County, home to Tacoma, nearly 100 percent of petitions are granted, but in Seattle’s King County, most are rejected.

Erin Hennessey / KNKX

Results continue to come in for this year's primary election.  

Last updated at 4:40 p.m. on Wednesday, August, 2, 2017.

KNKX is keeping an eye on several races around the Puget Sound region. We'll be updating this page as results become available. Given the state's vote-by-mail process, outcomes may change over the next few days. 

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

King County’s largest wastewater treatment facility has been operating on the edge of disaster for years and it’s ill-equipped to deal with the growing population in the region.

That’s one of the conclusions from the independent review of February’s catastrophic failure at the West Point sewage treatment plant in Seattle’s Discovery Park.

Paula Wissel / KNKX

Seattle and King County have released a report on the area's homeless population that will be used by officials and service providers to determine how resources should be allocated.

The 2017 point-in-time count was taken on Jan. 27. Volunteers canvassing the county counted 11,643 people living outside, in cars, in emergency shelters and in transitional housing. 

Seattle Aquarium Photo

Voters in King County will get to decide if they want to raise the sales tax to fund arts and cultural programs. The Metropolitan King County Council voted 7-2 to put the measure on the August 1 primary ballot.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Local officials are praising a federal judge’s decision to temporarily block President Donald Trump’s order to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities.” The temporary restraining order was issued in San Francisco, but applies nationwide.

Will James / KNKX

Instead of a property tax to fight homelessness, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says he will now pursue a countywide sales tax increase.

Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine announced Monday that Seattle and King County will coordinate to provide homeless services. 

That effort includes a proposed 2018 ballot measure to increase the sales tax by 0.1 percent.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Temporary fans and sump-pump hoses are whirring along inside the West Point Treatment plant. It’s still dark inside the tunnels where on February 9, a flood of sewage busted doors off and submerged everything up to 12-feet high.

Where we’re standing, we would have been underwater.  Plant manager Robert Waddle switches on a flashlight to show me around.

Ned Ahrens / King County Wastewater Treatment Division

The breakdown last month of Seattle’s wastewater treatment plant has poured hundreds of millions of gallons of untreated stormwater and raw sewage into Puget Sound. Repairs alone will cost an estimated $25 million. And it’s expected to take till the end of April to get the West Point Treatment Plant back to normal. Until then, the broken wastewater facility will be violating its permit and polluting Puget Sound.


What caused the catastrophic failure of Seattle’s main wastewater treatment plant and how can the public be sure it won’t happen again?

King County Council members took emergency action Monday to ensure there’s a fully independent investigation.  

More Than Stormy Weather

Courtesy of King County Wastewater Division

King County is working to expedite the cleanup at a wastewater treatment plant that flooded earlier this month in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood.

The King County Council unanimously approved to extend a waiver on the county's competitive bidding process for contractors. 

John Froschauer / AP Photo

More people than ever before are using mass transit in King County. Authorities say rides on buses and light rail totaled about 150 million last year, making Seattle the nation’s fastest growing large metropolitan region for transit use.