Other News | KNKX

Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Grave No. 2695 gets a new headstone, with a name: Ruby Violet Knight.
Posey Gruener / KNKX

This story originally aired on April 20, 2019.

At most cemeteries, the graves tell a little story. The name of the person buried there, the day they were born, and the day they died.

But at a historic cemetery outside Western State Hospital, an inpatient psychiatric hospital in Lakewood, Washington, the graves only have numbers.  

Public Domain



This story originally aired on April 20, 2019. 

In spite of the cranes on the skyline, there are still a few visible markers of Seattle as it was — old houses, old alleyways, a pergola that’s been knocked down but always gets put back up. The people who live here or visit always seem to be reaching out to grasp it, that oldness. I felt like that too, when I moved to Seattle a decade ago. I wanted to know what it was like then. Whenever then was.

I began gobbling up materials, skulking through digital archives. But I found that there are not enough books or stories or grainy photos of Seattle to really scratch that itch. A person who wants to know how Seattle used to be will always be left wanting more. When I asked around about how I could get my hit of history, I heard the same advice, over and over: the Underground Tour.

Adrian Florez / KNKX

Today’s episode: Learning as we go. 

The thing that makes COVID-19 so tricky is its newness. It’s a disease that literally did not exist in humans until a few months ago. There was no handbook for treating it, no established way to screen for it and, as has become painfully clear, no detailed protocols for how doctors should handle the waves of sick patients. 

That has meant that health workers at virtually every point on the spectrum — from paramedics to primary-care doctors to ICU specialists — have had to learn on the fly. 

Michael Chu / via Flickr Creative Commons

The fire chief in Point Roberts, Washington, is hoping to test hundreds of people in his community for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have symptoms.

Using tests from Northwest Laboratory in Bellingham, Whatcom County Fire District 5 Chief Christopher Carleton hopes he can get at least 400 people in this 1,200-person community to take a test. So far, Carleton says they’ve tested 137 people.

The Methow Valley, near Winthrop, in 2019.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

Can wildfires prepare you for a pandemic? The mayor of Twisp, in Washington state’s Methow Valley, says they can.

Anne Philips at the social distancing dance party outside her house in Seattle's Phinney Ridge neighborhood on March 21, 2020.
Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

You may have heard of the “Seattle Freeze.” It’s a tendency some people say longtime locals have to be cold toward newcomers. And many say the social-distancing measures now necessary because of the coronavirus are making it worse. Out in public, people seem scared to make eye contact with strangers.

A pair of women in one of the city’s neighborhoods recently put on an event designed to warm things up a bit — despite the need to stay at least 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with.

Adrian Florez / KNKX

We have all been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in our own ways. And the Sound Effect team has been doing our best to cover it in a new podcast called Transmission. Today on Sound Effect, we share some of the stories that have stood out to us from the podcast so far.

UW Medicine Virology lab manager Greg Pepper processes antibody tests.
UW Medicine


People who have recovered from COVID-19 get some level of immunity to the virus. Now scientists at the University of Washington are set to start testing people for past infection. 

Paul Taub plays flute professionally, and is a retired music professor from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. He recently recovered from COVID-19.

Paul Taub is a retired flute teacher. He also plays professionally around the Seattle area. And his years of playing a wind instrument have put him particularly in tune with how his lungs work.

Still, when he developed a cough, a fever, and some chills, he just thought it was a cold.

Adrian Florez / KNKX

Today’s episode: Confronting Mortality. 

This is not something a lot of us are used to thinking much about. Dreading, sure. Avoiding, you bet. But thinking hard about it, and what it means during a time like this — not easy. 

In this episode, we connect with people who have gotten intimate with mortality. 

Ashleigh Bishop, 19, a quartermaster from Lynchburg, Virginia, who joined the Navy a year ago, waves a flag at the forward edge of the flight deck to alert a refueling ship of the bow’s position. “Every job on this ship is important," she said.
Josh Farley / Kitsap Sun

The USS Nimitz is one of the country's 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, and it's homeported in Bremerton. It's expected to set out to sea in the near future.

Last week, a top Pentagon official said there had been "small breakouts" of the novel coronavirus on the ship. The Navy quickly refuted that.

To help us understand exactly what's happening aboard the Nimitz, KNKX's Ed Ronco spoke with Josh Farley, who covers military affairs for the Kitsap Sun.

The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason, left, and the Right Rev. Gregory H. Rickel, bow to an empty sanctuary as they begin a live streamed Easter service at Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral Sunday, April 12, 2020, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

With crowds prohibited from gathering, churches and other religious institutions have had to connect virtually. This past weekend marked Easter Sunday, the holiest of Christian holidays. KNKX reporter Paula Wissel "attended" online services and brings us an audio postcard. The services include St. Brendan’s Spanish Mass in Bothell, New Beginnings Christian Fellowship in Kent, St. James Cathedral in Seattle and Our Savior Lutheran Church in Tacoma.



This show originally aired on March 23, 2019.

Alaskero Foundation/John Stamets / courtesy of Cindy Domingo

This story originally aired on March 23, 2019.

Author’s note: I used to cover business and labor for KNKX and had a tiny bit of knowledge about the brutal murders of two young Filipino-American labor activists in 1981. Then, in 2018 while covering another story, I met the brother of one of the men who had been killed. He mentioned how the family and friends of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes had always suspected that the murders had been ordered by none other than the former dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos. I put a lot of time into producing this story to weave in archival news footage and the memories of two key people responsible for doggedly pursuing justice for the slain men. (This story originally aired March 23.)  

Courtesy of Elmer Dixon

This story originally aired on March 23, 2019.

When Elmer Dixon was growing up in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood in the early 1960s, the neighborhood was incredibly diverse. In the playground across the street from his house you could find every kind of kid.

“Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, black, white, Latino,” Elmer recalled.

Sister Judy Byron (in blue, at left) having a dialogue with board members of Merck Pharmeceuticals in New York at the Interfaith Center.
courtesy of Judy Byron

This story originally aired on March 23, 2019.

When Judy Byron became a nun, she thought she'd spend her life wearing a habit and teaching school. And she did do that, for a while. But then an opportunity came along to make an impact in a different way.

Sister Judy became a shareholder. A shareholder in pursuit of justice.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

This story originally aired on March 23, 2019.

Conrad Reynoldson isn’t looking to go far. Specifically, he’d like to cross the residential stretch of NE 44th Street right next to his office. It’s about 15 feet.

Reynoldson lives with Muscular Dystrophy and navigates the world in a power chair, which makes that quick crossing a lot more complicated.


This story originally aired on March 23, 2019.

Despite Seattle’s reputation as a progressive place, it has a complicated history to reckon with. One chapter of the city’s story is branded with a racist caricature — which pervaded the region beyond the restaurant the image represented: the Coon Chicken Inn.

Adrian Florez / KNKX

Today's episode: The Virus-Eye View. 

We know, more or less, what the new coronavirus looks like … but what do we look like to it? 

In today’s episode, we imagine a little movie filmed from the point of view of the virus itself. We follow it as it enters the body, and get the blow-by-blow as it goes about its dastardly business of locking on to a cell, invading it, taking over its machinery and turning it into a virus factory. 

And we hear about an especially diabolical trick the virus pulls on its way out of a cell, which still gives me the creeps. 

Adrian Florez / KNKX

Today’s episode: Saying Goodbye.

When a person infected with COVID-19 dies, those precious final moments aren’t spent with loved ones at their bedside. They’re spent surrounded by doctors and nurses, dressed head to toe in protective gear.

One nurse at a hospital in Issaquah, east of Seattle, wanted to do what she could to connect a mother and daughter one last time.

Using FaceTime, Tatyana Huber held her personal cellphone up to Carolann Gann’s face, so her daughter could share her final message of love and forgiveness.

Michelle Bennett talks to her mother, Carolann Gann, using FaceTime. Tatyana Huber, a charge nurse at Swedish Issaquah, connected mother and daughter one last time, before Gann died of COVID-19 on March 26.
Courtesy of Michelle Bennett

When people die after becoming infected with COVID-19, they typically spend their final moments in isolation, surrounded only by nurses and doctors. A nurse in Issaquah recently made it possible for a mother and daughter to connect one last time.

A tent stands at the emergency entrance to Seattle Children's Hospital. As health officials across Washington state scramble to secure hospital beds and supplies, rural hospitals face unique challenges.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, many of the concerns voiced months ago are starting to be realized. Personal protective equipment for health care workers is in short supply. And some places are seeing their hospital capacity pushed to the limit.

Officials at rural hospitals are also worried. They operate on a tight budget, and with elective procedures on hold, there are very real financial concerns.


This show originally aired on February 23, 2019. 

Courtesy of the Oliver family


This story originally aired on February 23, 2019.   

In 1989, Washington marked 100 years as an official state. Leading up to the milestone, state leaders held meetings about what the celebration should look like.

Emmett Sampson Oliver, a member of the Quinault Indian Nation, attended one of the planning sessions. At the end of the meeting, his son Marvin Oliver recalls, Emmett stood up and asked everyone in the room: "Wait a minute, what are you doing for indians?"

KNKX producer Geoffrey Redick reads to his kids at his Seattle home.
Courtesy of Geoffrey Redick

This story originally aired on February 23, 2019.  

A version of this essay was originally published by Fatherly, an online parenting magazine. Geoffrey Redick is a producer for All Things Considered, who joined KNKX in April 2018 after a decade working part time as a producer and full time as a stay-at-home dad.

Courtesy of Sam Blackman


This story originally aired on February 23, 2019.   

Sam Blackman’s dad wanted his four sons to find their own path — as long as it was the one he’d chosen for them.

Courtesy of Melba Ayco


This story originally aired on February 23, 2019.

When Melba Ayco was growing up in rural Louisiana, she was a curious child. She had two nicknames: Froggy, because she had large eyes, and “Mel-bad” because sometimes she got into mischief. If she broke something in her home, she never told her mother the truth.




Today’s episode: Getting Creative. 

There’s a bunch of psychological research out there that suggests constraints — having your choices limited — actually promotes creativity. 

And we’re all seeing now how being stuck at home, or losing your job, or having your kids out of school — it sucks, but it can also nudge us to find innovative solutions. 

Today we have a bunch of stories of how people are adapting to this less-than-ideal situation. 

Photos courtesy of Michelle Bennett. Illustration by Parker Miles Blohm/KNKX

Michelle Bennett couldn’t hold her mother’s hand in those final moments, 10 days after Carolann Christine Gann tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Bennett couldn’t even go through her mother’s belongings as she prepared to bury her.

So two people in protective gear did what she couldn't.

David Lukov presided over an October 2019 ceremony honoring the lives of 25 people who went unclaimed after they died. Lukov has postponed a handful of funeral services amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Joe Buchanan died two weeks ago, after months of routine dialysis treatments. His wife of 34 years, Kimra, and their son, Justin, braced for this day they knew would eventually come.

But they weren’t prepared for what came after.

“The time when we should be mourning and going through old photos and hugging this out, we can’t,” Justin Buchanan said during a video interview last week.