Washington loves its wildlife so much, it’s building overpasses for them



From snow-covered mountains to northwest ocean waters, it’s no secret that Washington is passionate about protecting all the wildlife in between.

In an effort to keep animals out of harm’s way, the state has invested millions of dollars into creating animal overpasses that stretch over busy roadways. A bridge under construction east of Snoqualmie Pass will be the the first of its kind in Washington, but it’s just not for conservation.

It’s about balancing human transportation needs with wildlife habitats, according to Washington State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Maeagan Lott.

“You’re improving safety, you’re relieving congestion and you’re also looking at the environmental aspects,” she told The Spokesman-Review.

Conservation Northwest has led efforts to get an overpass to connect two important habitats in the Price Creek area near mile marker 62 in eastern Washington.

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These strange creatures aren’t supposed to be in northwest, but now they’re washing ashore

Scientists are trying to figure out why strange sea creatures are showing up in northwest waters. Pyrosomes, also called Sea Pickles, are tropical, filter-feeding and spineless creatures. (Image: TiffanyBoothe/SeasideAquarium.)

First published in Dec. 2017 on kiro7.com

When taking a stroll on a northwest beach, a Seattle-area woman vacationing on the Oregon coast found bizarre, tubular, jellylike creatures on the sand.

“These guys were all over the beach,” Nalia Borges Nichols said. “The ocean seems to introduce me to new creatures or circumstances every so often.”

These animals called pyrosomes – or more simply referred to as “sea pickles” – made headlines over the summer because the tropical-dwelling animals started showing up in unprecedented numbers along the northwest coast this year, as far up as Alaska.

It’s a never-before-seen phenomenon for northwest waters.

A National Geographic research team’s net pulled up 60,000 in five minutes near Sitka, Alaska, where salmon fishermen had to take a break from their work as the tubular, spineless creatures invaded their hooks.

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What we can learn from these unearthed mugshots from the 1940s

Published on kiro7.com November 2017 400+ engagements on social Nearly 75 years after their incarceration, a stack of inmates’ mugshots surfaced in a box of forgotten vintage black-and-white photographs at a cluttered Centralia antique store. Underneath each card’s punch hole, once thread through something like an office binder or filing cabinet, a man stands with Read more about What we can learn from these unearthed mugshots from the 1940s[…]

Unseen photos of Mt. St. Helens eruption discovered in forgotten camera at Goodwill

Published on kiro7.com in June 2017; more than 10,000 engagements on social

A Portland woman, who finds old cameras and develops forgotten film, discovered unseen photos of the Mount St. Helen explosion. Image: Courtesy Kati Dimoff

A Portland woman who finds old cameras and develops forgotten film has discovered unseen photos of the Mount St. Helens eruption.

“I run into the big Goodwill in [Southeast Portland] and check all their film cameras for exposed, but undeveloped rolls of film,” said Kati Dimoff, who is a photographer herself. “[In May], I bought an Argus C2, which would have been produced around 1938, and it had a damaged roll of Kodachrome slide film in it.”

Dimoff dropped it off at a Portland shop that develops vintage film. When she picked it up, a message was left on her package of photographs.

“Is this from the Mount St. Helen eruption?” it read.

Thirty-seven years ago, 57 people lost their lives amid raining ash throughout Washington state in the wake of the Mount St. Helens explosion.

Journalists and residents alike captured moments of the volcano’s notorious eruption in 1980; thousands of people to this day still watch their surreal video and chilling photos the lateral blast that took out the north side of the mountain.

But Dimoff’s images show a new perspective of the plume cloud that haunted the northwest.

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Woman who escaped from shooting that killed officer: ‘All lives matter’

NOTE: This story was first published on kiro7.com in Dec. 2016. During our team coverage of an officer shot and killed in the line of duty, a KIRO 7 photographer recorded Kristi’s Croskey’s statement. She was in a home during the shooting. I posted it to Facebook, and it was viewed more than two million times.

“I don’t want to hear anything about black lives matter, because all lives matter,” Kristi Croskey said to a group of reporters as law enforcement lined up outside a hospital Wednesday night to honor a fallen Tacoma officer.

Croskey was the woman inside a home’s basement with the gunman when shots were fired. She hid during the shooting and finally made her way to safely.

“I don’t want to hear about the police officers being inhuman, shooting people or unnecessary or any of those things,” she said. “I want to say the Tacoma Police Department handled this matter with such professionalism despite their own being shot. And I want to say this situation did not have to occur, I want to say when you make poor choices, and the response is someone being killed, if that may be the situation at the end of this night, I want you to know the Tacoma Police Department did any and everything that they could to protect and serve.”

“They wanted to protect the life of him, his family, and anyone else that was involved in this matter. I do not want to hear anything about the Tacoma Police Department did wrong [or] the Lakewood Police Department did wrong, I want people to take a long inventory of themselves and see what they did wrong.”

Saying she didn’t want to interfere with the department’s investigation, Croskey’s words to the media were brief, but they hit a chord with thousands on social media.

On KIRO 7 Facebook page, hundreds of people said thank you to Croskey for sharing her experience in a video that collected more than a million views.

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Police: Workers held against their will in Bellevue brothels

NOTE: First published on kiro7.com in Jan. 2016. A KIRO 7 News crew streamed this event live on our website. I wrote this copy as information was streamed lived. 

Bellevue brothels, created by a website, held workers against their will and then trafficked them across the west coast, according to local law enforcement.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS:

  • 12 brothels in Bellevue
  • 12 victims rescued, according to Bellevue police
  • Women were victimized in 15 U.S. states
  • At least one recent murder is related to the trafficking case
  • National prostitution website, reviewboard.net, seized in investigation

How did this happen?

King County Sheriff John Urquhart, the Bellevue police chief, and an FBI special agent held a news conference on Wednesday and announced they investigated reviewboard.net and a website called “The League.”

According to investigators, who call the case backpage.com “on steroids,” reviewboard.net facilitated prostitution and “The League” started the brothels in Bellevue.

Twelve brothels, most that operated out of high-end Bellevue apartments, have been shut down. See where the brothels in Bellevue were located in the map below; click on a “point” for the apartment name.


Police say Donald Mueller and Michael Durnal ran the ring and sold women all over the county.

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Oldest known orca spotted in ‘high spirits’ off San Juan Island

NOTE: First reported on kiro7.com on Aug. 3, 2016 (All photo credits in this story go to Heather MacIntyre.) Sadly, Researchers considered J2 Granny dead as of Jan. 2017

Estimated to be around 105 years old, J2 Granny is thought to be the oldest known living orca.

The Orca Network posted photos of Granny to its Whale Sighting Report on July 27. She was spotted near San Juan Island’s False Bay.

“We watched the J11s (J27, J31, and J39) traveling with J2 and adopted son, L87. They sure seemed to be in high spirits … And then there was that humpback that popped up surprisingly in the distance breaching over and over and over,” photographer Heather MacIntyre wrote.

The Orca Network tells KIRO 7 News that Granny is said to be around 105 years old, but there is a 12-year margin around her age meaning she could be as young as 90.

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‘I’ve been to the mountaintop, and I don’t mind’

NOTE: First published to wmcactionnews5.com. I curated the photos and wrote the copy.

Martin Luther King Jr. made his last speech in Memphis to sanitation workers, who, in his words, were facing the issue of injustice and the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants.” But before the Mountaintop speech and King’s untimely death in April 1968, the civil rights leader influenced Memphis in more ways than one.

How to use this interactive: If on a desktop browser then use your mouse or trackpad to hover over the image. If on a smartphone or tablet then touch anywhere on the image. You will see a variety of dots. Click one of the dots that come up for tidbits of information, videos, or links.

Martin Luther King Jr. flies to Memphis July 31, 1959 for a Freedom Rally, which is part of a political campaign for several African-American candidates running for City of Memphis election.

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Company gives ‘experimental’ drug to ailing 7-year-old St. Jude patient 

First published on wmcactionnews5.com in 2014:

In some pictures, 7-year-old Josh Hardy boasts a big smile in sports jerseys, but the last three months in the intensive care unit at St. Jude Children’s Hospital has replaced the eye black with tubes and gauze.

A company’s decision to provide drug access could be a game changer in the fight for Josh’s life. Initially, Chimerix refused to give brincidofovir—a drug that might cure Josh’s adenovirus infection—because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had yet to approve it.

“They have given us excuses about challenging them financially, but we really don’t care what excuses there are. They have something that can help our son, and we as parents are going to do everything we can possible do to help him. The thing is he’s had  a very challenged life,” said mother Aimee Hardy on Monday.

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