Put down that oyster!
That is, unless it's cooked. The SeattlePI.com reports that a saltwater bacteria infection is flaring up among King County residents this summer. July saw 13 cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection in King County — more than three times the typical average — and August has seen four more already. "People contract vibriosis from eating raw or undercooked shellfish with the bacteria in them, especially oysters," SeattlePI.com reports. The Center for Disease Control website describes the bacteria's symptoms, which sound pretty awful, but not life-threatening: "When ingested, V. parahaemolyticus causes watery diarrhea often with abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. Usually these symptoms occur within 24 hours of ingestion. Illness is usually self-limited and lasts 3 days."
UW shines a light on epilepsy
UW researchers are one step closer to identifying genetic mutations that cause epilepsy -- a step that could help potential parents assess their likelihood of passing the gene on to their children. (Those with a recessive 'epilepsy gene' might not know it until a child developed the disorder.) A research team headed by Gemma Carvill, a UW Senior Fellow in Pediatrics, has identified a specific genetic mutation associated with Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a rare disorder that includes epileptic seizures and limitations around understanding and expressing language). Families with this specific gene mutation have a 50-50 chance of passing it on, but the team's research will allow prospective parents and kids to test for the often misdiagnosed syndrome.
State parks change up camping costs
Facing drastic budget cuts, Washington State Parks has been forced to get creative in trying to generate revenue. Late last week, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission sent an email to overnight visitors to state parks, announcing a change in its campsite pricing system starting next summer. The new system will create a tiered pay scale based on sites' popularity. Certain sites will be cheaper than others and all will be cheaper during lower traffic days. The commission will also implement stricter policies concerning cancellations and no-shows.
In 2007-2009, Washington State Parks got about 70 percent of its funding from the Legislature, but tight budgets have forced that down to a scant 12 percent, said Virginia Painter, the public affairs director for Washington State Parks. As a result, the number of full-time permanent employees has decreased from 600 to 400.
“We’ve suffered as a result,” Painter told us today. “We have to be more economical with everything we do, but still keep competitive prices and fair for people and try to restructure to get people into the parks. We have to inch up our revenue as much we can and get more people in so they can use them.”
KUOW on hiatus?!
Fear not, news nerds. While KUOW is giving its original daytime programming the boot ("Weekday," "The Conversation" and "KUOW Presents") starting August 19th, your favorite local radio news will be back. And it will be better (if not bigger) than ever. The news outlet announced yesterday that it will be consolidating its three daytime shows into one mega-daytime-news-nerdfest — "The Record". "Record" will run from noon to 2 p.m. each weekday and will be hosted on a rotating basis by Steve Scher, Marcie Sillman and Ross Reynolds, the hosts of the three cancelled shows. Regular KUOW features reporting and top-of-the-hour news broadcasts will stay intact throughout the day.
Why the switcheroo? Assistant program director Arvid Hokanson tells us overlapping content and a growing number of segments in each midday show meant the station needed more staffing, "to do it well, rather than just do it." The switch means the full staff of all three shows will be reallocated to "The Record" (Read: No one's getting laid off.) and two temporary positions will be made permanent. The new arrangement, Hokanson says, will also let hosts do field reporting and produce segments of their own. The new programming debuts September 3rd, so between August 19th and then the station will be running Best-ofs. Prepare yourself for Kingdome collapse re-runs.
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