Rattling the data: Concussion investigation gleans lessons from public documents

A key finding of the yearlong investigation was that student athletes in Oregon get more frequent and more thorough medical evaluations for concussions at schools that employ athletic trainers. Schools with athletic trainers reported twice as many possible concussions per student athlete as did schools without a professional trainer. Football players at schools with trainers were more than three times as likely to be kept out of play until medically cleared.

Hawaii goes all-in on healing concussions: Athletic trainers placed in every high school

Hawaii is the only U.S. state to ensure that at least two athletic trainers work at every public high school. High schools that have athletic trainers are much more likely to identify and treat concussions than schools without them, according to studies and an analysis by Pamplin Media Group, InvestigateWest and Reveal.

WA foster kids sent to out-of-state group homes with checkered records

After a report by a government-appointed watchdog group found Washington foster kids sent to a group home in Iowa were mistreated, InvestigateWest documents how dozens of other Washington foster kids remain at group homes in South Carolina, Wyoming and Michigan that also appear to have mistreated children, according to reports from oversight agencies in other states.

Washington may require more climate-friendly motor fuels

The Washington Legislature is considering whether to require use of more climate-friendly motor vehicle fuels. Although Washington collects and processes biodiesel – an alternative fuel made partially of vegetable oil or animal fats that has a distinctly lower carbon impact than traditional diesel – most of this renewable resource is shipped out of state because Oregon, California, and British Columbia have all passed legislation requiring progressive reductions in the amount of fossil fuel allowed in gasoline and diesel.

Orcas, climate, oil spills and more – can Inslee, Dems perform in just 105 days?

A sweeping array of Washington legislative proposals to counter climate change have their best chance to pass into law in 2019 than at any time in recent years. But it won’t be easy for majority Democrats and Gov. Jay Inslee to get all they want in the 105-day session that began last week. InvestigateWest outlines current issues on the docket, including measures to help critically endangered orcas and salmon and green-oriented revisions for housing codes.

Student athletes aren’t the only ones getting concussions — and needing classroom help

Due to three tragic cases showing the impact of recurrent concussions on the sports field, many states now have protections for kids in sports. But often forgotten are the kids off the field. In today’s story, InvestigateWest and Pamplin Media Group explore four programs that provide brain injury education for the teachers and school staff who help kids in the classroom.

Value Village: 1st Amendment shields us from state consumer-protection lawsuit

If you wanted to know how much Value Village is giving to charity from your donations, look no further than a graphic circulated on social media by the Washington Attorney General’s office. It reveals that the fancy piece of furniture you gave to the store’s donation center could be worth as little as 2 cents to the charity. That reality is far from the image the Bellevue-based chain has promoted, according to a lawsuit filed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. He accuses the nation’s largest for-profit thrift-store chain of misrepresenting to the public the charitable benefits of their donations and purchases. In response to the attorney general’s lawsuit, Value Village has claimed that what it tells its donors and customers is covered under the free-speech protections of the First Amendment, citing U.S. Supreme Court rulings that charitable fundraising is a form of free speech.

Oregon schools fall behind on returning concussed students to classroom

When her six-year-old son Westen suffered a fall in September leading to a concussion, Stephanie Shimp-Taylor turned to her school for help. In need of accommodations for her son, Shimp-Taylor found herself under pressure for her son’s low attendance. Although Oregon law has measures in place to support student athletes, it’s often up to schools to fill in the gaps in the classroom for non-athletes. Oregon is offering an online course for educators called “In The Classroom After Concussion.”