Maybe the most loved of the Eric's Little Heroes stories is the annual Mutton-Bustin' at the Puyallup Fair. This year's was one of the best.

This story was shot by KOMO Photographer Paul Koehnke


In Depth: How fire surrounded and nearly destroyed the Chimpanzee Sanctuary

The Taylor Bridge Fire burned thousands of acres across Kittitas County in August. One of the first structures in it's path was Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and it's seven chimps.

This is the harrowing story of those first hours, when fire surrounded the sanctuary and the caretakers and firefighters did everything they could to defend it.



The cup stacking otters of the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Nellie and Abra are two teenage otters at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium with some very special skills. While they both are able to stack cups, Nellie is particulary good at it, though Abra likes to help out.

The 99 Lounge

The city of Shoreline Washington just wrapped up a month long arts project involving 8 pianos. They were donated, decorated and delivered to the streets free for anyone to play. I caught up with some fun people enjoying one of those pianos outside Darrells Tavern one Saturday night. I really enjoyed how much they loved playing. Thanks for watching.

Lost and Found

A horrific accident ends in a miracle for one family.

Three stories from the Taylor Bridge Fire

For the past two weeks the Taylor Bridge Fire has ravaged central Washington state, destroying farms, range land, homes and even entire neighborhoods. For local news crews, wildfire coverage can be the most intense work we do. Here are three unique stories from me, Dan Strothman and Jon Martin.

Reporter Joel Moreno and I spent three days on the volatile front lines of the fire:

The second story comes from photographer Daniel Strothman, who writes:

"We happened upon a group of people literally trying to save their house, spraying down water and stamping out the fire with shovels. It really lifts your spirits to see strangers come together to help each other this way. That’s one common thread that happens in every fire I’ve ever covered. The rest of the week we interviewed people who had lost everything, some who had their homes spared, volunteers who rallied the community to support the victims and of course the firefighters working around the clock to get the blaze under control. I edited together some of my best footage and sound to create a concise piece that gives a good overview of the event. Reporter Jon Humbert and I worked long hours to bring viewers this coverage and even though we were emotionally and physically drained we pushed on to tell the peoples’ stories."


And finally, Jon Martin captured the massive mobilization of firefighting forces with a little help from Ride of the Valkyries:

Flatland skimboarding

I met with some of the guys from the DB Skimboards team down at Chambers Creek in University Park. Having been a skimboarder when I was younger, this was nothing like I had ever experienced. These guys have taken skimboarding to a whole new level. It seemed to me that DB skimboards, a local skimboard and skateboard manufacturer, has assembled some of the best talent in the Northwest.


Meet the Fairmont guests at the center of the buzz

The Fairmont Hotel is known for its top-knotch service and beautiful accomodations, but it's the little-known guests upstairs that are making quite a buzz lately.

Fans react to the trade of Ichiro to the Yankees

Fans react to the trade of Ichiro to the Yankees »Play Video
New York Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki, right, embraces a television reporter following a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Wednesday, July 25, 2012, in Seattle. The Yankees won 5-2. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

He was the face of a franchise, but in the end he wanted a championship. The Mariners traded Ichiro, but the timing couldn't have been worse.

'The Campaign' campaigns with Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis

Working in Seattle news means from time to time, you'll find yourself covering events at Pike Place Market. Today was one of those days, and I have never seen more people packed along the cobbled streets.

We media-types lined up inside the Local Color Coffee House for a pretty cool opportunity: a photo opportunity with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. They got behind the counter and served up coffee -- well, sort of. They are funny men, after all. Three minutes is all we got inside and then it was a rush to a near-by hotel for a short sit-down interview.

Zach was kind of enough to pour me a glass of water, and I'd like to think he enjoyed my comment about forgetting to bring the ferns. The interview was quick, but they did succeed in making me chuckle behind the camera. And the microphone clip worn by Will Ferrell will never be worn again, as it was lost during the mad shuffle. So much for hoping to sell it as Hollywood memorabilia.

And that, folks, is how you spend the Best. Thursday. Ever!

Architects battle to rule the roost

The Rainier Beach Urban Farm really went to the birds this weekend, and some lucky chickens will be getting fancy new digs.

It was Seattle's very first chicken coop design and build competition. Seattle Tilth, Architecture for Humanity and Architects Without Borders teamed up for this event, aimed at inspiring people interested in raising urban chickens. All the proceeds went to Seattle Youth Garden Works, who help introduce homeless and under served youth to urban agriculture.

Ten chicken coops, dreamed up and built by everyone from families to large architecture firms, battled it out for an array of awards. There were lots of interesting innovations including living roofs, hidden storage, and reused building materials.

The coops will be on display through mid August, at the Farm, located at 5513 South Cloverdale Ave in Rainer Beach. Then they will be distributed to neighborhood groups and families in the area.

The Winners:

The judges prize, and the coveted Egg Nest Trophy, went to Coop15 for "Eggplant".

Most innovative prize went to "Chicken Haus" by Callison.

Best use of Integrative Structures and Systems went to "Huevos Ranchero" by VIA Architecture

The Malden Group won two awards, for their "Malden Coop". The "Most Likely to Hypnotize a Chicken" award and the People's Choice Award.

The event raised almost $2000 for Seattle Youth Garden Works,  part of Seattle Tilth.

Music by The Loveward Steps

Watch: New zip line course at Northwest Trek

Watch: New zip line course at Northwest Trek »Play Video

Eatonville's Northwest Trek is getting a little wilder. Alongside the tram tour and the wildlife exhibits, there's a new zip-line challenge course.

The course starts with a 30-foot-high climbing wall, followed by a series of six zip lines separated with challenging bridges and obstacles that reach heights of more than 50 feet. An extension of the course now under construction will bring brave folks over 80 feet above the ground.

Kris Sherman of Northwest Trek says the zip line fits into the park's mission of getting people outside. "This is a perfect fit, it will draw a demographic here that perhaps we haven't got to Northwest Trek before"

Oh and don't worry about zip-lining into a pack of wolves, (that my first question) the zip line course is situated away from any of the animal exhibits.

The course costs $39.95 in addition to admission to the park.


More from the Phography Blog >>>