SEATTLE —

Why Washington's driving test is toughest in the country

Washington state has one of the toughest driving tests in the country. The passing rates for the knowledge test are around 46% at DOL offices, according to the state Department of Licensing.

Also, at $85 for the license and drivers test, costs are higher in Washington than in any other state.

KING 5's Jake Whittenberg and Mimi Jung, along with the help of a defensive driving school expert, tried the road test to see how difficult it really is.

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Changes to car tab fees after I-976 approval 

The Washington Department of Licensing released a fact sheet this week outlining some changes Initiative 976 will have on vehicle licensing fees. The initiative was approved by voters this month. 

Starting on Dec. 5, 2019, the initiative lowers the vehicle weight fee, electric vehicle fee, snowmobile registration, and commercial trailer fee to $30. 

I-976 eliminates the passenger weight fee, motorhome weight fee, transportation benefit district fee, and the 0.3% vehicle retail sales/use tax. The DOL said I-976 only affected the licensing fees listed above. 

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The Seattle Freeze is real, how do we thaw it out? 

With a simple Google search, it's easy to find various definitions for the phenomenon commonly referred to as the Seattle Freeze. Most definitions refer to a belief that it's difficult to make friends in Seattle, especially for newcomers.

UW Sociologist Dr. Pepper Schwartz said there are several factors contributing to the Freeze, including where people are from, their culture, history, and yes, even the gloomy weather. 

Schwartz said the first way to combat the Freeze is to step outside of your bubble and make an effort. 

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UW part of aging dog study

Can old dogs teach us new tricks? Scientists are looking for 10,000 pets for the largest-ever study of aging in canines. They hope to shed light on human longevity too.

The project will collect a pile of pooch data: vet records, DNA samples, gut microbes and information on food and walks. Five hundred dogs will test a pill that could slow the aging process.

For the study, the dogs will live at home and follow their usual routine. All ages and sizes, purebreds and mutts are welcome.

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Pet turkeys inspire food drive  

Two turkeys in Normandy Park are helping feed the hungry, but not how you might think. The birds are part of a food drive for Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, which needs at least 1,200 turkeys before Thanksgiving. 

The Krull family started the tradition last year with two baby turkeys. They created a pen for their birds with a sign encouraging passersby to "Give a can. Save a turkey. Feed the homeless." 

Those birds were pardoned. But after the success of last year's drive, the Krulls are doing it again with a new generation of turkeys. 

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