News

Rosalyn Pratt

Firefighters have been battling a blaze east of Leavenworth since Saturday afternoon. The fire crept toward downtown and forced many people to evacuate immediately. The fire has burned 330 acres. 

Ryan Johnson / FLICKR Creative Commons

A new state-sponsored retirement plan for private-sector workers in Oregon has cleared a key federal hurdle. The U.S. Department of Labor finalized rules that allow Oregon's plan to debut next July.

How Do Wildfires Jump Rivers?

Aug 26, 2016
Connor Henricksen / Northwest Public Radio

Think about a campfire - or even a bonfire. As the fuel burns, embers are tossed up into the air. Usually they burn out quickly and are harmless.

Now think about wildfires. They are millions of times the size of a campfire and release much larger embers that are far more dangerous.

WSU Goes Nicotine And Tobacco-Free

Aug 26, 2016
Shannon Heckt / Northwest Public Radio

Washington State University has joined thousands of universities across the country in banning all tobacco use on its Pullman campus by students, teachers, and staff.

Oregon's foster care system is being pushed to its limits. That's the upshot of a consultant's draft report released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Human Services. The report is the result of a call for an independent investigation last fall by Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

Jennifer Duguay / NWPR

Wildland firefighters are a tight-knit group. After years of fighting fires together in the remote wilderness and on the edges of suburbia, you get to know a lot of people. And for one fire company in Washington’s Methow Valley, the bond is even stronger.

Fire officials say they are making good progress on the Cayuse Mountain fire burning on the Spokane Indian reservation, but they worry about what the weather may bring for the weekend. The Cayuse Mountain fire is holding steady at 18 thousand acres, and as of mid-day Thursday the fire is at 40 percent containment.

Associated Press / AP Images

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has named a new director for one of the state's largest agencies. The Democrat announced that Katy Coba will head the Department of Administrative Services starting in October.

Associated Press / AP Images

Ryan Bundy is scheduled to argue why Oregon Gov. Kate Brown should testify as a witness at his trial next month. Bundy has subpoenaed Gov. Brown, arguing in court filings that she chose to directly involve herself in the case by quote “actively managing the law enforcement response to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.”

USGS

Fire officials are battling a major wildfire on the Spokane Indian Reservation. The wildfire spread rapidly onto tribal land, but response hasn’t kept up with the pace of the blaze.

Inciweb

Washington Governor Jay Inslee was in Spokane Tuesday to meet with officials battling two wildfires north and south of the city. He also paid a visit to a handful of displaced barnyard animals.

Ryan Bjorkquist / Flickr

U.S. District Judge Anna Brown has questions for prosecutors about how they collected Facebook evidence for the upcoming trial of seven defendants associated with the Malheur refuge occupation.

NORTHWEST INTERAGENCY COORDINATION CENTER

As of 2:47PM Tuesday, August 23rd,  the Hart Road Fire had split into two fires separated by the Spokane River.

Officials say the Hart Road Fire has burned 4200 acres and is zero percent contained. North of the river, the Cayuse Mountain Fire on the Spokane Indian Reservation has burned 5-10,000 acres. According to KHQ 13 homes were destroyed. The Cayuse Mountain Fire is 30% contained. 

Flickr user: 401(K) 2012 / Flickr

 

Monday marks 20 years since the welfare system was overhauled by the federal government.The 1996 reforms ended some welfare benefits, and in turn encouraged people to find work by offering job-training and money for things like child care. The federal government wanted to reduce the amount of people relying on welfare.

Washington Rowing

Eight more Olympic medalists with ties to our region stood on the podium this weekend before Brazilian music brought the Summer Games to a close in Rio.

Berkeley Lab / Google Images

Researchers from Portland State University are in Eugene today to find the city’s hot spots. Their study of urban “heat islands” can help planners to improve conditions during heat waves like the one we’re experiencing.

PSU urban studies and environmental science professor Dr. Vivek Shandas says heat-waves kill more people than all other natural disasters combined. Shandas and his team have done a similar study of heat islands in Portland. He’s observed abundant tree canopy and farmland in Eugene’s urban core. He knows trees can provide cooler temps.

darwin Bell / FLICKR Creative Commons

Oregon has approved new rules for schools aimed at improving health conditions in the state’s aging buildings. The State Board of Education doesn’t have the power to require school districts to test for lead. That’s because it passes rules – not laws. The Board can require districts to provide plans.

The Pulse Of The Palouse: Celebrating Lentils

Aug 18, 2016
National Lentil Festival

The lentil is more than a tiny legume to the people of the Palouse. The National Lentil Festival happens annually in Pullman to celebrate the once-major crop of the region.

 

The festival began in 1989 to promote tourism to the Palouse and promote locally grown pulses, mostly lentils. At that time the Palouse produced 98 percent of the U.S. lentils and gained the nickname “The Lentil Capital of the World.”

Associated Press / AP Images

Time is running out for Washington Republican Senate hopeful Chris Vance. That's one conclusion from a new poll. But there is still a glimmer of hope for Vance in his race against Democratic Senator Patty Murray.

Ray Bouknight / Flickr

The Federal government has allocated $3.7 million for an earthquake early warning system for the west coast. The U.S. Geological Survey awarded additional grant money to the University of Oregon.

Zack W / Flickr

On a near-daily basis, oil trains pass through the heart of Spokane past two major hospitals, a handful of schools and across an aquifer that serves nearly half a million people.

Ancient Native American Stone Pieces Unearthed

Aug 16, 2016
Brian Bull / KLCC

What’s being called a significant archaeological discovery has been found in Oregon’s Willamette valley. The ancient obsidian objects are linked to early Native American activity in the region.

Associated Press / AP Images

University of Oregon alum Brianne Theisen-Eaton won a bronze medal in the heptathlon this weekend at the Olympic Games. Other former Ducks are doing well in Rio too. 

Bradley Parks / Oregon Public Broadcasting

There were medals a-plenty for Northwest athletes competing at the Summer Olympics in Brazil this weekend. One runner from Portland missed out on the podium in a dramatic race, but got kudos afterwards for sportsmanship.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

This year Washington farmers estimate they’ll harvest about 133 million boxes of apples. That’s up 15 percent over last year’s crop, but it won’t pluck the top record from the biggie 2014. The harvest is just now starting.

Courtney Flatt

Nestlé is looking to build a commercial water bottling plant in the Northwest. Its most recent pitch is to the town of Waitsburg, 20 miles north of Walla Walla. The plan to bottle water from Coppei springs is tying the small community in knots.

DANIEL BASIL / Wikimedia

Thursday the action is on the water for Northwest athletes at the Summer Olympics -- provided the high winds on a Rio lagoon subside.

Amanda Peacher / Oregon Public Broadcasting

More than 100 people attended a Forest Service community meeting in John Day Tuesday, about last summer’s Canyon Creek Fire.

Jonathan House / The Portland Tribune

The Portland City council voted 3-2 today to set aside an industrial site in North Portland for a massive new homeless shelter.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr

August is National Tree Check Month. The USDA is working with state agencies to ask residents for help looking for invasive pests.

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