Jessica Robinson

Inland Northwest Correspondent

Inland Northwest Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. From the politics of wolves to racial tolerance in small towns, Jessica covers the economic, demographic and environmental trends that are shaping communities east of the Cascades.

Prior to joining the Northwest News Network team, Jessica was the news director of Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland, Oregon, where she produced a newsmagazine on Northern California and Southern Oregon. In 2010, she took a year to study Spanish in central Mexico and reported for an English–language newspaper in San Miguel de Allende. Jessica's stories for radio and print have earned awards from the Associated Press, the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, and Public Radio News Directors Inc.

A Northwest native, Jessica grew up in an off–the–grid log cabin in the Columbia River Gorge. These days, when she's not agonizing over the perfect piece of tape, Jessica enjoys camping and hiking, amateur photography, and learning the etymology of words.

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Northwest Fires
7:51 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Pateros Residents Try To Make Sense Of Destruction Left By Wildfire

    The wildfires burning in central Washington prompted another round of evacuations last night (Friday night). Sheriff's deputies urged residents around some edges of a sprawling fire in Okanogan County to leave. 

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Wildfires
6:03 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Washington Towns Told To Evacuate As Fires Continue

A view of the Bridge 99 Complex fire along Green Ridge near the Lookout and east of Camp Sherman and the Metolius River.
Credit Steve Ziel / InciWeb

Update from Sueann Ramella 3:56pm 7/18

Washington residents are urged to listen to emergency officials and evacuate as the Carlton Complex Fire and Chiwaukum Creek Fire continue to threaten homes. So far, more than 900 residents near Leavenworth were told to evacuate, and residents in the town of Pateros were also told to evacuate as these two large fires continue to grow destroying 100 hundred homes. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) says:

“The first step is to listen to authorities and pack up and move out as quickly as you can, the next step is to contact your insurer if you’ve been asked to evacuate your home,” said Kenton Brine,PCI assistant vice president. “Generally, homeowners and auto insurance policies will cover property lost or damaged due to a wildfire, but it’s important to make that initial contact with your insurer to begin the recovery process if your home is destroyed by a wildfire.”

Update from Jessica Robinson 10:36 a.m. 7/18 

About 80 people woke up in a Red Cross shelter in central Washington this morning after a wildfire forced the town of Pateros to evacuate overnight. Initial reports are that 40 homes and a church have burned in the small town on the Columbia River.

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Bowe Bergdahl
6:33 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Bergdahl Retains Lawyer For Army Investigation Into His Disappearance

File photo of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl
Credit U.S. Army

The investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s capture is ongoing.  Northwest Public Radio has learned that Bergdahl has retained a lawyer who will be with him during questioning by Army investigators. In the meantime, the former POW will return to regular duty an Army base in Texas.  The investigation into the circumstances of his capture complicates his release from the military.

The Army says Sgt. Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, has completed the final phase of his medical recovery. He’s being moved to what's expected to be largely administrative work at Fort Sam Houston.

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Race Relations
5:11 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Idaho Tribe Seeks Information On Vandals Behind 'White Power' Message

Vandals defaced a sign off Highway 95 on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation.
Credit Coeur d'Alene Tribe

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe in Idaho is asking for information that will lead to the person who wrote “white power” and other racist messages on a reservation historical marker over the weekend. The writing was discovered on a sign for a former mission site south of Plummer.

The message also included the words “die … Indians,” an expletive and what appear to be swastikas.

Groups that have worked to drive white supremacist elements out of north Idaho are condemning the act. Tony Stewart is one of the founders of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations.

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When Police Shoot Dogs
4:45 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

When Police Shoot Dogs, The Constitution Might Have Something To Say About It

Video screengrab from the February dog shooting incident in Filer, Idaho.
Credit Filer Police Department

A handful of recent incidents where police have shot pet dogs in Idaho have angered animal rights advocates. One dog owner in the small town of Filer has issued notice that he intends to sue the city over the death of his dog, Hooch. As Jessica Robinson reports, pet owners do have legal recourse in these situations, and, in fact, a body of federal court rulings to back them up.

One basis for lawsuits like the one in Filer is the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Federal courts have determined dogs are property and killing them may count as unreasonable seizure.

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Idaho Gun Range
5:29 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Gun Range Takes Act of Congress

The proposed area is near Riggins, along the Salmon River in north-central Idaho.
Credit J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow a parcel of BLM land to be transferred into county ownership for use as a gun range. 

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Idaho Marijuana Laws
7:58 am
Tue July 8, 2014

As Washington Pot Goes On Sale, Idaho Cops Worry About Cross-Border Shopping Trips

106 pounds of confiscated pot.
Credit Idaho State Police

Recreational marijuana goes on sale Tuesday in Washington state. But police across the border in Idaho and Oregon say that doesn't mean the pot will stay there. Law enforcement worry people will try to sneak pot products across the border – or worse, the legal market in Washington will seep into the black-market. Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from Idaho, where the contrast in pot laws is especially stark.

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Bergdahl Celebration
6:21 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Would-be Day Of Celebration In Bergdahl’s Hometown Passes Quietly

This tree was one of four planted for an event last year in Bowe Bergdahl’s hometown. The trees marked his then four years in captivity.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A day of planned celebration of Bowe Bergdahl in his Idaho hometown turned out to be a pretty uneventful one. Hailey, Idaho, canceled Saturday’s event after the city received threats. Our correspondent Jessica Robinson has attended previous annual events for Bergdahl during his captivity and has more from Hailey.

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America's Youngest Coutny
7:17 am
Thu June 26, 2014

How Madison County, Idaho, Became The Youngest Place In America

The Rexburg Idaho Temple. Rexburg is home to BYU Idaho.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

New federal population figures out Thursday show the nation’s youngest county is right here in the Northwest. And it’s not in an urban area. It’s in the midst of eastern Idaho's potato country. Madison County, Idaho. Correspondent Jessica Robinson explains.

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Gun Giveaway Campaig
7:19 am
Thu June 19, 2014

You Could Win A Gun If You Give This Candidate Your Contact Info

Didier's website, advertising a chance to win a gun.
Credit Clint Didier campaign

One candidate for an eastern Washington congressional seat has hit on a way to appeal to 2nd amendment advocates AND increase the names on his campaign mailing list. He’s offering voters a chance to win a gun. Jessica Robinson has more.

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