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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Searching For Bigfoot
6:01 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Northwest Professor Turns To Drones In Quest For Sasquatch

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 5:53 pm

A Northwest anthropologist has risked his career in pursuit of what the rest of science considers a myth. Jeff Meldrum of Idaho State University is the nation’s lone academic trying to make the scientific case for Bigfoot. It’s no joke. Now he's even raising money to launch an unmanned aircraft that would scan the Northwest's forests for the large, hairy creature.

Meldrum gets frustrated when he walks into Barnes and Noble. It's one of the stores that carries his book.

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Wolf Population
5:16 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Wolf Count: Numbers Up in Oregon, Washingon; Down In Idaho

US Fish

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 7:25 am

There are fewer wolves overall in the West, but Oregon and Washington's wolf populations continue to grow. That's according to the federal government's annual gray wolf tally, released Friday. As Jessica Robinson reports, the count has also revealed the initial effect of a controversial wolf hunting season in Idaho.

In the 2011-12 season, Idaho hunters and trappers killed nearly 400 wolves. Yet the population count decreased by just 63 animals, or 11 percent.

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Lucky Friday Mine
4:30 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Idaho Mining Family Sues Company For Deadly Cave-In

Hayley Marek

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 3:34 pm

The family of a silver miner killed in north Idaho has filed a lawsuit against the Hecla Mining Company. The suit claims the mine managers’ attempt to extract more silver caused the cave-in that killed Larry Marek exactly two years ago Monday.

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Transgender Woman Banned
6:01 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Rosauers Supermarket In Idaho Bans Trans Woman From Store

Ally Robledo, born Alberto Robledo, identifies as a woman.
Credit Northwest News Network

A supermarket in north Idaho has banned a transgendered woman from the store after she used the women's restroom. Police issued Ally Robledo a trespass notice that will make it a misdemeanor for her to enter the store for one year.

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Northwest News
7:03 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Pocatello Council Hears Emotional Testimony Over Local Gay Rights Law

The Pocatello City Council hears testimony on a proposed ordinance that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Credit By Jessica Robinson

A city in the heart of Idaho's Mormon country held a four-hour public hearing last night on whether to ban discrimination against gays and lesbians. A growing number of cities in Idaho are adopting local rules that protect sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Bomb Threats
4:39 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Idaho School District Looks For Answers After 10 Bomb Threats

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 3:14 pm

A small school district in north Idaho is trying to figure out who's behind 10 bomb threats made since the beginning of the school year. The series of hoaxes has rattled the community, and caused huge disruptions in school.

Most of the threats were made on bathroom stalls. Boundary County schools superintendent Richard Conley says the last four threats alone came in March.

“I've been in education for 41 years and I've never seen this,” he says.

Police believe multiple students are responsible. None of the threats, however, turned up an actual bomb.

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Bergdahl's Birthday
6:16 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

In Birthday Message, POW's Parents Promise To Bring Him Home

US Department of Defense

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:57 pm

The parents of Idaho soldier Bowe Bergdahl are hoping a message they recorded for his 27th birthday will reach him in captivity. Bergdahl remains America's only POW from the war in Afghanistan.

Bob and Jani Bergdahl recorded a message on KECH, a radio station in Idaho's Wood River Valley.

“Happy birthday, Bowe Bergdahl!” they said together.

“You're 27 years old today, if you forgot," Bob continued. "And you've been in Afghanistan for over four years now.”

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Bowe Bergdahl
5:32 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Turns 27 In Enemy Hands

Courtesy of Bergdahl family.

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:38 pm

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Silver Mining Company
5:02 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Coeur d'Alene Mines Leaves Namesake Idaho Home

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:45 pm

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho – Idaho is losing one of its oldest silver mining companies to Chicago. The Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation announced Wednesday it plans to move to the Windy City by the end of September.

The company employs 65 people at its headquarters in Coeur d'Alene in north Idaho. But the firm known as "Coeur" hasn't had any holdings in the state since 2006.

Company spokeswoman Stefany Bales says Coeur managers need easier access to properties in Mexico, Bolivia and Australia.

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Gonzaga Basketball
4:02 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Gonzaga Fans Nervous After Rocky Opening Game

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 3:06 pm

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University basketball fans are jittery after a near-loss for the small Catholic school with high hopes for March Madness. Gonzaga's men's basketball team narrowly won its first game in the national tournament on Thursday when it played Louisiana's Southern University.

The Zags next play Wichita State on Saturday.

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