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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'Idaho' Trademark
5:05 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Turkish Company Loses Bid To Trademark 'Idaho'

Idaho Potato Commission

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 4:58 pm

It looks like Idaho is the victor in an international trademark dispute over its most famous product. Officials in Turkey blocked a move that would have allowed a Turkish company to stamp “IDAHO” on produce, including potatoes.

For the keepers of the Idaho brand name, it's a crisis averted.

According to records on the Turkish Patent Institute's website, the agency has rejected an application to trademark the word “IDAHO”. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter also received a letter from the Turkish ambassador saying as much.

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Immigrant Stories
6:32 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Northwest Town Rides Ups And Downs Of 'Broken' Immigration System

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:57 am

BREWSTER, Wash. - There's one word that politicians almost always use when they talk about the U.S. immigration system. That word is “broken.” But what does that really mean? Residents of the small town of Brewster, Wash., know. For decades, immigrants have come from Mexico, often illegally, to work the surrounding apple and cherry orchards. Bewster, it turns out, is a microcosm of how the immigration debate is playing out.

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Jet Crash
6:26 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Navy Identifies Three Aviators Killed In Eastern Washington Jet Crash

Stan Dammel

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 7:39 am

The Navy has identified the three aviators who died in a military jet crash Monday in eastern Washington. The fiery crash 50 miles west of Spokane killed all three crew members on board.

Pilot Valerie Delaney of Maryland was 26 years old. Naval flight officer William McIlvaine of Texas was 24. And Alan Patterson from Tennessee, also a naval flight officer, was 34.

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Navy Jet Crash
5:56 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Navy Investigates What Caused Jet Crash That Killed Three

A US Navy EA-6B Prowler crashed in eastern Washington Monday morning.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Navy says it's trying to figure out what caused a plane crash that killed three crew members Monday. The military jet went down during a training exercise 50 miles west of Spokane.

The crash happened in Lincoln County, near the small town of Harrington. There were no survivors. Aerial photos showed a gash in a farm field, ending in a crater. There's barely any wreckage visible.

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Abortion Law
6:25 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Judge: Idaho’s ‘Fetal Pain Law’ Unconstitutional

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 9:56 pm

A federal judge has declared Idaho’s so-called “Fetal Pain Law” unconstitutional. Idaho is one of eight states with a law banning abortions after 20 weeks. As Jessica Robinson reports, the case stems from a woman’s arrest under a separate statute for having an abortion.  

Judge B. Lynn Winmill says the 20-week limit on abortions is unconstitutional because it doesn’t seek to inform the pregnant woman, nor improve her health, as the Supreme Court has allowed. Rather, he writes, it’s solely intended to put an insurmountable obstacle in the path of women seeking abortions. 

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Gonzaga Basketball
5:12 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

No. 1 Ranking Delights Gonzaga's Devout Fan Base

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 11:36 am

SPOKANE, Wash. - Basketball fans in the Inland Northwest are in a very good mood today. The new Associated Press poll for men's college basketball ranks Gonzaga University number one in the country. It's a first for Gonzaga – and the state of Washington.

Traditional basketball powers like Indiana and Duke,just couldn't hold their grip on the top spot. But Spokane's small, Catholic school kept winning through the weekend, to practically guarantee them the top spot.

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Senator Larry Craig
4:44 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Suit Over How Larry Craig Paid Legal Bills Heads To Court

US Senate

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 4:39 pm

Idaho's former U.S. Senator Larry Craig heads back to federal court on Wednesday in a case related to his 2007 arrest for disorderly conduct in an airport men's room. This time, the question is over Craig's use of $200,000 in campaign funds to pay his legal bills. 

The Federal Election Commission says campaign contributions are only supposed to be used on ordinary expenses incurred on the job. And the FEC says Craig's arrest by an undercover cop who accused the senator of soliciting sex in a bathroom counts as personal.

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Idaho Shepherds
4:58 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Idaho Ranchers Want Criminal Charges For Shepherds Who Ditch Flocks

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:58 pm

A bill before an agriculture committee in the Idaho legislature aims to keep shepherds from abandoning their flocks. The state's wool industry still relies on old-fashioned sheep herders but some are leaving those positions for better jobs. Now, the bill has hit a nerve with immigrant rights groups.

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Rural Idaho Economy
4:37 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Early Economic Recovery Leaves Rural Idaho Behind

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:59 pm

New numbers out Monday show Idaho's rural areas experienced the post-recession years very differently from the state's cities. While places like Boise and Pocatello were on the mend, economic output in rural communities in Idaho declined.

At first glance, Idaho's rural counties appeared to be making an economic recovery with the rest of the state. But Idaho’s Department of Labor says when you take inflation into account, the output of goods and services from rural Idaho actually declined by $90 million in 2011.

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Legal Marijuana Opposed
4:16 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Idaho Bills Would Keep State From Following Neighbors On Pot

Credit National Institute on Drug Abuse

Idaho is now hemmed in by four states where marijuana is legal in some form, and a panel of state lawmakers fears Idaho could be next. A state Senate committee approved a pair of measures against marijuana, including one asking the federal government to crack down on Idaho’s neighbors.

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