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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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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Lucky Friday Mine
5:12 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Idaho Silver Company Says Mine Is Safer Since Accidents

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:00 pm

The owner of the troubled Lucky Friday Mine in north Idaho hopes new safety upgrades will prevent future accidents. Hecla Mining announced Tuesday that it’s reopened the silver mine in Mullan, Idaho, after a year-long closure.

Hecla President Phil Baker made the announcement at a press conference in Spokane.

“It's nice to be able to give you guys a good news story.”

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NW Firefighter's Death
5:25 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Feds Issue Citations On Northwest Firefighter’s Death

Anne Veseth
Credit Northwest News Network

A federal investigation into a firefighter's death last year in Idaho finds hazardous conditions that could have been prevented. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration, or OSHA , faults both the Forest Service and the private Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association for a number of workplace safety violations.

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Hispanic Health
6:32 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Report: Idaho Latinos Face Disparities In Weight, Health Care

A new report finds Latinos in Idaho are struggling with many of the same health problems as the rest of the state’s population, but to an even worse extent. The wide-ranging demographic study is intended to guide policymakers on issues that affect Hispanics.

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U.S. Citizenship
5:01 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Northwest Immigrants Take The Oath Of Citizenship

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:53 pm

SPOKANE, Wash. - As Congress prepares for a debate over immigration reform, one group of immigrants in the Northwest quietly completed their paths to citizenship Tuesday. Fourteen people became U.S. citizens at a ceremony in Spokane, Wash.

One of them was Mukti Ryan. She wanted to be able to travel more easily with her American husband and daughter, even though she had to give up her Indian citizenship.

“India doesn't allow dual citizenship, so I can't call myself an Indian citizen anymore," Ryan says. "It's a bittersweet feeling.”

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Big Game Hunting
5:52 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Study: Big Game Is Getting Smaller

Theodore Roosevelt in his buckskin hunting suit around 1885.
Credit Library of Congress

If Teddy Roosevelt were to go big game hunting today, he might bring home slightly less-impressive trophies. That's because, according to a new analysis, the horns and antlers of North American wildlife have shrunk over the last century.

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