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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Senator DUI
4:10 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Sen. Crapo Pleads Guilty To DUI, Apologizes

Alexandria Police Dept.

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 3:57 pm

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo apologized profusely Friday after pleading guilty to drunken driving. A judge outside Washington, D.C. ordered the Republican from Idaho to pay a $250 fine and take an alcohol safety class. Crapo will also lose his driver's license for a year.

Crapo was arrested two days before Christmas in Alexandria, Va. In statement after his court appearance, Crapo said politicians should be held to a higher standard.

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Northwest News
2:46 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Why You Might Be Able To 'Smell' Snow Coming

Jenni Wade

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 2:30 pm

Snow is expected east of the Cascades this week. But some people say they don't need forecasters to tell them that -- they claim to be able to "smell" when snow coming. Enough people in the Northwest say this, but is there a scientific explanation?

Laura Munson is a writer living in northwest Montana. She swears she can tell when it's going to snow -- even if people don't believe her.

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Northwest News
2:42 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Patients Rush To Have Surgery Before New Year Resets Clock

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 2:19 pm

One of the busiest places to be this time of year is the operating room. But it's not because of holiday accidents. Huge numbers of patients have surgery in December by choice.

Dr. Tim Smith is a sinus surgeon at Oregon Health and Science University. The week before Christmas this year, he performed 10 surgeries in three days.

“We joke with one another that people think it's busy at the mall this time of year, they ought to check out their outpatient surgery centers.”

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Northwest Reindeer
5:42 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Feds To Review Endangered Status Of Northwest's Reindeer

US Fish

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 5:37 pm

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - The protected status of a small population of reindeer in the Northwest is getting a second look. Snowmobilers and an Idaho county that depends on winter snow sports petitioned the government to delist the animal.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to do a status review on woodland caribou in the Selkirk Mountains of Idaho and Washington. They’re part of a larger herd from Canada.

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Same-Sex Marriages
4:46 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

After 8 Years, Spokane Pastor Will Resume Marriages, Gay And Straight

Reverend Todd Eklof, of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Spokane, will soon perform his first marriage ceremony in eight years.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Reverend Todd Eklof made a vow in 2004, the year 11 states, including Oregon and Kentucky, passed constitutional amendments against gay marriage. He stopped performing any marriages. But starting Dec. 9 same-sex couples can get married legally in Washington. And that day will also mark a turning point for the Spokane minister. Eklof discussed his vow with Northwest News Network's Jessica Robinson.

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White Supremacy Movement
5:11 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Failed Compound Illustrates Disarray In White Supremacy Movement

Shaun Patrick Winkler, south of Priest River, Idaho, proclaims himself the grand wizard of his local klavrn of the Ku Klux Klan.
Copyright 2012 Matt McKnight

There’s a new effort to build a white supremacist compound in the Northwest. The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported that a man in remote north Idaho has been developing property to revive the Neo-Nazi presence there.

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NW Rural Gay Community
7:00 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Rural Gay Community Living Out in Open

Joe Palisano and Tom Bry have a farm just south of Sandpoint, Idaho.
Credit Photo Credit: Jessica Robinson

Washington legalizes same-sex marriage next month at a time when the geography of the Northwest’s gay and lesbian population is changing. Their numbers are still largest in metropolitan areas. But if you look for the biggest increases – that trend is happening in small towns and rural areas. In Idaho more gay and lesbian couples are making a choice that was once unthinkable in rural areas -- they’re living openly.

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Reindeer Protected Habitat
5:48 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Northwest's Remaining Reindeer Butt Heads With Snowmobilers

Credit Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - The last herds of reindeer in the continental United States are found in the Northwest. But even here, there aren't very many left. Next week , federal wildlife authorities are expected to designate the animal's high-elevation stomping grounds as protected “critical habitat.” The move has riled another winter visitor to the area –- snowmobilers.

Reindeer — or caribou — used to be found along the northern tier of the U.S., from Washington, to Maine. But that is changing according to Bryon Holt, a biologist with U.S. Fish & Wildlife.

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Wild Turkeys
5:28 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

A Plumaged Pilgrimage: How Wild Turkeys Came To The Northwest

Male turkeys are known as “toms.”
Credit John Hafner / National Wild Turkey Federation

The turkey is a quintessentially American bird, exported from the New World like corn and potatoes. But the turkey is not native to the Pacific Northwest. The wild turkeys you may have seen here are part of the bird’s comeback story.

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Symphony Strike
6:55 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Concerts Canceled As Spokane Symphony Strikes

Musicians of the Spokane Symphony strike over salary cuts.
Credit Photo Credit: Jessica Robinson

This audio is pending

Classical musicians in Spokane stood outside their theater this weekend, lifting picket signs instead of instruments. Musicians with the Spokane Symphony are entering week two of a strike over pay cuts. Five concerts have been canceled so far.

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