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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Education Gap
4:41 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Idaho's Hispanic Education Gap Shrinks

Emory Maiden Flickr

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:36 pm

Idaho is starting to see the education gap narrow for Latino students. That's according to the state's Commission on Hispanic Affairs. Latinos are the fastest growing segment of Idaho’s school system.

The commission's director Margie Gonzalez told a legislative panel the days of double digit drop-out rates for Hispanic kids are gone. More Latinos are enrolling in college. And last month, a national assessment of vocabulary showed huge gains among Hispanic students in Idaho.

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Pet Owners
5:51 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Survey Says: We're Pet People In The Northwest

Wikimedia Commons

People in the Northwest are among the most likely in the nation to have pets. That's according to a new survey by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. Washington, Oregon and Idaho rank in the top 10 for pet-owning households – with Oregon at No. 4, Washington at No. 6 and Idaho at No. 9.

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NPR Story
5:29 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Survey Says: We're Pet People In The Northwest

Pete Hopkins Flickr

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 4:03 pm

People in the Northwest are among the most likely in the nation to have pets. That's according to a new survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Washington, Oregon and Idaho rank in the top 10 for pet-owning households – with Oregon at No. 4, Washington at No. 6 and Idaho at No. 9.

Tom Meyer is a veterinarian in Vancouver, Wash. and sits on the board of the national vet group. He says it's not clear why the Northwest ranks so high, though rural states tend to have greater rates of pet ownership than more urban ones.

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Spokane Suit
5:39 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Spokane Sues Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say don’t have to pay a real estate excise tax because they're government-sponsored enterprises.
Credit Northwest News Network

The city of Spokane, Wash., is suing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The class-action suit claims the two mortgage giants should have to pay a real estate excise tax to Spokane and dozens of other cities across Washington.

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School Security
3:56 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Idaho Town To Consider Tax For Stepped-Up School Security

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:11 pm

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - School districts across the Northwest are revisiting their safety plans in the weeks following the shooting at Newtown, Conn. Now, one district in north Idaho is taking it a step further. Leaders there hope to raise taxes to pay for bullet proof glass, metal detectors and video monitoring systems.

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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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