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 mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covers the economic, demographic and environmental trends that are shaping places 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 spent a year in central Mexico and reported for an English-language newspaper in San Miguel de Allende. Jessica's investigative and feature stories have earned awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Idaho Press Club, the Radio Television Digital News 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.

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Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Six infants may have been exposed to the measles in a recent outbreak in the Spokane area.

It’s the first measles outbreak in Spokane in two decades. Both cases are in unvaccinated adults. Both are recovering.

But the potential infection of infants before the cases were discovered is especially worrisome, says Dorothy MacEachern . She’s an epidemiologist with the Spokane Regional Health District. The infants were too young to be vaccinated -- the measles vaccine is usually done at 12 months -- and MacEachern says measles in babies can lead to ear infections, pneumonia …

Officials from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare are asking people to take precautions around ground squirrels after a squirrel south of Boise tested positive for plague.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network


It's that time of year when hordes of twenty-somethings start sharing rides to remote locations – music festival season. This Memorial Day weekend it's the Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington. But Sasquatch is one of many – many – festivals yet to come. Too many, in fact? 

A compromise plan to designate 275,000 acres of wilderness in central Idaho got a much-anticipated hearing in the U.S. Senate Thursday.

It took an extra trip to Boise. But Idaho lawmakers Monday adopted new federal rules on child support after a whirlwind 11-hour session.

The controversial Idaho bill dealing with foreign child support orders is moving ahead in the legislature, despite impassioned opposition on the House floor.

Dozens of countries, including the U.S., have agreed on how to handle child support payments when one parent is in a different country. But the state of Idaho is holding out.

 A couple of unseasonably large wildfires in the Northwest are giving crews an early taste of fire season.


A new lawsuit in Idaho claims the same legal argument that paved the way for gay marriage in the state should also make it illegal to refuse to hire gay people.

J.R. Simplot Co.

A major Idaho agribusiness company is seeking federal approval to market a second genetically engineered potato. 

The J.R. Simplot Co. won approval for its first potato late last year. The Innate potato, as it’s branded, is due to be the first genetically engineered spud on the market -- a newcomer that just last month was the center of attention in a spot on comedy news program the Daily Show.

Simplot dubbed it “Innate” because the inserted genes come from other potatoes.