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 Representatives On Syria Action
4:26 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Idaho's Republicans In Congress Aren't Sold On Syria Action

US Senate. Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho questions Secretary of State John Kerry on the Obama administration's proposed military action in Syria.

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 2:39 pm

Members of Idaho's all-Republican congressional delegation aren't yet committing to a position on military action in Syria. But the direction most are leaning is against a resolution authorizing President Obama to use air strikes.

A spokesman for Sen. Mike Crapo says the Idaho Republican is skeptical of authorizing military force at this point, especially without a broad international coalition.

Crapo’s colleague, Sen. Jim Risch sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, which heard the Obama administration's arguments for action in Syria.

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Slain WWII Vet Burial
5:46 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Spokane Honors Slain Veteran At Memorial Service

Jessica Robinson. Michael Brown, 16, stands with his mom, Kim Brown, at the memorial for Delbert Belton.

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 4:51 pm

More than 300 people turned out Thursday in Spokane for the burial of World War II veteran Delbert Belton. The 88-year-old was robbed and beaten to death last week while he waited in his car.

Scores of veterans turned out to honor Belton at a cemetery in west Spokane. Friends and family remember a man who loved to repair cars by day and go out dancing at night, and went by the nickname Shorty.

The service also drew many people in Spokane who never knew Belton, but, like Karen Schute, felt compelled to be there.

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Northwest Fires
4:35 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

California Weather Events Travel Through Idaho, Bringing Fire Risk

InciWeb. The Little Queens Fire is burning more than 20,000 acres near the town of Atlanta, Idaho.

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 4:17 pm

The same weather patterns that are making the Rim Fire a challenge for firefighters in California have been moving up through parts of the Northwest. Specifically, through central Idaho. Fire managers say the forests there are ripe for fire, and more lightning is in the forecast this week.

The fact that massive fires are raging both in California and in Idaho is no coincidence, according to Robyn Broyles. She's with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

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WWII Vet Killed
4:19 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Two Spokane Teens In Custody, Charged With Murdering WWII Vet

World War II veteran Delbert Belton was 88 years old. This photo is part of a memorial created for Belton at the Eagles Lodge in Spokane.

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 4:35 pm

Police have arrested the second teenager accused of beating to death an 88-year-old World War II vet in Spokane. The two 16-year-old males have been charged with first degree robbery and first degree murder in case that's attracted national attention.

Delbert Belton was beaten beyond recognition while he waited in his car outside the Eagles Lodge in north Spokane last week. Belton, known as "Shorty" to his friends, served in the Army and had survived injuries in the battle of Okinawa.

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Wildfire Aftermath
7:04 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Locals Left Behind In Sun Valley Worry About Economic Impact Of Fire

The Ketchum Grill was among the few businesses in town that stayed open throughout the evacuations. Business remains down.
Credit Jessica Robinson

Not everyone fled Sun Valley, Idaho, when a huge wildfire threatened the resort area. Many locals remained in the surrounding communities and kept the stores, restaurants and gas stations open. Now, firefighters are gaining the upper hand. The smoke is clearing. But without the return of vacationers, many locals worry the real disaster is economic – and that one is just beginning.

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Northwest Fire Safety
4:25 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Beaver Creek Fire Renews Push For Homeowner Vigilance

InciWeb. Fire crews clear out vegetation near buildings around the Greenhorn Guard Station in Blaine County, Idaho.

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:32 pm

The fire raging near Sun Valley, Idaho, is serving as a wake-up call for homeowners in fire-prone areas across the Northwest. The 106,000-acre Beaver Creek Fire has burned one house.

And fire managers say it’s lucky they didn't lose more.

Steven Garman lives outside of Ketchum, Idaho. He's a retired firefighter. Garman says like many homes in the area, his house was not designed to be fire resistant.

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Northwest Fires
4:13 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Sun Valley Businesses Worry About Fire's Economic Impact

InciWeb. Map showing the progression of the Beaver Creek Fire

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:15 pm

Businesses around Sun Valley, Idaho worry the massive Beaver Creek fire will have a big impact on the tourist-dependent economy of central Idaho. Several events have already been canceled because of the blaze.

This is the new worry by business owners. First of course was the threat of fire. And now there’s the threat of fire or at least the perceived threat of it will continue to keep away tourists through a really crucial part of their business cycle.

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Northwest Fires
4:48 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Crews Taking Offensive On Idaho's Beaver Creek Fire

InciWeb. The Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho is still a long way from being contained.

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 4:30 pm

The estimated cost of fighting Idaho’s Beaver Creek Fire now tops more than $11 million. Fire crews near Sun Valley, Idaho say the blaze has become manageable but is a long way from contained.

The mood at Baker’s Spike camp has changed almost over night. There is now a feeling of optimism. Crews are feeling like they can take an offensive stance against the fire instead of a defensive one. They have enough resources now where they can plan ahead and anticipate where the fire might go next, while they’re also attacking the fire.

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University Of Idaho
4:14 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

U-Idaho Cracks Down On Low GPAs, Frat Parties In Anti-Drinking Effort

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 4:36 pm

The University of Idaho is prepared to expel low-performing students and require permits for frat parties as part of an effort to curb underage drinking.

The announcement from the university in Moscow comes on the heals of a similar set of measures proposed just across the border at Washington State University in Pullman.

Don Burnett is the interim president of the University of Idaho. He says alcohol abuse has become “a cancer” on higher education across the country. He's proposed a minimum GPA for new students in their first semester.

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Ferry Update
6:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Remote Yet Vital Inland Northwest Ferry Crossing Gets An Upgrade

The M.V. Sanpoil makes its inaugural trip across the Columbia River at the Keller Ferry crossing. Crowds turned out for the christening, but usually there's little foot traffic on this remote ferry.
Credit Jessica Robinson

Washington's most famous ferries are in Puget Sound. But another, inland ferry operated by the state has been quietly shuttling cars across the Columbia River since 1948. And Wednesday, that ferry crossing got a badly needed update. Correspondent Jessica Robinson was at the christening of the new vessel and has this story.

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