Northwest News

Northwest Public Radio is a participant and contributor in the Northwest News Network (N3), a collaboration of public radio stations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Our reporters bring a regional perspective to coverage of Northwest states' government, environment, economy, and other news of widespread interest to residents of the Northwest. Regional news on Northwest Public Radio is a part of Morning Edition every weekday morning, and All Things Considered in the afternoons.

Airbnb Use Up For Eclipse

19 minutes ago
Gillian Flaccus / AP Images

 

Airbnb said they’re expecting about six times more guests than average to stay in an Oregon rental for the eclipse. It’s another sign of Oregonians trying to make the best of the natural phenomenon.

Alaska Airlines is still ironing out operational wrinkles following the acquisition of Virgin America last year. At the same time, its smaller, regional airline is still grappling with a pilot shortage.

Bear Encounter Dos and Don'ts

19 minutes ago
Phil Horton / Flickr

The recent sighting of a mama bear and her three cubs near Lane Community College’s main campus has officials urging caution. However, there is conflicting advice on how to handle a bear encounter.   

Washington’s state Department of Health will remove a billboard deemed offensive after public backlash. The billboard in question was an initiative from the Department’s Marijuana Prevention & Education Program.

Elias Levy / Flicker.com

 

Summer brings crowds to the coast to swim and surf.  Inevitably, fears of shark attacks surface, buoyed by media reports and events like “Shark Week” on cable TV.  Despite recent sightings like those at Cannon Beach last week, most of the fear is over hyped.  

Spokane voters will decide in November whether to allow the shipment of coal and oil by rail through the city. The city council voted in favor of a special election in November.

John Ryan / KUOW

 

Eleven states including Washington have sued the Trump administration to improve safety at the nation’s refineries and chemical plants.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Seattle raised strong objections Tuesday at a Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., about e-commerce taxation.

A woman was killed in a climbing accident in Washington’s North Cascades National Park over the weekend.




Olympic National Park is inching ahead on a plan to reduce or eliminate its population of non-native mountain goats. A draft plan released Monday for public comment includes options to relocate or kill the animals.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

 

The lack of a capital spending budget leaves the state at risk for more intense wildfire seasons in the years ahead.

ELAINE THOMPSON / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Seattle City Council member Lorena Gonzalez has repeated her call from last week for Mayor Ed Murray to step down. She’s urging the council to be prepared to impeach if he resign.

"We need to be ready for what that process and what those procedures would like look like, particularly since we've never had to undergo them in the city's history," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez cites new information in the sex abuse case against Murray. Back in the 1980s, an Oregon child-welfare investigator found that Murray abused his foster son.

Washington state lawmakers have adjourned and gone home without passing a $4.1 billion capital construction budget. For a community in southwest Washington, that means an elementary school may not get built on time and on budget.

Washington Budget Falls Short For Environmentalists

Jul 21, 2017
Daveynin / Flicker

Washington’s legislative session, the longest in state history, did not deliver the money environmentalists wanted for toxic cleanup, oil transportation safety, or natural resources.

If you liked the warm, dry start to our Northwest summer, you'll probably like the rest of it. There's no change to the dominant weather pattern in sight.

Texting or holding a phone to your ear while driving is already illegal in Washington state. But starting Sunday, Washington state troopers and local police will begin enforcing a toughened law against distracted driving.

The U.S. Department of Energy rolled out several options at a public meeting Thursday night to stabilize what’s known as Tunnel 2 at the Hanford nuclear reservation in southeast Washington. Stabilizing the tunnel became a priority after nearby Tunnel 1 was found partially collapsed this spring.

Tunnel 2 is filled with highly-radioactive equipment leftover from a plutonium plant, and the feds say it's also in danger of collapse.

At the meeting, they presented a raft of ideas to stabilize it:

Coal and oil trains pass through Spokane daily, but that could change by the end of the year. Spokane’s city council will take public testimony Monday on a proposed ballot initiative that would prohibit coal and oil shipment by rail through specific areas of the city.



The sewage system is crumbling in Carbonado, Washington, near Mt. Rainier. And if Washington lawmakers fail to pass a capital construction budget before they adjourn Thursday, a plan to replace it—and many other projects around the state—will be put on hold.

Wilson Ring / Associated Press

It’s been more than a decade since White-Nose Syndrome began ravaging bat populations across the East Coast. Now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given out more than a million dollars in grants to 37 states, to monitor and study the fungal disease.

Washington state’s department of Fish and Wildlife will kill members of a wolf pack that is causing problems for livestock in Stevens County.



Federal and state agencies are investigating a string of wildfires in southeastern Oregon with a potential link to military training exercises.

Seven small fires ignited across state and federal lands on July 11, all attributed to human activity — a suspicious pattern that indicates they could be connected, according to federal officials.

Photo credit: Wikimedia user Jay8g / Wikimedia Commons

 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says lawmakers have reached an impasse over a contentious water rights issue. That means the state may not have a capital construction budget for the first time in memory. 

The statewide unemployment rate for Washington is holding at its record low in the latest jobs report out Wednesday. The state's Employment Security Department pegged the jobless rate in June at 4.5 percent, the same as in May.


Sharks Sighted On Oregon Coast (Calm Down, It’s Normal)

Jul 19, 2017
Orin Blomberg / Flickr

Cannon Beach Police advised beach goers this week of shark dorsal fin sightings in the Cannon Beach area. They also announced state parks would be posting warning signs on local beaches.

The final scramble is on to see the total eclipse on Aug. 21 in the Northwest. Most hotels and campgrounds in the path of totality are booked.

But for those willing to do some research, or pay handsomely, there are still eclipse adventures to be had.

Last year, developmentally disabled residents in Washington state institutions choked to death, were sexually assaulted and nearly drowned. That’s according to a report being released Wednesday by Disability Rights Washington.

Oregon Fuel Spill Spreads To Wildlife Area Groundwater

Jul 19, 2017
Rick Bowmer / Associated Press

 


Officials have discovered a large fuel spill in Oregon’s Willamette Valley has contaminated the groundwater at a nearby wildlife area.

MAX Double Homicide Suspect: 'No Heroes In This Case'

Jul 18, 2017
Multnomah County Sheriff's Office / Associated Press

A Portland man accused of killing two men and injuring a third on a TriMet MAX train this spring appeared in court Tuesday morning.

When you were younger, do you remember there being a piano store in your neighborhood or at the mall? There are many fewer piano dealers today than there used to be. Those who weren't done in by cheaper electronic keyboards or the last recession are changing their tunes to stay in the money.

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