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.

Courtesy of the office of Gov. Kate Brown

Kate Brown had run for Secretary of State twice when she replaced Governor John Kitzhaber in early 2015. Still, many Oregonians did not know much about her.

Jurors Deliberate Malheur Occupation Trial

18 hours ago
Associated Press / AP Images

Jurors in the Malheur Refuge occupation trial will continue deliberating Monday. The 9th floor of the district courthouse in downtown Portland is quiet today. This has been the site of the trial of Ammon Bundy and six other codefendants and the U.S. government. 

Associated Press / AP Images

Homeless people would be allowed to camp in more places around Seattle, under a new plan from Mayor Ed Murray. The mayor sent his latest policy proposal to the city council Friday night.

Three counties are requiring a little extra in postage this year for mailing in ballots. Voters in Snohomish, Whatcom and Douglas counties need 68 cents in postage. A regular first class stamp is worth 47 cents right now. 

Sally Jewell has served as secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior for three and a half years. Before that she was CEO of Kent, Washington-based REI and a member of the UW Board of Regents.

The Columbia Generating Station outside Richland, Washington, is the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant. Now, the federal government is auditing the plant to make sure it could weather flooding.

Aaron Kunz


Starting Monday people will get a chance to weigh-in on a controversial question: Should four dams come down on the lower Snake River? They’re facing renewed scrutiny because of a court-ordered analysis on how the dams are harming salmon.

Dale Presler

Editor's note: This story was written by a Northwest Public Radio listener as part of our "Walking Washington's History" series. 

We asked listeners to take one of ten historical walks in a book of the same name by Judy Bentley. Stories are have been edited minimally to preserve the writer's experiences, and all photos were provided by the participants.

Murray And Vance Debate Over State Budget And Education

Oct 24, 2016
Angela Nhi Nguyen / Northwest News Network

At the final debate between Democratic senior U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Republican challenger Chris Vance, the candidates discussed their priorities for the federal budget and the power struggle between the federal government and states when it comes to education. 

Seth Book

Last winter was the first time toxic algae in the ocean forced Oregon to close its Dungeness crab fishery. Scientists are just beginning to understand what triggers these conditions.

A political action committee largely funded by three wealthy Washingtonians has unleashed a hard-hitting attack on a state Supreme Court justice up for re-election. The TV ad suggests Justice Charlie Wiggins is soft on crime.

A long-time veteran with the Oregon Department of Corrections has been promoted to serve as the agency's interim deputy director. The move comes after the previous deputy director resigned after less than two years on the job.

Many Washington and Idaho wheat farmers are struggling this year because of a weird crop problem. Researchers at the USDA’s Western Wheat Quality Lab at Washington State University in Pullman are looking into it.

By baking cakes, cookies, bread, pancakes, noodles and pasta.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

Alaska’s largest statewide native organization honored the Yakama Nation during their annual convention Thursday. The Yakama Nation loaned the Alaska Federation of Natives $225,000 to establish itself 50 years ago.

A trio of wealthy Washingtonians has just put $350,000 into an effort to defeat a sitting state Supreme Court justice. Their target is Charlie Wiggins who’s been on the court since 2011.

Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said he remains confident that a proposed takeover of rival Virgin America will happen. But he acknowledged to Wall Street analysts Thursday that he had been hoping the $2.6 billion deal would have closed “a couple of weeks ago.”

Washington’s race for governor is a lopsided affair. Incumbent Democrat Jay Inslee has a three-to-one fundraising advantage over Republican challenger Bill Bryant. And polls show Inslee with a 10 point lead.

But that’s not stopping Bryant from trying to make the campaign a referendum on Inslee’s leadership.

AP Images

People dressed as clowns have been scaring people on streets and forests across the country since August. Earlier this month, there were even sightings in western Washington and Oregon.

Brittney Tatchell / Smithsonian Institution

Kennewick Man is almost home. After 20 years of legal battles, scientific controversy and legislative wrangling, the ancient skeleton will be reburied on Northwest tribal lands. Here are four things you should know about one of the Northwest’s native ancestors.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, and his Republican challenger Bill Bryant sparred in their last scheduled debate in Pasco Wednesday night over Inslee's record at Hanford and their stances on environmental regulations.

Associated Press / AP Images

Eight people received non-life threatening injuries Wednesday morning in a gas explosion in Northwest Portland. The explosion caused a 4-alarm fire that destroyed one building and damaged several others in the surrounding blocks.

Washington state employers added 20,000 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis last month according to the latest numbers out Wednesday from the state’s Employment Security Department.

Malheur Occupation Trial Goes To Jury

Oct 19, 2016

Closing arguments are finished in the trial of seven people charged in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year. The case now heads to the 12-person jury for deliberation.

Attorney Matt Schindler, hybrid counsel for defendant Ken Medenbach, delivered a thunderous argument to the jury in defense not just of his client, but of the occupation as a whole.

“How did any of these people benefit from protesting the death of rural America?” Schindler said.

WSU Young Republicans Build Symbolic Trump Wall

Oct 19, 2016

A dozen or so students at Washington State University gathered in the center of the Pullman campus to show support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Their symbolic wall on Glenn Terrell Mall sported Trump's name in painted gold letters. They were countered by more than 200 protestors. 



Gun rights and gun control advocates are reacting to the first prosecution under Washington’s Initiative 594, the 2014 law that requires a background check for person-to-person gun sales.

A hacked email from the Hillary Clinton campaign reveals some interesting names considered early on as possible Democratic vice presidential picks. The names released by Wikileaks Tuesday included Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Microsoft's Bill Gates and Melinda Gates.

Prosecution Delivers Closing Argument In Malheur Case

Oct 18, 2016
Associated Press / AP Images

Closing arguments have started in the Malheur occupation trial. Government prosecutor Ethan Knight started off Tuesday, telling the jury that “This is a case at its core about the rule of law.”

New Federal Action Plan For Puget Sound Restoration

Oct 18, 2016
Associated Press / AP Images

Puget Sound is a national treasure and deserves protections on par with Cheaspeake Bay and the Great Lakes. That was the message as officials announced a new memorandum of understanding that will direct restoration activities from the federal level. 

Gun rights and gun control advocates are reacting to the first prosecution under Washington’s Initiative 594, the 2014 law that requires a background check for person-to-person gun sales.

The case involves a former Oak Harbor, Washington, resident named Mark Mercado who allegedly gave or sold a .22-caliber pistol to an acquaintance last November. Prosecutors said that gun was then used a day later in the murder of 17-year-old John Skyler Johnson, known as “Jay.”

Marijuana retailers began collecting a 25 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales starting in January. That money is adding up quickly.