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.

Rosalyn Pratt

Firefighters have been battling a blaze east of Leavenworth since Saturday afternoon. The fire crept toward downtown and forced many people to evacuate immediately. The fire has burned 330 acres. 

Ryan Johnson / FLICKR Creative Commons

A new state-sponsored retirement plan for private-sector workers in Oregon has cleared a key federal hurdle. The U.S. Department of Labor finalized rules that allow Oregon's plan to debut next July.

Cayuse Mountain Fire Information / Northwest News Network

Firefighters continue to slow the growth of a wildfire that’s threatening the Spokane Indian Reservation, and the town of Wellpinit . The fire is now about half contained. This weekend’s forecast has crews on edge.

Donald Trump's campaign has confirmed the Republican presidential nominee is coming to Western Washington for a fundraiser and a rally next Tuesday. There were rumors the campaign swing to the Northwest might not happen after Trump cancelled a similar stop next week in Portland.

How Do Wildfires Jump Rivers?

Aug 26, 2016
Connor Henricksen / Northwest Public Radio

Think about a campfire - or even a bonfire. As the fuel burns, embers are tossed up into the air. Usually they burn out quickly and are harmless.

Now think about wildfires. They are millions of times the size of a campfire and release much larger embers that are far more dangerous.

WSU Goes Nicotine And Tobacco-Free

Aug 26, 2016
Shannon Heckt / Northwest Public Radio

Washington State University has joined thousands of universities across the country in banning all tobacco use on its Pullman campus by students, teachers, and staff.

A menacing wildfire continues to threaten an Indian Reservation 50 miles north of Spokane. But the blaze could have a positive impact on one local business.

Oregon's foster care system is being pushed to its limits. That's the upshot of a consultant's draft report released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Human Services. The report is the result of a call for an independent investigation last fall by Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

Online fishing and hunting license sales have now been suspended in Washington, Oregon and Idaho following a hacking incident. A Washington state official says some 7 million records across the three states were compromised, but the information was not terribly sensitive.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said it has killed six wolves in the Profanity Peak Pack. Members of that pack are blamed for at least 12 cattle kills in the northeastern part of the state.

Jennifer Duguay / NWPR

Wildland firefighters are a tight-knit group. After years of fighting fires together in the remote wilderness and on the edges of suburbia, you get to know a lot of people. And for one fire company in Washington’s Methow Valley, the bond is even stronger.

Fire officials say they are making good progress on the Cayuse Mountain fire burning on the Spokane Indian reservation, but they worry about what the weather may bring for the weekend. The Cayuse Mountain fire is holding steady at 18 thousand acres, and as of mid-day Thursday the fire is at 40 percent containment.

Wildlife managers in northeast Washington are removing a wolf pack known as the the Profanity Peak Pack following a number of cattle kills. The state faces opposition from tribes and pressure from locals as they proceed.

Since August 19, Washington state officials have been actively removing a wolf pack that roams the northeastern corner of the state. But it wasn’t clear the state had already started killing the animals.

Anglers can fish for free and without a license in Washington waters through next Tuesday. That announcement from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on Thursday comes as the sale of all hunting and fishing licenses is temporarily suspended because of a cybersecurity breach. The Department said some personal information was accessed because of a vulnerability involving an outside vendor. Online license sales in Oregon and Idaho are also temporarily suspended. 

Associated Press / AP Images

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has named a new director for one of the state's largest agencies. The Democrat announced that Katy Coba will head the Department of Administrative Services starting in October.

Associated Press / AP Images

Ryan Bundy is scheduled to argue why Oregon Gov. Kate Brown should testify as a witness at his trial next month. Bundy has subpoenaed Gov. Brown, arguing in court filings that she chose to directly involve herself in the case by quote “actively managing the law enforcement response to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.”

There will be free admission to all national parks from Thursday through Sunday to celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. President Woodrow Wilson signed the law creating the National Park Service on August 25, 1916.

Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to kill an entire wolf pack in the northeast corner of the state. The decision comes after at least 12 cattle were killed in the area.

USGS

Fire officials are battling a major wildfire on the Spokane Indian Reservation. The wildfire spread rapidly onto tribal land, but response hasn’t kept up with the pace of the blaze.

A series of intense wildfire seasons has taken a toll on the Oregon Department of Forestry. That's according to an audit released Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

Inciweb

Washington Governor Jay Inslee was in Spokane Tuesday to meet with officials battling two wildfires north and south of the city. He also paid a visit to a handful of displaced barnyard animals.

Ryan Bjorkquist / Flickr

U.S. District Judge Anna Brown has questions for prosecutors about how they collected Facebook evidence for the upcoming trial of seven defendants associated with the Malheur refuge occupation.

Lawyers for victims of the deadly 2014 Oso landslide say the state of Washington has engaged in a “shocking” cover-up to hide evidence. The allegation, first reported by The Seattle Times, comes just five weeks before the state goes on trial.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday declared a state of emergency in 20 counties mostly on the dry side of the Cascades, an area vulnerable to wildfire. Resources are stretched thin in the battle to save homes and property.

Flickr user: 401(K) 2012 / Flickr

 

Monday marks 20 years since the welfare system was overhauled by the federal government.The 1996 reforms ended some welfare benefits, and in turn encouraged people to find work by offering job-training and money for things like child care. The federal government wanted to reduce the amount of people relying on welfare.

The police department in Pasco, Washington, needs to hire more women, more Spanish speakers and have more diversity in general. That’s one finding of a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice that was prompted by the February 2015 shooting of farmworker Antonio Zambrano-Montes by three Pasco police officers.

Spokane, Washington, the state’s second largest city, found itself surrounded by flames Monday after high winds and heat Sunday caused the rapid spread of three separate wildfires.

Unionized teachers and Realtors boast the largest political action committees in Washington state this election year. Both PACs have raised more than $2 million.

Washington Rowing

Eight more Olympic medalists with ties to our region stood on the podium this weekend before Brazilian music brought the Summer Games to a close in Rio.

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