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.

A climate activist from Oregon will not serve jail time for his part in an oil pipeline protest last fall. A Washington judge instead sentenced the so-called “valve turner” to a month of community service and six months of probation.

Ken Ward of Corbett was one of five activists who turned valves off on several pipelines bringing oil from Canada to the United States. A Skagit, Washington, jury convicted him of second-degree burglary earlier this month.

Courtesy of R2AK Facebook page

Here's what your sporty friends should be talking about today. An Orcas Island, Washington, man is the first person to complete the Race to Alaska on a standup paddleboard. He stroked 750 miles solo from Port Townsend up the Inside Passage, crossing the finish line in Ketchikan Sunday.

After weeks of deadlock, Washington lawmakers could be close to reaching an agreement in principle on a state budget, House and Senate budget writers said on Friday.

The Oregon House has narrowly passed a measure meant to scale back a tax break intended for small businesses. The measure cleared the chamber Friday over the strong objections of Republicans.

Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

 

Opponents of the Republican health care bill are taking actions to keep it from passing. The bill includes things like limiting money for Medicaid--the program that helps low-income people pay for medical services.

More than 1,500 dairy cows embarked on a long voyage Friday from the Pacific Northwest to Vietnam. 

Names and personal data of about a million people may have been compromised in a burglary involving Washington State University property.

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature and Gov. Kate Brown say they are giving up trying to increase taxes on corporations during this year's legislative session.

For the second time in less than a year, the state of Washington has been sanctioned for failing to turn over evidence in a civil court case.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

The healthcare bill revealed by Senate Republicans today would limit Medicaid spending, among other things. That's one reason Washington's insurance chief is calling the measure "very problematic".

Challenging The Idea That Electric Vehicles Are For The Rich

Jun 22, 2017

Poor people spend more of their income on gas and transportation and their neighborhoods often are more exposed to air pollution.

At the EV Roadmap Conference in Portland Tuesday, experts discussed how electric cars could help on both fronts.

The national conference drew more than 600 people to Portland to discuss all kinds of issues related to expanding the use of electric vehicles, from financing more charging stations to the possibility of self-charging autonomous electric cars.

If Washington lawmakers don’t pass a state budget by June 30, the state will go into a partial government shutdown. And the impacts would be significant.

So what would that look like?

Unless lawmakers can agree on a budget, the state of Washington is just days away from a first-ever government shutdown. Gov. Jay Inslee Wednesday called a third special session and demanded that House Democrats and Senate Republicans get to the table and get a deal.

Associated Press / U.S. Department of Energy

 

Northwest Republicans joined Democrats in pushing back against cuts proposed for the U.S. Department of Energy Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

Oregon lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a tax increase meant to ensure continued health care coverage for low-income Oregonians. The $670 million package raises an existing tax on hospital revenue and enacts a new tax on some health insurance premiums.

NASA

The total solar eclipse is two months away. Scientists shared their excitement at a NASA briefing Wednesday, but transportation officials in Oregon, and other states the eclipse will pass over, are bracing for cosmic traffic jams.

Megan Farmer / KUOW

Hundreds of people gathered in Seattle’s Magnuson Park Tuesday night to remember Charleena Lyles, the 30-year-old black woman who was fatally shot by Seattle police on Sunday.

Oregon lawmakers want to make it harder for federal immigration agents to find people living in the country illegally.

Evergreen State College President George Bridges said he'll be seeking state assistance to add more training, equipment and staff for campus security. Student unrest and outside threats caused repeated disruptions during the recently ended spring term on the Olympia campus.

The state of Washington is 10 days from a government shutdown as lawmakers head into a third overtime session with still no budget deal.

A state senator from Seattle is renewing his call to rewrite Washington’s police deadly force law. Democrat David Frockt represents the legislative district where Seattle police shot and killed Charleena Lyles, a pregnant mother of four on Sunday.

Washington state officials say people in Eastern Washington need to hunker down for a likely dust storm and possible wildfire conditions Tuesday night.

The future of a possible corporate tax hike is in doubt at the Oregon Capitol after a flurry of activity Monday yielded no progress on the issue.

Patricia Murphy / KUOW

Dozens of people gathered at a vigil for Charleena Lyles, a mother of three who was shot by Seattle Police Sunday morning. 

The shooting occurred in a Solid Ground housing complex for formerly homeless families in the Sand Point neighborhood shortly after 10 am.

The assembled crowd held signs and candles. Lyles brother Michael Taylor told them what happened to his sister was wrong.

"This is my family and we’re going to be as one," said Taylor. "And we’re not going to stop until we get to the bottom of this."

It looks like Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will have to call a third special session of the state legislature. The current overtime session ends Wednesday—and there’s still no budget deal.

About 90 minutes north of Stockholm lies an ancient defensive hillfort called Broborg. Northwest scientists are digging up and studying pieces of the ancient Swedish fort and trying to figure out how the structure has lasted around 2,000 years.

Leila Kheiry / KRBD

 

Amidst light rain, with fog eclipsing the tops of the surrounding mountains, brothers Tripp, Chris and Trevor Burd guided their trimaran, “Mama Tried,” into Thomas Basin Harbor. They were met with a booming gunshot, cheers and whistles.

Former Gov. John Kitzhaber Cleared Of Criminal Charges

Jun 16, 2017
Don Ryan

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon announced Friday it won't bring criminal charges against former Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, for alleged misuse of their positions.

Wildfire Smoke Pollution Is Worse Than We Thought

Jun 16, 2017
Georgia Institute of Technology

All that black smoke you see floating up from a wildfire — it’s full of small particles that are bad for your lungs and heart. It turns out, the small particles are a lot worse than researchers previously thought. A new study found there are three times as much pollution in wildfire smoke plumes than predicted from earlier estimates.

Millions of tubular sea creatures called pyrosomes have taken over the Pacific Ocean in an unprecedented bloom that has scientists baffled.

These bumpy, translucent organisms look like sea cucumbers that range in size from six inches to more than two feet long. But they’re actually made up of hundreds of tiny animals knit together with tissue into a filter-feeding cylinder.

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