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 white nationalist clash that left a woman dead last week in Charlottesville, Virginia was followed by the removal of Confederate statues, memorials and plaques around the country, either by protesters or at the behest of government officials. Several Confederate memorials still stand in the Northwest. We visited three of them.

The Washington State Department of Transportation will activate its emergency operations center on Monday morning in case solar eclipse traffic turns horrible. In Oregon, state and county emergency coordination centers were activated on Thursday.

Cell phone towers in Oregon’s path of totality are expected to overload. That’s because of selfies-with-the-sun that thousands of visitors might try to upload.

But there’s an unexpected consequence of cell coverage going down: farm irrigation circles could go dry.

Miss out on eclipse glasses? If so, there’s still plenty of time for a homemade science project. 


All you need to make a pinhole projector is a cereal box, a pin, a pair of scissors, some aluminum foil, and a roll of tape.



Ranchers in eastern Oregon are trying to cash in on eclipse visitors by opening their spreads to campers. Some have already signed on hundreds of visitors while others are hoping for a rush of last-minute eclipse-ers.

COURTESY OF TESORO CORP.

For the seventh time, a decision on a controversial Vancouver oil terminal has been pushed back. The Washington state energy board now has until November 30 to make a recommendation to Governor Jay Inslee. But that’s not the only setback.

WikiCommons

Wednesday, dozens of scientists sent a letter to Northwest lawmakers in Congress. In it, they argue in favor of spilling more water over dams to help fish.

Nike co-founder Phil Knight made his largest ever donation to an Oregon political race this week. The recipient is Republican candidate for governor Knute Buehler.

For decades, Smokey Bear has been the poster-mammal for keeping forests clean and safe from disaster, but there are other mascots who aim to serve up a lesson in environmental consciousness.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed into law a bill to require health insurance policies to cover the cost of abortions.

Oregon Health Authority Warns Of Algae During Eclipse

Aug 16, 2017
Sheila Sund / Flickr

 

You might think water filters or boiling methods will keep you safe from blue-green algae. But Rebecca Hillwig with the Oregon Health Authority says that’s not true.

Two Air National Guard reconnaissance planes were called in Wednesday by the National Interagency Fire Center to help detect and map wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. The twin engine, turboprop RC-26 aircraft will be temporarily based at Spokane's Fairchild Air Force Base and at Eugene's airport. In the near future, their assignment may be carried out by unmanned aircraft. 

A prisoner who escaped Tuesday from a wildfire work crew in Washington state is still on the run. The Washington Department of Corrections said Maksim Petrovskiy may be in Portland.

Update 11 a.m., 8/16/2017: Two more CEOs — from 3M and Campbell's Soup — quit President Donald Trump's manufacturing council Wednesday. Trump then announced he was disbanding the council entirely.


Four Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife employees were fired this month after an investigation found an “extremely sexualized culture” at a fish hatchery on the Columbia River.

Washington Apple Commission

For decades, Red Delicious represented the definition of an of apple. Kids across the nation got them in their lunch bags, and they were ubiquitous on store shelves. But with the explosion in more tasty apple varieties — like Gala, Fuji and Honeycrisp — the Red Delicious has largely fallen out of favor in the US.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry toured the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Hanford site outside of Richland, Washington, Tuesday.

A million people may flock to Oregon over the coming week to view the total eclipse of the sun. State officials said Tuesday that they're as prepared as they can possibly be. 



A World War II veteran from the Inland Northwest traveled to a village in rural Japan Tuesday to personally return a "good luck flag" he picked up from the body of a fallen Japanese soldier on the Pacific island of Saipan in the summer of 1944.

"Taking the flag kind of bothered me because it is so special,” said Marvin Strombo, 93.

Two prison inmates escaped from their service fighting a wildfire near Goldendale, Washington early Tuesday morning.

Tyray Munter, 30, was convicted of second degree assault and theft. Maksim Petrovskiy, 22, was convicted of possession of a stolen vehicle. Both were less than four years from release, which is a requirement of the inmate wildfire crew program.

For most people when you say the name George Washington, a presidential figure comes to mind. But in Centralia, Washington, that name belongs to a different founding father.

Lifelong resident Carrie Aadland says in Centralia, people refer to him as “our George Washington.” 

“We’re excited to celebrate his character and his faith,” said Aadland of the town’s founder. “But of course, what rivets you is he was black and founded a white town.”

George Washington was one of few African-American pioneers who migrated from the south to the Pacific Northwest.

With hordes of eclipse chasers expected to pull out their phones to share the memorable experience next week, wireless carriers are deploying temporary mobile cell towers in Oregon and Idaho to boost capacity in the path of the solar eclipse.

A heat wave broke and the air quality improved in the Northwest as a cold front moved across Oregon and Washington, but fire officials are still on high alert. They reported 24 new wildfires over the weekend.



The president of the WSU College Republicans, James Allsup of Bothell, Washington, said Monday he would resign after attending the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

KUOW PHOTO/DANIEL BERMAN

A day after violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Virginia, tensions were high during two opposing protests in Seattle.

Wikipedia

The total solar eclipse is just a week away and Oregon transportation officials are bracing for the influx of up to one million visitors to the state. They’re urging travelers to treat it as a 3 or 4 day event even though the eclipse itself will only last 3 hours.

The clock is ticking. We're just days away from the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21. But we'll learn sooner than that whether huge crowds cause traffic gridlock in the eclipse's path.

One central Oregon city is not taking any chances.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is sending aid to help fight a 34,000-acre wildfire on the Warm Springs Reservation in central Oregon.

Don't Forget The Perseids This Weekend

Aug 11, 2017

The Great American Eclipse is just 10 days away. Some are calling the celestial event the solar eclipse of the century. But a smaller, annual event, the Perseids Meteor Shower will be a warm-up for astronomy enthusiasts. The peak viewing period is this weekend.

Should Mt. Rainier Have Cell Coverage?

Aug 11, 2017
Eilis O'Neil / KUOW/EarthFix

The Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise is where most people come first when they visit Mount Rainier National Park. Even on a Tuesday afternoon, the parking lot is full, and cars are parked one after another down the road.

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