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 compromise plan to designate 275,000 acres of wilderness in central Idaho got a much-anticipated hearing in the U.S. Senate Thursday.

Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

Wildlife officials across the Northwest are working to battle poaching on many fronts, from antlers to abalone, despite setbacks. If you missed any part of EarthFix's Wildlife Detectives series, you can catch up on the stories below:

Illegal Antler Hunting Is A Deadly Game For Elk

Many Poachers Uncaught, Lightly Punished In NW

Jes Burns / EarthFix

Before you can prosecute a thief, you have to know what he stole. This holds true for crimes against people - and crimes against nature.

Southern Oregon is home to the world’s only criminal forensics lab dedicated to this kind of evidence. Its traditional focus has been on endangered animal cases.

But that’s changing, thanks to an international push to stem the trafficking of hardwood from illegally logged forests.

Burke Museum

    

Washington State finally has its first dinosaur fossil. Scientists at the Burke Museum in Seattle say they’ve unearthed an 80-million year old thigh bone from a beach in the San Juan Islands. 

According to numbers out Wednesday, the number of people out of work and looking for jobs is returning to pre-recession levels in the Northwest.

State workers at more than 80 workplaces around Washington walked off the job Wednesday. They want lawmakers to fund pay raises promised in contracts.

Budget negotiations have stalled in Olympia and there’s still no funding to increase pay for state workers.

The nearly five percent raise would be their first in more than seven years.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are poised to get a raise twice that size later this year.

Steve Hoffman, a shop steward at North Seattle Community College, says that’s not fair.

Oregon is looking for volunteers for a new pay-by-the-mile tax.

Tyler Bell / Flickr

  

Pinto abalone were poached almost to extinction by the end of the 90s. The tasty meat of this shellfish, combined with its mother of pearl shell, made pinto abalone a target for illegal harvest, and a delicacy in Asia. Thousands upon thousands of them were taken from Puget Sound.

The Federal Aviation Administration has recently granted clearance for takeoff to big batches of commercial drone operators.

Photo Courtesy of ShuttrKing|KT

Washington lawmakers met Tuesday to discuss docking teacher pay during strikes and walk-outs.

This comes the same day hundreds of teachers walked out classrooms to protest a lack of education funding.

A state Senate committee held a hearing for a bill that would prevent striking teachers from collecting salary and benefits when they aren’t at work.

Senator Tim Sheldon, a Democrat who caucuses with the Republicans, is the prime sponsor.He says teachers shouldn’t get paid when they aren’t at work.

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