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.

Senate Democrats / FLICKR

Washington Senator Patty Murray is proposing a bill to make child care more affordable and accessible.

The Democrat is touring child care facilities in Western Washington this week to talk about the legislation.

It would make twice as many children eligible for financial assistance.

The bill would also put more federal dollars toward child care and pre-school, lowering costs for low-and-moderate income families.

Murray says the first-of-its-kind bill would ensure parents don't pay more than they can afford.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press


Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said little taxpayer dollars are being used to support the state's 19 lawsuits against the Trump Administration.

Betsy Devos Scheduled To Visit McMinnville High School

Oct 10, 2017
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos plans to visit McMinnville High School on Wednesday, according to the school district. She added the visit to Yamhill County as part of a West Coast trip that includes a fundraising event in the Seattle area Friday.

Travis Williams / Willamette Riverkeeper

The Trump administration has a new plan for the Portland Harbor Superfund site that could reverse progress toward cleaning up toxic pollution in the Willamette River, Oregon officials said.

On a recent Wednesday morning, Denise Vermillion stood outside the Thurston County Courthouse and expressed the frustration that had been building inside her for days.

Northwest Public Television

NOTE: This week we’re featuring stories of education successes and experiments from around the Northwest as part of the PBS and Northwest Public Television special American Graduate Day airing Saturday, Oct. 14.

A new law in Oregon allows municipalities to use their red-light cameras to ticket speeders, too.

Drivers won’t be fined unless they’re going at least 11 miles per hour over the speed limit. But the speeding tickets can be issued regardless of whether the light was red, yellow, or green at the time.

The projected incarceration rate of Oregonians is expected to fall by 11 percent over the next decade. That’s according to the semi-annual prison population forecast issued by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.

The second annual Ride the Reactor bike tour took place Saturday. Sixty people rode a 14-mile track around Hanford’s decommissioned B Reactor. It’s part of a federal effort to get the public more connected to the nation’s nuclear history.

U.S. Forest Service

The Chetco Bar fire, near Brookings on Oregon’s south coast, simmered for weeks in the scars of previous fires in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness before breaking out in mid-August. As the fire raced across the landscape, driven by high winds, the firefighting effort came under growing criticism.

Greg Mills / Northwest Public Television

This week we’re featuring stories of education successes and experiments from around the region as part of the PBS and Northwest Public Television special American Graduate Day airing Saturday, Oct. 14.


History buffs, politicians and park rangers gathered Friday, Oct. 6, to celebrate the restoration of an often overlooked historic site in the Washington State Park system. 

The Oregon Department of Revenue is getting ready to distribute $85 million in cannabis tax revenue to cities, counties and several state agencies. It’s the first distribution since a tax on recreational cannabis kicked in last year.

Scientists in Oregon and Washington are noticing a disruptive ocean phenomenon is becoming more frequent and extreme. It involves a suffocating ribbon of low oxygen seawater over our continental shelf.

Oregon Gets $350k For Tsunami Prep

Oct 6, 2017
Karyn Christner / Flickr


Oregon’s been awarded $350,000 by the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program to increase resilience in coastal communities.

King, Snohomish Counties Preparing Joint Bid For Amazon's HQ2

Oct 6, 2017
Bruce Englehardt / Cascadia Wikimedians User Group

King County is partnering with Snohomish County in a joint bid to host Amazon's second headquarters.

Under the plan, the counties are proposing to host the new office space in several different cities, including Bellevue, Everett and on Tulalip tribal lands.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

UPDATE, Oct. 6, 2017: The Public Disclosure Commission responded to the complaint today and determined they do not have jurisdiction.

"We have notified (Lisa Brown) and the Washington State Republican Party, which was the complainant in this case, that we don’t have jurisdiction," PDC spokesperson Kim Bradford told Northwest Public Radio today. "We have referred them to the Executive Ethics Board, which does have jurisdiction over allegations of misuse of public facilities for state agencies and employees."

Efforts to turnaround Washington’s troubled Western State Hospital are taking longer than expected. The federal government this week granted yet another extension to give the state’s largest mental hospital more time to fix systemic problems.


Washington Governor Jay Inslee was in Yakima Thursday, Oct. 5, for a community listening session. Over 100 people attended to address gangs and gun violence.

The Seattle area has given birth to aviation icons such as the Boeing 747 jumbo jet and carbon fiber 787 Dreamliner. Could a low-emissions electric jet someday join that hall of fame?

On Thursday, Kirkland, Washington-based startup Zunum Aero unveiled the specs for a hybrid electric jet.


In 2014, Washington voters approved Initiative 594 to require background checks for person-to-person gun sales. But the law has only resulted in two prosecutions.

Molly Solomon / Oregon Public Broadcasting


Officials in Vancouver, Washington have voted to remove a Confederate monument from the county’s historic register. 

After nearly two hours of public testimony, the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously to strip the Jefferson Davis Highway marker of its historic designation.

The Oregon Center for Public Policy


Oregon’s income inequality gap has never been wider, said a group that analyzes tax and budget issues. 

JOHN MOORE / Getty Images

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it arrested nearly 500 people nationwide last week in an operation targeting so-called “sanctuary cities.”

Thirty-three of those arrests were in Washington and Oregon. Officials with the agency known as ICE say they want to send a message to cities that limit their cooperation with immigration agents.

Amanda Peacher / Oregon Public Broadcasting

A defendant who pleaded guilty to last year's occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is asking a judge to delay his trial in Nevada, set to begin next week.

Ryan Payne has also been charged for his role in a 2014 armed standoff between ranchers and the Bureau of Land Management.

Mitch Barrie / Flickr


There are renewed calls for gun reform in Washington state this week.



The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded today. One half went to Rainer Weiss , the other half was jointly awarded to Barry Barish and Kip Thorne. The work of the three scientists led to the first recorded observation of gravitational waves on Earth.


The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing Tuesday with former Equifax CEO and Chairman Richard Smith.

Ron Cogswell / Flickr


The Inland Northwest’s two U.S. House members both voted today for a bill that would ban abortions more than 20 weeks after conception.

Some insurance companies are choosing not to renew policies in wildfire-prone areas of the inland Northwest. That’s sending home owners scrambling to find new coverage for their properties.