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.

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.

EMILY SCHWING / NORTHWEST NEWS NETWORK

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers hosted her first town hall of the year Thursday night in Spokane.

Large crowds are expected to flock to Goldendale Observatory State Park to watch the August 21 eclipse. But as visitors look to the skies, they may not realize a renovation of that south central Washington observatory is on hold for very earthly reasons.

The benefits of an above-average snowpack measured in most locations statewide earlier this year have yet to be fully realized due to extreme heat and little precipitation.

Some Oregon Hospitals Clearing Appointments Ahead Of Eclipse

Aug 10, 2017

There aren’t many surgeries scheduled the day of the eclipse in Central Oregon, which sits right in the eclipse’s path of totality. Part of the reason might be that patients would much rather watch the first total solar eclipse in the region in 38 years.

WEEDIST.COM

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has released a letter sent by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In it, Sessions suggests Washington is not adequately regulating its legal marijuana market. He reiterates that Congress considers marijuana a dangerous drug and that it’s a federal crime to distribute it.

State High Court: Seattle Can Continue Taxing Gun Sales

Aug 10, 2017
Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Washington's Supreme Court has ruled that Seattle's gun tax is constitutionally valid and can continue. Gun rights advocates have argued Seattle's firearms tax is effectively a regulation on gun sales. They called the tax unconstitutional due to a Washington law that gives the state, not a city, the authority to regulate firearms.

With A DACA Summer Job, A Bumper Crop Of Worry

Aug 10, 2017

Adeline Guerra is a 19-year old nursing student at Washington State University Tri-Cities, and is one of 1.4 million people living and working in the U.S. under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Lawmakers in Washington state had a fight so bad last month, they got together in a basement conference room Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reminding Oregon and other states with legalized recreational marijuana that federal marijuana law is still in effect.

In the mid-19th century, Emily Washines' ancestors in the Yakama tribe fought the U.S. Army for four years in what became known as the Yakama—or Yakima—Indian War. She said few people in the Pacific Northwest today know much if anything about the bloody conflict.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Interior Department has released new recommendations for a plan to protect greater sage grouse. The guidelines will give more leeway to mining, ranching and industry groups. They’ll also change a conservation plan that took years to devise.

When Will The Smoke Dissipate?

Aug 8, 2017
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

The wildfire smoke in Washington state has been extreme for days now, and many are wondering just when the air might clear out.

Travis Cox Sentenced For Role In Malheur Occupation

Aug 7, 2017
Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown sentenced Malheur refuge occupation defendant Travis Cox on Monday to two months of home detention and two years of probation.





A state of emergency, excessive heat and an extended period of dry weather are unlikely to pair well with an influx of up to 1.5 million visitors in Oregon in two weeks.

A former deputy director at Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is awaiting trial on charges he broke into the home of a co-worker and raped her while she slept.

The case has revealed a sexually-charged culture within the agency that one employee described as “a pattern of behavior that was not hidden.”

The cluster of unmanned aircraft systems companies in the Columbia River Gorge led one online journal to dub the rural region east of Portland, "Dronetown, USA."

Spokane Mayor Won't Sign Climate Ordinance

Aug 4, 2017
Spokane City Hall

Spokane’s Mayor David A. Condon won’t sign an ordinance that would have codified the city’s sustainability and environmental conservation goals.

Endangered species protections were lifted for grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park Monday. Many tribes prepared for the delisting last fall by signing a treaty to protect the bears.

But one tribe in the Northwest looks at it differently. 




Courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has decided to kill members of the Harl Butte wolf pack in Eastern Oregon in an attempt to disrupt the pack’s behavior and prevent future livestock losses.

A summer filled with wildfires means air conditions in the Northwest are going from bad to worse. Fires from British Columbia and around Washington state have contributed to a smoky week.

Like a dreamy scene, the Yakima Valley is blanketed in thick haze. But the reality is not so serene. Coupled with high temperatures and humidity, the smog is taking its toll on local residents.

Ecology Works To Clean Up After Oil Pipeline Spill

Aug 3, 2017

Up to twenty-five thousand gallons of  jet fuel spilled from a pipeline Wednesday afternoon near Tacoma. A contractor working in the roadway accidentally drilled into the pipe, which was transporting jet fuel to Joint Base Lewis McChord.

Back in June, there was an emergency at the Hanford nuclear site where workers were ordered to take cover. A sensor was detecting airborne radioactive particles.

Now KING-TV reports several workers have tested positive for those particles inside their bodies.

U.S. Postal Service

Two Oregon wildlife photographers will have their pictures of honeybees featured in the new Protect Pollinators Forever postage stamps scheduled to be released this week. The stamps are designed to pay tribute to pollinating insects.

Seattle Likely To Elect First Female Mayor Since 1928

Aug 3, 2017
Megan Farmer / KUOW

Updated at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2 with latest results:

Seattle will very, very, very likely have a female mayor — the first time since 1928, when Bertha K. Landes cleaned up city hall and the police department with her slogan, "Municipal housekeeping." 

British Columbia’s wildfire season has been deemed “unprecedented.” The province needs help from its neighbors to the south. But they may not be able to get it.




After a national search, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has tapped an insider to run the state’s largest agency. Western State Hospital CEO Cheryl Strange will take over as secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services in September.

A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey finds that the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats can be spread much more readily than previously thought.

Washington state officials have been waiting to see how the U.S. Department of Energy plans to deal with an unstable tunnel filled with radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear site.

The state of Oregon forecasts up to 1 million people may pour in to watch the total solar eclipse on August 21. Emergency planners in central and eastern Oregon are hoping eclipse chasers will fill out a short online survey to help them staff up appropriately.

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