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.

Jon Ditgen

The first major snowstorm of the holiday season is a gift to businesses across the Oregon Cascades.

With up to 20 inches of snow recorded in many parts of the range, ski resorts, tourist shops, and other recreational and lodging businesses have opened with high hopes.

Liam Moriarty / Jefferson Public Radio

The recent election saw California and three other states join Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska in legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Three more states voted for medical cannabis, as well.

For more than half a century, dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers have been taken for granted as a permanent part of the landscape. The four dams on the lower Snake River provide hydropower and navigation to the West Coast’s most inland port -- in Lewiston, Idaho. They’ve also proven detrimental to threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead.

Now, a longstanding debate — removing or altering the four lower Snake River dams — is back at the forefront of a discussion on how to protect fish while still doing what’s best for all interests along the Columbia and Snake rivers.

On election night, did you already have a bad feeling about your family Thanksgiving? One Northwest brother and sister did. Jessica Brady and Jeremy Holmes both voted for Hillary Clinton. Their parents didn’t.

Washington jails are old, crowded and holding people who are disabled, mentally ill and often haven’t yet been convicted of a crime. County jails are often the first stop for people who enter the criminal justice system.

West Coast Progressives Wary Of Trump Presidency

Nov 22, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on cutting federal funding to cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officers.
 
Since the election, mayors up and down the West Coast have said they’ll continue to support immigrants who are in the country illegally. The region could also clash with the incoming administration over climate change and recreational marijuana.

Todd Donnovan is a political science professor at Western Washington University.

Over the summer, wildlife managers killed seven wolves in the Profanity Peak pack in northeast Washington. The wolves had been preying on cattle grazing on the Colville National Forest. Under Washington’s wolf management plan, the trigger for so-called “lethal action” is when a wolf pack attacks livestock four or more times in a year.

With Thanksgiving on the mind of most people this week, a new report shows the number of Oregonians who aren't sure where their next meal is coming from continues to rise.

Many Oregon motels are sold out and reservable campsites are going fast for an event that doesn't happen until the second half of next year. If you don't want to miss a total solar eclipse, mark August 21, 2017 on your calendar.

 

A judge in Thurston County has fined an activist group from Iowa for secretly funneling money into a Washington state election. The group Food Democracy Action! concealed $300,000 in contributions for a ballot measure to label genetically modified foods three years ago. 

The group did not disclose the names of its donors until after the 2013 election. 

The National Weather Service is urging holiday travelers to prepare for challenging road conditions this week.

A number of weather systems will be moving across Oregon. Amanda Bowen with the National Weather Service in Portland says snow is expected at elevations between 3000 and 4000 feet, starting Tuesday.

Community uproar about police shootings around the country prompted Washington state lawmakers to review the use of deadly force. A task force they convened meets Monday in Olympia to adopt its final recommendations.

Negative political ads often work. But not always.

In Washington state, some winners on election night withstood hundreds of thousands of dollars in political action committee spending against them.

When Donald Trump offered Sen. Jeff Sessions the position of attorney general, the pick drew criticism from civil rights groups and immigrant advocates. In the fast-growing, multibillion-dollar marijuana industry, it is also raising fears.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has filled two high-profile vacancies in state government. The Democrat announced Friday appointments to head the Oregon Lottery and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Northwest Team Helps With Wildfires in Georgia

Nov 18, 2016

An emergency operations team from the Northwest is working in Georgia this week to fight a few of the many wildfires burning in the smoky Southeast.

The team of about 50 is led by Noel Livingston of the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center. It includes representatives from fire departments and federal land management agencies in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

The state Fish and Wildlife departments in Washington and Oregon are seeking -- and getting -- help from hunters and hikers to track a perplexing epidemic. It's a hoof disease that causes heartbreaking scenes of limping or lame elk.

Rick Obst / Flickr

Since Donald Trump’s presidential win, university students around the nation held rallies Wednesday calling on administrators to declare their schools “sanctuary campuses." The University of Oregon says it supports all its students regardless of immigration status.

Steven Senne / AP

It's not just national organizations like Planned Parenthood getting a boost in donations, over worries about access to reproductive health care.

Disabled inmates are suffering from discrimination and isolation in Washington jails. That’s the finding of a report out Wednesday from Disability Rights Washington.

Oregon lawmakers didn't get much by way of good news Wednesday with the release of the latest revenue projections. Those show a $52 million drop in anticipated revenue during the upcoming budget cycle.

That means lawmakers will have to patch up an even bigger budget shortfall, which is already expected to exceed $1.5 billion.

What happens when someone who’s not supposed to have a gun lies about their background and tries to buy one? In Washington state, the answer is not much.

FBI records show that between January and August of this year, 3,259 would-be gun buyers in Washington failed a federal background check. But police and prosecutors rarely, if ever, pursue these people.

The Independent Party of Oregon is looking ahead after their first time being on a general election ballot as a major party. The group didn't win any races but leaders say the party did make its presence known.

Federal Surveyors Investigating Oregon Dams

Nov 15, 2016
KLCC / Northwest News Network

Three dams in the Willamette Valley are being checked out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It’s part of an ongoing program to ensure their safety and stability.

The state of Oregon is running behind schedule when it comes to conducting food safety inspections. That's the conclusion of an audit released Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State.

A lot has changed since election night when it looked like House Democrats were poised to gain two seats and cement their majority. Now fortunes could be changing in favor of Republicans and the Washington state House could be headed for a tie.

A federal civil trial in Seattle against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway is on hold pending a tentative settlement in a case brought by seven environmental groups that has been in litigation since 2013.

Plaintiffs argued coal dust and pieces of coal the company ships from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin across the Northwest have been polluting Washington’s waterways for years in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

The Washington Supreme Court Tuesday heard the case of a florist versus a same-sex couple who wanted flowers for their wedding in 2013. The owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, refused to take the job, saying it was against her religious beliefs.

According to numbers released Monday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office, about 42 percent of people who were automatically registered to vote this year did so in this month's election.

Associated Press / AP Images

At least 500 students from ten Portland schools walked out of class Monday morning in protest of the election of Donald Trump. 

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