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.

COASST/Cliff Brown / KUOW

Seabirds have been washing up dead on beaches in Washington and British Columbia this summer. Something is taking a toll on a funny-sounding, peculiar-looking seabird.

Over orchards and vineyards across the Northwest, European starlings are eating fruit to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. And when the traditional methods of keeping the birds away -- like scarecrows, pyrotechnics and netting -- don’t work, it’s time to call Falcon Force.

Gov. Brown Announces Plan To Curb Gun Violence

Jul 15, 2016
Conrad Wilson

Gov. Brown issued an executive order that requires Oregon State Police to maintain a database of firearm transactions for five years after the sale.

She also ordered State Police to notify local law enforcement agencies if a person prohibited from owning a gun tries to buy one.

“Gun violence is terrorizing America, tearing apart the very fabric of our communities and our families.”

Brown, who is running for re-election in November, ordered the Oregon Health Authority to issue gun death reports annually and make policy recommendations.

The police force in Washington’s state capital is changing. Fourteen months ago a white police officer in Olympia shot two African-American brothers. The shooting triggered local protests, but not a national outcry -- the brothers survived, although one was paralyzed.

Oregonians will vote on an initiative that aims to increase the state's high school graduation rate. The Oregon Secretary of State's office announced Thursday that supporters of IP 65 had gathered enough valid signatures for the measure to appear on the November ballot.

Malheur Refuge Occupier Says He Has Gender Dysphoria

Jul 15, 2016
ASSOCIATED PRESS / AP Images

The last holdout at the Malheur National Wildlife Occupation says he has gender dysphoria. Occupier David Fry had previously said he hoped to be reincarnated as a woman.

At a detention hearing this week, a judge asked Fry to explain his comment. The judge also asked Fry about a past escape attempt from a mental health care facility.

In an audio statement made from the Multnomah County Jail after the hearing, Fry explained.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Audio Pending...

The U.S. Army is having unprecedented success this summer qualifying soldiers to compete at the upcoming Olympic Games in Brazil. The Army supports a corps of runners who nearly all come from the cradle of distance running champions in Kenya. Some live and train in Beaverton, Oregon. Correspondent Tom Banse explains why the Army is grooming Olympic athletes, a bunch of whom only recently became U.S. citizens.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has thrown out a subpoena that would have given the FBI access to personal emails sent by former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. A three-judge panel ruled Wednesday that the subpoena was "unreasonably overbroad."

A group of climate activists is fasting on the steps of the Washington state Capitol this week as part of a protest against Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed cap on carbon emissions. The activists say the cap doesn’t go far enough.

ASSOCIATED PRESS / AP Images

 

The FBI is closing its investigation into America's only unsolved airplane hijacking. The famous case of skyjacker D.B. Cooper has puzzled FBI investigators for the last 45 years. 

Six players from the women's pro soccer teams in Seattle and Portland were named Tuesday to the U.S. Olympic Team for the Summer Games in Brazil. Seattle Reign goalkeeper Hope Solo and midfielder Megan Rapinoe got the nod, along with Portland Thorns defender Meghan Klingenberg and midfielders Lindsey Horan, Allie Long and Tobin Heath.

Some Oregon corporations will likely change their structure and behavior to lessen the impact of a tax hike headed for the November ballot. That's according to a report from revenue analysts at the Oregon Legislature.

Workers at the Hanford tank farms in southeast Washington state stopped work Monday after a group of unions in Richland called for a halt in the early morning. A union leader said that could mess with about 2,000 people’s schedules at the site.

It was clear once again that the Northwest is a hotbed for elite running on the final day of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials in Eugene Sunday. Oregon and Washington were well represented in many of the race line-ups. And the same can be said of the U.S. track and field team as a whole.

Close to one-quarter of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team heading to Brazil next month -- 28 runners and throwers -- have Northwest connections.

Editor’s note: Anna King’s reports from the 2015 wildfires in Washington state earned national recognition in breaking news and crisis journalism. We asked our Richland correspondent to reflect on fire, safety, and what’s changed over the years. --Phyllis Fletcher

A 41-year-old distance runner nicknamed the “ageless wonder” qualified for the Olympics for a fifth time during the final weekend of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials in Eugene. Former Washington State University track star Bernard Lagat finished first in a furious sprint to the finish of the 5000-meters Saturday.

Friday was the deadline to turn in signatures for initiative campaigns hoping to place a measure on the November ballot in Oregon. Statutory initiatives need 88,184 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. Constitutional initiatives require 117,578 valid signatures.

Oregon voters may get the chance to ban the sale of items made from certain wildlife species this November. Backers of an initiative that would do just that submitted signatures Thursday in an attempt to get their measure on the November ballot.

The recent police shootings of African-American men in Louisiana and Minnesota have reignited the debate over use of deadly force. That was on the mind of a black community leader in Washington state as she strapped on a gun belt and took aim inside a state-of-the-art training simulator for police.

At the Washington State Patrol Academy in Shelton, Corporal Lori Hinds guides a pair of visitors into what looks like a walk-in video game. Inside five, large video screens form a 300-degree computer-generated environment.

Ben Brooks / Flickr

More homes now are built in rural and wildland areas. And fire managers are now seeing more wildfires spread from rural areas into cities and towns. Firefighters went up against these country-to-city fires last year in Chelan, and this year in California and Canada.

Harvey Barrison / Flickr

Washington residents could vote on minimum wage changes in November.

The Northwest saw several red flag warnings and fast-burning fires over the long holiday weekend. And in the last several years, regional firefighters say they are seeing bigger fires that threaten more homes.

Washington voters will likely decide in November whether to raise the state minimum wage and require employers to provide paid sick leave. Backers of the Raise Up Washington campaign say they will submit more than 360,000 signatures Wednesday -- virtually guaranteeing it a spot on the fall ballot.

Runningboards / Wikipedia

Two former University of Oregon Ducks have made the Men’s Olympic javelin team. Cyrus Hostetler threw the farthest Monday at Hayward Field.

Photo courtesy of Kathy Wolf

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. And in the tiny wheat-farming town of Johnson, Washington, they’re getting ready for the 50th year of what some call “America’s Craziest Parade.”

This story has been updated.

A wildfire that broke out near Cle Elum Saturday has been fully contained according to the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office. The 50-acre fire caused several homes to be evacuated and threatened Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.

The Federal Aviation Administration emailed all 500,000 drone owners in its registry this week to remind them to stay away from wildfires. Close calls between hobby drones and firefighting aircraft persist across the West despite repeated warnings.

Fireworks aren’t the only thing firefighters have to worry about this Fourth of July weekend. They have a big battle on their hands and have been bringing in extra crews and equipment to posts east of the Cascades.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

When women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, doctors usually try specific drugs first, and therapies like chemotherapy. But new research could eventually give patients treatments that target their specific tumor.

Northwest Public Television

 

Francisco Mendoza is a seventh-grader with a sweet smile. Like many boys his age, he has yes and no answers to most questions. It wasn’t easy getting the details of his life - but maybe it’s because of the struggle and loss his family has endured. Francisco’s father died when he was three years old, and his mother works low-wage jobs to provide for her family.

But playing the cello relieves Francisco’s stress.

Pages