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.

Former Gov. John Kitzhaber Cleared Of Criminal Charges

Jun 16, 2017
Don Ryan

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon announced Friday it won't bring criminal charges against former Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, for alleged misuse of their positions.

Wildfire Smoke Pollution Is Worse Than We Thought

Jun 16, 2017
Georgia Institute of Technology

All that black smoke you see floating up from a wildfire — it’s full of small particles that are bad for your lungs and heart. It turns out, the small particles are a lot worse than researchers previously thought. A new study found there are three times as much pollution in wildfire smoke plumes than predicted from earlier estimates.

Millions of tubular sea creatures called pyrosomes have taken over the Pacific Ocean in an unprecedented bloom that has scientists baffled.

These bumpy, translucent organisms look like sea cucumbers that range in size from six inches to more than two feet long. But they’re actually made up of hundreds of tiny animals knit together with tissue into a filter-feeding cylinder.

Seabirds Disappear In The Midst Of Plans To Shoot Them

Jun 16, 2017

For the second year in a row, thousands of cormorants have vacated their nesting grounds at the mouth of the Columbia River, derailing a plan to shoot and kill the seabirds to protect fish.

East Sand Island is usually packed with around 15,000 nesting cormorants this time of year; but right now there are none – just a handful of abandoned nests and broken eggs.

The state of Washington is 15 days from a partial government shutdown if lawmakers can’t come to agreement on a budget. On Thursday there was a noisy march through the Capitol and a high level meeting in the governor’s office.

But so far, there’s no sign of a deal.

Back in 2014, Oregon’s Board of Forestry tried to hold a public meeting at an Indian-owned Casino near Coos Bay. The meeting was allowed, but the department could not make any official decisions or deliberate.

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for wildfire funding was front and center during a hearing Thursday in Washington, D.C.. Northwest leaders are not only questioning possible cuts, they’re also looking for different ways to get ahead during fire season.

Boeing Set To Relocate Support Unit To Arizona

Jun 15, 2017
Ted S. Warren / ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

One of Boeing’s business support units is moving to Mesa, Arizona.

Law enforcement prepared for protesters and counterprotesters on the Evergreen State College campus in Olympia, Washington, Thursday afternoon—the day before this year's graduation ceremony.

Online retailer eBay wants to stop an internet tax proposal in the Washington Legislature. To do that the company is rallying its customer base.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Northwest leaders are moving ahead with climate change discussions abandoned by the federal government. The U.S. withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord this month.

Northwest Tribes To Hold Salmon Ceremony In Kettle Falls

Jun 14, 2017
Elaine Thompson / ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

Members of several northwest Indian tribes will celebrate the traditional role of salmon in their culture during ceremonies on Thursday and Friday.

The Oregon House unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that aims to prevent so-called “lunch shaming” in Oregon Schools.

Jeff Chiu/9th U.S. Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, left, and Judge Marsha Berzon/ / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Trump Administration is trying to get the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to throw out the federal climate lawsuit brought by 21 youth plaintiffs.

Washington AG And Others Sue Trump Administration

Jun 13, 2017
Elaine Thompson / ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

Washington, along with Oregon, California and several other states, are suing the Trump administration over delays to implementing new energy efficiency standards for several appliances.

With a government shutdown looming, Washington Senate Republicans are characterizing the status of budget negotiations differently than Gov. Jay Inslee.

The Joint Committee on Tax Reform hosted a public hearing in Salem Tuesday morning on a plan that aims to help address the state’s $1.4 billion budget gap.

It’s against the law in Oregon to knowingly or intentionally interfere with public transportation. On Monday, the state House passed a bill that would modify the criminal penalty for doing so. Bill supporters say those penalties disproportionately target the homeless and people with mental illness.

SAM BEEBE ECOTRUST / FLICKR

 

 

Oregon utility regulators are considering a request by Portland General Electric to sell nine oil storage tanks on the Columbia River near Clatskanie.

Mark Lennihan / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Tri-Cities could soon be home to the largest utility-scale solar power project in Washington. A French company will develop the project on land that used to be part of the Hanford nuclear reservation.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is sounding the alarm over the pace of budget negotiations at the state Capitol. During a media availability Monday, the Democrat said that it’s time for both sides to make “major moves” toward compromise.

Sixteen-year-olds may soon be able to pre-register to vote in Oregon. That’s according to a bill passed by the state’s House of Representatives Monday.

There are just 10 days left in Washington’s second legislative overtime session. And still there’s no sign of a budget deal.

Amelia Templeton / OPB

Four West Coast senators are calling on the Trump administration to declare a salmon fishery emergency and provide aid to economically struggling coastal communities.

Ashley Ahearn / KUOW/EarthFix

Washington state regulators approved two permits Thursday for a proposed plant that would make and export methanol along the Columbia River in Kalama. The Washington Department of Ecology approved a permit allowing the Port of Kalama and its partner Northwest Innovation Works to build on the shoreline.

Some Northwest rafting companies are seeing a flood of business with this year’s ample river flows. But that high water also comes with challenges.

Some companies say they are up 25 percent. But others are down, because the rivers they run are too high to run and they’ve had to cancel.

A traveling exhibit on Oregon’s participation in incarcerating Japanese Americans and immigrants during World War II made a stop at the Capitol building in Salem this week.

Matthew Brown / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Washington Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision Thursday in a ruling that suggests the Port of Vancouver violated public meetings law while negotiating a lease for an oil terminal.

How valuable are the naming rights for an NFL stadium? In Seattle, the answer is nearly $163 million over 15 years.

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