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.

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.

Multnomah County

Multnomah County’s sheriff is defending how his office handled the case of an immigrant who has been deported several times and was allegedly involved in violent crimes last week.

 

The anticipated heat wave hitting the Northwest is NOT expected to cause widespread power outages, according to utility officials. That’s because fewer people in the region have air conditioning units than in other parts of the country.

Hot Cars Can Be Deadly to Children and Pets

Aug 1, 2017
Lane County

With this week’s heat wave, health officials are warning of dangers associated with leaving a child or pet in a car.  Last year nationwide, 39 children died after being left in cars. Already this year, 29 have died.

Washington state’s voter rolls are “accurate,” and the state follows federal election laws. That’s the message Washington Director of Elections, Lori Augino, is sending to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Researchers at Oregon State University have embarked on a long term study of an elusive threatened seabird along the west coast. The goal is find out more about the marbled murrelet to better inform conservation efforts.

Don Ryan / Associated Press

 

Oregon’s Attorney General is ordering some hotels to pay customers for deceptive advertising ahead of the August eclipse.

If Northwest fish were stand-up comics, the salmon would be the headliner. And the fish that gets “no respect” would be the lamprey, an eel-like creature that has been plying the Northwest’s rivers for 400 million years. 

On August 21, the moon will block the sun causing a giant shadow in the Northwest. But the day of the much-anticipated total solar eclipse is also the first day of fall semester for Washington State University Cougars.

Coming Soon To Eastern Washington: Tree-Free Paper Pulp

Jul 28, 2017

A company in eastern Washington is developing a new way to make paper pulp without trees. The mill will instead use a source abundant to the area: straw.

Scott Leadingham

Fire danger in North Central and North Eastern Washington is very high, prompting the state Department of Natural Resources to upgrade warnings and burn bans.

A proposed tax on sugary sodas in Multnomah County could fall victim to a statewide ballot measure sponsored by the Oregon grocery industry.

The industry is pushing forward with an initiative that would ban taxes on the sale of food in Oregon. The proposed statewide constitutional amendment is primarily aimed at countering attempts to hike corporate taxes in the state.

But the grocery initiative would also cover new taxes on sugar-laden sodas, which many health researchers blame for growing problems with obesity and diabetes.

Taomeister / Flickr

 

Get ready for mandatory ten-digit dialing in western Washington State. Population growth has taken up nearly all the phone numbers available that start with 360 – and other area codes in the state are not far behind. So 564 is being added to the mix.

Oregon Governor Deploys National Guard For Eclipse

Jul 27, 2017
Takeshi Kuboki / Flickr

As state and local agencies continue to prepare for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, Gov. Kate Brown has authorized the Oregon National Guard to deploy soldiers. The National Guard will stage six aircraft and about 150 soldiers and airmen ahead of the eclipse weekend, OPB confirmed Thursday.

Outdoor recreation generates more than $3 billion in state and local tax revenue in the Northwest. That’s according to a report out this week from the Outdoor Industry Association.




Normally by late June, wasps are a common nuisance at summer barbecues. But this year, entomologists have noticed a drop-off in Washington state and wasp populations are lower than usual.

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