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.

Amy Radil / KUOW

A federal court judge in Seattle has ordered a temporary halt to the President Donald Trump’s immigration ban -- nationwide.

The restraining order is part of the lawsuit filed by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. U.S. District Judge James Robart issued the ruling Friday afternoon.

Oregon and Washington state are teaming up to a get a share of a remediation fund created under a court case against Volkswagen for emissions fraud. The first grants to promote electric cars could come later this year.

Washington state voters overseas can email their ballots to a county auditor. A bill in the legislature would expand that privilege to the rest of the state. But at a hearing Friday, lawmakers heard strong opposition to the proposed legislation.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order Thursday meant to counteract President Trump's recent directives on immigration. The Democrat also announced a possible lawsuit against Trump’s actions.

Associated Press / AP Images

The state of Oregon needs to prepare for the human health risks that come along with climate change. That’s the message Oregon Health Authority delivered in a plan released Thursday.  In recent years, Oregon has seen the warmest year on record and the lowest snowpack. It’s had one of the most severe fire seasons and declared widespread drought emergencies.

Whether it’s a drive from Bellingham or a flight from Washington D.C., a long commute to Olympia for Washington state lawmakers is normal. That’s what Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen told press at a briefing Thursday while he discussed his new role under the Trump administration.

WSDOT / Flickr

 

Thursday is the 21st anniversary of a deadly school shooting at Frontier Junior High in Moses Lake, Washington. To mark the anniversary, the sister of one of the victims plans to ask state lawmakers to make it a crime to not safely store guns.

The legal age to purchase and use tobacco in Oregon would rise from 18 to 21 under a measure under consideration in the legislature. A similar measure is under consideration in Washington state this year.

President Donald Trump signed executive orders to increase immigration enforcement officers, deport individuals living in the country illegally and build a wall along the border with Mexico. All while Northwest farmers say they can’t hire enough people to pick fruit or work in packing houses.

During winter’s coldest months, snow can protect winter wheat like a blanket on a bed. But if it hangs around too long it can cause problems.

Jeanie Lindsay / Northwest News Network

It’s too hard to keep cops accountable when it comes to using deadly force in Washington state. That’s what citizens supporting a pair of bills said at a hearing in Olympia Tuesday. But some officers who showed up to testify said a change of training, not legal language, is needed.

M.O. STEVENS / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The 79th session of the Oregon legislature kicks off Wednesday with a flurry of activity. It's the first day of a session that's expected to last through early July.

Bill Would Raise Penalties For Toking In Public

Jan 31, 2017
Jennifer Martin / Wikimedia Commons

It’s legal to consume marijuana in Washington, but you can’t use it just anywhere. The law confines the legal use to people’s homes. Some would like to see that changed to allow some sort of public use. But for now, a Kennewick legislator proposes to go the other direction and increase the penalties for public use.

Senator Merkley Vows To Filibuster SCOTUS Nominee

Jan 31, 2017
United States Senate / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley says he’ll filibuster President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee — no matter who it is. Merkley says that the Senate abrogated its responsibility last year by not considering President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. 

Spokane’s City Council passed an emergency ordinance Monday night that prohibits religious registries of any kind in Washington’s second largest city.

Washington's Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has weighed in on the Trump administration’s executive order that bans immigrants and refugees from entering the U.S..

Officials in a number of states have spoken out against President Trump's recent executive actions on immigration. On Monday, Washington state became the first to file a lawsuit against the administration, seeking a restraining order to stop enforcement of the ban.

"If successful it would have the effect of invalidating the president's unlawful action nationwide," Attorney General Bob Ferguson said of the lawsuit, according to member station KNKX.

Oregon state Rep. Vic Gilliam, a Republican from Silverton who is battling ALS, announced Monday that he's stepping down. His resignation is effective Wednesday, the first day of the 2017 legislative session.

With 22 straight wins and no losses, the Gonzaga University men’s basketball team are the only undefeated NCAA Division 1 basketball team in the nation. And now the Bulldogs have secured the top ranking in the country’s two major polls.

Associated Press / AP Images

Washington state has filed a lawsuit to stop President Trump from carrying out his immigration Executive Order. The Order, signed late Friday afternoon, resulted in chaos at airports as some travelers were denied entry, including at SeaTac. It temporarily bans immigrants from seven countries and suspends the refugee program. 

Associated Press / AP Images

Tomorrow is the last day to enroll for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. It’s unclear what’s going to happen with the law, but more Oregonians have signed up this year than all previous years.

Associated Press / AP Images

Political leaders in Oregon are reacting defiantly to President Donald Trump’s executive order strictly limiting who can enter the United States. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum condemned President Trump’s executive order that freezes immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries.

The red-blue divide on immigration is on prominent display in the Northwest Monday. The state attorneys general of Washington state and Oregon are denouncing the Trump administration for its order limiting travel from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Meanwhile, Idaho legislators took the first step to require local police to assist the federal government on immigration enforcement.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee seems to have a new part-time job: foil to President Donald Trump. And it’s getting him lots of attention, including mentions on Facebook and in the national media.

Amiran White / For The Register-Guard

Joining other protests around the country and the Northwest, an estimated one-thousand people gathered at the Eugene Federal Building Sunday to protest President Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees. Hundreds of people crowded the street in front of the Federal Building. They held signs and chanted.

Sudanese Man Detained at SeaTac

Jan 30, 2017

People traveling to Seattle continue to be affected by travel bans put in place by the Trump administration. An executive order signed Friday bars people from some majority-Muslim nations from entering the U.S. At least one person was detained at SeaTac airport Sunday because of that order.

Muwafag Gasim is a construction engineer who lives and works in Seattle. He has an American work visa and a masters degree from The University of Washington. But when he flew into SeaTac airport Sunday morning, Gasim was pulled aside and detained for seven hours.

Idaho Lawmaker Heather Scott Tries To Get Committees Back

Jan 27, 2017
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

North Idaho Representative Heather Scott stood on the House floor Friday and asked to be allowed to return to her committees.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The Forest Service has settled a lawsuit with a conservation group and an Idaho Indian tribe that will allow oversized truck loads to resume using a two-lane federal highway through an environmentally-sensitive section of the Idaho Panhandle. But the settlement essentially bans so-called megaloads of oil equipment destined for the oil sands in Alberta.

Mike Licht / Flickr

The recent testy back-and-forth between President Trump and Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto could end in real cash losses for agriculture in the Northwest.

Nearly $140 million of apples, $83 million of dairy and $26 million of frozen fries were shipped from Washington state to Mexico in 2015. For Oregon, farmers shipped $12 million in live trees and $15 million in wheat gluten and starch. Plus pears and prepared fruits and veggies.

Washington Apple Commission President Todd Fryhover said even talk of tariffs, or presidential-ego-bashing can result in canceled orders.

A dispute between regional airline Horizon Air and its pilots union is headed to court. It stems from how the sister carrier of Alaska Airlines grapples with an industrywide shortage of pilots.

Pages