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.

Coast Guard PFC Levi Read / Wikimedia Commons

The Oregon Department of Transportation wants the federal government to stop large oil trains from running through the Columbia River Gorge.

Washington state Democrats are confident they will avoid a Nevada-like meltdown at their state convention this weekend. Nevada’s Democratic convention devolved into chaos after Bernie Sanders supporters felt the process was rigged.

Oregon employers have new guidance from the state on how much to pay their employees when the state's minimum wage goes up next month. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries released rules Wednesday meant to clear up one of the questions surrounding the legislatively-approved minimum wage hike.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The rainbow pride flag was raised over the Washington state Capitol  Wednesday. It was then immediately lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims of last weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando. 

Bundy, Other Refuge Occupiers Back In Court

Jun 15, 2016
Glenn Scofield Williams / Flickr

Defendants accused of conspiring to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge appeared Wednesday in federal court in downtown Portland.

Scientists announced Wednesday that they have once again detected ripples in space and time from two black holes colliding far away in the universe.

The discovery comes just months after the first-ever detection of such "gravitational waves," and it suggests that smaller-sized black holes might be more numerous than many had thought.

ASSOCIATED PRESS / AP Images

The CEO of Washington’s biggest state-run psychiatric facility will not have to report to jail Wednesday. The case relates to a man waiting for a bed at Western State Hospital.

Four county governments in Oregon are still struggling enough that the state should continue to monitor their financial condition. That's according to a state audit released Tuesday.

Expect A Warm Summer, But Not As Hot As The Last One

Jun 14, 2016
Joel / Flickr

Yes, it is going to be a hot summer. Meteorologists are expecting above-average heat.

 

Now here’s the good news (sort of): It won’t be as hot as last year.

Kyra Buckley / KLCC

A gay nightclub in central Florida is now the scene of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The tragedy sent shock waves across the nation. Sunday afternoon, patrons of Eugene's only gay bar shared their grief.

Oregon lawmakers are hitting the road Monday to get a first-hand look at the state's traffic chokepoints. It's part of an effort to develop a transportation funding package for a vote in next year's legislative session.

Monday is Kirk Schulz’s first official day as the 11th president of Washington State University. In some brief public appearances across WSU’s campuses, the president’s wife has been greeting students and colleagues too.

And you can call both of them Dr. Schulz. Noel Schulz starts as an electrical engineering professor at Washington State in August.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

Washington Governor Jay Inslee spoke at a vigil held in Seattle last night in response to the mass shootings in Orlando. Inslee said he was there to share the spirit of Washington- a statewide commitment to support the city of Orlando.

Ostrea Lurida / FLICKR Creative Commons

Native Olympia oysters are smaller than the larger, faster-growing Pacific oysters preferred by farmers. A study by Oregon State University professor George Waldbusser has found Olympia oysters make their shells much more slowly. That helps protect them from acidic water.

AUSTIN JENKINS / Northwest News Network

Parachutes and MASH tents might be the Northwest’s best hope in the face of a 9.0 earthquake and coastal tsunami. This week emergency responders in Washington, Oregon and Idaho are practicing for a subduction zone quake.

A day after tribal leaders and Governors in all 50 states received a letter from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell paid a visit to the Spokane Indian Tribe.

Yakima Valley Emergency Management Office

If a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit Washington state, people in the central and eastern parts of the state would not be the hardest hit, but survival would not be a walk in the park either. That’s why emergency organizers east of the Cascade Mountains are preparing to handle that kind of disaster. 

Planes and parachutes might be the best bet for getting supplies to cut-off areas in the event of a subduction zone earthquake. National Guard pilots and paratroopers practiced supply drops and parachute jumps Thursday.

Edward Kimmel / Flickr

Washington U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell is pushing for stricter rules on oil trains after last week's fiery derailment in Mosier, Oregon.

Robert Ashworth / Flickr

It’s been ten years in the making, but the Spokane tribe has won approval from Governor Inslee for its Casino in Airway Heights. The tribe says it will be an economic boon that will bring thousands of new jobs, but not all are happy with the announcement.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has announced a visit with the Spokane Indian Tribe Thursday. The visit comes as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed off on a plan that includes a casino.

A bill that makes sweeping changes to Oregon's oversight of foster care providers takes effect next month. The reforms were proposed after numerous media reports of abuse and neglect at several foster care providers.

U.S. Geological Survey / Flickr

The oil train spill in Mosier, Oregon was the latest of about 20 oil train derailments in the U.S. since 2013.That's according to the group Earth Justice. One Washington lawmaker says there's one way to limit the danger of derailments or oil spills in this state: build an oil pipeline.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Radio

Audio Pending...

Some people might not think of sock monkeys as a piece of art. But a new show featuring all different textiles -- including sock monkeys -- wants to change your mind. The exhibition features a type of art known as surface design. All that’s needed is some type of fiber, and a surface to transform. The rest is up to the imagination.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants oil trains to slow down and safety improvements to speed up. Inslee said Wednesday that he personally delivered that message to the CEO of Union Pacific and the executive chairman of BNSF over the last 48 hours.

Following Friday’s derailment in the Columbia Gorge, environmental groups are petitioning the Obama administration to ban rail transport of the most flammable kind of crude oil. And Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said on the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday that it was clear that Oregon got lucky -- this time.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

Residents of Mosier, Oregon were told Sunday night they can return to their homes.

An oil train that derailed and caught fire forced more than 100 to evacuate last week. Just over 400 people live in the sleepy town surrounded by cherry orchards and basalt cliffs.

Conrad Wilson / Oregon Public Broadcasting

Officials with Union Pacific says its findings are preliminary.

Several Northwest tribes including the Umatilla in northeast Oregon and the Yakama in central Washington state are in Washington D.C. this week. They’re asking for the passage of one more law to help rebury the remains known as "Kennewick Man" or the "Ancient One."

Friday’s oil train derailment and fire comes as Washington state prepares to put new oil shipment safety rules into effect. In fact, the derailment in the Columbia Gorge happened just as the first public hearing on those rules was wrapping up in Vancouver, Washington.

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