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.

Governor Kate Brown Signs Oregon House Bill 2017 in Eugene

Aug 29, 2017
Franziska Monahan / KLCC

Governor Kate Brown is touring the state this week to celebrate the passage of Oregon’s new transportation funding package. She visited Alton Baker Park in Eugene this Tuesday morning for a ceremonial signing of House Bill 2017.

After 50 years, Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife will no longer operate the Wells Hatchery on the Columbia River near Pateros.

The Douglas County PUD, which owns the hatchery and a satellite facility in Winthrop, decided Monday to exercise a 90-day termination clause in its contract following an investigation into a “highly sexualized workplace” culture at the facility.

Arrest Made In WSU Bomb Threats Case

Aug 29, 2017
Scott Leadingham / Northwest Public Radio

Washington State University says a student has been arrested in connection with several bomb threats recently made against a residence hall on the Pullman campus.

Q&A: So Why Are Atlantic Salmon In The Northwest?

Aug 29, 2017

Last weekend, a net pen broke apart near Washington’s Cypress Island. The pen held 305,000 Atlantic salmon, non-native fish.

The company that owns the pen, Cooke Aquaculture, says it is unsure exactly how many Atlantic salmon escaped. It estimates somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 fish. Cooke and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are inventorying fish are still inside the pens.

David J. Phillip / Associated Press


More than 600 members of the Oregon National Guard have been tapped to fight wildfires burning out of control in the state. Now two small teams are being activated for a different mission: assisting the relief effort in Texas, where flood waters continue to rise.

Oran Viriyincy / Flickr


The Washington State Transportation Commission is looking for drivers to participate in a program that might help determine what could replace the state’s gasoline tax.

A project to build a new runway at Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport will stay on track if the Washington State University Board of Regents approves a deal Wednesday.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press


Officials now have clearer estimates on the disastrous release of farmed Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound this month.

Idahoans are in mourning after the death of four-term governor Cecil Andrus – known to many as just “Cece." He was 85 years old, just one day shy of his 86th birthday. The Democrat died late Thursday due to complications from lung cancer.

The U.S. Forest Service is moving forward with a plan to allow exploratory mining near Mount St. Helens.

The agency issued a draft decision approving Canadian company Ascot Resources Ltd.’s plans to drill for copper and gold in Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest.


The opioid epidemic is claiming another victim: young children who are neglected by their addicted parents. That’s according to the newest annual report on child fatalities in Washington state.

Bitcoin Blows Up And Wenatchee Benefits

Aug 25, 2017

Nearly a decade after its invention, bitcoin, a kind of cryptocurrency, is reaching all time highs. The market price reached a peak today with one bitcoin being worth $4,495.

Esmy Jimenez  talked to the CEO of a bitcoin mining operation here in the Northwest.

Bitcoin is, well, confusing at times. Created in 2008, the network was established as a system to transfer money online and internationally.


Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson is hearing from opponents and supporters of a proposed change to the state's initiative process.

Connor Henricksen / Northwest Public Radio

Students at Washington State University in Pullman are voicing concerns over what they say is a lack of action from the school regarding racist incidents and the cultural climate on campus.



Idahoans are in mourning after the death of four-term governor Cecil Andrus – known to many as just “Cece." He was 85 years old, just one day shy of his 86th birthday. The Democrat died late Thursday due to complications from lung cancer.

Oregon Town Under Pre-Evacuation Notice As Fire Conditions Worsen

Aug 25, 2017
U.S. Forest Service

The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for the Chetco Bar Fire area in Southwest Oregon.  

Two Washington state inmates at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen have filed a civil rights complaint in federal court over prison shaving policies.

Esmy Jimenez / Northwest Public Radio

There are over 60 schools in the U.S. with names tied to the Confederate South. One school, Robert E. Lee Elementary, is right here in the Northwest.

Corvallis Airport Now Run By Solar Power

Aug 24, 2017

The City of Corvallis is now running its airport on solar power. They’ve installed and switched on a new 110,000 kilowatt hour solar array.

The $273,000 solar installation will produce enough energy to supply most of the city’s electricity use at the airport.

Flickr Creative Commons / Molly Sabourin

Some resident fish in the Columbia River’s Hanford Reach aren’t safe to eat on a regular basis. The Washington Department of Health found six types of fish that have high levels of mercury and PCBs.

When you call 911 from a mobile phone, software at the carrier and dispatch center triangulates your location. But in places where cell towers are widely spaced, like rural Pacific County, Washington, it doesn't work so well.

Critics of a new Oregon law that would make it easier to get guns out of the hands of people suffering from mental health crises are gathering signatures to overturn it.

Seth Perlman / Associated Press

Washington law prevents domestic violence abusers from possessing guns. But advocates for victims say the courts aren’t doing enough to enforce the law.

Credit J.K. Califf / Flickr

During 2014 and 2015, sixteen women died in Washington due to pregnancy-related complications. That's according to a new report on maternal deaths. And officials say roughly half of them may have been preventable.

Diesel-burning ferry boats could be a thing of the past for Skagit County. The county plans to replace its passenger ferry with an all-electric model. It would be the first of its kind built anywhere in the U.S.

Don Ryan / Associated Press

House Speaker Paul Ryan distanced himself Wednesday from President Trump’s new threat to shut down the government as a way to secure funding for a border wall. Ryan was careful to avoid directly criticizing the president during a visit to Intel.

There’s no way to know for sure how many fishers lived in the Cascades historically, because the small brown mammal was almost entirely eradicated by trappers by 1930.

But this week, there’s evidence that they are reproducing.

It's official: Oregon taxpayers will receive a kicker rebate. Nearly $464 million will be sent back to taxpayers when they file their state income taxes next year.

A count of Oregon's homeless population shows a 6 percent increase in the number of people living in shelters or on the streets. The tally takes place every two years in January and is meant to be a snapshot of a specific point in time.

Racist graffiti and a possible bomb threat forced the evacuation of more than 100 Washington State University students from their residence hall in the middle of the night Monday.