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.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Ammon Bundy testified in federal court this morning that he was following a divine plan when he led the occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge earlier this year.

A new proposed ballot initiative in Spokane, Washington, could prohibit coal and oil companies from transporting their products through the city by rail. It comes after the city council rolled back a similar effort last month.

This time around, the proposal targets the owners of the rail cars and not the railroad companies tasked with transporting them.

Mopping Up The Forest Floor

Oct 5, 2016

At the end of every wildfire, firefighters make sure burned areas are safe to leave. The process of cleaning up burned land is known as mopping up.

It is a long process - usually spanning several days - that ensures parts of a fire are completely extinguished. Firefighters do this in any area the fire already burned through, even if the fire is still active somewhere else.

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

Malheur occupation leader Ammon Bundy briefly took the stand yesterday in federal court to defend his actions in taking over an Oregon wildlife refuge.

Right now, your apples are harvested by humans. But Washington may soon face a shortage of apple pickers: as soon as 2021, according to Washington State University economist Karina Gallardo. The labor pool is shrinking with tougher immigration enforcement and a growing Mexican economy.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he takes responsibility for his office’s failure to preserve emails related to the deadly 2014 Oso landslide. The Democrat issued a statement Tuesday after a judge vowed to impose a “significant monetary sanction” over the deleted emails.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown discussed a potential new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River during a phone call this week. Inslee mentioned his conversation with Governor Brown during an interview with the editorial board of the Columbian newspaper in Vancouver.

AP Images /

Nestle began scouting the Northwest earlier this year for a location to build a commercial water bottling plant.

A startup company from North Idaho captivated donors and YouTube viewers worldwide a few years ago with its idea for turning roads and parking lots into solar farms. Now that far-out idea is available for public inspection for the first time.

Malheur refuge occupation leader Ammon Bundy accused U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown on Monday of blocking his defense team’s case. And Bundy said that’s the reason for his choice to take the stand in the trial of seven occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2016 has been awarded to three theoretical researchers for their insights into the odd behavior of matter in unusual phases, like superconductors, superfluid films and some kinds of magnets.

David J. Thouless receives half the prize, and Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz share the other half. All three used mathematics to explain the the properties of matter in certain states.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is on the air with his first TV ad of the general election. His Republican challenger Bill Bryant hopes to hit the airwaves soon -- but money is an issue.

Solar Roadways /

This weekend Sandpoint, Idaho, celebrated the debut of a local start-up company's idea for "solar roadways." Ultimately, the entrepreneurs envision roads, sidewalks and parking lots doing double duty as power plants.

SEIU United Healthcare Workers / AP Images

A conservative think tank said it now has the names of thirty-thousand in-home caregivers paid by Washington state.

A group of natural gas utilities in Washington Friday filed the third legal challenge this week to new state limits on global warming pollution. The private utility companies Cascade Natural Gas, NW Natural, Avista and Puget Sound Energy filed the latest challenge in Thurston County Superior Court.

It’s not just President Obama who’s had his citizenship questioned. So has Washington’s Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, Cyrus Habib. It happened at a pro-gun rally last weekend and Democrats posted the video to YouTube.

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman Friday introduced a proposal that would allow election officials to verify the citizenship of voters in the state. It comes in response to questions about whether the suspect in a recent shooting near Seattle voted legally.

Solar Roadways /

Imagine driving on a busy road...without any traffic lines or caution signs. Could it be safe?

You can now use your credit or debit card when you visit the DMV in Oregon. The agency is now accepting plastic at all 60 of its field offices.

Washington’s troubled Western State Hospital has been plagued by ineffective management, staff reductions and turnover. That’s according to a “root cause analysis” report released Thursday.

The passage of a congressional bill that authorizes drinking and wastewater projects nationwide has Northwest tribes celebrating. An amendment to the bill means the 9,000-year-old human remains discovered near Kennewick, Washington, 20 years ago will be returned for final burial.

Attorneys who represent two Oregon foster children are suing the Department of Human Services. The lawyers say DHS violates state and federal law by housing some children in hotels and offices.

Defense Zipping Through Witness List In Oregon Standoff Trial

Sep 29, 2016

Their start was rocky, but the defense attorneys for Ammon Bundy and six others accused of taking over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge picked up speed Wednesday — so much so it appears they could wrap their case up next week.

Toward the end of the day’s session, U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown observed the defense was quickly moving through its witness list. The day started, however, on much shakier legs.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of the Interior Monday announced a $492 million settlement with a number of tribes. It ends decades-long disputes between the tribes and the federal government over land management.

There’s a lot of talk about “dark money” in politics these days. That’s money raised and spent by so-called “social welfare” organizations that don’t have to disclose their donors.

But sometimes these groups will reveal who’s giving them money -- if you ask.

Kai-Huei Yau

The Washington State Historical Society honored NWPR's own Anna King, Kai-Huei Yau and Doug Gast Saturday, September 24 with the David Douglas Award for their Daughters of Hanford series.


Multnomah County Sheriff's Office / Associated Press

Defense attorneys for Ammon Bundy and six other people who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year begin presenting their case to jurors today. 

Wikimedia User: lecroitg / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon’s scores on the SAT college entrance exam continue to outpace the national average. More Oregon students are taking the SAT college entrance exam, and scores continue to outpace the national average. The context for Tuesday's scores is complicated.

Torben Hansen / FLICKR Creative Commons

Two law enforcement groups in Oregon say drug possession convictions should result in lighter sentences than they currently do.