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.

Jennifer Martin / Wikimedia Commons

Most banks refuse to do transactions with marijuana businesses, because it's still illegal under federal law. Washington's 10th District Congressman Denny Heck is pushing legislation to change that. He'll meet with industry reps and law enforcement Tuesday to talk about the proposal.

When you sink $40 million into a state-of-the art digital two-way radio system, you don’t expect to hear complaints. But delays, dead air and garbled transmissions have bedeviled a new Washington State Patrol radio system.

A popular getaway destination for Northwest outdoor enthusiasts should be under new ownership by this winter. British Columbia's Whistler Blackcomb ski resort has agreed to a friendly takeover by Colorado-based Vail Resorts.

During the decade before the U.S. Civil War, a different conflict made a big impact on the future of the Oregon Territory. It's known as the Rogue River Indian War. But unlike the Civil War battlefields in the eastern U.S. or American South that receive hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, you’ll be hard pressed to tour -- or even find -- those battlefields.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Endorses TPP

Aug 8, 2016
ASSOCIATED PRESS / AP Images

Oregon Governor Kate Brown is endorsing a controversial trade agreement opposed by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The governor says Congress should approve the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Lindsey Bieda / Flickr

If you're not all that excited about voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, you're in luck.

Seattle Storm teammates Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart hit the court this weekend for Team USA’s first game in the Summer Olympics basketball tournament. Stewart is an Olympic rookie while Bird is gunning for her fourth consecutive gold medal.

Flashy Brazilian music and dance is likely to light up your TV screen Friday night when the Olympic cauldron is lit to officially launch the Summer Games. But a lot of the Olympic athletes from the Northwest are skipping the Opening Ceremony in Rio.

SeaPort Airlines Faces $500,000 Fine For Failing To Inspect Engines

Aug 4, 2016
Stuart Mike SeaPort Airlines/Flickr

  The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a $500,000 fine for SeaPort.

Portland-based SeaPort runs what are known as ‘puddle jumpers’ between towns and larger cities, like Pendleton-to-Portland and El Dorado-to-Houston.

Ricardo Bernardo

    Nestlé’s plans to build a commercial water bottling plant in another Northwest town is stirring up more controversy. The mayor of Waitsburg resigned this week amid accusations of back-room deals and protests of the plan by many area residents.

Nestlé wants to build a water bottling plant in the Northwest. It looked to Cascade Locks, Oregon, but voters in Hood County effectively blocked the plan.

The Washington chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is hoping to change the way elections are run in Pasco. In a lawsuit filed Thursday the group alleges that the city is violating elections laws by not giving Latinos a fair voice in the current election system.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump plans to return to Washington and Oregon at the end this month. The Washington Post reports Trump will hold high dollar fundraisers in Portland and Seattle as part of a west coast swing. He’s also expected to hold public events.

Thirty-seven new Washington State Patrol troopers graduated Wednesday during a ceremony at the state Capitol in Olympia. But they’re only making a dent in a big trooper shortage.

Flickr user Padraic / Flickr

In one of their final appearances before next month’s trial begins, defendants accused of conspiring to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge were again in a federal courtroom in Portland Wednesday.

Tuesday’s high winds set two major new fires raging in Washington state. One ripped across grassy eastern Washington flats near Moses Lake and the other up a steep canyon near the Snake River and Pullman.

The Range 12 Fire in southeast Washington has destroyed some of the most sensitive shrub steppe habitat in the nation.

There will be plenty of Olympic athletes with local connections to cheer for when the Summer Games begin this week.

In a political year that's favored outsiders, two incumbent Democrats posted healthy showings over their Republican challengers in Washington's Tuesday primary.

Officials from the Hanford nuclear reservation and Energy Northwest have been meeting with fire managers in southeast Washington state Tuesday. The nearby Range 12 Fire has grown to more than 177,000 acres and high winds are predicted this evening.

National parks will offer free admission on the final weekend of August in honor of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. Before then, the park service centennial is being celebrated with music.

JEFF FUSCO

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Comcast.

What does a southwest Washington billionaire have in common with the former majority leader of the Washington Senate? They’ve teamed in an effort to unseat the chief justice of the Washington Supreme Court.

Crews Say Drones Hamper Firefighting Efforts

Aug 1, 2016

A wildfire in southeast Washington has grown to 70,000 acres between Yakima and the Tri-Cities. More than 100 crew members are working to keep the Range 12 Fire from spreading.

But they say something could slow that work down: drones.

Organic blueberries are really hard to grow west of the Cascades -- too many bugs and too much disease. And east of the mountains, growers must battle the desert. But one company growing blueberries in south central Washington state may have a solution.

Giant tents.

Luke Aikins on Saturday became the first skydiver to jump from a plane without a parachute or wingsuit and live to tell the story.

Oregon Prosecutors Outline Refuge Case In Memo

Aug 1, 2016
ASSOCIATED PRESS / AP

Federal prosecutors in Oregon filed a trial brief Friday outlining their case against the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The story prosecutors tell is one of a premeditated takeover that had all the ingredients to escalate into a violent firefight.

Wildfire Season Blazes Into The Northwest

Aug 1, 2016

Several wildfires have broken out throughout Washington and Oregon this weekend after high heat, low humidity, and strong winds picked up.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Olympic runners from the Northwest declared themselves prepared and ready to go at a final track meet stateside before flying to Brazil for the Summer Games. Hayward Field in Eugene hosted the first of what the organizers hope will eventually become a big money American track meet circuit, dubbed the TrackTown Summer Series. 

Ted S. Warren

Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Friday he’s opposed to a proposal for the nation’s largest oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver. He’s the highest ranking state official to come out against the project.

In a statement, Ferguson says protecting the environment and public safety are his top priorities. He says the potential benefits of the oil terminal in southwest Washington outweigh the risks and costs of a spill.

The Vancouver Energy Project is currently in a trial-like phase of the permitting process before Washington’s energy council.

Hot temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds forecast for this weekend have land managers across the Northwest worried about wildfires. The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings in both Oregon and Washington.

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