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.

How valuable are the naming rights for an NFL stadium? In Seattle, the answer is nearly $163 million over 15 years.

A years-in-the-making plan to protect sage grouse from extinction is being reconsidered. U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is bringing the plan, which took years to devise, back to the drawing table.

Zinke announced Wednesday the creation of a review team to reevaluate the state and federal sage grouse plans. He wants future efforts to highlight innovative conservation strategies and give more control to the 11 Western states that make up sage grouse habitat.

A tri-state collaboration aims to tackle energy, water, and food issues across the Pacific Northwest.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the long-term goal is to improve regional economies as well as human and environmental health. 

Former FBI Director James Comey is testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Thursday, speaking publicly for the first time since he was fired by President Trump nearly a month ago. 

The Oregon Senate passed a bill Wednesday that exempts people from criminal or civil liability if they break into a car to rescue a pet or a child. 

Turns out tree rings can do more than just tell you how old a tree is. Researchers have found they can also help track Pacific storms over centuries. That could help out water managers and climate modelers.

To get that data, first Erika Wise had to collect core samples of more than 200 ponderosa pines in Washington’s Columbia Basin.

“Some of the ponderosa pine trees date back to the 1400s,” Wise said. “They’re incredibly old trees, and they’re on these ridges with this view of Yakima down below.”
The Campaign of Late Senator Andy Hill

A state legislative race in Washington is starting to draw out of state money. For one donor from Idaho that’s because the outcome could determine west coast climate policy. 



The Oregon Senate sent a handful of education-related bills to the governor’s desk Tuesday morning. One of them allows parents to hold their children back from kindergarten for an extra year.



The Oregon Senate passed a bill Tuesday that will make graduation easier for students who are homeless, in foster care or come from military families.

Kristena Hansen / ASSOCIATED PRESS


Portland Police and federal officers have been under scrutiny for some of the tactics they used this past weekend to manage crowds at competing left- and right-wing rallies

A brand new flight will send fresh cherries from Seattle to Shanghai, China, several times a week starting June 18.

It’s only June in an off-election year, but yard signs are up and candidates are knocking on doors in Washington’s 45th legislative district. It’s just one race, but the outcome could decide who controls the Washington state Senate.


“Rust” is a four-letter word that makes wheat farmers shudder.

On the ferry ride from Washington to British Columbia ten activists sang songs they’d written about the water surrounding them: the Salish Sea.

They were crossing the international border for a combination march and ferry ride that would take them from Victoria to Vancouver. Their goal was to protest the expansion of a Canadian oil pipeline.

Several thousand people gathered in downtown Portland Sunday for competing right- and left-wing rallies following the fatal stabbing of two men by a man shouting anti-Muslim slurs.

The day of speeches and chants was ending in chaos late Sunday afternoon after police say Antifa protestors threw bricks and other projectiles at them. That prompted officers to close two public squares and use pepper spray, flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets. They also detained several dozen left-wing protestors, though it's not yet clear how many people were actually arrested.

Rachel Macy heard the man before she saw him.

“He was saying that he was a taxpayer and this was his train,” said Macy, a member of the Klamath tribe from Southern Oregon. “And that people of color were ruining the city.”

Macy was on the MAX train when a man began screaming racist things at two teenage girls and other passengers and stabbed three men. Two of them died. Now Macy fears the color of her skin could make her a target for other racists.

Now that it's legal in Washington state, a handful of farmers and the Colville tribe have submitted applications to grow industrial hemp. On Tuesday, Moses Lake will be the scene of a "first planting" demonstration of the non-drug cousin of marijuana.

As Oregon lawmakers continue to debate whether to change the way the state taxes businesses, some public employee unions are threatening to take the question to voters.

It's part of a battle at the State Capitol over how to bridge a $1.4 billion budget gap.

Grouting up a tunnel that was found collapsed last month at Hanford is the best option according to Washington state’s top expert on Hanford. And it won’t preclude further cleanup of the radioactive waste inside.


Carbon emissions aren’t just causing climate change, they’re having a profound effect on ocean chemistry. 

Washington State Chief Privacy Officer Alex Alben thinks it’s time for an online consumer bill of rights. He discussed the idea Thursday on TVW's "Inside Olympia" program.

Oregon lawmakers are moving forward with a key piece of the upcoming state spending plan. A legislative budget panel Thursday approved an $8.2 billion budget for K-12 schools.

Leaders and technical experts at the Hanford nuclear site have decided to fill a tunnel that partially collapsed last month with grout. That tunnel is full of radioactive waste.

Friday classes have been canceled at The Evergreen State College, making for two days of missed education after the campus near Olympia was abruptly closed and swarmed by police due to a telephoned threat.

“No fear” might be an OK slogan for a bumper sticker, but it’s a terrible idea for a salmon.

Salmon are starting to lose their sense of smell and their fear of predators, according to research from federal and university scientists in Seattle.

Their preliminary work, presented in May at a symposium on ocean acidification at the University of Washington, documents yet another way carbon dioxide emissions are messing with the world's oceans.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will sign a bill Thursday that aims to make sure women are paid the same as men. Advocates say the measure will also help ensure disabled people are paid fairly.

More than two dozen former federal prosecutors from western Washington are pushing back against new guidance from the Trump administration.

TriMet Stabbing Suspect Rails In Court

May 30, 2017

The man charged in Friday’s TriMet stabbings made his court appearance Tuesday. 

A Portland man accused of fatally stabbing two men and injuring a third is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday.

The attack happened on a TriMet light rail train when three men intervened after the suspect shouted hate speech at two young women, one wearing a hijab.

Jeremy Christian, 35, is facing multiple counts of murder, being a felon in possession of a weapon, and intimidation charges, Oregon’s equivalent of a hate crime.

President Trump’s proposed budget would cut funding for an earthquake early warning system along the west coast. The cut would effectively kill the potentially life-saving program.

University of Oregon seismology professor Douglas Toomey says the ShakeAlert system, which is still in development, could give west coast cities up to 5 minutes warning in the case of a major earthquake.