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.

WSU Researcher Honored At Library Of Congress

Sep 28, 2017
Steffen Schmidt / AP Images


After 20 years, a Washington scientist's work is being recognized for helping save and protect wildlife around the world.

ICE Makes 33 Arrests In Portland This Week

Sep 28, 2017
Don Ryan / AP Images

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents made 33 arrests in Portland this week. The arrests were part of a nationwide program targeting cities where ICE agents are denied access to jails.

Ashley Gross / KNKX


The legal troubles facing makers of prescription painkillers continue to grow as the City of Seattle and Washington state have each filed lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, arguing the companies downplayed risks of the drugs and deceptively marketed them to boost profits.

Joe Mabel

Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess wants to change the way the police department handles officers’ off-duty work.

Right now, much of that work is managed by third-party companies. But Burgess wants employers looking to hire officers to go through the department directly. Officers directing traffic or working security in their spare time often still wear police uniforms.

Indiana Public Media

Flu shots are now available at many clinics, drugstores, and supermarkets. And Lane County officials are urging people to get their shots sooner than later.

The flu is a reliable epidemic, usually hitting in late October or November every year. Medical practitioners say since it takes two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop, getting a flu shot earlier provides immunity once the season is underway.

John Ryan / KUOW Photos

Dozens of the worst hazardous-waste sites in the Northwest are not being cleaned up, for lack of personnel to do the job, according to a report from the inspector general of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The federal watchdog singles out Seattle's lower Duwamish River as a contaminated site where work has been delayed.

The student accused in a fatal shooting at Freeman High School near Spokane, Washington, this month has been charged with 51 counts of second-degree assault. He also faces murder and attempted murder charges.

Scientists in southeast Washington state announced Wednesday that they had detected two black holes revolving around each other and then morphing into one.

Oregon's New Distracted Driving Law Takes Effect Sunday

Sep 27, 2017

Like their Washington neighbors, Oregon drivers who talk on cell phones or sneak in a few texts on the road risk bigger penalties starting Sunday.

EMILY SCHWING / Northwest Public Radio


The student accused in a fatal shooting at Freeman High School near Spokane, Washington, this month has been charged with 51 counts of second-degree assault. He also faces murder and attempted murder charges.



Washington Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell is joining net neutrality advocates in their efforts to block the head of the Federal Communications Commission from a second term.

The Washington Department of Ecology on Monday denied a permit for a proposal to build North America’s largest coal export terminal in Longview, Wash, citing a raft of concerns about impacts to the region’s environment, transportation and culture.

Millennium Bulk Terminals, the last standing of a half dozen proposals to export coal to Asia from terminals built in the Pacific Northwest, needed a water quality from Ecology to move forward with construction.

Orca researchers and conservationists are urging more steps to protect Puget Sound's endangered southern resident killer whales. The push comes in the wake of the death of a 2-year-old male orca known as J52.

The death, which researchers say was caused by malnutrition, brought the population to a 30-year low.

The first cases of West Nile virus in Washington State this year have been reported in Spokane County. 

Randy L. Rasmussen / ASSOCIATED PRESS


The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture signaled that the Trump Admiration could move toward including wildfires in an emergency spending bill.

If you buy individual health insurance through Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange get ready for sticker shock. Rates will go up by an average of 24 percent next year.

Esmy Jimenez / Northwest Public Radio


Seattle has a shortage of housing. But all over town, houses stand vacant. Either they’re in foreclosure, or they’re waiting to be torn down for development. Some people think vacant homes are an underused resource.

One man steals them.

Oran Viriyincy / Flickr

A state Senate committee is investigating whether Sound Transit misled the legislature while it was trying to get its latest expansion on last year's ballot. There's a hearing on it Tuesday.

Voters in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties approved the 54-billion dollar project known as S-T-3.

Washington will get a bigger role in helping develop a plan for congestion-relief tolls on Portland area freeways, Oregon transportation officials promised Monday.

The officials said Washington will get three voting members on the 15-20 person advisory committee developing the plan. Previously, Washington was given just one voting slot, for Clark County.

"All along we've wanted to ensure that there is a very broad, regional discussion about implementing value pricing on I-5 and I-205," said Travis Brouwer, assistant director of the Oregon Department of Transportation. 

OSU Team Identifies Proteins That Could Lead To Gonorrhea Vaccine

Sep 26, 2017

Researchers at Oregon State University have identified a pair of proteins that might be used to create a vaccine for gonorrhea.

The research is important because Oregon and the nation are in the middle of a gonorrhea epidemic. The number of cases in Oregon tripled in four years.

There are several reasons for the increase, but the most troublesome is that gonorrhea bacteria is becoming increasingly immune to common antibiotics.

Courtesy TVW

The state of Washington will petition to join a lawsuit that challenges President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military. Governor Jay Inslee announced the legal move Monday.


The Seattle Catholic Archdiocese has agreed to a $1.3 million settlement with a man who says he was sexually abused at a school near Tacoma.

KUOW / EarthFix

The victim of a high school shooting outside Spokane was memorialized over the weekend. At the same time, his friends and neighbors remembered him at a big event that is important to the small community of Freeman, Washington. 

In 2016, the state of Washington made it legal for people to pick up dead deer and elk on the road and take them home. Roadkill salvage has turned out to be a popular thing to do—and it's coming soon to Oregon.

Russian hackers attempted to penetrate Washington and Oregon’s voter registration systems last year. Top elections officials in both states received that confirmation Friday from the Department of Homeland Security.

Elaine Thompson / ASSOCIATED PRESS


A proposal to bring cell service to a section of Mount Rainier has generated a big public response. National Parks staff are sorting through nearly a thousand written comments both for and against the idea.

Fire Season Winding Down With First Day Of Fall

Sep 22, 2017

With the first day of fall, fire season seems to be winding down, but hundreds of crews are still at work in Oregon, Washington and Idaho shoring up fire lines.