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.

Bill Would Raise Penalties For Toking In Public

Jan 31, 2017
Jennifer Martin / Wikimedia Commons

It’s legal to consume marijuana in Washington, but you can’t use it just anywhere. The law confines the legal use to people’s homes. Some would like to see that changed to allow some sort of public use. But for now, a Kennewick legislator proposes to go the other direction and increase the penalties for public use.

Senator Merkley Vows To Filibuster SCOTUS Nominee

Jan 31, 2017
United States Senate / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley says he’ll filibuster President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee — no matter who it is. Merkley says that the Senate abrogated its responsibility last year by not considering President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. 

Spokane’s City Council passed an emergency ordinance Monday night that prohibits religious registries of any kind in Washington’s second largest city.

Washington's Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has weighed in on the Trump administration’s executive order that bans immigrants and refugees from entering the U.S..

Officials in a number of states have spoken out against President Trump's recent executive actions on immigration. On Monday, Washington state became the first to file a lawsuit against the administration, seeking a restraining order to stop enforcement of the ban.

"If successful it would have the effect of invalidating the president's unlawful action nationwide," Attorney General Bob Ferguson said of the lawsuit, according to member station KNKX.

Oregon state Rep. Vic Gilliam, a Republican from Silverton who is battling ALS, announced Monday that he's stepping down. His resignation is effective Wednesday, the first day of the 2017 legislative session.

With 22 straight wins and no losses, the Gonzaga University men’s basketball team are the only undefeated NCAA Division 1 basketball team in the nation. And now the Bulldogs have secured the top ranking in the country’s two major polls.

Associated Press / AP Images

Washington state has filed a lawsuit to stop President Trump from carrying out his immigration Executive Order. The Order, signed late Friday afternoon, resulted in chaos at airports as some travelers were denied entry, including at SeaTac. It temporarily bans immigrants from seven countries and suspends the refugee program. 

Associated Press / AP Images

Tomorrow is the last day to enroll for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. It’s unclear what’s going to happen with the law, but more Oregonians have signed up this year than all previous years.

Associated Press / AP Images

Political leaders in Oregon are reacting defiantly to President Donald Trump’s executive order strictly limiting who can enter the United States. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum condemned President Trump’s executive order that freezes immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries.

The red-blue divide on immigration is on prominent display in the Northwest Monday. The state attorneys general of Washington state and Oregon are denouncing the Trump administration for its order limiting travel from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Meanwhile, Idaho legislators took the first step to require local police to assist the federal government on immigration enforcement.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee seems to have a new part-time job: foil to President Donald Trump. And it’s getting him lots of attention, including mentions on Facebook and in the national media.

Amiran White / For The Register-Guard

Joining other protests around the country and the Northwest, an estimated one-thousand people gathered at the Eugene Federal Building Sunday to protest President Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees. Hundreds of people crowded the street in front of the Federal Building. They held signs and chanted.

Sudanese Man Detained at SeaTac

Jan 30, 2017

People traveling to Seattle continue to be affected by travel bans put in place by the Trump administration. An executive order signed Friday bars people from some majority-Muslim nations from entering the U.S. At least one person was detained at SeaTac airport Sunday because of that order.

Muwafag Gasim is a construction engineer who lives and works in Seattle. He has an American work visa and a masters degree from The University of Washington. But when he flew into SeaTac airport Sunday morning, Gasim was pulled aside and detained for seven hours.

Idaho Lawmaker Heather Scott Tries To Get Committees Back

Jan 27, 2017
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

North Idaho Representative Heather Scott stood on the House floor Friday and asked to be allowed to return to her committees.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The Forest Service has settled a lawsuit with a conservation group and an Idaho Indian tribe that will allow oversized truck loads to resume using a two-lane federal highway through an environmentally-sensitive section of the Idaho Panhandle. But the settlement essentially bans so-called megaloads of oil equipment destined for the oil sands in Alberta.

Mike Licht / Flickr

The recent testy back-and-forth between President Trump and Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto could end in real cash losses for agriculture in the Northwest.

Nearly $140 million of apples, $83 million of dairy and $26 million of frozen fries were shipped from Washington state to Mexico in 2015. For Oregon, farmers shipped $12 million in live trees and $15 million in wheat gluten and starch. Plus pears and prepared fruits and veggies.

Washington Apple Commission President Todd Fryhover said even talk of tariffs, or presidential-ego-bashing can result in canceled orders.

A dispute between regional airline Horizon Air and its pilots union is headed to court. It stems from how the sister carrier of Alaska Airlines grapples with an industrywide shortage of pilots.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants a new capital gains tax and carbon tax to comply with a court order to fully fund public schools. Republicans in the state Senate Friday instead proposed to solve the state’s school funding crisis by raising the state property tax while lowering local rates.

Navy Sued Over Aircraft Hull-Scraping In Puget Sound

Jan 27, 2017
Flickr User COMPDUDE787 / Flickr

The Suquamish Tribe and two environmental organizations have filed the legal paperwork necessary to sue the Navy for what they say are violations of the Clean Water Act that could harm salmon and other marine life.

Inslee Ready To Resist Trump Administration

Jan 26, 2017

From climate change to people living in the country illegally, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the Trump administration. In a press briefing Thursday, questions swirled around the federal government’s plans on many issues, including immigration.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said it's not clear what effect President Trump's executive order on sanctuary cities will have on state government. But the Democrat said she's committed to protecting the human rights of undocumented Oregonians.

Washington lawmakers are under a court order to fully fund K-12 education. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that it’s their top priority. But a measure to officially “fund education first” in the state budget failed Wednesday.

People who work for several federal agencies have scrambled in the early days of the Trump administration. They’re responding to orders that freeze hiring. Some orders to limit communication with the public have since been pulled back.

President Donald Trump wants a “major investigation” into voter fraud during the 2016 election. But Washington Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman said Wednesday that she’s seen no evidence of illegal voting.

Most farmers in rural eastern Washington state say they only hire legal workers. But there’s a polite fiction of living and working there. Federal immigration officers raid farms and ranches here. And people get deported.

Wyden Touts Vote By Mail To Counter Fraud

Jan 25, 2017
United States Congress / Wikimedia Commons

This week, President Donald Trump repeated his claim that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden says President Trump should look to Oregon if he has concerns about the country’s elections.

Quinn Dombrowski / FLICKR Creative Commons

The Idaho Legislature’s powerful tax committee took a vote Tuesday that some lawmakers say recognizes same-sex marriages. At issue are discrepancies between state and federal tax rules. 

The Eugene Opera has canceled its performances for the rest of the season. The opera cites disappointing ticket sales and a $165,000 shortfall.

Can Washington State End Youth Homelessness?

Jan 24, 2017

Lawmakers, community leaders, and advocates in Washington state told the press Tuesday they want to be the first in the nation to completely end homelessness for teens and young adults.

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