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.

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.

White House advisor and former Washington state Sen. Don Benton is part of the team implementing the president’s agenda at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Benton was sworn in as senior advisor Saturday, he said. The job is a temporary position, but could be extended. During the campaign, Benton served as Trump’s campaign chairman in Washington.

A conservative Republican state senator from northeast Washington has resigned his seat to take a job with the new Trump administration. Sen. Brian Dansel announced his resignation Tuesday leaving the Washington Senate in a temporary political tie.

Two Washington state Republicans have been chosen by President Donald Trump to help overhaul, if not gut, the Environmental Protection Agency.

Former state Sen. Don Benton of Vancouver and state Sen. Doug Ericksen of Ferndale have joined the EPA as part of a 10-person "beachhead" transition team.


The FBI’s top law enforcement official in Oregon, Special Agent In Charge Greg Bretzing, is retiring Monday after two decades at the agency.

When we think of kids getting suspended or expelled from school, we usually think of high schoolers. But it also happens to elementary school students -- even kindergartners. Monday parents begged a panel of Washington lawmakers to ban suspensions for the youngest students.

Policymakers in Washington state have been chewing over how to regulate cars that can fully drive themselves. On Monday morning, Gov. Jay Inslee test drove a “semi-autonomous” Tesla.

Inslee said he’d be eager to get those cars on the road for safety reasons.

Associated Press / AP Images

People across the U.S. turned out Saturday for solidarity marches in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. Many of the cities with the highest turnout rates were in the West.

Pink hats dotted the Capitol lawn in Olympia Saturday morning as demonstrators gathered for a rally and march. It was one of dozens across the northwest coordinated with the march on Washington, D.C. the day after Donald Trump's inauguration.

There’s a lot the Democratic governors of Washington and Oregon don’t want from President-elect Donald Trump. They’re miles apart on health care, immigration and trade. But it turns out each governor does have a wish list for the new administration.

Nearly 40 marches are registered in the Northwest for Saturday. The demonstrations are part of an international show of support for women and human rights. 

It happens thousands of times a year in Washington state: someone who isn’t allowed to own a gun tries to buy one but is denied after a background check. But even though it’s a crime to lie on a background check form, police rarely if ever investigate these cases.

A new tsunami survival option has come to the Pacific Northwest coast. It involves climbing into a spherical aluminum pod for what is sure to be the ride of your life.

A small crowd gathered at Republican Headquarters in Spokane to see Donald Trump take the oath of office Friday morning. As Donald Trump placed his hand on the bible, 35 people stood, many clad in red white and blue, raised mimosas and cups of coffee to toast the 45th president.

As Donald Trump was being sworn in Friday morning, students from Olympia High School led a permitted rally on the steps of the Washington Capitol. Some were joined by their parents and had excused absences.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

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The idea of giving workers paid time off to care for a new baby or an elderly parent has long been a priority of the left, but now the idea is gaining traction with some Republicans in the Washington Legislature.

Associated Press / AP Images

In the final three months of 2016, railroads hauled 618 million gallons of oil through Washington. That’s about 1500 rail cars every week. This is according to reports on new oil train details being published by Washington’s Department of Ecology.

The chief budget-writers for the Oregon Legislature have released a spending proposal that includes cuts to state programs. The proposal issued Thursday outlines how lawmakers might bridge an expected budget gap.

Federal Approval Of GMO Grass Seed Sparks Outcry

Jan 19, 2017
Oregon Department of Agriculture / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has deregulated a controversial grass seed that is genetically modified to resist the herbicide called Roundup. The move has sparked outcry from critics who fear the grass could contaminate crops in Oregon’s billion-dollar grass seed industry. 

Associated Press / AP Images

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against the nation’s largest student loan servicer, Navient Corporation. The suit accuses Navient of numerous unfair and deceptive practices affecting thousands of Washingtonians and driving up costs. 

Students will have to stay home from school in Spokane if they can’t prove immunity to mumps. The U.S is in the midst of the largest mumps outbreak in a decade, and it’s hit the Northwest.

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