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.

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.

About a dozen wildfires are currently burning around the Northwest. The Bybee fire is a small one at 50 acres. It is uncontained and sending up smoke on the west side of Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon.

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupier Ryan Bundy filed a series of court motions late Thursday, declaring himself a sovereign citizen who isn't subject to federal laws.

Bundy, who is representing himself in the conspiracy case against the refuge occupiers, declares himself an "idiot of the 'Legal Society'" and not subject to federal law, according to the documents.

Is Washington Headed For A Honeycrisp Bust?

Jul 29, 2016
Andria / Flickr

The sweet, tart crunch of a Honeycrisp apple is a powerful food experience. It brings taste, smell, and sound together in a single bite. Is it any wonder that it’s one of the most popular apples in America? But becoming so popular - and profitable - so quickly, has some concerned about the variety’s future.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / FLICKR Creative Commons

If you look at your voters' pamphlet and see page after page of candidates trying to win your vote, you might think democracy is strong in Washington state. But look at the money behind the candidates, and you'll see there's much less competition than meets the eye. 

Mike Licht / Flickr

The state finalized a plan Thursday to help more people with chronic mental illnesses — and to reduce confrontations between them and police.

Travis Wise / Flickr

A review of a proposed oil terminal in Vancouver wraps up Friday with a public hearing.

Michael Saechang / Flickr

A coalition of groups and lawmakers is calling for legislation banning military-style assault weapons in Washington and Oregon.

SmartSign / Flickr

Washington state has formally joined the legal debate over transgender bathroom access.

Delegates from Oregon and Washington officially cast their votes for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton Tuesday at the party's national convention in Philadelphia. Oregon's votes were cast by one of the state's two Democratic U.S. Senators, Jeff Merkley.

Spokane’s City Council Monday voted on a November ballot initiative that would make the shipment of oil or coal by rail through the city a civil infraction. If it passes, every rail car carrying oil or uncovered coal will generate a $261 fine.

Stockholders in Virgin America have approved the acquisition of their airline by Alaska Airlines. The chairman of Virgin America announced the voting results at a brief shareholders meeting Tuesday.

Ed Suominen / Flickr Creative Commons

US Highway 12 just east of White Pass, will close Wednesday, July 27. 

The annual boat races in the Tri-Cities in southeast Washington draw more than 70,000 spectators -- thousands from out of town. It also draws an increase in child prostitution.

Even though Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, you can't legally buy the stuff in more than 100 Oregon communities. That's because some city and county governments have banned recreational marijuana businesses.

But voters in nearly half of those places will have the chance to overturn those bans this November.

Bet you didn't know people can bet on the outcome of the presidential election via the lottery. Not our lottery mind you, but the one in British Columbia.

A Native American caucus is in Philadelphia this week to speak for the priorities of Northwest tribes at the Democratic National Convention.

California, Oregon and Washington state have lofty goals for increasing the number of non-polluting vehicles on the road. To achieve those goals, you and your neighbors will need to buy electric cars at a higher rate that we're seeing now.

Hundreds of electric car enthusiasts and policymakers gathered this week in Portland to weigh how to accelerate consumer demand.

Oregonians will vote this fall on whether to fully fund an outdoor education program for the state's fifth and sixth graders. An initiative that would do that qualified for the Oregon ballot Friday.

After a year-long hiatus, the largest powwow in the Northwest has returned to traditional grounds of the Coeur D’Alene Tribe. Julyamsh was cancelled last year after the state of Idaho legalized horse-racing machines at a park where the celebration used to be held.

People who live in the country who want to play Pokémon Go have a problem.

There are a lot of techie reasons why Pokémon stops are found more often in cities. But generally speaking, where there are more players or people there is usually more Pokémon activity on the game -- it just works better.

Embattled Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley is not seeking re-election. Five candidates are running in the August 2 primary to replace him and restoring trust in the office is a recurring theme of the campaigns.

Matt Boulton / Flickr

A federal judge has ruled that evidence federal law enforcement gathered from Facebook will be allowed into the September trial for those accused of occupying the Malheur Refuge. 

Nine candidates are vying to replace outgoing Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn. The results of the August 2 primary will pare that list down to two finalists for the non-partisan job.

Renee Montagne talks to former Sheriff Sue Rahr, head of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, about the impact the recent police attacks in Baton Rouge and Dallas are having.

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