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.

http://courts.oregon.gov/COA

A three judge panel of the Oregon Court of Appeals will hear arguments Friday in a lawsuit brought by two young people against the state over climate change. The case is related to a federal climate lawsuit that’s also underway.

Members of the U.S. House and Senate expect to pass a law in the next few days that would return a 9,000-year old set of human remains to Northwest tribes. “Kennewick Man” was found along the banks of the Columbia River in 1996 by two students.

A survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor who now lives in Lincoln City, Oregon, has vivid memories of the surprise strike on the Pacific Fleet that pushed the U.S. into World War II. Ed Johann, then a 17-year-old apprentice seaman, was crewing a hospital ship's water taxi when the first fighter bombers came over the horizon.

As museums and historians polish exhibits and remembrance programs for the 75th anniversary on Wednesday, Johann recalled the attack that killed more than 2,300 U.S. servicemen.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters / FLICKR Creative Commons

Data centers that house YouTube videos and Gmail messages need power constantly. Google announced today that all of the energy it consumes globally — including at its data center in The Dalles, Oregon — will soon operate without directly relying on fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.

Audit Finds Oregon's Affordable Housing At Risk

Dec 6, 2016
Ian Poellet / Wikimedia Commons

An audit released Tuesday finds that communication problems and a lack of data at Oregon’s housing agency are putting affordable rentals at risk. 

Caution And Scrutiny Urged For Holiday Donors

Dec 6, 2016
Flickr: 401kcalculator.org / FLICKR Creative Commons

The holidays find people opening both their hearts and wallets to charitable causes. But Oregon officials say to be wary of scammers who take advantage of yuletide sentiment.

The proposed takeover by Alaska Airlines of its West Coast rival Virgin America has cleared its biggest hurdle. The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday approved the $2.6 billion merger with conditions.

Sam Scott / Flickr

Many Americans are wondering how the pending Trump administration will eventually address immigration.

The Corvallis police department has taken questions from locals on how they’ll enforce immigration directives from the Trump administration. City spokesman Patrick Rollens says there’s not going to be any change in policy, as officers follow state -- not federal law -- on immigration.

Associated Press / AP Images

A decision by the federal government sparked cheers of joy among protesters fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Army Corps on Sunday said it was denying easements for the project. Construction has stopped, pending further environmental review. The news brought a smile to the face of one member of the Standing Rock Sioux, here in the Northwest.

A sentencing calculation error that led to the early release of nearly 3,000 Washington prison inmates over more than a decade came to light one year ago this month. And Washington’s interim Secretary of Corrections has warned a similar mistake could happen again.

Sara Schilling / Tri-City Herald

In the U.S., access to good dental care is relatively easy to come by. Dentists are able to catch and treat problems quickly. But in developing countries people have fewer dental resources. That’s why one Tri-Cities dentist is leading a team that’s treating patients in a remote Guatemalan village.

www.id.uscourts.gov

While the inability of the government to approve a new Supreme Court justice has received plenty of press, the State of Idaho is experiencing a similar issue. It’s been waiting for approval of a new Federal District court judge for a year, which has left the state with one, rather than two full time judges.

http://www.doc.wa.gov/

Washington’s only maximum security prison for women is overcrowded. That means some inmates are being housed at the Yakima County Jail. Now family members are calling on the governor to halt those transfers.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins says she was "taken aback" by the amount of misinformation that surrounded surrounding Oregon's recent election process.

James Mattis is a retired Marine general and a military history fellow at Stanford -- and Donald Trump picked him for secretary of Defense. When Mattis is not on the road, he’s at his mother’s house in Richland, Washington.

Life At A Post-War Nuclear Weapons Factory

Dec 2, 2016

Seth Ellingsworth figured he was set for life. He was 22 and had just landed a coveted factory job in the company town he’d grown up in.

“I thought it was the greatest thing ever,” he said. “The place where people in the area worked that did well, I got a job there. I was really proud that I was a part of it.”

Now, at 35, Ellingsworth spends most days beset by tremors, struggling for oxygen, frequently confined to the ground floor of his home in Richland, Washington. It’s just outside his former place of work: the Hanford Nuclear Site.

The Olympic Peninsula was Charles Nelson’s best medicine.

The Army veteran had served during 1990s conflicts in Somalia and Kuwait before returning home to Seattle. Nelson couldn’t cope with daily life as a civilian. Something as common as an unexpected car-door slam gave him a shiver of fear. Doctors diagnosed him with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

He joined a group of veterans who took weekly hikes deep into the rainforest.

“It was better therapy for me than anything else I’ve really been through,” Nelson said.

Paul Fishman spots a rusty chunk of metal jutting out of the riverbank on Portland’s South Waterfront.

“Ah-ha!" he said. “Here’s a piece of ship’s hull."

The piece came from a World War II ship – one of the few signs of the post-war industry that used to be here.

During World War II, the site was one of several Willamette River shipyards devoted to building military vessels. But when victory made all those warships obsolete, this stretch of the waterfront became the scrapyard where many of those ships were torn apart.

Growing up, Paul Skirvin milked a lot of cows.

“Dad went and borrowed the money,” he says. “And before we was through milking cows, we was milking about 60 head.”

This was outside of Portland in the 1930s and '40s. Skirvin was too young to fight in World War II. Soon after it ended he received a quick lesson in economics when he and his brother were hired to log off their neighbor’s land.

“We milked those cows all month and about the same as we’d make in a week logging.” he says.

Feral pigs are a problem in 39 U.S. states and the Northwest is not immune. That’s why officials from four Washington agencies issued a reminder to residents last week to be on the lookout.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown rolled out a two-year spending plan Thursday at the State Capitol. The proposal tackles a $1.7 billion budget shortfall with a mix of program cuts and tax hikes.

A few weeks before the election, the Tri-Pro lumber mill in north Idaho shut down. It was the second mill to close in the area in six months, putting more than a hundred people out of work.

While that's big economic loss for any community, it was especially tough for the tight-knit town of Orofino and its 3,000 or so residents.

Police across the Northwest and the country are mourning the shooting death of Tacoma police officer Reginald “Jake” Gutierrez. He was a 17-year veteran of the department. His death is also having an effect on police recruits.

www.climate.gov/enso / NOAA

Meteorologists say this winter is likely to be slightly colder than average because we are in a weak La Nina year. Some years there are very clear signs if it will be a La Nina or El Nino. Sometimes the signals are conflicting and aren’t easy to interpret.

Authorities say the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Tacoma, Washington, police officer has been shot and killed by officers after a lengthy barricade situation.

Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ed Troyer says the suspect was shot at approximately 3:30 a.m. Thursday, ending an 11-hour standoff. The suspect has not been identified.

Troyer says a girl and a boy, have been found unharmed, and have been taken from the house. He says officers found multiple weapons in the house.

Oregon State Audit Finds Cybersecurity Risks

Nov 30, 2016
sos.oregon.gov

An audit released Wednesday shows significant cyber security lapses in Oregon government agencies. The Secretary of State’s office found some agencies don’t even have a digital security plan. Those that do are underfunded, understaffed or use outdated software.

Tech. Sgt. Samuel Morse / Wikimedia Commons

The Navy has just been granted permits to expand its jet training flights over Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The Forest Service announced its decision to allow the Navy to conduct electromagnetic warfare training in Olympic National Forest.

Associated Press / AP Images

The sign up period for the Washington State Health plan is underway, and a spokesman says despite plans by the Trump administration to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, it’s very unlikely coverage will change in 2017, or even the following year.

Small businesses outside Seattle are preparing for a higher minimum wage starting in January.
Voters approved an increase in the state minimum to $13.50 over four years.The change is already having unintended consequences.

Mark Klotz / FLICKR Creative Commons

As the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline wears on in North Dakota, the Canadian government approved a much larger pipeline project that will affect Puget Sound and the Salish Sea.

Pages