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.

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.

In Washington state, there’s no law to keep you from checking Facebook while you drive. But that could change during this year’s legislative session. Lawmakers introduced a bill Wednesday that could force you to cut down your phone use on the road -- or pay a hefty fine if you get caught.

Old Man Winter has struck again east of the Cascades. Residents woke up Wednesday to find the deep snow covering the area frosted by an ice storm.

In the Tri-Cities, children have had nearly a dozen snow days and late-start days this winter. Piled on with airport, mountain pass and work closures -- many parents are feeling quite trapped.

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Grizzly bears have been listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act since 1975. In Washington, they are considered endangered. Last week, federal officials unveiled their draft plan to reintroduce grizzlies in North Central Washington.

NOAA Finalizes New Columbia River Hatchery Plan

Jan 17, 2017
Associated Press / AP Images

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a new plan for managing Columbia River hatchery programs while protecting endangered fish. The plan calls for reduced hatchery production in some areas and a complete stop to using hatchery broodstock from outside the Columbia River.

The Boeing Company's CEO Tuesday had a second face-to-face meeting with President-elect Donald Trump to talk jet prices. Boeing's Dennis Muilenburg said they discussed a multi-billion dollar contract to replace the aging Air Force One jumbo jets and about new fighter jets for the military.

The inauguration of Donald Trump and the next session of Congress mark the end of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for the United States. The trade deal proved to be a divisive issue during the presidential election -- and not just among politicians.

Two closely-tied agriculture exporters in the Northwest, beef producers and hay farmers, will be affected by the end of  TPP in very different ways.

Donald Trump will be sworn in Friday. One issue rural America is looking for answers on is public lands: how they’re managed and whether the government should transfer them to states or even sell them off.

Washington state is playing catch-up compared to other West Coast states on earthquake preparedness. A "subcabinet" of state agency directors convened by Gov. Jay Inslee will hold its first public meeting Tuesday afternoon to review possible actions to improve.

A bipartisan group of Washington state politicians Monday endorsed the abolishment of the death penalty. The group included the current Democratic Attorney General Bob Ferguson and his Republican predecessor Rob McKenna.

The pair were flanked at a capitol news conference by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and a half-dozen senators and representatives from both parties.

Jeanie Lindsay / Northwest News Network

 

Advocates for foster children shared concerns with lawmakers in Olympia Friday, with hopes for new policy around child welfare systems in Washington.

Amy Radil / KUOW

Donald Trump’s nominee for Attorney General famously said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

Senator Jeff Sessions also said, “We need grownups in Washington to say marijuana is NOT the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.”

People in the marijuana business in Washington and Oregon are wondering how Sessions will act on those words.

Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

The timber industry may go to court to try to reverse President Obama’s expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon.

Last summer, a hacker gained access to personal information tied to hunting and fishing licenses in Oregon, Idaho and Washington. The breach involved 7 million records.

Since then, Washington rolled out a new, more secure online system last month, but it hasn’t been entirely seamless.

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