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.


A federal judge has denied a request for a mistrial from Ammon Bundy’s attorney in the refuge occupation trial. Marcus Mumford said the answers of two prosecution witnesses weren’t what he described as quote-- “responsive”.

According to a new report from a state task force, the ratio of students to school nurses has more than doubled in the past five years in Oregon.

More people from across the globe than ever are seeking to transform themselves on the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. And as fall comes, the through-hiker season is wrapping up.

If you thought the battle over pornography ended with The People vs. Larry Flynt, think again. Utah has taken the step of declaring pornography a public health threat much like tobacco. And now it’s on the agenda in Washington state.

Refuge Manager Testifies Thursday in Occupation Trial

Sep 16, 2016
Associated Press / AP Images

Jurors at the Malheur occupation trial heard testimony from refuge manager Chad Karges for several hours Thursday. Karges described how the refuge appeared before the occupation and after the occupiers had left.

Associated Press / AP Images

It’s been 8 years in the making, but Washington State finally has a rule that places limits on carbon pollution from its largest sources. It comes in response to reduction targets on greenhouse gas emissions first called for by the legislature in 2008. Starting next year, regulators at the Department of Ecology are requiring large industrial emitters to gradually reduce their carbon emissions over time. The rule will cover industries including power plants, oil refineries, fuel distributors, pulp and paper mills and others.

Researchers from the University of Washington and NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center found the opposite of what they expected when they used a new scientific method to sample the waters of Puget Sound.

Firefighters lit off two prescribed fires Thursday in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in central Washington state. It’s part of a wider $800,000 state pilot project to prevent huge fires like the Carlton Complex two years ago.

Ammon Bundy Appears In Jail Scrubs

Sep 15, 2016
Multnomah County Sheriff Office

As the Malheur occupation trial resumed this morning in downtown Portland, defendant Ammon Bundy was no longer dressed in the brown suit he’s worn so far. Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Conrad Wilson says Bundy appeared in jail scrubs. Bundy’s lawyer told the court that his client wanted to be seen   “as he is — a political prisoner.”  That led Judge Anna Brown to give jurors some special directions.

Associated Press / AP Images

Transporting crude oil is controversial. The Northwest has seen a number of efforts to put a halt on oil trains carrying Bakken crude from the heartland to the coast.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Polls are showing that Oregon voters aren't rallying around either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. While Clinton is expected to win the state, her campaign is struggling to attract Democrats who voted for Bernie Sanders in the May primary. Clinton and Trump aren't the only presidential candidates on the Oregon ballot this fall.

Steady job growth means Oregon's economy will continue to do well in the short term. But storm clouds are on the horizon. That was the prediction Wednesday from state economists.

As part of the Pendleton Round-Up Rodeo in northeast Oregon, a Western pageant called “Happy Canyon” will kick off its 100th year run Wednesday. The show includes hundreds of volunteer performers, galloping horses, a live orchestra, Old West cowboy antics and real Native Americans.

Sponsors of Initiative 1464 on Washington’s fall ballot say they’re trying to limit big money influence on Washington politics. The initiative is a 23-page overhaul of Washington’s campaign finance and lobbying laws.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

In the past month, wildlife officials have shot six wolves from a helicopter in the Colville National Forest  of northeast Washington state. That’s likely to come up during a two-day work session for members of Washington state’s Wolf Advisory Group that begins today. 

Washington’s Republican candidate for governor said he supports raising the minimum wage in some parts of the state -- but not everywhere. Bill Bryant outlined his position Tuesday in a jobs and economy speech to the Association of Washington Business Policy Summit at the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum.

Voter registration is surging in Oregon. The Secretary of State's office said Tuesday that nearly 300,000 new voters have been added over the past year. But the uptick isn't due to interest in the presidential election.

Multnomah County Sheriff Office

Opening statements begin Tuesday for the seven people accused of conspiring to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Here's what to expect:

Brett Rowlett

The Oregon legislature passed the bill, which appropriates 10 million dollars in tuition grants for residents freshly graduated from high school or its equivalent. Candidates must also be pursuing a degree or certificate from any community college within the state.

Opening Arguments Begin In Refuge Occupation Case

Sep 13, 2016
Multnomah County Sheriff Office

Opening arguments began Monday for seven people accused of conspiring to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The government and defense teams will be explaining to the jury how the evidence supports their case.

Former CEO of Washington’s Western State Hospital Ron Adler was publicly fired as head of the troubled state psychiatric hospital by Gov Jay Inslee earlier this year after the escape and recapture of two high-risk patients. But Adler continued working for the state.


In an order today, U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown ruled evidence from Facebook would be allowed in the trial for those accused of conspiring to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Washington state policymakers wrestled for much of the day Monday whether and how to regulate self-driving cars. Until now, major automakers and technology companies have successfully convinced Northwest states to hold off so there aren't 50 states with differing standards.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made another big-money contribution to an Oregon candidate. The recipient this time is Democratic Gov. Kate Brown.

Walking Washington's History: Apples And Architecture In Yakima

Sep 12, 2016
Cat Gipe-Stewart

Editor's note: This story was written by a Northwest Public Radio listener as part of our "Walking Washington's History" series. We asked listeners to take one of ten historical walks in a book of the same name by Judy Bentley. Stories are have been edited minimally to preserve the writer's experiences, and all photos were provided by the participants.

Jurors Known By Numbers For Malheur Trial

Sep 9, 2016
Associated Press / AP Images

Jury selection is continuing today for the Malheur occupiers’ trial. By the end of the day Friday, the court expects to have twelve jurors and eight alternates in place to hear opening arguments next week. OPB’s Conrad Wilson says their names are kept under wraps

Associated Press / AP Images

Washington's elections office has revealed a technical error made voters' personal info open to the public. The error made it possible for political campaigns and commercial businesses to look up voter's phone numbers and email addresses. The Secretary of State's office says it fixed the problem on Thursday.

A South Puget Sound city has joined the fray over athletes protesting during the national anthem. The mayor of DuPont, Washington, scrubbed a planned Seahawks pep rally Saturday ahead of the Seattle team's home opener.

After five terms in office, Washington Lt. Gov. Brad Owen is retiring. The two candidates running to replace him don’t see eye-to-eye over the proper role of the lieutenant governor.

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley was back in federal court Friday. He’s facing a second trial next year for charges related to his past real estate services business. His first trial ended with the jury acquitting him of making a false statement to the IRS but deadlocked on all other counts.