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.

Emily Taylor / Northwest News Network

PORTLAND – Oregon has a new representative in Congress. Democrat Suzanne Bonamici beat Republican Rob Cornilles Tuesday night for the right to fill the seat vacated by Democrat David Wu, who resigned last summer. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

University of Oregon faculty members are collecting signatures in an effort to establish a union. It would be comprised of all full and part time professors and instructors -- about 2,000 members. KLCC's Rachael McDonald has more.

The group United Academics of the University of Oregon has been gathering support for the union effort this month. But it's a process that began in the fall according to Michael Dreiling, an Associate Professor of Sociology.

John Ryan / KUOW

FERNDALE, Wash. - A burial mass was held on Monday for Captain Daniel Bartle.
The 27-year-old from the small town north of Bellingham was killed along with five other U.S. Marines earlier this month . Their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
John Ryan reports from Bellingham.

Six of Bartle’s classmates from the U.S. Naval Academy carried his casket down the aisle of the Catholic church he attended growing up.

Candles and stained glass windows shone down on his casket inside Bellingham’s Church of the Assumption.

Same-Sex Marriage Bill Personal For Chief Sponsor

Jan 31, 2012
Courtesy of Washington Senate Photo Services / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – When the Washington Senate votes on same-sex marriage Wednesday, the issue will be personal for the chief sponsor. Democratic Senator Ed Murray says if the bill becomes law, he plans to marry his partner.

Wikimedia User Eunix / Wikimedia Commons

Oregonians who want to report a possible environmental problem to the state can now do so through a website and hotline.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has always fielded citizen complaints, but it was an antiquated system that was not centralized. Now, they have an online database for staff to better track cases. The public can use the new online form or hotline to report perceived environmental violations. Dave Belyea with the DEQ in Eugene says they will respond to the person with an update on how the situation is being handled.

Courtesy of USW Local 12590 / Northwest News Network

Bargaining is going down to the wire on new labor contracts at three of the five big oil refineries in the Northwest. Union members have been told to prepare to strike as early as Wednesday. Correspondent Tom Banse has more details.

Another Believer / Wikimedia Commons

University of Oregon faculty members are collecting signatures in an effort to establish a union. It would be comprised of all full and part time professors and instructors -- about 2,000 members. KLCC's Rachael McDonald has more.

The group United Academics of the University of Oregon has been gathering support for the union effort this month. But it's a process that began in the fall according to Michael Dreiling, an Associate Professor of Sociology.

Beyond My Ken / Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Two credit rating agencies have delivered a warning to the State of Washington to get its financial house in order. The ratings agencies lowered the outlook for Washington state debt, citing the magnitude of the budget shortfall. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Washington state is refinancing or selling more than $1 billion in bonds in the coming weeks. That's the reason Standard & Poor's (S&P), Moody's Investors Service, and Fitch Ratings revisited the state's credit rating.

U.S. Army

Negotiations to release an Idaho soldier in Taliban captivity will be a long and slow process. That’s according to Middle East experts following peace talks about Afghanistan. News reports over the weekend suggested negotiations over a ceasefire had broken down. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has more.

Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, has been held by the Taliban since July of 2009. Videos released by his captors show the 25-year-old Army sergeant ragged and pleading to come home. And that's a feat negotiators are reportedly trying to accomplish through a prisoner swap.

Owen / Wikimedia Commons

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers return to Salem on Wednesday with a fiscal challenge on their hands. Expected revenues have fallen sharply since the legislature created the current spending plan last summer. As Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports, Lawmakers expect to hear more bad news soon after they arrive back in town.

Oregon lawmakers plan to be at the capitol for about a month. One of the first things they'll do is get the latest predictions about the state's revenue picture.

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