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.

Photoe Source: GNU

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers have a clearer picture of what they'll need to do to bring the current spending plan back into balance. State economists said Wednesday that they expect revenues to fall another $35 million. As Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports, that's not considered a very big drop.

La Dona Madison worked at the "Big Pasco" military base in Washington during World War II. It was a busy place with soldiers eveywhere but not just American soldiers. She tells her son, Michael Madison, about some unusual guests at the base.

Possible Tolling on Columbia Between Wash. And Oregon

Feb 8, 2012
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are moving forward with plans to allow tolls on the proposed Columbia River Crossing between Portland and Vancouver. The project will cost as much as $3.5 billion and drivers will likely bear some of that cost. Azusa Uchikura has more from Olympia.

Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Wednesday, the Washington state House is expected to send a gay marriage bill to the governor. The final measure will likely contain some special language to address a concern raised by faith-based foster and adoption agencies. These state contractors don’t want to be forced to place children with gay couples. But Washington law already prohibits them from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. So how does that work now? As Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins found out, it’s “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Wind Energy Turbines / Photo credit: Wikimedia user AnnawJjacobs/ Wikimedia Commons

The Bonneville Power Administration has offered a solution for its dispute with wind energy producers. As Rob Manning reports, BPA's offer of compensation is not appeasing wind developers.

Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown / Photo Credit: Oregon Secretary of State

Oregon's Secretary of State released an audit Tuesday showing the Department of State Lands violated the constitution by spending money it shouldn't have from the Common School Fund. But as Rob Manning reports, paying back the money isn't expected to harm schools.

Marriage equality demonstrators / Photo Credit: Wikimedia user Staffordvaughan / Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday's ruling overturning California’s ban on same-sex marriage is not expected to affect similar laws in other states. Oregon and Idaho also have voter-approved amendments against gay marriage. But Washington lawmakers are poised to send Governor Chris Gregoire a measure allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

ROY, Wash. - Mount Rainier was once known by its many native names. Now, an alliance of tribal members is moving forward with a proposal to restore an original name to this Northwest landmark. But a long bureaucratic process lies ahead, as correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – Over the last two years we’ve brought you numerous stories about high-level whistleblowers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's nuclear waste treatment plant. It’s one of the largest environmental cleanup projects on Earth. Now, yet another top expert there is risking his career to speak openly. He tells our correspondent Anna King the plant’s vessels and pipes -- as they’re designed now -- will leak radioactive waste within their planned lifespan.

Same-Sex Marriage Clears House Committee

Feb 7, 2012
Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. - One more vote by the full Washington House is all that remains before same-sex marriage goes to the governor's desk in Olympia. In a narrow vote Monday, a House committee moved the gay marriage bill forward. A floor vote could come as early as Wednesday night.

In testimony Monday, gay rights activist Charleen Strong introduced a panel of lawmakers to her newborn daughter.

"And it is my hope that she will know that her moms have the right to be married and to be a family, just as many other Washington families have," Strong said.