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 new Liam Neeson action thriller opening Friday is receiving howls of protest from wolf advocates. They say “The Grey” wrongly portrays wolves as massive, bloodthirsty beasts. And as Jessica Robinson reports, some wildlife groups are organizing a boycott.

When a plane crash strands a scruffy bunch of guys in the wilds of Alaska, they find themselves going mano a mano against some very mean looking wolves.

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington state insurance commissioner has fined an Indiana company $100,000 for charging Washington college students the wrong rates.

Unicare Life and Health Insurance sold over 8,000 insurance policies, primarily to international students, between 2004 and 2009. Most were short-term policies costing an average of $80 a month. The problem is, the company used unapproved methods to determine those rates. Unicare also excluded people from coverage whom they shouldn’t have. Rich Roesler is a spokesperson for the state’s insurance office.

Online Guide to House Members and Senators / Wikimedia Commons

EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio is hoping he'll soon be able to introduce legislation that will help fund rural counties who are bracing for the loss of federal timber payments.

Some counties face insolvency if the Secure Rural Schools Act is not renewed. Congressman DeFazio says he's working with fellow Democratic Representative Curt Schrader and Republican Representative Greg Walden for a temporary extension. They're also helping him with a long term plan.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a plan to save money by abolishing the death penalty in the state. That idea got a hearing today in Olympia. Karil Klingbeil testified in support of the ban. Her sister, Candy Hemmig, was murdered 30 years ago in Olympia. The killer, Mitchell Rupe was dubbed “the man too fat to hang.” He initially got the death penalty, but after 20 years of appeals, received a life sentence instead. Klingbeil testified about the anger she used to feel.

StoryCorps / StoryCorps

Holocaust Remembrance Day is January 27. During World War II, Sweden offered asylum to more than eight thousand Danish Jews. Holocaust Remembrance Day is January 27.  During World War II, Sweden offered asylum to more than eight thousand Danish Jews.  Kerstin Ringdahl, born in in Sweden in 1935, tells her friend Fran Lane Rasmus about her own family's experience taking in a Jewish refugee.
 

Wikimedia user: Plazak / Wikimedia Commons

SILVER VALLEY, Idaho - They say the days when you could go from high school to a high-paying, blue collar job are long gone. But there are places in the Northwest where those days still exist -- that is, if you’re willing to work a mile underground.

For gold and silver miners, it looks like boom times right now. Rising salaries, more job opportunities. Even a recent layoff in north Idaho doesn't look like other layoffs. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has this story on a job that's seeing the reverse side of the economic downturn.

Tom Banse / N3

PORTLAND - Quick, think of any famous female musicians in the American roots genre. Sure, today there's Allison Krauss and Gillian Welch. But for the most part, history remembers a lot of men in old-time country, blues and folk music... names like Lead Belly, Muddy Waters or Doc Watson.

Not a lot of women in American roots music are getting their due. That's according to a folklorist from near Seattle. She and her husband have made it their mission to change that. The Library of Congress has taken notice. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Iberdrola Renewables, one of the Northwest's biggest wind and solar power companies, let go about 50 workers out of a nationwide staff of more than 900. The cuts affect 25 workers based at its North American headquarters in Portland. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Energy company Iberdrola Renewables cited multiple factors for a decision to scale back on new projects. That led directly to layoffs in engineering, construction and development.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

WALLACE, Idaho - Residents of Idaho's Silver Valley are outraged over a federal order that will put 250 local miners out of work for a year. They expressed their frustration to Idaho Governor Butch Otter Monday at a town hall meeting in Wallace. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has more.

The Lucky Friday Mine in north Idaho is one of the deepest and most productive silver mines in the country. And in 2011, it had a string of accidents -– including two fatalities.

Wikimedia user: Tradnor / Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington lawmakers say they now have the last “yes” vote they need to pass same-sex marriage in the state.

Cheers from gay rights supporters filled the room as state Senator Ed Murray announced that news at a press conference Monday in Olympia. The 25th vote comes from Democratic State Senator Mary Margaret Haugen.

Opponents of gay marriage want to put the idea to a vote of the people. So even though the legislative votes are there, Murray says same-sex marriage is not a done deal yet in Washington.

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