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.

Washington Governor Declares State Of Emergency

Sep 4, 2017
Washington Governor's office

  Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed a state of emergency in all counties across Washington state due to growing wildfire concerns.

Amelia Templeton

All 153 hikers who spent the night on the Eagle Creek Trail were rescued Sunday. The hikers were cut off by a fast-moving wildfire.

The stranded hikers included a group of high school juniors from Salem, two families with children, and a person hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Two dogs were also rescued.

As Seattle and Portland struggle with how to accommodate homeless residents, Spokane is catching flack for it’s “tough-love” approach to homeless camping.

In the wake of disasters like Hurricane Harvey, you often hear calls to donate blood. In this instance, it was people who gave blood before the storm who helped the disaster victims.

If you give blood at this point, your donation is likely to stay home -- where it is welcome and needed.



Cooke Aquaculture and state officials knew at least six months ago that the floating salmon farm that collapsed in August was "nearing the end of serviceable life," with accelerating corrosion eating away at its hinges and steel structure.


The August heat set records in some Oregon cities. And not surprisingly, the hot weather was especially brutal for people who work outside.

Wikimedia Commons

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation are trying a bold experiment this year, growing their first hemp crop. 

The Evergreen State College in Olympia begins this school year with a drop in enrollment and an imminent hiring freeze. The conservative blogosphere is crowing that it's fallout from recent campus unrest, but the university administration disagrees.

OSU To Evaluate Buildings Whose Namesakes Had Racist Views

Aug 31, 2017
Owen / WikiCommons

In a letter to the Oregon State University community Wednesday, university president Ed Ray announced the university will hold community meetings to evaluate building names after students, faculty, alumni and members of the Corvallis community raised concerns over racist views held by the buildings' namesakes.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Former Washington state Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown is running for congress.

Northwest Public Radio

A fire burning in Washington’s Central Cascades is prompting evacuations and closing recreation areas. 

Washington’s pre-paid college tuition program has been overcharging customers since its inception. That’s one of several allegations of mismanagement being made by an employee who was recently fired

The Guaranteed Education Tuition program or GET lets families buy tuition credits at today’s prices. The program is currently closed to new customers, but is scheduled to reopen this fall.

Scott Leadingham / Northwest Public Radio

  While Labor Day marks the end of the summer to many people, conditions remain hot and very dry. That means wildfire season is far from over. State fire managers want to remind people that the fire danger is very high.

Wildfires Have Slowed But Remain Challenging In The Northwest

Aug 30, 2017
Capt. Leslie Reed/The National Guard / Flickr


Wildfires have burned almost half a million acres in the Pacific Northwest this year.

Timber Industry Awaits Trump Monument Decision

Aug 30, 2017
Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington / Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

Lawmakers, news agencies and environmental groups continue to push the Trump Administration for more details about its plans for several national monuments across the West.



Washington Governor Jay Inslee has joined with nearly 2,000 political and civic leaders across the country to preserve the federal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.




This year’s wheat crop nationwide is the smallest it has been in decades. On a national scale, the number of acres planted in wheat total 45.7 million acres, the lowest acreage since 1919. That’s after the 2016 harvest that was the least profitable in 30 years.

A majority of large ship operators are cooperating with a request to temporarily slow down in the shared border waters between Victoria and San Juan Island. The Port of Vancouver in British Columbia is running an experiment there to reduce underwater noise that bothers whales.

Wikimedia Commons

The number of ranchers in the US is on the decline. There’s no recruiting for the gig and some of the generational ties to ranchland in the west have been severed, so it’s not clear who will take on the business in the future. One answer may be women.

Clallam County, Washington, has put a temporary hold on an aquaculture company's application to relocate and expand a salmon farm near Port Angeles. This comes as the company is cleaning up after a mass escape of non-native Atlantic salmon from a different net pen it owns to the east at Cypress Island.

Opponents of salmon farming are seizing the moment.

Homelessness isn’t just a big city problem. Over the past few years, smaller communities across the Pacific Northwest have struggled with how to respond to their own growing homeless populations.

Some have cracked down – Eugene, for example, banned many dogs downtown. And Gresham has made it harder to park an RV on city streets.



The Chetco Bar Fire is now burning 125,000 acres about 5 miles from the southern Oregon town of Brookings. Fire crews are working to protect homes in the mountains near the fire.  But work has also been done to protect a little-known historic landmark up in the forest.

Governor Kate Brown Signs Oregon House Bill 2017 in Eugene

Aug 29, 2017
Franziska Monahan / KLCC

Governor Kate Brown is touring the state this week to celebrate the passage of Oregon’s new transportation funding package. She visited Alton Baker Park in Eugene this Tuesday morning for a ceremonial signing of House Bill 2017.

After 50 years, Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife will no longer operate the Wells Hatchery on the Columbia River near Pateros.

The Douglas County PUD, which owns the hatchery and a satellite facility in Winthrop, decided Monday to exercise a 90-day termination clause in its contract following an investigation into a “highly sexualized workplace” culture at the facility.

Arrest Made In WSU Bomb Threats Case

Aug 29, 2017
Scott Leadingham / Northwest Public Radio

Washington State University says a student has been arrested in connection with several bomb threats recently made against a residence hall on the Pullman campus.

Q&A: So Why Are Atlantic Salmon In The Northwest?

Aug 29, 2017

Last weekend, a net pen broke apart near Washington’s Cypress Island. The pen held 305,000 Atlantic salmon, non-native fish.

The company that owns the pen, Cooke Aquaculture, says it is unsure exactly how many Atlantic salmon escaped. It estimates somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 fish. Cooke and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are inventorying fish are still inside the pens.

David J. Phillip / Associated Press


More than 600 members of the Oregon National Guard have been tapped to fight wildfires burning out of control in the state. Now two small teams are being activated for a different mission: assisting the relief effort in Texas, where flood waters continue to rise.

Oran Viriyincy / Flickr


The Washington State Transportation Commission is looking for drivers to participate in a program that might help determine what could replace the state’s gasoline tax.

A project to build a new runway at Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport will stay on track if the Washington State University Board of Regents approves a deal Wednesday.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press


Officials now have clearer estimates on the disastrous release of farmed Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound this month.