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.

Hot Cars Can Be Deadly to Children and Pets

Aug 1, 2017
Lane County

With this week’s heat wave, health officials are warning of dangers associated with leaving a child or pet in a car.  Last year nationwide, 39 children died after being left in cars. Already this year, 29 have died.

Washington state’s voter rolls are “accurate,” and the state follows federal election laws. That’s the message Washington Director of Elections, Lori Augino, is sending to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Researchers at Oregon State University have embarked on a long term study of an elusive threatened seabird along the west coast. The goal is find out more about the marbled murrelet to better inform conservation efforts.

Don Ryan / Associated Press


Oregon’s Attorney General is ordering some hotels to pay customers for deceptive advertising ahead of the August eclipse.

If Northwest fish were stand-up comics, the salmon would be the headliner. And the fish that gets “no respect” would be the lamprey, an eel-like creature that has been plying the Northwest’s rivers for 400 million years. 

On August 21, the moon will block the sun causing a giant shadow in the Northwest. But the day of the much-anticipated total solar eclipse is also the first day of fall semester for Washington State University Cougars.

Coming Soon To Eastern Washington: Tree-Free Paper Pulp

Jul 28, 2017

A company in eastern Washington is developing a new way to make paper pulp without trees. The mill will instead use a source abundant to the area: straw.

Scott Leadingham

Fire danger in North Central and North Eastern Washington is very high, prompting the state Department of Natural Resources to upgrade warnings and burn bans.

A proposed tax on sugary sodas in Multnomah County could fall victim to a statewide ballot measure sponsored by the Oregon grocery industry.

The industry is pushing forward with an initiative that would ban taxes on the sale of food in Oregon. The proposed statewide constitutional amendment is primarily aimed at countering attempts to hike corporate taxes in the state.

But the grocery initiative would also cover new taxes on sugar-laden sodas, which many health researchers blame for growing problems with obesity and diabetes.

Taomeister / Flickr


Get ready for mandatory ten-digit dialing in western Washington State. Population growth has taken up nearly all the phone numbers available that start with 360 – and other area codes in the state are not far behind. So 564 is being added to the mix.

Oregon Governor Deploys National Guard For Eclipse

Jul 27, 2017
Takeshi Kuboki / Flickr

As state and local agencies continue to prepare for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, Gov. Kate Brown has authorized the Oregon National Guard to deploy soldiers. The National Guard will stage six aircraft and about 150 soldiers and airmen ahead of the eclipse weekend, OPB confirmed Thursday.

Outdoor recreation generates more than $3 billion in state and local tax revenue in the Northwest. That’s according to a report out this week from the Outdoor Industry Association.

Normally by late June, wasps are a common nuisance at summer barbecues. But this year, entomologists have noticed a drop-off in Washington state and wasp populations are lower than usual.

With an assist from Microsoft, Washington state’s Department of Transportation has launched a feasibility study of bullet train service in Cascadia.

Airbnb Use Up For Eclipse

Jul 26, 2017
Gillian Flaccus / AP Images


Airbnb said they’re expecting about six times more guests than average to stay in an Oregon rental for the eclipse. It’s another sign of Oregonians trying to make the best of the natural phenomenon.

Alaska Airlines is still ironing out operational wrinkles following the acquisition of Virgin America last year. At the same time, its smaller, regional airline is still grappling with a pilot shortage.

Bear Encounter Dos and Don'ts

Jul 26, 2017
Phil Horton / Flickr

The recent sighting of a mama bear and her three cubs near Lane Community College’s main campus has officials urging caution. However, there is conflicting advice on how to handle a bear encounter.   

Washington’s state Department of Health will remove a billboard deemed offensive after public backlash. The billboard in question was an initiative from the Department’s Marijuana Prevention & Education Program.

Elias Levy /


Summer brings crowds to the coast to swim and surf.  Inevitably, fears of shark attacks surface, buoyed by media reports and events like “Shark Week” on cable TV.  Despite recent sightings like those at Cannon Beach last week, most of the fear is over hyped.  

Spokane voters will decide in November whether to allow the shipment of coal and oil by rail through the city. The city council voted in favor of a special election in November.

John Ryan / KUOW


Eleven states including Washington have sued the Trump administration to improve safety at the nation’s refineries and chemical plants.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Seattle raised strong objections Tuesday at a Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., about e-commerce taxation.

A woman was killed in a climbing accident in Washington’s North Cascades National Park over the weekend.

Olympic National Park is inching ahead on a plan to reduce or eliminate its population of non-native mountain goats. A draft plan released Monday for public comment includes options to relocate or kill the animals.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press


The lack of a capital spending budget leaves the state at risk for more intense wildfire seasons in the years ahead.


Seattle City Council member Lorena Gonzalez has repeated her call from last week for Mayor Ed Murray to step down. She’s urging the council to be prepared to impeach if he resign.

"We need to be ready for what that process and what those procedures would like look like, particularly since we've never had to undergo them in the city's history," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez cites new information in the sex abuse case against Murray. Back in the 1980s, an Oregon child-welfare investigator found that Murray abused his foster son.

Washington state lawmakers have adjourned and gone home without passing a $4.1 billion capital construction budget. For a community in southwest Washington, that means an elementary school may not get built on time and on budget.

Washington Budget Falls Short For Environmentalists

Jul 21, 2017
Daveynin / Flicker

Washington’s legislative session, the longest in state history, did not deliver the money environmentalists wanted for toxic cleanup, oil transportation safety, or natural resources.

If you liked the warm, dry start to our Northwest summer, you'll probably like the rest of it. There's no change to the dominant weather pattern in sight.

Texting or holding a phone to your ear while driving is already illegal in Washington state. But starting Sunday, Washington state troopers and local police will begin enforcing a toughened law against distracted driving.