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.

M.O. STEVENS / WIKIMEDIA - TINYURL.COM/HO43W2R

Oregon businesses would have to offer employees paid time off to care for children or family members under a bill being considered in Salem. The measure would require employers to pay into a fund that workers could use for up to 12 weeks per year, or more in the case of parental leave.

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR / FLICKR

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to lobby against the Republican health care bill designed to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Flickr User laffertyryan / FLICKR Creative Commons

More and more people are using publicly owned lands for recreation. Public agencies are struggling to keep up with the demand for rangers, trail maintenance – even the need to restock toilet paper in outhouses. The problem could get worse under President Trump’s hiring freeze. 

M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons

School districts across Oregon are warning of potentially deep budget cuts, if legislators don’t find additional money for public schools. 

WSU Foley Institute

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says February’s legal success against the Trump Administration’s original travel ban is a major victory for checks and balances.

          

Police, prosecutors and victims say it’s time for the state of Washington to crack down on prohibited gun buyers. Lawmakers heard testimony Thursday on a proposal to require gun dealers to alert authorities when someone tries to buy a gun and fails a background check.

Washington Chief Justice Concerned Over ICE Reports

Mar 23, 2017

Reports of immigration agents staking out courthouses to pick up undocumented immigrants have raised concerns for people throughout the country. The issue has also moved Washington state’s Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst to take action. 

Washington Senate Republicans are looking for ways to save money on state subsidized child care for low-income families. And they think they’ve found a way.

Oregon DEQ Prepares For Big Staff Cuts Under Trump

Mar 22, 2017
Rob Manning / OPB

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality expects to lose more than 30 people in the agency’s core programs protecting air and water quality because of President Trump’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency budget, according to an internal DEQ memo.

U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown, who oversaw two jury trials linked to the case, ruled directly on the misdemeanors. In her 40-page ruling, she wrote each of the defendants “actively participated in the armed occupation of the MNWR.”

Idaho Governor Butch Otter Tuesday declared seven north Idaho counties as disaster areas, thanks to flooding caused by heavy snowmelt and rain.

Washington Senate Republicans have proposed a $5 billion increase in state spending over the next two years, including $1.8 billion more for public schools in an attempt to satisfy a Supreme Court ruling that found the state is not adequately funding K-12 education.

Flickr User: Wildcat Dunny / FLICKR Creative Commons

Kite flyers, picnickers, and Ultimate players treasure Seattle’s Gas Works Park--but beneath its sparkling grass lies a toxic legacy of its industrial past. Puget Sound Energy is now working with public officials to clean up the mess.

How do you dispose of an old totem pole? Fortunately, this is not a problem we regularly face. But a tall totem gifted by Seattle to its sister city in Japan renewed this question.

Spokane's Episcopal Diocese Ordains First Female Bishop

Mar 20, 2017
Doug Nadvornick / SPR

Spokane’s Episcopal Diocese installed its first female bishop during a ceremony on Saturday. In the majestic Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, some of the highest-ranking leaders of the American Episcopal Church joined Gretchen Rehberg for one of the most important days of her life.

Portland Partners With Colleges To Create School Of Public Health

Mar 20, 2017

The city of Portland wants to partner with the area’s three largest public colleges to build a new $100 million education and health center downtown.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced the partnership with Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland State University and Portland Community College Monday morning.

In exchange for an estimated $15 million dollar investment in the project, Wheeler said the city would own two floors of office space in the building, in an effort to address a shortage of space for city workers.

Over the weekend a large diesel spill developed on the Columbia River near downtown Wenatchee, Washington. So far state officials haven’t been able to locate the source of the spill.

The Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas project is still alive, despite being denied by federal regulators last year. Canadian energy company Veresen has resubmitted its plans and are holding a new round of required public meetings this week.

Backers of the export terminal propose to build a pipeline to bring natural gas from the inland West to the Port of Coos Bay on the South Oregon Coast. There, it will be liquefied and exported to markets in Asia.

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

The state of the salmon population in Idaho’s Snake River was the topic of a passionate discussion during a conference hosted by members of Idaho’s Nez Perce Indian tribe over the weekend.

Courtesy of Tesoro

 

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Port of Vancouver regarding a controversial proposed oil terminal.

Members of Idaho’s Nez Perce tribe are concerned about their treaty rights under a new president. That was the topic of the day at a conference that opened Friday in Lewiston, Idaho.

President Donald Trump has made it clear climate change is not a priority for his administration, but it is still a top issue for Democratic governors and lawmakers in Washington and Oregon.

In Oregon, there’s talk of a cap-and-trade system. And in Washington, the idea of a carbon tax keeps popping up as Democrats and Republicans face off over the budget.

Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen was paid $11,438 for his first four weeks working for the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency, with a listed annual salary of $161,900, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Education advocates made their case for increased school funding in front of Oregon lawmakers Thursday. The subcommittee that focuses on education heard testimony from people who want lawmakers to boost K-12 funding from the $7.8 billion proposed in a preliminary budget framework.

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Among many proposed budget cuts, the Trump administration wants to completely eliminate the National Endowments for the Humanities and the Arts. The proposed budget cut would  impact numerous art-related programs and groups in Washington state. 

nature.org

 

When wildfires roared through Washington during the summer and fall of 2014 and 2015, they caught people’s attention, even Democratic state lawmakers from the Puget Sound area such as Rep. Larry Springer.

The Daily Astorian

Hunters, fishermen and environmental activists: it’s not often these groups are mentioned in the same breath. But recently they’re finding themselves standing shoulder to shoulder over the issue of public lands.

A state Supreme court decision Thursday gives a Washington tribe the right to transport goods and services across state lines without taxation. Attorneys and tribal members said the case is a win on the side of tribal sovereignty.

Washington state and the U.S. Forest Service signed an agreement last week that officials say will improve on-the-ground management of public lands susceptible to wildfire.

Oregon lawmakers are advancing a measure that would make it easier for transgender people to change their identity on government documents.

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