Northern Lights Might Be Visible In the Northwest

Sep 12, 2014
NASA / http://www.nasa.gov/

The Northwest could get a a rare look at the northern lights tonight and tomorrow.

The Aurora Borealis is expected to expand further south than usual, thanks to two solar flares affecting the magnetic poles. They'll help make the greenish lights visible.

This fall, Oregon voters will choose between five candidates for U.S. Senator and six candidates for governor. It could be the last time the general election ballot is this crowded in Oregon. That's because of one of the initiatives up for a vote this year. Measure 90 would create a nonpartisan primary for all candidates. The top two would advance to the general election, regardless of party. It’s similar to the elections system already in place in Washington state.

National Interagency Fire Center

Fire season in the Northwest is winding down for this year.

But scientific models suggest that with climate change, the region can expect more large wildfires in the future.

noexcusesradio / pixabay

Oregon is warning some unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries to close their doors. This summer, the state has sent letters to nine storefront pot dealers ordering them to shut down.

Friends, admirers, and dignitaries from across Oregon gathered at the capitol Wednesday to remember Vic Atiyeh. The former governor was elected in 1979 and held the office for 8 years. He died in July at age 91. Amelia Templeton reports.

Pembina Pipeline Corporation

The Port of Portland has reached an agreement to house a Canadian company’s terminal for exporting propane to Asia. For EarthFix, Tony Schick reports.

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh will be remembered at the Oregon state Capitol September 3rd. A public service will include family members and former colleagues of the governor, who died in July at the age of 91. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Teal Waterstrat (USFWS) / Flickr

The Oregon spotted frog will now receive protection under the Endangered Species Act. The small frog was once abundant in the Northwest. It’s now mostly found in a few scattered wetlands.

Oregon Revenue Forecast Steady, Kicker A Possibility

Aug 27, 2014
Doug Kerr / Flickr

Oregon's economy is humming along at a good clip, according to the latest outlook released Wednesday by state economists. But thanks to a unique Oregon law, if the state revenues keep going up, they'll actually go down.

Architect of the Capitol

Each state is represented by two statues in the United States Capitol Building. Some Oregon lawmakers have tried repeatedly to replace one of their state's specimens. Now, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is pulling together a commission to try to settle this statue squabble once and for all. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The attempt to remove most of the city council in the southern Oregon city of Gold Hill fell short.

A group of Oregon voters brought together to consider the pros and cons of a Top Two primary system have issued their recommendation: They're against it. That puts them in the same camp as both major political parties in Oregon. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman explains.

Amelia Templeton / EarthFix

A group of Southern Oregon residents who complained pesticide spraying made them sick has now filed a lawsuit in Curry County circuit court. For EarthFix, Tony Schick reports.

Strawberry Mountain Mustangs

An Oregon police officer was justified in seizing someone's horse without getting a warrant first. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Thursday that warrantless searches are allowed when the life of an animal is on the line.

General Services Administration

Washington voters got another chance this week to take the state's relatively new Top Two primary system for a spin. Oregon voters will choose this year whether to shift to a similar method of choosing candidates. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman takes a look at some of the arguments for the Top Two system.

Oregon Gulch Fire Stabilized

Aug 7, 2014
Liam Moriarty / Jefferson Public Radio

Fire crews battling Oregon's biggest fire have finally gotten the upper hand. Chris Cline, Oregon Department of Forestry incident commander for the Oregon Gulch fire said that crews have completed the line around the eastern tip of the fire.

Oregon Department of Licensing

Oregonians will vote this fall on whether its residents should be able to apply for drivers’ licenses regardless of their immigration status. Supporters of the measure kicked off their campaign yesterday.

Oregon Military Department

Wildfires in the West are getting bigger, hotter – and more costly. A new report from a national science advocacy group says climate change is one major reason wildfires are getting worse.

And short-sighted development policies are a big reason they’re costing more. Jefferson Public Radio’s Liam Moriarty explains.

Oregon Report Identifies Gaps In Oil Train Safety

Jul 28, 2014
Tony Schick / EarthFix

Several mile-long oil trains cross through the state of Oregon every week carrying volatile oil from North Dakota's Bakken oil fields. A new report released today Friday identifies gaps in Oregon's ability to handle the safety risks. For EarthFix, Cassandra Profita reports.

Oregon Ponders Smoking Ban At All Beaches

Jul 25, 2014
Mark Hogan / Flickr

Oregon could become the first West Coast state to ban smoking on all of its beaches. The Oregon State Parks Department is seeking public input on the proposal.

National Interagency Fire Center

Fires continue to rage through tinder-dry wildlands in Oregon, Washington and California. Nearly a million acres have burned so far, destroying more than 200 homes.

With the nation’s eyes turned toward the Northwest, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and the Obama Administration have taken the opportunity to renew their efforts to change how the federal government pays to fight -- and prevent – wildfires. From Jefferson Public Radio, Liam Moriarty explains.

Counties across the Northwest are heavily dependent on timber revenue from federal lands have been struggling to provide public health services. Now, one county in Oregon has told the state it will no longer provide those services. That's left state officials scrambling to figure out how to cover the gap. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregonians will decide in November whether to legalize recreational marijuana. An initiative to do just that qualified for the ballot Tuesday.

Some Of The Worst Fires In Northwest History

Jul 21, 2014
Library of Congress

The Carlton Complex Fire in Okanogan County is now the worst fire in Washington history. It has burned more than 238,000 acres of land, and is believed to have destroyed between 150 and 200 homes, killing one person. As firefighters work to contain the blaze, we’d like to take a look at some of the other fires that have raged across the Northwest to see how it compares.

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh has died at the age of 91. The two-term Republican passed away Sunday evening at a Portland hospital of complications from renal failure. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Oregon Fire Displaces Sprague River Residents

Jul 15, 2014
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

A wildfire near the south-central Oregon town of Sprague River has destroyed as many as 20 homes and burned 2,500 acres. Red Cross volunteers have set up in the community center to help the victims of the Moccasin Hill Fire.

biologycorner / Flickr

This summer in Oregon, education leaders brought together teaching professors and school officials to improve teacher training. The June institute followed a national report, critical of training programs. And new teachers will soon be asked to pass a new standardized test. Think of it as a Common Core for teachers in training. Rob Manning has more.

Wikimedia Commons

An Oregon political campaign wants your digital donations. The group behind the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana says it's now accepting bitcoin contributions. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports on this new frontier in campaign finance.

No Big Surprises On Signature Deadline Day

Jul 3, 2014
Garry Knight / Flickr

The deadline to turn in signatures to qualify initiative petitions in Oregon produced no big surprises Thursday. But Oregonians could still have a range of controversial topics to decide this fall.

Photo by Chris Lehman. / Northwest News Network

And now a story about farmers and water. It’s a common and often contentious issue out here in the West. Well now farmers across the country are also riled up. That’s because the U.S. EPA wants to revise the clean water act. As Correspondent Chris Lehman explains depending on who you talk to these revisions are either a “land grab” under the “brute force” of the federal government or a simple clarification of rules that ensure all Americans have clean water to drink.