Oregon

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.

Oregon GMO Labeling Campaign Submits Signatures

Jul 2, 2014
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon voters may get the chance to require food companies to label products that contain genetically engineered ingredients. Sponsors of an initiative to require that turned in more than 150,000 signatures Wednesday in an effort to make the ballot this November. Opponents have already denounced the measure.

Michael Clapp / OPB

It's summer vacation for students - and teachers - across the country. Administrators often use the summer to take a bigger look at how schools are doing, and that can mean a critical look at teachers. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Rob Manning looks at evaluations for current teachers - and the role of student test scores in those evaluations.

Oregon Marijuana Campaigners Turn In Signatures

Jun 26, 2014
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon could soon follow Washington and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana. Sponsors of an initiative to do that turned in boxes of signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State's office Thursday. If enough of the signatures are valid, the measure would come before voters this fall.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon voters might have the chance to overhaul the state's primary voting system this fall. Sponsors of an initiative to create a so-called "Top Two" primary turned in six cases of signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State's office Monday. The measure would let people vote in primaries even if they don't belong to a major political party. The top two vote-getters would advance to the general election, regardless of party. Chief petitioner Jim Kelly says it will give more Oregonians a part in the process.

Equal Rights Amendment On Oregon's November Ballot

Jun 23, 2014
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon voters will get to decide whether to grant equal rights to women this fall. If that sounds like a blast from the past, it's because the proposed amendment to the state constitution is nearly identical to the version that failed nationally in the 1970s.

Oregon Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty Case

Jun 19, 2014
Courtesy Oregon DOC

Oregon's Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty in a case involving the 2004 murder of an African immigrant. The ruling comes as capital punishment faces increased scrutiny nationwide after a botched execution by lethal injection in Oklahoma.

tallasiandude / Flickr

Oregon's second-largest city could be the next place to mandate employer-provided sick leave. The Eugene City Council Wednesday voted to direct city staff to draw up an ordinance that would take effect next year. 

The Oregon Department of Transportation may lose a vast amount of institutional knowledge in the coming years. That's according to an audit released Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State. And the report questions whether ODOT is doing enough to retain that knowledge of how to design and build roads. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Alex Proimos / Wikimedia

Public workers in Oregon will soon receive health care under a new model that's meant to rein in costs. The Oregon Public Employees Benefits Board approved a plan that's similar to a type developed for Oregon's Medicaid enrollees.

Redwood Burl Poaching Spreads To Oregon

Jun 13, 2014
Michael Schweppe / Wikimedia

Redwood burl poaching has long been an issue in the Redwood National Park in California. But now a conservation group says it’s spotted evidence of this type of tree damage in a national forest in Oregon.

M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia

Two polls released nearly back-to-back this week paint dramatically different pictures of the Oregon Senate race. One shows challenger Monica Wehby in a statistical dead heat with incumbent Jeff Merkley. The other shows Merkley with a double-digit lead.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It’s been ninety years since the last native California wolf was trapped and killed. Last week, Oregon wildlife officials announced that OR-7, the wolf they’ve tracked wandering in and out of northern California, had found a mate and fathered a new litter in southern Oregon. That news contributes to the growing sense that it’s only a matter of time till wolves re-inhabit the Golden State. Against this backdrop, California wildlife officials extended endangered species status to the gray wolf. From Jefferson Public Radio, Liam Moriarty reports.

Devan Schwartz / EarthFix

What could be the largest carp removal project in history is underway at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Oregon.

EarthFix’s Devan Schwartz reports on the attempts to curb the invasive fish that has destroyed bird habitat for decades.

FlickrLickr / Wikimedia Commons

Northwesterners love their diesel pickups. A new report by a diesel industry group shows Oregon and Idaho are in the top ten when it comes to highest rates of diesel vehicle ownership in the nation. But the overall rate pales in comparison to other parts of the world. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Sam Beebe / Flickr

Fewer prisoners serve their entire prison sentence behind bars in Oregon than in any other state. That's according to a study released Wednesday from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Oregon also supervises its newly released inmates more than any other state.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

June 6 is the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of western Europe. And this year’s D-Day will be especially meaningful for World War II veterans in Oregon. The state's long-awaited World War II Memorial will open on that day. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman spoke with one veteran of the conflict who plans to attend the dedication ceremony.

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