Pacific Northwest

The Supreme Court’s decision on the health care law threw many members of Congress for a loop. Many northwest lawmakers were surprised that the Supreme Court upheld the law’s individual mandate and put limits on the government’s attempt to expand Medicaid. Matt Laslo reports from the nation’s capital.

Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber says he'll convene a workgroup to study possible changes to the state's driver's license laws for undocumented immigrants. That news prompted cheers at a May Day rally in front of the state capitol Tuesday evening. Thousands of people marked the day with demonstrations in Salem, along with other cities across the Northwest. Correspondent Chris Lehman has this report from the march in Salem.

Courtesy of Riverbank Power

If you thought the great dam building era of the Northwest was long over, you might be mistaken. But we're not talking about damming rivers here. This is about building long earthen dams to make new off-stream hydropower reservoirs. They're being designed to act as giant batteries and shock absorbers for the electric grid. Correspondent Tom Banse explains.

Photo courtesy Hanson Dodge Creative

Some Olympic hopefuls are lucky. They have six-figure endorsement contracts and can concentrate solely on training for peak performance. More commonly, dreams of Olympic glory mean scrounging for dollars. One runner from Eugene even auctioned his left shoulder on eBay recently. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on some creative personal fundraising by elite local athletes.

Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

PORTLAND - The Northwest has long been a draw for people moving here from other parts of the United States. That continues to be a key driver of the region’s economy. Despite high unemployment rates, Oregon and Washington still lure folks from the Midwest and elsewhere. And they bring in new money and job skills. In a collaboration with public radio's Changing Gears, Chris Lehman introduces us to some rust belt transplants to the Northwest.

Ashley Ahearn / N3

Six ports in the Northwest are now considering building export terminals to bring American coal to Asian markets. One of those ports is Grays Harbor – west of Olympia. 5 million tons of coal could move through that port each year. If that coal is burned in places like China that would be the same as putting about two and a half million new cars on the road. But the new terminal represents much-needed jobs in this county – and that has people talking.

Photo Credit: K. David Harrison / Northwest News Network

VANCOUVER, Canada - Usually it is good news when the Northwest appears on a top five list. But this one is not. Our region ranks near the top of a list of global hotspots for disappearing languages. The reason is that speakers of Native American languages are dwindling. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on how digital technology is coming to the rescue of some ancient tongues.

Photo Credit: Greg L. Wright / Wikimedia commons

The conditions that led to fatal avalanches in the Washington Cascades could get worse this week. Three expert skiers died near Stevens Pass on Sunday and a snowboarder died in a separate avalanche near Snoqualmie.

Wikimedia user: Karduelis

Five forest projects in the Pacific Northwest have been awarded nearly 10-million dollars in federal funds for forest restoration. Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the funding and a new plan for managing the national forests.

Wikimedia user: w:User:J.J.

In the first election that so-called “super PACs” can collect unlimited money for presidential races, some big spenders from the Northwest are getting in on the action.