Yakima

Voting Rights
6:21 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Federal Judge Rules Against City Of Yakima In Voting Rights Challenge

This ruling marks the first redistricting challenge ever brought under the Voting Rights Act in Washington State.
Credit liz west / Flickr

 

A federal judge ruled against the City of Yakima in a voting rights challenge Tuesday, setting the stage for a new era in Central Washington politics. The ruling calls for an overhaul of Yakima’s City Council elections to better represent the will of Latino voters.

Judge Thomas Rice’s order followed his ruling last August that Yakima’s at-large City Council races suffocated the Latino vote. The city’s Latino population is over 40 percent and growing, yet no Latino has ever been elected to City Council.

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Dairy Nitrates
4:57 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Judge Rules Dairies Are Contaminating Yakima Valley Drinking Water

Credit Flickr

A judge today ruled that dairies are contaminating drinking water in Washington’s Yakima Valley.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by two environmental groups after an EPA study linked the dairies to high nitrate levels in residential drinking wells.

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History And Culture
5:56 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

For Catholics, One Church, Two Congregations

Parishioners kneel before a portrait of the Virgen de Guadalupe at St. Joseph's church in Yakima.
Credit Rowan Moore Gerety

December 12 is the biggest day of the year for St. Joseph’s church in Yakima. It’s standing room only as more than 1000 people gather to celebrate Mexico’s Patron Saint, la Virgen de Guadalupe.

After the service, a mariachi band serenades the congregation. Volunteers serve up Menudo and Mexican hot chocolate. There’s only one thing missing: parishioners who attend the English mass.

Though the Catholic Church has long been known as a haven for immigrants, many parishes remain divided along ethnic lines even after decades of demographic change.

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Latino Vote
6:29 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

At-Large Elections Just One Barrier To Latino Vote In Eastern Washington

In some Washington cities, Latinos make up 84 percent of the population, but they only cast a quarter of the votes.
Credit Mel Green / Flickr

Last month, a federal judge ruled that Yakima’s City Council elections stifle the voice of Latino voters in the city. But that verdict doesn’t apply to dozens of other places in Eastern Washington where Latinos are just as underrepresented in elected office.

In communities like Othello, leaders are grappling with broader problems of civic education and participation in local government.

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This Is NPR
8:41 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Two Stations Bridge Cultural Gaps With Bilingual Reporting

NWPR, KDNA

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 12:33 pm

In Central Washington, two public radio stations, Northwest Public Radio (NWPR) and KDNA, have started a new initiative to bridge the cultural and linguistic gaps between communities. The motivation is straightforward: public radio station NWPR has partnered with Spanish-language radio station KDNA to create and share content for broadcast. Combining reporting and digital services teams between stations, this partnership is tackling the issues of their respective communities, bilingually.

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Yakima Voting
4:44 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Yakima Election Change May Effect Entire Northwest

A recent federal court ruling that orders the city of Yakima to change the way it elects its city council, could have wide reaching effects in the northwest.
Credit Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

A recent federal court ruling that orders the city of Yakima to change the way it elects its city council could have wide reaching effects in the Northwest.

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Yakima Election Law
7:45 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Federal Judge: Yakima’s At-Large Council Elections Disenfranchise Latino Voters

A federal judge has ruled that the way city council members are elected in Yakima disenfranchises Latino voters. That surprise ruling Friday comes exactly two years after the ACLU filed a federal Voting Rights Act lawsuit against the city. Correspondent Austin Jenkins has this update.

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Immigration Reform Rally
6:44 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Central Washington Pastors Rally For Immigration Reform

Immigration activists in the Northwest are pushing for Congress to get beyond the government shutdown fight and return to the issue of undocumented workers.
Credit Matt Martin

Immigration activists in the Northwest are pushing for Congress to get beyond the government shutdown fight and return to the issue of undocumented workers. Immigrant rights groups rallied in Yakima, Washington Saturday as part of a national protest.

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Health Care
6:11 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Rural Residency Shortage Means Doctors-In-Training Move Away

Medical resident Vaughn Bullfinch considers himself lucky to have residency spot in a rural Northwest hospital in an area where he hopes to settle down.
Credit Vaughn Bullfinch

For decades, rural parts of the Northwest have found it difficult to lure doctors to small towns. Community leaders in Yakima, WA went so far as to found a small medical school to train doctors to practice in these underserved areas. The Pacific Northwest University opened in 2006. But there is a problem. Small towns throughout the region just don’t have enough residency programs. And that means many of these doctors-in-training may move away. 

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Immigration Reform
6:14 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Democrats Push Immigration Reform In Central Washington

Matt Martin/Northwest News Network. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois) speaks to supporters of immigration reform in Yakima, Washington.

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 8:33 am

Supporters of the immigration overhaul that passed the U.S. Senate are drumming up support for the legislation in the Northwest. On Saturday, one of the Democrats taking the lead on the issue in Congress spoke to a crowded church in Yakima, Washington.

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