Northwest News Network

Regional Public Journalism from twelve public radio stations throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

The options to share your fandom or your love of nature through your car license plate keep growing in Oregon and Washington. But not all license plate ideas go down smoothly: A proposed Washington wine country license plate, like Oregon already offers, drew some whining at the state legislature this week.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination, signed legislation Thursday to bump the state’s presidential primary from late May to early March. It’s a move designed to make Washington, a frequently overlooked state with just 12 electoral votes, more relevant in the nominating process.

In the woods near Olympia’s Capitol Forest, there’s a brown two-story house with unpainted plywood walls in the entryway that tell a story.

A research project to model the effects from a Cascadia megaquake found higher risk of collapse for modern tall buildings than previously thought.

Democrats in the Washington Legislature want to revive a tax break for buyers of electric cars, which critics view as wasteful and unnecessary. Meanwhile, a publicly-financed rebate for battery-powered cars in Oregon is finding thousands of takers.

If you're annoyed by having to change the clocks this weekend, take heart. This could be one of the last times you have to go through the time change ritual.

The State of Washington has completed its first statewide inventory of buildings prone to crumble or collapse in an earthquake. The bottom line: There are an awful lot of unreinforced, old brick or stone buildings that could be dangerous  — a similar number to estimates in Oregon.

Democrats in the Washington Legislature want to revive a tax break for buyers of electric cars, which critics view as wasteful and unnecessary. Meanwhile, a publicly-financed rebate for battery-powered cars in Oregon is finding thousands of takers.

 

A Portland-based energy developer has signed property leases for a big solar farm in Klickitat County near the Columbia River. When completed, the solar project will be the largest in Washington.

A Portland-based energy developer has signed property leases for a big solar farm in Klickitat County near the Columbia River. When completed, the solar project will be the largest in Washington state.

Carolina Landa’s 12-year-old son has a new obsession: an old Scooby-Doo movie.

It’s part of Zach’s life with autism. He fixates on certain objects — a movie, sometimes food, anything he needs to feel safe — but has difficulty communicating since he’s also nonverbal.

Electric utilities in Washington state would have to phase out all coal power, and eventually, natural gas-fired generation under a measure passed by the state Senate on Friday.

The 100 percent clean electricity mandate is a priority of Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and environmental groups, but Republican critics decried it as a big rate increase in the making.

Following months of speculation, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday formally launched a campaign for president that he said would seek to mobilize the country around an ambitious plan to combat climate change.

In January 2010, Brandon Bielen was riding his motorcycle on Highway 9 in Skagit County when he collided with a car that pulled out in front of him. Bielen was airlifted from the scene in critical condition. He had turned 18 just two days earlier.

Thousands of old brick, stone and concrete buildings in the Pacific Northwest could crumble in the next strong earthquake. To face that challenge, measures pending in the Oregon and Washington legislatures would set up grant programs to help owners of dangerous buildings make seismic safety upgrades.

People with Celiac disease are a bit closer to enjoying gluten products again.

With the help of genetic modification, a team of Northwest scientists have engineered a unique wheat variety that’s safe for people with gluten sensitivities and allergies.

First, he was caught on store surveillance allegedly stealing a $70 office chair. Now Washington anti-tax activist Tim Eyman has produced his own video. It shows him returning to the scene of the alleged crime.

Two months into this year, researchers are looking back at what changed on the housing front in 2018.  

 

Almond bloom comes nearly all at once in California — a flush of delicate pale blooms that unfold around Valentine's Day.

And beekeeper Bret Adee is hustling to get his hives ready, working through them on a Central Valley ranch before placing them in orchards.

He deftly tap-taps open a hive. "We're gonna open this up, and you're going to see a whole lot of bees here," Adee says.

Under the lid, the exposed sleepy occupants hum away. He uses a handheld smoker to keep them calm and huddled around their queen.

A Washington state lawmaker says it’s time for eastern Washington to break away and become a 51st state called Liberty in order to protect gun rights and avoid the “socialist values of downtown Seattle.”

Most people in the Pacific Northwest know we live in earthquake country. A new analysis published this week, however, notes that major quakes in the region have gone on a puzzling hiatus over the last decade.

Issues of sexual harassment raised in the #MeToo era have trickled their way through just about every part of Washington state — from business, to government, and now possibly schools as state lawmakers flag consent as the cornerstone of a mandatory sex-education proposal.


If a custom license plate or a college-themed plate isn't good enough for your car, a startup has the latest in automotive accessories: a digital license plate.

As Washington Gov. Jay Inslee inches closer to a likely run for president, he's starting to sound more and more like a candidate on the stump than a two-term incumbent, even when addressing audiences at home. 

A large public art project proposed to be built beside the now-inundated great falls of the Columbia River has been put on indefinite hold by its sponsor.

The installation was planned for Celilo Falls — east of The Dalles, Oregon — as the sixth and final outdoor artwork in a series by celebrated designer Maya Lin along the Columbia and Snake rivers.

According to Washington State’s Department of Health, one infant dies almost every day in the state. Major causes include sudden unexplained infant death, low birthweight and premature birth.

And state health officials say the number of kids who die before the age of one is consistently higher among Native Americans and African Americans compared to any other race.

Officials from across the state met Thursday to discuss infant mortality as part of Governor Jay Inslee’s Results Washington Initiative.


  

The Environmental Protection Agency set new clean-air standards four years ago for wood stove and hydronic heater manufacturers.

Every week, tens of thousands of Americans complete intensive drug and alcohol rehab programs. The next months, however, are fraught with risk of relapse.

A treatment counselor or supporter can't monitor you around the clock. But now your always-on smartphone can watch you, coach you, alert your mom and even give rewards.

Four Bills in Washington’s legislature this year offer differing views on the death penalty following a state Supreme Court decision last year.  A similar debate is playing out in Oregon.

 

Drastic increases to the cost of college have discouraged many families from saving for their child’s tuition — or even thinking of it as a possibility. But some state lawmakers think that could change for as little as $100.


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