Northwest News Network

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

Even if the federal government re-opens immediately, some people in the Northwest fear they’re still going to feel the effects of the partial shutdown.

A search effort for a missing hiker at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho is turning to drone technology for help.

Over the years, Washington lawmakers have pondered ways to rein-in the state’s initiative process. Now comes a ballot measure designed to make it easier to qualify for the ballot.

Washington’s Liquor Control Board has formally adopted 43 pages of rules for legal, recreational marijuana.

In the food business, everything comes down to that moment when a shopper studies a label and decides whether to buy or move on. That’s why food producers have a big interest in Washington’s Initiative 522 on the ballot next month.

GOP State Representative Aims To Unseat Senator Merkley

Oct 15, 2013

The partial government shutdown and possible default this week loomed over an announcement Tuesday from the highest-profile challenger in next year’s U.S. Senate race in Oregon.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has laid out his wish list for how he'd like the state to combat global warming pollution.

The governors of Washington, Oregon and Idaho say they have no plans to reopen national parks and monuments using state dollars. President Obama has given states that option as the federal government shutdown stretches into day 11 and beyond.

Utah immediately took the president up on his offer.  A $1.6 million check to the federal treasury allows the Beehive State to reopen several economically important national parks and monuments.

Washington schools chief Randy Dorn says the time has come to raise taxes to increase funding for public education. And he’s prepared to lead the fight.

Dorn styles himself as a bit of a maverick. He says his job is to make adults uncomfortable. He recently gave the legislature a grade of "incomplete" for its first down payment on a Supreme Court decision that says Washington is not adequately funding public schools.

Washington officials say they’re disappointed but not surprised by news that the federal government likely will miss several more cleanup deadlines at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. 

At Hanford, radioactive sludge stews in aging underground tanks not far from the Columbia River. A 1989 agreement created the timeline for treating that caustic gunk. But the task has proven extremely difficult: A waste treatment plant has been plagued by whistleblowers, critical federal investigations, cost overruns and delays.

Sponsors of an initiative to require universal background checks for gun sales in Washington have submitted 250,000 petition signatures. That’s the minimum needed to put the measure before the legislature in January.

If lawmakers fail to act, voters would see it on the ballot a year from now.

Supporters of Initiative 594 cheered as boxes of petitions were rolled into the Washington Secretary of State’s office.

Wheeling the cart was Cheryl Stumbo. She’s a survivor of the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle.

High-End Extras Aren't A Sure Bet For Tribal Casinos

Oct 9, 2013

What used to be no-frills slot parlors off the highway are turning into resort-style destinations with spas, golf courses and luxury hotels. Native American tribes are hoping these added amenities will give them an edge in an increasingly competitive gaming market.

It’s the hottest issue on Washington’s fall ballot: an initiative to require labeling of genetically engineered foods. But Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, says he hasn’t decided how he’ll vote on Initiative 522.

Three Washington-based soldiers are in jail after the stabbing death of a fellow soldier over the weekend. The arrests came after the person who allegedly wielded the knife sought medical treatment for a cut to his hand.

Police say the murder happened off base following an exchange of words between two groups of Joint Base Lewis-McChord servicemen. A roadside confrontation seemed to end peacefully once everyone realized they were fellow soldiers.

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, Wash., on Saturday as part of a national protest.

Flags were waving as caravans of people pulled into Yakima to rally in front of the office of Republican Rep. Doc Hastings.

After a rocky start, Washington’s health plan finder website is now running smoothly. That’s according to a spokesman for the state’s Health Benefit Exchange.

A former Democratic operative in Washington has admitted to embezzling campaign money. Michael Walter King pleaded guilty Thursday in King County Superior Court.

The National Park Service Thursday tried to sort out confusion among motorists about the extent of the partial government shutdown: State highways crossing federal land remain open to thru traffic.

Special Session Bills Advancing In Oregon Legislature

Oct 2, 2013

Oregon lawmakers are moving ahead with a special session agenda. As of this afternoon, all five measures have received approval from at least one chamber.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to begin its new term Monday – despite the federal government shutdown. The new round of legal cases will likely continue a pattern of closely divided rulings.

Oregon Special Session Bills Finally On The Move

Oct 2, 2013

The five bills on the agenda for Oregon's special legislative session are finally on the move. Nearly two full days after lawmakers arrived in Salem, a legislative panel voted Tuesday evening to advance the measures out to the floor. The full legislature could vote on them Wednesday.

Northwest farmers are wrapping up this year’s hop harvest at a time when the craft beer industry is seeing huge growth.

It was a rocky start to Obamacare in Washington. The state’s new health insurance website is up now, but it was shut down for most of the day because of technical glitches.

Oregon Special Session Continues For Second Day

Oct 1, 2013

Members of Congress weren't the only ones working late into evening Monday. State lawmakers in Oregon stayed late as they tried to keep a deal on taxes and public pensions alive. A special session that was planned to last one day is instead going to resume Tuesday morning. 

The likelihood of a partial federal government shutdown has state budget gurus scrambling to figure out whether programs the states run with federal funding can continue.

Before legal marijuana in Washington hits store shelves, it will have to be tested. Special pot labs will check for potency, molds, foreign matter and bacteria like E. Coli.

Oregon Special Session In Flux

Sep 30, 2013

While gridlock continues in Washington, D.C., tensions have also surfaced in Salem. Oregon's special session hasn't gone according to plan.

Oregon Special Session Outcome Still Not Clear

Sep 29, 2013

Oregon lawmakers are meeting in Salem Monday for a rare special session. The legislature will consider a series of measures on taxes and pensions meant to beef up state finances.

Tax Measures Blasted, Praised At Legislative Hearing

Sep 27, 2013

Oregon lawmakers will convene Monday for a special session on taxes and public pensions. The subject of debate at a hearing Friday was the series of tax cuts and increases.

Mobile devices are traditionally considered a nuisance in schools. But a Portland startup is developing a way to turn students’ cell phones into classroom tools.

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