Northwest News Network

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

Former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley Tuesday lost a motion to have his conviction for possession of stolen funds tossed out. But a federal judge in Tacoma did grant two of Kelley’s other motions.

It’s been a busy day along Highway 97 near Tonasket, Washington, as trucks haul sand and sandbags to communities that could be affected by extreme flooding along the Okanogan River. The river first crested last Saturday.

But residents are bracing for more.

The National Weather Service is predicting possible thunderstorms later this week around the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, Washington. That could cause the Eightmile Lake Dam above the town to fail.

And a simmering dispute between the local irrigation district and the U.S. Forest Service isn’t helping.

Volunteers joined emergency crews this week to brace for the possibility of major flooding on a number of rivers in north central and eastern Washington state.

The combination of a near-record snowpack in southern British Columbia and temperatures soaring into the upper 80s has caused flood watches starting at the U.S.-Canada border running south along the Okanogan River.

Correspondent Emily Schwing is on the scene and sent back these photos.

In farm fields from the Willamette Valley to the Kittitas Valley and east to Idaho, energy developers want to plant a new crop: commercial solar arrays. But a surge in utility-scale solar farm applications is generating pushback.

Two embattled Washington state representatives have filed to run for re-election—despite ongoing investigations into their conduct.

Democrat David Sawyer of Tacoma and Republican Matt Manweller of Ellensburg both registered their candidacies with the Secretary of State’s office on Monday, the first day of filing week.

The National Weather Service is concerned about this week’s warm weather rapidly melting snow upstream of Leavenworth, Washington, this week. There may also be storms on the way.

A number of rivers in north central and eastern Washington are in imminent danger of flooding. That’s because spring temperatures have soared into the upper 80s and Canada’s near record snowpack is melting fast.

Flooding hasn’t been this bad in the Okanogan Valley since 1972. This week, forecasters say, it could get close to breaking that record.

Okanogan County Fire District Commissioner Jack Denison said that’s a “worst case scenario.”

Gamblers throughout the country got good news Monday, as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that banned sports betting in most states. That could lead to new betting options in Oregon and Washington, if legislators decide to allow betting on team sports in those states.

Towns in central and northeast Washington are under flood watches as rivers swell from rapid snowmelt in the mountains.

In the small Washington border town of Oroville, the Okanogan River is above flood stage and the river is expected to begin flooding south as the week progresses.

A nearly 100 year-old dam near Leavenworth, Washington, is under heavy pressure from melting snow this week and officials are warning downstream residents to be prepared to evacuate if the dam breaks.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency for nearly all of Central and Eastern Washington. 20 counties are facing heavy flooding as rapidly melting snow makes its way into rivers and streams.

For the last several years, Washington state lawmakers have been working on a response to a state Supreme Court order to fully fund schools. Now they’re signaling a shift to the next big challenge: mental health.

At a news conference Friday at Western State Hospital, Republican state Sen. Steve O’Ban framed Washington’s mental health crisis this way:

“I kind of think of this as, this is a bad analogy perhaps, but McCleary Two,” he said.

Specially trained rescuers have managed to free a whale that was tangled in fishing gear off the Washington coast. But they say the prognosis for the young gray whale is "guarded."

Two of Washington state’s top elected prosecutors say the state is failing to adequately address an epidemic of drug addiction. They say it’s a major contributor to crime, but also to homelessness.

If you somehow still need proof that a movement to outlaw military-style, semi-automatic weapons in Oregon is a big deal, look no further than Dennis Richardson’s inbox.

In what is likely a record, the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office in recent weeks fielded nearly 1,600 pages of comments criticizing a ballot title for Initiative Petition 43.

It’s a record year for flooding in northeastern Washington as spring runoff makes its way into the region’s rivers.

Portland may become the first city in the Pacific Northwest to require all owners of old brick buildings to make earthquake safety upgrades. But being on the leading edge is not a comfortable place.

Washington House Democrats voted Wednesday to suspend state Rep. David Sawyer as chair of the Commerce and Gaming Committee, pending the outcome of an investigation into workplace conduct. House leaders said the rare disciplinary vote was prompted by preliminary results of that investigation into Sawyer’s behavior toward women that “confirmed evidence that supported some allegations” against the three-term Democrat.

Demonstrators took to land and sea in British Columbia Wednesday as energy giant Kinder Morgan hosted shareholders at an annual meeting in Texas. In Houston, tribal leaders voiced their opposition to the company’s proposed expansion of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline—a project that could increase the amount of crude oil shipped to Washington state.





Tribal leaders from Canada are on their way to Texas to warn Kinder Morgan stockholders against expanding its controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline project. The pipeline brings Canadian oil to Washington state.




Washington Supreme Court justices will be in northeastern Washington Tuesday to hear three cases in Nespelem, where the Confederated Tribes of the Colville are headquartered.

It’s no secret that the aviation industry is facing a shortage of airline pilots. But that isn’t the only aviation career grappling with a labor shortage. Aircraft mechanics and flight simulator technicians are also in high demand.

Leaders of the Washington state House Democratic Caucus are recommending that state Representative David Sawyer of Tacoma be suspended as chair of the Committee on Commerce and Gaming. 

Tribes across the West are trying to restore their forests and grasslands to the way they were before white settlers arrived. Their goal is to return traditional foods like roots, huckleberries and big game.

But it’s a complex job.

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville are celebrating an expansion of their sovereign rights. The federal government has granted them jurisdiction over water resources on tribal lands in northeastern Washington state.

Before there was an Oregon, Idaho and Washington state, there was the Oregon Country. Early settlers and pioneers voted to form a provisional territorial government 175 years ago this week.  The vote was close and featured arguments that may sound surprisingly familiar today.

The pivotal decision will be celebrated Saturday as Founders Day at the spot where it happened in Marion County.

A Washington state trooper has accused a leader in the State Patrol’s aviation unit of ordering staff to illegally delete public records and lying to the Governor’s Office about the availability of planes.

As tick season reaches its peak in the Northwest, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control says diseases spread by tiny creatures like mosquitoes and ticks have tripled in the U.S. over the last 14 years.

As unprecedented cash pours into a heated race for Washington County, Oregon, district attorney, much of the attention has focused on Max Wall.

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