Northwest News Network

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

Regardless of where you live in the Northwest, someone was there before you…but who?

From Bend, Oregon, to Ellensburg, Washington, there is a fire weather watch Friday for hot temperatures, low humidity and breezy weather.

A tall fence separating protesters from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Southwest Portland doesn’t have proper permits and is blocking a public sidewalks.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to reduce operating hours at a border crossing between Danville, Washington, and Grand Forks, British Columbia, and residents in Ferry County, Washington aren’t pleased.

It’s the agony of modern day parents: how to find and afford decent child care. This has become such a problem, the Washington Legislature has created a task force to tackle the issue.

In the shadow of remote Dry Mountain in central Oregon, branding is the only way to guarantee a fair sorting of cattle among ranchers in the fall. Ear tags can rub off in the rough, sage-studded country.

So each year, before cattle are let out to graze on the summer range, the young are branded, castrated and vaccinated. Neighbors gather in the early morning to do the work.

Every morning, JoHanna Symons quietly rides her sorrel Quarter Horse through dusty pens packed with young cattle at her ranch in Madras, Ore.

She's looking for the ones that cough or are injured so she can doctor them.

But when it comes to international trade wars, Symons and her husband, Jeremy, are at the mercy of bigger forces.

"I feel like some of us little guys," Symons says, "our hands are just tied."

Following a stinging legal fight over public records with The Oregonian/OregonLive, and facing potentially steep ethics fines, Cylvia Hayes has filed for bankruptcy.

Hayes, the fiancee of former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, submitted the filing Tuesday, after revealing in a Facebook post in June that she would do so.

This week is the deadline for initiative backers in Washington and Oregon to submit their petitions to the Secretary of State’s office.

Less than a week after a U.S. Supreme Court decision on labor unions, anti-union canvassers are out in Salem. It’s the latest step in a campaign to weaken Oregon’s powerful labor movement.

Trade was at the forefront of the conversation with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Monday in Spokane.

Nearly 100 public water systems around Oregon—including the state’s largest—will be required to begin testing for harmful contaminants from algae blooms under new rules unveiled by the Oregon Health Authority.

This story has been updated

Calling former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley a "patriot," but also someone who took actions that "were wrong and were criminal," a U.S. District Court judge on Friday sentenced him to one year and one day in prison and one year of supervised release. 

On the evening of March 7, a bright flash, a tremendous boom and a rumble like an earthquake alarmed people in coastal Washington state. Next week, scientists will attempt an underwater recovery of the shattered meteorite that caused all that.

U.S. beef ranchers who voted heartily for President Donald Trump are getting a bit skittish about his trade wars. International tariffs are set to hit U.S. beef the first week of July.

Residents of Prosser, Washington, were told to prepare to evacuate last night as fire spread in the hills above the city. 

About 150 firefighters worked all night to fight what is now being called the Montecito Fire which erupted Wednesday evening. 

They're life-jacket orange, they're robots and they're capable of sailing the high seas without human intervention.

On Tuesday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a private contractor launched a pair of unmanned “Saildrones” in Pacific Northwest waters for the first time. Their summer-long voyage to collect fish data will stretch from Vancouver Island to California.

Last year, the Washington state Supreme Court granted the Yakama Nation the right to transport goods and services across state lines without taxation. Attorneys and tribal members called it a landmark case for tribal sovereignty. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review it.

The lone gun-control measure vying for the November ballot has likely run out of time.

The Oregon Supreme Court Wednesday announced it would not certify ballot language for Initiative Petition 43, a proposed ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons in Oregon. Instead, the court referred draft ballot language back to Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum for revision, finding substantial flaws in her office’s last attempt.

With the window for submitting signatures closing fast, backers of a ban on semi-automatic, military-style weapons in Oregon might finally win permission to begin petitioning voters this week.

Calling former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley "as unrepentant as any defendant in memory," federal prosecutors are asking that a judge sentence him to more than seven years in federal prison when he is sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

After 10 days, the Oregon Health Authority has lifted an algae advisory for people swimming and boating in Detroit Lake.

Health officials have also made it harder to lift such advisories in the future.

Tolling On Portland Area Highways Takes Step Forward

Jun 25, 2018

Drivers in the Portland area are one step closer to paying tolls. A volunteer committee voted Monday on recommendations for tolling two major highways.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered the Washington state courts to take a new look at the case of a florist from Richland who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. The justices declined to hear the case themselves a few weeks after issuing a narrow ruling in a similar case involving a Colorado bakery.

This story has been updated.

Despite a two year turnaround effort, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Monday that it will strip Washington’s Western State Hospital of federal certification for failing to comply with standards.

The call is going out again to the operators and pilots of big ships to slow down in the shared border waters between Washington and British Columbia. The idea is to reduce underwater noise that could bother endangered killer whales.

Wasco County’s top prosecutor lied to investigators looking into whether he’d improperly investigated a county official, and should be suspended from practicing law for a month, a trial panel has found.

Portland-Area Shelter For Immigrant Kids Opens Its Doors

Jun 22, 2018

Images of migrant children kept in detention centers near the border have stirred strong feelings around the country. But the Portland-area shelter where federal officials send immigrant children is very different.

Salem's Water Advisory 'Unlikely' To Be Lifted Monday

Jun 22, 2018

A drinking water advisory for the city of Salem doesn’t look like it’s going away just yet.

After extending the advisory over potentially harmful cyanotoxins for two weeks on June 11, city officials now say it’s unlikely the warning will be lifted June 25.

Earlier this week in Tacoma, Washington, police tactical squads staged coordinated raids on middle class homes converted into indoor pot farms. What the authorities found follows a recent pattern in West Coast states: all of the marijuana growers arrested were immigrants from China who spoke little or no English.

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