Northwest News Network

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

A bill to ban the controversial practice of trying to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ people is making its way through the Washington Senate.

Amtrak's CEO has given Oregon and Washington state officials a timeline for when the company will activate automatic safety braking systems in the Pacific Northwest. This is the technology many experts believe could have prevented last month's deadly train derailment south of Tacoma.

Losing a child is a devastating loss. But imagine if that death is followed by a legal battle. That’s what happened after a Mukilteo teenage died in 2016.

Now her mom is trying to change state law.

'Breakfast After The Bell' May Be Coming Soon To Washington State

Jan 10, 2018

Wednesday marked the third day of Washington’s 2018 legislative session and the House of Representatives passed its first bill. It would require high poverty schools to offer breakfast after the start of the school day. It’s a top priority for Democrats.

Cecilia Goetz was driving to work on the Monday before Christmas when a speeding Amtrak passenger train came flying off the rails above her. As part of that train crashed onto the rear of her vehicle, she thought she might die. Now she’s one of a growing number of crash survivors who have filed lawsuits against Amtrak.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is making another push for a state carbon tax. The Democrat unveiled his latest proposal Tuesday during his State of the State address.

Climate Activists Urge Washington Lawmakers To Take Action In 2018

Jan 8, 2018

Climate activists want Washington state to be powered exclusively by renewable energy within 10 years. They rallied at the state Capitol Monday—the first day of the legislative session.

Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen said he’s not taking a job with the Trump administration and plans to run for re-election.

In Spokane, the city council and the mayor are at odds over a new city ordinance. It changes how the city funds local campaigns. The mayor vetoed the new law, but the city council hopes to override that veto Monday. 


Nearly 70 people live on a sliver of land wedged between Interstate 82 and Rattlesnake Ridge in central Washington state. A massive chunk of the ridge is moving, and cracking, and geologists say it will likely cause a landslide.

The Washington Legislature convenes Monday for a 60-day election year session. For the first time since 2013, Democrats will have one-party control of the Capitol.

The top issues include: education funding, a carbon tax and passage of a state capital construction budget.

Early numbers on a new Washington state law designed to crack down on felons, domestic abusers and others who try to buy a gun show that since July, more than 1,200 would-be gun buyers have failed background checks.

The Washington Legislature is set to open it's 2018 session on Monday. The 50 State Project from CQ Roll Call asked Austin Jenkins to come up with the top five issues facing Washington lawmakers this session.

Here's his list:

Alaska Airlines is following the lead of American Airlines, Southwest and dozens of other large companies in awarding $1,000 bonuses to its workers tied to the recently passed corporate tax cut.

Emergency meetings are underway to discuss the threat of a possible landslide near Yakima, Washington. Dozens of federal, state, county and tribal officials are trying to work out a plan as this threat looms. 


Fractured bones, busted knees and concussions are just a few of the job hazards for professional ski racers. Olympians Tommy Ford and Laurenne Ross of Bend, Oregon, have had their share of spectacular crashes.

They've each bounced back from potentially career-ending injuries to compete this winter for spots on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team.

Near the town of Union Gap in South Central Washington state, a massive chunk of Rattlesnake Ridge is moving ever more quickly.

Geologists say it will likely cause a landslide. And when does come fully down, it could take out roads, infrastructure and in the worst-case scenario, dam up the Yakima River.

The Republican leader in the Washington state House says he was sexually harassed at the Capitol more than a decade ago. Dan Kristiansen revealed his experience Thursday during a legislative preview event hosted by the Associated Press.

A preliminary federal crash report says an automatic safety braking system could have prevented last month's deadly Amtrak derailment near Tacoma, Washington.

Three people died and more than 60 were seriously injured when an Amtrak train going from Seattle to Portland on its inaugural passenger run along a new, faster route took a curve way too fast and hurtled from an overpass onto Interstate 5 below. 


A conductor who was at the front of the Amtrak train that derailed north of Olympia is alleging in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that the crew received inadequate training.  
An injured passenger made similar claims in a separate lawsuit filed hours later.

The December derailment killed three people, seriously injured scores more and closed southbound Interstate 5 for two-and-a-half days. 

Washington state lawmakers convene Monday for a short 60-day election year session. Already lawmakers have pre-filed dozens of bills they’d like to see passed.

Officials in Yakima County, Washington, are strongly urging residents living below a shifting mountainside near Union Gap to evacuate. 



A huge crack that appeared on Rattlesnake Ridge last year is beginning to widen.

The Associated Press is reporting today that of the 100 largest public universities in the country, more than half don’t keep track of student suicides. That includes the University of Oregon, which the AP says either does not keep or does not consistently collect the data.  

County Governments In Washington Demand More Money From State

Dec 29, 2017

County governments are pushing back against Washington state over who should pay for certain services. The counties are upset the state has imposed a number of requirements on county government without additional funding.

Public records released by Central Washington University this week show professor and GOP state Rep. Matt Manweller is barred from contacting past or present students while the school investigates allegations of sexual harassment against him.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has upheld the claims of a Native American man from Washington state that he has the right to hunt in the province.

The long-running case concerned Rick Desautel, a member of the Colville Tribes and a descendant of the Sinixt, an indigenous group which once roamed the Northwest.

Washington state voters will likely get to weigh in on police use of deadly force. A ballot measure on that subject turned in around 360,000 voter signatures Thursday afternoon. That should be more than enough to qualify for consideration by the Washington Legislature and then probably go to the statewide ballot in 2018.

The wildfires that burned through the Pacific Northwest this past summer caused hazy skies throughout Washington and Oregon. Air pollution from tiny particles released by fire is a known health hazard.

New research from Colorado State University is trying to quantify the effect on human health.

Census Data Highlights Pacific Northwest Population Growth

Dec 27, 2017

States in the Pacific Northwest are among the fastest growing in the country. And according to the latest census figures,  it’s gaining people more than twice as fast as the national average.

Migration to the region—rather than births—made up the bulk of population growth.

Workers in the state of Washington are about to get a new benefit. Starting January 1, the state will require all employers to provide paid sick leave.

It’s part of a law passed by voters in 2016 that also raises the state’s minimum wage.

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