Northwest News Network

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

Members of the 2017 Oregon Legislature gathered in Salem Monday to take the oath of office. The five-month session kicks off February 1.

A major storm east of the Cascades has dumped snow and closed businesses and schools Monday. The weather has also been a factor in several accidents and deaths. Bend, Oregon, has nearly three feet of snow in some places.

Health officials in Washington state said there have been 151 cases of mumps have been reported statewide since the end of October. Only 46 were reported in the four years prior. Mumps has also been reported in Oregon this year.

Should it be easier to criminally charge police officers in Washington who use deadly force? A legislative task force said “yes” -- but the vote was far from unanimous.

Washington lawmakers are undecided on the issue as they convene Monday for their 2017 session.

The Washington Legislature convenes Monday for a 105-day budget writing session. And the political dynamic in Olympia is full of digs at President-elect Trump, partisan sniping and disagreement over how to fund education.

This year's state legislature will be among the most diverse in Oregon history. Among the new crop of lawmakers is Teresa Alonso Leon, who immigrated from Mexico as a child and became a U.S. citizen just five years ago.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will take the oath of office and deliver an inaugural address Monday.

Brown, a Democrat, became governor when John Kitzhaber resigned in February 2015. She was elected in November to serve the remaining two years of Kitzhaber's term.

Oregon has a new state treasurer. Democrat Tobias Read took the oath of office Friday afternoon at the State Capitol. He replaces Ted Wheeler, who was term-limited and could not seek re-election.

Lt. Gov.-elect Cyrus Habib is among five statewide elected officials set to take office in Washington next week. He also happens to be blind.

Alaska Airlines launches a daily flight Thursday morning from the West Coast to Havana. The new service comes as the Obama administration's opening to Cuba gives way to an uncertain future.

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