Northwest News Network

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

The Independent Party of Oregon is looking ahead after their first time being on a general election ballot as a major party. The group didn't win any races but leaders say the party did make its presence known.

The state of Oregon is running behind schedule when it comes to conducting food safety inspections. That's the conclusion of an audit released Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State.

A lot has changed since election night when it looked like House Democrats were poised to gain two seats and cement their majority. Now fortunes could be changing in favor of Republicans and the Washington state House could be headed for a tie.

A federal civil trial in Seattle against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway is on hold pending a tentative settlement in a case brought by seven environmental groups that has been in litigation since 2013.

Plaintiffs argued coal dust and pieces of coal the company ships from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin across the Northwest have been polluting Washington’s waterways for years in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

The Washington Supreme Court Tuesday heard the case of a florist versus a same-sex couple who wanted flowers for their wedding in 2013. The owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, refused to take the job, saying it was against her religious beliefs.

Back in 2013, Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll were engaged to be married. Ingersoll remembers it was on a Friday, his birthday, when he asked the couple's long-time florist, Arlene's Flowers, to do arrangements for their upcoming wedding.

"We had gone to Arlene's for many years and enjoyed her service. She did a great job for us. So it was just natural for us to go there and have her do our flowers," Ingersoll says.

Washington state is moving toward a showdown like Oregon went through two years ago about issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. Washington legislators were warned Monday that current state Department of Licensing policy to not check for legal residency could lead to trouble for everyone at the airport in just over a year.

According to numbers released Monday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office, about 42 percent of people who were automatically registered to vote this year did so in this month's election.

The decision to stop calling Washington prison inmates “offenders” is not sitting well with a group of Republican state senators. They’ve written a letter to Secretary of Corrections Dick Morgan challenging the policy change.

Washington state Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, is being remembered as a social liberal who was a friend to rural Washington. Hill died last month after a recurrence of cancer. He was memorialized Monday on the Senate floor.

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