Northwest News Network

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

Workshop Set For Injured Hispanic Workers In Yakima

Jul 14, 2017

An activist plans to hold a workshop in the Yakima Valley Saturday for injured workers who are Hispanic. It’s part of an effort to make sure more Spanish-speaking workers benefit from state services. 

A Richland, Washington, flower shop owner who was on the losing end of a same-sex wedding discrimination case now wants to piggyback on an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court argument.

Spokane could become the next in a growing list of Northwest cities including Seattle, Portland and Bend, Oregon, to commit to a climate change agreement President Trump opted out of this spring.

Time is running out for Washington lawmakers to pass a capital construction budget. Less than one week remains in the state’s third overtime session of the legislature.

Native-Centered Movie Stars Actor From Yakima

Jul 13, 2017

A new film based on an award-winning novel by a Portland author is playing across the country this summer. It’s star hails from Yakima, Washington.

First it was Georgia. Then Montana. Now the national political spotlight is falling on Washington state and a special election later this year. But unlike those earlier contests, this one isn’t to fill a seat in Congress.

It’s for the state legislature.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryane Zinke announced Thursday that the Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington and Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho won’t lose their federal designation.

Pullman Regional Hospital is perched on a tall hill that overlooks Washington State University’s campus and hills of wheat. And it could become a destination for trans women.

The hospital may become the first public facility in the state to routinely offer male-to-female sex reassignment surgeries. 

In the wake of a tunnel collapse at the Hanford nuclear site in May, the U.S. Department of Energy plans to take public comments at a meeting in the Tri-Cities on July 20 on how it should proceed with the clean-up.

Heavily armed police officers found no evidence Wednesday morning of an active shooter on the Washington State Capitol Campus following a report of suspicious noises that sounded like gunshots. 

The entire campus in Olympia was put on lockdown at approximately 9:30 a.m. while officers armed with rifles searched a pair of buildings on the east campus that house the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Social and Health Services.

Fewer than one in five homeowners in the West carry earthquake insurance, according to an insurance industry survey. That would set back our region's recovery if the Big One were to hit tomorrow.

Now both Oregon and Washington state are looking to California for a possible solution to get their numbers up.

Washington’s Attorney General’s Office has filed a major campaign finance lawsuit against the Service Employees International Union. The lawsuit announced late Tuesday accuses SEIU’s State Council of making more than $5 million in unreported campaign contributions.

For Tim Eyman, when it comes to initiatives it’s all about timing. And now the professional initiative promoter thinks the time is right for another version of his $30 car tabs measure. That’s because of Sound Transit 3, the voter-approved measure that has resulted in a spike in vehicle registration renewal fees.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has emerged as a fierce critic of President Donald Trump. The Democrat has hit the cable news circuit and blasted the president over immigration, health care, climate change.

In doing so, Inslee’s developed a national profile.  

For the first time since 1983, there will be no statewide initiatives on the November ballot in Washington state. More than 30 initiatives to the people had been filed in Washington since January.

Friday was the deadline to turn in qualifying signatures.

In a move certain to anger Republicans, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday vetoed a tax break for manufacturers that lawmakers passed last week as part of a budget deal to avoid a July 1 government shutdown.

Monday marked the start of the Northwest’s bin-busting wheat harvest. Last year was big, but this year’s wet winter and spring has poured on the yields.

Online shoppers in Washington state may soon have to pay sales tax on out-of-state e-commerce purchases. Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday is expected to sign a package of tax increases just approved by the state legislature to balance the next two-year budget.

But the internet sales tax seems likely to be challenged in court.

Beginning in 2020, workers in Washington will be eligible for paid family and medical leave through a new state program funded by employee and employer contributions. 



The Oregon Senate voted Monday to extend health insurance coverage to children who are in the country illegally. The $36 million plan would enroll those children in the state's Medicaid program.

The estimated size of the Silver Dollar wildfire has grown in southeast Washington state Monday. More than 20,000 acres were burning near the Hanford nuclear site. The fire is 30 percent contained.

It’s not just the president’s commission on voter fraud that’s seeking information from the states. Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman released a letter Monday from the Department of Justice.

The legal age for buying tobacco products in Oregon could soon rise from 18 to 21. A measure to make that change cleared a key legislative hurdle Monday.

Oregon lawmakers have less than a week left to wrap up their work in this year's legislative session. The closing days will see a flurry of work on the state budget.

Freight and passenger service on the busy railroad mainline between Seattle and Portland should be getting back to normal later this afternoon. BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas said an Amtrak train that derailed at low speed near Steilacoom, Washington, Sunday afternoon has been cleared from the tracks.

It took three overtime sessions and the threat of a government shutdown, but in the end a divided Washington Legislature found the will and the pathway to a compromise, passing a two-year, $43.7 billion budget, and the taxes to support it, that some lawmakers say will solve a generational problem—the ample funding of public schools. 



If you have a reservation at a Washington state park this weekend or you rely on state services, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Washington lawmakers have passed a nearly $44 billion, two-year budget, averting an imminent government shutdown.

Oregon lawmakers are moving ahead with a measure that would require school districts to test for lead.

As campaign slogans go, it was a good one: "Keep Zombies in Washington."

And it worked in the end. The Washington Legislature late Friday voted to renew the state's film production tax breaks.






The Hanford nuclear reservation in southeast Washington state has two train tunnels full of very hot radioactive waste—and both tunnels are in danger of further collapse. That’s according to a new report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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