Northwest News Network

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

There has been a lot of talk about potential Russian manipulation of the 2016 presidential election. Now there's concern about shadowy online electioneering filtering down to the state and local level. It comes in the aftermath of a high-stakes state Senate race in Western Washington.

Voters in Gearhart, Oregon, sent a decisive message this week about limiting vacation rentals in neighborhoods. The Oregon beach town is the first Northwest place to hold a vote of the people on an issue that's cropping up in city councils across the region.

Washington lawmakers will return to the Capitol next week for “Committee Days” in advance of next January’s regular legislative session. Distracted driving and salmon net pens will be on the agenda.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the retrial of former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley.

Earlier this year, a gray whale calf died after getting tangled in crab pot lines near Seaview, Washington. Now commercial and tribal crab fishermen from the Washington coast have agreed to form a working group to discuss how to reduce the risk of a repeat.

Washington state is proposing changes to how winery wastewater is handled. And that could mean consumers are in for some “bottle shock” when their favorite Washington wine gets more expensive.

An initiative that would have fined rail cars carrying uncovered coal and certain kinds of oil through the heart of Spokane failed last Tuesday. Opponents of the measure say voters were concerned about the local economy, while supporters say they were simply outspent.

Democrats had the early advantage in the race for control of the Washington state Senate as Democrat Manka Dhingra led Republican Jinyoung Englund by 10 points in a special election on the eastside of Lake Washington.

Voters in Spokane, Washington, are saying no to an initiative regulating coal and oil shipments through the heart of the city. The initiative would have fined companies that ship uncovered coal and certain types of oil through the city.

An Oregon lawmaker said she’ll introduce a bill next year to clarify that consensual sex between teenagers does not need to be reported to state authorities.

More than 170 women who work or have worked at the state Capitol have signed onto a letter urging sweeping change at the Legislature to end inappropriate behavior and misconduct women say they face on the job.

Voters in Spokane are now weighing in on the future of coal and oil trains. An initiative on the local ballot would regulate coal and oil shipments by rail through specific areas of the city.

Proposition 2 would impose a $261 fine on every rail car carrying uncovered coal and some types of oil through Spokane.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee are set to take part in an international conference on climate change Bonn, Germany. Brown and Inslee were invited to the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference by Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, who is presiding over conference proceedings this year.

A saga involving a Pacific Northwest hemp fashion company in search of a bank has been resolved, but points to the murky legal landscape facing some cannabis-related businesses.

After two rescinded business accounts and a bank's change of heart, hemp clothing and accessories retailer Rawganique is back where it started.

A former legislative assistant for Washington state House Democrats says she was sexually harassed by Rep. Jim Jacks nearly two years before he was forced to resign for “inappropriate behavior,” but that the House’s system for addressing misconduct failed her.

This week, an entire block in downtown Boise smells like leeks. That’s because descendants of immigrants from the Basque country are cooking mortzilla, a traditional blood sausage, for a weekend festival.

A Washington state lawmaker who abruptly resigned his seat in March 2011 had been accused by a female staff member of inappropriate behavior.  

That’s according to a statement released late Wednesday by House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan in response to renewed questions from the media about the resignation of Democrat Jim Jacks of Vancouver.  

There could be big changes on the horizon for the way the state of Washington manages its wolf population to minimize the conflicts between wolves and livestock.

A task force appointed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has released a series of possible options for shrinking the state’s public pension deficit. The options include a lengthy list of ways to generate cash through a combination of one-time and ongoing changes.

The list includes some eye-catching proposals such as privatizing the state’s public universities that are unlikely to gain much traction politically.

Entangled: Making The Sea Safer For Whales

Oct 31, 2017

More than 30 times this year, the federal government has received reports of whales tangled in fishing gear along the West Coast. Sometimes the whales manage to wriggle free. Other times they don't, and you see heart-rending pictures on the news or a rescue mission.

Leaders in the Washington Legislature said they won’t tolerate sexual harassment, and encourage women to report unwanted attention from men. Those comments follow our investigation with The News Tribune of Tacoma into the workplace climate at the state Capitol.

The White House is blocking money to build new tribal housing along the Columbia River. That’s according to five members of the Washington and Oregon congressional delegations.

Nicole Grant was excited when she arrived at the state Capitol in 2010 to lobby on behalf of the Certified Electrical Workers of Washington. A journeyman electrician by training, Grant would be representing her fellow union members on issues such as workplace rights and safety.

Grant quickly realized that the workplace climate in Olympia was different than anything she had experienced.

The owner of a decaying central Washington mobile home park has agreed to make repairs and pay restitution to his mostly Latino farm worker tenants as part of a settlement in a two-year old lawsuit filed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Democratic politicians from the Pacific Northwest are up in arms over a proposal to dramatically increase entrance fees at popular national parks next year.

An Oregon state representative is awaiting word from the Trump administration about whether he’ll receive a job that would require him to leave the Legislature. Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, said Thursday he’s in the running to be the head of rural development in Oregon for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This story has been updated.

Since recreational marijuana became legal in Washington state and Oregon, the booming industry has been having having trouble accessing the banking system. And now a hemp fashion retailer in Blaine, Washington, is having the same problem.

In the 1940s, construction of the Grand Coulee Dam ended a generations-long tradition among the region’s Native American tribes who had gathered at a nearby waterfall every year. But last year, five tribes revived that tradition.

The Washington Legislature enacted a new state property tax this year to shift the burden of school funding off local levies. But the question before the state Supreme Court Tuesday was whether Washington lawmakers fully funded schools as required by the court .

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