Northwest News Network

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

Prompt communication between workers and management at the Plutonium Finishing Plant did not occur,  so radioactive waste continued to spread at Hanford. That’s according to a new report out Thursday.

This week, nearly 500 teachers and students of Salish are in Spokane to celebrate the indigenous language. It’s considered ‘critically endangered,’ but tribal elders are optimistic that younger generations aren’t going to let the language disappear. 

UPDATE: Washington state lawmakers adjourned Thursday night after a short, 60-day election year session during which Democrats flexed their new one-party control to pass a slew of legislation. Here’s a look at some of the bills that passed and some that didn’t.  (Note: some of these bills have already been signed into law by the governor, others await his signature.) 

The Washington Legislature Thursday approved further study of a super-fast train from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver, BC.

Washington homeowners would get some property tax relief in 2019 under a bill that passed the Democratically-controlled Washington state Senate on Wednesday evening over Republican objections. The bill is part of a final budget deal reached with the House as the Legislature heads toward a scheduled adjournment on Thursday. 



Last year, Horizon Air was forced to cut back the number of flights to many Pacific Northwest cities because it didn’t have enough pilots. The Alaska Air Group subsidiary has stabilized its ranks and is slowly rebuilding service.

Native speakers from across the Northwest and Canada are in Spokane this week to speak Salish and learn from those who teach it.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Wednesday signed legislation aimed at helping workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation. The law will allow workers who have been exposed to toxic chemicals or radioactive waste more easily access compensation for medical treatment.

In the opening scenes of the documentary film United by Water, writer Sherman Alexie reads his poem ‘Powwow At The End Of The World.’

     I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall

     after an Indian woman puts her shoulder to the Grand Coulee Dam

     and topples it. I am told by many of you that I must forgive

     and so I shall …

More than 100 Washington high school students rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday demanding restrictions on purchases of military-style weapons and tougher background checks.

An initiative backed by families of people who’ve been shot by police may not appear on Washington’s November ballot after all. That’s because sponsors of Initiative 940 and police groups have agreed on a new good faith standard for the use of deadly force.

Elected officials in Washington state say they’ll fight the Trump administration’s proposal to expand offshore oil and gas drilling.

The plan could open up waters off the coasts of Washington and Oregon.

As the Washington Legislature enters its final week, a deal may be coming together to change the state’s law regarding police use of deadly force. Back-to-back public hearings on a new bill have been hastily scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in the House and Senate.






Your internet service should be free of slow lanes and corporate favoritism if legislation just signed in Washington state and awaiting the governor's signature in Oregon works as intended. The states' objectives were to block a federal rollback of Obama-era net neutrality rules.

If you're thinking about buying an electric car in Washington state, you might want to act fast. That's because the state Legislature is on the verge of letting a hefty sales tax break expire. In Oregon, an electric car rebate faces a challenge in court next week.

The Washington Legislature approved a phase out of Atlantic salmon farming in state waters on Friday and sent the measure to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee, who is expected to sign it.

A threat written on a bathroom wall forced school officials in Spokane to place a high school on modified lockdown Friday. But the lockdown was a precaution because it wasn’t clear there was a threat at all.

A new Washington state law designed to crack down on felons, domestic abusers and others who lie and try to buy a gun is already resulting in prosecutions.

In the face of intense pressure from the public and media, and following hours of behind-the-scenes negotiations, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee late Thursday  vetoed a bill that exempts the Legislature from the state’s voter-approved Public Disclosure Act. 

The Big One, Serialized

Mar 1, 2018

Do you have two weeks of food, water and other essentials to survive after a catastrophic earthquake or other disaster? Most Pacific Northwesterners mean well but aren't prepared. In Portland, on the Washington Coast, in British Columbia and now in Bellingham, writers tackled The Big One in serial form to motivate people into action.

President Donald Trump has called on Congress to raise the minimum age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21. In Washington state, a proposal to do that passed a major legislative hurdle Thursday when it was voted through a powerful Senate committee.

The National Academy of Sciences is conducting days of meetings in Richland, Washington, this week. On the agenda is what to do with a lot of liquid radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear reservation.

Will he or won’t he? That’s the question as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee faces immense pressure to veto a bill that exempts the Legislature from the state’s Public Records Act. Inslee has until midnight Thursday to decide.

The issue has galvanized the public. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Inslee’s office said it had received more than 8,000 emails and over 4,000 calls. The governor’s staff called the volume “unprecedented.”

Washington Republicans Propose Voluntary Firearm Training For Teachers

Feb 28, 2018

Lawmakers in Washington state continue to look for ways to prevent mass shootings in schools. On Wednesday, Republicans in the state Senate proposed creating a voluntary training program for school staff on how to respond to an active shooter.

Every year, wildlife officials keep track of how many salmon return to their spawning grounds. This year, they expect low returns of salmon in Washington state—and that could change the fishing outlook.



Amidst Opioid Crisis, A Search For Alternatives

Feb 27, 2018

At a medical clinic in Seattle, Dr. Heather Tick takes a thin acupuncture needle and inserts it into Hannah Lilly’s neck.

“How are you through there?” Dr Tick asks Lilly.

“Not great,” Lilly replies.

The Washington Legislature has sent a ban on bump stocks to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature. A bump stock is a trigger modification device that make a semi-automatic rifle function more like an automatic weapon.

A dozen newspapers across Washington state are running editorials Tuesday demanding that Gov. Jay Inslee veto what they are calling a “secrecy” bill. It’s legislation that would exempt legislators from the state Public Records Act.

Washington Lawmakers Propose Assault Rifle Restrictions

Feb 27, 2018

Washington state lawmakers are fast-tracking legislation aimed at increasing school safety and preventing mass shootings.

They’re reintroducing a proposal that would require buyers of military-style weapons to be 21 instead of 18. It would also enhance background checks for purchases and create a way for students to report potential threats to their school.

A doctor from Richland, Washington, Monday was awarded the U.S. Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. It’s an honor that is often bestowed upon U.S. presidents.

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