Northwest News Network

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

The governors of Washington, Oregon and Idaho say they have no plans to reopen national parks and monuments using state dollars. President Obama has given states that option as the federal government shutdown stretches into day 11 and beyond.

Utah immediately took the president up on his offer.  A $1.6 million check to the federal treasury allows the Beehive State to reopen several economically important national parks and monuments.

Washington schools chief Randy Dorn says the time has come to raise taxes to increase funding for public education. And he’s prepared to lead the fight.

Dorn styles himself as a bit of a maverick. He says his job is to make adults uncomfortable. He recently gave the legislature a grade of "incomplete" for its first down payment on a Supreme Court decision that says Washington is not adequately funding public schools.

Washington officials say they’re disappointed but not surprised by news that the federal government likely will miss several more cleanup deadlines at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. 

At Hanford, radioactive sludge stews in aging underground tanks not far from the Columbia River. A 1989 agreement created the timeline for treating that caustic gunk. But the task has proven extremely difficult: A waste treatment plant has been plagued by whistleblowers, critical federal investigations, cost overruns and delays.

Sponsors of an initiative to require universal background checks for gun sales in Washington have submitted 250,000 petition signatures. That’s the minimum needed to put the measure before the legislature in January.

If lawmakers fail to act, voters would see it on the ballot a year from now.

Supporters of Initiative 594 cheered as boxes of petitions were rolled into the Washington Secretary of State’s office.

Wheeling the cart was Cheryl Stumbo. She’s a survivor of the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle.

High-End Extras Aren't A Sure Bet For Tribal Casinos

Oct 9, 2013

What used to be no-frills slot parlors off the highway are turning into resort-style destinations with spas, golf courses and luxury hotels. Native American tribes are hoping these added amenities will give them an edge in an increasingly competitive gaming market.

It’s the hottest issue on Washington’s fall ballot: an initiative to require labeling of genetically engineered foods. But Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, says he hasn’t decided how he’ll vote on Initiative 522.

Three Washington-based soldiers are in jail after the stabbing death of a fellow soldier over the weekend. The arrests came after the person who allegedly wielded the knife sought medical treatment for a cut to his hand.

Police say the murder happened off base following an exchange of words between two groups of Joint Base Lewis-McChord servicemen. A roadside confrontation seemed to end peacefully once everyone realized they were fellow soldiers.

Immigration activists in the Northwest are pushing for Congress to get beyond the government shutdown fight and return to the issue of undocumented workers. Immigrant rights groups rallied in Yakima, Wash., on Saturday as part of a national protest.

Flags were waving as caravans of people pulled into Yakima to rally in front of the office of Republican Rep. Doc Hastings.

After a rocky start, Washington’s health plan finder website is now running smoothly. That’s according to a spokesman for the state’s Health Benefit Exchange.

A former Democratic operative in Washington has admitted to embezzling campaign money. Michael Walter King pleaded guilty Thursday in King County Superior Court.

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