Northwest News Network

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

A startup company from North Idaho captivated donors and YouTube viewers worldwide a few years ago with its idea for turning roads and parking lots into solar farms. Now that far-out idea is available for public inspection for the first time.

A group of natural gas utilities in Washington Friday filed the third legal challenge this week to new state limits on global warming pollution. The private utility companies Cascade Natural Gas, NW Natural, Avista and Puget Sound Energy filed the latest challenge in Thurston County Superior Court.

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman Friday introduced a proposal that would allow election officials to verify the citizenship of voters in the state. It comes in response to questions about whether the suspect in a recent shooting near Seattle voted legally.

It’s not just President Obama who’s had his citizenship questioned. So has Washington’s Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, Cyrus Habib. It happened at a pro-gun rally last weekend and Democrats posted the video to YouTube.

You can now use your credit or debit card when you visit the DMV in Oregon. The agency is now accepting plastic at all 60 of its field offices.

Washington’s troubled Western State Hospital has been plagued by ineffective management, staff reductions and turnover. That’s according to a “root cause analysis” report released Thursday.

The passage of a congressional bill that authorizes drinking and wastewater projects nationwide has Northwest tribes celebrating. An amendment to the bill means the 9,000-year-old human remains discovered near Kennewick, Washington, 20 years ago will be returned for final burial.

There’s a lot of talk about “dark money” in politics these days. That’s money raised and spent by so-called “social welfare” organizations that don’t have to disclose their donors.

But sometimes these groups will reveal who’s giving them money -- if you ask.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of the Interior Monday announced a $492 million settlement with a number of tribes. It ends decades-long disputes between the tribes and the federal government over land management.

Two law enforcement groups in Oregon say drug possession convictions should result in lighter sentences than they currently do. The Oregon Sheriffs Association and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police said they'll urge state lawmakers to classify drug possession as a misdemeanor instead of a felony when no other crimes are committed.