Northwest News Network

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

Victims Of Las Vegas Shooting Testify On Gun Legislation In Olympia

Jan 15, 2018

Hundreds of people crowded hearing rooms in the Washington state Capitol Monday to testify on proposed gun control legislation. Among other things, lawmakers are looking to ban so-called bump stocks which allow firearms to fire faster.

Two more Pacific Northwest athletes are heading to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

If you’re considering buying an electric car in Oregon or Washington, you might want to pay attention to possible changes in tax policy. There’s uncertainty about the tax incentives meant to spur electric car sales.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants state lawmakers to declare the opioid epidemic a public health crisis.

On average, two people die each day in Washington from opioid overdoses. That includes deaths from prescription and synthetic opioids, as well as heroin.

Gun rights activists from across Washington state rallied in Olympia Friday. They came to protest proposed gun control legislation that supporters say will reduce mass gun violence.

Every winter, hundreds of bald eagles migrate through Idaho’s panhandle. They stop at Lake Coeur D’Alene to feed on kokanee salmon for a few weeks. And this year, the number of eagles are at a record high.

Lawmakers in Washington state heard testimony Thursday on a bill aimed at improving long-term care for LGBTQ seniors. 

The bill would require that state nursing home workers and other long-term service providers be trained in the needs of LGBTQ patients. 

The U.S. Olympic bobsled team will be named on Monday—and there is a good chance there will be a Pacific Northwest athlete on the team. That’s unusual because the only World Cup-class bobsled track in the Western U.S. is in Utah.

Tribal members are waiting for the next move from British Columbia’s provincial government in a long-running battle over sovereign rights. Last month, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge ruled against the province, siding with a Washington man in an illegal hunting case.

A bill to ban the controversial practice of trying to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ people is making its way through the Washington Senate.

Amtrak's CEO has given Oregon and Washington state officials a timeline for when the company will activate automatic safety braking systems in the Pacific Northwest. This is the technology many experts believe could have prevented last month's deadly train derailment south of Tacoma.

Losing a child is a devastating loss. But imagine if that death is followed by a legal battle. That’s what happened after a Mukilteo teenage died in 2016.

Now her mom is trying to change state law.

'Breakfast After The Bell' May Be Coming Soon To Washington State

Jan 10, 2018

Wednesday marked the third day of Washington’s 2018 legislative session and the House of Representatives passed its first bill. It would require high poverty schools to offer breakfast after the start of the school day. It’s a top priority for Democrats.

Cecilia Goetz was driving to work on the Monday before Christmas when a speeding Amtrak passenger train came flying off the rails above her. As part of that train crashed onto the rear of her vehicle, she thought she might die. Now she’s one of a growing number of crash survivors who have filed lawsuits against Amtrak.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is making another push for a state carbon tax. The Democrat unveiled his latest proposal Tuesday during his State of the State address.

Climate Activists Urge Washington Lawmakers To Take Action In 2018

Jan 8, 2018

Climate activists want Washington state to be powered exclusively by renewable energy within 10 years. They rallied at the state Capitol Monday—the first day of the legislative session.

Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen said he’s not taking a job with the Trump administration and plans to run for re-election.

In Spokane, the city council and the mayor are at odds over a new city ordinance. It changes how the city funds local campaigns. The mayor vetoed the new law, but the city council hopes to override that veto Monday. 

Nearly 70 people live on a sliver of land wedged between Interstate 82 and Rattlesnake Ridge in central Washington state. A massive chunk of the ridge is moving, and cracking, and geologists say it will likely cause a landslide.

The Washington Legislature convenes Monday for a 60-day election year session. For the first time since 2013, Democrats will have one-party control of the Capitol.

The top issues include: education funding, a carbon tax and passage of a state capital construction budget.

Early numbers on a new Washington state law designed to crack down on felons, domestic abusers and others who try to buy a gun show that since July, more than 1,200 would-be gun buyers have failed background checks.

The Washington Legislature is set to open it's 2018 session on Monday. The 50 State Project from CQ Roll Call asked Austin Jenkins to come up with the top five issues facing Washington lawmakers this session.

Here's his list:

Alaska Airlines is following the lead of American Airlines, Southwest and dozens of other large companies in awarding $1,000 bonuses to its workers tied to the recently passed corporate tax cut.

Emergency meetings are underway to discuss the threat of a possible landslide near Yakima, Washington. Dozens of federal, state, county and tribal officials are trying to work out a plan as this threat looms. 

Fractured bones, busted knees and concussions are just a few of the job hazards for professional ski racers. Olympians Tommy Ford and Laurenne Ross of Bend, Oregon, have had their share of spectacular crashes.

They've each bounced back from potentially career-ending injuries to compete this winter for spots on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team.

Near the town of Union Gap in South Central Washington state, a massive chunk of Rattlesnake Ridge is moving ever more quickly.

Geologists say it will likely cause a landslide. And when does come fully down, it could take out roads, infrastructure and in the worst-case scenario, dam up the Yakima River.

The Republican leader in the Washington state House says he was sexually harassed at the Capitol more than a decade ago. Dan Kristiansen revealed his experience Thursday during a legislative preview event hosted by the Associated Press.

A preliminary federal crash report says an automatic safety braking system could have prevented last month's deadly Amtrak derailment near Tacoma, Washington.

Three people died and more than 60 were seriously injured when an Amtrak train going from Seattle to Portland on its inaugural passenger run along a new, faster route took a curve way too fast and hurtled from an overpass onto Interstate 5 below. 

A conductor who was at the front of the Amtrak train that derailed north of Olympia is alleging in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that the crew received inadequate training.  
An injured passenger made similar claims in a separate lawsuit filed hours later.

The December derailment killed three people, seriously injured scores more and closed southbound Interstate 5 for two-and-a-half days. 

Washington state lawmakers convene Monday for a short 60-day election year session. Already lawmakers have pre-filed dozens of bills they’d like to see passed.