Northwest News Network

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

At work, Jim Skorpik's nickname is a handle better known for missiles: "Hellfire."

As a longtime federal electrical engineer at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., he's developed sensors to track missiles' readiness for battle that measure heat or impacts that could damage them.

Lately, Skorpik has turned his know-how to schools.

One of the key elements of your emergency kit should be enough drinking water to be self-sufficient for days or weeks after a big earthquake. That task become much trickier when public water systems are wrecked and you are responsible for hordes of people in a community shelter.

Nearly half of the members of the Colville Reservation in northeastern Washington state have ties to a tribe that Canada says no longer exists. In 1956, the last member of the Sinixt in Canada passed away.

Amid warnings that Russian hackers may try to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections, top election officials in the Northwest say they are taking additional steps to protect voting systems from attack.

The U.S. Department of Energy is launching a federal investigation into a demolition site at the Hanford nuclear reservation where radioactive waste from the site has been spreading in unexplained ways.

In Central Washington, Grant Public Utility District officials have declared what they’re calling a “non-failure emergency” at the 1950’s-era Priest Rapids Dam northwest of Richland. 

Crews discovered leaking in the dam’s spillway structure when they were drilling inspection holes.

The state of Washington is allocating $200,000 to inventory how many old buildings statewide could collapse in an earthquake. That money is included in a budget Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed this week.

The worst case scenario for flooding from a tsunami along the Pacific Northwest coast just got even worse. Washington's Department of Natural Resources with help from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration re-mapped the maximum tsunami threat from Grays Harbor down to the Columbia River mouth.

Despite numerous requests for a veto, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed a controversial bill to privatize the state’s homecare provider system. The Democrat’s signing of the measure followed a contentious fight in the Legislature and accusations that it amounted to a power grab by the Service Employees International Union.

Now that electric cars are a common sight on the nation's highways, and prototypes exist for electric trucks and airplanes, could electric ferries be next?

The 2018 state transportation budget signed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday includes money to look at converting some of the state ferry fleet.

A Native American man has been sentenced to four months in jail and he’ll have to pay more than $1,000 in fines for illegally catching and selling chinook salmon and sturgeon in Washington state.

When The Big One happens, emergency planners and geologists expect the vast majority of us will survive. But a magnitude 9 rupture on the Cascadia earthquake fault will likely cut electricity, running water and sewer for weeks—or even months afterwards.

The Democratic attorneys general of Washington and Oregon joined 35 of their colleagues Monday in sending a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The letter demands answers to several questions about Facebook’s privacy policies.

With China threatening to slap the United States with tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. made products,  one group that is worried is Washington state’s apple farmers.

Thousands of people in Seattle, Salem, Tacoma, Olympia, Portland, Eugene, Spokane and other cities and towns in the Pacific Northwest joined nationwide March For Our Lives demonstrations against gun violence on Saturday.

Former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley is seeking to have his conviction for possession of stolen money overturned or, alternatively, granted a new trial.

An earthquake early warning system under development for the West Coast gets a major boost in the new federal budget that President Donald Trump signed into law Friday.

The new person in charge of regional firefighters at the U.S. Forest Service has called for an increase in prescribed fire and a change in attitude about wildfires.

The playground at Wellspring Family Services in Seattle looks like a pretty happy place, with two and three-year-olds climbing on a jungle gym and zooming around on scooters. But it’s not always so peaceful here.

Bevette Irvis, the director of the Early Learning Center, tells the story of a boy who came to school the day after he had watched his Dad hold a knife to his Mom’s throat.

Three years ago, Betsy Deane's son was killed in an automobile accident. Now, the Pasco, Washington, grandmother hopes a new state law will allow her to reunite with the granddaughter she hasn’t been able to see since.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday signed into law several measures aimed at addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. They include a prohibition on non-disclosure agreements that silence victims of harassment or assault.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter came within 50 feet of colliding with a drone over Port Angeles, Washington, last weekend. The Coast Guard said an air crew was doing low altitude training exercises near Fairchild International Airport when it had to take evasive action.

The long-range forecast for the upcoming wildfire season in the Northwest is out. And even though Oregon and Washington are in the same region, forecasts for the individual states are pretty different.

It may still be wet and muddy out there, and snow may even be on the ground in some places, but it’s also the time of year when wildland firefighters start to gear up for hot, dry weather and wildfires.

Northwest Senators had a lot of questions for U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry during a Senate committee hearing Tuesday morning. They grilled him on the safety of steel in a massive treatment plant under construction at the Hanford nuclear site.

Carpool Apps Expand In Pacific Northwest

Mar 20, 2018

Google subsidiary Waze is launching a carpool app statewide in Washington Tuesday. The company is the latest to see opportunity in the carpool organizing business in the Pacific Northwest.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law four bills aimed at expanding access to voting. They include a new state Voting Rights Act.

The province of British Columbia will support and has agreed to contribute money for further study of bullet train service from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver.

The U.S. Department of Energy is demanding thousands of pages of documentation from one of its top contractors at Hanford. They want to know exactly what grade of steel is being used in a massive radioactive waste treatment plant at the decommissioned nuclear site. 

Sixteen and 17-year-olds will soon be able to pre-register to vote in Washington. That’s just one of several voting-related bills the governor is scheduled to sign into law Monday.

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