Regional News

The latest stories from Spokane Public Radio and the Northwest News Network.

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Supporters of a proposal to cover the medical costs of all Oregon children rallied at the state Capitol Friday. A pair of bills under consideration in Salem—HB 2726 and SB 558—would extend Oregon Health Plan coverage to include kids who are in the country illegally.

Vulnerability assessments by utilities and emergency planners along the U.S. West Coast suggest it could be weeks or a month or more before water service gets restored after a major earthquake - not to mention electricity, sewage treatment and fuel supply too. The social and economic disruption does not have to be that bad though, given adequate preparedness and investments in critical infrastructure as demonstrated in Japan.

Ecology Department Begins Hangman Creek Assessment

May 11, 2017
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

This week and next, members of the Washington Department of Ecology’s watershed unit are taking a unique trip. On Monday, they started their venture in Rock Creek in northern Whitman County. Then they moved into Hangman Creek.

“Looking at non-point pollution, but also documenting the riparian health and the overall stream health,” Hummel said.

That’s Steve Hummel. Today we met him and his partner Martyn Quinn as they prepared to continue their voyage. Quinn says the goal is to get a water-level view of the 60-mile stretch of stream, which meanders through farmland south of Spokane and eventually empties into the Spokane River.

Navy Week to Run in Conjunction with Lilac Festival Week

May 11, 2017
U.S. Navy

Spokane is known as an Air Force town, given its long association with Fairchild Air Force Base and Felts Field. But the U.S. Navy is working to make inroads here.

In 2012, the Navy held a week’s worth of events in the region and it’s back this year. Next week has been declared Spokane Navy Week as part of the Lilac Festival celebration.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Congress is in recess and that means town hall meetings back in members’ districts.

Last Friday Idaho Republican Congressman Raul Labrador took the stage — and took heat from constituents — in Lewiston and Coeur d’Alene. It was at the Lewiston meeting that Labrador uttered words that immediately put him in the crosshairs of opponents of the American Health Care Act. He said no one has ever died from not having health insurance, the inference being that people can always go to the emergency room because the hospitals can’t turn them away.