Cascadia Research Collective

An unusually large number of gray whales are washing up dead on their northbound migration past the Oregon and Washington coasts this year.

ANNA KING / NW News Network

Asparagus cutters bend deep over their work in the early morning light. Colorful plastic bins stack like giant legos amid the scrubby fields north of Pasco, Washington.

Growers in Washington, California and Michigan raise the majority of the nation’s domestic asparagus -- and Washington’s season is on.

But business in U.S. spears is noticeably dwindling.

That’s because there’s increasing amounts of cheaper asparagus from Peru and Mexico coming in: fresh, canned and frozen. And that’s cutting into profits for U.S. growers.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Pacific Northwesterners are undeniably fond of their endangered resident killer whales. Many locals are also fans of salmon fishing, a hobby that sustains charter fishing fleets in coastal harbors from Neah Bay, Washington, to Brookings, Oregon.

But now there is a chance future fishing trips on the ocean could be curtailed to leave more food for the killer whales. Regulators are preparing to reassess the Pacific salmon harvest and an environmental lawsuit seeks more action to save orcas.

Molly Solomon / Oregon Public Broadcasting

Washington state Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, still remembers the day in 2014 that she toured a police evidence facility and saw stacks of white boxes on the shelves. She asked what they were and the answer shocked her. They were untested rape kits.

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Health officials in Grant County, Washington are responding to four probable cases of mumps.

One case has been lab confirmed so far, while the others are still being evaluated. Now county health officials are rallying together a vaccine clinic to treat hundreds of exposed people. 

Daniel Hutabarat / GEER

Last September, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake followed by a tsunami devastated a region of Indonesia, killing more than 4,300 people. Two Oregon State and University of Washington professors who surveyed the aftermath say the far-away disaster should elevate attention to quake-induced landslide risks here at home in the Pacific Northwest.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington’s three living former governors testified Thursday in favor of an initiative to once again allow affirmative action policies in public employment, education and contracting.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

Fifteen years ago, the California and British Columbia governments sketched bold plans for a "hydrogen highway" for clean cars stretching from Whistler, B.C., to the Mexican border. California's then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger drove a Hummer converted to run on hydrogen. Vancouver city officials pictured travelers to the 2010 Winter Olympics leaving only water vapor exhaust in their wake.

But Oregon and Washington state didn't warm to the idea. There are still no public fueling stations for hydrogen cars in either state. (Schwarzenegger replaced his hydrogen-fueled Hummer with an electric Mercedes-Benz SUV in 2017.)

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A measure to adopt daylight saving time all year-round is now one small step away from the Washington governor's desk. The same issue is still chugging along in the Oregon and California legislatures as part of a loosely coordinated movement to dispense with the unpopular ritual of springing forward and falling back.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Four years ago this month, 25-year-old Keaton Farris died naked, dehydrated and malnourished on the floor of an isolation cell in the Island County Jail on Whidbey Island. Farris, who was bipolar and in the throes of a mental health crisis, had been arrested 18 days earlier for failing to appear in court for allegedly stealing and cashing a $355 check.

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