Jessica Robinson

N3 Reporter


alleged price-fixing
7:01 am
Sat November 30, 2013

You Say Potato Co-Op, They Say Potato Cartel

Matt Jenkins

A set of lawsuits winding its way through federal court in Idaho combine a couple phrases you might not expect to find together: massive international cartel and potato.

According to a group of grocers, the innocuous-looking potato on your plate got there through a conspiracy involving price-fixing, coercion and aerial surveillance. But potato growers counter there is no cartel; just a co-op.

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capitol tree
4:04 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Northwest Christmas Tree Starts Journey to Congress’ Front Lawn

The 2013 Capitol Tree, from the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington, is prepared for loading onto a truck.
Jessica Robinson

The Christmas tree destined for the nation's capital begins a cross-country road trip this week, starting in the Northwest.

This year, the carefully-chosen Capitol Tree is a spruce from Washington's Colville National Forest. And getting an 80-foot tree out of a national forest isn't quite like going to a U-cut.

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Affordable Care Act
11:59 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Amid Online Hiccups, Many Prefer Analog Sign-Up for Health Care

New hires train to take calls at Washington's health exchange call center in Spokane Valley.
Jessica Robinson

It's hard to find anyone who orders anything by phone or through the mail anymore—unless they're signing up for health insurance under the new Affordable Care Act.

With all the online snags in the first month, people are turning to some decidedly old-fashioned methods. And some managers in the Northwest say snail mail and the phone are the best workarounds for the time being.

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Guns In School
3:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Idaho School District Dumps Plan to Arm Teachers

Quagmar Flickr


Officials at a school district in north Idaho say a plan to arm teachers is off. The proposal has been generating controversy in the Sandpoint area.

But that part of a school safety plan is no longer under consideration.

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STD detective
5:01 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Meet the Woman Who Tells Your Exes They May Have an STD

Anna Halloran
Jessica Robinson

Public health officials are trying to stop a series of gonorrhea outbreaks in the Northwest. And they’re offering a service to infected patients: anonymous notification of former sexual partners.

That's right. There is a government worker out there whose job it is to call, text, Facebook or track down your exes to let them know they might have an STD. The job has become a key part of controlling disease outbreaks.

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5:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Limited Alternative Routes for General Electric’s ‘Megaloads’

A subsidiary of General Electric says it’s looking for alternative options for moving huge water purification equipment from the Northwest to Alberta, Canada. A route through the middle of Idaho turned into a legal battle with the Nez Perce Tribe, and the alternatives are limited.

Resources Conservation Company International, the GE subsidiary, decided to withdraw a federal appeal that sought to reopen Idaho's Highway 12 to so-called “megaloads.” A judge had ordered the Forest Service to close the wild and scenic corridor to the shipments.

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health alert
2:03 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Health Officials Perplexed by Spike in Number of Gonorrhea Cases

Steven Hurd Flickr

Health officials officials across the Northwest are trying to figure out why they’re seeing a big upswing in the number of people with gonorrhea this year. Washington announced Thursday five counties are in the midst of an outbreak of the infection.

The Washington outbreaks are in Spokane, Benton, Yakima, Kitsap, and Thurston counties. Overall, the state has seen a 34 percent increase in gonorrhea cases over this time last year.

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3:39 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Former Titan of Northwest Politics Tom Foley Dead at 84

In this June 1989 file photo, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tom Foley poses in his office in Spokane.
AP Photo


Former U.S. House Speaker Tom Foley has died of complications from strokes. He was 84.

The Democrat served nearly 30 years in Congress before being defeated in the Gingrich Revolution of 1994.

Foley had the distinction of becoming the first, and so far only, Speaker of the House from the Northwest. He was also the first Speaker defeated at the polls since the Civil War.

Foley grew up on Spokane’s South Hill, the son of a prominent judge. As a politician, he described himself as a “peace maker, not street fighter.” It might have been his Achilles heel.

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GMO Labeling
2:41 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Will GMO Labels Alter Consumers' Perception Of Specialty Foods?

Litehouse Foods, based in Sandpoint, Idaho, produces more than 400 salad dressings and dips found in grocery stores and delis.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 7:19 am

In the food business, everything comes down to that moment when a shopper studies a label and decides whether to buy or move on. That’s why food producers have a big interest in Washington’s Initiative 522 on the ballot next month.

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government shutdown
7:01 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Shutdown Halts Logging on Northwest's National Forests

U.S. Forest Service

Loggers are packing up and leaving timber sales uncut across the Northwest as a result of the partial federal government shutdown. Timber companies say even if a deal is reached soon at the nation's Capitol, the effects from the logging hiatus could be felt all the way into next spring.

Timber companies received letters from the U.S. Forest Service telling them to cease operations after employees who oversee and inspect timber sales were furloughed.

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NSA surveillance
8:01 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Report: NSA Spied on Idaho Senator During Vietnam War

A declassified internal history of the NSA revealed the names of people under surveillance in the Vietnam Era. Highlight added.
National Security Archives

A U.S. Senator from Idaho who once warned about misuse of government surveillance was himself the subject Vietnam Era domestic wiretapping. That's one of the revelations in a newly de-classified NSA document. The security agency itself described the program as “disreputable ... if not outright illegal.”

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3:35 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

North Idaho Schools Launch Effort to Change Bullying Culture

Some parents have complained about bullying going un-checked in Coeur d'Alene schools.
Jessica Robinson

A north Idaho school district is launching a campaign to curb bullying.

School officials in Coeur d’Alene announced Wednesday the effort includes curriculum changes and focus groups with a cross section of student cliques. It’s a response to a spate of recent complaints from parents and students.

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tribal casinos
9:00 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Tribal Casinos Move into New Territory: High-End Luxury

The hotel pool at the Kalispel Tribe’s Northern Quest Resort & Casino near Spokane.
Jessica Robinson

Tribal casinos are trying to appeal to a new kind of customer—one who may not even gamble at all.

Across the Northwest, one-time no-frills casinos are expanding into resort-style destinations and adding high-end amenities like spas, fine dining, and luxury hotels. The tribes are hoping to give Las Vegas a run for its money.

Let's face it: there's not much ambiance in a room with a thousand slot machines. Or maybe it's really that there's too much ambiance.

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3:35 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Federal Judge Halts ‘Megaloads’ on Idaho Highway

A 255-foot-long piece of water purifying equipment bound for Canada waits on Highway 12 near Lewiston, Idaho for transport.
Jessica Robinson

A federal judge has halted so-called “megaload” traffic through a wild and scenic corridor in Idaho. The ruling issued Friday orders the Forest Service to close a section of highway to an Oregon company trying to move oil equipment to Canada. 

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Small Town Northwest
7:01 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Former Railroad Town Struggles to Keep Last 25 Residents

The town of Avery, Idaho, once reached a population of 1,100 people. It’s now down to its last 25.
Jessica Robinson

Take a drive down any highway in the Northwest, and you'll pass signs for dozens of small towns.

There are more than 700 cities with fewer than 10,000 people in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Many of these towns came about because of railroads or timber or mines and now they’re trying to figure out what comes next.

Today, we begin an occasional series on Northwest small towns, and head to a tiny town in north Idaho that's getting even tinier.

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