Emily Schwing | KNKX

Emily Schwing

Boise State Public Radio

Right next door to the current Burke Museum at the University of Washington in Seattle is a much larger building under construction. When it’s complete, it will serve as the new state Museum of Natural History and Culture.

There’s all kinds of stuff found in beers these days: cucumbers, pumpkins—-and plums A small brewery in Spokane will start selling beer they’ve made from local plums.

The fruit was repurposed with help from a non-profit that aims to cut down on food waste.



British Columbia is taking the next step in a decade-long battle over native tribal rights. The province has filed paperwork to appeal a decision that granted Washington state tribal members rights to their ancestral lands in Canada.

The Washington state House Environment Committee hosted public hearings Tuesday on two bills that would restrict a class of chemicals found in everything from firefighting retardant to food wrappers.

Perflourinated (PFAS) chemicals have been linked to numerous health problems, from endocrine disruption to cancer.

The last herd of caribou found anywhere in the lower 48 states is in the Pacific Northwest. To be clear, this caribou herd is tiny.

“Today, these are the last 11 that occupy habitat in the Lower 48.”

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.

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.

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. 


The Supreme Court of British Columbia has upheld the claims of a Native American man from Washington state that he has the right to hunt in the province.

The long-running case concerned Rick Desautel, a member of the Colville Tribes and a descendant of the Sinixt, an indigenous group which once roamed the Northwest.

Four landowners near Moses Lake, Washington, have been fined $618,000 for illegal water use. The water was pumped from the Odessa aquifer, which has been in severe decline for more than 30 years. 




Conservation groups are offering a hefty reward for information leading to the poachers who killed two protected wolves in northeastern Washington state.

The U.S. Department of State and the Canadian government announced Thursday that formal renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty will begin in early 2018. Fish, electric rates and flood protection all figure to be part of the talks when updating the 53-year-old international treaty between the U.S. and Canada.


Paulette Jordan, a Native American politician from North Idaho, will run for governor in the Gem State in 2018. Jordan, a Democrat, announced her candidacy at her 38th birthday party in Moscow, Idaho, on Thursday. 

A group of eastern Washington tribes is joining a nationwide movement to reclaim indigenous identities and re-tell native stories. In this case, it’s all about a name change.

Washington state’s Department of Fish and Game is offering its own version of retail therapy this Black Friday: skip the mall and go fishing instead.

There’s a new plant species in Washington state, but it hasn’t been named yet. And the botanist who discovered it will auction off that opportunity this week.




October's California wine country wildfires damaged more than 30 wineries. Now, the Northwest wine industry and wine drinkers are stepping up to with their wallets to help.

Oregon and Washington will be part of a group discussing climate change initiatives with two neighboring nations. The agreement between the more than a dozen U.S. states and Mexico and Canada is the product of meetings at an international climate conference in Bonn, Germany.

An initiative that would have fined rail cars carrying uncovered coal and certain kinds of oil through the heart of Spokane failed last Tuesday. Opponents of the measure say voters were concerned about the local economy, while supporters say they were simply outspent.

Voters in Spokane, Washington, are saying no to an initiative regulating coal and oil shipments through the heart of the city. The initiative would have fined companies that ship uncovered coal and certain types of oil through the city.

Voters in Spokane are now weighing in on the future of coal and oil trains. An initiative on the local ballot would regulate coal and oil shipments by rail through specific areas of the city.

Proposition 2 would impose a $261 fine on every rail car carrying uncovered coal and some types of oil through Spokane.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee are set to take part in an international conference on climate change Bonn, Germany. Brown and Inslee were invited to the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference by Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, who is presiding over conference proceedings this year.

There could be big changes on the horizon for the way the state of Washington manages its wolf population to minimize the conflicts between wolves and livestock.

In the 1940s, construction of the Grand Coulee Dam ended a generations-long tradition among the region’s Native American tribes who had gathered at a nearby waterfall every year. But last year, five tribes revived that tradition.

The Washington State Book Awards have been announced and for the third year in a row, a writer from Spokane has claimed the top prize for fiction. Shawn Vestal won the 2017 award for his debut novel, "Daredevils."

The student accused in a fatal shooting at Freeman High School near Spokane, Washington, this month has been charged with 51 counts of second-degree assault. He also faces murder and attempted murder charges.

The first cases of West Nile virus in Washington State this year have been reported in Spokane County. 

The victim of a high school shooting outside Spokane was memorialized over the weekend. At the same time, his friends and neighbors remembered him at a big event that is important to the small community of Freeman, Washington. 

The suspect in a shooting that left one student dead and three injured at Freeman High School outside of Spokane, Washington, last week quietly pleaded not guilty on Friday.

But the plea was mostly procedural. 




The Freeman High School football team will play a home game Friday night on their campus south of Spokane Valley. School will resume Monday after this week’s fatal shooting.

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