Northwest News Network

Oregon lawmakers continued to debate the future of the state's Department of Energy on Monday, when a special legislative panel grilled the leader of that agency against the backdrop of a potential criminal investigation.

In a surprise move, sportswear giant Nike has withdrawn a contract enforcement lawsuit against U.S. track and field star Boris Berian.

Backers of an initiative aimed at boosting Oregon's high school graduation rate submitted a final round of signatures Thursday to the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

Every five years, a team convenes to evaluate long-term water supply and demand for the Columbia River Basin. For eastern Washington, the water supply will increase, but not when demand is highest.

Oregon school districts are preparing to test for the presence of lead as a result of new rules proposed by Gov. Kate Brown. Members of the Oregon Board of Education Thursday signaled a desire to move quickly on the proposal.

The madcap flotilla of engineless boats entered in the Race to Alaska is safely moored in Victoria. Stage one of the 750-mile adventure race from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan is in the books.

It was so memorable they had to do it again. The 750-mile Race to Alaska is back for a second year as 43 teams of sailors, rowers and paddlers prepare to set off from Port Townsend, Washington at 6 a.m. on Thursday.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she won't debate her Republican challenger until September at the earliest. The incumbent Democrat's announcement Wednesday came days after she turned down an appearance at the traditional opening debate of the campaign season.

The limbs of Central Washington’s cherry trees are heavy with ripe fruit. In Moxee, crews are scrambling to bring in a harvest while the skies are clear and the weather is dry.

Life in prison is no picnic. But imagine being blind or deaf or in a wheelchair behind bars.

A new report out Wednesday says state prison systems should be doing more to accommodate disabled inmates.

Routine operation of small drones for commercial or civilian purposes have clearance for takeoff. The Federal Aviation Administration Tuesday finalized rules to replace the previous case-by-case assessment of drone uses.

Oregon schools could soon be required to test for the presence of lead in drinking water, paint and even dirt. That's according to a set of rules proposed Tuesday by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. It adds to a list that already included radon and other chemicals.

The end is near for a veteran-owned medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Olympia. It’s a casualty of the state merging recreational and medical marijuana.

Oregon is getting some federal aid to help pay for damages sustained during a series of strong winter storms. The severe weather included strong winds and heavy rains that triggered flooding and mudslides over the course of two weeks last December.

“Do you believe guns in the home make you less safe?”

“Who do you believe should legally be allowed to carry a concealed pistol on college campuses?”

Those are the kinds of questions political candidates are getting this year from gun control and gun rights groups.

Professional runners from the Northwest say the expulsion of the Russian track and field team from this summer’s Olympic Games sends a strong message about fair play.

Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee will further review Russia’s participation. Late last week, track and field’s world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, barred Russia from the 2016 Olympics based on allegations of systematic doping.

In 2015 a federal judge in Seattle ruled that the state of Washington was violating the constitutional rights of mentally ill jail inmates by not evaluating and treating them quickly enough so they could stand trial. The day before that ruling Evon Bercier's 32-year-old son Shawn was locked up in the Spokane County Jail.

If it's an election year, Mark Callahan's name is probably on the ballot in Oregon. Since 2010, he's run -- and lost -- in races for county commission, school board, state House and U.S. Senate.

But this year, Callahan stunned political observers when he came out on top of a four-way contest to win the GOP nomination to face incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Ron Wyden this fall.

Washington Democrats are gathering this weekend in Tacoma for their state convention. Just like with the state Republican convention in Pasco last month, Democrats are a party divided. Hillary Clinton is the presumptive nominee. But Bernie Sanders supporters represent the majority of delegates.

The old adage that every vote counts was especially true in Oregon this year. A tie in the Independent Party primary for a suburban Portland seat in the Oregon House was broken Friday with a roll of the dice.