Jessica Robinson

Inland Northwest Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. From the politics of wolves to racial tolerance in small towns, Jessica covers the economic, demographic and environmental trends that are shaping communities east of the Cascades.

Prior to joining the Northwest News Network team, Jessica was the news director of Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland, Oregon, where she produced a newsmagazine on Northern California and Southern Oregon. In 2010, she took a year to study Spanish in central Mexico and reported for an English–language newspaper in San Miguel de Allende. Jessica's stories for radio and print have earned awards from the Associated Press, the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, and Public Radio News Directors Inc.

A Northwest native, Jessica grew up in an off–the–grid log cabin in the Columbia River Gorge. These days, when she's not agonizing over the perfect piece of tape, Jessica enjoys camping and hiking, amateur photography, and learning the etymology of words.

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Idaho POW
8:23 am
Fri August 22, 2014

GAO Finds Bergdahl Prisoner Swap Broke Federal Law

File photo of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 3:25 pm

An independent government investigation out Thursday finds the Pentagon broke the law when it swapped five members of the Taliban for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Idaho.

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Environment
8:25 am
Thu August 21, 2014

EPA Says Idaho Must Clean Up The Air In The Silver Valley

File photo. Wood stoves are a major contributor to air pollution throughout the Northwest.

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 5:03 pm

The EPA has given the state of Idaho notice that a corner of the Idaho panhandle isn't meeting stricter new air quality standards. The agency intends to change that by forcing the state to reduce what are called “fine particulates” in the air.

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Coeur d'Alene River Basin
10:13 am
Wed August 20, 2014

North Idaho Set To Begin Negotiations Over Water Rights

Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:03 am

The state of Idaho is preparing to establish water rights in the northern part of the state. It's a relatively water-abundant area, not prone to the sort of conflicts that have erupted elsewhere like Oregon's Klamath Basin.

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Labor Intensive
7:53 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Washington Is Changing How Women Labor To Avoid C-Sections

Emily Cameron, left, her husband and their five children. Her first-born was delivered by C-section at 37 weeks, which she believes was unnecessary.
Credit Courtesy Emily Cameron

Public health officials across the U.S. say the number of cesarean sections being performed has gotten way out of hand. It's a life-saving surgery for complicated births, but today nearly a third of pregnancies end up as a C-section.

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Labor Intensive
7:53 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

MAP: How Washington Hospitals Rank In Terms Of C-Sections

Kelly delivered baby Colton at Valley Hospital and Medical Center in Spokane.
Credit Family photo

Map: Click on the map to see how C-section rates at hospitals in Washington state. The red dots indicate hospitals where the rate for low-risk, first time moms exceeds 20 percent -- about what the World Health Organization recommended in a 2010 report. (KUOW/Kara McDermott)

It’s 7 p.m. on a Thursday at Valley Hospital and Medical Center in Spokane, and Dr. Nathan Meltzer has already had a very long day.

He has one mother in labor. She’s been there for more than 12 hours.

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Psychiatric Boarding
8:17 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Washington Races The Clock To Find New Beds For 200 Psychiatric Patients

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 4:12 pm

The state of Washington is scrambling to find beds for an estimated 200 mental health patients by August 27. That's when the state must comply with a Washington Supreme Court ruling that said detaining psychiatric patients in emergency room beds is unlawful.

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Idaho POW
8:54 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Would-be Day Of Celebration In Bergdahl's Hometown Passes Quietly

This tree was one of four planted for an event last year in Bowe Bergdahl’s hometown. The trees marked his then four years in captivity.

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 12:49 pm

A day of planned celebration of Bowe Bergdahl in his Idaho hometown turned out to be a pretty uneventful one. Hailey, Idaho, cancelled Saturday’s event after the city received threats.

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Workplace Safety
7:11 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Penalties On Idaho Mine Still Unpaid Three Years After Miner's Death

Larry "Pete" Marek died in a collapse at the Lucky Friday Mine on April 15, 2011.

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 3:37 pm

It's been over three years since a tunnel collapse at a north Idaho silver mine killed miner Larry Marek. Yet federal records show a series of federal penalties issued to the mine's owners still have not been paid.

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Third-Hand Exposure
7:40 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Northwest Meth Houses To Get Scrubbed Under EPA Program

The Salishan public housing development in Tacoma is one of the sites that will be tested and cleaned through an EPA grant.
Tacoma Housing Authority

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 3:31 pm

Federal dollars meant to restore toxic areas like old factories, mines and gas stations are now going to clean up after another long-time industry: methamphetamine.

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Wildfires
6:50 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Washington Evacuees Have Dealt With Fires Before, But 'Not Like This'

File photo of a portion of the Mills Canyon Complex fire in Central Washington

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 2:56 pm

A blaze in Okanogan County, Washington, that Governor Jay Inslee called a “firestorm” has destroyed around 100 homes. Now, Inslee says 1,000 National Guard troops will take a crash-course in wildfire fighting so they can be deployed to central Washington fires.

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Wildfires
6:50 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Wildfires Force Northwest Fruit Pickers Out Of Camps

An entire block of what residents describe as “nice, two-story homes” was destroyed in the fire.

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 12:49 pm

Fire officials estimate wildfires have burned more than 1,200 square miles in Washington and Oregon. Crews are working fast to build fire lines between the rapidly moving flames and rural communities. But hundreds of people remain on evacuation alert.

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State Of Shock
6:50 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Okanogan County Residents Look For Remnants Of Lives In Burned Homes

The Carlton Complex's 'dangerous nature' has made it the No. 1 fire in the country according to the Washington DNR.

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 9:08 pm

Residents of fire-ravaged central Washington say they're in a “state of shock.” Fires destroyed more houses over the weekend and prompted additional evacuation notices.

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Wildfires
6:49 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Pateros Residents Try To Make Sense Of Destruction Left By Wildfire

A view of smoldering home in Pateros, Washington.

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 9:45 pm

The wildfires burning in central Washington prompted another round of evacuations Friday night.

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Taliban Swap
7:41 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Bergdahl's Attorney Expects Army Questioning To Begin Soon

File photo of Bowe Bergdahl at his graduation from U.S. Basic Training.

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 4:07 pm

The attorney for rescued POW Bowe Bergdahl expects the Army sergeant to be interviewed by military investigators within the coming weeks.

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Health
7:27 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Number Of Gonorrhea Cases Increasing Outside Urban Hubs

Gonorrhea bacterium

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 6:12 pm

Public health officials in the Northwest say they're seeing gonorrhea infections at levels they haven't seen in years. Three counties in Washington state are now in the midst of an outbreak. Parts of Oregon and Idaho are set to top even last year's high numbers.

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