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.

The first numbers on enrollment under the new health care law confirm a slow start and mixed results in Northwest states.

The Christmas tree destined for the nation's capital is set to begin a cross-country roadtrip. But getting an 80-foot tree out of a national forest isn't quite like going to a U-cut.

Northwest News Network Photo/Jessica Robinson

Washington’s health care exchange got off to a rocky start one month ago Friday: from the temporary shut down on its first day to the recent errors calculating tax credits. Even so, Washington state has fared well compared to the federal Website and even has some fans.

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.

Northwest News Network/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. And the job has become a key part of controlling disease outbreaks.

Health 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.

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.

A search effort for a missing hiker at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho is turning to drone technology for help.

  Loggers are packing up and leaving timber sales uncut across the Northwest. It's another effect of the partial 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 Forest Service telling them to cease operations. That's because the employees who oversee and inspect timber sales were furloughed.

What used to be no-frills slot parlors off the highway are turning into resort-style destinations with spas, golf courses and luxury hotels. Native American tribes are hoping these added amenities will give them an edge in an increasingly competitive gaming market.

A school district in north Idaho is considering a plan to arm select teachers and staff with concealed handguns. The school board is asking for public comment at a meeting Tuesday in Sandpoint, Idaho.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting last year, officials at the Lake Pend Oreille School District took a look at their own safety procedures. They discovered that, in a similar situation, some of the rural schools in the district would have to wait as long as 20 minutes for police arrive.

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

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 under 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.

It's nearly 2:15 in Avery, Idaho. The mail has arrived. And the post office is about to become the busiest place in town.

More than 300 people turned out Thursday in Spokane for the burial of World War II veteran Delbert Belton. The 88-year-old was robbed and beaten to death last week while he waited in his car.

Scores of veterans turned out to honor Belton at a cemetery in west Spokane. Friends and family remember a man who loved to repair cars by day and go out dancing at night, and went by the nickname Shorty.

The service also drew many people in Spokane who never knew Belton, but, like Karen Schute, felt compelled to be there.

The same weather patterns that are making the Rim Fire a challenge for firefighters in California have been moving up through parts of the Northwest. Specifically, through central Idaho. Fire managers say the forests there are ripe for fire, and more lightning is in the forecast this week.

The fact that massive fires are raging both in California and in Idaho is no coincidence, according to Robyn Broyles. She's with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

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