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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habitat for the dwindling sage grouse
3:21 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Study: Sage Grouse Habitat Slow To Rebound After Fire

File photo of a Greater Sage-Grouse
U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 5:35 pm

A new study suggests creating livable habitat for the dwindling sage grouse may be trickier than originally thought.

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Death penalty cases
3:57 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Death Penalty Costs In Idaho Difficult To Pin Down

File photo of Idaho's execution chamber
Idaho Department of Correction

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:49 pm

Death penalty cases take longer to work through Idaho's court system, but it's hard to put a dollar figure on the extra expense, according to a new report.

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legislative session
3:43 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Protests And Arrests, But Is Idaho Any Closer To Gay Rights Law?

Add the Words protesters encircle the upper level of the rotunda at the Idaho Capitol. They put a hand over their mouth to symbolize how they've been "silenced" by lawmakers.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 8:34 am

This winter, protests hit the Idaho Capitol at a level rarely seen in Boise. Gay rights activists blocked entrances and were marched away in handcuffs.

They want Idaho's Republican-controlled legislature to pass an anti-discrimination law similar to those in Oregon and Washington. It would make it illegal for employers, landlords and most businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

But lawmakers plan to wrap up the session this Friday without ever printing the bill.

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NPR Story
9:28 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Idaho Students Make Last-Ditch Effort To Kill Guns-On-Campus Bill

File photo of the campus of Boise State University
Laura Gilmore Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:13 pm

Idaho university students are making a last-minute attempt to stop a measure that would allow people to carry concealed weapons on campus.

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The worst train in America
6:21 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Passengers Wait Hours For Empire Builder, America's Least Reliable Train

Amtrak's Empire Builder rolls past the Izaak Walton Inn in Essex, Mont.

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 10:00 am

The worst train in America is right here in the Northwest: the famed Empire Builder.

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partial government shutdown last October
4:14 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

National Parks Report: Nearby Towns Lost Nearly $500M In October Shutdown

File photo of an entrance to Mount Rainier National Park
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 4:03 pm

According to a National Park Service report, towns around national parks lost an estimated $414 million during the partial government shutdown last October.

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Idaho Considers Guns on Campus
7:20 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Idaho Colleges Ask Lawmakers To Consider Fiscal Side Of Guns On Campus

Administrators at North Idaho College, a community college in Coeur d’Alene, have joined other state colleges and universities in opposing a proposal to allow guns on campus.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 6:32 am

State colleges and universities across Idaho are appealing to state lawmakers' fiscally conservative side in an attempt to sideline a proposal to allow guns on campuses.

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NPR Story
5:10 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Death Of Northwest Family Shows Hazards Of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide detector
Judy van der Velden Flickr

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 6:56 am

Local officials say the deaths of a Pocatello, Idaho, couple and their teenage sons is one of the worst tragedies in recent memory in the southeast Idaho community.

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Northwest Hate Groups Shrink
8:37 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Report: Neo-Nazis, Skinheads And Other Hate Groups Down In Northwest

Members of the Aryan Nations march in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho in 2004.
holotone Flickr

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:58 pm

An annual count released Tuesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center revealed that the number of active hate groups in the Northwest dropped dramatically in 2013.

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New Plan to Right Wildfires
7:12 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Obama Backs Northwest Senators' Plan To Fund Firefighting Like Disaster Aid

The Beaver Creek Fire near Sun Valley, Idaho, covered more than 100,000 acres in 2013.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 7:22 am

Fighting wildfires would be funded more like hurricane and flood response under a proposal out of the Northwest that won President Obama's endorsement.

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34,000 signed up in Oregon
3:38 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

High Enrollment In A State With No Love For Obamacare

Stethoscopes/Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 6:09 pm

The latest figures on who's signing up under the federal health care law tell a surprising story about one of the most conservative states in the country.

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urging people to consider cancelling plans
4:10 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Avalanche Deaths Highlight Unstable Backcountry Conditions

A deep slab avalanche, seen from above.
Janet Kellam Sawtooth Avalanche Center

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:33 am

Recent avalanche death are highlighting unstable backcountry conditions.

The avalanche center in Idaho's Sun Valley area is urging people to consider cancelling their plans in the backcountry.

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five-year trial period
4:12 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Midwives Say Idaho Licensing Law Has Brought The Practice Out Of The Shadows

A midwife uses a fetoscope on a patient.
kc7fys Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:19 pm

Idaho started licensing midwives in 2010 under the Midwifery Practice Act so midwives could deliver babies in homes and at birthing centers legally. 

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the “next generation” of assessment
7:48 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Can A Test Measure Critical Thinking? Schools Hope To Find Out

Students take a quiz in Eric Miller's eighth grade algebra class at Lakes Magnet Middle School in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:37 am

Northwest parents of school-aged children have a new acronym to learn: The SBAC.

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Environment
5:52 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Panel Finds Feds Didn't Use Best Science In Wolf Plan

US Fish

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 4:35 pm

A new independent review finds the federal government used uncertain science when it proposed taking the gray wolf off the endangered species list across the Lower 48.

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anti-discrimination ordinances
4:21 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Gay Rights Advocates: Idaho Bills Would Upend Local Discrimination Bans

File photo. The Pocatello City Council took public comment on an anti-discrimination ordinance in April 2013.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 3:42 pm

Gay rights advocates say legislation introduced this week in Idaho would undermine local anti-discrimination ordinances passed in seven Idaho cities.

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Public Health
8:11 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Little Progress In Fighting Spread Of Gonorrhea In Northwest

Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 6:22 am

Public health officials in the Northwest say a series of gonorrhea outbreaks shows little sign of letting up. In fact, in some places, rates of the STD may be getting worse.

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helps police officers stay safe on the job
3:48 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

App By WSU Team Lets Cops Know When They're Tired

Criminal justice professor Bryan Vila wears an actigraph, a movement-monitoring device. The BeSharp app uses data from the device to determine alertness.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 9:00 am

Could the same kind of self-tracking technology that's become popular among smartphone users also help police officers stay safer on the job?

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performing a low-level training mission
4:21 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Two Northwest Airmen Killed In U.K. Helicopter Crash

File photo of a Pave Hawk helicopter.
US Air Force

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 8:35 am

Two airmen from the Northwest were killed in a helicopter crash in England this week. One grew up in north Idaho, the other hailed from Vancouver, Wash.

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School Security
7:08 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Despite Calls To Arm Teachers, Most Schools Opt For Other Measures

A new controlled entry system in the Coeur d'Alene schools requires visitors to speak to the front office over video before coming in.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:07 am

Parents and students across the Northwest are seeing many new security measures as a result of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.

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