Liam Moriarty

Reporter/Producer

Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years. He's reported on a wide range of topics – including politics, the environment, business, social issues and more – for newspapers, magazines, public radio and the web.  Liam was JPR News Director from 2002 to 2005, reporting and producing the Jefferson Daily regional news magazine. After covering the environment in Seattle, then reporting on European issues from France, he's returned to JPR, turning his talents to covering the stories that are important to the people of this very special region.

National Park Service

Opponents of proposed mining projects in the Klamath Mountains in the southwest corner of Oregon are praising a federal order withdrawing more than 100-thousand acres in the area from mining activity.

Bureau of Land Management/Flickr

Barely a week before leaving office, President Obama has used a law originally signed by Theodore Roosevelt to roughly double the size of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southwestern Oregon.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

The recent heavy snow and freezing overnight temperatures have driven hundreds of homeless people in the region to seek emergency shelter from the extreme weather. But some people do their best to tough it out.

The choice of whether to get indoors or sleep outside in sub-freezing temperatures might seem like an obvious one. But some homeless people – especially those who’ve been on the streets for years – say they’d rather not subject themselves to what they see as the hassles and indignities of crowded shelters.

 I've had a pretty contentious relationship with my online social network this past election season. My Facebook newsfeed exploded with caustic political memes, links to articles of suspect provenance and fiery rants by folks I thought I knew pretty well, but who displayed previously unrevealed anger management issues.

Cilde Grover braces herself with her cane as she ducks through a small arch in the pasture fence.

“Molly, come!” she calls out, as her dog bounds ahead and blurs into the forest in the misty distance.

Grover remembers wide open pastures on her family's homestead near Brookings in Oregon's southwestern-most corner. That was back in the 1950s and '60s, when she and her three sisters were growing up. But now the trees have the upper hand.

“I look around and I go 'it's closing in on me!'" she laughs, glancing around at the forest all around her.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

Progress has been made in recent years in decreasing homelessness, especially among veterans. But the spiraling cost of housing still leaves many people with few affordable options.

Now, inspired by the success of similar projects in the Pacific Northwest, a group in Medford is  building a tiny-house village that offers hope of breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR

The recent election saw California and three other states join Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska in legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Four more states voted for medical cannabis, as well.

But the burgeoning cannabis industry has relied on an Obama Administration policy of tolerating state laws that regulate a drug that’s still federally illegal. With a new administration taking over in Washington DC, what does this mean for legal pot?

JPR News

After serving less than half of his four-year term as Jackson County Sheriff, Corey Falls has announced his plans to resign at the end of the year.

The Siskiyou/Moro Campaign/JPArt

Former Ashland mayor Alan DeBoer has won a slim victory over Rogue Valley Transit District chair Tonia Moro.  Republican Deboer held on to a 50-49 percent lead -- just over 500 votes -- over his Democratic rival in the race for Oregon's 3rd Senate seat. 

Pammarshfororegon.com

Ashland city councilor Pam Marsh has easily defeated her Republican challenger to win a seat held since 2005 by retiring Democrat Peter Buckley. As of 7 a..m. Wednesday, Marsh was leading Steven Richie by 62 to 37 percent.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

A pair of Republican legislative candidates whose unorthodox entry into their races raised hackles around the Klamath Basin have handily won over their challengers.

A bit of covert political sleight of hand has made a pair of legislative races in south central Oregon the focus of attention this election season. JPR’s Liam Moriarty sorts out who’s who in the oddest of this year’s legislative races.

The Siskiyou/Moro Campaign/JPArt

The race for the Third Senate District in southern Oregon was triggered by the sudden death in August of Dr. Alan Bates. Bates, a Democrat, was widely respected, especially for his work on health care issues.

Now, Democrat Tonia Moro – an attorney -- and Republican Alan DeBoer -- an auto-dealer -- are each making the case that they are the best choice to succeed Bates in a race that has implications for the balance of power in Salem.

Anna Reed/Statesman Journal

The powerful Pacific storm that raked the Northwest coast with high winds and heavy rain since Friday began easing Saturday evening,  after dropping trees and power lines across the region. 

With less than four weeks till Election Day, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and her challenger Dr. Bud Pierce met in Medford for a debate Thursday night. It was the only debate of the campaign to be held in southern Oregon.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

These days, we openly discuss a lot of things that used to be considered too delicate for polite company: sex, money, childbirth …  If there’s one taboo left, it’s the subject of death. Recently, JPR’s Liam Moriarty attended a social gathering held specifically to talk about the end of life. 

Oregon governor Kate Brown met her Republican challenger Dr. Bud Pierce on Saturday evening in Bend for the first debate of this gubernatorial campaign. They sparred on a variety of issues, from taxes to land use to the state budget. 

US Geological Survey

Gaze across the mountains of the Northwest these days and you may notice an unusual number of dead firs, pines and other conifer trees scattered among the green ones. Drought is usually considered the prime culprit. But recent research suggests the damage that has historically been done to conifer forests by routine dry spells is being compounded by climate change.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

Relations between federal land managers and residents of the Applegate Valley in southern Oregon have long been strained by disputes over the Bureau of Land Management’s forest plans. With another large forestry project now under consideration, JPR’s Liam Moriarty recently went on a field trip with BLM staff and Applegate residents to look at the proposed Nedsbar timber sale on Bald Mountain.

Recent racially-charged killings of black men and white police officers have highlighted old racial frustrations and recriminations. Ominous comparisons are being made to 1968 -- when widespread riots boiled up after the assassination of Martin Luther King -- and people are nervously wondering how far race relations might unravel this summer.

JPR reporter Liam Moriarty offers some personal reflections on how racial identity runs much more than skin-deep ...

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