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.

Joi Riley/JPR

The Medford public schools are re-opening this morning. But most of the district’s teachers will be out on the sidewalks picketing rather than in the classrooms.

M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden pledges to do everything he can to get his proposed timber plan passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama this year. He’s gathered support from key players in both the timber industry and the environmental community, and he’s painting opponents as uncompromising extremists.

But, hold-outs on both sides say splitting the baby in half isn’t the wisest choice.

Enoch Lai/Wikimedia

The Ashland  city council is poised to consider taking up a pair of ordinances proposed by a community group concerned about gun violence. Whether Ashland adopts the new laws or not, it raises questions about how far local gun restrictions can go, and what they can accomplish.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

As marijuana has become more mainstream, the business of cultivating the plant has boomed. That’s true nowhere more than in coastal northern California. There, the so-called Emerald Triangle of Mendocino, Trinity and Humboldt counties is believed to be the largest cannabis-growing region in the US.

But as the hills have sprouted thousands of new grow operations, haphazard cultivation is threatening the recovery of endangered west coast salmon and steelhead populations.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

With stay-at-home parents increasingly rare, finding high quality, affordable child care has become a major challenge for many families. A recent report found Oregon has the least-affordable child care in the nation. This is a look at the hurdles parents face and how some are coping with the squeeze.

Liam Moriarty / JPR

It’s been nearly 20 years since the Northwest Forest Plan scaled back logging across the region, in large part to preserve habitat for the endangered northern spotted owl. But the spotted owl continues to decline. Scientists blame the larger, more aggressive barred owl for pushing the spotted owl out of its natural habitat. Now, federal wildlife managers have begun shooting barred owls to see if removing the competition will allow spotted owls to recover.

USAF

Most victims of sexual assault never report the crime to police. By some estimates, up to 80 percent of such crimes go unreported. In an effort to change that, the police department in Ashland  is pioneering a new approach that lets rape victims call the shots.

skipark.com

2013 was a record dry year in Eugene and Medford. Many areas around the region have gotten half of their average snowfall or less.

That’s got Northwest ski resorts, many of which haven’t even opened yet, nervously waiting for snow. So are thousands of workers and retailers who depend on the ski season. And there’s little relief in sight.

USDA Forest Service

Twenty-three years ago, the listing of the northern spotted owl under the Endangered Species Act was one of the factors that led to a sharply reduced Northwest timber harvest. Now, wildlife officials are proposing to list the Oregon spotted frog. If approved, this listing would not have nearly the far-reaching impact the spotted owl listing had. But  officials in Klamath County are pushing back against a proposal they fear will lead to intrusive and economically-damaging regulations.

Giancarlo

With federal unemployment benefits ending for more than 45,000 jobless Northwesterners, and as Congress acts to further slash food stamps, putting meals on the table is about to become even more of a challenge for many. One innovative community approach to hunger just reached an impressive milestone. JPR’s Liam Moriarty spent a frosty morning with a family who is among those who’ve made the Ashland Food Project a potent model of compassion in action. 

www.neighborhoodfoodproject.com

Malinaccier/wikimedia commons

As winter flu season comes on, many of us in the Northwest start reaching for the anti-bacterial hand soap and similar products to kill the germs that spread the illness.

Now, research from the University of California Davis adds to a growing body of science that questions whether a key ingredient in hundreds of anti-bacterial products is safe.

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Winter is getting off to a brisk start in the normally-mild Pacific Northwest. Overnight temperatures have broken sub-zero records in some areas.  

Apparently, we can blame Canada.

Matthew Cohen is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland.

US Fish & Wildlife

For decades, farmers and ranchers have engaged in a bitter tug-of-war with fishermen and Indian tribes over scarce water supplies in the Klamath Basin. Now, government officials and stakeholders have announced the broad outlines of an agreement they say could finally bring peace to the region.

Automotives/Wikipedia

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has unveiled a bill to balance competing demands on more than two million acres of federal forest land in the state. So far, opinions differ on whether he’s found an approach that can resolve this long-standing tug-of-war.

Jackson County Jail

Police in Medford, Oregon have arrested a suspect believed to be behind the bombing last week of the Jackson County District Attorney’s office.

  

National Cancer Institute

President Obama has tried to fix a problem with the Affordable Care Act that’s become a growing political headache for his administration.  In the process, he threw a new variable into the already-confused health insurance marketplace. JPR’s Liam Moriarty takes a look at how the dust is settling in Oregon and California. 

M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia

Earlier this month, Washington lawmakers met in special session with one purpose in mind: to extend billions in tax breaks for aerospace giant Boeing so the company wouldn't build its next model of airliner in another state. 

Jamie Lusch, Mail Tribune/AP

Local, state and federal investigators continue to sift through the evidence in the Wednesday morning bomb attack on the Jackson County District Attorney’s office in Medford.  

By mid-day Thursday, the scene of the fire and explosion in downtown Medford had been cleared. Investigators are examining the physical evidence, including the propane tank that was used to build the home-made bomb. The fact that the device failed to fully detonate is credited with preventing a much more violent explosion ... Medford police spokesman Lt. Mike Budreau says investigators are canvassing the neighborhood, looking for additional witnesses.

cursedthing/flickr

  The League of Women Voters has been a fixture of elections for nearly a hundred years, organizing candidate forums and promoting voter participation across the country. 

Now, Jefferson Public Radio’s Liam Moriarty reports that, especially in rural areas, changing times mean those familiar civic programs are in danger of disappearing.

NIH

The end of the year is approaching, government health care websites are failing and people across Oregon are anxious about how the new health  care reform law will affect them. Jefferson Public Radio’s Liam Moriarty reports there’s cause for concern, but there’s no need to panic.

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