InvestigateWest

InvestigateWest Nonprofit investigative newsroom keeping an eye on decision-makers in the Pacific Northwest.

Our mission is to engage Pacific Northwest residents in social issues by providing compelling, change making investigative and explanatory journalism.

InvestigateWest is staffing up to meet the moment. Introducing the newest members of our team: reporters Whitney Bryen a...
03/18/2024

InvestigateWest is staffing up to meet the moment. Introducing the newest members of our team: reporters Whitney Bryen and Melanie Henshaw and editor Shawn Vestal.

InvestigateWest is thrilled to welcome two full-time reporters and a veteran editor to the team...

Washington lawmakers this year funneled more money and support toward the state’s struggling child care system, looking ...
03/17/2024

Washington lawmakers this year funneled more money and support toward the state’s struggling child care system, looking to give providers a boost and expand access to day care and pre-K programs for families.

By Laurel Demkovich, Washington State Standard, March 14, 2024 Washington lawmakers this year funneled more...

Efforts to narrow Idaho’s “Terrorist Control Act” have failed. Previous InvestigateWest reporting revealed a Bundy ranch...
03/06/2024

Efforts to narrow Idaho’s “Terrorist Control Act” have failed. Previous InvestigateWest reporting revealed a Bundy ranch militant was instrumental in crafting the legislation.

Previous InvestigateWest reporting revealed Bundy ranch militant was instrumental in crafting the bill  By Daniel...

Apart from King County, most courts in Washington aren’t obeying the law when it comes to levying fees against s*x buyer...
03/05/2024

Apart from King County, most courts in Washington aren’t obeying the law when it comes to levying fees against s*x buyers: the latest report from InvestigateWest's Kelsey Turner.

Report finds $2.5 million in uncollected fees over last decade By Kelsey Turner / InvestigateWest...

ICYMI: The Idaho Statesman's editorial board weighed in on the latest scoop from InvestigateWest's Daniel Walters: "It’s...
03/01/2024

ICYMI: The Idaho Statesman's editorial board weighed in on the latest scoop from InvestigateWest's Daniel Walters: "It’s bad enough that Idaho is a magnet for far-right extremists; now we find out they’re writing the laws, too." (cc: Report for America)

Idaho man who pointed rifle at federal agents during Bundy Ranch standoff says he was the key architect behind a bill that would redefine domestic terrorism in Idaho | Opinion

Check out InvestigateWest's Kelsey Turner on KUOW talking about her latest investigation into the disappearance of an In...
02/29/2024

Check out InvestigateWest's Kelsey Turner on KUOW talking about her latest investigation into the disappearance of an Indigenous teen.

For marginalized communities, especially ones with whom trust has been broken for so long, it’s easier for people to slip through the cracks. Often the safety nets that are meant to protect them don’t activate properly. In this story, those safeguards missed an Indigenous teenager named Kit Nels...

A bill that would empower the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries to pursue and keep penalties against employers who v...
02/27/2024

A bill that would empower the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries to pursue and keep penalties against employers who violate the state’s child labor laws now heads to Gov. Tina Kotek’s desk for signature.

Republican critiques of increased penalties for child labor violations fails to slow momentum By Kaylee...

There were no police on the case. No news reporters shoving cameras in family members’ faces. No detectives scavenging f...
02/22/2024

There were no police on the case. No news reporters shoving cameras in family members’ faces. No detectives scavenging for clues. There was only Amythist McCart, a 17-year-old high school senior, riding shotgun in her grandma’s white 2004 Oldsmobile, her grandma at the wheel and her cousin in the back seat.

Read more from Kelsey Turner/InvestigateWest: https://bit.ly/3SLgU5X

Three years ago, Valeria Atanacio advocated for a Tribal Early Learning Hub in Oregon, aiming to improve Indigenous fami...
02/22/2024

Three years ago, Valeria Atanacio advocated for a Tribal Early Learning Hub in Oregon, aiming to improve Indigenous families' access to early education. Despite legislative support and funding, the project collapsed after 14 months of planning.

Tribal representatives bank on an early learning success plan to increase services By Kaylee Tornay...

More than 14,650 students across Washington have been involuntarily withdrawn for not attending school since fall 2020. ...
02/21/2024

More than 14,650 students across Washington have been involuntarily withdrawn for not attending school since fall 2020. One of those students is Kit Nelson-Mora, a nonbinary Indigenous teen who uses they/them pronouns.

Districts say they’re changing practices in effort to keeps kids from falling through the cracks...

A Ford dealership near Portland settled with the federal government for $28,000 over child labor law violations in 2020....
02/16/2024

A Ford dealership near Portland settled with the federal government for $28,000 over child labor law violations in 2020. But a longstanding quirk in Oregon law meant that no investigation was conducted at the state level. A new bill would change that.

State labor officials say bill would allow investigators to crack down on child labor violations...

An Indigenous teen in Washington disappeared amid clear signs of danger. It took more than a year before police started ...
02/16/2024

An Indigenous teen in Washington disappeared amid clear signs of danger. It took more than a year before police started investigating.

School, police and state CPS officials all received warnings that teen was unsafe By Kelsey...

This new legal definition of “domestic terrorism” would exclude far-right groups like the Real Three Percenters of Idaho...
02/16/2024

This new legal definition of “domestic terrorism” would exclude far-right groups like the Real Three Percenters of Idaho.

Critics argue the legislation “essentially guts” Idaho’s Terrorist Control Act By Daniel Walters / InvestigateWest...

Caught with a “little army” and plans to provoke confrontation at a gay pride event, this white nationalist had his char...
02/14/2024

Caught with a “little army” and plans to provoke confrontation at a gay pride event, this white nationalist had his charges dismissed.

Caught with a “little army” and plans to provoke confrontation at a gay pride event,...

Cornerstone Cottage, the Idaho youth treatment home featured in several recent InvestigateWest articles detailing allege...
02/07/2024

Cornerstone Cottage, the Idaho youth treatment home featured in several recent InvestigateWest articles detailing alleged child abuse and neglect that took place there, has shut down. The closure leaves questions about the fate of remaining residents.

Read more: https://bit.ly/3SzalDz

Story: Wilson Criscione/InvestigateWest

State Sen. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, has introduced a bill to make voting compulsory in Washington. But under Hunt’s legislat...
02/02/2024

State Sen. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, has introduced a bill to make voting compulsory in Washington. But under Hunt’s legislation, there’d be no punishment for citizens who ignore the requirement.

Sen. Sam Hunt reintroduced a bill to legally require people to vote — but there wouldn’t be any consequences if you don’t. By Grace Deng / washingtonstatestandard.com January 24, 2024 State Sen. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, has introduced a bill to make voting compulsory in Washington. But under Hunt....

Despite the challenges faced by the news industry in 2023, our community helped InvestigateWest mark its best year yet. ...
01/31/2024

Despite the challenges faced by the news industry in 2023, our community helped InvestigateWest mark its best year yet. That's thanks in no small part to the generosity of local Seattle philanthropists Lisa Mennet and Paul Joseph Brown. Here's to the power of community support on impactful journalism!

While 2023 was an awful year for the news industry at large — with coast-to-coast...

Oregon workers sometimes wait a year or more to be compensated after experiencing wage from employers. And the majority ...
01/30/2024

Oregon workers sometimes wait a year or more to be compensated after experiencing wage from employers. And the majority don’t wind up paying what they owe, InvestigateWest revealed in an analysis cited during a presentation this month to lawmakers.

The bottleneck of civil rights and wage claims has decreased, but workers still face long...

Washington state’s mapmakers had been working for almost a year to draw the lines that would shape the state’s elections...
01/24/2024

Washington state’s mapmakers had been working for almost a year to draw the lines that would shape the state’s elections for the next decade. Now they had five hours until the midnight deadline and they’d made little progress.

In Washington and other states, independent redistricting commissions have fallen prey to partisanship, just like the legislative bodies they were meant to replace. By Marilyn W. Thompson / propublica.org/ January 18, 2024   Washington state’s mapmakers had been working for almost a year to draw ...

Supporters estimate the new tax on real estate could raise nearly $300 million every two years to fund affordable housin...
01/18/2024

Supporters estimate the new tax on real estate could raise nearly $300 million every two years to fund affordable housing. Republicans argue it could drive up costs for renters.

Supporters estimate the tax could raise nearly $300 million every two years. Republicans argue it could drive up costs for renters. By Laurel Demkovich / washingtonstatestandard.com January 10, 2024 Washington Democrats are again looking to raise taxes on expensive property sales to help pay for aff...

A new WA law requires companies to disclose what chemicals are used in their products.
01/16/2024

A new WA law requires companies to disclose what chemicals are used in their products.

With a years-long backlog in the U.S. government’s risk assessments of thousands of potentially hazardous...

Sabra Boyd didn’t want to tell the police she was a victim of human trafficking. “If things were handled by police offic...
01/16/2024

Sabra Boyd didn’t want to tell the police she was a victim of human trafficking.

“If things were handled by police officers who didn’t fully understand the whole situation, they were putting me in danger and I might end up being killed,” said Boyd, who now advocates for survivor-led anti-trafficking policies in Washington. “I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s the reality.”

Story: Kelsey Turner/InvestigateWest

Read more: https://www.invw.org/2024/01/08/why-some-advocates-oppose-legislation-requiring-police-get-involved-in-human-trafficking-cases/

After InvestigateWest revealed last month that an influential right-wing Idaho think tank was contracting with an alt-ri...
01/11/2024

After InvestigateWest revealed last month that an influential right-wing Idaho think tank was contracting with an alt-right propagandist with a long record of anti-Jewish rhetoric, its president doubled-down.

Hoffman exits one month after InvestigateWest reported on think tank’s ties to alt-right propagandist By...

Oregon needs more and consistent funding to fight wildfires. But lawmakers are split on how to pay for it.
01/09/2024

Oregon needs more and consistent funding to fight wildfires. But lawmakers are split on how to pay for it.

Two senators aim to boost funding to the state’s firefighting efforts, one funded by the...

Some WA advocates believe survivors of human trafficking should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to invol...
01/09/2024

Some WA advocates believe survivors of human trafficking should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to involve law enforcement. Proposed state and federal legislation could take that choice out of a victim’s hands.

Survivors say state, federal bills could put them in danger if passed By Kelsey Turner...

Settlement agreement calls for a 10-year pause in legal fighting over salmon restoration efforts that dates back to the ...
01/05/2024

Settlement agreement calls for a 10-year pause in legal fighting over salmon restoration efforts that dates back to the 1990s.

Settlement agreement calls for a 10-year pause in legal fighting over salmon restoration efforts that...

Our latest special report, ‘The Cruelest Lie: You’re Safe Now’, reveals how idaho investigators repeatedly found kids in...
01/03/2024

Our latest special report, ‘The Cruelest Lie: You’re Safe Now’, reveals how idaho investigators repeatedly found kids in danger in the state’s “troubled teen” residential facilities. Yet the youth treatment programs faced few consequences.

Read more: https://www.invw.org/2023/12/28/the-cruelest-lie-youre-safe-now/

Story: Wilson Criscione/InvestigateWest

Idaho, tied for the highest rate of children removed from Medicaid, says its following the law in how it re-evaluates pr...
01/03/2024

Idaho, tied for the highest rate of children removed from Medicaid, says its following the law in how it re-evaluates program eligibility.

Idaho, tied for the highest rate of children removed from Medicaid, says its following the...

New: An InvestigateWest analysis reveals a lack of disciplinary action against troubled youth programs in Idaho.
12/29/2023

New: An InvestigateWest analysis reveals a lack of disciplinary action against troubled youth programs in Idaho.

An InvestigateWest analysis reveals a lack of disciplinary action against troubled programs By Wilson Criscione...

"The Cruelest Lie: You're Safe Now" is a heart-wrenching look inside the "troubled teen" industry. It details how Idaho ...
12/28/2023

"The Cruelest Lie: You're Safe Now" is a heart-wrenching look inside the "troubled teen" industry. It details how Idaho officials rescued a young girl from a house of horrors, only to send her to a state-licensed facility where she was preyed upon again.

Please make time for this latest report from InvestigateWest.

Idaho officials rescued a young girl from a house of horrors, only to send her...

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