Liam Moriarty

News Director

Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for more than 25 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 digital platforms.  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 returned to JPR in 2013 to cover the stories and issues that are important to the people of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Liam was promoted to JPR News Director on May 1, 2019.

Jackson County Continuum of Care

A winter shelter in Ashland closed early because of the coronavirus pandemic. Like other homeless shelters across the country, organizers were concerned that having people sleeping in close quarters wasn’t safe. JPR reporter April Ehrlich has been speaking to unsheltered people and the nonprofits that help them. She discusses what she found with JPR’s Liam Moriarty.

Edward J. O'Neill/National Fish and Wildlife Service

There’ll be more water for fish in the Klamath River -- for the next few years, at least. Federal water managers have come to an agreement with the Yurok Tribe and a group representing commercial fishermen.

Health officials in Jackson, Klamath and Humboldt Counties are reaching out to passengers on three recent airline flights who may have been exposed to the coronavirus. 

The flights each carried a passenger who either later tested positive for COVID-19, or one of that person’s contacts whose test results are still pending.

Tanya Phillips – with Jackson County Public Health – says until the Centers for Disease Control finishes the initial investigation, local health departments don’t have a lot to go on.

Jonathan Levinson/OPB

If your day-to-day life hadn’t already been significantly disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, there’s going to be no getting around it now. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued an order Monday requiring people to stay home in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. 

JPR's Liam Moriarty talks with OPB Science Reporter Jes Burns  to get the lowdown.

If voters in Northern California were in the mood for change, they didn’t show it during yesterday’s primary election. From the area’s congressional seats, to the state Senate and Assembly, incumbents trounced their closest challengers, mostly by large margins.

Jes Burns/OPB

The company behind the proposed Jordan Cove Energy Project in southern Oregon says lack of approval from state agencies is no reason to delay giving the project the federal approval it needs. 

In a letter Monday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, Jordan Cove argues that the state of Oregon is mistaken.

Federal Emergency Management Agency

One of the ambitious new measures put forward during the Oregon Legislature’s current short session is Governor Kate Brown’s wildfire bill. The governor appeared this week before a Senate committee to urge prompt action. 

A recent change in US immigration law has Oregon officials worried that confusion over what it means will lead legal immigrants to drop their subsidized health insurance. They're reassuring legal immigrants who have health insurance under Obamacare that their subsidized coverage won’t be held against them if they seek permanent residency.


Last week, a controversial pipeline and liquefied natural gas export proposal in southwest Oregon abruptly pulled out of a key state permit process. That left many observers wondering what Pembina, the Canadian company behind the Jordan Cove Energy Project, has in mind.

Company officials would say only that they’re looking forward to getting approval next month from federal authorities.

Susan Jane Brown is an attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center in Eugene, a non-profit that’s long opposed the Jordan Cove project. JPR’s Liam Moriarty asked her what she makes of the latest turn of events. 

Alex Derr/OSCC

UPDATED Jan. 27, 9:45 a.m. … The Jordan Cove Energy Project has abruptly withdrawn its application for a key permit from the state of Oregon, raising questions about the proposal's future.

The Oregon Department of State Lands has denied a request by the Jordan Cove Energy Project to extend the deadline for a key state permit. 

Snow and icy roads are leading some schools to be closed to delayed. Here's the reported weather-related closure status of schools in the JPR listening area for Jan. 17, 2020.

This list is updated as information is available.

Please remember: This list may not be complete. Check your local school's web site for confirmation.

Schools Closed:

The proposed Jordan Cove liquified natural gas project will not jeopardize protected species. That’s according to a report by scientists with the National Marine Fisheries Service.


Some California drivers eager to adopt the motto “You Kill It, You Grill It” are counting the days till January 1st. But the state Department of Fish and Wildlife says, “Not so fast!"

Erik Scheel via Pexel

Oregon officials say a Trump Administration decision to tighten work requirements for some food stamp recipients could affect 19,000 Oregonians.

Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives via Wikimedia Commons

Douglas County commissioners have been flying to Washington D.C. to push for more logging on federal lands in the county. They’ve been paying for those trips with federal funds meant to help replace county revenue that once came from timber sales. Now, Oregon’s senators have introduced a bill that would curb that practice. 

Tuesday’s off-year elections in Oregon and California were mostly low-key; a spate of local bond measures and levies plus a special election in California’s Assembly District 1.

In that race, Republican Megan Dahle defeated Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt by nearly 58 to 42 percent. The seat became open when Dahle’s husband Brian was elected to a seat in the California Senate.

Photo by Jinyang Liu on Unsplash

UPDATE: SATURDAY, OCT. 26, 10:00 p.m. ...  The latest weather forecasts have led Pacific Gas & Electric to expand its intentional power shutoff to an additional 90,000 customers in 38 California counties. That means as many as 2.8 million Californians have had their electricity cut off to prevent the possibility of high winds blowing trees into the utility's transmission equipment and triggering wildfires.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

The group Southern Oregon Pride held their annual Pride parade in Ashland Saturday. Hundreds of spectators cheered rainbow-colored floats, vehicles and banners celebrating LGBTQ culture and the progress made in recent years toward full legal and social recognition of the rights of  LGBTQ people.

April Ehrlich/JPR News

Pacific Gas and Electric officials say winds have died down enough to begin safety inspections of its equipment. Still, while the utility says power has been restored in Humboldt, Siskiyou and Trinity Counties, electricity remains off in other parts of northern California, including Anderson, south of Redding in Shasta County.