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.

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. 

J. Scott Applewhite/AP via NPR

The proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas project in southwest Oregon may have gotten help from the nation’s top land manager in ways that violate ethics rules. 

Roman Battaglia/JPR

The walk-outs staged by outnumbered Senate Republicans to stop legislation they opposed during the just-concluded session of the Oregon Legislature left a particularly bad taste in the mouths of many Democrats. Freshman senator Jeff Golden held a press conference in Medford Tuesday afternoon to discuss the session.

When I was promoted last month to be JPR’s news director, I got a little flash of déjà vu. Mostly, that’s because this is the second time I’ve held that title in the JPR newsroom.

Bobjgalindo via Wikimedia Commons

The Trump Administration has withdrawn the previous administration’s support for the removal of four dams on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon and Northern California. 

Fifty years ago today, on May 21st, 1969, Jefferson Public Radio’s flagship station KSOR signed on the air for the first time.

JPR News Director Liam Moriarty recently sat down with JPR Executive Director Paul Westhelle to share some reflections – and some archival audio -- from our past half-century. 

Thanks to former JPR executive director Ron Kramer and former program director and current Jefferson Exchange producer John Baxter who helped with this story.

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

Southern Oregon University will join other public universities in the state in raising tuition starting with the fall term. Exactly how much, will hinge on decisions made in the state legislature over the next month or so. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

Bill Rauch says he’s leaving the best theater in America. That’s just one observation from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s outgoing artistic director.

Many Oregon educators say their public schools are in crisis after decades of inadequate state funding. The teachers’ union is organizing one-day walk-outs and other actions across the state Wednesday. They want to bring attention to the issue and pressure the state legislature to pass an ambitious school funding bill.

But there’s a good chance that bill will already be passed and on its way to the governor’s desk for signature by the time they hold their rallies and marches.

The State of Oregon has told the Jordan Cove liquid natural gas project that the state needs a lot more information before it could issue a key permit.

UPDATED: Friday, April 12, 10:00 a.m. -- President Donald Trump has signed a pair of executive orders meant to ease the development of gas and oil pipeline projects. The orders could have implications for a controversial gas pipeline proposal in Southern Oregon.