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.

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. 

Alissa Eckert / Centers For Disease Control

Three related cases of measles have been reported in Northern California. Health officials are moving quickly to try to contain the infection. 

Bill Geenen

For 12 years, Artistic Director Bill Rauch led Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival in a direction that has made OSF one of America’s best-known and most-respected regional theaters.

Rauch’s newly-named successor, Nataki Garrett, hopes to build on that legacy. She also hopes to help bring new stability to an organization that’s facing a range of challenges.

JPR’s Liam Moriarty caught up with Garrett by phone in Philadelphia, where she's working on the production of a new play.

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

Federally designated wilderness areas are strictly protected. So it raised eyebrows last summer when fire managers brought bulldozers and other heavy equipment into wilderness areas to fight wildfires in Southern Oregon and Northern California. JPR’s Liam Moriarty visited a wilderness area in the Klamath National Forest, to get a look.  

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

An ambitious bill meant to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon got a hearing in Medford over the weekend. Members of a joint legislative committee listened as supporters and detractors of the legislation made their cases.

Ericka Soderstrom/JPR NEws

The Holly Theatre in Medford, built in 1930, was southern Oregon’s first true movie palace. Over the decades, it fell into disrepair and was once scheduled for demolition. Now, an eight-year effort to restore the theater to its former glory has taken a big leap.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

The latest chapter in the long-running dispute over how to manage water in the Klamath Basin is playing out in northern California communities. 

Kerin Sharma

The Jordan Cove liquid natural gas project has been kicking around in Oregon for more than a decade. The plan to build an export terminal and pipeline in the southwest part of the state was shot down by federal regulators in 2016, but it resurfaced under the Trump Administration. A final federal decision on the project could come by the end of the year.

Projects like this are huge and complex and there are a lot of moving parts. So, where does it stand? JPR's Liam Moriarty spoke with OPB environment reporter Jes Burns to get an update. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order Wednesday creating a new council that will examine the efficacy of the state’s response to wildfire.

The Oregon Wildfire Response Council is charged with reporting their findings no later than Sept. 30.

Alan Sylvestre/OPB

With term limits looming, Kate Brown can't run for Oregon governor again. 

Which means she's got most of four years left to press for the programs she wants to see in Oregon state government, without having to stop for an election. 

The legislature is just getting started on its all-important budget-making session, and the governor is touring the state making the case for her priorities. 

Jes Burns / OPB

A panel of state and local fire officials told the audience at a forum in Medford Thursday night that the longer, more intense wildfire seasons the region has been experiencing are not going away anytime soon. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

Rising housing costs and lingering effects of the Great Recession are making it increasingly hard for many people to find an affordable place to live. Officials in Medford held a community meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the problem and possible solutions. 

Liam Moriarty/ JPR News

Close to 200 people gathered at North Medford High School Tuesday night to tell the Jackson County Commissioners how recent smoky summers had ruined vacations, damaged businesses and more.

Northwest Climate Impacts Detailed In National Report

Nov 26, 2018
NASA/Public Domain

The Northwest is already seeing the effects of climate change, according to a new national climate assessment. The 1,600-page report outlines dire consequences across the country as global temperatures continue to rise.

In the Northwest, the changes threaten much of what our region holds dear – from ski seasons to salmon runs. OPB environment reporter Cassandra Profita spoke with JPR’s Liam Moriarty about what the report had to say. 

Liam Moriarty / JPR News

Oregonians from Portland to Ashland took part Thursday evening in a nationwide series of demonstrations. The actions were to support special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible involvement by President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Author, activist and one-time Jackson County Commissioner Jeff Golden decisively defeated Medford tech entrepreneur Jessica Gomez to reclaim Oregon’s Third District Senate seat for the Democrats.

Golden led Gomez 56 to 44 percent in early returns, and received a concession call from Gomez shortly before 10 PM Tuesday.

Voters in northern California's 1st and 2nd House Districts have decisively re-elected their incumbent Congressmembers.

In the 2nd District, Democrat Jared Huffman trounced his Republican challenger Dale Mensing by a 3-to-1 margin in the 2nd District. This is the third time Mensing has run against Huffman. He's lost by a similarly lop-sided margin each time.

This will be Huffman's fourth term representing the district, which encompasses the north coast from the Oregon state line to Marin County.