Karen Richards

Reporter

Karen Richards has been a KLCC reporter since the fall of 2012.

Ways to Connect

Oregon Athletics

Track fans, take note: A modified U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials is in the works. USA Track and Field announced an updated competition schedule today. The 10-day event, to be held at the new Hayward Field in Eugene, is slated to run June 18th through the 27th. 

Karen Richards, via Zoom replay

After the Holiday Farm Fire, the McKenzie School District Board discouraged voters from passing a long-planned facilities bond. Now, the bond has been restructured for the May ballot.


Bruce Damonte

While many Oregonians have cloistered inside, working from home, a project that intends to significantly boost the Willamette Valley economy has quietly started operations. KLCC takes a look at the University of Oregon's Knight Campus


Karen Richards

While many people complain of not knowing what day it is lately, Oregon high school sports are mixing up the seasons. Fall sports began their seasons Monday. That includes cross country, soccer and football, which the Oregon Health Authority cleared for competition just last week. 

Karen Richards

The Eugene 4J School District plans to return kindergarten and first grade to classrooms two days per week starting March 15th. If health metrics continue to improve and vaccines remain on schedule, they’ll invite 2nd through 5th grade back into schools on April 5th.

Karen Richards

Eugene 4J is on track to bring kindergarten and first grade students back into school buildings the week before spring break. In anticipation, elementary families recently had another chance to change their schooling option.


Karen Richards / KLCC News

The Bethel School District aims to welcome kindergarteners back for hybrid learning on March 15th.

www.bethel.k12.or.us

Since getting the green light from the state in January, Eugene area school districts have worked to bring their youngest students back into classrooms. Eugene 4J and Bethel Schools aim to start hybrid learning March 15th.


Karen Richards

Oregon forests appear devastated by Labor Day wildfires, but scientists have reassuring news. Fire, even at last summer’s historic scale, can be rejuvenating. What’s more, experts say they can help land managers find a better balance between environmental and human needs.

    

Wikimedia commons

Two outdoor Oregon holiday traditions will still happen this year, but in a do-it-yourself way.

Karen Richards

Since 2018, Oregon State University has relied on hundreds of citizen scientists to collect wild bees. Researchers think there are about 600 native bee species in Oregon, but they need expert help to find them. Now, OSU Extension has created a Master Melittologist program. Based on the Master Gardener format, it’s the first of its kind.

Karen Richards

National studies project major shifts in office use post-pandemic, but a few Eugene / Springfield sources suggest the changes here may be less dramatic than in big cities.  


Karen Richards

Anyone who’s invested in home office equipment may wonder: Can I deduct the expenses on my taxes? According to a Eugene tax specialist, the short answer is no. Not yet.


SkiHoodoo.com

Oregon ski resorts are eager to offer a healthy way to have fun this winter, and they’ve added new pandemic safety protocols.  


Brian Bull / KLCC

Anyone traveling over the mountains and through the woods for Thanksgiving should take care: There’s a Winter Weather Advisory for the Cascades through Wednesday night.

Karen Richards

Whether it’s changes to travel plans or the size of gatherings, this year’s holiday season will be atypical for many people. Area farms and butchers have made a few changes in 2020, but there should be plenty of turkey and other locally-raised meat to gobble up this Thanksgiving.  


Eugene Marathon

 

For anyone ready to put something on their calendar for spring, the Eugene Marathon, as well as its half marathon, 5K, and kids’ Duck Dash, has opened registration. They hope to hold an in-person event ending on the finish line at Hayward Field.

 


Karen Richards

Drivers may have noticed white trash bags with Halloween faces on Highway 126 west of Veneta lately. They’re one man’s effort to raise awareness of illegal dumping.


Karen Richards

FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor toured areas affected by Oregon wildfires Saturday with members of the state's Congressional delegation. Representative Peter DeFazio chairs the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which oversees FEMA.

Organic Redneck Growers

Organic Redneck Growers is known for blueberries, its presence at farmer’s markets and its farm stand. The farm, located up the McKenzie Highway, was spared direct damage from the Holiday Farm fire, but it forced them to rethink, for the second time this year, how to run the business. 

 

Organic Redneck Growers

Organic Redneck Growers runs a fruit and vegetable farm less than a mile downriver from the Leaburg Dam. While the fields and structures were spared the brunt of the Holiday Farm Fire, manager Adam Lee said many of their CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, members were not so lucky. “About 40 people were evacuees in one form or another," he said, "and then there’s probably about 20 to 30 people that have lost homes.”

Abbelone vineyard

Eugene-area wine lovers worried about smoke tainting their local vineyards can rest easy. Experts say recent wildfires aren’t likely to affect the grapes.

Karen Richards

Recalling Australia’s wildlife losses from fires in early 2020, Oregonians have wondered how our wild animals are doing. Michelle Dennehy is with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. They haven’t been able to assess places still under Level 3 evacuation, but she said, “Usually, it’s going to be healthy animals that are more likely to escape. The sick and the old or young wildlife are more at risk. And these fires move very fast, so it’s very possible that we lost healthy wildlife too.”

 

Karen Richards

 

Don’t use a leaf blower to clear your bushes or sidewalks of ash. We spoke with an expert about this and other best practices as communities begin to clean up from recent fires. 


Nina Fink

Collection and distribution of donations for those affected by the Holiday Farm Fire continues at two locations in Eugene. 

 

Nina Fink

As of Monday, the volunteer relief efforts for those affected by the Holiday Farm Fire have moved to a field at the Masonic Lodge across from Autzen stadium in Eugene. Distribution of donations also continues at St. Vincent de Paul’s Roosevelt Boulevard Wildfire Relief Site. Both places could use donations and volunteers. 

Holiday Farm Fire Facebook

In Eugene and Springfield, many grassroots efforts have formed to help those affected by the Holiday Farm Fire. Devon Ashbridge with the Lane County Emergency Operations Center said it’s been incredible to see the generosity. She noted one of the best ways to help is by donating money through United Way of Lane County or the Red Cross

EWEB.org

The Eugene Water and Electric Board said some customers report water tasting like chlorine or smoke. Spokesperson Joe Harwood emphasized tap water is safe to drink, and exceeds state and federal health standards.

Karen Richards

Air quality in western Lane County remains at Very Unhealthy levels today due to smoke and ash from several wildfires.

Lane Regional Air Protection Agency

Strong easterly winds pushed wildfire smoke west into Lane County starting late Monday night, causing sometimes hazardous air quality.

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