Karen Richards

Reporter

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

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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.

Karen Richards

Gardening supply is one business that’s done well, and even blossomed, during the pandemic. Vegetable growers and landscapers both are spending more money this year. 

 


Karen Richards, via Zoom

After a pause, Lane County’s community plastics collection is up and running again, though many collectors have dropped out for health reasons.


EcoGeneration.org

Lane County loves to recycle, but there hasn’t been any public plastics collection in Eugene this year. Cottage-Grove based EcoGeneration has run take-backs in rural areas recently, so Lane County Waste Management reached out to them to host an event Sunday afternoon at the Sheldon Community Center.

 

Karen Richards

A new chapter at the Eugene Public Library starts Monday. Branches have been closed to the public since the start of the pandemic.

 


Karen Richards, via Zoom

St. Alice Catholic Church in Springfield started planning last summer to turn its warming kitchen into a commercial one. While the coronavirus hasn’t changed the project’s scope, it may shift the use.


Tiffany Eckert

Awareness, patience and some changes to public health policy will help us get through this pandemic, and be more prepared for the next one, according to one local expert. To cap off our year-long series on resilience, KLCC’s Karen Richards spoke with Lane County’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Patrick Luedtke.


Karen Richards

As previously reported, the Mapleton School District created a model plan for in-person class this fall. After the latest guidance, they’ve switched gears.


Karen Richards

One of South Eugene’s most loved trails is closed for renovation, but it should re-open with improved footing and lighting in a couple of months.


University of Oregon

Contact tracing and support is a critical tool to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but it’s time consuming. To help ease the burden, Lane County Public Health contracted with the University of Oregon, and they formed a group they call the Corona Corps.


Karen Richards

Since mid-July, comet NEOWISE, named for the ‘Near Earth Object’ explorer that found it, has been visible after sunset. This week a local astronomer admired it from College Hill in Eugene. 

EUG Parade

The Eugene Parade has followed a crooked route for several years, with changes in partners and funding. After the end of the Eugene Celebration in 2014, the parade changed directions, eventually joining Downtown Sunday Streets. With that event canceled for health concerns this year, organizers decided to go virtual.

 

Karen Richards

Summer is traditionally a time off for teachers and school staff, but this year, of course, is different. Oregon school districts have until August 1st to submit a plan to the state on how they’ll meet COVID-19 guidelines this year. One rural Lane County district did the work early.


Karen Richards

No doubt, the pivot is one of the skills traditionally taught at KIDSPORTS summer camps. Now housed in a new facility at 20th and Willamette in Eugene, KIDSPORTS itself is demonstrating some savvy lateral moves.

 


Karen Richards

The Oregon DMV rolls out a new system July 6th. Ten years in the planning, it’s well timed for COVID-19 needs. 

Karen Richards

The world’s top athletes will not experience Eugene’s new Hayward Field this year. The Diamond League announced today (Friday) the 2020 Prefontaine Classic has been cancelled.

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