Melorie Begay

Diversity Fellow

Melorie Begay is the Diversity Fellow for KLCC News. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.

The Diversity Fellow position was created in 2018 and is funded by the KLCC Public Radio Foundation.

Ways to Connect

Looking Glass


For the past three weeks schools have closed and most public spaces have shut down in Oregon. This has homeless providers in Lane County concerned youth will fall under the radar as officials scramble to meet the needs of high-risk groups. Advocates are pushing for greater resources and funding, including a youth shelter.

City of Eugene

The City of Eugene has started mobilizing outreach teams to check on unhoused people this week. The groups offer food, water, and COVID-19 information.

The pandemic has left thousands of Oregonians without work and many are scrambling to pay bills. The Eugene Water and Electric Board saw a surge in customers seeking help on the first of the month.

Lane County

The Lane County Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted to buy a $1.8 million building in Eugene. The site will serve as a place to house homeless people experiencing, and recovering from non-severe COVID-19 symptoms. This also includes those waiting to get test results back.

Lane County

The Lane County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the use of up to $5 million in emergency funds to address COVID-19 on Tuesday . The county had previously authorized the use of $750,000, on March 17.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Lane County Public Health reported three new positive tests of COVID-19, on Sunday. The three new cases are from residents living in the Eugene-Springfield area. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in Lane County to 12, including one death.

Tiffany Eckert

Lane County Public Health announced  they believe some unidentified community members may have been in close contact with a person with severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, also known as COVID-19. The exposure point has been identified to have taken place March 11 during an Interfaith Prayer Service at First Christian Church in downtown Eugene.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

Two shelter locations have opened this week in Eugene and Springfield that will operate 24/7. The aim is to give the unhoused refuge during the state mandated “Stay at Home” order. Meals, hygiene, medical care, and sanitization will be provided for individuals staying at the respite centers.

Signe Danler

With “Stay at Home” orders in place more people are finding themselves with extra time on their hands, and an interest in growing their own food. In response, Oregon State University’s Extension Program is offering a free course to get folks started.

City of Newport

As of Tuesday hotels, motels, and RV parks in Lincoln County can no longer accept short-term lodgers. The temporary order is meant to limit the spread of coronavirus to locals. 

Eugene Mission

As health and government officials move to enact new recommendations and mandates each day to suppress the spread of COVID-19, the largest emergency shelter in Oregon is trying keep pace.

Courtesy of Douglas County


Douglas County is one of the first counties in Oregon to trial COVID-19 drive-thru testing. Physicians were stationed at the county fairgrounds parking lot, on Monday in Roseburg. They sampled 17 pre-registered patients during the pilot run.


Melorie Begay/KLCC News

To help combat the spread of the coronavirus in Lincoln County, officials are providing 40 motel room vouchers for the county’s unsheltered population. The idea is to provide a warm, safe place to stay for the homeless while most of the state has been advised to stay home.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

In the outbreak of COVID-19, hand-sanitizer has become a rare find as stores across the country sell out. But, a Eugene distillery has come up with their own substitute. |

In this state of coronavirus emergency, grocery stores have empty shelves, schools have closed, and people are wondering what’s next. A new Facebook group called the Lane County Mutual Aid Network hopes to mitigate the crisis.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

Washing your hands with soap and water has long been touted by health officials to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other diseases. For Lane County’s 2,000 plus unhoused population, that could be a problem. The county says they’re working on a solution.

FOOD For Lane County

In an effort to meet an increase in demand, FOOD for Lane County purchased a new warehouse in west Eugene, last fall. According to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture study, 14.6 percent of the county experiences food insecurity. That’s higher than the state’s 11.6 percent.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

A group of Corvallis providers celebrated their 50th clinic last month. Together they offer free health services to two nearby farms in Philomath. Most of the workers on those farms are uninsured, work seasonally, and about half them are Hispanic/Latinx. The program gives patients access to care they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

Advocates in Lane County are scrambling to ensure the unsheltered community is prepared for a possible COVID-19 outbreak. Medical supply shortages and access to water are only a few of their concerns.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

The City of Eugene and Lane County’s new Joint Housing and Shelter Strategist is one month into her new job. The new hire began at the start of February and has been tasked with some major projects.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

A federal jury decided police did not use excessive force in the death of Brian Babb, a Eugene veteran with PTSD. The civil case against the City of Eugene and EPD police officer Will Stutesman ended on Tuesday. The seven day trial wrapped up quickly with the eight person jury reaching a unanimous verdict in less than two hours.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

The city of Cottage Grove is one wall closer to completing "Legion Cottages," after a wall raising ceremony on Monday. The plan is to build four tiny houses to increase affordable housing options for homeless veterans in rural areas.

Chris Pietsch/Register-Guard

A Lane County Circuit Court judge sentenced a Portland gang member to life in prison on Thursday for the murder of a Lane Community College student. The shooter’s wife was given six years.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

A trial in the civil lawsuit filed by the family of Brian Babb against the City of Eugene and a Eugene police officer started Tuesday in Federal Court. The Babb family is suing for $7.5 million in damages.

Brian Bull / KLCC

A Portland couple charged in the murder of Lane Community College student, Alex Oyombe Gradin, pleaded guilty on Wednesday. Gradin was fatally wounded in a shooting last May behind Taylor’s Bar and Grill in Eugene.

Onward Eugene/Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce

The multinational outfit Philips announced last month they’re closing Electrical Geodesics, Inc, a medical device company in Eugene. About 60 people are expected to lose their jobs by the end of this year. But, a local effort aims to retain their talent.

Brian Bull

While Oregon is home to some of the top outdoor destinations in the country, not everyone who lives here gets a chance to visit them. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is launching a pilot program to close that gap this summer.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

In response to President Donald Trump’s acquittal, more than 80 protestors attended a rally at the federal courthouse in Eugene, on Wednesday. They aimed their frustration at U.S. Congressional Republicans. 

Lane County Sheriff's Office

The owner of a Creswell horse training facility, where 61 horses were seized last year, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to 11 counts of Animal Neglect.

Rachael McDonald

The Lane County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to move forward with plans to turn 0.74 acres of fairground land into affordable housing.