Rachael McDonald

News Director

Rachael McDonald is News Director at KLCC. She’s been with the station for more than 10 years. Previously, she established the Richland, Washington bureau for the Northwest News Network. She also worked as News Director at KAZU in Monterey, California. Rachael has won numerous awards for her reporting.
Rachael was named KLCC News Director in June, 2018.  From July, 2018 through January, 2019 Rachael served as KLCC's interim Program Director . Rachael has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Oregon.

Ways to Connect

Rachael McDonald

A group of Eugene restaurants is raising money to help wildlife affected by the devastating fires in Australia.

Alec Cowan / KLCC

In a split decision, a 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals says a youth led lawsuit over climate change should not go to trial. 

Rachael McDonald, Brian Bull

Lawmakers prepare to take on cap and trade legislation again in Salem. More funding is allocated for homeless services in Lane County. The University of Oregon considers a fixed tuition model.

Rachael McDonald

The student paper at the University of Oregon this week launched a project aimed to restore public trust in journalism. The goal is also to show the community how reporters do their jobs. 

Mike Eyster for Springfield Mayor on Facebook

A retired University or Oregon administrator has filed to run for Mayor of Springfield in the May 2020 primary.

Rachael McDonald

Forecasters are watching a dynamic weather pattern as we anticipate snow in lower elevations on Tuesday and Wednesday.


The Oregon Cascades got a lot of snow this weekend and blizzard conditions led to road closures in some areas. Forecasters say snow will continue in the mountains this week. People heading to the mountains are advised to “know before you go”.


Transportation crews are in the early stages of a project to make a roadway safer in Cottage Grove. The section of Highway 99 from Woodson Place to the Coast Fork Willamette River has been the sight of more than one pedestrian fatality.

Rachael McDonald

The combination of a winter storm and king tides this weekend may make for dangerous conditions on the coast.  Waves could reach 30 feet on central coast beaches Saturday. 

Karen Richards, Instagram, wikimedia commons

An attack on an elderly business owner in Redmond will be prosecuted under Oregon’s revised hate crime law. An opioid overdose alert is issued in Douglas County City and county leaders site homelessness as their biggest challenge.

Lane County Public Information

Amtrak had to halt train service between Portland and Seattle this week after a landslide blocked the train tracks between Kelso and Olympia, Washington.

Rachael McDonald

After a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian general last week, Oregon Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio said the country is on the precipice of war with Iran. He is seeking to limit President Trump’s war powers.

Rachael McDonald

In his State of the County address Monday, Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson highlighted the ongoing challenge of homelessness. He also lauded some accomplishments from the past year.

McKenzie River Trust

A land trust has purchased forest property near Blue River. Proceeds from the sale will benefit a local school. 

Oregon Ducks on twitter, Brian Bull, Tri-City Herald, Karen Olch, Chris Lehman

A ban on single-use plastic bags takes effect statewide in Oregon. The results of the next census could mean an additional congressional representative. We look back on the big stories of 2019 and we talk about our new years resolutions.

For this final Northwest Passage podcast of the year, we listen back to some of our favorite moments.

Oregon State Parks

Thousands of gray whales are swimming south past the west coast on their annual migration. December 27th through the 31st is official “Whale Watch Week” in Oregon.

This American Life

Wednesday 6:30PM - This American Life Holiday Special: Just Say Yes to Christmas.

No Christmas can ever be as good as the ones you had as a kid. But this week we go all in and bring the joy, the spontaneity, the sense that anything can happen back to Christmas. Tune in at a special time for This American Life, Christmas Day at 6:30pm on KLCC.

Wednesday 7:30PM - A Swinging Holiday Jazz Party with Wynton Marsalis

Rachael McDonald

Oregon Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio was the only member of the state’s delegation who voted against the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico this week.

Rachael McDonald

Oregon 4th District Representative Peter DeFazio joined his Democratic colleagues in the House this week in voting in favor of the impeachment of President Donald Trump. He says his investigation into the Trump Hotel may lead to more articles of impeachment. 

Rachael McDonald

Lane Community College will ask voters to help pay for improvements to safety and technical facilities on its campuses with a $145 million bond on the May 2020 ballot.

Rachael McDonald

In a natural disaster, you may not be able to get help from first responders right away. Your neighbors may be the only people who can help you. For this month's story in our series on Oregon’s Natural Resources and Resilience funded by the University of Oregon Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, we found neighbors in Eugene who are working together to plan for disaster.

Community Supported Shelters, AP, Karen Richards, Chris Lehman, The Book Bin, Emily Cureton

The U.S. Supreme Court won’t review an Idaho court’s decision regarding homeless people camping on sidewalks, Lane County considers a homeless camp at the Fairgrounds. 

Courtesy of Jennifer Freyd

A psychology professor who has sued the University of Oregon over pay equity has gotten a boost of support from her colleagues.  A public petition has garnered more than 1,000 signatures.

Rachael McDonald

Lane County may allow a small camp for people who are homeless on the fairgrounds in Eugene. 

Screen shot of Google map of Eugene

Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow Friday announced an officer involved shooting that occurred late last month was justified.  It resulted in the death of a 40 year old man.

UO Ducks, City of Eugene, Tom Banse, Knute Buehler campaign, Trump war room, Brian Bull, ODOT

UO President Michael Schill gets a $100-thousand bonus despite objections from students and staff members. The University has also settled an age-discrimination lawsuit. Oregon has only raised about half the 40 million dollars it needs to host the 2021 World Track and Field Championships in Eugene. A clowder of cats in Veneta gets help from animal advocates And an all-electric plane makes its maiden voyage.

Those stories and more on this week’s Northwest Passage with KLCC News Director, Morning Edition host Anni Katz, and reporter Brian Bull.

City of Eugene

Eugene City Councilor Betty Taylor announced Monday she won’t run again in 2020. The 94-year-old shared the news at the start of the evening work session.

City of Eugene

People can take a look at how the City of Eugene plans to develop 515 acres of parkland southeast of the city.  The Suzanne Arlie Park master plan will be up for discussion on Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the downtown Eugene Public Library. The draft plan features share-use trails, a disc golf course and a 50-acre mountain bike park.

Junction City Police

Update: 12/10/19. Authorities say Mildred Grace Sweaney has been found safe in Idaho.