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

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. 

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 Oregon Department of Transportation will start work this week on a problematic section of the Beltline Highway at Delta in Eugene. The goal is improve safety and traffic flow.

Elizabeth Gabriel, Chris Lehman, Deshutes Natl Forest on Twitter

Eugene Police don’t disproportionately target minorities according to a recent state report. Some Oregon Christmas tree growers are facing tough times. Mountain snowpack is low for this time of year…   And young people will be marching to urge action on climate this week in Eugene and around the world.

lanecounty.org screenshot

The Lane County Board of Commissioners is considering a $15 per hour minimum wage for its more than 2,000 employees.  

Aubrey Bulkeley

A holiday tradition from Iceland has made its way to Eugene. A local writing group collects books as holiday gifts for young people who may not have access to their own reading material.

ODOT on Twitter

UPDATE: I-5 SB has been re-opened. Highway 138 has also reopened after previous closure east of Roseburg.

Rachael McDonald

It’s official! The names chosen for 3 new Eugene streets will be Annie Mims Lane, Wiley Griffon Way, and Nak-Nak Avenue. 


The Eugene City Council approved a ban on single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam containers Monday. The vote was unanimous. 

Rachael McDonald

The forecast is calling for snow in the South Willamette Valley this week.

Courtesy of GoDucks.com

The Arizona State Sun Devils put an end to the Ducks’ 9 game winning streak in Tempe. The 31 – 28 loss was their first in Pac-12 play. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert threw two interceptions and the Duck defense was without receiver Jaylon Redd, who was out due to an injury.

Rachael McDonald

Changes are coming to how traffic moves through three areas in Eugene. The project Central Eugene in Motion aims to help people get around without cars.

Rachael McDonald, Brian Bull, CSPAN screenshot

13 Counties win a billion dollar lawsuit against the state of Oregon that claims it has failed to maximize revenue from logging. 

Rachael McDonald / KLCC

Eugene City Councilors will grapple with climate change at their Monday 11/18 work session. The public can also weigh in on the city’s Climate Action Plan 2.0.

Brooks Fahy / Predator Defense

The leader of a Eugene-based advocacy group is urging changes to the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife’s policies toward predator animals after a bobcat was killed this week.