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

Jes Burns

People who want to save Eugene's historic baseball park are making a last ditch effort. They're raising money in hopes to convince city leaders to purchase Civic Stadium.

The goal is to raise 1 point 2 million dollars. The money would go toward purchase and restoration of the 10 acre site in South Eugene. Friends of Civic Stadium wants to preserve the playing field and 75 year old wooden grandstand. The non-profit has been fighting to preserve Civic for years. Dennis Hebert is president of the organization.

wikepedia

Voters in Corvallis Tuesday approved a 5-year property tax levy to fund city services including the library, pool, senior center, public safety and social service organizations.

The levy will raise more than 3 million dollars per year. The measure passed narrowly with 52 percent of voters in favor. Measure 2-86 will charge property owners about 82 cents for 1000 dollar assessed value.

Julie Manning is Mayor of Corvallis. She is grateful to voters for approving the levy.

Angela Kellner

Springfield School District leaders are disappointed a $62.5 million measure failed to pass Tuesday.

The money was sought to upgrade technology, replace Hamlin Middle School and upgrade other school buildings. Devon Ashbridge is Springfield Schools Communications Specialist:

City of Springfield

Springfield has hired a new Chief of Police. Medford Deputy Police Chief Tim Doney will start his new job  in December.

47-year-old Doney has been with Medford PD for 25 years.  The chief position had 50 applicants and Doney was chosen from 4 finalists. Springfield City Manager Gino Grimaldi says Doney's extensive experience was a big factor.

Grimaldi: "You look for 2 things. His experience as an officer is one. The other thing you look for is experience. Leadership and leadership potential."

Jes Burns

Oregon is looking at ways to improve train service between Eugene / Springfield and the Portland metro area. It's part of the Oregon Passenger Rail Project.

Oregon Department of Transportation says ridership has increased steadily on trains that go back and forth from Eugene to Portland and up to Vancouver, B.C. Over the next 25 years, the population of the Willamette Valley is expected to grow by 35 percent. ODOT's Jim Cox is Project Manager:

albanyvisitors.com

The city of Albany has been coping with more people panhandling lately-- but the number of people who are homeless there remains steady.

In 2006, Albany closed a homeless camp in one of its parks. Since then, homeless advocates have been meeting annually to discuss services for those who are in need.

Marilyn Smith is spokeswoman for the City of Albany. She says they're hoping more members of the general public will attend Wednesday's summit.

People who anticipate needing help paying their utility bills this winter can sign up now for the Low Income Energy Assistance or LIHEAP program.  The program is available to people who are at or below 60 percent of Oregon’s median income. That’s around $18-hundred a month for a single person.

Jason Davis is spokesman for Lane County Health and Human Services. He says the waiting list fills up fast.

Jes Burns

Secretary of State Kate Brown says a University of Oregon research department manipulated payroll in order to avoid mandatory furloughs and salary freezes imposed by the governor.

U of O officials asked the Secretary of State to audit the Institute of Neuroscience after an internal review flagged problems. In 2009, the governor imposed across the board furloughs and pay freezes for all state employees in response to the economic crisis. Tony Green is with the Secretary of State's office.

Curry County

Voters in Curry County are considering a Public Safety Levy on the November 5th ballot which would help pay for rural sheriff patrols and the jail. There hasn't been much public effort to get out the vote.
 

Rachael McDonald

Homeless activists have made headlines in Eugene since the Occupy movement of 2011 brought issues of income inequality to the forefront. There aren't enough shelter beds for the nearly 2000 homeless people in the area. For several months different groups have set up tent camps on public property trying to bring awareness to the problem. They say safe, legal places to sleep are a human right that the city is violating with its camping ban.

Hurlburt: "My name is Tod Hurlburt. Here in the camp, they call me Tinman."

Wendy Jett

Two young women from the Middle East are attending Lane Community College this year. One is from Israel, the other from Palestine. They're working for peace through friendship.

Yaara Tal is 22 years old and comes from a kibbutz in southern Israel, near the Gaza Strip. Deema Yusuf is 18. She's from Nazareth, Palestine. Both took part in a camp for young women called "Creativity for Peace"-- which is geared toward promoting peace in the Middle East. Yusuf says the camp emphasizes communication.

Rachael McDonald

A paving project on a portion of Eugene's Willamette Street includes new bike lanes and some other changes.

The project includes the stretch of street between 18th and 23rd avenues. It's the portion that passes by the shuttered Civic Stadium. Reed Dunbar is a transportation planner with the City of Eugene.

National Earthquake Drill Thursday

Oct 16, 2013
The Great Shake Out

Thursday morning, Oregonians will participate in a national Earthquake Drill. Organizers of the Great Shake Out are encouraging everyone to take part.

Linda Cook is Lane County Emergency Manager. She says it's inevitable that earthquakes will affect our region.

Oregon State University

An Oregon State University research vessel is continuing its federally funded mission even though the federal government is shutdown.

Jes Burns

The University of Oregon's new faculty union has ratified its contract with administration. 

The two-year contract is the result of 10 months of negotiations. Susan Anderson is a German Professor at the University of Oregon.  She says tenured faculty and instructors formed United Academics, a union of more than 18-hundred members. All were working toward a common goal.

Lane County

The Lane County Board of Commissioners will use a Washington State recruitment firm to find candidates for their new Administrator.

Rachael McDonald

Homeless people who've pitched their tents around town in small communities they're calling "Whovilles" met with the Mayor of Eugene Monday. The group wants the city to lift or change its camping ban.

Currently a group of about 30 people is camped at Hilyard and Broadway in Eugene. Whoville representatives met Mayor Kitty Piercy and asked her if they can stay there. Police have cited the campers for violating Eugene's camping ban.

Rachael McDonald

A group called "Support Local Food Rights" is one step closer to placing a measure on the November 2014 ballot in Lane County. Their initiative would restrict Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, from being planted in the county.

The group's original ballot measure for its "Local Food System Ordinance" was rejected by the County Clerk because it addressed more than one subject.
Kneeland: "We're very excited that we've worked in cooperation with the county to submit an initiative that has been approved for the single subject rule."

APEL Extrusions.

Lane County has given a Canadian company a check for 100-thousand dollars as an incentive to expand to Coburg.

APEL manufactures aluminum extrusions in Springfield. It was looking to expand. Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken says the company was considering going to Arizona. The Board voted unanimously to offer APEL an incentive to re-locate to Coburg.

The government shutdown may not have immediate impacts on most Oregonians. But, officials say, if it continues for several weeks, veterans and others who depend on federal programs could be affected. Jason Davis is with Lane County Health and Human Services.

Cover Oregon

Oregon's new health insurance marketplace-- part of the Affordable Care Act-- has run into some glitches on its launch day. Cover Oregon's online system is not functioning properly.

Cover Oregon is not correctly determining eligibility for tax credits, the Oregon Health Plan and Healthy Kids. The problem is expected to be fixed in a couple of weeks. Jason Davis with Lane County Health and Human Services says it's possible to get health coverage, just not through the website.

Pixabay

The weekend brought two heavy rainstorms through western Oregon. The rain made this the wettest September on record in many parts of the state.

Eugene's rainfall was measured at more than 6 inches. The previous record for the month of September was about 5.5 inches in the late 1800s. Astoria got more than 10, also breaking its record for the month.

Andy Bryant is a hydrologist with the national Weather Service in Portland. He says two storms came through this weekend.

Lane Community College

Classes start Monday (September 30th) at Oregon's public Universities and community colleges.  Enrollment is down at Lane Community College. Lane has come to depend more on tuition and the school is facing a budget shortfall.

Cover Oregon

On Tuesday, October 1st, Oregon launches its health insurance exchange program-- a key piece of President Obama's health care overhaul. It's called Cover Oregon.

Michael Cox describes the program in a nutshell:

Cox: "Cover Oregon is an online marketplace where customers can come, shop for health insurance, compare plans side by side, access financial help, and get enrolled in coverage, starting in October."

Cox is a communications specialist with Cover Oregon.
He says their goal is to make the process easy.

Lane County has released a report on the investigation into fired County Administrator Liane Richardson.

seiu

The Oregon University System and its classified workers have reached a tentative agreement on a 2-year contract, averting a threatened strike on the first day of classes. The agreement was reached at 2:30 Thursday morning .

BLM

The Bureau of Land Management is in the scoping stages of a proposed logging project east of Eugene near the town of Vida.
 

Lane Community College

Classes begin next week at Lane Community College. LCC President Mary Spilde talks with KLCC's Rachael McDonald about expectations for the coming year. The college is experiencing a drop in enrollment which means a possible $2 million budget deficit. But Spilde is hopeful the legislature will restore some state funding to community colleges when it meets for a special session in Salem Monday.

City of Eugene.

The Eugene City Council Monday voted 6 to 2 to allow small homeless camps. I spoke with City Councilor Claire Syrett Tuesday to get more details on the ordinance. Syrett says it was proposed by City Manager John Ruiz who will bring the council a list of potential sites on public or private property or religious and non-profit organizations.
Claire Syrett spoke with KLCC's Rachael McDonald.

Rachael McDonald

The Republican-controlled House has approved a bill to sharply increase logging in national forests. It includes a plan drafted by members of Oregon's congressional delegation to raise money for beleaguered counties.

The O & C Bill sets aside about million acres of Oregon's public land for preservation. Another million or so would be managed under the state forest practices act. Timber harvest revenue would help counties like Lane. Sid Leiken is Chair of the Lane County Board of Commissioners.

Pages