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

Mt. Pisgah Arboretum

Thursday, Mount Pisgah Arboretum near Eugene will celebrate the completion of a 100-foot long bridge that's been in the works for more than four years.

The original Adkison foot-bridge was built in 1983. Brad van Appel is Executive Director of Mount Pisgah Arboretum. He says it wasn't built to last and was finally condemned more than 4 years ago. Van Appel says the community came together to raise 150 thousand dollars and gave hundreds of volunteer hours to rebuild the bridge.

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Oregon wildlife biologists have trapped and killed a second cougar near Hendricks Park in Eugene. A trap was set for a third cougar believed to be in the area. 

Last week, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife trapped and killed an adult female suspected of killing goats and chickens at a home near the park.
Dennehy: "We set a trail camera at the site and that revealed the presence of a 2nd young cougar. That cougar entered the empty coop where the chickens had been killed last week."

Eugene Cascades and Coast Blog

Eugene has made Livability-dot-com's top ten list of Best Downtowns for 2014.

The website points to the transformation of Eugene's center over the past several years from a place with empty pits and vacant buildings to one with housing, theaters, and lots of restaurants and offices. Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy credits the efforts of city staff, residents and a 200 million dollar investment. Piercy says being on a list with cities such as Alexandria, Virginia and Fort Worth, Texas is a nice recognition.

Charlie Ruff

A suspected arson fire did extensive damage to a large wooden dragon sculpture at the Oregon Country Fair site in Veneta late last week.

The dragon near the entrance to the Oregon Country Fair is familiar to people who've visited the annual three day festival. OCF General Manager Charlie Ruff says the dragon's head and tale are still intact but the middle of the wooden structure was destroyed. Ruff says it's a blow because the dragon is an important feature at the fair.

Rachael McDonald

Last Friday, police deployed a SWAT team to arrest a member of the Barrio Los Padrinos criminal street gang in downtown Eugene. The suspect was accused of sexual assault and believed to be armed. Earlier that day, KLCC's Rachael McDonald spoke with EPD Detective Greg Harvey. She asked about gang graffiti and what's going on with gangs in Eugene / Springfield.

Harvey: "So this little walkway goes between 2nd street and the Pioneer Parkway and it’s a heavily trafficked area."

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Conservation groups want timber companies to know they'll sue if an endangered seabird's habitat is threatened by logging. The groups object to the potential privatization of the Elliott State Forest in Oregon's coast range.

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

A cougar blamed for killing goats and chickens at a home near Hendrick's Park in Eugene has been trapped and killed.

The cougar visited a property that abuts Hendricks Park for four consecutive nights, killing two goats and some chickens. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife trapped the 84-pound female Tuesday morning in a cage took it away and euthanized it. District Wildlife Biologist, Brian Wolfer says there was potential for the cougar to keep killing livestock and domestic animals, even if it was relocated.

A Lane County horse has died and four others have tested positive for equine herpes virus.  Bruce Pokarney is with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He says equine herpes is widespread among horses and can lie dormant for long periods of time. It is not transmissible to humans. It is spread by direct horse to horse contact. Pokarney says the outbreak is believed to be is isolated.

Jes Burns

A report out Monday says Americans are increasing their use of public transportation. This is true in the northwest where the Cascade Line between Eugene and Vancouver, BC is one of the fastest growing rail lines in the country. Tuesday, there's a conversation about rail in Eugene.

Amelia Templeton / Earthfix

Governor John Kitzhaber Friday announced a $5 million funding package that will allow Josephine County's last sawmill to re-open.
 
The Rough & Ready Sawmill in O'Brien closed a year ago. It will now be able to open with upgraded equipment thanks to a combination of tax credits and a state loan. At a press conference in White City, Owner Link Phillipi said he expects the mill will be able to hire more than 60 people.

City of Eugene

Eugene's Sheldon Branch Library has been spared from closure. The Budget Committee Wednesday night agreed to keep both branch libraries open and cut back Sunday hours at the main downtown building.

Rachael McDonald

Homeless advocates say a grassy area between a busy highway and the main line railroad in north Eugene is not a good place for the residents of Whoville. The City Council last week voted to approve a 3rd pilot "rest stop" for the people who've been at a camp near downtown for months.

It's a narrow piece along Northwest Expressway, near its intersection with River Road. No sidewalks. As vehicles whiz by, Ken Lainy sits in his wheelchair on a gravel driveway.

The public has the chance this week to comment on the latest ideas for shoring up Eugene's $2.5 million deficit. The budget committee will have a public hearing Wednesday.

Rachael McDonald

The northwest is famous for political activism-- WTO protests, tree-sits, Occupy… When activists get arrested, there's a law firm in Eugene that might represent them for no little or no money. Lauren Regan's Civil Liberties Defense Center celebrates its tenth year at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference this weekend.

uo lawblog

Thousands of Environmental activists, lawyers and students will be at the University of Oregon in Eugene this weekend for the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. The 3 day event begins Thursday afternoon.

The theme of the law conference this year is "Running into Running Out"

Brinson: "With the 6th largest mass extinction currently happening, we've got to do something. So hopefully, this conference can be an opportunity for people to figure some of this stuff out."

City of Eugene

The Eugene City Council is considering an ordinance that would require employers to provide sick leave to their workers.

The proposal was brought forward Monday night by Councilors Alan Zelenka and Claire Syrett. Eugene would follow Portland and Seattle, which have sick leave ordinances in place. Syrett said 25-thousand workers in Eugene don't have sick leave.

City of Eugene.

The Eugene City Council plans to extend its sunset date for a program that allows homeless people to camp in designated 'rest-stops'. This means Whoville residents have more time at their camp near downtown.

Rachael McDonald

Eugene's First Friday Art Walk was postponed to this Friday, Valentine's Day, because of the snow last week. Downtown will be graced with new light for folks who come to the Art Walk.  

A brand new light display will be turned on at dusk Friday.
Sarah Bennett is President of Downtown Eugene Incorporated, or DEI. She says the lighting treatment is a permanent year-round installation.

Rachael McDonald

It will take time to determine the long-term economic impacts of the extreme weather that hit the region this past week. But there are some immediate effects we can observe.

Monday was the first day many area residents were able to emerge from their homes after two snowstorms and freezing rain caused downed trees, power outages and treacherous road conditions. Dave Hauser, President of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, says a lot of people waited out the storm and businesses and events lost revenue.

Two local manufacturing plants have announced they're closing. Allied Specialty Vehicles Inc. closed its plant at the former Monaco site in Harrisburg Monday. The plant employed 120 people.

Springfield based Sierra-Pine told the Register Guard it will close its particle board plant in April. That company has 87 employees. Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce President Dave Hauser says the closures are a blow to the local economy.

ODOT

A rising Yaquina River has eaten away the foundation of U.S. 20 through the Coast Range in a narrow, twisty section that for years has made trouble for drivers and highway workers alike.

The Oregon Department of Transportation says travel at a curve about four miles west of Eddyville in Lincoln County will be down to a single lane while crews bring in rock to rebuild the foundation. ODOT Spokesman Rick Little says the area was hit hard by the recent snowstorm.

The Springfield City Council is considering a measure to pay its members. Monday they asked a committee to look into crafting a proposal that could go before voters in November.

The measure would require changing the city charter, which forbids such compensation.  Springfield spokesman Niel Laudati says councilors do get expenses reimbursed. But they're doing up to 35 hours a week of work. Laudati says the proposal is not meant to be a living wage.

EWEB Facebook page

Thousands of Oregonians were still without power Monday morning after Saturday's ice storm. Crews from local utilities have been working long hours to restore it but for a few people the wait may go into tomorrow.

As of Monday morning about 14 hundred Eugene Water & Electric customers were without power.  EWEB's Joe Harwood estimates Saturday morning about 6 thousand had their power out. Harwood says Saturday's ice storm was unprecedented:

Updated 8:15  a.m. Monday

Transportation

• Lane Transit District - 24 will not serve Pearl St. and 34th-it will stay on Donald
28 will not serve Martin, service will end at Snell.
41 & 43 will not run on 8th-using 6th or 7th instead.
EmX using alternative stop at Hilyard Station only. Posted: Mon. 10th, 06:31 AM

  • Tonight's (Sat. 2/8) UO Opera Ensemble presentation "A Tale of Two Women" has been cancelled or postponed. As of this writing (9:40 a.m. on 2/8), the Sun. 2/9 presentation is still planned, though this may change.
  • The Eugene Folklore Event for Saturday, Feb.. 8th has been cancelled.

Updated 10:12 a.m. Saturday

Rachael McDonald

There will be a lot of beer to taste at the KLCC Microbrew Festival this Friday and Saturday. But only one of the ales will be poured out of a robot's nose. LagerBot which will be dispensing at the Ninkasi booth at the Brewfest.

Erikson: "I'm Erik Erikson. I'm a software engineer at 3Cinteractive. A company in downtown Eugene."

Davis: "My name's Mark Davis. I'm a managing member over at CodeChops co-working space in Eugene."

Updated at 12:25 p.m. Thursday

Oregon State Police report hazardous road and weather on I-5 between Salem and Eugene and urge caution.  Request people not drive unless they have to. 

All Lane Community College Campuses will close today (Thursday, February 6) at 1 p.m.

Counties
Benton County and City of Corvallis offices are closing due to snow and icy conditions across the county as of 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Oregon Department of Forestry has reached a settlement with conservation groups that had sued to prevent logging in forests that are home to a threatened seabird.   The agreement was filed Wednesday in U-S District Court in Eugene and still must be approved by a judge.

Rachael McDonald

A small minnow native to Oregon's Willamette Valley could be removed from the Federal Endangered Species List. The Oregon chub is the first fish to be de-listed because its population has been restored. The announcement came Tuesday near Eugene.

The Oregon Chub was listed as endangered 20 years ago. At that time there were only about 1000 of the tiny fish in the Willamette Basin. Three years ago it was moved to threatened status. Now, biologists say there are more than 100 thousand Oregon chub.

Bangs: "Bouncing around in my hand. But that's a little Oregon chub."

This Tuesday, February 4th  at 6:30 pm KLCC will be airing a special forum on the Trans Pacific Partnership.  Representative Peter DeFazio organized the public forum to air his concerns over the Fast Track trade agreement now being negotiated. The forum was recorded on January 22nd.Alternative Radio will take the night off.

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