Economy

Food & Farms
10:46 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Oregon Following Some High Beef Price Trends In The U.S.

Cattle at the Deck Family Farm in Junction City
Credit deckfamilyfarm.com

Beef prices are at an all time high in the U.S. Industry officials are pointing to extreme weather, particularly drought as the main cause. Oregon's beef industry is seeing some, but not all of those trends.

USDA choice-grade beef jumped to a record high $5.28 a pound in February. That's up from $4.91 the same time a year ago. Will Weise is the CEO of the Oregon Beef Council he says Oregon isn't following the trend like other states.

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Labor and Wages
4:18 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

McKenzie Willamette Employees Protest In Front Of Hospital

Protesters at Willamalane Park in Springfield across from McKenzie Willamette Hospital.
Credit Desmond O'Boyle

About 75 health care workers and union members protested in front of McKenzie Willamette Hospital in Springfield Thursday. The employees have been trying to negotiate a new labor contract since January when the last one expired.

Workers chanted, played drums, and marched around the hospital. Ken Charpie  is a Medical Laboratory Scientist at McKenzie-Willamette. He says the raise employees are slated to receive won’t offset higher health care costs.

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Housing
11:01 am
Sat April 12, 2014

Foreclosure Filings Spike In March

Home foreclosure filings in Oregon spiked last month. Four hundred and seventy four court foreclosures were filed in March compared to 295 in February. According to John Helmick, CEO of Gorilla Capitol, the increase was anticipated.

Helmick: "These are homes that have gone through the required mandatory mediation process, and so now they are able to file the foreclosures because under the new statute you have to go thought this mediation process before you can file the foreclosure."

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Labor and Industries
3:30 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Redmond Based Concrete Company Faces Penalties For Failing To Pay Workers Correct Wages

A Redmond-based concrete company has been barred from any public works contracts for the next three years. The company failed to pay a group of employees a prevailing wage. 

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Ski resorts
5:31 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Extended Season For Some Northwest Ski Areas, But Profits Scarce

Notice the brown hills around Sun Valley in this panorama snapped on Dec. 29, 2013. Snowmaking allowed the famous resort to operate during the crucial holiday period.
Credit Tom Banse

There will be end-of-season parties at at least nine Northwest ski resorts this weekend (4/12-13). But some other Cascade ski areas will welcome skiers and snowboarders well past Easter. That's thanks to late-season snow that fell at many area resorts. Timing means everything for the bottom line of these resort companies. Correspondent Tom Banse explains how a strong finish doesn't necessarily make up for a late start like we saw this season.

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Medical Marijuana
9:52 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Medical Marijuana Conference Coming to Eugene

A big turn-out is expected for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference in Eugene. Anthony Johnson is organizing the event this Sunday and Monday. He says the conference is a place for entrepreneurs to learn about business opportunities. He says those extend beyond growing and selling marijuana. Johnson hopes to help professionalize the business.

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Economy
7:12 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Fair Trade Retailer Greater Goods Closing After 23 Years In Eugene

Joanie Kleban, owner of Greater Goods, stands with a few of the items in her store. She's closing shop after 23 years in business.
Credit Angela Kellner

One of downtown Eugene’s unique retailers is going out of business after 23 years of selling mostly fair trade products. KLCC’s Angela Kellner stopped by Greater Goods to find out how the business got started…and why it’s shutting down.

Across from the trendy 5th Street Public Market is a thrift store and Greater Goods.

Step inside and you’re transported to myriad cultures and crafts. Owner Joanie Kleban explains how it all began.

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Agriculture
4:00 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Farmers Recover After Cold Winter Weather

Lane County Farmer's Market
Credit Amanda Butt

Vendors at the Lane County Farmer’s Market say their crops are recovering after the snow and below zero temperatures that hit their fields this winter.

Booths are filled with kale, carrots, and potatoes at the Lane County Farmer’s Market. It’s hard to see that farmers suffered any losses after the winter’s harsh and unusual weather. But the farmers behind the tables and baskets of produce say the cold conditions came with a price.

Richardson: “We had some issues. The cold was harsh on us.”

Says Jack Richardson, the manager of Organic Redneck farm.

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Eugene Downtown
12:49 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Eugene's Downtown Makes Top Ten List

The Barnlight is one of the many new businesses in Eugene's downtown.
Credit 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.

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Child Care
7:12 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Child Care: The Affordability Trap

With stay-at-home parents increasingly rare, finding high quality, affordable child care has become a major challenge for many families. A recent report found Oregon has the least-affordable child care in the nation. From Jefferson Public Radio, Liam Moriarty takes a look at the hurdles parents face and how some are coping with the squeeze.

In the predawn dark on a weekday morning, Natasha Hale hustles to get her two rambunctious sons ready for their day. As she pours milk and cereal in the kitchen, Hale talks about her daily schedule, which starts at 5 a.m.

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