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Lane Transit District
1:42 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Judge Rejects Lawsuit Against LTD

Credit ltd.org

A lawsuit against Lane Transit District and the Federal Transit Administration has been rejected, with prejudice, by a federal judge.

Our Money Our Transit had filed the suit claiming that the way the agencies did their environmental impact process for the West Eugene EmX was inadequate under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.

LTD Spokesman Andy Vobora says U-S District Court Judge Thomas Zilly had a lot of leeway in assessing the process.

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Natural World
7:56 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Natural World: Berggren Watershed Conservation Area

Nearly all of the meandering back channels in the Willamette Basin have been drained and filled to create more agricultural land.  Unfortunately, this vanishing habitat is critical for the survival of a number of indigenous species.

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Eugene Sick Leave
7:48 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Eugene's Sick Leave Proposal Draws Opposition

Credit tallasiandude / Flickr

Eugene is looking to follow in the footsteps of Portland and Seattle with a sick leave ordinance. It would require employers to provide paid sick time to their workers within city limits. This endeavor has been welcomed by many low-wage workers and their advocates and met with dismay by many employers. The Lane County Board of Commissioners is trying to sideline the effort.

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Eugene Film Society
6:00 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Creativity Under Pressure: 72 Hour Music Video Competition

The Eugene Film Society 72-Hour Music Video Competition will challenge local videographers to create videos for the songs by this year’s finalists for the Eugene Weekly’s Next Big Thing contest. Eric Alan speaks with Joshua Purvis, founder and Director of operations of the Eugene Film Society.

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Crime & Law
12:52 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Swastika Vandalism Found Near Jewish Fraternity

Swastikas were drawn on mailboxes near the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity by the University of Oregon.
Credit Amanda Butt

Eugene police are investigating swastikas that were tagged near a Jewish fraternity.

Bryan Kalbrosky is a student and member of the University of Oregon’s Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. On his way to class on Monday, he noticed a dozen swastikas drawn on a cluster mailbox near the fraternity house.  

Kalbrosky: “In the Eugene community, this is a rare thing to see. I’ve never seen swastikas in Eugene before and I know that it’s definitely a fairly progressive place when it comes to that type of thinking. So that’s what really caught me off guard.”

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Economy
11:58 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Local Start-Ups Begin Acceleration Program

Joe Maruschak is Director of Eugene RAIN.
Credit Karen Richards

In Eugene, eight selected startup companies began a journey toward potential long-term success this week. Thanks to a new public and private collaboration, they'll use the next 12 weeks to create a plan and then implement it.

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Wildfire
6:42 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Wildfire Destroys Homes, Burns More than 2,000 Acres In South-Central Oregon

Many residents living outside Sprague River, Oregon, lost their homes to a wildfire.
Credit James Thompson

The Moccasin Hill wildfire in south-central Oregon has burned as many as 20 homes and 2,500 acres.

Reporter Devan Schwartz visited the town of Sprague River and spoke with people who lost everything, and those in the community lending a hand.
 

I’m riding in a truck with James Thompson, who co-owns Whistler’s Trading Post. It’s one of Sprague River’s few businesses. He’s taking me to see where the homes have burned.

It smells of singed ponderosa pine, juniper and sagebrush.

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Wed July 16, 2014

State Rep. Phil Barnhart on Taxes, Schools, Global Warming And More

Oregon Rep. Phil Barnhart
Credit www.oregonlive.com

State Representative Phil Barnhart serves Oregon House District 11 in Salem.  A Democrat, he's been in Salem since 2001.  His constituents are in Central Lane and Linn counties, including parts of Eugene and Springfield.  Barnhart is hosting three issue town halls in Eugene this summer.  They deal respectively with pathways to prosperity, education funding and global warming and jobs:

Pathways to Prosperity: "Growing Middle Class Jobs" (with Sec. of  State Kate Brown, Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy) Monday, July 21, 6:00-7:30 p.m., Eugene Public Library.

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Employment
12:24 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

State Unemployment Rate Stays Flat in June

Oregon's unemployment rate remained flat in June, at 6.8 percent.

The state Employment Department says the construction sector was hiring at record levels earlier this year but didn't hire as many workers last month.

Employment economist Nick Beleiciks says other industries saw gains, including private educational services and health care and social assistance.

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Healthcare
6:00 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Affordable Care Act Covers Foster Youth Until They Are 26

Credit oregon.gov

Young people can remain on their parent's health insurance programs until they are 26, and thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act, so can foster kids.

Oregon's program is called Former Foster Care Youth Medical Program, or F-CY. It's estimated more than 3,000 youth are eligible. Valerie Rucks is a Program Manager for Oregon's Department of Human Services. She says before the Affordable Care Act, it was more difficult for youth leaving foster care to obtain medical coverage.

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