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The U.S. Senate Tuesday approved a renewal of timber payments to rural counties. The two-year extension is expected to bring 85 million dollars to Oregon. The bill is on its way to the President's desk and he's expected to sign it.

Lane County spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis says the county expects to receive about 6 million dollars for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. She says the renewal of Secure Rural Schools funding is welcome news. But since 2008, the county's share of federal timber payments has gone down 73 percent. Levis says budget planners want to use the money wisely.

Cascadia Wildlands

It’s been more than twenty years since the Northwest Forest Plan set out to ease tensions in the “Timber Wars” of Oregon, Washington and Northern California.

The plan signaled a historic shift in how public lands were managed – focusing efforts on maintaining biodiversity instead of keeping timber production high.

Now the Forest Plan is up for revision, a process Northwesterners will be hearing about often in the coming years. But how did we get here?

Portland, Oregon. April. 1993.

Photo by Marli Miller

The Eugene Natural History Society presents a talk by Marli Miller, author of the new second edition of Roadside Geology of Oregon, on Friday evening, April 17th, in the UO’s Willamette Hall. She speaks with Eric Alan about Oregon’s geologic wonders, and how the perspective of geologic time affects how we live in the present moment.

Rick Bartow

Rick Bartow at Schrager & Clarke and JSMA.

Trevor Steele

A tornado touched down briefly in a parking lot on the Lane Community College campus in Eugene this afternoon (Tuesday). A spokesman with LCC says a funnel cloud was sighted around    4:10 pm.  Lisa Rupp, Sgt. with the Public Safety Department, witnessed the event.

Rupp: “You could see the funnel cloud because of the hail and the rain. It touched down, picked up on car, landed it on another and then flipped it over and then went to another car, flipped it on it’s top, picked up a vehicle that was parked next to it. There was a male and female in the vehicle.”

Tiffany Eckert

The search is over. The board of trustees voted today to name the 18th President of the University of Oregon.

Michael H. Schill has been chosen as the next U of O President. Schill is currently Dean at the University of Chicago-Law School.

Schill is a first generation college graduate--he attended Princeton.  Calling public universities “gems,” Schill says he’s proud and excited to be a Duck.

“This is an opportunity to take a great school, a proud school, an exciting school and move it forward. This is an absolutely pivotal moment for this university.”

www.purdue.edu

Oregon's unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent last month. That's the first time the state's jobless numbers have inched below the national rate since 1996.

State economist Nick Beleiciks says this shows just how well Oregon's economy has improved over the last year.

Angela Kellner

The Lane County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to extend by 2 years a property tax break for Swanson Group. The company plans to rebuild its plywood mill in Springfield this summer.

Rob Manning / OPB

We continue "Testing 1-2-3" today - OPB's occasional series on standardized testing in Oregon. Some younger students are already taking new the new federally-mandated tests. High schoolers will take them soon. There are questions about the time these Common Core tests will take.

An American flag, a University of Oregon banner, and posters with literary terms hang in the front of David Wilkinson's room at Beaverton's Westview High.... a typical English class. Wilkinson is leading his 11th graders through a college admissions essay.

Dear Stranger is a project created by Oregon Humanities, which facilitates an anonymous, statewide exchange of personal letters. Executive Director Adam Davis speaks with Eric Alan about connecting Oregonians one letter at a time.

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