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McKenzie Highway
10:12 am
Wed May 7, 2014

McKenzie Highway Open to Bicycles

ODOT crews plow McKenzie Highway.
Credit ODOT

For about six weeks, bicyclists can travel the seasonal highway over McKenzie Pass without dodging cars. Transportation officials plan to open it to motor vehicles June 16th.

Each spring the Oregon Department of Transportation plows one lane of the old McKenzie Highway to allow for natural melting of snow. Peter Murphy is Public Information Officer for ODOT in Bend. He says the road is not yet free of hazards.

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Politics & Government
7:33 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Despite Vow, Wash. Lands Chief Takes Timber Money

A fundraiser for Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), at which Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Washington Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark were scheduled to speak.
Credit John Ryan / KUOW

Fundraising for this November's elections is kicking into high gear. That means candidates are cozying up to people with money. Sometimes, elected officials even get friendly with the companies they regulate.

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Lane Community College
6:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Transforming Adversity into Opportunity

Lady Palmo (right) with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Tibetan refugee Lady Jangchup Palmo--also known as Amala, or Honored Mother--lived a meditative life in caves after Chinese invaders killed her family. She escaped and eventually moved to Cottage Grove, where she now faces cancer. She was instrumental in arranging the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Eugene last year. She will give a talk called “Transforming Adversity into Opportunity” on the LCC campus on Thursday evening.  She speaks to Eric Alan, with the assistance of her son and translator, Lama Jigme Rinpoche.

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May 2014 Primary
12:44 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Yachats Asks Voters To Pre-Approve Property Purchases For Parking

Yachats as seen from the summit of Cape Perpetua.
Credit Elizabeth Gates

Yachats city officials are trying to get ahead of the curve this primary election.  They’re asking voters to pre-approve spending up to $400,000 to secure additional parking in the town core.

On a sunny summer weekend, the coastal town of Yachats is a busy place – hotel rooms are sold out and traffic through town is non-stop.

Brean: “I’ve heard as many as 10,000 people are in town on the 4th of July weekend.”

Yachats Mayor Ron Brean says the city just doesn’t have the parking capacity to meet the need.

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May 2014 Primary
12:01 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Two Challengers Face Incumbent For Springfield Position On Lane County Board of Commissioners

Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken represents Springfield and is challenged in the May Primary by Charmaine Rehg and Sheri Moore.
Credit Angela Kellner

The race for the position representing Springfield on the Lane County Board of Commissioners has attracted two challengers for incumbent Sid Leiken. Political newcomer Charmaine Rehg and Springfield City Councilor Sheri Moore are taking on the career politician.

Charmaine Rehg is a licensed practical nurse. The St. Louis native moved to Oregon less than 2½ year ago. She serves on the Willamette Jazz Society Board and is a member of the Washburne Homeowner’s Association. Rehg has never held elected office and explains why she’s running for the Lane County Board of Commissioners.

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Homelessness
6:55 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Tally Shows Total Number Of Homeless In Lane County Lower

Credit Desmond O'Boyle

In 2013, about 10,000 people in Lane County experienced homelessness.  Although high, Lane County Human Services says this is an improvement from the previous year.  

Nine thousand eight hundred fifty-six homeless people sought social services through Lane County last year.  Human Services Supervisor Pearl Wolfe says the community at large is discouraged by the overwhelming nature of the issue.  But, she says, this number is nearly 1000 lower than in 2012.

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Douglas County
4:54 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Douglas County Commissioners Face Packed Ballot

Credit co.douglas.or.us

Voters in Douglas County have seven candidates to choose from for County Commission Position Two.

Joe Laurence is vacating his Douglas County Commissioner spot, so none of the seven candidates are incumbents. If no one receives over 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will face a runoff in November.

Sally McKain is president of the Umpqua Valley League of Women Voters. She says Douglas County voters have typical concerns for their commissioners:

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University of Oregon
12:02 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Outrage at UO About Rape Report

Credit KLCC

The University of Oregon is reeling after a report released Monday about the alleged sexual assault of a young woman by three members of the Men's Basketball team.

The Lane County District Attorney's office  says it will not file charges against Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin because of a lack of evidence. Eugene Police investigated the three Ducks for first degree rape. A female student says they sexually assaulted her repeatedly over several hours on the night of March 8th and early March 9th during and after a party near campus.

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Wetlands
7:21 am
Tue May 6, 2014

The Wetland That Saved Highway 101 From Flooding

Allowing the Necanicum River to flood this pasture kept Highway 101 dry this winter.
Credit Cassandra Profita / Earthfix

Video: “Here we go, through the water!”

You can see the extent of the Highway 101 flooding in YouTube videos made by people driving through it. In this one, the car radio plays a local commercial while a woman in the front passenger seat films the view from the dashboard. It’s all water.

Video: “Oh, my God. Um. This is a lot worse than I thought it was going to be.”

At one point, she turns the camera to the right. The water level is almost as high as the passenger window.

Video: “We are in a lake.”

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May 2014 Primary
6:57 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Republican Voters Weigh Candidates' Merits In Oregon's 2nd District Race

Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum (left), is challenging incumbent Republican Congressman Greg Walden (right) in the May primary.
Credit David Nogueras

Republican voters in Oregon's 2nd Congressional District have more than one name to choose from in this month's primary election, for the first time in 8 years. Incumbent Greg Walden is running for his 9th term in Congress. Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum hopes to unseat him.

The latest filings from the Federal Election Commission show Walden holds a huge advantage in fundraising. He's raised more than 2 million dollars. Linthicum on the other hand has raised just over 18 thousand.

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