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Ski resorts
6:34 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Ski Industry Praying For Snow After Record Dry Year

Mt Bachelor is one of the few northwest ski resorts that has opened for the season so far.
Credit Mt Bachelor Ski Resort

2013 was a record dry year in Eugene and Medford [Oregon]. Many areas around the region have gotten half of their average snowfall or less. That’s got Northwest ski resorts, many of which haven’t even opened yet, nervously waiting for snow. So are thousands of workers and retailers who depend on the ski season. And, there’s little relief in sight.

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Crime & Law
5:14 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

New Oregon Law Makes It A Crime To Smoke In Vehicle With Minors

A new Oregon law went into effect January 1st making it a crime to smoke cigarettes in a vehicle with minors. It is a secondary offense to smoke in the car with minors. This means law enforcement has to stop a driver for a separate violation first. Then police can write a ticket with a fine of $250 for smoking in the vehicle with children. The second time it happens, the fine is $500. Jason Davis with Lane County Health and Human Services says rolling down the window does not provide adequate ventilation.

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Benefit Companies
3:13 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Oregon Exceeds Expectations For Benefit Company Registrations

Rogue Valley Creamery. One of the 29 businesses that registered as a Benefit Company on January 2, 2014.
Credit TripAdvisor.com

Environmentally sustainable or socially conscious companies in Oregon can now register as “Benefit Companies.” On the first day of the new law, the number of companies that enrolled exceeded projections.

Benefit companies, or B-Companies, are for-profit businesses that offer environmental or social benefits. The Oregon legislature passed House bill 2296 last year allowing B-Company registrations to begin January 2. Secretary of State Spokesman Tony Green says Oregon is the only state that allows both corporations and limited liability corporations to register as B-Companies.

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Light Pollution
6:22 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Rules To Curb Light Pollution Advance One City And Park At A Time

Urban sky glow is evident in the night sky over Seattle.
Credit Tom Banse

Chances are you can't see the Milky Way at night. That's because the glare from city lights washes out all but the brightest stars where most people live. A smattering of Northwest cities and counties are taking action by passing new rules for outdoor lighting. It's not all about the stars. And some people take a dim view of light regulation.

Once you're aware of obnoxious lighting, you'll "know it when you see it," says City of Tumwater, Washington senior planner David Ginther.

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Health
7:14 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

It's A Girl! Halsey Parents Welcome 4th Girl On New Year's Day

Miriam Baer holds her newborn Emma Grace born on New Year's Day in Springfield, Ore.
Credit Monique Perry Danziger.

Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend welcomed its first baby of 2014 at 7:26 Wednesday morning. Emma Grace Baer is named after her maternal grandmother. She is the fourth child of Miriam and Levi Baer. Their three other children are all girls under the age of six.

The couple lives in Halsey, but is originally from Kentucky. They had planned for a homebirth, but opted for the hospital because the baby was found to have a cyst on her lung. Doctors say she appears to be in very good health but will need to be brought in for check-ups over the next few months.

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Natural World
5:09 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Natural World: Birds of Winter

Thus far it has been a dry and cold winter in the Pacific Northwest.  Some birds find the Oak savanna and the riparian woodland surrounding the Coast Fork of the Willamette a hospitable place to spend the winter months.

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Fishing
3:44 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Dungeness Crab Has High Quality For Holiday Meals

Credit OR Department of Fish and Wildlife

New Year's is Lane County's second biggest day for Dungeness crab sales, after Christmas Eve. Just two weeks into the season, the quality of the meat seems excellent.

At this time last year, Dungeness season hadn't yet started, so crab fishermen and salespeople have already had a happier holiday. Will Dickman works at Newman's Fish Market in Eugene. He says this year's crabs have healthy color and lots of meat:

Dickman: "They're coming in around two pounds nowadays, which is pretty good. I think last year we were seeing more like pound and a half at the most."

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Holiday Homeless Families
3:34 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

A Home For The Holidays

Credit Saint Vincent de Paul

On the eve of a new year, the mayor of Eugene challenges her community to give the gift of housing to forty homeless families.

Seven years ago, Ginny Osteen took a look around and saw that her family had plenty of stuff. That prompted her to make a change. Instead of giving and receiving gifts over the holidays, she asked that money be donated to make a difference in the lives of struggling families.

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weather
10:16 am
Tue December 31, 2013

2013 Was A Dry Year For Oregon

2013 was the driest on record in Eugene, despite a soggy September.
Credit wikimedia

2013 was a really dry year for Oregon. Climate scientists at Oregon State University say it was the driest on record for Eugene despite a soggy September.

Deputy Director of the Oregon Climate Service at OSU Kathie Dello says Eugene saw less than half of its normal precipitation this year. Dello says September brought a lot of rain but not enough to make up for the rest of the year. The snow-storm in early December was very dry. Dello spoke by cell from a ski trip in the Cascades.

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Small Towns
6:23 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Meet The Politicians Who Run One Of Oregon's Smallest Towns

Prescott City Council member Jim Larson stands in front of the City Hall he helped build in 1970.
Chris Lehman

There are some towns in the Northwest that are so small, nearly everybody is a politician. They serve on the city council, the school board or the water commission. It's not that they seek the glory. The ones who serve are often those who put up the least resistance when someone taps them on the shoulder. But they do it anyway, because of the fierce need to control their community's destiny. As part of our occasional series on small town life, correspondent Chris Lehman visited Prescott, Oregon...population 55.

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