Jes Burns

Reporter

Jes Burns is a former KLCC host/reporter.  As of September 2014 she is a reporter for EarthFix.

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Rachael McDonald

Thursday the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed a new version of Oregon Senator Ron Wyden’s bill to boost logging on public forests called O & C lands -- named for the Oregon and California Railroad that once owned them.

Jes Burns of EarthFix explains some of the changes.

USGS

Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District is a Republican stronghold. The GOP has held the seat since early 1981, and that likely won’t change this November.
This year’s Democratic challenger is hoping to make inroads by positioning herself as a moderate alternative on issues such as the economy and natural resources.

Wikimedia Commons

A controversial nickel mining project in a roadless area of Southwestern Oregon has failed to clear an early hurdle. The state has denied a UK-based company permission to use water from a small creek.

It’s difficult to use water when there’s no water flowing. Or so discovered Red Flat Nickel Corporation when the State of Oregon denied its application to use water for five years.

Oregon Department of Forestry

The Yellow Point Fire, burning about 25 miles west of Cottage Grove is now 45% contained.  The Oregon Department of Forestry says crews have run more than 25 miles of hose.  Water is being distributed to the line.  Spokeswoman Shirl Fredenburg says crews are working hard to wet the area around the fire ahead of a forecast red flag weather warning.

 “Low humidity and dry, hot weather… that could be a factor.  But they have high expectations that they’ll keep it under control.”

Jes Burns

Springfield unveiled a brand new mural Monday celebrating the city's connection to "The Simpsons."

In 2012, after decades of speculation by fans, show creator Matt Groening revealed the cartoon Springfield was named for the Oregon city.  Springfield officials wasted little time, and commissioned a mural in a prominent spot downtown.

Yeardly Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson, was on hand for the celebration.

Smith: "We have always said that Springfield is every town in America.  But that is a dirty lie.  Springfield is obviously in Oregon."

Oregon Representative Peter Defazio is continuing a string of town hall meetings this week with stops Lane, Douglass, and Linn Counties.  

The US House is adjourned for summer break and that means lawmakers all over the country are back in their Districts meeting with constituents.  Oregon District 4 Representative Peter DeFazio is holding nine town hall meetings this week.  The stops include Roseburg on Tuesday; Lebanon, Albany and Corvallis on Wednesday; and Florence and Veneta on Thursday.

Angela Kellner

Management at the Springfield Plywood and Veneer Mill began meeting individually with its employees Tuesday.  The mill burned down last week, putting 250 people out of work.  The owners are offering two possible employment alternatives at mills in Roseburg and Glendale.

Chuck Wert is the chief operating officer of Swanson Group, which owns the mill.

Wert: "As I understand it we spoke with around 60 employees today and about 40 of them that say they are interested in looking at the other job opportunities we have for them in Roseburg and Glendale."

Angela Kellner

The number of unemployed people in Lane County increased by more than 650 between May and June.  The unemployment rate remained the same at 6.8%.

But that could change in July, after this month's mill fire in Springfield.

Oregon Regional Economist Brian Rooney says Lane County has been in a period of positive employment growth.  But he calls the unemployment numbers for June…

Rooney: "A little bit of a step back."

Cascadia Forest Defenders

Updated: 7:20pm

Three people were arrested at a protest yesterday at the Seneca-Jones Biomass plant in north Eugene.  The Lane County Sheriff's Office says about 100 people gathered outside the facility to oppose the bio-mass operation and the company's plans to log old growth trees in southwest Oregon.  

Jes Burns

The wind whipped and the sun never really broke through on day three of the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene.   Still more than 10-thousand fan flocked to Hayward field Friday to see who would be crowned collegiate champions in fifteen events.  

The only thing faster than the runners on the track were the black storm clouds speeding over, high above Hayward field.  But the rain held off.  Fans filed in, programs were sold, coaches coached from the sidelines, and the crowd cheered, loudest for the Ducks.

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