Karen Richards

Reporter

Karen Richards has been a volunteer reporter since the fall of 2012.

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cougar
1:59 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

911 Caller Reports Two Cougars Near Eugene's Maury Jacobs Park

Early this morning, a 9-1-1 caller reported seeing a mountain lion and a cub near Maury Jacobs Park in Eugene.

The 6:20 a.m. mountain lion sighting has not been confirmed. Eugene police visited the area after the call, and a state fish and wildlife trooper came later. Neither were able to locate the animals and there have been no further sightings. Brian Wolfer is the District Wildlife Officer.

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Budget
3:43 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Tax Day Protestors Urge Elected Officials To Fight Climate Change, Not War

Kelsey Juliana speaks Tuesday in front of the Eugene post office.
Credit Karen Richards

Tuesday, several local activist groups rallied in front of Eugene’s downtown post office to call on Congress to redirect the country’s tax dollars.

The theme of this year’s tax day gathering was “Fight Climate Change, Not War.” As local taxpayers mailed their returns to the IRS, leaders of social and environmental groups took turns speaking and singing. They asked the government to spend less on defense and allocate more for the environment.

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Oregon coast
3:40 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Public Input Sought For Marine Reserves

Credit Oregon Ocean Information

The Oregon legislature recently designated two areas along the coast as marine reserves. The state hopes to involve the public in the new sites.

Cape Perpetua north of Florence and Cascade Head near Lincoln City join two marine reserves already protected by a 2012 law. In 2016, Cape Falcon near Cannon Beach will round out the coastal sites.

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Crime & Law
1:19 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

OR Prisoners Will Soon Have A Way To Fight Wrongful Convictions

Credit Oregon Innocence Project

Until now, Oregon was the only state in the country without a program dedicated to investigating claims of wrongful conviction. The “Oregon Innocence Project” aims to provide a way to help.

Before the late 1990’s, the idea someone could serve time for a crime they didn’t commit was unusual. As DNA evidence became admissible, challenges to wrongful convictions grew.

Aliza Kaplan is a co-founder of the Oregon Innocence Project.

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Homeless Issues
12:06 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Eugene Shuts Down Whoville

Eugene Police surround Whoville camp Friday morning.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Eugene Police surrounded an illegal homeless camp known as Whoville Friday morning and told the 30 or so residents to pack up and go. The City Council gave an April 15th deadline for the site to close.

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Food & Farms
11:42 am
Mon March 31, 2014

"That's My Farmer" Event Links Food And Community

Credit lanefood.org

On Tuesday, residents can get to know Eugene area farmers and help those in need get access to healthy food. The 15th annual "That's My Farmer" event showcases local community shared agriculture programs.

John Pitney was a farm kid with a passion for food and people. When he moved to Eugene to be a minister at First United Methodist, he formed a group to link farmers and the community.

Pitney: "One of the things that was a natural component of the organizing from the very beginning was that we would encourage donations at the door and create a low-income fund."

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Bees
4:35 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Local Beekeepers Leading The Way For Colony Collapse Research

Bill Bezuk holds a piece of honeycomb from a collapsed hive. He will use it to start a new colony.
Credit Karen Richards

Lane County is leading the nation in its treatment of bees. With recent local and state legislation and a growing interest in backyard hives, local bee advocates are in position to steer the national discussion.

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Infrastructure
3:00 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Updated Dam Failure Maps Available

Inundation map for Oakridge, if the Hills Creek Dam were to fail.
Credit Karen Richards

What happens if a dam fails during normal summer conditions? What if a dam breaks when it’s flooding or snowing? To answer those questions, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has updated its dam failure inundation maps.

The Corps created maps of failure scenarios for all 13 dams in the Willamette Valley. Their release last year drew hundreds of requests. The Corps is holding viewings for those citizens who expressed interest. Matt Craig is a Dam Safety Program Manager.

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Sports
3:53 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Track Town On Track For World Junior Championships

Abby Hoffman speaks Thursday at Hayward Field.
Credit Karen Richards

This week, Eugene is hosting representatives from the International Association of Athletics Federations, track and field's governing body. They are reviewing progress for July's World Junior Championships, being held in the United States for the first time.

Abby Hoffman is a four-time Olympian and a member of the IAAF Council. She says this visit is focused on logistics, such as coordinating with the U of O to house and feed an estimated 1,600 athletes.

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Environment
1:22 am
Sun March 9, 2014

S. Santiam River Project To Connect Sweet Home With Forest

Credit Rural Development Initiatives

Outdoor enthusiasts in Oregon will soon have another venue for their passion. Today (Monday) kicks off a project to link Sweet Home to the Willamette National Forest through a public access trail system.

About 36 private and public entities are coming together to launch the South Santiam River Corridor Project. They will commit to creating 12 miles of trails paralleling Highway 20. Sweet Home City Manager Craig Martin says the forest project will create jobs:

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