Karen Richards

Reporter

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

Ways To Connect

Karen Richards

Two local entrepreneurs with a taste for travel are launching a book project they hope will inspire conversation and form world-wide connections.

Derek Miller and Jasem Dulany are in their mid-twenties and have traveled to Dubai, South Korea, Italy, and the Czech Republic. Everywhere they go, people want to discuss basic human questions. Last fall, they decided to collect some answers and photographs from wide ranging locations and present them in a glossy book. Dulany describes why they’re calling the project “One Hundred Marbles:”

Lane County's new internal auditor, Shanda Miller, started her job in mid-February. She was introduced to the public and the board of commissioners last week.

Miller spent the first few weeks in her new job meeting with various department heads, learning about what they do and the challenges of their jobs. County Spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis:

Levis: "As a performance auditor, her job very much is to look at efficiencies with the county, ways to do things better, ways to have cost savings."

Karen Richards

Senator Ron Wyden met with leaders of several Oregon fire prevention agencies today (Thursday) in Springfield. He's proposed legislation he hopes will make their jobs easier, as they face another potentially dangerous fire season.

With precipitation in the Willamette Basin currently at ten percent of normal, firefighters say they're doing work now they usually do in June. Senator Wyden is aware of the urgency. He and Idaho Republican Senator Mike Crapo have introduced a bill to classify mega-fires as natural disasters.

The Eugene 4J School Board has chosen three finalists to be the next superintendent. [includes photos]

School board members had a busy weekend, interviewing seven candidates. They selected three finalists, all of whom have ties to Oregon and currently hold superintendent positions. Jennifer Geller is the school board member chairing the search:

uoregon.edu

The University of Oregon filed an amended response yesterday (Thursday) to a student’s lawsuit claiming she was raped by three former basketball players.

In the revised response, the U of O removed language seeking reimbursement of legal costs. Interim president Scott Coltrane says they never intended to ask for fees or damages from the claimant:

Coltrane: “We felt it was important to do this now, because the attention was going toward the misperception that we were suing our student, which was not the truth.”

Corinne Boyer

An olive ridley turtle now in Newport recovering from hypothermia will be moved to San Diego tomorrow (Tuesday).

The turtle was named “Solstice” because she was found on a northwest beach on December 21st. Erin Paxton is with the Oregon Coast Aquarium. She says the endangered animal was scheduled to recuperate there a little longer, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has ruled her healthy enough to travel. Paxton says this is good news:

www.newslincolncounty.com

Congress gave Newport’s Coast Guard air station a one-year reprieve after a threatened December closure. The community still fears they’ll lose their rescue helicopter. This week, opposing parties filed declarations in court.

A Washington D.C. Coast Guard official filed documents in federal court claiming the closure was only a proposal. In response, the Newport Fisherman’s Wives filed a contradicting statement. Ginny Goblirsch with that group says the Coast Guard’s decision had been presented as final:

The state, universities and local governments have invested in startup companies through the Oregon RAIN program. A cohort of five new businesses in Corvallis has just graduated.

The OSU Advantage Accelerator has been around since the summer of 2013. Mark Lieberman is co-director. He says over time, they’ve made the program more formal and rigorous:

Lieberman: “Entrepreneurship is generally a marathon and not a sprint, but the acceleration program is to get them to the starting line and that is truly a sprint.”

Caregivers at a non-profit that runs group homes around the state began mediation today (Monday). The Lane County union is concerned about job cuts, while administrators say their numbers are sufficient. The employees held a rally this (Monday) morning in Eugene.

Albertina Kerr is based in Portland. It serves youth and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health issues. The Eugene office employs about 65 care givers. With the Raging Grannies singing in the background, union president Linda Peterson says staffing issues are more important than salary:

Karen Richards

The new Oregon State Hospital in Junction City hosted public tours today (Thursday). Approved by the State Legislature in 2007, the campus is nearly ready to accept patients.

The state-run psychiatric hospital has the capacity to house 174 people. It will offer treatment to adults who are civilly or criminally committed.

Greg Roberts is Superintendent of the Oregon State Hospital. He says philosophies have changed since he started working in mental health in the 1970s. Then, people often remained in the institutions for life:

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