Karen Richards

Reporter

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

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Deschutes County
4:00 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Four Terrebonne Water District Directors Face Recall

Credit bestplaces.net

A group of disgruntled citizens in Deschutes County has succeeded in getting a special recall election. Voters in the Terrebonne Water District will decide April 1st whether to keep four of the five members on their utility board.

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Logging
11:31 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Oregon Logging Conference Draws Thousands

Colorful logging equipment on display at the Lane County Fairgrounds.
Credit Karen Richards

The buzz of chainsaws and smell of freshly cut wood in Eugene isn’t only because of recent storms. Thousands of loggers have come to the Lane Events Center for the 76th annual Oregon Logging Conference.

The event is the largest equipment show west of the Mississippi. Organizers are excited to have about 900 registered participants from all over the U.S. as well as several foreign countries. The group’s president, Milt Moran, says an improved economy and a good program helped boost attendance:

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Environment
4:46 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Local Food Group Continues To Push For Anti-GMO Measure

Attorney Ann Kneeland
Credit Karen Richards

The group "Support Local Food Rights" continues to fight to get its anti-GMO initiative on the November ballot in Lane County. Today (Tuesday) a judge heard challenges to the measure's wording.

The local food group wants to restrict genetically engineered seeds from being grown in Lane County. A Junction City farmer who plants genetically modified sugar beets claims the title of the ordinance is not legal.

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University of Oregon
3:54 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

U of O Graduate Student Teachers Rally For Increased Compensation

Supporters of graduate student teachers rally Friday.
Credit Karen Richards

The graduate teaching fellows union at the University of Oregon is bargaining for a new contract. They want a higher minimum salary and expanded health care coverage.

A group of over 100 graduate student teachers and their supporters gathered in front of Johnson Hall Friday. They spoke about the need to raise compensation packages in order to attract high-quality graduate students.

David Craig is a PHD student in philosophy.

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Winter Weather
3:25 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Tree Debris To Take Weeks To Clear

Credit Karen Richards

With ice and snow melting, Eugene Public Works has converted its plows to dump trucks. Crews are busy responding to hundreds of reports of trees and branches on local streets.

Eric Jones is with Eugene Public Works. He says their first priority is to clear roads of debris, which he hopes will be done by Wednesday.

Jones: "And then, eventually, we will come through and clean things up nice and tidy, even finish by sweeping, but that's probably a week or more out."

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Winter Weather
3:28 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

ODOT Cautions Drivers To Be Aware As Storm Progresses

As of mid-afternoon, Oregon has no road closures due to snow or ice. However, there are many delays and alerts.

Chain requirements can vary by county and can change over the course of a storm. Rick Little of the Oregon Department of Transportation cautions drivers to be aware of semi-trucks at the border of Linn and Lane counties:

Little: “They pull over and start putting on their chains. Well, they’re stopping mainly in the travel lane, which is reducing travel on I-5 to one lane.”

There has been more snow than can be cleared from the roads. Little says:

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Language
3:28 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

North Eugene High School Receives Japanese Grant

Principal Eric Anderson with Japanese Consul Hiroshi Furusawa.
Credit Karen Richards

Here's a quiz. What two languages are taught at North Eugene High School? Spanish is the first. But the second? It's Japanese. The school received a grant today (Tuesday) from the Japanese Consul General.

Nathan Goldberg starts his Japanese 1 class at North Eugene High School. Down the hall, a Japanese 3 class begins. Overall, 120 students at the school are studying the language. Consul General Hiroshi Furusawa says Oregon has a strong Japanese language presence:

Furusawa: "This state, per capita, number two, after Hawaii."

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Jobs
2:29 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

New Call Center Hiring In Veneta

Lynn Schoessler of Business Oregon presents a check to John Stadter, President of First Call Resolution. Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich, right, holds the check from the county.
Credit Karen Richards

A three-year collaboration between state, county, and local groups has come to fruition in Veneta. First Call Resolution, a growing Oregon-based company, has moved into its new space and is now hiring.

"First call resolution" refers to the company's goal of solving a customer's question within one phone call. Today, the call center received two 50-thousand dollar business development checks, one from the state and one from Lane County.

This is the company's fifth center. President John Stadter says all the locations are in small Oregon communities:

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Eugene 4J
3:56 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Eugene 4J Budget Predicted To Be Tight

Last (Monday) night, the Eugene 4J budget committee presented projections for next year. Although the situation has improved, the school district will have to make compromises.

The overall reaction to the early school budget forecast has been positive. Eugene 4J spokesperson Kerry Delf:

"We are looking forward to a year next year that is much less of a financial challenge than this year and some past years have been."

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Oregon Economy
1:00 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Report On Pay Inequality In Oregon To Be Presented Monday

Credit Oregonlegislature.gov

State Senator Chris Edwards of Eugene authored and passed a bill last year to examine wage inequality in Oregon. He will present the results of the study tonight (Monday).

Senator Edwards believes dealing with income inequality is critical to boosting Oregon's economy. He says the new report is revealing. For example:

Edwards: "Even here in Oregon, women still only earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns, for the same work, even though they have the same qualifications."

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