Karen Richards

Reporter

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

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Karen Richards

U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio led a rally today (Monday) in Eugene. He was raising awareness of President Obama’s push for “fast track” authority to implement a controversial trade agreement.

City of Eugene

A controversial tax exemption program for housing in downtown Eugene has been suspended since 2013. Yesterday (Wednesday), the City Council voted to let the public comment on its amended version of the multi-unit property tax exemption, or MUPTE, program.

Karen Richards

Construction trucks are at work on the site of the new Roosevelt Middle School in South Eugene. Current sixth graders should be able to start eighth grade on the new campus.

Bonds approved in 2013 funded the rebuilding of four aging Eugene schools. Superintendent Shelley Berman says the recent groundbreaking is an exciting moment:

Berman: “We’re moving ahead in a very rapid way around Roosevelt. We hope that we’ll get it open in fall of 2016. I know that they’re beginning to move dirt and will be setting the foundation fairly soon.”

Karen Richards

Federal Judge Michael McShane is “on the fence” whether to stay a lawsuit brought by the Newport Fishermen’s Wives against the Coast Guard, or dismiss it. The suit is over the agency’s threatened closure of the rescue helicopter station.

The Mayor of Newport along with several city and county officials attended the hearing at the Federal Courthouse in Eugene. Attorney Sean Duffy represents the Coast Guard. He asked the judge to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. The plaintiff’s lawyer Mike Haglund was upbeat after the hearing:

www.iaaf.org

Eugene, Oregon has been awarded the 2021 World Track and Field Championships after many weeks of quiet negotiations.

Eugene earned a close second in last fall’s bid for the 2019 World Championships. In February, organizers appealed to IAAF president Lamine Diack, and were encouraged to campaign for the 2021 event. Track Town USA President Vin Lananna says he wasn’t feeling confident until this week. He spoke from Beijing after the council meeting: 

Gang activity is a concern of law enforcement in Eugene and Springfield. Community members can attend a forum Wednesday to get more information on the issue.

The forum is part of a new program in response to concerns and phone calls from residents. Captain Sherri Meisel with the Eugene Police Department says they’ll present photos and tips for people on things like graffiti:

Oregon’s firefighters have training sessions this week in Newport. While incident management scenarios take place every year, first responders anticipate a challenging 2015.

Nearly 100 firefighters are participating in team trainings on the Oregon Coast. Rich Hoover is with the State Fire Marshal’s office. He says they see the increased fire activity of the past couple of years continuing:

Benton County prides itself on its public health programs. It’s been ranked the healthiest in Oregon four of the past six years. Now it’s fallen behind Washington and Hood River counties. Deputy Director of the Benton County Health Department Charlie Fautin says an increase in deaths before age 75 cost them the top spot:

Fautin: “We'll need to go back into our death records and take a closer look at what's behind that during that period. It wasn’t a statistic we were really aware of before this.”

Two of the University of Oregon’s six library archivists are without their jobs following the release of thousands of presidential documents to a professor.

James Fox and Kira Homo were put on paid administrative leave in January. According to the administration they were responsible for the un-processed handoff of over 20,000 pages of correspondence.

In a statement, spokesman Tobin Klinger says Homo resigned her position and Fox will not return to his job, nor will his contract be renewed.

Benton County prides itself on its public health programs. It’s been ranked the healthiest in Oregon four of the past six years. Now it’s fallen behind Washington and Hood River Counties. Benton County Health Spokesman Charlie Fautin says an increase in premature deaths before age 75 cost them the top spot:

Fautin: “We’ll need to go back into our death records and take a closer look at what’s behind that during that period, it wasn’t a statistic we were really aware of before this.”

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