Karen Richards


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

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If July felt hot and sweaty, it was for good reason. The heat broke records in the Willamette Valley.

It was the hottest July ever in Eugene, crushing the previous record, set in 1958. Andy Bryant with the National Weather Service says the heat was well above normal:

Bryant: “So the average temperature for Eugene for the month of July was 71.5 degrees, that’s 4.7 degrees above average. The average high, if you look at all the highs during the month of July, the average was 88.2, also a few degrees above average.”


A fire burning west of Roseburg jumped its lines last (Wednesday) night, and has expanded to an estimated 600 acres. Here is an update on the Cable Crossing Fire.

The fire off highway 138 near Glide started Tuesday afternoon. Kyle Reed, with the Douglas Forest Protection Association, says it’s grown beyond their capacity:

Reed: “Our district covers 1.6 million acres. So with this fire growing in complexity and size we went ahead and brought in a team from the Oregon Department of Forestry. And basically they’re coming in to relieve our guys working on that fire.”


Springfield’s City Council voted unanimously last week to add a fire renewal measure to the fall ballot. The property tax levy would give a five-year extension to one expiring in June.

City spokesman Neil Laudati says merging Eugene and Springfield’s fire departments has saved money by consolidating the Fire Chief and Fire Marshals office:

Laudati: “But when you talk about the renewal of the levy, it’s specific to Springfield, it’s specific to having five stations in Springfield. So this levy is for the cost of the operation of a fifth station in Springfield.”

Joe Chung

Oregon has enjoyed cooler days over the past week, thanks to low pressure from the Gulf of Alaska. By Wednesday, extremely hot weather is expected to return.

Andy Bryant is with the National Weather Service. He says people should be prepared for above average temperatures later this week:

Bryant: “In the south Willamette Valley, we have a forecast high on Thursday of 100 for Eugene. It looks like it’s going to be hot all throughout western Oregon.”


Last week, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon received a federal grant for its teen pregnancy prevention programs.

The Office of Adolescent Health awarded nearly 19 million dollars, spread over multiple programs in the Northwest. Eugene-based Planned Parenthood Vice President Mary Gossart says their portion—150- to 180 thousand dollars--will fund a five-year program:


Wood product manufacturers in Springfield and Eugene now have preferential access to federal development funds. Local leaders head to Washington, D.C. tomorrow [Tuesday] to help advance their goals.

US Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers sent inspectors to 13 Willamette Valley dams following Saturday’s magnitude 4.2 earthquake. All of them were judged to be safe.

Protocol requires dams within 75 miles of a magnitude 4.0 or greater earthquake be inspected within 24 hours.

Karen Richards

A busy season's wrapping up at Hayward Field Thursday through Sunday in Eugene. The USA Track and Field Championships will decide the team for the World Championships in Beijing. The USA Junior Championships determine the athletes under 20 for the Pan Am Games in Toronto. The dual events are poised to provide drama.

 Temperatures are forecast in the high 90's for the weekend, unusual for Hayward Field. As Track Town USA's Vin Lananna says, in 10 years in Eugene he has yet to apologize for the weather:

Karen Richards

At just about a year since its formation, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network or “RAIN” in Eugene is thriving.

RAIN Eugene is a collaboration of the Chamber of Commerce, the Cities of Eugene and Springfield and the University of Oregon. It strives to help startups launch and generate local jobs and growth. Sixteen companies have completed the program. Only a couple of those have closed. Most are looking for partners, funding or to hire employees. Chief Startup Officer Joe Maruschak (MARUSE-CHECK) says momentum is building.

ODFW: Philip Milburn

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has been studying kit foxes since 2012. Recently, they captured rare video of two adults and their five playful pups.

Kit foxes are a diminutive desert animal, just four to six pounds. They’re listed as a sensitive species in Oregon, with a small or declining population. Meghan Dugan with ODFW says Malheur and Harney Counties are as far north as the species has been found: