Karen Richards


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


Adaptive Sports
3:02 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Armenian Adaptive Sports Advocates Visit Eugene

Mary Hodge of the U.S. Paralympic Committee, Suren Maghakyan of Full Life, and Ruzanna Sargsyan of the Armenian Association for the Disabled.
Credit Karen Richards

For the past week, a group of Armenian professionals have been visiting Oregon. Hosted by Eugene-based Mobility International, they aim to bring back tools to help youth with disabilities in their country.

The 10-day program is sponsored by the State Department. It has included a rigorous schedule of meetings and demonstrations. Suren Maghakyan founded Full Life, a group that works for the rights of people with disabilities. He says programs in his country have a lot of catching up to do:

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crisis intervention
4:18 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Lane County Law Enforcers Attend Crisis Training

Credit psychcentral.com

This week, police officers from around Lane County are training to more effectively resolve encounters with people who have mental illness.

Eugene Police have had annual crisis intervention training since 2008. This year, for the first time, the 40-hour class has expanded to include law enforcement personnel from around the region.

Lieutenant Jennifer Bills developed the program. She says its goal is to give officers the tools they need to better deal with people with intellectual disabilities.

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Climate Change
2:07 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Climate March Sunday Parallels New York City Event

The biggest climate march in history is happening on Sunday, and Oregon is joining in. Events around the world will bring together hundreds of organizations in a call for action to protect the air, food and water.

Demonstrations are centered in New York City, where a U.N. Climate Summit takes place Tuesday. The gathering in New York is expected to attract over 200-thousand people. Local rallies are planned for several Oregon communities, including Eugene.

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Lane County
3:23 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

County Seeks Input For Strategic Planning

Credit www.lanecounty.org

Reduced timber revenue has been impacting Oregon's public sector for years, and the trend is not expected to change.

Lane County is developing its 2015-2017 strategic plan, focusing on how to do more with less. After a workshop in June, Commissioners identified three priorities: health and safety, infrastructure, and vibrant communities. They hope to continue to tailor the plan to residents' concerns.

County spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis says the passing of the sheriff's levy was a helpful indicator:

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Renewable Energy
2:14 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Wave Energy Program Gets Federal Boost

Diagram of the southern Newport test site.
Credit www.nnmrec.oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University's Marine Renewable Energy program has been awarded new federal funding. The additional cash will help them get closer to connecting wave power to the grid.

Oregon State and the University of Washington were selected in 2008 to form one of three centers to research wave and tidal energy.

Belinda Batten is a Director for the program. She says for two years, they've had an offshore test site north of Yaquina Head, where they've been studying the size and force of waves. The new funding will help them move forward:

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4:00 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Sustainable Building On Display Sunday

Detail from the interior of Wildcraft Ciderworks.
Credit www.bringrecycling.org

Passive solar. LED lighting. Urban gardens. This weekend, BRING Recycling's Home and Garden Tour in Eugene highlights sustainable design and low-impact construction.

Julie Daniel is the Executive Director of BRING. She says the tour started as a showcase for re-used materials. Over six years, it's expanded:

Daniel: "There's more than one new building on the tour this year. Some are still under construction. There's a net zero home, which is a home that uses no energy, it actually returns more energy than it uses to the grid, including charging their electric car."

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University of Oregon
1:05 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

U Of O Debuts Campus Running Tours

UO Ambassadors Ray Grant and Hayden Rahn discuss the history of Bill Bowerman and Nike at the start of the tour.
Credit Karen Richards

The University of Oregon premiered a new program today. It's a running tour of campus, designed to highlight the history of Track Town USA.

About 20 incoming freshmen, student ambassadors and parents participated in the debut tour. Roger Thompson is Vice President for Enrollment. He says it struck him there's only one university in the country that could pull off a campus running tour.

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4:24 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Fires Burn In Cascades And Coast Range

A helicopter fills its bucket near the Deception Complex.
Credit www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

The Deception Complex fire near Oakridge and a small fire in the Coast Range are keeping almost a thousand firefighters busy.

A fire in the Cape Perpetua scenic area was reported Monday evening. As of Tuesday a 20-person crew was working to contain the half-acre blaze, which is in a drainage of Cummins Creek. According to officials, there are no closures. The cause of the fire is unknown and will be investigated.

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1:50 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Deception Fire Movement Causes Weekend Closures In Umpqua National Forest

Map of the Deception Complex fire.
Credit www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

The Deception Complex fire near Oakridge is now 45 percent contained. However, it moved west Thursday night, causing some closures for the long weekend.

Part of the Cottage Grove Ranger District is under an emergency closure. An area southeast of Forest Service Road 17 is closed from Spirit Falls to the divide. Pam Sichting is with the U.S. Forest Service. She says archery season opens this weekend, and bow hunters should stay current with fire updates:

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Holiday travel
4:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Weekend Road Travel Expected To Be Heavy

Anyone taking a road trip this holiday weekend should expect the highways to be busy.

Nationally, Labor Day travel is projected to increase this year, to the highest levels since 2008. Marie Dodds is with AAA. She expects more than ten percent of North-westerners to take a long trip this weekend.

Dodds: "It's going to be a very busy travel weekend. By far and away most people are going by car. About 86% of people nationally and about 80% of people here in the Pacific region will be driving to their Labor Day destinations."

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