Rachael McDonald

Morning Edition Host / Reporter

Rachael McDonald started her career at KLCC as a volunteer in the newsroom in 2000.  Rachael was hired by the Northwest News Network to establish their Richland bureau in 2004. She reported on the progress of cleanup at Hanford Nuclear Reservation, chemical weapons destruction at the Umatilla Chemical Depot, agriculture and wine. Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 to be the host of Morning Edition. She also reports on Lane County, forest issues and a variety of other local and regional stories. Rachael has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Oregon. Rachael has won numerous awards for her reporting including first place from PRNDI for her story "Garden Brings Community Together" and for her interview with Naseem Rhaka, author of "The Crying Tree".  Rachael enjoys reading, hiking, biking and cooking.

Ways To Connect

Rachael McDonald

Scientists at Oregon State University have developed a wristband that can detect chemicals in the environment. Advocacy groups see them as a tool to help people to find out what they're being exposed to and eventually use the information to affect policy. And a new company hopes to sell the wristbands commercially.

Douglas Forest Protective Association

Update: As of Friday morning, the Stouts fire is at 6,000 acres.

A new fire in Douglas County has prompted evacuations near the community of Milo.

Members of the NAACP will begin an 860-mile journey from Selma, Alabama to Washington D.C. Saturday, August 1st.

Eugene / Springfield NAACP Director Eric Richardson says he's hoping a delegation from Oregon can join the march, called "America's Journey for Justice". He says it's to raise awareness around recent events of police brutality toward African Americans. Including the recent case of a Cincinnati Police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man during a routine traffic stop.

Douglas Forest Protective Association

With triple digit temperatures, tinder dry forests, and the threat of lightning storms in the next few days, officials are urging the public to be extra careful to prevent human-caused fires.

City Data

The City of Oakridge is asking residents and businesses to conserve water. The council has imposed a moderate water curtailment plan.

Louis Gomez is Oakridge City Administrator. He says the city has 4 active wells. A year ago this month they were drawn down to 62 feet. This year, the drawdown is at 85 feet.

OPB

Oregon's Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio Tuesday introduced a bill to fund an earthquake early warning system for the Pacific Northwest.

The system would trigger automatic shutdowns of trains, manufacturing lines, close bridges and evacuate students from unsafe schools.

DeFazio says the system could save thousands of lives in the case of a major earthquake and tsunami.

Rachael McDonald

Eugene has been gathering people's opinions about the city's system of soft trails. Those include hiking, running, mountain biking and even water trails. There are plans to add more.

Friends of Trees

Tree advocates are urging Oregonians to water their trees during this dry summer. Most of the state is in drought, which stresses even well-established trees.

Eric Burke, with Friends of Trees, spoke with me on his cell phone from where he and volunteers were weeding and mulching trees near Beltline Road in Eugene. He explains what trees need during an especially dry summer.

Rachael McDonald

Benton County leaders are considering asking voters to fund a new jail. They say the existing jail is inadequate for public safety needs.

The Benton County Jail was built in 1976. It has enough room for up to 40 inmates. The county is renting beds at other jails making it possible for the county to hold up to 80 offenders. Sheriff's Captain Diana Rabago says the jail has a virtual revolving door with people getting released early due to overcrowding. She says the jail uses a matrix to determine who is next on the list to be force released.

City of Eugene

Eugene is working on a plan for growth into the next two decades. The City Council Monday approved a "baseline" Urban Growth Boundary crafted by its Envision Eugene project.

Several years ago, Envision Eugene got started, mapping a course for the city's future into 2032 when its population is expected to grow by 34 thousand. Terri Harding is Principal Planner:

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