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

Bethel School District

In a letter to state legislators from Lane County, local school superintendents say the K-12 budget proposed for the next two years is "woefully inadequate".  The $7.3 billion spending plan is headed for votes in the full House and Senate, likely next week.

Colt Gill is superintendent of Bethel School District in Eugene. He says the district is preparing to offer state-mandated full-day kindergarten in September. It's also trying to keep up with rising costs of maintaining the district's services.

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.”

City of Eugene

Eugene is hoping to be the first Oregon city with a bike-share program. The city received a $900-thousand grant last week from the Oregon Transportation Commission to help launch the project.

The grant would help pay for initial start up costs. But Eugene still needs a plan to fund operations. The idea is to initially put bike-share stations downtown, at the University of Oregon and in the Whitaker neighborhood. Reed Dunbar, a transportation planner for the City, says the bikes would be for short trips.

http://defazio.house.gov/

Oregon's congressional delegation is hoping to secure a two year extension of timber payments to rural counties. The Secure Rural Schools provision is in a bill the U.S. House is voting on this week.

The Secure Rural Schools Act provides payments in lieu of taxes for timber-dependent counties in Oregon and other states. Oregon Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio says this bill helps counties while lawmakers try to find a long term solution to funding shortfalls.

Cascadia Wildlands

The Forest Service is looking for public comment on a nearly 25-hundred acre logging proposal in the Willamette National Forest near McKenzie Bridge. The Goose Project has already been blocked by a federal judge.

University of Oregon

The life of former University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer was celebrated Saturday in a public memorial service at Matthew Knight Arena on the U of O campus in Eugene. Frohnmayer served as state Attorney General, was a state legislator and was dean of the U of O law school. Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, State Senator Betsy Johnson and family members spoke of Frohnmayer's accomplishments and character.

His son Mark Frohnmayer quoted one of his father's students:

firstsource.com

A call center planning to open next month in Eugene is hiring up to 250 people. Chris Autry, Site Director for Firstsource Solutions says the company is a businesses process outsourcer.

They're looking to hire people to provide live web-chat services to telecommunications customers. Autry says they want employees with good people skills.

The Eugene 4J School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to hire Doctor Gustavo Balderas as new superintendent.

City of Eugene

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy met with Uber this week. The city has filed a lawsuit against the ride-sharing service because it has refused to comply with rules around permitting. KLCC's Rachael McDonald talks with the mayor about Uber, train quiet zones, and the passing of former University of Oregon president Dave Frohnmayer.

Wikimedia Commons

There are 4 confirmed cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, at the Village School in Eugene.

The charter school notified students and parents last week. Andy Perra is Executive Director of the Village School. He says 2 of the cases were kids that were up to date on their vaccinations. The other two were not completely vaccinated. Perra says the school has been in close contact with Lane County Public Health.

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