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.

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Eugene Sick Leave
6:25 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Eugene Approves Sick Leave Ordinance

Credit tallasiandude / Flickr

The Eugene City Council has joined Seattle, Portland and San Francisco in approving a mandatory sick leave law.

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Wildfire
1:13 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Lightning Could Spark More Wildfires This Week

The Buzzard Complex of fires is currently the largest in the nation. It's burnt more than 600 acres of rangeland southeast of Burns.
Credit Schin Haakenson / Inciweb

Most of the major wildfires burning in Oregon are at or near containment, but a new round of intense lightning storms is forecast this week.

Fire officials say 6 of the 11 large wildfires in Oregon now range from 80 percent to fully contained. The blazes are burning east of the Cascades.
Carol Connolly with the Northwest Coordination Center says lightning is expected for the next couple of days.

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World Junior Championships
10:54 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Four Ethiopian Athletes Missing After World Junior Championships

The IAAF World Junior Championships took place at Hayward Field July 22 - 27.
Credit oregon14.com

A group of Ethiopian athletes in Eugene for the World Junior Track & Field Championships have been missing since Saturday.

The University of Oregon Police Department is leading the search for the three women and a 17-year old boy.  They're part of a 30 member team from Ethiopia. U of O spokeswoman Julie Brown:

Brown:"We have heard 2nd and 3rd hand, so indirectly from others, that the four athletes are safe and that they are with family and friends in other parts of the state. So at this point we don't have any reason to believe that they are in harm's way."

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Fish Kill
11:07 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Fish Kill Likely Caused By Mill Fire

The fire at the Springfield mill likely caused the fish kill in the nearby millrace.
Credit Angela Kellner

The fire that destroyed a Springfield mill a week ago likely also caused a fish die-off in the nearby millrace.

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Eugene Sick Leave
1:34 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Lane County Board Acts Against Eugene Sick Leave Ordinance

The Lane County Board of Commissioners listened to public comment Monday before approving three ordinances that would effect Eugene's efforts to pass a sick leave ordinance. Commissioner Pete Sorenson was traveling and did not vote.
Credit Rachael McDonald

The Lane County Board of Commissioners has made the unprecedented move of barring cities in the county from passing laws that impact employment. The vote Monday morning is meant to pre-empt the City of Eugene's efforts to pass a sick leave ordinance.

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Eugene Sick Leave
6:00 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Monday Could Be Pivotal for Eugene's Sick Leave Ordinance

Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich
Credit Lane County

Lane County residents might be tempted to call in sick to work Monday to get to two important public hearings. Both of them have to do with Eugene's proposed sick leave ordinance. The public is invited to comment on three Lane County ordinances put forward in reaction to Eugene's efforts. The first exempts the county from Eugene's ordinance. The second exempts other cities in Lane County. The third actually prohibits municipalities from passing labor laws.

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Bicycling
6:00 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Eugene Brewery Starts Bike-Share Program

Falling Sky is now offering a bike-share program to customers and employees.
Credit Falling Sky Brewing

A number of cities around the world have bike-share programs that require membership fees. A brewery in Eugene is doing its own version of bike-share for free.

Falling Sky Brewing bought 7 cruisers from the University of Oregon, painted them blue and had Arriving By Bike do tune-ups. Falling Sky plans to have bikes available to borrow at both its Deli and Pub. Co-owner Rob Cohen says customers and employees can take a bike for free for up to 24 hours.

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Lane Transit District
1:42 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Judge Rejects Lawsuit Against LTD

Credit ltd.org

A lawsuit against Lane Transit District and the Federal Transit Administration has been rejected, with prejudice, by a federal judge.

Our Money Our Transit had filed the suit claiming that the way the agencies did their environmental impact process for the West Eugene EmX was inadequate under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.

LTD Spokesman Andy Vobora says U-S District Court Judge Thomas Zilly had a lot of leeway in assessing the process.

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Eugene Sick Leave
7:48 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Eugene's Sick Leave Proposal Draws Opposition

Credit tallasiandude / Flickr

Eugene is looking to follow in the footsteps of Portland and Seattle with a sick leave ordinance. It would require employers to provide paid sick time to their workers within city limits. This endeavor has been welcomed by many low-wage workers and their advocates and met with dismay by many employers. The Lane County Board of Commissioners is trying to sideline the effort.

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Employment
12:24 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

State Unemployment Rate Stays Flat in June

Oregon's unemployment rate remained flat in June, at 6.8 percent.

The state Employment Department says the construction sector was hiring at record levels earlier this year but didn't hire as many workers last month.

Employment economist Nick Beleiciks says other industries saw gains, including private educational services and health care and social assistance.

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