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

Eugene voters could see a property tax levy on the November ballot to help fund library services. The City Council discussed several options at its Wednesday work session. The previous library levy was allowed to expire four years ago. The Sheldon, Bethel and downtown branches now receive about 10-million dollars a year from the city's general fund. But the needs of other departments, as well as increased benefits and payroll costs have led to cuts in library hours.

Oregon State Parks

Planners are gathering information about trails at Honeyman State Park in Florence. There's a public meeting Thursday evening.

Rachael McDonald

Construction is underway for a new rapid transit bus route in West Eugene. The EmX expansion will be funded with $75-million in federal money. A group that opposes the project is still hoping to halt it.

This spring, the sound of roadwork has been audible on Eugene's downtown streets.

Here on the corner of 6th and Charnelton, workers are pouring concrete on a driveway apron.

Rachael McDonald

A woman from Cottage Grove has filed a petition to recall democratic state senator Floyd Prozanski of Eugene.  A small group of her supporters gathered at the Free Speech Plaza in Eugene Tuesday.

Patricia Michaelson-Duffy says she's disagreed with many of Senator Prozanski's actions over the years, but the recent passage of Senate Bill 941 is what spurred the recall effort. The bill expands background checks for private gun sales. Duffy says it is an undue burden on law-abiding gun-owners and doesn’t keep guns away from criminals.

City of Eugene

The Eugene City Council will hold a public hearing Monday on its controversial Multi Unit Property Tax Exemption or MUPTE program. The city is shifting away from applying it to student housing projects.

The MUPTE program gives an up to 10 year property tax break to qualified developers in Eugene's downtown. It's currently suspended while the city makes tweaks. Denny Braud with the City of Eugene says two large student housing projects were among the last to take advantage of the tax breaks.

State of Oregon

Governor Kate Brown Friday confirmed drought emergencies in Coos, Douglas, Gilliam and Jefferson counties. That makes 19 Oregon counties, officially in a state of drought.

Drought emergencies have now been declared in more than half of Oregon's 36 counties. Lane and Deschutes were recently added to the list.

Governor Brown cites low snowpack and low water levels in her declaration.

Brown: "Oregon is only just beginning to face what is likely to be an unprecedented wildfire season and drought. We must now rise to the challenge that a changing climate brings."

OPB News

Officials expected to lift a pre-evacuation notice for residents of Shevlin Park Road and Johnson Ranch in Bend by midnight Thursday.

Crews built fire lines around the Shevlin Fire which burned 8 to 10 acres. They officially declared it 100 percent contained. The brush fire broke out Thursday in the canyon of Tumalo Creek. The north half of Shevlin Park will be re-opened Friday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Fire Information
 

Community Supported Shelters

A rest-stop for homeless veterans is moving from its current home along Northwest Expressway to the Mission. The Eugene City Council voted 5 to zero Wednesday in favor of the move.

The Veterans' Safe Spot provides a temporary site for homeless people to stay. It's now on a grassy lot between Northwest Expressway and the railroad tracks. Michael Kinnison, program manager for the city's Office of Human Rights & Neighborhood Involvement told councilors the Mission location will be more accessible and flat.

Eugene 4J

South Eugene High School and Roosevelt Middle School were placed on lockdown Wednesday morning for about 45 minutes.

A Eugene Police SWAT team member was dropping his child off at the YMCA Wednesday morning. He was wearing his camouflage uniform. A school district delivery driver contacted police saying that there was an armed man near South Eugene High School. Eugene 4j Spokeswoman Kerry Delf says even though it's stressful for a school to go into lockdown, everyone did what they should.

tallasiandude / Flickr

The Oregon legislature is expected to vote this week on statewide paid sick-leave. Eugene has passed its own sick leave ordinance, but, the mayor has asked to delay its implementation.

The Eugene ordinance was set to go into effect July 1st. Mayor Kitty Piercy says, with expectation of a state law mandating sick leave, it made sense to delay the city's rule. The state law would over-rule Eugene's. Piercy says this way businesses won't have to go through the adjustment twice.

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