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

Senator Floyd Prozanski

The Oregon legislature may extend its statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault to 12 years. That bill is expected to get a public hearing in the next 2 weeks in Salem.

Last month, the state house voted to double the statute of limitations for people to report sexual assault. The bill is now in the Senate Judiciary committee, which is chaired by Democratic Senator Floyd Prozanksi. He says the statute of limitations is currently at 6 years.

Rachael McDonald

As the weather warms up in the Pacific Northwest, more people are riding their bicycles. But in bike-friendly college towns like Eugene and Corvallis, bike theft also increases during the spring and summer.

It's a story many people who commute by bicycle know well. Eugene resident Aaron Brussat had locked his bike outside of Falling Sky Home Fermentation Supply Shop, where he worked.

Oregon Live

Long-time Register Guard editor and publisher, Tony Baker, is stepping down. The Eugene daily paper has hired the head of The Oregonian Media Group to take his place.

Baker has been at the helm of the Register-Guard for 28 years. N. Christian Anderson III led the Oregonian through a transition to a digital-first organization.  

Former Dean of the U of O School of Journalism and Communication Tim Gleason says he expects change at the Guard.

A federal judge in Eugene has dismissed as moot a lawsuit the Newport Fishermen's Wives brought against the U.S. Coast Guard. The suit was filed after the federal agency threatened to close its rescue helicopter station in Newport last year.

Willamette National Forest

 Jude McHugh is spokeswoman for the Willamette National Forest. She says a lot has changed in more than 20 years. She says the forest managers hope to hear from folks in the middle ground.

McHugh: "There's also we know a great number of people who generally don't get their voices heard about the national forest that maybe they recreate in, that they appreciate knowing are there for quietude and solitude. Maybe they go up and they get firewood or other forest products, and we don't get to hear from those people that often."

For the first time in 10 years, more Oregon kindergarteners have been getting vaccinated against diseases including measles and whooping cough.

Lydia McKinney / Lane County

Work will start soon on safety improvements to the Row River Trail in Cottage Grove. The project started in 2011 after South Lane County School Board Member Michelle Portman was fatally hit by a truck while biking the path.

Portman was the 2nd bicyclist killed where the trail crosses Row River Road.  Lydia McKinney is Lane County Transportation Manager. She says finding grant funding was essential since the county's road fund is lacking.

McKinney: "We were very fortunate to receive a grant from the Federal Lands Access Program."

The Springfield School Board Monday night decided it will not suspend administration of Smarter Balanced tests.

Board member Jonathan Light had proposed a moratorium, saying the new requirements are not good for kids. But the rest of the board felt it was too risky for the district to refuse to give the tests since they're required by law.
Springfield students have already started taking Smarter Balanced exams.

Board Chair Nancy Bigley says the district will continue looking at testing.

Brazil family

Two Eugene area women who had been hiking in Nepal when the earthquake hit Saturday contacted their families early Tuesday morning. The 21-year old Thurston High grads are alive and safe.

Amber Brazil and Alicia Scroggins were hiking in Nepal's Langtang National Park when the earthquake hit. Their families were worried.

Jennifer Brazil says Amber's father got a phone call from their daughter.
 
Brazil: "He didn’t have a lot of information. I think she wanted to get that phone call out of the way. But they were unharmed, safe, and obviously ready to get home."

Angela Kellner / KLCC

Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken is exploring a run for Oregon governor. He announced Monday his Political Action Committee has changed its name to "Sid Leiken for Governor".

In a news release, Leiken says Oregon is ready for a fresh start and new leadership. Leiken, a Republican, is looking to the 2016 special election.

Democrat John Kitzhaber resigned amid questions over the role of his fiancé Cylvia Hayes earlier this year. Kate Brown, as Secretary of State, replaced him.

It's been decades since Oregon had a Republican governor.

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