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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Leaburg Dam
12:43 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

High Pricetag To Fix Old McKenzie Dam

The Leaburg Dam on the McKenzie River.
Credit USGS

The Eugene Water and Electric Board hopes to start repairing Leaburg Dam as soon as May. The cost to fix the 83-year-old structure on the McKenzie River is projected to be $2.8 million. That's about twice the previous estimate.

The motor in one of the dam's three roll gates failed in 2012. The gate has been in the down position ever since.  The roll-gates regulate how much water flows through the dam, which generates power for about 10-thousand homes. Joe Harwood is spokesman for EWEB. He says it's not surprising the first cost estimate of $1.2 million was off.

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Eugene Police
12:03 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Eugene Police Analyses Bias

The Eugene Police and Police Commission are taking a look at whether bias or profiling plays a role in how cops approach their work. There's a public forum Thursday evening for people to voice their concerns.

The Police Commission is drafting a policy on bias-based policing policy. At the same time EPD is developing new methods for collecting data on contact between police and the public. Carter Hawley is a Management Analyst for the Eugene Police Department. She says there's a perception that bias based on race, gender, age or other factors plays a role in police activity.

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Politics
11:24 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Democrats Gather In Eugene

Congressman Peter DeFazio will deliver a keynote speech at the Oregon Democratic Party's meeting at Lane Community College in Eugene Saturday.
Credit U.S. House of Representatives

Democrats from all over the state of Oregon are coming to Eugene Saturday. They're having a day-long meeting and evening reception with US Representative Peter DeFazio. This, just a few days before former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee comes to town.

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Medical Marijuana
9:52 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Medical Marijuana Conference Coming to Eugene

A big turn-out is expected for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference in Eugene. Anthony Johnson is organizing the event this Sunday and Monday. He says the conference is a place for entrepreneurs to learn about business opportunities. He says those extend beyond growing and selling marijuana. Johnson hopes to help professionalize the business.

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Health
7:52 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Benton County Ranks Healthiest In Oregon

New rankings say the healthiest people in Oregon live in Benton County. The annual report is from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It measures factors such as education, income, tobacco use and quality of life.

Charlie Fautin is the Deputy Director of the Benton County Health Department. He says it's great to rank first in the state, but there are plenty of people in Benton County who are not doing as well as they could.

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Oregon children
12:26 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

One in Four Oregon Children in Poverty, Report Says

Credit Children First for Oregon

Nearly one in four Oregon children lives in poverty. That's according to a new report on child well-being.

The 2014 Progress Report from Children First for Oregon shows about 23 percent of children in the state live in poverty. The report defines poverty at or below an annual income of 23-thousand - 50 dollars for a family of four. Tonia Hunt is Executive Director of Children First for Oregon. She says for very young children, poverty can mean less stability, access to health care, and inadequate childcare while parents are working.

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Crime & Law
12:30 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Gillette Sentenced To Life In Prison, No Parole

Johan Gillette at his sentencing hearing Tuesday in Lane County Court.
Credit Paul Carter, Register Guard

Johan Gillette was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with no possibility of parole. Gilllette was convicted in a jury trial of aggravated murder in the deaths of his father James Gillette and Anne Dhu McLucas. A court settlement took the sentencing out of the jury's hands.

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whale watching
10:45 am
Mon March 24, 2014

It's Whale Watch Week On The Oregon Coast

Credit Oregon State Parks

It's Whale Watch Week on the Oregon coast. Trained volunteers are staffing 24 Whale Watching Spoken Here sites from Astoria to Crescent City, California during spring break.

About 18 thousand gray whales travel along the west coast in their migration north in the spring from Baja California to their feeding grounds in Alaska. Renee Fowler is a Park Ranger at the Depoe Bay Whale Watch Center. She says people who visit Whale Watch sites can get tips on spotting the giant mammals. You can see a whale come up for air with the naked eye.

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cougar
7:25 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Predator Advocate Says Killing Cougars Is Unnecessary, Harmfull

A sign posted at Hendrick's Park in Eugene warns of the cougar recently seen in the area.
Credit Rachael McDonald

This month, a female cougar believed to be preying on livestock near Hendricks Park was trapped and killed by Oregon Fish & Wildlife. A second, juvenile male cougar was trapped and killed a few days later. A third young cat was captured by trail camera. Brooks Fahy is Director of Predator Defense, a national wildlife advocacy organization based out of Eugene.  He spoke with KLCC's Rachael McDonald.

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Lane County
6:45 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Lane County Seeks To Change Event Rules

Emerald Meadows at Mt. Pisgah has hosted recent events that drew complaints from neighbors about noise and traffic.
Credit Rachael McDonald

A three day music festival at Emerald Meadows near Eugene last summer was so loud it could be heard miles away. Neighbors of the venue at Mt. Pisgah have complained about the recent events there because of noise and traffic. Lane County is seeking input on new rules for outdoor events.

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