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 4J
12:33 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

School Superintendent Shelley Berman Gives A Year's Notice At 4J

Sheldon "Shelly" Berman asked to be released from his contract as Eugene 4J Superintendent. He'll leave the district in June 2015.
Credit Eugene 4J School District

Shelley Berman will leave his post as Eugene 4-J School District Superintendent after next school year. Berman asked to be released from his contract early and the school board Wednesday agreed.Berman says there are a few reasons for his decision to move on, one is family.

Berman: "I have a family that's distributed all across the country right now and we're trying to bring everybody back together in one place."

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Bees
1:18 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

"Bee Friendly" Plants Can Be Poisonous To Pollinators

Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics with her backyard beehive in Eugene.
Credit Rachael McDonald

A national report released Wednesday finds that half of the plants sold at major retailers as "bee friendly" are actually poisonous to bees. The plants are pre-treated with pesticides that are harmful to pollinators according to the study by Friends of the Earth.

Neonicotinoids are pesticides that kill bees and other pollinators. Lisa Arkin is with Eugene-based Beyond Toxics. She says retailers don't label plants to indicate whether they've been treated with these chemicals.

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Sexual Assault
12:09 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

UO Bans Basketball Players Accused of Sexual Assault

Credit Jes Burns

The University of Oregon has found three former basketball players responsible for sexual misconduct and banned them from campus for 4 to 10 years.

Attorney John Clune represents the young woman, a U of O student who accused Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin of sexually assaulting her repeatedly at parties following a basketball game in March.  Clune says his client is relieved to hear the players won't be coming back to the U of O while she's there.

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Illegal Fireworks
8:42 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Eugene Limits Fireworks

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Eugene City Council Monday approved restrictions on fireworks.

The council voted to limit the days when fireworks can be set off. They can be used only between June 23rd and July 6 and on December 31st and January 1st.

Another ordinance would make the use of illegal fireworks enforceable under the city's social host ordinance so that residents or home owners are held responsible when they're ignited.

The council has been hoping to crack down on illegal fireworks because of the noise, fire danger and injuries. Councilor Mike Clark:

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Pollution
12:49 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Toxic Chemicals In Oregon's Waterways

Willamette River
Credit Wikipedia

Oregon's industrial facilities dumped more than 1 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the state's waterways in 2012. In a new report, Environment Oregon ranks the state 33rd worst in the nation for water pollution.

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Bees
1:23 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Another Large Bee Die-off Attributed to Pesticides

One of hundreds of bees that died at an apartment complex in Eugene Tuesday. The ODA found out about the die-off from a report on KVAL
Credit KVAL

Several hundred honey bees and bumblebees died at a Eugene apartment complex Tuesday after trees on the property were sprayed with pesticides. The state is investigating.

The State Department of Agriculture found out about the bee deaths from a TV report and sent an investigator out Wednesday. Bruce Pokarney is with ODA:

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May 2014 Primary
12:23 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Stewart, Bozievich Will Keep Board Seats

Jay Bozievich won re-election for the West Lane County Commission Board seat after a re-count in the May primary.
Credit Lane County

Faye Stewart and Jay Bozievich will not face run-off elections this fall. The Lane County Elections office finished re-counting votes in the West and East Lane County Commissioner races from May.

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May 2014 Primary
11:46 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Recount Underway in Lane County Commissioner Races

Elections officials in Lane County are re-tallying votes from the May primary. Both East Lane and West Lane County Commissioner races were so close that the Secretary of State said recounts are necessary.

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Lane County Sheriff
12:27 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Sheriff Patrol Hours Reduced this Summer In Lane County

Credit Lane County Sheriff

Deputies are not patrolling Lane County 24-7 this summer-- that's because of several retirements. The Sheriff says it's hard to respond to emergencies throughout the vast county… even with full-time patrols.

That's because at any given time there might only be a few deputies on the roads. Sergeant Carrie Carver is Public Information Officer with the Lane County Sheriff.

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Arts & Culture
12:51 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Festival of Eugene Taking Shape

A view of downtown Eugene.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A lot of people were disappointed last week when Kesey Enterprises announced the Eugene Celebration is taking a hiatus this year.  Now, an alternative event is in the works.

Krysta Albert runs the Eugene Health and Wellness Celebration which has been part of the Eugene Celebration over the years.  She says when the news came out community members contacted her about putting on a Festival of Eugene instead.

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