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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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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Crime & Law
6:57 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Underfunded Criminal Justice System Cited In Release Of Accused Murderer

Credit Rachael McDonald

Lane County's District Attorney says lack of law enforcement capacity contributed the release of a man accused of killing two people over the last few weeks.  

Eugene Police arrested Ricardo Cheney on drug and firearms charges on March 6th.  The DA's office said it chose not to file charges because the crime involved no violence or threat of violence and fell below the current local threshold for prosecution.

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Mt Pisgah Arboretum
9:31 am
Wed March 19, 2014

New Bridge Over Water Garden At Arboretum

The new Adkison Bridge opened in October.
Credit Mt. Pisgah Arboretum

Thursday, Mount Pisgah Arboretum near Eugene will celebrate the completion of a 100-foot long bridge that's been in the works for more than four years.

The original Adkison foot-bridge was built in 1983. Brad van Appel is Executive Director of Mount Pisgah Arboretum. He says it wasn't built to last and was finally condemned more than 4 years ago. Van Appel says the community came together to raise 150 thousand dollars and gave hundreds of volunteer hours to rebuild the bridge.

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wildlife
11:09 am
Tue March 18, 2014

A Second Cougar Is Killed Near Eugene Park

This photo taken with a trail camera Friday shows a cougar that's believed to still be in or around Hendrick's Park
Credit Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Oregon wildlife biologists have trapped and killed a second cougar near Hendricks Park in Eugene. A trap was set for a third cougar believed to be in the area. 

Last week, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife trapped and killed an adult female suspected of killing goats and chickens at a home near the park.
Dennehy: "We set a trail camera at the site and that revealed the presence of a 2nd young cougar. That cougar entered the empty coop where the chickens had been killed last week."

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Eugene Downtown
12:49 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Eugene's Downtown Makes Top Ten List

The Barnlight is one of the many new businesses in Eugene's downtown.
Credit Eugene Cascades and Coast Blog

Eugene has made Livability-dot-com's top ten list of Best Downtowns for 2014.

The website points to the transformation of Eugene's center over the past several years from a place with empty pits and vacant buildings to one with housing, theaters, and lots of restaurants and offices. Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy credits the efforts of city staff, residents and a 200 million dollar investment. Piercy says being on a list with cities such as Alexandria, Virginia and Fort Worth, Texas is a nice recognition.

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Oregon Country Fair
12:24 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Arson Suspected In Fire At Oregon Country Fair Site

The dragon at the Oregon Country Fair was damaged by a suspected arson.
Credit Charlie Ruff

A suspected arson fire did extensive damage to a large wooden dragon sculpture at the Oregon Country Fair site in Veneta late last week.

The dragon near the entrance to the Oregon Country Fair is familiar to people who've visited the annual three day festival. OCF General Manager Charlie Ruff says the dragon's head and tale are still intact but the middle of the wooden structure was destroyed. Ruff says it's a blow because the dragon is an important feature at the fair.

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Crime
6:28 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Gang Specialist Translates Graffiti, Details Scope of Problem

Credit Rachael McDonald

Last Friday, police deployed a SWAT team to arrest a member of the Barrio Los Padrinos criminal street gang in downtown Eugene. The suspect was accused of sexual assault and believed to be armed. Earlier that day, KLCC's Rachael McDonald spoke with EPD Detective Greg Harvey. She asked about gang graffiti and what's going on with gangs in Eugene / Springfield.

Harvey: "So this little walkway goes between 2nd street and the Pioneer Parkway and it’s a heavily trafficked area."

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Endangered Species
12:42 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Conservationists Say They'll Sue Over Privatization Of State Forest

Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Conservation groups want timber companies to know they'll sue if an endangered seabird's habitat is threatened by logging. The groups object to the potential privatization of the Elliott State Forest in Oregon's coast range.

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Wildlife
12:40 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Cougar Blamed For Killing Livestock Is Put Down

Credit Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

A cougar blamed for killing goats and chickens at a home near Hendrick's Park in Eugene has been trapped and killed.

The cougar visited a property that abuts Hendricks Park for four consecutive nights, killing two goats and some chickens. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife trapped the 84-pound female Tuesday morning in a cage took it away and euthanized it. District Wildlife Biologist, Brian Wolfer says there was potential for the cougar to keep killing livestock and domestic animals, even if it was relocated.

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