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

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

Yaquina Head Lighthouse re-opened last weekend to tours after being closed for 3 months. The 1872 lighthouse in Newport has been repainted.

Oregon Zoo

It's been a really warm winter so far in Western Oregon. On this Groundhog Day, we checked in with the National Weather Service for a forecast.

Punxutawny Phil of Pennsylvania saw his shadow, which means 6 more weeks of winter. That's may be true for the east coast, but not in Oregon. Meteorologist Amanda Bowen:

Bowen: "Any local groundhogs likely would not have seen their shadow, since it was fairly cloudy so that would theoretically indicate an early arrival of spring for us and sure enough we're expecting warmer than usual weather over the next month or so."

Re-Election Campaign

Oregon lawmakers go back to Salem Monday for the 2015 legislative session. Democratic Representative Val Hoyle was appointed to the Oregon House in 2009. Since then, she has been elected twice to House District 14, representing West Eugene and Junction City. She serves as House Majority Leader. Democrats have a majority in both houses this session. Hoyle talks with KLCC's Rachael McDonald.

Re-Election Campaign

The Oregon legislature goes into session Monday with a Democratic majority in both houses.

House Majority leader Val Hoyle represents House District 14 which includes West Eugene and Junction City. She says she wants the state to re-invest in education and expand opportunities.

Oregon's public high school on-time graduation rates went up 3.3 percent in 2014 from the previous year. Eugene's 4J school district reports an 8 percent boost in the statewide survey released Thursday.

The state has changed the way it calculates graduation rates which may account for some of the improvement. Kerry Delf with Eugene 4J says the district also made progress in closing the achievement gap:

Visitor7

The University of Oregon says 22,000 pages of archived documents that were released illegally have been returned.

Rachael McDonald

A plan to build long-term housing for people who've been in prison is raising objections from neighbors. The proposal is to put in a 60 unit building in the neighborhood of Acorn Park in West Eugene.

Sponsors is a program that helps people who've been in prison get back into society. Director Paul Solomon:

Solomon: "Re-entry services consist of transitional housing, long-term housing, employment services, mentoring and a range of other services designed to help people transition successfully back into the community."

Lane County

The Lane County Board of Commissioners has postponed a decision on whether to put a $35 annual vehicle registration fee on the May ballot. The fee would fund repair to roads and bridges.

The board heard from 20 people at a hearing Tuesday. Nancy Nichols of Deadwood was among those in favor of the fee. She lives near a gravel road.

Egan Warming Center

Despite the unseasonably warm weather this week in Oregon, the Egan Warming Centers in Eugene and Springfield plan to activate Wednesday night. Four shelters will be open for the national one-night homeless count.

Egan volunteer Shelley Corteville says others will be out in the community counting people without homes.

Corteville: "This count is very important because it helps bring in money to communities for homeless services."

Federal funds are allocated to counties based on the number of homeless people.

KLCC

The University of Oregon is being tight-lipped about the recent release of 22,000 pages of documents it says were checked out illegally to an unnamed library patron.

Tobin Klinger, University spokesman, says the administration is in contact with the patron and wants the documents returned. Two people are on paid leave, but Klinger would not confirm whether they are librarians or even work at the library.

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