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 Budget
1:33 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Eugene Budget Committee Looks At Ways To Cope With Shortfall

The city is considering reducing Sunday hours at Eugene's downtown library to cope with budget shortfalls
Credit Eugene agogo

The public has the chance this week to comment on the latest ideas for shoring up Eugene's $2.5 million deficit. The budget committee will have a public hearing Wednesday.

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Profile
6:00 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Eugene Attorney Represents Activists

Lauren Regan at her office in Eugene.
Credit Rachael McDonald

The northwest is famous for political activism-- WTO protests, tree-sits, Occupy… When activists get arrested, there's a law firm in Eugene that might represent them for no little or no money. Lauren Regan's Civil Liberties Defense Center celebrates its tenth year at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference this weekend.

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Public Interest Environmental Law Conference
1:21 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Law Conference Explores 6th Extinction

The Public Interest Environmental Law Conference is an annual event at the UO Law School.
Credit uo lawblog

Thousands of Environmental activists, lawyers and students will be at the University of Oregon in Eugene this weekend for the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. The 3 day event begins Thursday afternoon.

The theme of the law conference this year is "Running into Running Out"

Brinson: "With the 6th largest mass extinction currently happening, we've got to do something. So hopefully, this conference can be an opportunity for people to figure some of this stuff out."

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Employment
8:47 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Eugene Council Discusses Sick Leave Ordinance

Credit City of Eugene

The Eugene City Council is considering an ordinance that would require employers to provide sick leave to their workers.

The proposal was brought forward Monday night by Councilors Alan Zelenka and Claire Syrett. Eugene would follow Portland and Seattle, which have sick leave ordinances in place. Syrett said 25-thousand workers in Eugene don't have sick leave.

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Homeless Issues
6:00 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Whoville Won't Have To Move After 30-day Reprieve Is Over

Eugene City Councilor Claire Syrett.
Credit City of Eugene.

The Eugene City Council plans to extend its sunset date for a program that allows homeless people to camp in designated 'rest-stops'. This means Whoville residents have more time at their camp near downtown.

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Arts & Culture
1:06 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

New Light Coming To Downtown Eugene

This and 43 other light poles will be illuminated Valentine's night in downtown Eugene during the rescheduled First Friday Art Walk.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Eugene's First Friday Art Walk was postponed to this Friday, Valentine's Day, because of the snow last week. Downtown will be graced with new light for folks who come to the Art Walk.  

A brand new light display will be turned on at dusk Friday.
Sarah Bennett is President of Downtown Eugene Incorporated, or DEI. She says the lighting treatment is a permanent year-round installation.

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Economy
1:16 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Snowstorms And Freezing Rain Affect Local Economy

A snowy downtown Eugene Friday.
Credit Rachael McDonald

It will take time to determine the long-term economic impacts of the extreme weather that hit the region this past week. But there are some immediate effects we can observe.

Monday was the first day many area residents were able to emerge from their homes after two snowstorms and freezing rain caused downed trees, power outages and treacherous road conditions. Dave Hauser, President of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, says a lot of people waited out the storm and businesses and events lost revenue.

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Economy
1:03 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Two Local Manufacturing Plants Announce Closures

Two local manufacturing plants have announced they're closing. Allied Specialty Vehicles Inc. closed its plant at the former Monaco site in Harrisburg Monday. The plant employed 120 people.

Springfield based Sierra-Pine told the Register Guard it will close its particle board plant in April. That company has 87 employees. Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce President Dave Hauser says the closures are a blow to the local economy.

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Transportation
11:25 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Rising River Eats Away At Highway 20 Near Eddyville

Erosion on Highway 20 embankment
Credit ODOT

A rising Yaquina River has eaten away the foundation of U.S. 20 through the Coast Range in a narrow, twisty section that for years has made trouble for drivers and highway workers alike.

The Oregon Department of Transportation says travel at a curve about four miles west of Eddyville in Lincoln County will be down to a single lane while crews bring in rock to rebuild the foundation. ODOT Spokesman Rick Little says the area was hit hard by the recent snowstorm.

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Springfield City Council
12:13 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Springfield Considers Paying City Councilors

The Springfield City Council is considering a measure to pay its members. Monday they asked a committee to look into crafting a proposal that could go before voters in November.

The measure would require changing the city charter, which forbids such compensation.  Springfield spokesman Niel Laudati says councilors do get expenses reimbursed. But they're doing up to 35 hours a week of work. Laudati says the proposal is not meant to be a living wage.

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