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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Rachael McDonald

Eugene has been gathering people's opinions about the city's system of soft trails. Those include hiking, running, mountain biking and even water trails. There are plans to add more.

Friends of Trees

Tree advocates are urging Oregonians to water their trees during this dry summer. Most of the state is in drought, which stresses even well-established trees.

Eric Burke, with Friends of Trees, spoke with me on his cell phone from where he and volunteers were weeding and mulching trees near Beltline Road in Eugene. He explains what trees need during an especially dry summer.

Rachael McDonald

Benton County leaders are considering asking voters to fund a new jail. They say the existing jail is inadequate for public safety needs.

The Benton County Jail was built in 1976. It has enough room for up to 40 inmates. The county is renting beds at other jails making it possible for the county to hold up to 80 offenders. Sheriff's Captain Diana Rabago says the jail has a virtual revolving door with people getting released early due to overcrowding. She says the jail uses a matrix to determine who is next on the list to be force released.

City of Eugene

Eugene is working on a plan for growth into the next two decades. The City Council Monday approved a "baseline" Urban Growth Boundary crafted by its Envision Eugene project.

Several years ago, Envision Eugene got started, mapping a course for the city's future into 2032 when its population is expected to grow by 34 thousand. Terri Harding is Principal Planner:

Oregon Water Resources Department

23 of Oregon's 36 counties are now officially in drought. Governor Kate Brown Tuesday added Curry, Hood River and Union Counties to the list. Water managers say current stream conditions are as low as what is normally seen in mid to late August.

wikipedia Commons

Yachats is in a water shortage emergency. Residents are restricted on when they can water outdoors.

One of the reasons water is scarce is because a private timber company logged in the salmon creek watershed the feeds into the Yachats River. A provision of city charter had prevented Yachats from purchasing the watershed land before the logging took place.

KLCC's Rachael McDonald spoke with Yachats Mayor Ron Brean. He says despite the coastal climate, it's been dry.

OPB.org

This week's New Yorker article "The Really Big One" has served as a wake up call to northwest residents to the reality that a major earthquake is expected to hit in the next 50 years. Oregon Emergency Managers want to use this opportunity to help people prepare.

Jenny Demaris is Emergency Manager for Lincoln County on the Oregon Coast. She says after reading or hearing about the article, people took notice.

OPB News

The University of Oregon's Vin Lananna will lead the U.S. men's track and field team at the Olympics in Rio next year.

Lananna has been instrumental in bringing the U.S. Olympic Trials to Eugene's Hayward Field in 2008 and 2012. He also successfully led efforts to bring the world championships here in 2021.

Lananna says being selected as head coach for the Olympic team is a huge honor. He sees it as his number one accomplishment.

Junction City

Yachats last week declared a water shortage emergency. The city council has imposed phase one water restrictions t. Junction City is also coping with a water shortage.
 

Junction City relies on well water. It will move forward with digging a new well to help cope with its water shortage. Last night, Tuesday, the City Council approved staff to proceed with engineering and design work for a well at 11th and Elm.

Rachael McDonald

The Eugene City Council Monday decided to put a 5-year property tax levy on the November ballot to fund expanded library services.

The $2.7 million levy would add back hours to Sunday mornings at the downtown library. It would also restore 22 hours a week at the Bethel and Sheldon branches.

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