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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City of Eugene
11:53 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Eugene City Manager Presents Budget

Eugene's Sheldon Branch Library will remain open next year with one-time funds. Voters may be asked to fund the branch long term.
Credit City of Eugene

 

Eugene City Manager John Ruiz presented his budget recommendations Tuesday for the next fiscal year. Voters may be asked to pass a levy to support Eugene's Sheldon branch library.

Eugene faces a 2.5 million dollar gap in its general fund for fiscal year 2015. The proposed budget includes cuts to library and recreation programs, park maintenance, human rights and neighborhood services. Eugene Budget Committee chair Laura Illig says this comes out of a nearly year-long process of public meetings.

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City Wastewater
12:31 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Wastewater Fees Could Get a Boost

Eugene and Springfield residents could see a boost in their monthly utility fee for wastewater. 

Tammy Smith is with Eugene Public Works. She says the cost of processing wastewater has gone up. In order to meet expenses the wastewater commission is proposing a 3.5 percent increase in regional wastewater rates and a 2.75 percent increase for city residents. Smith says in the city of Eugene…

Smith: "A typical standard residential customer would see $1.09 increase in their wastewater utility fee."

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Disasters & Accidents
12:10 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Generator Gives Eugene Food Bank Back-up Power

New Food For Lane County generator is lowered into place.
Credit Food For Lane County

Food for Lane County in Eugene is installing a generator Monday. The food bank will be the only one in the state with backup power in case of a large-scale disaster.

Food for Lane County stores about a half million pounds of food in its Eugene warehouse -- about half of it is perishable. The generator will prevent massive food loss and spoilage if there's a power outage.

Dawn Marie Woodward is with Food For Lane County:

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University of Oregon
9:49 am
Fri April 25, 2014

UO Graduate Teaching Fellows Say Pay Falls Short

GTF union members rallied in February at the UO. The union plans to rally today [Friday 4/25] at Johnson Hall.
Credit Karen Richards

The Graduate Student Teaching Fellows union will meet Friday with the University of Oregon to try to find a solution in labor negotiations. The main sticking point is salary.

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Lane Community College
7:12 am
Fri April 25, 2014

LCC Could Cut Programs To Cope With Deficit

Mary Spilde is president of Lane Community College
Credit Lane Community College

Lane Community College is facing an expected budget deficit of $10 million to $12 million next year if student enrollment continues to decline. KLCC's Rachael McDonald spoke with LCC President Mary Spilde to get a fuller picture.

The LCC Board of Education meets Monday April 28th at 5 p.m. to decide on proposed program cuts.

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Free Speech
1:34 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Free Speech Protest Rights Championed In Two Eugene Lawsuits

Homeless advocates camped at Free Speech Plaza in Eugene.
Credit Rachael McDonald

A Eugene law firm has filed two lawsuits regarding free speech protest rights. One is against the federal government. The other will be tried in Municipal Court.
Attorney Lauren Regan with the Civil Liberties Defense Center says government is quietly chipping away at first amendment rights to protest in Eugene.

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Education
10:37 am
Mon April 21, 2014

LCC Grapples With Budget Woes

The Student Services Building on LCC's main campus.
Credit Lane Community College

Lane Community College may have to lay off part time and even full time employees if its enrollment continues to decline.

The college experienced a surge in enrollment during the recession, but that's dropped off as the economy has improved.
Lane saw a 40 percent boost in enrollment from 2008 to 2012 as people who had lost their jobs went to school for technical training. LCC president Mary Spilde says as state funding for higher education has dwindled; the college is more dependent on tuition.

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Homeless Issues
11:37 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Anonymous Donor Gives $400,000 for Homeless Camp in Eugene

Credit Desmond O'Boyle

An anonymous donor from Eugene has stepped forward with $400,000 to purchase property for a homeless camp in the city.

The $400,000 will be used to buy a piece of private property to create a place for homeless people to sleep. The donor has also asked that a health clinic be on site for residents and others in need.

Attorney Mary Broadhurst is a homeless advocate who's worked with SLEEPS and residents of the recently shuttered illegal Whoville camp. She says she's grateful.

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Transportation
7:26 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Eugene May Implement Test of Traffic Change

The city of Eugene is trying to improve the safety of a portion of Willamette Street. Three alternatives are being considered for the stretch between 24th and 29th avenues. The first would be to keep the busy street in its current configuration with 4 vehicle traffic lanes and no bike lanes. Another would turn the roadway into three lanes with bike lanes on each side. The center lane would be a turn lane.

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Homeless Issues
6:31 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Rest Stops Provide Community

Eugene Safe Spot is on Roosevelt Blvd.
Credit Community Supported Shelters

Earlier this month police broke up a high profile homeless camp in Eugene called Whoville. The people who lived there said they felt safe and part of a community. The city has established a pilot program for legal camping. They're called"rest stops". So far there are two. They're creating community for people who need a sense of connection.

de Buhr: "…how are things going?"

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