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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May 2014 Primary
11:33 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Ballots In The Mail For May Primary Election

Ballots go in the mail Friday for the May 2014 Primary. Election Day is May 20th. Even though it's an off-year election-- with no presidential primary-- officials hope for a good voter turnout.
 

Only 39 percent of Oregon voters participated in the 2012 primary.  Lane County Clerk Cheryl Betschart expects turnout to be comparable this year-- but hopes for better.

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May 2014 Primary
7:43 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Candidates Rely On Ground Game in Commission Race

Dawn Lesley canvassing in Veneta on a rainy Saturday.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Making an impression on voters one-at-a-time could make a big difference in the contest for West Lane County Commissioner this month. Conservative commissioner Jay Bozievich is being challenged by moderate candidate Dawn Lesley. Both are relying on the "ground-game" to reach voters.

Bozievich: "Hello. I'm Jay Bozievich. I'm your County Commissioner and I'm running for re-election. I'm coming around asking people for their support for May 20th."

Lesley: "Hi. Are you Nancy?" I'm Dawn Lesley and this is my son Clayton and I'm running for County Commissioner."

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Bees
1:10 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Beekeeper Removes Swarm From Behind KLCC

Honeybees swarm the trellised gate behind the Starlight Lounge next door to KLCC.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Honeybees swarmed Wednesday morning behind the KLCC studios in downtown Eugene. They may have come from wild hives on the roof of the nearby Rogue Brewery. When bees swarm, there's a list of people who can come and take them away.

 
Brent Hefley is on the Lane County Bee Keepers Association Swarm list. He got a call from the Rogue and came out to the parking lot behind KLCC. He brought a wooden box.

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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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