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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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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Lane County
11:48 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Lane County To Consider Resisting National Defense Authorization Act

Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich has concerns about the constitutionality of provision of the NDAA.
Credit Lane County

This week, the Board of Lane County Commissioners could vote to refuse to cooperate with a federal law. The board Tuesday will hold a public hearing and discussion of concerns about renewing the National Defense Authorization Act.

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Homeless Issues
2:38 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Eugene Withdraws Rest-Stop Near Science Factory

The illegal camping site called Whoville was shut down last week.
Credit Karen Richards

The Eugene City Council voted today [Wednesday] to withdraw a proposed rest-stop location for homeless people near the Science Factory and Cuthbert Amphitheater. Last Friday, Eugene police shut down an illegal homeless camp near downtown called Whoville.  

City Councilor Chris Pryor made the move to withdraw the rest-stop because it's problematic for the Science Factory, Nearby Nature and a car-camping program. Councilor George Brown bemoaned the fact that Whoville was closed before another site was made available for its residents.

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City of Eugene
2:35 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Eugene Considers City-Wide Sick Leave Ordinance

Credit City of Eugene

The city of Eugene is considering a sick leave ordinance modeled after one recently passed in Portland. They discussed it at their meeting Wednesday. Not all councilors think it’s a good idea.

Councilor Mike Clark says a citywide sick leave ordinance would be great in an ideal world but…

Clark: "My concern here revolves around the fact that this will cost, in the real world, this will cost our community hundreds and hundreds of jobs."

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Medical Marijuana
11:46 am
Tue April 8, 2014

More Cities Decide On Medical Pot Bans

Credit Mjpresson Wikimedia

Newport has joined the list of Oregon cities placing a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. Springfield has decided against a ban and Creswell may enact a moratorium.

At their Monday meeting, Creswell City Councilors voted in favor of a year-long moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. 4 of the 6 current council members were present and the vote was 3 to 1 to enact a ban. The council will vote again on the ban April 21st--City Administrator Michelle Amberg says Creswell requires 2 readings of an ordinance before it's passed.

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Homeless Issues
12:06 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Eugene Shuts Down Whoville

Eugene Police surround Whoville camp Friday morning.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Eugene Police surrounded an illegal homeless camp known as Whoville Friday morning and told the 30 or so residents to pack up and go. The City Council gave an April 15th deadline for the site to close.

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Bees
1:47 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Beautiful Bee Photos Part of First Friday Art in Eugene

First Place Winner "The Measure of a Bee"
Autumn Steam

Honeybees are in peril because of disease and pesticides. A photo contest celebrating bees will be on display during the first Friday Artwalk in Eugene Friday evening.

The organization Beyond Toxics has been sounding the alarm about bee health for years. They're celebrating a recent decision by the Eugene City Council to ban the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids from city property. The chemicals are proven to kill bees and other insects. Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics says we should care about bees because they help to grow food:

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