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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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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Peabody Awards
1:33 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

University of Oregon Students Win Peabody

Samantha Stendal is a UO student and winner of a Peabody Award, with UO grad Aaron Blanton.
Credit Samantha Stendal

Two University of Oregon students have been awarded a Peabody for their 25 second video that addresses sexual assault. It’s the first time a viral video has been given the prize which recognizes storytelling in media.

U of O student Samantha Stendal made the video with her friend Aaron Blanton. Stendal says the idea came during media coverage of the Steubenville rape trial last year. She felt the victim was being blamed because she had been drinking.

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Leaburg Dam
12:43 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

High Pricetag To Fix Old McKenzie Dam

The Leaburg Dam on the McKenzie River.
Credit USGS

The Eugene Water and Electric Board hopes to start repairing Leaburg Dam as soon as May. The cost to fix the 83-year-old structure on the McKenzie River is projected to be $2.8 million. That's about twice the previous estimate.

The motor in one of the dam's three roll gates failed in 2012. The gate has been in the down position ever since.  The roll-gates regulate how much water flows through the dam, which generates power for about 10-thousand homes. Joe Harwood is spokesman for EWEB. He says it's not surprising the first cost estimate of $1.2 million was off.

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Eugene Police
12:03 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Eugene Police Analyses Bias

The Eugene Police and Police Commission are taking a look at whether bias or profiling plays a role in how cops approach their work. There's a public forum Thursday evening for people to voice their concerns.

The Police Commission is drafting a policy on bias-based policing policy. At the same time EPD is developing new methods for collecting data on contact between police and the public. Carter Hawley is a Management Analyst for the Eugene Police Department. She says there's a perception that bias based on race, gender, age or other factors plays a role in police activity.

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Politics
11:24 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Democrats Gather In Eugene

Congressman Peter DeFazio will deliver a keynote speech at the Oregon Democratic Party's meeting at Lane Community College in Eugene Saturday.
Credit U.S. House of Representatives

Democrats from all over the state of Oregon are coming to Eugene Saturday. They're having a day-long meeting and evening reception with US Representative Peter DeFazio. This, just a few days before former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee comes to town.

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Medical Marijuana
9:52 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Medical Marijuana Conference Coming to Eugene

A big turn-out is expected for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference in Eugene. Anthony Johnson is organizing the event this Sunday and Monday. He says the conference is a place for entrepreneurs to learn about business opportunities. He says those extend beyond growing and selling marijuana. Johnson hopes to help professionalize the business.

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