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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Health
7:52 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Benton County Ranks Healthiest In Oregon

New rankings say the healthiest people in Oregon live in Benton County. The annual report is from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It measures factors such as education, income, tobacco use and quality of life.

Charlie Fautin is the Deputy Director of the Benton County Health Department. He says it's great to rank first in the state, but there are plenty of people in Benton County who are not doing as well as they could.

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Oregon children
12:26 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

One in Four Oregon Children in Poverty, Report Says

Credit Children First for Oregon

Nearly one in four Oregon children lives in poverty. That's according to a new report on child well-being.

The 2014 Progress Report from Children First for Oregon shows about 23 percent of children in the state live in poverty. The report defines poverty at or below an annual income of 23-thousand - 50 dollars for a family of four. Tonia Hunt is Executive Director of Children First for Oregon. She says for very young children, poverty can mean less stability, access to health care, and inadequate childcare while parents are working.

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Crime & Law
12:30 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Gillette Sentenced To Life In Prison, No Parole

Johan Gillette at his sentencing hearing Tuesday in Lane County Court.
Credit Paul Carter, Register Guard

Johan Gillette was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with no possibility of parole. Gilllette was convicted in a jury trial of aggravated murder in the deaths of his father James Gillette and Anne Dhu McLucas. A court settlement took the sentencing out of the jury's hands.

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whale watching
10:45 am
Mon March 24, 2014

It's Whale Watch Week On The Oregon Coast

Credit Oregon State Parks

It's Whale Watch Week on the Oregon coast. Trained volunteers are staffing 24 Whale Watching Spoken Here sites from Astoria to Crescent City, California during spring break.

About 18 thousand gray whales travel along the west coast in their migration north in the spring from Baja California to their feeding grounds in Alaska. Renee Fowler is a Park Ranger at the Depoe Bay Whale Watch Center. She says people who visit Whale Watch sites can get tips on spotting the giant mammals. You can see a whale come up for air with the naked eye.

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cougar
7:25 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Predator Advocate Says Killing Cougars Is Unnecessary, Harmfull

A sign posted at Hendrick's Park in Eugene warns of the cougar recently seen in the area.
Credit Rachael McDonald

This month, a female cougar believed to be preying on livestock near Hendricks Park was trapped and killed by Oregon Fish & Wildlife. A second, juvenile male cougar was trapped and killed a few days later. A third young cat was captured by trail camera. Brooks Fahy is Director of Predator Defense, a national wildlife advocacy organization based out of Eugene.  He spoke with KLCC's Rachael McDonald.

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Lane County
6:45 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Lane County Seeks To Change Event Rules

Emerald Meadows at Mt. Pisgah has hosted recent events that drew complaints from neighbors about noise and traffic.
Credit Rachael McDonald

A three day music festival at Emerald Meadows near Eugene last summer was so loud it could be heard miles away. Neighbors of the venue at Mt. Pisgah have complained about the recent events there because of noise and traffic. Lane County is seeking input on new rules for outdoor events.

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Crime & Law
6:57 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Underfunded Criminal Justice System Cited In Release Of Accused Murderer

Credit Rachael McDonald

Lane County's District Attorney says lack of law enforcement capacity contributed the release of a man accused of killing two people over the last few weeks.  

Eugene Police arrested Ricardo Cheney on drug and firearms charges on March 6th.  The DA's office said it chose not to file charges because the crime involved no violence or threat of violence and fell below the current local threshold for prosecution.

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Mt Pisgah Arboretum
9:31 am
Wed March 19, 2014

New Bridge Over Water Garden At Arboretum

The new Adkison Bridge opened in October.
Credit Mt. Pisgah Arboretum

Thursday, Mount Pisgah Arboretum near Eugene will celebrate the completion of a 100-foot long bridge that's been in the works for more than four years.

The original Adkison foot-bridge was built in 1983. Brad van Appel is Executive Director of Mount Pisgah Arboretum. He says it wasn't built to last and was finally condemned more than 4 years ago. Van Appel says the community came together to raise 150 thousand dollars and gave hundreds of volunteer hours to rebuild the bridge.

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wildlife
11:09 am
Tue March 18, 2014

A Second Cougar Is Killed Near Eugene Park

This photo taken with a trail camera Friday shows a cougar that's believed to still be in or around Hendrick's Park
Credit Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Oregon wildlife biologists have trapped and killed a second cougar near Hendricks Park in Eugene. A trap was set for a third cougar believed to be in the area. 

Last week, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife trapped and killed an adult female suspected of killing goats and chickens at a home near the park.
Dennehy: "We set a trail camera at the site and that revealed the presence of a 2nd young cougar. That cougar entered the empty coop where the chickens had been killed last week."

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Eugene Downtown
12:49 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Eugene's Downtown Makes Top Ten List

The Barnlight is one of the many new businesses in Eugene's downtown.
Credit Eugene Cascades and Coast Blog

Eugene has made Livability-dot-com's top ten list of Best Downtowns for 2014.

The website points to the transformation of Eugene's center over the past several years from a place with empty pits and vacant buildings to one with housing, theaters, and lots of restaurants and offices. Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy credits the efforts of city staff, residents and a 200 million dollar investment. Piercy says being on a list with cities such as Alexandria, Virginia and Fort Worth, Texas is a nice recognition.

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