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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Oregon Country Fair
12:24 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Arson Suspected In Fire At Oregon Country Fair Site

The dragon at the Oregon Country Fair was damaged by a suspected arson.
Credit Charlie Ruff

A suspected arson fire did extensive damage to a large wooden dragon sculpture at the Oregon Country Fair site in Veneta late last week.

The dragon near the entrance to the Oregon Country Fair is familiar to people who've visited the annual three day festival. OCF General Manager Charlie Ruff says the dragon's head and tale are still intact but the middle of the wooden structure was destroyed. Ruff says it's a blow because the dragon is an important feature at the fair.

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Crime
6:28 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Gang Specialist Translates Graffiti, Details Scope of Problem

Credit Rachael McDonald

Last Friday, police deployed a SWAT team to arrest a member of the Barrio Los Padrinos criminal street gang in downtown Eugene. The suspect was accused of sexual assault and believed to be armed. Earlier that day, KLCC's Rachael McDonald spoke with EPD Detective Greg Harvey. She asked about gang graffiti and what's going on with gangs in Eugene / Springfield.

Harvey: "So this little walkway goes between 2nd street and the Pioneer Parkway and it’s a heavily trafficked area."

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Endangered Species
12:42 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Conservationists Say They'll Sue Over Privatization Of State Forest

Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Conservation groups want timber companies to know they'll sue if an endangered seabird's habitat is threatened by logging. The groups object to the potential privatization of the Elliott State Forest in Oregon's coast range.

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Wildlife
12:40 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Cougar Blamed For Killing Livestock Is Put Down

Credit Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

A cougar blamed for killing goats and chickens at a home near Hendrick's Park in Eugene has been trapped and killed.

The cougar visited a property that abuts Hendricks Park for four consecutive nights, killing two goats and some chickens. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife trapped the 84-pound female Tuesday morning in a cage took it away and euthanized it. District Wildlife Biologist, Brian Wolfer says there was potential for the cougar to keep killing livestock and domestic animals, even if it was relocated.

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Animal Health
10:30 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Lane County Horse Dies of Equine Herpes

Credit Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

A Lane County horse has died and four others have tested positive for equine herpes virus.  Bruce Pokarney is with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He says equine herpes is widespread among horses and can lie dormant for long periods of time. It is not transmissible to humans. It is spread by direct horse to horse contact. Pokarney says the outbreak is believed to be is isolated.

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Passenger Rail
1:52 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Talk Trains In Eugene Tuesday

Credit Jes Burns

A report out Monday says Americans are increasing their use of public transportation. This is true in the northwest where the Cascade Line between Eugene and Vancouver, BC is one of the fastest growing rail lines in the country. Tuesday, there's a conversation about rail in Eugene.

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Lumber Industry
12:07 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Southern Oregon Sawmill To Reopen Thanks to State Help

Lumber stacked in the yard at Rough and Ready before it closed about a year ago.
Credit Amelia Templeton / Earthfix

Governor John Kitzhaber Friday announced a $5 million funding package that will allow Josephine County's last sawmill to re-open.
 
The Rough & Ready Sawmill in O'Brien closed a year ago. It will now be able to open with upgraded equipment thanks to a combination of tax credits and a state loan. At a press conference in White City, Owner Link Phillipi said he expects the mill will be able to hire more than 60 people.

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City of Eugene
12:08 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Sheldon Library Will Stay Open Under Latest Budget Plan

Eugene's Sheldon Branch Library.
Credit City of Eugene

Eugene's Sheldon Branch Library has been spared from closure. The Budget Committee Wednesday night agreed to keep both branch libraries open and cut back Sunday hours at the main downtown building.

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Homeless Issues
1:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Whoville Folks Say Proposed Site Is Not Going To Work

Ken Laini and others watch the train go by a proposed site for a homeless camp in North Eugene.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Homeless advocates say a grassy area between a busy highway and the main line railroad in north Eugene is not a good place for the residents of Whoville. The City Council last week voted to approve a 3rd pilot "rest stop" for the people who've been at a camp near downtown for months.

It's a narrow piece along Northwest Expressway, near its intersection with River Road. No sidewalks. As vehicles whiz by, Ken Lainy sits in his wheelchair on a gravel driveway.

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Eugene Budget
1:33 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Eugene Budget Committee Looks At Ways To Cope With Shortfall

The city is considering reducing Sunday hours at Eugene's downtown library to cope with budget shortfalls
Credit Eugene agogo

The public has the chance this week to comment on the latest ideas for shoring up Eugene's $2.5 million deficit. The budget committee will have a public hearing Wednesday.

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