Tiffany Eckert

Reporter

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.

When not tracking down a story, Tiffany spends time growing food and flowers, traveling, singing, and having fun with her family and friends.

Ways to Connect

corvallisadvocate.com

A group called "Citizens for Protecting Corvallis" wants to see regulations on where homeless shelters can open and how they operate. A petition committee has begun collecting signatures to get an initiative on the ballot.

Supporters of the petition say shelters for the homeless should not be located in the downtown core of Corvallis. They also want to see sobriety requirements to limit what they call "damp" shelters. Paul Cauthorn is a chief petitioner who lives a couple blocks from the "Men's Winter Shelter" on 4th Street.

Tiffany Eckert

President Barack Obama arrived in Eugene on Air Force One just before noon today (Friday)-- before heading to Roseburg to meet with victims of the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert joined the Whitehouse Press Pool at the Eugene Airport.

Tiffany Eckert

President Barak Obama is greeted by Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy at Mahlon Sweet Field Airport. Friday, October 9, 2015.Credit Tiffany EckertEdit | Remove

John Stapleton

Two of the four Eugene boys charged with setting the fire that destroyed Civic Stadium made admissions to a judge today (Tuesday) in Lane County Juvenile Court. These two youth are also charged with arson for a dumpster fire outside a convenience store. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert was in the courtroom and has this report.

Civic Alliance

Eugene's Civic Stadium property was open to the public yesterday (Sunday) for the first time since a fire destroyed the historic grandstand in June. About 1,500 people visited for "Civic Community Day" to play games, reminisce and get a look at the master plan to rebuild the site. Civic Alliance Advisory Board member Derrick Johnson tells KLCC's Tiffany Eckert about the fire's effects and what the future holds.

Lane Transit District

Lane Transit District has selected their next General Manager.

Aurora “A.J.” Jackson has been chosen to lead LTD. She was picked from a three person candidate pool. Jackson started her career as a bus operator working her way up the ranks to management. LTD Board President Gary Wildish says her ascent was a strong selling point.

Wildish: “It takes tonicity, poise, energy, leadership and that really does fit perfectly with the direction that we wanna go.”

Tiffany Eckert

About 3,000 new and returning students flocked from far and wide to the University of Oregon Thursday for the annual "Unpack the Quack" move-in day.

MCAA

The Oregon State Psychiatric Hospital has made progress during a decade of change. But more can be done to improve mental health treatment and staff safety. That's according to a recent audit by the Secretary of State's office.

OPB

A longtime Oregon lawmaker has died. Ed Fadeley passed away Sunday evening of complications from heart failure. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert has this remembrance.

In the state legislature, Ed Fadeley represented the people of Lane County for 26 years. He started his political career in the Oregon House in 1960 then joined the Senate. He rose to Senate President in ’83 but lost the post to John Kitzhaber after two years.

City of Springfield

Renowned author and Merry Prankster Ken Kesey grew up in Springfield. The city recently commissioned a two-story, photo-realistic mural to honor their hometown son.

Les Zaitz/AP

When Oregon families lose their homes in a wildfire, they can now get a little help rebuilding. The new “Wildfire Damage Housing Relief Account” is open.

Oregon Representative Mike McLane calls it a way to “fill the gap” when families lose everything to wildfire. He sponsored House Bill 3148 to provide assistance in the form of small grants to those eligible. 

The money, $5,000 per household, is meant to supplement insurance and personal savings. Eligibility is based on income levels.

theeconomiccollapseblog.com

Unemployment is up in Lane and Douglas counties. But as KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports, the numbers can be deceptive.

Both counties have seen increases in seasonally adjusted unemployment rates at the same time they’re *adding jobs.

Brian Rooney is a Regional Economist. He says the rate of joblessness can be volatile this time of year with schools out for summer break. People can come from outside the county to compete for available jobs. And, some employees just decide to quit.

John Stapleton

Of all the natural elements—fire seems to elicit our most primal responses. Human fascination with fire starts early and some research reveals the less we learn about fire as kids—the stronger our curiosity grows into adulthood. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert takes a look at societal views and how we educate children about the function and the dangers of fire.

Mjpresson Wikimedia

Monday night, the Roseburg City Council voted narrowly to allow the sale of recreational pot in medical marijuana dispensaries starting in October. Following passionate testimony and deliberations, the Council decided--5 to 3— not to ban recreational pot sales through the city's five medical marijuana dispensaries.

Steve Kaser has been a Roseburg city councilor for 6 years. He says the arguments went back and forth. One was that neither the city nor Douglas County supported Measure 91 to legalize marijuana statewide. So, the city should be allowed to choose its own fate now.

Tiffany Eckert

The Eugene-Springfield Fire Department is being praised today (Thursday) for saving the two businesses closest to the Southtowne Lanes Bowling Alley that was completely destroyed by fire Wednesday. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert spoke with business owners as they assessed the damage.

Dave Nelkin owns Eugene coin and jewelry. A day after the fire, staff were packing up merchandise so that they can begin cleaning up the smoke and water damage.

Tiffany Eckert

The Eugene-Springfield Fire Department is being praised today (Thursday) for saving the two businesses closest to the Southtowne Lanes Bowling Alley that was completely destroyed by fire Wednesday. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert spoke with business owners as they assessed the damage.

Dave Nelkin owns Eugene coin and jewelry. A day after the fire, staff were packing up merchandise so that they can begin cleaning up the smoke and water damage.

Tiffany Eckert

UPDATE: Thursday 3:30pm

Today fire investigators, insurance adjusters, clean-up crews and business owners are assessing the damage from Wednesday's fire that destroyed Southtowne Lanes bowling alley on Willamette Street.

Over the past two years, the number of households reporting domestic violence has more than doubled in Lane County. That’s according to Womenspace, a crisis center that serves victims of Intimate Partner Abuse. The agency also reports that more than half of those households include children. Advocates say violence has long-lasting, often devastating impact on kids.

Residents in the rural community of Pleasant Hill have a new option when it comes to health care. As KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports, an urgent care clinic is now open for business.

Pleasant Hill Urgent Care may not have an expensive cat-scan or ultrasound. They don’t admit patients or perform surgery. But they do provide primary care. They offer x-ray services and can give I-V fluids and meds. If you need a bone set or a wound sutured, medical staff at this clinic can do it.

And no one will be turned away, even the uninsured.

Tiffany Eckert

Imagine overseeing a cultural event that employs hundreds of staff, raises millions of dollars and draws as many as 60-thousand people in a single weekend. That’s the Oregon Country Fair—and Charlie Ruff has been its General Manager since 2008. This summer, he’s passing the torch to longtime fair volunteer, Tom Gannon. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert speaks to both men about the leadership transition and what the historic Oregon Country Fair means to them.

WEB EXTRA BELOW

Tiffany Eckert

About 5,500 Oregonians live with HIV/AIDS. A quarter of them reside in rural areas. Eugene-based HIV alliance is the only AIDS service organization helping patients in the eastern and southern parts of the state. The agency recently received a grant to fund a unique, telehealth project for HIV-positive people in remote places.

John Stapleton

Eugene's historic Civic Stadium burned to the ground Monday evening around 5:30 PM. Fire crews were able to extinguish most of the flames around 7:30 PM. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert arrived at the scene and found smoke billowing from the structure. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Eckert spoke with eye witness Danny Sales, who is a varsity baseball coach at nearby South Eugene High. He says he saw the flames coming from the grandstands and called 9-11.

In Oregon, nearly one in seven people infected with HIV Aids is unaware they have the disease. The longer someone goes without treatment, the greater the risk of spreading HIV. A simple test is available to anyone who wants to know their status.

Paul Homan, who has been HIV positive for 12 years, is Senior Program Manager with HIV Alliance. He says testing and treatment are the keys to breaking the viral transmission cycle.  

The police chief of Junction City is suing the municipality and the former City Administrator. Junction City Police Chief Mark Chase says his First Amendments rights were violated. In his complaint, he asserts he was denied due process when then-City Administrator, Melissa Bowers, discriminated against him based on his Christian faith.

Portland attorney Sean Riddell represents the Police Chief.

Transportation For America

More than five percent of all the bridges in Oregon are considered “structurally deficient.” KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports.

Deficient bridges are those in urgent need of repair or replacement. Transportation for America analyzed bridge conditions statewide and found 439 of them in trouble. According to the report, Linn County tops the list with 15% needing overhaul. Douglas County has 29 deficient bridges. Lane County, which has the most bridges in the state, comes in third for the most in need of repair.

Tiffany Eckert

A serious illness can be life-changing. It often leads to doctors and specialists, who evaluate, test and diagnose. Treatment becomes the means to recovery.  But what if a patient's condition is rare to a geographic region? In part two of our reports on “Invisible Illness”, KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert speaks to one Oregon woman about her plight to discover what’s been ailing her.

For thirty years, Deb Elder has been hurting. She says her chronic pain started after a traumatic accident. Then she was told she had Fibromyalgia. Deb describes her symptoms:

Tiffany Eckert

“Invisible Illness" is a moniker given to chronic conditions that seriously impair daily living --but have symptoms that are difficult to diagnose. Health advocates report worldwide sufferers number in the tens of millions. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert talks to patients with an invisible illness- who struggle to have their condition recognized and treated.

Kelly McCabe is a 41 year old mother of three.

Kelly: 07 “I suffered from some chronic fatigue and what I thought was cases of shingles since about 2006.”

SEIU Local 49

Caregivers and service employees in Eugene and Springfield voted to unionize Thursday night at  Sacred Heart PeaceHealth Medical Center. The nearly 11-hundred employees will now be members of the nation’s largest health care union. 

After the ballots were tallied, the “yes” votes took it.

“My name is Meg Neimi. I’m President of SEIU Local 49, the health care union. And, I’m standing right outside of Sacred Heart RiverBend Medical Center with a group of health care workers who are celebrating the fact that they have just won their union election resoundingly.”

peacehealth.org

Next week, “frontline” workers like surgical support aides and housekeepers at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Hospitals in Eugene and Springfield will vote whether or not to unionize.

Chris Tonry has worked in patient admissions at Sacred Heart for 36 years. She has never been a part of union. Next week, she plans to check the “yes” box to join Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 49. Tonry believes a union could help with inadequate pay raises and understaffing.

The battle to prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, continues in Oregon. In the upcoming special election, Benton County voters will decide if a measure to ban GMO's is right for them. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert spoke with people on both sides of the issue and filed this report.

On the face of it, Measure 2-89 seeks to protect local food sources by banning the cultivation of genetically modified crops anywhere in the county. The measure also promotes saving heritage seeds and a sort of “We the People” right to self-governance.

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