Lane County

Oregonians Must Register to Vote by Tuesday

Oct 11, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, October 13th is the last day for Oregonians to register to vote or update voter information before the November 3rd election.

A Portland-based agency announced today it is closing all of its Lane County programs serving people with developmental disabilities.

Albertina Kerr operates 8 group homes in Lane County and provides community inclusion programs.

In a statement, Albertina Kerr CEO Chris Krenk said it is difficult to operate the programs from the Portland headquarters. He added it is hard to recruit and retain staff, and funding issues have increased fiscal challenges.

Lane County Adds Jobs in August

Sep 23, 2015
Oregon Employment Department

Lane County’s unemployment rate decreased slightly in August. It’s the first decrease after three consecutive increases.

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.

Lane County

Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner announced last week he's resigning from his position. In August, he'll become the Director of the Forensic Services Division of the Oregon State Police. Gardner spoke with KLCC's Rachael McDonald. She asked him why he's making the change.

Angela Kellner

Saying she plans to do "more being and less doing" in her retirement, Julie Daniel has passed the crown of reduce, reuse, recycle to her successor after nearly 10 years as the Executive Director of BRING. After a national search the Board of Directors picked staff member Carolyn Stein to replace Daniel. Stein has been with BRING since 2008, serving first as Education Coordinator, then moving to her most recent position as Manager of the RE:think Business program, which she developed and launched in 2010.

KMTR

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced drought emergencies in 8 additional counties Friday, including Lane.  Many reservoirs in Lane County are only half full.

Lane County

Lane County voters strongly rejected a proposed vehicle registration fee to fund road repairs. The vote was 66% against and 33% in support. The fee would have raised $11-million a year.

Lane County faces a $9-million deficit in its road fund. The measure would have raised $6 million for county roads and about 5 million for city roads. County spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis says the outcome is disappointing, but the message is clear.

Updated 12:30am Wednesday, May 20

In the May 19 special election, Lane County voters soundly rejected a proposed $35 vehicle registration fee. It failed 66% -33%.

Lane County Commission Board Chair Jay Bozieviech issued the following statement regarding the failure of the vehicle registration fee:

Lydia McKinney / Lane County

Work will start soon on safety improvements to the Row River Trail in Cottage Grove. The project started in 2011 after South Lane County School Board Member Michelle Portman was fatally hit by a truck while biking the path.

Portman was the 2nd bicyclist killed where the trail crosses Row River Road.  Lydia McKinney is Lane County Transportation Manager. She says finding grant funding was essential since the county's road fund is lacking.

McKinney: "We were very fortunate to receive a grant from the Federal Lands Access Program."

Whooping Cough is on the rise in Oregon. Deschutes County health officials report more than 20 cases since the first of the year. Lane County has confirmed nine.

The bacterial infection, Pertussis, is also known as whooping cough. The Chinese named it the "hundred day cough"—because of the severe spells it elicits.

(Cough sounds…)

According to the World Health Organization, 195,000 children die from the disease each year. Whooping cough is easily spread through coughs and sneezes.

Lane County

Recorded on: April 10, 2015

Air Date: April 13, 2015

Almost half of the land in Lane County is under the control of the U.S. Forest Service, which means that none of that land is on the county’s property tax roll. When logging was a major industry here, Forest Service land generated hundreds of millions of dollars. The federal government provided tens of millions of dollars directly the county as compensation for supporting services to land that did not otherwise contribute to the county treasury.

Recorded on: April 3, 2015

Air Date: April 6, 2015

Speakers from the Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect will describe the center’s plans for reducing violence against children. The goal of the 90by30 Initiative is a 90 percent reduction in child abuse and neglect in Lane County by 2030. The speakers will emphasize the need to engage a critical mass of neighbors to actively invest in healthy families and healthy communities.

Unemployment rates continue to drop in Lane and Douglas counties. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert speaks with a regional economist about the growth trend and what it means for communities.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Lane County is the lowest since June of 2008. Douglas County is trending about the same, seeing its second consecutive month with job growth.

Brian Rooney watches tracks employment in both regions. He says growth brings a mixed bag of benefits.

lanecounty.org

Lane County legislators are hoping the federal government moves forward with extending timber payments. The U.S. House is voting this week on a two-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. The extension isn't a long term solution to the County's budget problems. Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken thinks county and city municipalities should work together to develop a consistent economic develop message.

Thursday was the filing deadline for four Eugene 4J school board positions. The final list shows Alicia Hays unopposed, Jim Torrey with two opponents, and Mary Walston with one challenger. The seat being vacated by Craig Smith has three candidates.

Oregon has no statewide ballot measures this spring. Lane County residents will vote on a motor vehicle registration fee. Benton County will weigh in on an ordinance addressing genetically modified foods.

Ballots will be mailed May 1st in Lane County for the May 19th special election.

www.merkley.senate.gov

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley will host town hall meetings in Benton, Linn, and Lane counties this weekend. The Senator visits each of Oregon's 36 counties every year, inviting residents to talk about their concerns and suggest ideas to bring to Congress. Merkley will also update residents on his work in Washington, D.C. He will visit Corvallis, Halsey, and Eugene on Saturday, March 14th. 

Details are on Merkley's website, here.

Lane County's new internal auditor, Shanda Miller, started her job in mid-February. She was introduced to the public and the board of commissioners last week.

Miller spent the first few weeks in her new job meeting with various department heads, learning about what they do and the challenges of their jobs. County Spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis:

Levis: "As a performance auditor, her job very much is to look at efficiencies with the county, ways to do things better, ways to have cost savings."

Facing Lane County's Challenges

Feb 9, 2015

Recorded on: February 6th, 2015

Air Date: February 9th, 2015

Challenges facing the county are the focus of the new Lane County Administrator, Steve Mokrohisky. He spent his first six months on the job immersing himself in issues facing the county, building his executive team, and working with commissioners to plan for the future.

Lane County

The Lane County Board of Commissioners has postponed a decision on whether to put a $35 annual vehicle registration fee on the May ballot. The fee would fund repair to roads and bridges.

The board heard from 20 people at a hearing Tuesday. Nancy Nichols of Deadwood was among those in favor of the fee. She lives near a gravel road.

Unemployment Rates Drop In Oregon Counties

Jan 26, 2015

Unemployment rates fell in the month of December for several Oregon counties. Recent numbers show Lane County's rate at six point seven percent, Deschutes at seven point six percent and Douglas at nine point three percent.

Deschutes and Douglas rates remain well above the statewide average. Regional Labor Economist Brian Rooney explains why:

Lane County Saw High Rate of Foreclosures In December

Jan 15, 2015
www.oregonlive.com

Foreclosures rose in several Oregon counties during the month of December. Eugene based real estate buyer Gorilla Capital reported there were 753 foreclosures in 2014.

Lane County saw 94 foreclosures in December 2014. Ally  Leavitt with Gorilla Capital says the fourth quarter is traditionally slow for foreclosures, but the change in Oregon’s process could be a factor.

Lane County

The Lane County Board of Commissioners is considering asking voters to approve a vehicle registration fee to pay for maintenance of county roads.

The proposed fee would amount to an additional $35  a year for Lane County residents. That would almost double what it currently costs to register your car. Board Chair Jay Bozievich says the fee could be passed by commissioners but they wanted to go to voters.

Lane County

Lane County Board of Commissioners Chair Pat Farr delivers his State of the County address Monday evening at 5 o'clock at the Lane Events Center.

Farr spoke earlier Monday with KLCC's Rachael McDonald. He says drafting a strategic plan for the county was one of the big accomplishments of 2014.

At Tuesday's meeting, the board will elect a new chair and take care of other New Year housekeeping items.
 

Lane County

Lane County Commissioners Tuesday voted 3 to 2 to regulate the sales of e-cigarette products. The ordinance would establish tobacco retail licensing and ban e-cigarette sales to minors.

Lane County

Organizers must get a license to have a gathering with 1,000 to 3,000 attendees in rural Lane County.

The Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved the ordinance concerning large outdoor events on private land. The license application requires organizers to demonstrate that they'll meet minimum health and safety standards, including noise and traffic impacts. Kier Miller is a senior planner with the county.

Oregon State Police

Oregon State Police is continuing the investigation into this morning's crash that killed two Mapleton High School students and injured three others on Highway 126W, east of Florence.

At approximately 7:00 a.m. Thursday, local emergency responders and OSP troopers from the Springfield and Florence offices were dispatched to a single vehicle crash on Highway 126W at milepost 15 near Mapleton in Lane County.

oregonlive.com

Lane County is joining other areas of the state participating in a pilot program that expands in-home care to people with disabilities.

Oregon Project Independence originally launched in 1975, but was only eligible to people 60 and over. Services include personal care, home delivered meals, and housekeeping. Kate Scott is an Analyst for Lane County's Senior and Disabled Services.

Households needing help on their winter heating bills can apply for assistance beginning Monday. Federal funding has been released to the states for the low income energy assistance program, or LIHEAP.

Mary Ellen Bennett is the LIHEAP Coordinator for Lane County. She expects about 8,000 households will receive assistance this year, which is on par with last year. Bennett says several factors determine how much help is given:

Lane County

Liane Richardson, who was fired as Lane County Administrator last year, has been cleared of criminal conduct by the Oregon State Bar. The Bar's conclusions point to knowledge and approval of her actions on the part of two County commissioners.

Richardson, who now goes by Inkster, was fired from her job as Lane County Administrator after it was revealed that she had been converting leave time to take home pay in order to boost her paycheck.

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