Oregon

Chris Lehman

There are some towns in the Northwest that are so small, nearly everybody is a politician. They serve on the city council, the school board or the water commission. It's not that they seek the glory. The ones who serve are often those who put up the least resistance when someone taps them on the shoulder. But they do it anyway, because of the fierce need to control their community's destiny. As part of our occasional series on small town life, correspondent Chris Lehman visited Prescott, Oregon...population 55.

www.oregon.gov

Nearly 100,000 Oregonians will see an increase in their wages beginning January 1st. Those making the current $8.95 will soon be making $9.10 an hour.

Legislation passed in 2002 matches the State’s minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index. The increase is projected to generate more than $20 million in new economic activity. Charlie Burr is the Communications Director for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries. He says most small business owners don’t complain about the increase.

Bend Refinancing Saves Tax Payer Dollars

Dec 20, 2013

Bend is taking advantage of lower interest rates to refinance a public works loan and save tax payers dollars. The $10 million loan was originally taken out for two different projects.

The Transportation Improvement and Urban Renewal projects were originally funded by a loan from Bank of the Cascades. With this refinancing, the city expects to save approximately $817,000 over the life of the loan.

Oregon Men's Basketball On A Roll

Dec 18, 2013

The Oregon Men’s Basketball team is currently undefeated, and is looking forward to their next game and the upcoming holiday.

After defeating UC Irvine 91-63, the Ducks are 10-0, with BYU coming up on Saturday. Last year’s team reached the Sweet Sixteen, but Assistant Athletic Director Andy McNamara says this team is better.

Frosty Temperature Will Soon Ease

Dec 9, 2013

The South Willamette Valley has experienced record setting lows this past week.

The area hasn’t felt anything this low since the early 1970s. With recorded temperatures reaching minus  10, some residents are fearful that the current frost will continue. Meteorologist Matthew Cullen is with the National Weather Service in Portland.

“Temperatures will gradually be increasing. So we’re still going to be on the cold side for the next few days, but will gradually coming back towards where we should be, kind of normal for this time of year.”

WA Fish & Wildlife

Oregon's Dungeness crab season has been delayed until December 16th. The season normally starts around the first of the month, but the crustaceans don't have enough meat yet.

Hugh Link is Executive Director of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission. He says it's disappointing to crab fishermen to start the season late.

Jes Burns

Oregon is looking at ways to improve train service between Eugene / Springfield and the Portland metro area. It's part of the Oregon Passenger Rail Project.

Oregon Department of Transportation says ridership has increased steadily on trains that go back and forth from Eugene to Portland and up to Vancouver, B.C. Over the next 25 years, the population of the Willamette Valley is expected to grow by 35 percent. ODOT's Jim Cox is Project Manager:

Rancher Eyes Oregon Governor's Race

Nov 5, 2013
Chris Lehman

Conventional wisdom in Salem is that Governor John Kitzhaber will run for re-election next year. But that’s not a given. The 66-year-old Democrat has repeatedly said he’s not made up his mind. That's left potential Republican candidates wondering what the governor’s race will look like next year. There’s one candidate who has entered the fray that you may not have heard of. He says everything he needs to know, he learned in the fields of central Oregon. He even wrote a song about it.

Jes Burns

Secretary of State Kate Brown says a University of Oregon research department manipulated payroll in order to avoid mandatory furloughs and salary freezes imposed by the governor.

U of O officials asked the Secretary of State to audit the Institute of Neuroscience after an internal review flagged problems. In 2009, the governor imposed across the board furloughs and pay freezes for all state employees in response to the economic crisis. Tony Green is with the Secretary of State's office.

Curry County

Voters in Curry County are considering a Public Safety Levy on the November 5th ballot which would help pay for rural sheriff patrols and the jail. There hasn't been much public effort to get out the vote.
 

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