Kristian Foden-Vencil

Reporter, Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a veteran journalist/producer working for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He started as a cub reporter for newspapers in London, England in 1988. Then in 1991 he moved to Oregon and started freelancing. His work has appeared in publications as varied as The Oregonian, the BBC, the Salem Statesman Journal, Willamette Week, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, NPR and the Voice of America. Kristian has won awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. He was embedded with the Oregon National Guard in Iraq in 2004 and now specializes in business, law, health and politics. 

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Unemployment Rate
5:27 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Oregon's Jobless Rate Falls Below National Average

Oregon's unemployment rate has fallen below the national average making it the first time since 1996.
Credit photologue_np / Flickr

Oregon's unemployment rate has fallen below the national average and it's the first time that's happened in 19 years.

The last year has been good to Oregon's economy.

The unemployment rate has plummeted from more than 7 percent to 5.4 percent. That's one-tenth of a percentage point below the national average.

State economist David Cooke said the last time Oregon had a lower unemployment rate than the nation, was in 1996, the height of the dot-com boom.

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Earthquake Early Warning
5:35 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Democrats Want More For New Earthquake Early Warning System

The warning system uses sensors to detect the initial waves of an earthquake.
Credit Andy Maguire / Flickr

Congressional Democrats from up and down the West Coast are asking the House Appropriations Committee to allocate more money for a new earthquake early warning system.

The warning system uses sensors to detect the initial, less destructive, waves of an earthquake. So it doesn't give much advance notice -- between a few seconds and a minute.

But politicians argued that's enough for a doctor to stop a complicated surgery, a train driver to put on the brakes, or a family to move away from the windows.

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Tsunami Debris
4:21 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Japanese Fish Found Alive In Oregon Waters

Oregon scientists are trying to figure out how a fish like the one above, native to Japan, was pulled out of a crab pot on the Oregon coast - alive.
Credit Google Images

Oregon scientists are trying to figure out how a fish, native to Japan, was pulled out of a crab pot on the Oregon coast - alive.

“I’ve been thinking about it ever since I heard about it,” says John Chapman, an invasive species expert at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

He says there’s only a handful of ways the striped knifejaw could make it here: in the ballast water of a ship; someone could have dumped their aquarium into the ocean; or the fish survived under debris washed out to sea after the Japanese tsunami.

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LGBT
4:45 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Lawmakers Consider Bill To Stop Conversion Therapy

Lawmakers are considering a bill to stop therapists from performing 'conversion therapy' on minors.
Credit Tara Schmidt / Flickr

People who've undergone 'conversion therapy' to try to change their sexual orientation told lawmakers Monday that the therapy doesn't work and is emotionally damaging. 

Lawmakers are considering a bill to stop therapists from performing 'conversion therapy' on minors. The therapy covers a range of treatments aimed at changing sexual orientation.

Back in 1987, Jason Zenobia said his parents sent him to conversion therapy when he told them he was gay.

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Cover Oregon
5:10 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Oregon Legislators to Shutter 'Cover Oregon'

The state's failed health insurance exchange, Cover Oregon, will be coming to an end.
Credit Cover Oregon

One of the first things legislators are expected to do when the session starts next week, is to put an end to 'Cover Oregon'. The state's failed health insurance exchange.

Speaking about the up-coming session, Democrats, Republicans and Governor John Kitzhaber all agree: 'Cover Oregon' is finished.

"What we'll simply be doing is folding the remaining functions of what was 'Cover Oregon' into the insurance division," Kitzhaber said.

The leader of the Senate Republicans, Ted Ferrioli, agreed.

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Health and Wellness
5:20 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Oregon Congressman Pushes End-Of-Life Conversations

Legislators are working to try to allow doctors to bill health insurance companies for end-of-life conversations.
Credit Flickr

Currently, if a doctor wants to talk to a patient about dying, he or she has to do it off-the-clock. They can't bill insurance companies for the time.

Portland Democrat, Earl Blumenauer, says he has 60 co-sponsors for his bill to allow such conversations to be covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

"It will pay for a 93-year-old woman with terminal cancer to have her hip replaced, but it won't pay a couple of hundred bucks for the doctor to have a conversation with this woman and her family to find out what her wishes are," he said.

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Mohamud Trial
5:56 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Mohamed Mohamud Sentenced To 30 Years For Bomb Plot

Mohamed Osman Mohamud found guilty in FBI sting.
Credit Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

An Oregon man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for plotting to bomb a crowded holiday event in Portland's town square in 2010.

Mohamed Mohamud was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Portland in a plot that actually was an FBI sting.

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Health Insurance
4:49 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Oregon Contracts With First Data To Examine Cover Oregon Roll-Out

Governor John Kitzhaber says the state signed a contract Thursday, with a company for an independent assessment of the problems with Oregon's health insurance exchange website.

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Oregon Unemployment
5:24 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Oregon's Unemployment Drops To 8.2 Percent

Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues its slow decline. It reached 8.2 percent in March.

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Boston Explosion
4:40 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Runner Mourns Losses At Marathon

An estimated 300 Oregonians were registered to run the Boston Marathon Monday.

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