Oregon

Oregon GDP
5:54 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Oregon Gets Good Financial News With Its GDP

Oregon's gross domestic product grew by 4.7 percent last year, that's the second biggest increase seen in all states.

Gross domestic product is defined as the value added by production, so the wages of employees; the profits of businesses; and the taxes paid to governments.

In Oregon, the GDP of the construction sector, the education sector and health all grew by about 4 percent.
But Josh Lehner of the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis says it's the 15 percent increase in the high tech manufacturing sector that pushed the state to the top of the growth chart.

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Sandhill Crane Recovery
6:24 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Sandhill Cranes Make A Noisy Comeback In The Cascades

A pair of Sandhill Cranes nesting near Howard Prairie Lake, in the Cascades.
Photo by Amelia Templeton Earthfix

Hunters once killed nearly all the greater sandhill cranes in Oregon and Washington. But the local crane population has made a comeback. In June, in the mountain lakes of the Cascades, you might hear a pair defending its nest. Amelia Templeton reports.

Most sandhill crane chicks hatch in May. If you get too close to a nest, mom and dad will throw back their heads and beat their wings. This pair is nesting near Howard Prairie Lake, in the Cascades. The adults are grey, with red caps. And they’re about the size and weight of a sixth grader.

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Americans Elect
6:20 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Oregon Voters Can Choose Americans Elect Despite Abandoned Presidential Bid

Starting Monday, Oregon voters have another party to choose from when they sign up to vote. But as Salem correspondent Chris Lehman reports, the group that formed the Americans Elect party is no longer trying to field a candidate.

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Oregon's Superintendent Resigns
6:19 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Oregon Schools Superintendent To Step Down, Join Non-Profit

Oregon State Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo announced she will step down by the end of June. Photo courtesy of OPB
Photo courtesy of OPB

Oregon's elected state schools superintendent is leaving her job. Susan Castillo announced Monday that she'll step down by the end of this month to work for an education non-profit.

Castillo is a former Democratic state lawmaker who's in her third term as Superintendent of Public Instruction. Her current term doesn't end until 2015, but she had no chance of winning re-election.

Oregon lawmakers decided last year to do away with the office of state school superintendent. They chose instead to give the governor more direct authority over schools.

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Nike Store Passes Okay'ed
4:55 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Oregon Ethics Panel Okays Nike Discounts For Public Officials

Entrance of the Nike Employee Store at the company's headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
Photo credit: Wonderlane/ Flickr Northwest News Network

Elected officials in Oregon are not violating ethics rules if they shop for discounted shoes and apparel at a store meant for Nike employees. That’s the ruling Friday from Oregon Government Ethics Commission.

Nike runs a store just for employees at its Beaverton headquarters. The shop features popular Nike products at wholesale prices. Last month a lobbyist for Nike wrote the Ethics Commission to ask whether government officials would run afoul of state ethics laws if they accepted passes to visit the store.

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Oregon Tuition Increases
4:40 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Oregon Higher Ed Board Raises Tuition For Most Students At State Schools

Oregon's Board of Higher Education voted Friday to raise tuition for most students at state supported schools. The increases vary from place to place. And for Portland State University, for example, the adjustment means a 1.4 percent reduction in tuition and fees. But for Southern Oregon University, it's a 9.9 percent increase in tuition.

University system staff pointed out that the state has cut funding for higher education by 16 percent for the coming fiscal year.

Board members like Lynda Ciafetti say they saw few options.

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Oregon Liquor Control Commission
4:42 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Embattled OLCC Head Says Business As Usual At Agency

OLCC Oregon Liquor Control Commission

The embattled head of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission is downplaying an unusually public display of tension at the state agency he runs. Steve Pharo says the spat isn't affecting the OLCC's ability to do its job.

Governor John Kitzhaber has been pressuring Steve Pharo for months to step down as head of the agency that regulates alcohol sales in Oregon. Pharo has refused, saying he works at the pleasure of not the governor, but the five member board that oversees the OLCC.

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Oregon Tuition
7:23 am
Thu May 31, 2012

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden Discusses College Debt With Dozen UO Students

With tuition increasing again at Oregon's universities, students will be paying more for a college education. On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden sat down with a dozen students at the University of Oregon to hear their stories. KLCC's Angela Kellner reports.

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Oregon Education Chief
7:07 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Educators Praise Kitzhaber's Selection For Ed Role

A state panel will vote Thursday on Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s choice to oversee a dramatic shift in the way the state runs public education. The governor selected Rudy Crew after a nationwide search. Crew is the former head of public school districts in New York, Miami, Tacoma and elsewhere. The head of Oregon's largest teacher's union thinks it's a good choice.

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Oregon's New Education Chief
5:05 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Oregon Governor's Pick For Education Chief Comes With Long Resume

Rudy Crew headshot.
Photo courtesy Oregon governor's office

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber's pick for the state’s new education chief is so far winning praise from school leaders. But Rudy Crew’s lengthy career includes many clashes with local school officials. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports:

Kitzhaber wants Crew to be in charge of re-shaping the state's education system from pre-school through college. Crew has worked in some of the nation's largest school districts, such as New York, Miami and Tacoma. Crew says he knows he has a challenge ahead of him in Oregon.

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