Oregon GMO Labeling Campaign Submits Signatures

Jul 2, 2014
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon voters may get the chance to require food companies to label products that contain genetically engineered ingredients. Sponsors of an initiative to require that turned in more than 150,000 signatures Wednesday in an effort to make the ballot this November. Opponents have already denounced the measure.

Michael Clapp / OPB

It's summer vacation for students - and teachers - across the country. Administrators often use the summer to take a bigger look at how schools are doing, and that can mean a critical look at teachers. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Rob Manning looks at evaluations for current teachers - and the role of student test scores in those evaluations.

Oregon Marijuana Campaigners Turn In Signatures

Jun 26, 2014
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon could soon follow Washington and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana. Sponsors of an initiative to do that turned in boxes of signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State's office Thursday. If enough of the signatures are valid, the measure would come before voters this fall.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon voters might have the chance to overhaul the state's primary voting system this fall. Sponsors of an initiative to create a so-called "Top Two" primary turned in six cases of signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State's office Monday. The measure would let people vote in primaries even if they don't belong to a major political party. The top two vote-getters would advance to the general election, regardless of party. Chief petitioner Jim Kelly says it will give more Oregonians a part in the process.

Equal Rights Amendment On Oregon's November Ballot

Jun 23, 2014
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon voters will get to decide whether to grant equal rights to women this fall. If that sounds like a blast from the past, it's because the proposed amendment to the state constitution is nearly identical to the version that failed nationally in the 1970s.

Oregon Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty Case

Jun 19, 2014
Courtesy Oregon DOC

Oregon's Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty in a case involving the 2004 murder of an African immigrant. The ruling comes as capital punishment faces increased scrutiny nationwide after a botched execution by lethal injection in Oklahoma.

tallasiandude / Flickr

Oregon's second-largest city could be the next place to mandate employer-provided sick leave. The Eugene City Council Wednesday voted to direct city staff to draw up an ordinance that would take effect next year. 

The Oregon Department of Transportation may lose a vast amount of institutional knowledge in the coming years. That's according to an audit released Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State. And the report questions whether ODOT is doing enough to retain that knowledge of how to design and build roads. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Alex Proimos / Wikimedia

Public workers in Oregon will soon receive health care under a new model that's meant to rein in costs. The Oregon Public Employees Benefits Board approved a plan that's similar to a type developed for Oregon's Medicaid enrollees.

Redwood Burl Poaching Spreads To Oregon

Jun 13, 2014
Michael Schweppe / Wikimedia

Redwood burl poaching has long been an issue in the Redwood National Park in California. But now a conservation group says it’s spotted evidence of this type of tree damage in a national forest in Oregon.

M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia

Two polls released nearly back-to-back this week paint dramatically different pictures of the Oregon Senate race. One shows challenger Monica Wehby in a statistical dead heat with incumbent Jeff Merkley. The other shows Merkley with a double-digit lead.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It’s been ninety years since the last native California wolf was trapped and killed. Last week, Oregon wildlife officials announced that OR-7, the wolf they’ve tracked wandering in and out of northern California, had found a mate and fathered a new litter in southern Oregon. That news contributes to the growing sense that it’s only a matter of time till wolves re-inhabit the Golden State. Against this backdrop, California wildlife officials extended endangered species status to the gray wolf. From Jefferson Public Radio, Liam Moriarty reports.

Devan Schwartz / EarthFix

What could be the largest carp removal project in history is underway at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Oregon.

EarthFix’s Devan Schwartz reports on the attempts to curb the invasive fish that has destroyed bird habitat for decades.

FlickrLickr / Wikimedia Commons

Northwesterners love their diesel pickups. A new report by a diesel industry group shows Oregon and Idaho are in the top ten when it comes to highest rates of diesel vehicle ownership in the nation. But the overall rate pales in comparison to other parts of the world. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Sam Beebe / Flickr

Fewer prisoners serve their entire prison sentence behind bars in Oregon than in any other state. That's according to a study released Wednesday from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Oregon also supervises its newly released inmates more than any other state.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

June 6 is the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of western Europe. And this year’s D-Day will be especially meaningful for World War II veterans in Oregon. The state's long-awaited World War II Memorial will open on that day. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman spoke with one veteran of the conflict who plans to attend the dedication ceremony.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

You've no doubt heard people say they're "goin' fishin'." But how about going "eeling?" As in, fishing for eel.

For centuries, Native Americans from Boise to Wenatchee to the southern Oregon coast have harvested Pacific lamprey, colloquially called eels. Monday, the Warm Springs and Yakama tribes held a season-opening "blessing ceremony" at Willamette Falls. Correspondent Tom Banse reports the event happened against a backdrop of treaty rights tension over management of the dwindling fish.

Tiffany Trimborn / Flickr

The city of Portland has issued a boil water notice for all Portland Water Bureau customers.

Until further notice, all customers should boil all tap water used for drinking, food preparation, tooth brushing and ice. The water should boil for at least one minute. Ice or any beverages prepared with un-boiled tap water on or after May 20 should be discarded.

Oregon Landowners Agree To Protect Sage Grouse

May 21, 2014
Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

One county in Southeastern Oregon has announced one of the largest land conservation agreements in the state to protect greater sage grouse. The birds live in sagebrush country, but their habitat is shrinking because of people, wildfires and invasive species.

Campaign Photos

This week's primary was mostly a formality for the two major party candidates for Oregon governor. Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson both had little more than token opposition. The real match-up comes in the fall.

John Rosman

In Oregon's GOP Senate primary, Monica Wehby handily defeated Republican rival Jason Conger for the right to take on Democrat Jeff Merkley this fall. Wehby posted a wide margin of victory despite some last-minute embarrassing revelations. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Same-sex couples are getting married in Oregon now that a federal judge has overturned the state's ban on gay marriage. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled the law violated the federal constitutional rights of gays and lesbians. Correspondent Chris Lehman has this round-up of the day's events.

Central Oregon Grapples With Rising Oil Train Safety Risks

May 20, 2014
Friends of the Gorge

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden will meet with emergency officials in Central Oregon this week to talk about oil train safety. For EarthFix, Cassandra Profita reports.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Same-sex couples can now marry legally in Oregon. A federal judge today overturned the state's ban on gay marriage. Weddings began almost immediately.

A federal judge in Oregon is set to rule Monday in a case that could legalize same-sex marriage in the state. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane says he'll issue a ruling at noon. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The Oregon Legislature has the right to ban protestors from using the capitol steps overnight. That's the upshot of a ruling Thursday by the Oregon Supreme Court. The case involved anti-war protesters speaking out against the deployment of Oregon National Guard troops to Iraq and Afghanistan back in 2009.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

A federal judge in Eugene has denied a national group's attempt to defend Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled Wednesday that the National Organization For Marriage failed to prove why it should be allowed to intervene in the case.

Amanda Peacher / OPB News

Wednesday could be a big day in the fight to legalize same-sex marriage in Oregon. A federal judge in Eugene will hear arguments from a group that wants to defend a voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

Photo courtesy Oregon House Republicans.

The race for the right to take on incumbent US Senator Jeff Merkley is heating up in Oregon. And if you were a screenwriter working on a movie about either of his potential challengers in the upcoming Republican primary, you’d have no shortage of material. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Oregon LNG Not Giving Up On Natural Gas Pipeline

May 8, 2014
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

A company that wants to build a liquefied natural gas pipeline through northwest Oregon took its case to a state appeals board Thursday. The developer is trying to reverse a Clatsop County decision to reject the project.