Oregon

Some Of The Worst Fires In Northwest History

Jul 21, 2014
Library of Congress

The Carlton Complex Fire in Okanogan County is now the worst fire in Washington history. It has burned more than 238,000 acres of land, and is believed to have destroyed between 150 and 200 homes, killing one person. As firefighters work to contain the blaze, we’d like to take a look at some of the other fires that have raged across the Northwest to see how it compares.

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh has died at the age of 91. The two-term Republican passed away Sunday evening at a Portland hospital of complications from renal failure. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Oregon Fire Displaces Sprague River Residents

Jul 15, 2014
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

A wildfire near the south-central Oregon town of Sprague River has destroyed as many as 20 homes and burned 2,500 acres. Red Cross volunteers have set up in the community center to help the victims of the Moccasin Hill Fire.

biologycorner / Flickr

This summer in Oregon, education leaders brought together teaching professors and school officials to improve teacher training. The June institute followed a national report, critical of training programs. And new teachers will soon be asked to pass a new standardized test. Think of it as a Common Core for teachers in training. Rob Manning has more.

Wikimedia Commons

An Oregon political campaign wants your digital donations. The group behind the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana says it's now accepting bitcoin contributions. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports on this new frontier in campaign finance.

No Big Surprises On Signature Deadline Day

Jul 3, 2014
Garry Knight / Flickr

The deadline to turn in signatures to qualify initiative petitions in Oregon produced no big surprises Thursday. But Oregonians could still have a range of controversial topics to decide this fall.

Photo by Chris Lehman. / Northwest News Network

And now a story about farmers and water. It’s a common and often contentious issue out here in the West. Well now farmers across the country are also riled up. That’s because the U.S. EPA wants to revise the clean water act. As Correspondent Chris Lehman explains depending on who you talk to these revisions are either a “land grab” under the “brute force” of the federal government or a simple clarification of rules that ensure all Americans have clean water to drink.

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.

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