Oregon

On Tax Day, Oregon Lawmakers Consider A Sales Tax

Apr 15, 2013

One of the most politically sensitive topics in Oregon is up for debate at the state capitol Monday. Lawmakers will hold a hearing on whether to ask Oregon voters to approve a sales tax. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon, like most states, doesn’t allow you to get a driver license if you’re in the country illegally. That may change. As Congress debates immigration reform, Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would grant four-year driving privileges to people who otherwise wouldn't qualify for a license. The measure is up for a committee vote Thursday.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

For some of us public land in the west is a place to camp and recreate. For all of us, these lands are a source of water and the air we breath. That’s especially true in Idaho - where more than half of the land is federally owned and managed.

  SALEM, Ore. – Marijuana advocates are taking their message to the Oregon capitol. A legislative panel will consider a measure Tuesday that would legalize and tax the drug. It comes as Washington state is in the process of crafting rules about how to regulate pot after voters there approved legalization.

Still, Anthony Johnson knows he's asking a lot.

"I understand that this is a heavy lift for the legislature to pass this bill this year," he says.

SALEM, Ore. – Gun legislation is gaining momentum at the Oregon capitol. A Senate panel has scheduled a marathon hearing on a slate of measures that would require more background checks and limit where people could carry guns. The hearing is set for next Friday, April 5.

SALEM, Ore. - Depending on who you ask, raccoons are either cute little woodland critters or a menace to pets and humans alike. There’s certainly no consensus on that question in the Oregon legislature. One measure in Salem would ban the feeding of raccoons. It’s an idea that’s proven to be surprisingly controversial.

Kristy Neubo has a small dog. She calls it "Baby. She's a little five-pound shih-tzu yorkie mix.

Springfield Basketball Star Scores National Honor

Mar 22, 2013

A senior at Oregon’s Springfield High has been named the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year. From Oregon Public Broadcasting, Rob Manning reports.

Wednesday night, the Bend City Council adopted a new plan laying out the future of the city's water systems. As Oregon Public Broadcasting's David Nogueras reports, the plan reiterates the council's intention to move ahead with a controversial overhaul of city's surface water system.

SALEM, Ore. – Some of the fiercest debates this year in the Oregon legislature have revolved around something critics call the “nanny state.” These are bills to regulate personal behavior. The issues may change, but it’s a conversation that’s been going on for decades.

Let's start with a recent example. A measure that would ban smoking in cars when there are children present. Republican Oregon state Senator Jeff Kruse is a smoker, but that’s not why he opposes the bill.

Wandering Wolf Returns to Oregon After Year In California

Mar 14, 2013

A wandering male wolf known as OR-7 has crossed back into Oregon after spending more than a year in the mountains of northern California. It was originally born in Northeastern Oregon. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix reports. 

SALEM, Ore. – Republicans and Democrats at Oregon's capitol want to balance the state budget by taking aim at the pension system for public workers. Both parties as well as Governor John Kitzhaber say changes to the retirement system would help prevent more cuts to schools. But retirees claim the proposals would break a promise.

New Mom Is Also New State Lawmaker

Mar 8, 2013

SALEM, Ore. - Shemia Fagan has a new baby and a new job. Like most working moms she has to balance the pressures of taking care of a newborn with the demands of the workplace. But unlike most new mothers, Fagan also has to consider the needs of her constituents. She’s serving her first term in the Oregon legislature.

The first day of the legislative session is chaos. The Capitol is filled with suits hustling about. Among the legislators sworn in was Democratic State Representative Shemia Fagan. Age 31.

For the first time, the state of Oregon Thursday recognized that the Klamath tribes hold a senior claim to water in Klamath Lake and several of its tributaries. Amelia Templeton reports, it took the state almost forty years to sort through water rights in the high desert basin and issue an order.

Oregon Takes Aggressive Approach To Water Pollution

Mar 8, 2013

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is taking a more aggressive approach to stop water pollution from farms. Instead of waiting for complaints to come in from the public, the state is going to begin looking for polluters.

Oregon Universities Fastest-Growing In Nation

Mar 6, 2013

Enrollment in Oregon’s public universities has grown faster than those in any other state in the country. From Oregon Public Broadcasting, Rob Manning has more on a new national study.

Budget Debate Kicks Off In Salem

Mar 5, 2013
Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The stage is now set for a protracted battle over the upcoming state spending plan in Oregon. Legislative budget-writers Monday released a proposal that relies on rolling back tax breaks and reducing benefits to retired public workers. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Lawmakers Examine Use Of School Seclusion Cells

Mar 4, 2013
Photo by Chris Lehman. / Northwest News Networ

When kids get severely out of control in class, some schools place the students in a "seclusion cell." It's sort of a "time-out" room where kids can calm down without posing a risk to themselves or others. A measure moving through the Oregon legislature would ban the use of the starkest version of these cells. But some mental health advocates say the bill doesn't go far enough. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Health care eats up a lot of money. The aim of the Affordable Care Act is to help reduce the cost and increase access.

In Oregon, the state has embarked on an ambitious journey to improve health outcomes while trimming expenses. It’s being done through CCOs or Coordinated Care Organizations. One aspect is the use of community health workers, who visit patients in their homes to try and prevent costly trips to the emergency room.

KLCC’s Angela Kellner introduces us to one Springfield woman who now thinks of her community health worker as a son.

Oregon And Idaho National Guard Troops Heading Overseas

Feb 21, 2013

Two Oregon National Guard units are mobilizing for overseas deployments. Idaho soldiers will be joining one of the missions.

SALEM, Ore. – A bill in Salem would make it harder for Oregon parents to opt out of immunizing their children. Virginia Alvino reports.

Oregon Gathers Signature For Same-Sex Marriage

Feb 15, 2013

Gay rights supporters in Oregon have begun the early work to put same-sex marriage on the 2014 ballot. Their petition was filed with the Secretary of State on Monday.

Now, 1,000 signatures are needed to initiate the ballot title process. Among the first to sign the petition Thursday were Governor John Kitzhaber and former Governor Barbara Roberts.

Wyden Leads Sharp Debate Over Natural Gas Export

Feb 13, 2013

Should the U.S. export its abundant supply of shale gas? Oregon Senator Ron Wyden tackled that question in a hearing today. It’s his first since he took over chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix reports.

An anti-whaling group has filed a lawsuit in Oregon court in an effort to freeze the assets of a Japanese whaling fleet. EarthFix reporter Amelia Templeton says it’s the latest twist in a legal battle that began with a confrontation at sea.

The federal government’s across-the-board spending cuts could hit soon in western Oregon. Congressman Greg Walden says the feds plan to apply the so called sequester cut this week to a program for timber dependent counties. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix reports.

SALEM, Ore. - For decades, Oregon’s trial lawyers and doctors have battled over medical malpractice. Now, the state’s physician governor has brokered a deal aimed at reducing medical malpractice lawsuits. It’s one of the high-profile issues in the legislative session that gets underway Monday. But the state's medical community is deeply divided over the proposal.

A long-festering dispute between Oregon doctors and trial lawyers may be closer to a resolution. The two groups have reached a deal aimed at reducing the cost of medical malpractice litigation. It’s one of many subjects of debate when Oregon lawmakers return to the capitol Monday. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

The 9th circuit court of appeals will hear arguments Monday in Seattle in a pesticide lawsuit. Three environmental groups want to force the Environmental Protection Agency to ban a pesticide used on some Northwest crops. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix Reports.

Mohamud Guilty: Sentencing Set For May

Feb 1, 2013
Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

Sentencing is scheduled for May 14th for Mohamed Mohamud. The young Somali-American man  has been convicted of trying to use a weapon of mass destruction. From Oregon Public Broadcasting, April Baer reports.

TURNER, Ore. - When a dog finds its first truffle -- the fungus, not the chocolate candy -- the sound you hear will most likely be the voice of a very excited dog handler.

And you might be as excited as Mia MacCollin of Bend if your pet showed an aptitude to find buried treasure. And treasure it is. The native Oregon white truffle can fetch several hundred dollars per pound at retail.

Oregon Adds Wave And Offshore Wind Zones To Its Sea Plan

Jan 28, 2013

Oregon adopted new zoning rules for its territorial sea yesterday. The rules set aside about 2 percent of the Oregon coast for wave and offshore wind energy. Amelia Templeton from our EarthFix team reports the decision was not welcomed by some Dungeness crab fisherman.

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