Oregon

Oregon Lawmakers Head Into Final Days Of Session

Jul 1, 2013

Oregon lawmakers are heading into the home stretch of their legislative session Monday. The closing days could include some high stakes votes over taxes and public pension cuts. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Oregon lawmakers have given the initial approval to a sweeping measure aimed at checking the growth of the state's prison population. The House Thursday passed a bill that reduces some sentences for non-violent crimes. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

The Senate Natural Resources Committee approved a 1 year extension of timber payments Tuesday. The payments help out counties with large national forests: land that isn’t on local tax rolls. Amelia Templeton reports.

The Democratic-controlled Oregon Senate is scheduled to act Monday on the largest single portion of the state spending plan: Money for K-12 schools. But there's a chance the vote will be delayed. That's because a single Democrat has come out against the proposal, throwing a monkey wrench into the process.

This would be the second time the schools budget is held over to another day. With less than two weeks left before the scheduled adjournment, Democratic state Senator Chris Edwards continues to hold out for more money for schools.

Anna King

There’s been a lot of speculation but few answers so far about how genetically modified wheat ended up in an Oregon field.

An Oregon man convicted of killing a police officer more than 20 years ago will stay behind bars for at least a few more months. The Oregon Board of Parole said Tuesday that it will re-examine its decision to release Sidney Dean Porter. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman has details on the case.

Oregon and Washington have signed mitigation agreements with two of the three industrial companies whose business would be disrupted by the Columbia River Crossing. April Baer reports from Oregon Public Broadcasting.

After last December’s mass shootings in Oregon and Connecticut, Democrats and Republicans in the Oregon legislature called for increased funding for mental health care. Now, there’s a proposal under discussion that would expand such programs in a big way, but it remains caught up in a debate over how to fund it. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman spoke with one lawmaker for whom mental health care is a very personal issue.

Oregon Teen Faces Charges In School Attack Plot

May 27, 2013

An Oregon teenager will be in court Tuesday on charges that he was planning to set off bombs at his high school. The court appearance comes on the same day that students return to West Albany High School for the first time since police uncovered the alleged plot. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Voters in two Southwest Oregon counties have defeated short-term property tax increases that would have raised revenue for public safety. Amelia Templeton reports.

Pew Poll Finds Support For Protecting O&C Forests

May 22, 2013

A majority of Oregon voters favor protections for the so called O and C forest lands in Western Oregon. That’s according to a new poll commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports.

The Oregon House voted Monday to remove a statue of pioneer missionary Jason Lee from a prominent place in the U.S. Capitol. In its place they propose to put a statue of former Oregon Republican governor and U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield.

Each state gets two spots in the the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall. Supporters of the change say it's time to honor a more modern and prominent figure in Oregon's history.

The University of Oregon softball team is going to the “NCAA Super Regional” after winning the Regional final Saturday in Eugene. The Ducks defeated Big 10 Conference Champions Wisconsin. KLCC's Jes Burns has more.

A key Oregon state lawmaker could return to the capitol as early as this week. Democratic Senator Betsy Johnson broke her pelvis in a car accident last month. Her absence has delayed some potentially close votes. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would make it easier for people who were adopted as children to access court records about their biological family. A House committee could vote to advance the measure Tuesday.

Oregon Senate Bill 623 is what is sometimes called a housekeeping bill. It's pretty boring, really. The measure clarifies who gets access to certain kinds of paperwork and how they go about getting it.

Leaders and representatives of Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes gathered at Oregon’s State Capitol in Salem this week for tribal nation’s day.

Federal authorities say they’re working on the release of Kenneth Bae – the University of Oregon graduate believed to be in a North Korean prison. Government-run news outlets in North Korea say Bae has received as much as a 15-year sentence from the country’s Supreme Court for allegedly undermining the government.

Chris Lehman

Oregon lawmakers will find out later this month how much money will be available to spend in the upcoming budget cycle. So right now, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the budget-writing process. Education, as usual, is in line for the biggest piece of the pie. But human service advocates say after years of budget turmoil, this year could be their chance to restore funding for Oregon’s social safety net. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports:

Judge's Order Questions DOMA, Oregon's Measure 36

Apr 26, 2013

A judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that a Portland lesbian couple has a right to federal health benefits. April Baer reports.

After 90 Years, A Southern Oregon Mill Closes

Apr 22, 2013
Amelia Templeton / EarthFix

This week, Rough and Ready Lumber started shutting down its sawmill in the Southern Oregon town of Cave Junction. It’s a story that’s repeated itself in timber towns across the northwest. In 1980 there were 390 mills operating in Oregon. Today there are 103. EarthFix Reporter Amelia Templeton visited the Rough and Ready mill and has this profile.

African-American hair stylists are asking the Oregon legislature to scale back the rules surrounding traditional braiding techniques. The Oregon House is set to vote Monday on a measure that would ease the training requirements for hair treatments that don't involve chemicals.

Marcus Kaufmann

More than a dozen Northwest schools and hospitals have replaced old diesel heating systems with boilers that burn wood pellets. Advocates say that this wood fuel -- called forest biomass -- is an affordable local source of energy. And it can help rural communities cut back on their fossil fuel use.

Zumwalt Prairie Named National Natural Landmark

Apr 17, 2013
oregon ducatisti / Flickr Creative Commons

The largest prairie in the Pacific Northwest has been named a National Natural Landmark. Northeast Oregon’s Zumwalt Prairie is the largest bunch grassland in the U.S. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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.

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