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The Christmas decorations are coming down and the nights are still long and cold. 

All the more reason to get off the couch and burn off some holiday pounds enjoying some of the region's art happenings. 

Our First Friday Arts Segment returns for the first time in 2017, taking stock of events ranging from musical theater to gallery displays. 

And it is a listener-driven segment, composed entirely of phone calls from around the region plugging events in the coming weeks.  Those go to 800-838-3760. 

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Leslie Kendall has the kind of singing voice that makes people widen their eyes and ask "who's THAT?" 

We'll answer that question as we visit with Leslie, who recently retired from singing after a long career.  Her work includes singing with jazz and swing bands large and small, and cutting records for three different record companies. 

She's lived in Ashland for years now. 

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It's been almost 52 years since The Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, turning the flame of Beatlemania into a raging inferno. 

Penelope Rowlands remembers well... she not only got to see The Beatles back then, she was captured for all time in a photograph of girls hooting for their idols. 

Penelope grew up to become a writer, and the editor of The Beatles Are Here, a collection of stories about the Fab Four's time in the spotlight. 

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Southern Oregon will likely sidestep the brunt of a weekend storm that is expected to melt away Medford's heaviest snow in nearly a century, swelling streams and causing some localized flooding without causing the Rogue River to reach its banks.

The next storm front is expected to bring intense rain and high-elevation snows to northern California and pummel the Sierra Nevada Range, but it's likely Medford will see a mix of rain and freezing rain totaling about 1½ inches, according to the National Weather Service.

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Klamath County's violent crime rate for 2016 shot up in the final days of the year. 

Three separate homicides occurred in a span between December 26th and 31st; an unusual outbreak of violence. 

Stephen Floyd covered the cases for the Herald & News in Klamath Falls. 

Living outside is never easy, but it could be deadly this time of year.

A Portland man living on the street succumbed to hypothermia Monday, as temperatures plunged into the teens.

We hear about efforts in Lane County to keep people warm during dangerously cold times of year. Groups like St. Vincent De Paul are providing warming shelters from Dec. 1 to March 31 this year, longer than ever before thanks to a bump in state funding.

Ashland also provides cold-weather shelters.  Our guest is William Wise, Director First Place Family Center for St. Vincent De Paul Lane County. 

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We'd be hard-pressed to find another person who is as passionate about music as Josh Gross. 

Or at least as passionate and ARTICULATE before 10 AM as Josh is. 

Josh is the music editor at the Rogue Valley Messenger (check out his Best of 2016 list), and a monthly contributor to The Exchange with "Rogue Sounds." 

Snow Storm Pounds Central, Southern Oregon

Jan 4, 2017
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The snow that fell steadily on the Rogue Valley floor Tuesday and left many roads glazed with ice is expected to continue into Wednesday.

But forecasters say a brief respite from winter weather is expected later in the week.

Updated 1/4/2017 12:30 pm -- Rhythm & News service has been restored to low power. Our engineer continues to work to get the service back to full power.

The Rhythm & News service is off the air in the region surrounding Redding. The outage is likely due to a build up of ice on the antennae. Our engineer is working to restore service.

In the meantime you can hear any of our three services using the listen live feature at the top of the page.

Thanks for your patience!

Oregon Shakespeare Festival Makeover Turns Up Relics

Jan 3, 2017
Larry Stauth Jr./Ashland Daily Tidings

The archaeological dig during the renovation of “The Bricks” at Oregon Shakespeare Festival has turned up lots of old bashed-up bowls, windows, square nails, wire insulators, wash basins and bottles for beer, wine, medicines, lip balm and olives, most of it dating from the late 19th century when the site held a private house, the two-story Hotel Park and a café called Anne Hathaway’s.

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Rogue Valley communities are not used to dealing with snow in any amounts, and eight inches fell on Medford on Tuesday (January 3, 2017). 

That's a headache for travelers to deal with, and the job of road crews to clean up. 

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) works closely with its California counterpart, CalTrans, on the Interstate Five corridor linking the two states. 

So California blizzard conditions led to a half-day shutdown on the Siskiyou Summit on the Oregon side, to allow road maintenance to catch up with the weather.

ODOT/CalTrans

"Pick your poison," the early 2017 weather forecasts seem to say. 

While parts of the region had been bracing for sub-freezing temperatures, the outlook has changed.

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The State of Oregon will have to scramble for funding again in the coming legislative session. 

Revenue projections are not keeping up with the cost estimates, to no one's surprise.  Measure 97 in the November election was supposed to address the systemic issue by taxing corporations more.  But voters rejected it, leading to the obvious question: what next? 

A Better Oregon is already on it, floating an idea for a new corporate tax and a health care provider tax. 

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There tends to be a controversy attached to any official designation of a wilderness area. 

The argument against wilderness set-asides is that they restrict economic activity.  But the wilderness proponents point out that roads crisscross the planet, rendering most roadless areas small. 

There is now a global map of roadless areas showing exactly where the untouched islands lie. 

On Friday, January 20th, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Below is his inaugural address, with footnotes from NPR's fact-checking team.

JPR News

Over the course of 12 months, we meet a LOT of interesting people on The Exchange. 

And some of them arrive in-studio with musical instruments in hand.  Those are actually some of our favorite segments; less talking and more listening. 

We grab some of the musical highlights of this year and pack them into a single hour. 

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Let's sit down for a meal.  Figuratively, not literally. 

Literal meals have become quite adventuresome of late, with generous helpings of science and fusions and exotic ingredients. 

Dana Goodyear captures the mood in her book Anything That Moves

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It's not just that our region is full of interesting people. 

There are plenty of non-human living things to make the place unique and exciting. 

Some of them are too small to see, like face mites.  Yes, the name indicates where they live. 

A samurai master from Japan from two centuries ago would probably appreciate the work coming out of Dragonfly Forge in Coquille. 

Michael Bell and son Gabriel turn out swords the old way, combining centuries-old practices with modern technology. 

Their work is highly regarded, and carries a high price. 

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Immigration, legal and not, is seldom out of the news for long. 

And it pretty much parked on the front pages this year and stayed there, due in large part to the election campaigns. 

Immigration will continue to be a hot topic as new people take office in 2017. 

We take parts from several of our interviews in the subject area and combine them for a full hour of immigration perspectives. 

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