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Second Day of Snow
8:19 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Snow Closes Schools In Willamette Valley

The winter storm that pounded Northern Oregon forced school closings up and down the Willamette Valley on Friday, February 7.

SCHOOLS CLOSED:

  • Eugene
  • Springfield
  • Junction City
  • Pleasant Hill
  • Creswell
  • University of Oregon
  • Lane Community College
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No Contract Agreement
7:52 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Strike ON: Medford Teachers Walk

A pre-strike rally.
Credit Medford Education Association

Medford teachers walked off the job today (Thursday, February 6), after a deadline for reaching a deal on a new teacher contract passed.

The teachers' union and Medford School District reps met for hours yesterday and overnight without agreeing on contract terms.

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Brink Of Strike
2:48 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Medford Talks Continue, But No School Thursday

Washington Elementary School is one of several that would remain open if Medford teachers strike.
Credit Opsis Architecture

Medford School District canceled Thursday classes on Wednesday afternoon, bracing for a possible teacher strike.

School Superintendent Phil Long made the announcement on the school district's web site before classes ended for the day on Wednesday.

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Strike Deadline February 6
12:31 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Medford Schools Announce Strike Plans

Jackson Elementary is one of the schools that would remain open if Medford teachers strike.
Credit Medford School District

The Medford School District released its plan for school schedules if teachers strike Thursday morning.

The teachers' union set February 6th as its deadline several weeks ago: either a breakthrough in contract negotiations, or a strike.

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Strike Set For Thursday
6:27 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Strike Deadline Approaches: Medford Teachers Talk

An informational picket by teachers and their supporters.
Credit Medford Education Association

Medford teachers and the school district returned to contract talks Tuesday, but not before taking more public shots at each other.

Mediation sessions resumed a few hours after the union chief and the school superintendent published dueling guest columns in the Mail Tribune of Medford.

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Jefferson Exchange | February 4, 2014 | 8:30
10:20 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Concern Over Mercury In Oregon Rivers

Credit BLM/Wikimedia

Bill Meyers and Lori Pillsbury explain the reason for concern over mercury in Oregon rivers.

The Rogue River looks pristine in many places, but looks are deceiving. 

The Rogue, the McKenzie, and other Oregon rivers may be added to a list of streams bearing high levels of mercury.  In some of the native fish, though generally not the water.

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JPR News
5:20 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Medford Teacher Talks Resume Two Days From Strike Deadline

Staffing classrooms will be an issue if Medford teachers strike Thursday.
Credit Wikimedia

Two days before a planned strike date, the Medford School District and its teachers return to talks aimed at finding a contract both sides can live with.

Talks, plural.  The plan for the Tuesday sessions calls for negotiating teams from the district and the teachers' union to meet in separate rooms, with a mediator shuttling between them.

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Jefferson Exchange | February 3, 2014 | 8:00
10:30 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Arguing Timber And Terminology

Credit Nicholas_T/Flickr

Doug Heiken of Oregon Wild explains his group's issues with the White Castle sale.

The Bureau of Land Management calls the plan for the White Castle timber sale "variable retention harvest."

Environmental groups prefer "clearcut."  Welcome back to the frequent battles over logging in Western Oregon. 

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Jefferson Exchange | February 3, 2014 | 8:30
10:20 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Ski Season Woes

Mt. Shasta in summer. It is NOT supposed to look like this in winter.
Credit Wikimedia

Jason Young explains what happens at a ski area (Shasta) when it's closed for lack of snow.

It's already February and some skiers still haven't been able to hit the slopes.

Winter storms have been rare visitors this winter, and winter recreation areas have little or no snow to work with.  Both Mt. Shasta Ski Park and Mt. Ashland Ski Area remain closed. 

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Local Limits to "Open Carry"
2:54 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Ashland to Ponder Gun Restrictions

Credit Enoch Lai/Wikimedia

The Ashland  city council is poised to consider taking up a pair of ordinances proposed by a community group concerned about gun violence. Whether Ashland adopts the new laws or not, it raises questions about how far local gun restrictions can go, and what they can accomplish.

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