Southern Oregon University

UPDATE 2:50 PM Wednesday: SOU leaders announced the reopening of campus at 5 AM Thursday. 

Roseburg Begins The Healing Process

Oct 6, 2015
John Rosman/OPB

Roseburg residents are raising money and offering moral support to those affected by the mass shooting there last week. The tragic event left 10 people dead, including the shooter, and another nine wounded.

Oregon College Tragedy Raises Questions About Guns

Oct 6, 2015
John Sepulvado/OPB

The White House says President Obama will travel to Roseburg on Friday to meet privately with the families of people who died in last week’s shooting.

The politics surrounding gun violence began almost immediately after the tragedy at Umpqua Community College where 10 died and another nine were injured.

Federal officials say the weapons used in the shooting were purchased legally. And that’s raising questions about what more could be done to prevent mass killings. 

Hazelwood (MO) School District

The shooting deaths at Umpqua Community College remind us that people can show up with deadly intent anywhere. 

A police officer who wanted to keep his wife--a school principal--safe developed a training program for dealing with active shooters. 

Greg Crane calls his program ALICE, for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. 

He has worked with the Eugene Police, among many others.

VENTSday returns for the first time since the Umpqua shootings, and we open the phone lines and email box for comments on how best to move forward. 

The other topic is very much related... what information--like the shooter's name--should be public or withheld? 

You've got opinions on events in the news, and our VENTSday segment is designed to let the world hear them.

We plop a pair of topics on the table--frequently unrelated--and let YOU deliver your passionate (and polite) views on them.

How Oregon Schools Are Preparing For A Megaquake

Oct 5, 2015
Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

A report in 2007 found hundreds of schools in Oregon are at high risk of collapse in an earthquake. Eight years later, many of those schools are still vulnerable.

Now, state lawmakers have allocated an unprecedented amount of money for seismic upgrades in Oregon schools and local school districts are moving to tap into that resource to make long-overdue repairs.

All three campuses of Rogue Community College in Jackson and Josephine Counties were evacuated Monday morning after an anonymous bomb threat.

Jenny Hall, Emergency Manager for Josephine County, says Grants Pass Police received the call and passed the information on to the college as well as the Josephine County Sheriff’s Department.

"The Sheriff’s Office immediately responded," Hall said. "The Sheriff’s Office began an investigation and worked with Rogue Community College officials to evacuate the campus."


Holy Shakespeare!  The Oregon Shakespeare Festival just announced a project to re-write the 39 plays attributed to William Shakespeare into modern English. 

People who insist that the strength of the plays is the quality of the language may burst a blood vessel. 

But OSF insists the translations--by 36 diverse playwrights paired with dramaturgs--are meant to complement Shakespeare, not replace his work. 

The idea is to make the great works accessible to broader audiences, with great respect for the original material.

Little Mountain 5/Wikimedia

While planning and zoning laws and codes are plentiful, businesses that are less environmentally-friendly can still set up shop, as long as all the permits are in place. 

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Looking to help those affected by the Oct. 1 mass shooting at Umpqua Community College?

Vanessa Becker, chairwoman of  Umpqua Community College’s board of trustees, offered some advice at a Saturday press conference.

“We strongly recommend that donors cast a careful eye when considering other funds, as some are not based at charitable organizations and might apply high administrative fees,” Becker said. “Also, unfortunately, at times like these, there are unscrupulous people who will set up false accounts.”

She recommended donating to these organizations:

Brian Davies/The Register-Guard

The 26-year-old man who went on an Oct. 1 shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College died by suicide, authorities said in a Saturday press conference.  

Ten people, including the shooter, died in the incident. Nine others were injured.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner determined Chris Harper-Mercer’s cause of death to be suicide, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said.

Douglas County Sheriff

The families of the nine victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting are sharing their thoughts with the public.

Friday afternoon, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin's office released statements from four of the families:


Isolation is a major concern for older people. 

Having friends move away or die can often leave seniors with few people to talk to on a regular basis. 

And there's evidence that isolation leads to depression. 

The evidence is collected and amplified by a new survey that shows depressive symptoms increase as face-to-face contacts with other people decrease. 

Oregon Health & Science University's Dr. Alan Teo, an assistant professor of psychiatry, is the lead author of the study. 


We expect water to come out of the faucet when we turn the handle. 

But the task of providing water gets harder in a drought, and our region has been living with drought conditions for several years. 

A national awareness campaign called "Imagine a Day Without Water" brings together a number of water agencies and interested groups to press the case for wise use and conservation this week (October 6-8). 

Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard

UPDATE: October 2, 4 PM

The Douglas County Sheriff's office released the names of the Umpqua Community College shooting victims and fixed the number of wounded at nine. 

The Sheriff's office also clarified that the shooter was enrolled at UCC and was a student in the class where the shooting took place.  Below are the names of the dead:

An email tip-off about an ominous Facebook post by a former Ashland High School student led officials to send police officers to the school and cancel the school's Homecoming Parade.

Oregon State Police are reporting 10 confirmed dead and seven injured in the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg.

The interactive visualization below shows the number of fatalities and injuries from mass shootings in the US over time including these most recently reported statistics. Mouse over each year to get details from that year.

The visualization will auto update if the number changes.

Aaron Yost/Roseburg News Review

UPDATE: THURSDAY, OCT. 1, 5:20 p.m. --- Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin has confirmed that ten people are dead and seven others were wounded in the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg today.

Witnesses told the Roseburg News Review that a sole gunman opened fire at about 10:38 Thursday morning in a writing class held in Snyder Hall. 18-year-old Kortney Moore from Rogue River said she saw her teacher get shot in the head. She said the shooter told people in the classroom to stand up and state their religion, then started firing.

Start warming up your voice.  Friday is here, and with it, the return of our First Friday Arts Segment.

And we'll be singing a cappella with the Rogue Valley Harmonizers, our featured guests in our First Friday Arts segment. 

The Exchange syncs up with the art world on First Friday, by visiting with listeners about arts events in the coming month.

10 Things To Know About Recreational Marijuana Sales

Oct 1, 2015
John Rosman/OPB

Recreational marijuana has been legal throughout Oregon for a few months now. While residents could use it, purchasing from a store hasn’t been possible.

That’s because retail sales of recreational cannabis have remained illegal. That ended Thursday, when the state began allowing recreational sales at medical marijuana dispensaries.

According to the OLCC, the state currently projects $10.7 million in revenue for the 2015-2017 biennium.

Here’s everything you need to know about purchasing pot for recreational use in Oregon.