Bill McLean


Veteran newsman Bill McLean recently “retired” in Ashland after more than 30 years in Austin, Texas, where he covered local news beats as reporter, anchor and/or news director for several Central Texas radio stations. Also, as a stringer and part-time Bureau Chief for Texas State Network, McLean covered the distinctly-Texan politics of the State Capitol through a string of notable lawmakers and governors, including Ann Richards, George W. Bush and Rick Perry.

His career spans news, audio production and public relations for various government, medical and environmental agencies in Austin. Most recently, as the Texas Department of Agriculture’s video producer and editor, McLean documented the growth and activities of drug and human smuggling cartels along the U.S. border with Mexico. A proud graduate of the University of Florida, the Orlando native is equally proud to collaborate with the news, music and audio production pros at JPR in celebration of the Great State of Jefferson.

Jonathan Paul/Lomakatsi Restoration Project

For much of this winter, residents of Ashland have heard the daily chop-chop-chop of a helicopter making hundreds of trips over the hills just outside town. It’s part of a project to thin the nearby forest of smaller trees and brush that could fuel a destructive wildfire.

In keeping with the goal of ecosystem restoration, foresters are using the helicopter to remove cut timber rather than dragging fallen trees across the forest floor. 

Bill McLean / JPR

Once upon a time, most of our children were so isolated from the social ills of our culture that adults thought them innocent, and unable to understand, much less resolve, serious social  problems.

Today’s youngsters, though, are often surrounded by troubling situations. The Oregon Community Foundation is using local schools to teach children to be philanthropists in their own communities.

Bill McLean/JPR

For many elderly people, having to move into a nursing home is frightening and traumatic. It’s also very expensive, and taxpayers usually end up footing a lot of the bill. 

A groundbreaking program that originated in Oregon is helping many people stay in their homes longer, enhancing the quality of their lives and reducing the need for nursing home care.

Oregon businessman and philanthropist Fred W. Fields cared about education and the arts so much that, before he died, he planned a little surprise for the Oregon Community Foundation. Now, his bequest is showing up in the Rogue Valley.

Bill McLean/ JPR

New online companies have emerged where private residents offer travelers a place to stay for the night, often at rates cheaper than hotels or bed and breakfast outfits. In Ashland, traditional innkeepers are crying foul.

Bill McLean/JPR

The fire-prone forests of southern Oregon attract many people seeking their own “little slice of Heaven.” JPR recently tagged along on an OSU Extension Service seminar designed to teach newcomers from the city how to keep their woods from going up in smoke.