Liam Moriarty

Reporter/Producer

Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years. He's reported on a wide range of topics – including politics, the environment, business, social issues and more – for newspapers, magazines, public radio and the web.  Liam was JPR News Director from 2002 to 2005, reporting and producing the Jefferson Daily regional news magazine. After covering the environment in Seattle, then reporting on European issues from France, he's returned to JPR, turning his talents to covering the stories that are important to the people of this very special region.

SOU

Second time's the charm.

Just a month after being a finalist for a job at Youngstown University in Ohio, Southern Oregon University President Mary Cullinan has announced she's leaving SOU at the end of June to assume the presidency of Eastern Washington University near Spokane.

US Fish and Wildlife Service

It’s been ninety years since the last native California wolf was trapped and killed. Last week, Oregon wildlife officials announced that OR-7, the wolf they’ve tracked wandering in and out of northern California, had found a mate and fathered a new litter in southern Oregon.

That news contributes to the growing sense that it’s only a matter of time till wolves re-inhabit the Golden State. Against this backdrop, California wildlife officials extended endangered species status to the gray wolf.

Edward J. O'Neill/National Fish and Wildlife Service

A Senate hearing in Washington, DC Tuesday  marked the legislative debut of an ambitious bill by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden meant to end, once and for all, the water wars in the Klamath Basin.

Harland Quarrington/Wikimedia Commons

Maker spaces and hacker spaces are a growing phenomenon. They’re places where everyday people gain access to the tools – and the collaborative inspiration – to combine art, engineering and technology in new and innovative ways. Sometimes these projects become incubators for products and inventions with enormous potential. 

In Medford, the Rogue Hack Lab is a local expression of this global movement.

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

The proponents of measures to ban the cultivation of genetically-modified crops in Jackson and Josephine Counties have pulled off solid wins.

Amelia Templeton/EarthFix

The third time was not the charm, as Josephine County voters once again shot down a measure to raise property taxes to pay for law enforcement.

Two+two=4/Wikimedia Commons

Two northern California men have been charged with damaging old growth trees in the Redwood National and State Forest. The arrests are the first in response to a recent increase in illegal poaching of redwood burl. JPR looks at the illicit trade in the North Coast’s legendary giants. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR

The people with perhaps the most direct economic stake in the fate of Jackson County’s proposed ban on growing genetically modified crops are the county’s farmers. JPR visited Rogue Valley farmers who stand on opposite sides of Measure 15-119 to find out how they see it.  

Liam Moriarty/JPR

Most of us take for granted that we can have a hot shower pretty much anytime we like.  But for people without a home, such basic personal hygiene can be a rare luxury. Now, in Ashland, community groups have come together to create a solution that meets the simple human need for cleanliness with dignity and compassion.

SOU

This has been a tumultuous year at Southern Oregon University; deep budget cuts, faculty layoffs, contentious contract negotiations, academic reorganization -- not to mention a dramatic restructuring of the entire Oregon University System.

On Monday, SOU president Mary Cullinan announced she’s a finalist for a position as president of Youngstown State University in Ohio.

Sou.edu

Mary Cullinan, embattled president of Southern Oregon University, announced Monday that she’s a finalist for the job of president at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio.

Cullinan, president at SOU since 2006, made the announcement in a campus-wide email Monday afternoon. She indicated she had not been actively seeking another job.

The federal legislation that regulates mining for copper, zinc, gold and many other minerals was originally signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant. In ways, the law reflects a 19th century view of natural resources: limitless and there for the taking.

Now, a legacy of pollution at tens of thousands of abandoned mines across the West is prompting an Oregon congressman to head a new effort to revise the General Mining Act of 1872.

Liam Moriarty / Jefferson Public Radio

The federal legislation that regulates mining for copper, zinc, gold and many other minerals was originally signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant. In ways, the law reflects a 19th century view of natural resources: limitless and there for the taking.

Now, a legacy of pollution at tens of thousands of abandoned mines across the West is prompting an Oregon Congressmember to head a new effort to revise the General Mining Act of 1872.

It's after 10 p.m. as Sam Nichols slowly cruises through the tiny town of O'Brien, Ore., shining superbright spotlights into the shadows.

"We're just checking this commercial building here, just to make sure there's no one hiding around it or anything," Nichols says.

Nichols' King Cab pickup has a yellow flasher on top and signs on the doors identifying it as a Citizens Against Crime patrol. Riding with Nichols is fellow volunteer Alan Cress.

O'Dea at WikiCommons

In March, a new Oregon law allowing medical marijuana to be sold in storefront dispensaries went into effect. Many of the newly-licensed dispensaries have yet to open, at least in part because another new law allows local authorities to ban the shops for up to a year. So far, lots of cities have done that.

NVCW

Rural counties in southern Oregon are suffering from the loss of the federal timber money that used to be the mainstay of county government budgets.

After repeated failed efforts to get residents to approve tax increases, officials in Josephine County made dramatic cutbacks in county services, including law enforcement. 

In response, a growing number of armed citizen groups are cropping up to fill that public safety vacuum.

USDA

If voters approve, Jackson County would become the first in the state to ban growing genetically modified crops. A local farmers’ group has put a measure on the May ballot. The measure would apply to just one, mostly-rural county. But the campaign has attracted attention – and money – from around the state and across the nation, as ag groups and biotech giants have poured huge amounts of cash into the fight.

Liam Moriarty/Jefferson Public Radio

It was standing room only at the City Council chamber in Ashland  last night, as elected officials heard from supporters and opponents of a proposed gun control ordinance. After passionate pleading from both sides, the council voted to take the next step toward enacting the law.

Federal Emergency Management Agency

This summer is shaping up to be a hot season for wildfires, especially on the west coast. Federal officials and lawmakers took the opportunity Monday to urge passage of legislation that would treat big wildfires like other natural disasters. They say this would fix a problem that’s hampered efforts to prevent the fires in the first place.

Clinton Steeds via Wikipedia Commons

Recently, an independent review of California’s transportation department Caltrans concluded the agency is stuck in the past. Some activists say several Caltrans projects along the North Coast are examples of the need for reform.

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