April 16, 2014 eClips

  • Oregon schools hiring by the hundreds, a welcome reversal in the teacher job market
  • Oregon Medicare payments: 6 interesting facts in the data
  • Cover Oregon: New executive director suspends Deloitte contract, more cuts likely
  • Oregon Youth Authority staffers and at-risk youth push statewide food drive
  • Oregon environmentalists, public health activists to return products containing potentially toxic chemicals
  • Oregon economy gains back lost ground as job growth rises to housing-boom levels
  • Secretary of state ducked when Damascus asked for help — Opinion
  • Getting out from under the Cover Oregon mess requires a hard cold eye — Opinion
  • Flashing on Oregon highways: When you can — and can’t — use headlights to communicate with other drivers
  • Hamstreet takes charge at Cover Oregon, promises improved transparency
  • Oregon employers add many jobs in March as economic growth accelerates
  • Moving the Needle
  • Around the state
  • Judge sides with Forest Service on timber sale
  • Pesticide applicator investigated

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OREGON SCHOOLS HIRING BY THE HUNDREDS, A WELCOME REVERSAL IN THE TEACHER JOB MARKET

(Portland Oregonian)After six years of anemic hiring, Oregon school districts will extend job offers to an estimated 2,000 teachers this year a turnaround that has energized those doing the hiring as well as those securing jobs.
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OREGON MEDICARE PAYMENTS: 6 INTERESTING FACTS IN THE DATA

(Portland Oregonian)Last week, the federal government released data on 2012 Medicare payments to doctors across the nation.
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COVER OREGON: NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SUSPENDS DELOITTE CONTRACT, MORE CUTS LIKELY

(Portland Oregonian)Cover Oregon late last week severed one of its contracts with technology consultant Deloitte, the first of what could be a series of cost-cutting moves as the troubled operation enters a new era of fiscal austerity.
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OREGON YOUTH AUTHORITY STAFFERS AND AT-RISK YOUTH PUSH STATEWIDE FOOD DRIVE

(Portland Oregonian)Oregon Youth Authority staffers and at-risk youths donated the equivalent of 54,797 pounds of food during the 2014 Governor’s State Employee Food Drive.
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OREGON ENVIRONMENTALISTS, PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIVISTS TO RETURN PRODUCTS CONTAINING POTENTIALLY TOXIC CHEMICALS

(Portland Oregonian)Oregon environmental and public health activists are planning to visit a Walgreens in Northwest Portland on Wednesday evening to return products containing potentially toxic chemicals linked to birth defects, cancer and other diseases.
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OREGON ECONOMY GAINS BACK LOST GROUND AS JOB GROWTH RISES TO HOUSING-BOOM LEVELS

(Portland Oregonian)Oregon job growth accelerated in March to its strongest pace in nearly a decade, according to a report issued Tuesday.
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SECRETARY OF STATE DUCKED WHEN DAMASCUS ASKED FOR HELP — OPINION

(Portland Oregonian)Lets say youre the secretary of state, Oregons chief elections officer, and a small city facing a high-stakes vote asks you to shed some light on a pivotal matter of law.
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GETTING OUT FROM UNDER THE COVER OREGON MESS REQUIRES A HARD COLD EYE — OPINION

(Portland Oregonian)The Cover Oregon mess has triggered anger and bewilderment as Oregonians try to grasp what went so horribly wrong.
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FLASHING ON OREGON HIGHWAYS: WHEN YOU CAN — AND CAN’T — USE HEADLIGHTS TO COMMUNICATE WITH OTHER DRIVERS

(Portland Oregonian)Last weeks story about a southern Oregon judges ruling that flashing your headlights is a form of free speech at least when youre warning other drivers about the presence of police in the area generated a great deal of reader response.
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HAMSTREET TAKES CHARGE AT COVER OREGON, PROMISES IMPROVED TRANSPARENCY

(Salem Statesman Journal)Clyde Hamstreet, who was hired to temporarily lead Cover Oregon last week, hasnt taken his time easing into his new role.
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OREGON EMPLOYERS ADD MANY JOBS IN MARCH AS ECONOMIC GROWTH ACCELERATES

(Salem Statesman Journal)Oregons latest jobs report suggests economic growth accelerated in March, with many major industries adding at least 1,000 jobs.
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MOVING THE NEEDLE

(Willamette Week)-A new law expanding the use of an anti-overdose drug is cutting the number of heroin deaths.-

Two months ago, a heroin user overdosed on the Southwest Salmon Street overpass across Interstate 405, about a block from the headquarters of Outside In.
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AROUND THE STATE

(Bend Bulletin)Pot dispensary moratoriums At least 71 Oregon cities have moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries, and more than 40 others are considering bans, according to the League of Oregon Cities and the Association of Oregon Counties.
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JUDGE SIDES WITH FOREST SERVICE ON TIMBER SALE

(Capital Press)-An environmental group has failed to stop a 2,000-acre thinning project in Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest. -

A federal judge has shot down several environmentalist arguments against a 2,000-acre thinning project in Oregons Mount Hood National Forest.
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PESTICIDE APPLICATOR INVESTIGATED

(Capital Press)A helicopter company may face penalties for a pesticide spraying incident on the southern Oregon coast.
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April 15, 2014 eClips

  • Oregon schools hiring teachers after long hiring drought; 40% more employers at Tuesday’s big job fair
  • Driver’s education students can now waive DMV’s road test thanks to new rule
  • Oregon Medicare data shows disparity in provider payments
  • Oregon Department of Corrections tries ‘owl boxes’ to rid rodents, avoid poisons
  • Medical marijuana in Oregon: Which cities have moratoriums on dispensaries?
  • Pulitzer Prize: The Oregonian wins for editorial writing; finalist for explanatory reporting
  • Marine Board to talk to boaters about budget crunch
  • State’s history reveals racist attitudes
  • Marijuana News: Legalization, THC testing and Oregon moratoriums
  • Job vacancies up among small businesses
  • Why didnt Kitzhaber do this much sooner? — Opinion
  • State issues CAFO fines for manure handling problems

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OREGON SCHOOLS HIRING TEACHERS AFTER LONG HIRING DROUGHT; 40% MORE EMPLOYERS AT TUESDAY’S BIG JOB FAIR

(Portland Oregonian)Oregon schools plan to hire more teachers this spring than they have in years, and the huge increase in turnout of employers at Tuesday’s big annual job fair for Oregon educators reflects that, organizers say.
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DRIVER’S EDUCATION STUDENTS CAN NOW WAIVE DMV’S ROAD TEST THANKS TO NEW RULE

(Portland Oregonian)Remember feeling nervous before the road test required for your drivers license?
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OREGON MEDICARE DATA SHOWS DISPARITY IN PROVIDER PAYMENTS

(Portland Oregonian)Medicare paid $508 million to Oregon providers and provider groups in 2012. But some providers made much more than others.
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OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS TRIES ‘OWL BOXES’ TO RID RODENTS, AVOID POISONS

(Portland Oregonian)A Beaverton company recently installed a pair of “owl boxes” on the Oregon Department of Corrections gun range and obstacle course on the edge of Salem to kill rodents before they chew up the training grounds.
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MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN OREGON: WHICH CITIES HAVE MORATORIUMS ON DISPENSARIES?

(Portland Oregonian)A controversial law, passed in the legislative session this year, gives local governments the ability to impose moratoriums on medical marijuana retailers through May 1, 2015.
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PULITZER PRIZE: THE OREGONIAN WINS FOR EDITORIAL WRITING; FINALIST FOR EXPLANATORY REPORTING

(Portland Oregonian)The Oregonian has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing for a series about efforts to curb rising costs in the states public pensions system.
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MARINE BOARD TO TALK TO BOATERS ABOUT BUDGET CRUNCH

(Salem Statesman Journal)The Oregon State Marine Board will hold a pair of open-house sessions from 3 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday to talk about the agencys budget situation going into planning for the 2015 Oregon Legislature.
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STATE’S HISTORY REVEALS RACIST ATTITUDES

(Salem Statesman Journal)How come most people ignore the fact that Oregon excluded people of color and has ties to the KKK?
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MARIJUANA NEWS: LEGALIZATION, THC TESTING AND OREGON MORATORIUMS

(Salem Statesman Journal)A left leaning group in Texas plans to test the political waters in the state to see whether legalizing recreational marijuana is possible, according to 1200 News Radio.
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JOB VACANCIES UP AMONG SMALL BUSINESSES

(Salem Statesman Journal)-Fewer people competing for positions-

While some people struggle to find work, businesses in Oregon reported there were more job vacancies at the beginning of this year than in 2013 during the same time period.
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WHY DIDNT KITZHABER DO THIS MUCH SOONER? — OPINION

(Daily Astorian)Hiring corporate turn-around specialists Clyde Hamstreet & Associates to continue cleaning up the embarrassing mess at Cover Oregon is a reasonable move.
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STATE ISSUES CAFO FINES FOR MANURE HANDLING PROBLEMS

(Capital Press)Oregon Department of Agriculture releases list of 2013 CAFO violations. An Oregon Board of Agriculture member drew the biggest fine.
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April 14, 2014 eClips Weekend Edition

State Library eClips
* Key Oregon corrections official remains on duty as ethics probe launches
* Wind Turbines, the new icon of Pacific Northwest landscape
* Oregon judge says flashing lights to warn oncoming drivers of police is free speech
* Oregon special education graduates declared eligible for federal financial aid
* Oregon’s agriculture department fines 3 dairies, including 1 owned by board member
* Oregon fines Redmond contractor for failing to pay prevailing wages for work on school
* Turning economic blooms into jobs — Opinion
* Elliott State Forest management places needs of birds over those of kids — Guest Opinion
* Twenty years of the Northwest Forest Plan — Guest Opinion
* Public to get detailed insider view of certain Oregon schools
* Decision time for Cover Oregon: Move to federal exchange or finish state site?
* WESD didn’t learn from its past — Opinion
* More medical marijuana dispensaries approved, including one in Salem
* Stark differences in how drought is hitting Oregon
* Work continues at WWII memorial
* Oregon considers selling forest to benefit schools
* Caretakers needed to aid disabled children, adults
* Oregon transportation funding could fall by $500M
* Urban forests share links with healthy lives — Guest Opinion
* Project would require roadwork
* UO carefully tends to out-of-state tuition
* Inmate imprisoned for crimes in Lane County found dead
* Gaps in a photogenic state — Opinion
* High-tech crimes task force founder charged
* A fairly good deal: Oregon Fairgrounds and Exposition Center in Salem gets new operator
* Saving The Greater Sage Grouse
* Contaminated Wells May Force E. Ore. Town To Annex Territory
* Ore. Cities, Counties Enforce Medical Marijuana Dispensary Moratoriums
* Study Suggests Housing Homeless Could Lower Healthcare Costs
* Cause Of 911 Outages Under Investigation
* Foreclosure Filings Spike In March
* Rethinking College Costs: 3 Radical Plans

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KEY OREGON CORRECTIONS OFFICIAL REMAINS ON DUTY AS ETHICS PROBE LAUNCHES (Portland Oregonian)

Mitch Morrow, deputy director of the Oregon Corrections Department, will stay in his job while facing a new investigation into whether he abused his office to help his son.
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WIND TURBINES, THE NEW ICON OF PACIFIC NORTHWEST LANDSCAPE (Portland Oregonian)

There’s more than talk now about bringing offshore wind farms to the West Coast and Oregon is at he heart of the deal. Gov. John Kitzhaber announced specific plans in February at a press conference in Portland.
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OREGON JUDGE SAYS FLASHING LIGHTS TO WARN ONCOMING DRIVERS OF POLICE IS FREE SPEECH (Portland Oregonian)

It’s a good time to be a flasher on Oregon highways.

To be clear, we’re talking about headlights here.

A judge in southern Oregon has ruled that flashing your vehicle’s lights to warn others about by the presence of law enforcement is protected as free speech under the state Constitution.
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OREGON SPECIAL EDUCATION GRADUATES DECLARED ELIGIBLE FOR FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon students with disabilities who’ve earned modified high school diplomas were declared eligible for federal financial aid this week, reversing an earlier ruling that blocked aid for more than 1,700 recent Oregon high school graduates, Oregon House Education Chairwoman Sara Gelser announced Thursday.
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OREGON’S AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT FINES 3 DAIRIES, INCLUDING 1 OWNED BY BOARD MEMBER (Portland Oregonian)

The Oregon Department of Agriculture fined three dairies last year for polluting or failing to follow an animal waste management plan.
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OREGON FINES REDMOND CONTRACTOR FOR FAILING TO PAY PREVAILING WAGES FOR WORK ON SCHOOL (Portland Oregonian)

The state has ordered a contractor to pay $13,600 in civil penalties because it failed to pay prevailing wages for work done on a southern Oregon elementary school.
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TURNING ECONOMIC BLOOMS INTO JOBS — OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

As the weather warms, signs of economic improvement are as common and welcome as spring blooms. The unemployment rate has dropped in every Oregon county over the past year, and all six of the states metropolitan areas have added jobs. Wages are picking up.
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ELLIOTT STATE FOREST MANAGEMENT PLACES NEEDS OF BIRDS OVER THOSE OF KIDS — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

Last year, the S&P 500 Index had a total return on investment of 32 percent. That should have been good news for Oregon public schools, which receive twice-yearly checks from an endowment known as the Common School Fund CSF.
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TWENTY YEARS OF THE NORTHWEST FOREST PLAN — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

Twenty years ago, the Northwest Forest Plan sought to resolve the timber wars. Has it worked? We think so.
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PUBLIC TO GET DETAILED INSIDER VIEW OF CERTAIN OREGON SCHOOLS (Portland Oregonian)

When results of a massive survey of Oregon teachers are released late next month, the public will get a detailed look at what really happens inside most of the state’s schools, as reported by the school’s teachers and administrators.
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DECISION TIME FOR COVER OREGON: MOVE TO FEDERAL EXCHANGE OR FINISH STATE SITE? (Salem Statesman Journal)

Cover Oregons job for the next several months is a steep one: Launch a working health insurance marketplace by Nov. 15 or drop its ambitious vision and allow the federal government to take over its job.
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WESD DIDN’T LEARN FROM ITS PAST — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

A detailed investigative report by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission should have legislators and state education leaders questioning whether the future of the Willamette Education Service District can ever be righted.
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MORE MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES APPROVED, INCLUDING ONE IN SALEM (Salem Statesman Journal)

Eleven medical marijuana dispensaries were approved this week by the Oregon Health Authority, including 2nd Step Dispensary in Salem.
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STARK DIFFERENCES IN HOW DROUGHT IS HITTING OREGON (Salem Statesman Journal)

-North half of state is faring better than the South-

The difference between northern and southern Oregon has remained sharp in terms of snowpack and precipitation, according the latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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WORK CONTINUES AT WWII MEMORIAL (Salem Statesman Journal)

With the two most prominent features of the Oregon World War II Memorial in place, now comes the hard work.
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OREGON CONSIDERS SELLING FOREST TO BENEFIT SCHOOLS (Salem Statesman Journal)

The state of Oregon will consider selling the whole Elliott State Forest, where legal battles over logging and protections for threatened species have reduced revenues for schools.
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CARETAKERS NEEDED TO AID DISABLED CHILDREN, ADULTS (Salem Statesman Journal)

Dozens of job openings across the Mid-Valley were being touted at a job fair Friday, but there was no line of applicants creeping out of the building and snaked around its corner during the fairs five-hour duration.
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OREGON TRANSPORTATION FUNDING COULD FALL BY $500M (Salem Statesman Journal)

People are driving less, and their vehicles have become more fuel efficient.
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URBAN FORESTS SHARE LINKS WITH HEALTHY LIVES — GUEST OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

While generally understood, the health benefits of trees in our communities are under-appreciated by the average American.
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PROJECT WOULD REQUIRE ROADWORK (Eugene Register-Guard)

Developers say the opening of their proposed Glenwood hotel and conference center hinges on the city finishing an expensive reconstruction of the stretch of Franklin Boulevard that runs in front of the property.
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UO CAREFULLY TENDS TO OUT-OF-STATE TUITION (Eugene Register-Guard)

University of Oregon administrator Brad Shelton recently had to explain to the new UO Board of Trustees a delicate fact about university financing.
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INMATE IMPRISONED FOR CRIMES IN LANE COUNTY FOUND DEAD (Eugene Register-Guard)

A 53-old-year inmate incarcerated for crimes committed in Lane County in 2001 was found dead in his cell Thursday morning at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla.
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GAPS IN A PHOTOGENIC STATE — OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard)

-Blue Book cover has ignored 20 of 36 Oregon counties-

In her invitation to amateur photographers to compete in the biennial Blue Book cover contest, Secretary of State Kate Brown noted that scenes from 20 of Oregons 36 counties never have been featured on the cover of the states official almanac.
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HIGH-TECH CRIMES TASK FORCE FOUNDER CHARGED (Medford Mail Tribune)

-Josh Moulin, who started and led the Southern Oregon team, is accused of official misconduct and computer crimes-

The former Central Point police lieutenant who founded and headed the Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force faces official misconduct and computer-crime charges alleging he knowingly altered or damaged a police computer or software in 2012.
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A FAIRLY GOOD DEAL: OREGON FAIRGROUNDS AND EXPOSITION CENTER IN SALEM GETS NEW OPERATOR (Oregon Business Journal)

The Oregon State Fairgrounds has a new operator.

Management and control of the Fairgrounds and Exposition Center will move from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to the Oregon State Fair Council, state officials said Thursday. The Parks Department will continue to support the Council as the transition continues.
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SAVING THE GREATER SAGE GROUSE (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Its early in the morning, hours before sunrise. An old pickup truck turns down a dirt road at Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area in Eastern Washington, about 90 minutes west of Spokane.
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CONTAMINATED WELLS MAY FORCE E. ORE. TOWN TO ANNEX TERRITORY (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Wells north of Milton-Freewater are a public health threat, due to fecal contamination, a state inspection found. And the city may be forced to connect water and sewer to the site.
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ORE. CITIES, COUNTIES ENFORCE MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY MORATORIUMS (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

County commissioners and city councils are scrambling to pass medical marijuana dispensary moratoriums that comply with state law by the May 1 deadline.

Senate Bill 1531 legalizes medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon, but it also empowers counties and cities to enforce a one-year moratorium. All of the moratoriums will expire May 1, 2015.
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STUDY SUGGESTS HOUSING HOMELESS COULD LOWER HEALTHCARE COSTS (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

When homeless people are housed, the cost of their health care drops by 55 percent.

Thats according to a new study by Providence Health.
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CAUSE OF 911 OUTAGES UNDER INVESTIGATION (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Widespread 911 outages hit Washington state and two Oregon counties early Thursday, between 1:00 a.m and 6:30 a.m.

Anna Pendergrass is the Director of 911 and emergency management for Clark County.
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BUYERS FIND TAX BREAK ON ART: LET IT HANG AWHILE IN OREGON (New York Times)

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, tucked into a quiet corner of a college campus here in the hills of the Pacific Northwest, is hardly the epicenter of the art world.
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FORECLOSURE FILINGS SPIKE IN MARCH (Jefferson Public Radio)

Home foreclosure filings in Oregon spiked last month. Four hundred and seventy four court foreclosures were filed in March compared to 295 in February. According to John Helmick, CEO of Gorilla Capitol, the increase was anticipated.
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RETHINKING COLLEGE COSTS: 3 RADICAL PLANS (Fox Business)

For the 2013-2014 class, college costs are steep. The Institute for College Access and Success reports that among students who took out private student loans, the average graduate in 2012 accrued nearly $30,000 in debt.
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April 14, 2014 eClips

  • Oregon businesses pay attention as tax breaks get traction in Congress
  • ‘Most intriguing’ battle continues: Vote here to decide Oregon’s Elite 8
  • State Workers: Time to tell stories of what you do outside the office
  • Polk to address dispensaries
  • Damascus residents ready to exit city
  • Beer spills into history books
  • Falling gas taxes could limit transportation construction
  • Modified diplomas now qualify students for financial aid
  • You’ll find deforestation on farms, not forests — Guest Opinion
  • Oregon Historical Photo: Two Governors Compare Lapel Widths

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OREGON BUSINESSES PAY ATTENTION AS TAX BREAKS GET TRACTION IN CONGRESS

(Portland Oregonian)Tax breaks being closely watched by businesses in Oregon are gaining traction in Congress and could pass this spring.

The business tax credits, called extenders, can mean real money. The popular research-and-development credit, for example, lowers Intel Corp.’s federal tax rate by 1.5 percentage points saving Oregon’s biggest private employer $189 million in a year.
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‘MOST INTRIGUING’ BATTLE CONTINUES: VOTE HERE TO DECIDE OREGON’S ELITE 8

(Portland Oregonian)Welcome back to our “most intriguing political figure” bracketology. It’s time to pick the Elite 8.
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STATE WORKERS: TIME TO TELL STORIES OF WHAT YOU DO OUTSIDE THE OFFICE

(Salem Statesman Journal)The Statesman Journal has been going through a lot of changes during the past year, including hiring a new executive editor, redesigning the paper and adding a small edition of USA Today, and launching the Hannah & Anna Politicast, obviously the most important development so far.
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POLK TO ADDRESS DISPENSARIES

(Salem Statesman Journal)-Public hearing set on proposed moratorium-

Medical marijuana supporters in Polk County can voice their opinions on a proposed one-year moratorium on businesses that dispense the drug at a public hearing Wednesday.
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DAMASCUS RESIDENTS READY TO EXIT CITY

(Salem Statesman Journal)rustrated residents are wasting no time in their effort to de-annex from the Portland suburb of Damascus.

The Oregonian reports that House Bill 4029, which passed in March, allows any property on the boundary and within a half-mile from another city to leave Damascus. At least 17 people have taken the first step, the newspaper reported.
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BEER SPILLS INTO HISTORY BOOKS

(Eugene Register-Guard)-OSU archivists document the significance of craft beer culture-

Beer is so significant in Oregon that somebody should make a historical collection so future generations can study the details of the state’s current frothy culture including, for example, the Cascade aromatic hop used to make beers such as Total Domination or Hammerhead.
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FALLING GAS TAXES COULD LIMIT TRANSPORTATION CONSTRUCTION

(Eugene Register-Guard)People are driving less, and their vehicles have become more fuel-efficient.

While those might be considered positive trends, a potential decline in gas tax revenue is one reason the State Department of Transportation says it is on track to spend about $500 million less on construction in 2020 than during the peak of the stimulus in 2009.

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MODIFIED DIPLOMAS NOW QUALIFY STUDENTS FOR FINANCIAL AID

(Eugene Register-Guard)-Officials say if the state sanctions the certificates, the federal government agrees-

Oregon students with significant learning disabilities or medical conditions currently are allowed to earn a different type of high school diploma.
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YOU’LL FIND DEFORESTATION ON FARMS, NOT FORESTS — GUEST OPINION

(Eugene Register-Guard)John Sundquist’s guest viewpoint in the April 7 edition the The Register-Guard, “State puts timber interests ahead of public health,” seems to contain a few discrepancies, particularly in regard to his definition of the term “deforestation” and his interpretation of the risks that the public faces from pollution created by “chemical monocultures.”

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OREGON HISTORICAL PHOTO: TWO GOVERNORS COMPARE LAPEL WIDTHS

(Oregon Public Broadcasting)Republican Mark Hatfield, left, served as Oregon’s governor from 1957 to 1967. He was succeeded by Republican Tom McCall, right, from 1967 to 1975, after Hatfield went to U.S. Senate. Although both men had different clothing styles, they shared the distinction of being iconic, maverick Republicans.
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April 11, 2014 eClips

  • Cover Oregon: Board hires ‘turnaround’ expert, narrows technology options
  • Food industry group gives William Keene, Oregon’s pioneering food safety sleuth, posthumous achievement award
  • Cover Oregon health insurance exchange: fix it or go federal, officials say
  • Oregon Blue Book: photos from 20 counties not featured on the cover
  • Damascus residents gear up for secession with grassroots neighborhood rally celebrating House Bill 4029
  • Transgender prisoners in Oregon to get formal policy on intake procedures
  • Sen. Bruce Starr asks ODOT to install roundabout at OR47/Verboort Road, but funding uncertain
  • Oregon state and local taxes rank 16th highest in U.S. as share of income, study finds
  • Changing of the guard at Cover Oregon
  • Crafting regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries takes experimentation
  • 58 months later: Where the Oregon economy stands now
  • Transfer of Oregon State Fairgrounds underway
  • Oregon, Washington Consider Alternative To Amtrak For Cascades Rail Service
  • Banner Summer On Tap For Ocean Salmon Fishing
  • Into the bog: Oregons drought may affect crops
  • Short water year for Klamath irrigation project

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COVER OREGON: BOARD HIRES ‘TURNAROUND’ EXPERT, NARROWS TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS

(Portland Oregonian)Portland corporate turnaround expert Clyde Hamstreet agreed Thursday to what may be his most challenging assignment: helping solve Cover Oregon’s health exchange mess in just a month.
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FOOD INDUSTRY GROUP GIVES WILLIAM KEENE, OREGON’S PIONEERING FOOD SAFETY SLEUTH, POSTHUMOUS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

(Portland Oregonian)An Oregon food safety sleuth who broke new ground nationwide was recognized on Thursday for a career devoted to preventing illness and saving lives.
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COVER OREGON HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE: FIX IT OR GO FEDERAL, OFFICIALS SAY

(Portland Oregonian)A Cover Oregon advisory committee has narrowed options for whether to scrap or salvage the troubled health insurance exchange, officials announced Thursday.
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OREGON BLUE BOOK: PHOTOS FROM 20 COUNTIES NOT FEATURED ON THE COVER

(Portland Oregonian)Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown put out a plea Wednesday for photos from 20 counties yet to feature on the cover of the Oregon Blue Book.
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DAMASCUS RESIDENTS GEAR UP FOR SECESSION WITH GRASSROOTS NEIGHBORHOOD RALLY CELEBRATING HOUSE BILL 4029

(Portland Oregonian)Jim Syring kept reminding the secessionists packed into the Rock Creek Community Center that they were experiencing America.
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TRANSGENDER PRISONERS IN OREGON TO GET FORMAL POLICY ON INTAKE PROCEDURES

(Portland Oregonian)Oregon prison officials are housing 11 transgender inmates in the state’s lockups with no formal policy on how to do it.
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SEN. BRUCE STARR ASKS ODOT TO INSTALL ROUNDABOUT AT OR47/VERBOORT ROAD, BUT FUNDING UNCERTAIN

(Portland Oregonian)Several legislators, including Sen. Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro, have contacted the Oregon Department of Transportation about making changes to the intersection of Oregon 47 and Verboort Road, where two Pacific University students were killed in a collision Monday morning.
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OREGON STATE AND LOCAL TAXES RANK 16TH HIGHEST IN U.S. AS SHARE OF INCOME, STUDY FINDS

(Portland Oregonian)Oregonians pay less in state and local taxes than the U.S. average — but taxes take a slightly greater-than-average-share of their income because they make less money.
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CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT COVER OREGON

(Salem Statesman Journal)-Acting director resigns, turnaround firm takes over-

The Cover Oregon board on Thursday accepted the resignation of acting director Dr. Bruce Goldberg and hired Portland turnaround firm Hamstreet & Associates to provide executive leadership in the interim.
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CRAFTING REGULATIONS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES TAKES EXPERIMENTATION

(Salem Statesman Journal)In covering the rollout of Oregons medical marijuana dispensary system, I frequently found myself listening to dispensary owners vent their frustrations about the shifting regulatory ground on which they were trying to build a business.
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58 MONTHS LATER: WHERE THE OREGON ECONOMY STANDS NOW

(Salem Statesman Journal)This could be the year Oregon fully pulls itself out of the Great Recession, although some national-level trends point to ongoing drags on the economy, former U.S. Bank economist John Mitchell said Thursday.
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TRANSFER OF OREGON STATE FAIRGROUNDS UNDERWAY

(Salem Statesman Journal)An agreement has been signed to begin the transfer of the Oregon State Fairgrounds and Exposition Center in Salem from state control to a public corporation.
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OREGON, WASHINGTON CONSIDER ALTERNATIVE TO AMTRAK FOR CASCADES RAIL SERVICE

(Oregon Public Broadcasting)Oregon and Washington might turn to a private company to operate its Cascades rail service. The two states are testing the waters to see if anyone other than Amtrak is interested in operating the route that includes Seattle, Portland and Eugene.
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BANNER SUMMER ON TAP FOR OCEAN SALMON FISHING

(Oregon Public Broadcasting)A federal fisheries management panel has approved what some charter captains are calling the best ocean fishing season in 20 years. Its a big turnaround from the recent past when ocean salmon fishing was sharply curtailed or not allowed at all.
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INTO THE BOG: OREGONS DROUGHT MAY AFFECT CROPS

(Capital Press)Oregon has water issues like most of the western U.S., according to Kathie Dello, associate director of the Oregon Climate Change Research institute at Oregon State University. Because the rain and snow falls from October to March, Oregon relies a lot on the snowpack and precipitation in the summer months.
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SHORT WATER YEAR FOR KLAMATH IRRIGATION PROJECT

(Capital Press)Farmers on the Klamath Reclamation Project straddling the Oregon-California border are facing irrigation cutbacks caused by drought for the third year in a row. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation operations plan released Wednesday shows only 61 percent of the water needed for full irrigation is available to the 1,200 farms on the project.

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April 10, 2014 eClips

  • 7 reasons why Oregon transportation funding could fall by $500 million by 2020
  • The Secretary of State is investigating Commissioner Bob Terry’s information on education and military service
  • Decision to scrap or salvage Cover Oregon health insurance exchange poses risks either way
  • State seeks photos for Blue Book
  • Oregon task force to take on GMOs
  • Oregon Trading Bandon Land For Waterfront Property
  • Oregon Views: Cover Oregon shuts out the public — Opinion

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7 REASONS WHY OREGON TRANSPORTATION FUNDING COULD FALL BY $500 MILLION BY 2020

(Portland Oregonian)The Oregon Department of Transportation is on course to spend about $500 million less on construction in 2020 than during the peak of the stimulus in 2009.
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THE SECRETARY OF STATE IS INVESTIGATING COMMISSIONER BOB TERRY’S INFORMATION ON EDUCATION AND MILITARY SERVICE

(Portland Oregonian)The Oregon Secretary of State is investigating a complaint regarding the information Washington County Commissioner Bob Terry has provided about his education and military service.
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DECISION TO SCRAP OR SALVAGE COVER OREGON HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE POSES RISKS EITHER WAY

(Portland Oregonian)In January, Cover Oregon officials told lawmakers that efforts to fix the health insurance exchange had steadily cut the number of most serious programming bugs to just 13.
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STATE SEEKS PHOTOS FOR BLUE BOOK

(Salem Statesman Journal)Oregon is looking for the next cover of its annual Blue Book, the official state almanac, and Secretary of State Kate Brown wants your photos.
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OREGON TASK FORCE TO TAKE ON GMOS

(Salem Statesman Journal)Six months after Oregon banned cities and counties from regulating genetically modified crops and seeds, a governor-appointed task force will take a statewide look at the issue.

The Genetically Engineered Agriculture Task Force isnt expected to reach consensus or recommend legislation.

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OREGON TRADING BANDON LAND FOR WATERFRONT PROPERTY

(Oregon Public Broadcasting)The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission has approved a land trade that would allow development of a golf course and give the state 111 acres of oceanfront property near Bandon.
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OREGON VIEWS: COVER OREGON SHUTS OUT THE PUBLIC — OPINION

(The World)We already knew Cover Oregon spent money it shouldnt. It created a health care marketplace that didnt work. And now we learn it held secret meetings when it said it wouldnt.

Salems Statesman-Journal reported recently that Cover Oregon kept its oversight meetings with the Legislature behind closed doors. Cover Oregon and the Legislature provided no public notice of the meetings. It provided no agendas. It kept no minutes. The meetings were held monthly since May 2012 in secret. When a reporter tried to attend, the reporter was escorted out.
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April 9, 2014 eClips

  • State rates A- in its budget transparency
  • Salem-Keizer educators respond to new statewide education survey
  • Cover Oregon to discuss, but not decide, on tech
  • Time running out to file taxes
  • Grants help landowners lower fire risk
  • Oregon’s Economy Continues To Expand At Above Average Rate
  • Oregon AG Warns About Sophisticated Phone Scam
  • Investigation Uncovers Violations Of Pesticide Law
  • Board Recommends Drought Declaration For Jackson County

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STATE RATES A- IN ITS BUDGET TRANSPARENCY

 (Salem Statesman Journal)-OSPIRG report rates Oregon second in nation on openness-

Oregons state government is more transparent than all but one other state, according to a report released Tuesday by the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group.
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SALEM-KEIZER EDUCATORS RESPOND TO NEW STATEWIDE EDUCATION SURVEY

 (Salem Statesman Journal)-Statewide effort seeks to improve graduation rates-

A total of 1,531 educators in the Salem-Keizer School District responded to a new statewide survey about the teaching and learning conditions in their schools, representing a higher participation rate than the state.
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COVER OREGON TO DISCUSS, BUT NOT DECIDE, ON TECH

 (Salem Statesman Journal)The Cover Oregon board of directors will meet this week to receive updates on its technology options, but it will not vote on a decision, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The state health insurance exchange is considering a number of options for its website, which still does not work as intended.
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TIME RUNNING OUT TO FILE TAXES

 (Salem Statesman Journal)Approximately half a million Oregonians have yet to file their personal income tax returns with the deadline looming just a week away, according to the state Department of Revenue.

The filing deadline is April 15.
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GRANTS HELP LANDOWNERS LOWER FIRE RISK

 (Salem Statesman Journal)-Two matching- grant options reduce hazards-

The model was perfectly designed for the lesson: Dry debris on a sloping hill supporting a home, or a hill descending to a glen with a home; create a little spark, crackle, add some wind and poof The structure is gone.
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OREGON’S ECONOMY CONTINUES TO EXPAND AT ABOVE AVERAGE RATE

 (Oregon Public Broadcasting)Oregons economy continues to expand at a somewhat above average pace, according to the University of Oregons measure of activity.

The monthly measurement looks at everything from the number of hours worked by manufacturing employees, to the unemployment rate and export activity.
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OREGON AG WARNS ABOUT SOPHISTICATED PHONE SCAM

 (Oregon Public Broadcasting)The Oregon Attorney General is warning about a sophisticated phone scam this tax season.

The scammers are calling people and telling them they owe money to the IRS or Oregon Department of Revenue. Then the victims are told to pay immediately with a temporary debit card or wire transfer.
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INVESTIGATION UNCOVERS VIOLATIONS OF PESTICIDE LAW

 (Oregon Public Broadcasting)OPB reporter Amelia Templeton is following an investigation that recently uncovered that unauthorized pesticide use last year sickened several Curry County residents.
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BOARD RECOMMENDS DROUGHT DECLARATION FOR JACKSON COUNTY

 (Oregon Public Broadcasting)A state advisory board is recommending that Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber approve an emergency drought declaration in Jackson County. That request came at a meeting today in Salem of the Oregon Drought Council and the state water availability board.
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April 8, 2014 eClips

  • Elections: Oregon ranks in middle of U.S. pack for turnout, registration, other factors
  • Fewer than 60 percent of Oregon teachers take part in state survey on working conditions
  • No state permits for oil terminals — Guest Opinion
  • Volunteers aim to make DHS family rooms like home
  • Revenue Department says 500,000 Oregonians have yet to file tax returns
  • Ethics group to investigate Morrow
  • Report on prison population offered good news — Opinion
  • Cover Oregon Expected To Decide Soon Whether To Ditch Problem Website

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ELECTIONS: OREGON RANKS IN MIDDLE OF U.S. PACK FOR TURNOUT, REGISTRATION, OTHER FACTORS

 (Portland Oregonian)Oregon prides itself on its innovative elections, including vote-by-mail, online registration and special efforts to help people with disabilities.

But a new study ranks the state in the middle of the national pack when it comes to overall election performance.
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FEWER THAN 60 PERCENT OF OREGON TEACHERS TAKE PART IN STATE SURVEY ON WORKING CONDITIONS

 (Portland Oregonian)Despite pleas from the state’s teachers union and education department, fewer than 60 percent of Oregon teachers completed a state survey about working conditions in their school designed to help spur improvements.

The Oregon teacher and principal survey, available to educators for more than a month, closed Monday with 59 percent of teachers and principals responding.
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NO STATE PERMITS FOR OIL TERMINALS — GUEST OPINION

 (Portland Oregonian)My Native name is Ha-que-nilth. My English name is Scott MacGregor, and I live in Clatskanie, near the mouth of the Columbia River and within a mile of the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery, which is seeking a new air permit so that every year it can move up to 1.8 billion gallons of volatile North Dakota crude oil from trains onto barges headed for West Coast refineries.
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VOLUNTEERS AIM TO MAKE DHS FAMILY ROOMS LIKE HOME

 (Salem Statesman Journal)Most living rooms dont need 30 to 40 gallons of paint to make them feel homey and comfortable.
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REVENUE DEPARTMENT SAYS 500,000 OREGONIANS HAVE YET TO FILE TAX RETURNS

 (Salem Statesman Journal)Approximately half a million Oregonians have yet to file their personal income tax returns with the deadline looming just a week away, according to the state Department of Revenue.

The filing deadline is April 15.
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ETHICS GROUP TO INVESTIGATE MORROW

 (Salem Statesman Journal)-DOC nepotism allegations at issue-

The longtime deputy director of Oregons prison system will be the subject of a full investigation into nepotism charges by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.
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REPORT ON PRISON POPULATION OFFERED GOOD NEWS — OPINION

 (Albany Democrat Herald)A report last week from the state of Oregon saying that state prison populations are expected to grow only 2 percent over the next decade was a shot of good news for taxpayers.

Better yet, it offered additional evidence that the state is on the right track in its efforts to move inmates into community-based correctional programs, which typically are far more effective than state prisons, both in terms of the price tag and the rate of recidivism.
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COVER OREGON EXPECTED TO DECIDE SOON WHETHER TO DITCH PROBLEM WEBSITE

 (Oregon Public Broadcasting)Cover Oregon is expected to decide this week whether to ditch its problem-plagued website.

Sticking with the sites developer, Oracle, could mean another two years of work and more than $45 million.
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April 7, 2014 eClips Weekend Edition

State Library eClips
* Western Oregon, Oregon Tech get green light to have own board of trustees by 2015
* Cover Oregon consultant: fix for health insurance exchange could take $40 million, 21 months
* Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum hires former Peace Corps spokeswoman as communications director
* Pepper spray and warning shot put end to eastern Oregon prison fight
* Frustrated voters can do better than picking a partisan primary — Guest Opinion
* Maryland offers a way out of the Cover Oregon wilderness — Opinion
* Victory for responsible salmon hatchery practices — Guest Opinion
* Media blackout no help to Oregon’s marijuana debate — Opinion
* Faith-based service groups can fill holes for state — Opinion
* Columbia River Crossing bridge fund will go to other projects
* Fund shortfall threatens fixes to I-5, Route 22
* Inmates aim for college grants
* PERS to return money to 2,969 resident retirees
* Ethics officials charge WESD with 42 violations
* Timber litigation is not a long-term solution — Guest Opinion
* New Salem medical marijuana dispensary approved
* Shellfish lovers can again ‘mussel-up’ on Southern Oregon Coast
* Liz Dent named chief of Oregon Forests Division
* Fish and Wildlife gets bad rap over cougars — Guest Opinion
* Self-governing plan for SOU is endorsed, but ‘with conditions’
* State seeks dismissal of Oregon megaloads petition
* Central Oregons health gap persists
* Obama names 4 Ore. counties disaster areas
* ‘Nine Months To A Year’ For Oregon To Recover To Pre-Recession Job Levels
* Tribes: Morrow coal facility would impact our fisheries
* Storms not enough to lift Southern Oregon drought
* Heroin use rises in Oregon, mirrors national trend
* Monitoring can warn of impending slides at a cost
* Oregon timber counties getting $60.7 million
* Oregon Wave Energy Project Sinks
* New Information Released In Southern Oregon Chemical Spraying Case

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WESTERN OREGON, OREGON TECH GET GREEN LIGHT TO HAVE OWN BOARD OF TRUSTEES BY 2015 (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon Tech and Western Oregon University both got the green light from the Oregon Board of Higher Education Friday to start operating under the control of their own independent boards in July 2015.
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COVER OREGON CONSULTANT: FIX FOR HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE COULD TAKE $40 MILLION, 21 MONTHS (Portland Oregonian)

The Cover Oregon health insurance exchange is so bug-ridden and far from completion that it would take nearly two more years and more than $40 million to finish if the state sticks with its original plan using technology developed by Oracle Corp, according to a consultant’s report.
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OREGON ATTORNEY GENERAL ELLEN ROSENBLUM HIRES FORMER PEACE CORPS SPOKESWOMAN AS COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR (Portland Oregonian)

A former Peace Corps spokeswoman will serve as communications director for Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
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PEPPER SPRAY AND WARNING SHOT PUT END TO EASTERN OREGON PRISON FIGHT (Portland Oregonian)

A portion of Pendleton’s Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution remained under partial lockdown Friday, after corrections officers shot pepper spray and fired a warning shot to break up an altercation on the yard.
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FRUSTRATED VOTERS CAN DO BETTER THAN PICKING A PARTISAN PRIMARY — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

On April 1, The Oregonian opined that, frustrated moderates can do something besides dreaming of open primaries and temporarily join a major party in order to vote in next months primary election.
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MARYLAND OFFERS A WAY OUT OF THE COVER OREGON WILDERNESS — OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

Last October, the states new health care website crashed immediately on launch. Last week, the governor complained that the software vendors failed to build the platform they promised.
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VICTORY FOR RESPONSIBLE SALMON HATCHERY PRACTICES — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

An Associated Press article that recently appeared in The Oregonian entitled New challenge to hatcheries needs to be put in context.
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MEDIA BLACKOUT NO HELP TO OREGON’S MARIJUANA DEBATE — OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

Few things trigger phobic behavior as much as pot. What else could explain the drum-tight security surrounding a conference on marijuana’s perils scheduled to take place in Welches, near Mount Hood, mid-month?
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FAITH-BASED SERVICE GROUPS CAN FILL HOLES FOR STATE — OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

What do you get when you cross a nine-year Department of Human Services employee who has a heart for families with a like-minded church? The Family Room, a new nonprofit hoping to start in Portlands Hollywood District.
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COLUMBIA RIVER CROSSING BRIDGE FUND WILL GO TO OTHER PROJECTS (Salem Statesman Journal)

Federal dollars that would have gone to fund the Columbia River Crossing bridge project will now be spent on as many as eight smaller projects around Oregon.
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FUND SHORTFALL THREATENS FIXES TO I-5, ROUTE 22 (Salem Statesman Journal)

To upgrade Interstate 5s Kuebler Boulevard interchange, improve state Route 22 and do other projects in the Salem area down the road, the Oregon Department of Transportation is counting on federal help.
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INMATES AIM FOR COLLEGE GRANTS (Salem Statesman Journal)

Some Oregon state prison inmates are pitching in to raise money for an inmate college program that recently lost funding from an anonymous donor.
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PERS TO RETURN MONEY TO 2,969 RESIDENT RETIREES (Salem Statesman Journal)

The Public Employees Retirement System will send checks to 2,969 retirees this month to make up for erroneous cuts to their pensions made late last year, a spokesman said.
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ETHICS OFFICIALS CHARGE WESD WITH 42 VIOLATIONS (Salem Statesman Journal)

Willamette Education Service District Board members violated Oregons public meetings law a total of 42 times while hiring a new superintendent last year, state ethics officials found Friday.
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TIMBER LITIGATION IS NOT A LONG-TERM SOLUTION — GUEST OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

Last year, an extreme group made headlines when they rappelled down the state Capitol to protest the sale of state forest parcels that would benefit public education.
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NEW SALEM MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY APPROVED (Salem Statesman Journal)

The Oregon Health Authority approved the registration of 10 medical marijuana dispensaries, including one in Salem.
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SHELLFISH LOVERS CAN AGAIN ‘MUSSEL-UP’ ON SOUTHERN OREGON COAST (Salem Statesman Journal)

The Southern Oregon Coast has reopened to recreational mussel-gathering after testing showed that levels of paralytic shellfish toxins have dropped below the alert level.
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LIZ DENT NAMED CHIEF OF OREGON FORESTS DIVISION (Salem Statesman Journal)

Liz Dent has been named chief of the Oregon Department of Forestrys State Forests Division.

Dent, was the division’s deputy chief since May 2012. She succeeds Mike Bordelon, who retired after 28 years with ODF.
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FISH AND WILDLIFE GETS BAD RAP OVER COUGARS — GUEST OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard)

The recent cougar incident in south Eugene raises points incompletely or erroneously addressed by the news media or wildlife policy protestors.
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SELF-GOVERNING PLAN FOR SOU IS ENDORSED, BUT ‘WITH CONDITIONS’ (Medford Mail Tribune)

-Retrenchment because of financial concerns could explain why full endorsement was withheld-

The Oregon Board of Higher Education Friday voted to “endorse with conditions” the formation of a self-governing board at Southern Oregon University.

The board asked SOU to focus on stabilizing its budget through retrenchment before moving forward with independent governance, according to an Oregon University System spokeswoman.
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STATE SEEKS DISMISSAL OF OREGON MEGALOADS PETITION (Albany Democrat Herald)

State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has asked a Marion County judge to dismiss a petition that seeks to keep megaloads off Oregon roads without more public say.
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CENTRAL OREGONS HEALTH GAP PERSISTS (Bend Bulletin)

-Deschutes ranks among five healthiest Oregon counties; Crook and Jefferson near the bottom-

New data on smoking rates, obesity, poverty and other health factors highlight the large health gap among Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a Princeton, N.J.-based health care research organization, released its fifth annual county health rankings late last month. The rankings detail a variety of health statistics for nearly 3,000 counties in the United States.

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OBAMA NAMES 4 ORE. COUNTIES DISASTER AREAS (Bend Bulletin)

Disaster declarations President Barack Obama has declared four Oregon counties hard hit by winter storms as disaster areas. The declaration for Benton, Lane, Lincoln and Linn counties means federal funds and assistance programs are available to the state and local governments, as well as certain private nonprofits that do emergency work.
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‘NINE MONTHS TO A YEAR’ FOR OREGON TO RECOVER TO PRE-RECESSION JOB LEVELS (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Over the next couple of months, the U.S. economy is expected to regain all the jobs lost during the recession.

The private sector is already back. But employment in the government sector remains below peak levels.
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TRIBES: MORROW COAL FACILITY WOULD IMPACT OUR FISHERIES (Sustainable Business Oregon)

A proposed coal export facility at Oregon’s Port of Morrow may have a new, slippery hurdle to cross: fisheries.

A letter this week addressed to coal developer Ambre Energy from the Oregon Department of State Lands indicates that two Northwest tribes have raised issue with the proposed coal export facility, noting continued development would impact their fisheries.
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STORMS NOT ENOUGH TO LIFT SOUTHERN OREGON DROUGHT (KATU)

Early spring storms helped improve snowpacks and reservoir levels across Oregon, but not enough to lift drought concerns in the parched southern part of the state.

The latest report from the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service on Friday shows snowpacks, the natural water storage system across the West, were at 36 percent for the Rogue and Umpqua Basins, 33 percent for the Klamath Basin and 46 percent in Lake County.
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HEROIN USE RISES IN OREGON, MIRRORS NATIONAL TREND (KGW)

Some states, including Oregon, are reporting a rise in heroin use as many addicts shift from more costly and harder-to-get prescription opiates to this cheaper alternative.
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STATE OFFICIALS CITE TECHNOLOGY PROBLEMS ON HEALTH INSURANCE SITES (New York Times)

Officials from five states, on the defensive at a congressional hearing, said Thursday that their health insurance exchanges had been hobbled by technology problems like those that bedeviled the federal marketplace. But they said their states were recovering.
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MONITORING CAN WARN OF IMPENDING SLIDES AT A COST (Seattle Times)

-Instruments that measure the movement of slopes that precede a landslide are common in some parts of the world but rarely used in Northwest.-

In the weeks before the Oso mudslide, Shari Brewer and her husband noticed a change in the bluff that towered over the North Fork of the Stillaguamish.
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OREGON TIMBER COUNTIES GETTING $60.7 MILLION (The World)

The U.S. Forest Service says payments to timber counties under the last year of the Secure Rural Schools Act will be going out soon, and Oregon’s share totals more than $60 million.
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OREGON WAVE ENERGY PROJECT SINKS (Wallowa.com)

Plans to deploy Oregon’s first commercial wave energy project have been formally dropped by the company.

After spending millions on the project off the coast of Reedsport, Ore., Ocean Power Technologies pulled the plug and will focus on another project in Australia.

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NEW INFORMATION RELEASED IN SOUTHERN OREGON CHEMICAL SPRAYING CASE (Jefferson Public Radio)

Residents in a coastal Southern Oregon community have been trying since October to find out whether they were exposed to herbicides that a timber company sprayed on a nearby clearcut.

After months of waiting, new information has finally come out: state inspectors say they detected trace amounts of two herbicides on the leaves of apple trees in the neighborhood.
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April 7, 2014 eClips

  • Cover Oregon stumbles, election year politics likely to hobble Kitzhaber’s health reform goals
  • The most intriguing people in Oregon politics? Vote here
  • Portland State faculty strike averted, administration and faculty union reach tentative agreement on new contract
  • Creating comfort with coat of paint
  • State workers column was a hit with lots of hits
  • Portland State avoids a strike
  • Education the focus of lunch
  • Search halts for buyer of hospital North Campus site
  • Ending pay gap will strengthen the economy — Guest Opinion
  • In wake of Cover Oregon, state expands IT monitoring
  • The benefits of an unbuilt prison — Opinion
  • CRC Funds Could Be Used On Smaller Projects

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COVER OREGON STUMBLES, ELECTION YEAR POLITICS LIKELY TO HOBBLE KITZHABER’S HEALTH REFORM GOALS

(Portland Oregonian)Gov. John Kitzhaber has spent at least a decade trying to drive politics out of health care reform, and he successfully drew bipartisan support for an ambitious plan to redesign the system serving poor people on Medicaid.
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THE MOST INTRIGUING PEOPLE IN OREGON POLITICS? VOTE HERE

(Portland Oregonian)It began with a question: Who is the most intriguing political figure in Oregon at the moment?

The Oregonian’s politics team starting working on a list of the top 10. But then we thought, wait, why not let readers in on this exercise?
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PORTLAND STATE FACULTY STRIKE AVERTED, ADMINISTRATION AND FACULTY UNION REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT ON NEW CONTRACT

(Portland Oregonian)A faculty strike that would have largely shut down Portland State University has been averted: The faculty union and administration reached a tentative agreement at 5:30 a.m. Sunday after days of marathon bargaining.
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CREATING COMFORT WITH COAT OF PAINT

(Salem Statesman Journal)-Volunteers aim to make DHS family rooms like home-

Most living rooms don’t need 30 to 40 gallons of paint to make them feel homey and comfortable.
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STATE WORKERS COLUMN WAS A HIT WITH LOTS OF HITS

(Salem Statesman Journal)Last week’s column, “State Workers: Which Salem bar is right for you?” was a hit, if not in quite the way we anticipated.

In case you missed it, the column was conceived as a lighthearted game for state employees. We asked them to match the “personalities” of state agencies with the “personalities” of bars around town to tell us where different groups of state workers ought to hang out after work, a la “Cheers.”
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PORTLAND STATE AVOIDS A STRIKE

(Salem Statesman Journal)-Administration, faculty develop a tentative contract-

After a 32-hour marathon bargaining session that began early Friday, the union representing Portland State University’s faculty and the PSU administration reached a tentative contract settlement in the wee hours of Sunday morning, thereby avoiding a strike that faculty had voted to begin April 16.
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EDUCATION THE FOCUS OF LUNCH

(Salem Statesman Journal)-De Muniz, Golden to speak at event-

A community organization aimed at closing the achievement gap facing Spanish-speaking families is holding a luncheon next month, featuring a retired Oregon Supreme Court chief justice and the state’s chief education officer.
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SEARCH HALTS FOR BUYER OF HOSPITAL NORTH CAMPUS SITE

(Salem Statesman Journal)The search for a developer willing to buy the 47-acre Oregon State Hospital North Campus in Salem has come to a halt.
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ENDING PAY GAP WILL STRENGTHEN THE ECONOMY — GUEST OPINION

(Salem Statesman Journal)The pay gap between women and their male counterparts negatively impacts short-term earnings, long-term savings, housing security, health care and educational attainment. And the disparity doesn’t just hurt women and people of color; it hurts everyone.
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IN WAKE OF COVER OREGON, STATE EXPANDS IT MONITORING

(Eugene Register-Guard)-At the governor’s order, officials have compiled a list of 80 tech projects totaling $1.4 billion-

Oregon hopes it can avoid another Cover Oregon fiasco by carefully monitoring about 80 other information technology projects with a total estimated pricetag of nearly $1.4 billion.
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THE BENEFITS OF AN UNBUILT PRISON — OPINION

(Eugene Register-Guard)-Latest state projections show Junction City lockup paired with mental hospital isnt needed-

Vacant land next to the new state mental hospital under construction south of Junction City is a testament to the fallibility of projections and to the state’s ability to bring expensive programs under control.

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CRC FUNDS COULD BE USED ON SMALLER PROJECTS

(Oregon Public Broadcasting)Federal dollars that would have helped pay for a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River will be spent instead on a variety of highway maintenance projects in Oregon.
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