Author

Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt has been a national radio producer focusing on education for American Public Media since 2017. She has reported from the Arctic to the Antarctic for national and international media, and from Minnesota and Oregon for The Washington Post. She previously worked in Iceland and Qatar and was a Fulbright scholar in Spain where she earned a master's degree in digital media. She's been a kayaking guide in Alaska, farmed on four continents and worked the night shift at several bakeries to support her reporting along the way.

New Southern Oregon University president announced

By: - November 10, 2021

Oregon’s fourth largest university and the state’s southern flagship has announced its next president.  Richard Bailey, Jr., 51, will oversee Southern Oregon University in Ashland starting in January. He’ll be the university’s 14th president since its founding in 1872. He takes over from Linda Schott, who announced in April that she would retire by the […]

Audit: Education department has improved cyber security, but some gaps persist

By: - November 10, 2021

The Oregon Department of Education’s IT office largely passed the state’s audit of its cybersecurity protocols in a report released Wednesday, but several persistent gaps remain since they were reviewed in 2019.  The Education Department’s Office of Finance and Information Technology is tasked with supporting agency technology and creating web applications that help with programs […]

Three steelhead trout travel in the Columbia Basin

Oregon environmentalists say feds neglecting to enforce action to protect fish

By: - November 10, 2021

The first time Nina Bell heard that the Columbia River was getting warmer was in the early 90s. Scientists advising the state Department of Environmental Quality warned that the river in some places was becoming a danger to migrating fish, she said. “They called it out, said the temperatures were jeopardizing the fish – jeopardizing […]

State renews septic tank fix funding – but thousands will continue leaking without repair

By: - November 9, 2021

The invisible price of a failing home septic system is a foul smell.  The very visible mark is ground softening atop the underground sewage tank resulting in leaks into waterways and repair and replacement costs that can range from $25,000 to $65,000. That’s a cost typically borne by the home or business owner. A loan […]

Oregon attorney general leads call to end Trump exemptions for religious schools

By: - November 4, 2021

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and 18 other state attorney generals are seeking to eliminate Trump-era measures that relaxed anti-discrimination rules for religious schools. Three Oregon students are among the plaintiffs and one private university in Salem is intervening to defend the Trump rules.  The attorney generals filed a brief in the U.S. District Court […]

Some of Oregon’s most powerful state boards getting new members

By: , and - November 4, 2021

A McMinnville hay farmer, a Wilsonville dentist and the former deputy director of the state Agriculture Department are among dozens of unelected Oregonians set to wield power over state lands, government ethics and public pensions.  Gov. Kate Brown’s nominees to multiple state boards and commissions are up for confirmation in the state Senate later this […]

Oregon’s private forests would do better shielding streams, wildlife under historic deal

By: - November 2, 2021

Beavers and salmon in Oregon could be the big winners over a new agreement expected to profoundly change how millions of acres of private forestland in Oregon are managed. Conservationists and representatives from the timber industry negotiated until the wee hours of Saturday morning to agree on changes to the state Forest Practices Act. The […]

Oregonians talk climate wins, losses as Congress expected to vote on Build Back Better package

By: - November 1, 2021

Oregon politicians, activists and businesses have mixed feelings of hope and deflation ahead of Tuesday’s expected historic vote on federal climate spending.  Congress is scheduled to consider the long awaited Build Back Better Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  The former, which includes $555 billion dedicated to slowing the growing threat of […]

Calvin Mukumoto selected as new state forester

By: - October 29, 2021

The Oregon Board of Forestry on Friday picked a forester from Coos Bay to lead the Oregon Department of Forestry. Calvin Mukumoto, a former member of the state Parks and Recreation Commission and Board of Forestry and the U.S. Board for the Forest Stewardship Council, will lead the agency’s 1,200 employees and a budget of […]

At an Oregon public hearing, all but one speak out against industrial chicken farm

By: - October 29, 2021

People in live testimony and in writing overwhelmingly oppose a major chicken farming operation planned for outside Scio. The Oregon Department of Agriculture heard from about a dozen people against a new confined animal feeding operation at a public hearing on Oct. 20. It was a fraction of the more than 100 who submitted written […]

Tribes to deploy beavers in bid to save Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

By: - October 28, 2021

The Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge looks very different today than it did 35 years ago. About 45 miles north of Klamath Falls along the Williamson River, it’s natural waterways are limited, and over the last few decades it’s spent more and more of the year in drought conditions with parts nearly or fully drying […]

Oregon senators want closer scrutiny of Chemawa Indian School

By: - October 26, 2021

It’s been six years since the Chemawa Indian School in Salem was last reviewed by the federal Department of the Interior, which found then that “the school did not have an adequate plan in place to ensure students’ educational achievement.”  Now U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have asked the department to look into […]