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.

Guadalupe Martinez, of Boardman, and her under the sink filter not working

Powerful port pollutes water for years with little state action

By: , and - May 5, 2022

Guadalupe Martinez points to a 24-pack of bottled water by her kitchen sink with just a few bottles left, one of thousands she’s brought home over the last 18 years. “Ever since we’ve been living here, we’ve been buying water,” she said.  The 54-year-old grandmother knows she can’t drink the water that comes out of […]

Survey finds many Asian Oregonians experience hate crimes, harassment that go unreported

By: - April 29, 2022

A survey of Asian Oregonians showed that half had heard someone use a racial slur, epithet or degrading language against them or their family. One-fifth said they or their family have faced a threat of physical harm or property damage because of their race. But most did not report it to police or the state’s […]

Public asked to weigh in on plan for $422 million in aid for survivors of 2020 Labor Day Fires

By: - April 27, 2022

Oregonians who lost their homes in the 2020 Labor Day Fires will get the chance to weigh in on the state’s plan for $422 million in federal recovery money. The rebuilding effort, called ReOregon, is led by the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department. The money comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban […]

Citizens’ Utility Board opposes higher rates from state’s largest natural gas company

By: - April 27, 2022

The Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board is pushing back on proposed rate increases from the largest natural gas utility in the state, saying NW Natural is prioritizing shareholder profits over the best interests of Oregonians. Last November, rates went up 13% for residential customers, and the proposed increase would add 12% by November, raising natural gas […]

Oregon ends a decades-old steelhead hatchery program, dismaying tribes, anglers

By: - April 25, 2022

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission by a split vote is ending a 64-year old summer steelhead hatchery program on the North Umpqua River west of Roseburg to the dismay of anglers and several tribes.  The commission made the decision at an April 22 meeting in an attempt to restore levels of wild summer steelhead […]

Despite enrollment losses, inflation, community colleges propose little to no tuition increases

By: - April 25, 2022

Oregon’s 17 community colleges have committed to keeping tuition low next year in the face of rising costs from inflation and declining enrollments. Four community colleges are planning no tuition increases, including Portland Community College, the state’s largest by enrollment. At most of the other community colleges, tuition will go up by no more than […]

Poll: Oregonians unsure or unconvinced their school boards represent their values

By: - April 21, 2022

A survey of more than 1,500 Oregonians found nearly 40% did not feel their values and beliefs were represented by their local school boards and more than a quarter were unsure.  In March, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, an independent nonprofit research group, sent the online survey to Oregonians ages 18 and up.  School […]

Last year saw highest number of wolf kills in Oregon since their return to the state

By: - April 20, 2022

More wolves were killed by humans during 2021 than any year since 2009, when wolves re-established themselves in the state, according to the latest Annual Wolf Report from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Oregon’s known wolf population grew by just two in 2021, from 173 in 2020 to 175. That’s the lowest annual […]

Lamb Weston’s Hermiston Plant found to have polluted groundwater with tons of excess nitrate

By: - April 19, 2022

Lamb Weston’s French fry production plant in Hermiston has been discharging too much nitrate-loaded water onto area farms, according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  The wastewater flowing from the plant has contaminated the groundwater, causing nitrate levels in some nearby wells to measure four to seven times the safe limit set by the […]

Public comment sought on water permit for Port of Morrow after million-dollar violations

By: - April 15, 2022

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is asking the public to weigh in on a revised water permit for the Port of Morrow, after it violated its existing permit more than 1,100 times. From 2018 to 2021, the state’s second largest port dumped wastewater on farmland containing 165 tons more nitrate than allowed. In January, […]

Tuition up at nearly all Oregon public universities this fall

By: - April 15, 2022

Incoming freshmen at nearly all of Oregon’s public universities will pay more for tuition this fall as schools struggle with inflation and budget deficits and face uncertain enrollment with Covid still lingering. Rate hikes range from 2% to 7% for Oregon residents across the state’s seven public universities. Oregon Tech has proposed the largest increase, […]

State leaders hope new behavioral health graduates can fill persistent gaps in Oregon schools

By: - April 14, 2022

The University of Oregon will launch a new bachelor’s degree and certification program in children’s behavioral health to meet growing needs in state and regional schools.  When it comes to school psychologists, Oregon has about one per 1,400 students, according to the National Association of School Psychologists. It recommends one per 500 students.  The new […]