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.

Plan for one of Oregon’s largest chicken farms draws criticism; hearing set

By: - October 20, 2021

Eric Simon got into chicken farming 20 years ago after a career as an electronics technician because, he said, he was poor. With his wife and two young kids, he moved 30 miles from Corvallis to rural Brownsville and bought a house on 40 acres on the edge of town. He built barns and then […]

A view from King's Mountain in the Tillamook State Forest.

Conservation work in Oregon forests gets federal boost

By: - October 18, 2021

Two state agencies have been awarded a $750,000 federal grant to continue work on a state plan for protecting endangered species and species that could become endangered in the next 70 years in Oregon’s northwest forests. The Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife share the grant, which will be […]

Dire warnings about the vaccine mandate unlikely to play out in Oregon

By: , and - October 18, 2021

Rural officials have warned for more than a month that the vaccine mandate would put some Oregonians at risk as employees resigned or were fired. That mandate took hold Monday, covering tens of thousands of state employees, health care workers and school staff. Not long after Gov. Kate Brown imposed that mandate in August, Baker […]

Shortage of bus drivers the latest staffing challenge for schools

By: - October 15, 2021

A shortage of bus drivers in many parts of the state have shown just how valuable the ride to and from school is. Districts and bus companies have been forced to combine or cancel routes, boost hourly pay and offer four-figure bonuses to attract drivers.  In Eugene this week, parents were notified that rides on […]

USDA investment in Hispanic-serving Institutions will flow to community college in Salem

By: - October 14, 2021

A community college in Salem is among 21 Hispanic-serving institutions in the country to receive a share of a $12 million dollar investment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Chemeketa Community College is one of three in the state considered Hispanic-serving because student enrollment is at least 25% Hispanic. At Chemeketa, 29% of students are […]

School board meeting held in North Bend, Oregon

Facing threats, superintendents and school boards turn to legislature, law enforcement 

By: - October 14, 2021

The North Bend School Board didn’t have anything controversial on its agenda last week, but an FBI warning prompted the directors to abandon their open session and go virtual. They were alerted that 200 to 300 demonstrators planned to flood the meeting. Local police said they didn’t have the capacity to step in if things […]

Child welfare calls from Oregon schools dropped 30% during distance learning

By: - October 12, 2021

During any other school year, the statistic at the Warrenton-Hammond School District in northwest Oregon would have been positive. Superintendent Tom Rogozinski, superintendent, was taking stock of the months his students spent under distance learning, and noticed a steep decline in calls from staff to the state Department of Human Services over concerns about student […]

Smokey haze settles over a field

Report shows parts of Oregon spent months last year with elevated air pollution levels

By: - October 11, 2021

Klamath Falls had as many elevated pollution days as cities like Phoenix, Cincinnati and San Antonio in 2020, according to a new report.  The non-profit Environment America, part of the left-leaning Public Interest Network, used EPA air quality data taken from monitors in every state. Despite fewer Americans using cars every day or undertaking major […]

Oregon joins 18 other states in deploying task force to combat labor trafficking

By: - October 11, 2021

Ernesto Hernández spent 15 of his last 20 years in the U.S. working with the Mexican Consulate in Portland on human trafficking issues. He visited farms where workers slept 20 to a room, had little to eat. He encountered workers who had wages stolen and hours of overtime go unpaid. He says it’s gotten worse. […]

Sunset on Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon

Tribes in Oregon want bigger role in setting state’s water strategy

By: - October 8, 2021

Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes want a bigger role in the state’s planning for the next century of water management in Oregon as fisheries continue to dwindle. They are asking Gov. Kate Brown to create a new task force for tribes to work directly with state agencies on critical waters. Oregon officials are developing what […]

Empty classroom

Latest state education report shows low participation, progress

By: - October 7, 2021

The Oregon Department of Education took an incomplete on its yearly report card for schools and districts issued Thursday.   Participation in standardized testing for the 2020-21 school year was down 70% across the state, according to Jon Wiens, the department’s director of accountability. In a press conference held in advance of the At-A-Glance Report release, […]

Ethan Kemper at desk doing homeschool work on the computer.

Despite return to in-person classes, many who chose homeschooling during pandemic stay home

By: - October 6, 2021

By May 2020, Ethan Kemper had all but given up on school. Banks High School, where he was finishing his freshman year, had gone to a pass/no pass grading system after having in-person school derailed by the coronavirus.  Jacoba Kemper said her son’s classes felt unplanned, communication between the teachers and Ethan lagged and filling […]