Jeff Reardon calls it quits after decade in Oregon state House

BY: - November 18, 2021

Portland Democrat Jeff Reardon plans to end his legislative career next year after a decade in the Oregon House.  Reardon, elected in 2012, said he plans to focus on his three grandchildren, travel and public service in his community after he finishes his term at the end of next year. “Serving the people of District […]

Republican Oregon state Rep. Jack Zika won’t seek re-election in newly Democratic district

BY: - November 18, 2021

State Rep. Jack Zika, R-Redmond, will retire instead of seeking re-election in a redrawn House district that now favors Democrats. Zika, a real estate agent elected to the House in 2018, cited a family illness and personal health in a press release announcing his decision.  “This was a hard decision, but I’m proud of all […]

Oregon to get more than $400 million to rebuild from 2020 wildfires

BY: - November 18, 2021

Oregon will receive more than $422 million from the federal government for rebuilding from the 2020 wildfires that were among the worst in state history. The money comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is distributing $2 billion in disaster recovery and resiliency funds among nine states and Puerto Rico. Oregon […]

Oregon cattle grazing

Baker City feedlot hopes to expand operation to 15,000 cows

BY: - November 17, 2021

A Baker City feedlot that currently manages fewer than 3,000 head of cattle is seeking permission from the state to expand to 15,000. The expansion would require approval of a new Confined Animal Feeding Operation permit through the Oregon Department of Agriculture. CAFO permits specify the number of animals a company can have in one […]

Oregon House

Oregon Supreme Court won’t hear redistricting arguments

BY: - November 17, 2021

Two separate groups of Oregon voters seeking to invalidate all or part of new legislative maps won’t get their day in court. In an order Tuesday, Oregon Supreme Court Justice Lynn Nakamoto wrote that the court will combine two lawsuits over the new districts drawn by the Legislature in September. The court will decide the […]

Oregon Health Authority building

Oregon aims to bolster mobile mental health crisis units 

BY: - November 16, 2021

The Oregon Health Authority plans on bolstering mobile units of trained mental health professionals around the state to care for people when they’re in a mental health crisis. The plan is part of the country’s move next year to a new federal suicide prevention phone line to take the burden off 9-1-1 operators.   “This could […]

School staffing issues in Oregon called ‘real, emergency situation’

BY: - November 15, 2021

At a Senate Education Committee meeting on Monday, superintendents and representatives from school boards and teachers associations detailed dire staffing situations across the state that are harming students and even potentially violating federal law. Among the most severe shortages: special education instructors.  Staffing shortages have forced at least one education service district to curtail special […]

Brown attends infrastructure bill signing in Washington, DC

BY: - November 15, 2021

Gov. Kate Brown was on hand Monday in Washington, D.C., as President Joe Biden signed a $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill that will bring more than $5 billion to Oregon over the next five years.  Brown described the new law as a “game changer” for Oregon.  “It will help us repair and improve our roads […]

Blue-gloved doctor's hand holding patient's hand

Legislator again proposes early release of terminally ill prisoners in Oregon

BY: - November 15, 2021

Oregon lawmakers will get a new look at a proposal to release elderly or sick prisoners who have terminal illnesses. State Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, told a legislative committee on Monday that he plans to reintroduce a bill that failed in the 2021 Legislature. It wasn’t ready, he acknowledged, adding that a work group has […]

Oregon state Sen. Chuck Thomsen to retire, clearing way for Rep. Daniel Bonham

BY: - November 11, 2021

State Sen. Chuck Thomsen, a Republican from Hood River, will end his decade-long legislative career next year, clearing the way for a younger Republican to seek his redrawn Senate seat.  Thomsen and state Rep. Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles, announced their plans in a joint statement Wednesday. They said they would campaign together for Bonham to […]

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 […]