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I’m a singer not a preacher, but these songs are my sermon,” says Paul Cauthen. “We’re ripping each other apart out there, and forgiveness and mercy are what’s going to get us through. I want to use my voice the best I can to spread that message while I’m here on this Earth.” Somewhere between an EP and an album, Cauthen’s new seven-track collection, Have Mercy, is a showcase of the pure power of truth and love. Building off the success of My Gospel, the Texas troubadour’s breakout debut, Have Mercy pushes Cauthen’s songwriting to new heights as he searches for common ground and peace of mind in an increasingly polarized world.

OPB

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Knute Buehler supports a ballot measure that would dismantle Oregon’s 31-year-old sanctuary law. But he also supports the central tenet of that sanctuary law — and would push similar policy as governor.

DON RYAN/Associated Press

On March 26, 2001, Barbara Thomas was killed by her teenage son and four of his friends near Redmond, Oregon.

Police say she was struck in the head with a glass bottle, repeatedly and then shot. The teens became known as the "Redmond Five." After killing Thomas the teens stole her Honda coupe and drove for Canada. They were arrested when they tried to cross the border.

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Ah, the balance of September.  A little summer, a little fall, the days roughly equal in length to the nights, the temperatures (usually) not too extreme. 

Sounds like a great month for arts activities, and there will be plenty to enjoy. 

Our First Friday Arts segment showcases them, with the help of many phone calls.  We invite arts groups from around the region to call 800-838-3760 live in the morning to plug arts events for the coming weeks. 

Public Domain, Wikimedia

Tim Holt usually makes stage appearances with a musical instrument, as in his tribute to the songs of Pete Seeger.  But this time around, Tim finds music in the words themselves. 

He celebrates the poetry of Walt Whitman with a work he wrote himself, "Walking With Walt."  The play is about a man inspired by Whitman's poetry to walk the country. 

Tim Holt walks to a phone to tell us about putting the work onstage at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, this weekend and next.

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Number one and still champion: Southern Oregon University tops the list of Bee Campuses across the country.  Which makes sense, because SOU was the first school so identified, adopting the methods of the Bee City USA program. 

The Sierra Club recently put out its list of pollinator-friendly campuses, and there was SOU, atop the list again.  Several departments and many people contributed to the effort. 

Californians' Relationship With Plastic Could Change Under Bills Headed To Governor

Sep 5, 2018
rkit / Pixabay

A group of bills now on the governor’s desk could help change Californians' relationship with plastic.

If they become law, the five bills are designed to interrupt the lifecycle of plastic in the environment. Under one bill, people will have to ask for straws at full-service restaurants. There will also be a funding increase for recycling centers, and non-recyclable or non-compostable take out containers will be banned at state facilities.

Millions Of Dollars Pour Into California's Prop 10 Rent Control Debate

Sep 4, 2018

California voters this fall will decide on Proposition 10, a statewide ballot initiative that would allow cities and counties to greatly expand rent control.

Supporters argue the measure is needed to slow the state’s ever-increasing rents. But there’s strong debate about whether Prop. 10 is the right answer to the state’s affordable-housing crisis.

oregoncarepartners.com

Teenagers may be the people feeling the most angst, but they are not the people committing the most suicides in the United States. 

Much older Americans are the ones ending their lives, and Oregon ranks in the top ten states for suicide deaths.  Older white males are most prone to suicide in Oregon. 

Sean Connolly is a behavioral health specialist with Senior & Disability Services at the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG). 

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Sea levels are rising with global warming, and it should surprise no one to hear that the situation may increase tsunami risk

A study involving researchers from several countries looked at how much tsunami risk might increase as low-lying areas get even lower relative to sea level. 

The study focused on Macau, a Chinese territory, but it could potentially have implications for many low-lying coastal areas. 

Picture of a drought affected landscape
CSIRO

There is much that is wonderful about living in the West.  Lack of humidity, for example. 

But that's an indicator of a basic fact of life: there's not much precipitation in this part of the country, at least south of Eugene, and so not much water for all the people and nature. 

Marc Reisner covered the topic in  great depth in his monumental work Cadillac Desert, first published in 1986.  He covered the history: dams and diversions, rivers and reclamation, and the underlying issue: too much demand for too little water. 

Drought has only made the book truer over time.  Lawrie Mott, Reisner's widow, is a scientist and the writer of additional material for later editions of the book. 

Oregon Department of Forestry Facebook page

UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 5, 10:00 p.m. -- The containment on the Hugo Road Fire continues to rise as firefighters are making additional progress. The fire is holding at 199 acres and is now 75 contained.

Much has been said about the big deficit in Oregon's public pension program, PERS. 

Now Stacy Bannerman has something new to say about it: PERS should get any of its investments out of companies that make weapons of war.  Bannerman, the head of Women's EcoPeace, brought her group and others into a coalition, calling upon state leaders to "divest PERS from the war machine." 

Josh Estey/AusAID

24 years ago, Oregon voters approved a ballot measure requiring all prison inmates to work full-time.  The ballot measure, which became part of the state constitution, spelled out that compensation for the work was not required. 

That arrangement and others like it are among the reasons that inmates across the country are on strike, and plan to stay on strike until September 9th. 

The actions inside prisons are being supported by demonstrations on the outside. 

Scott Sanchez/Wikimedia

One of the oft-expressed concerns about illegal immigration is that it leads to more crime. 

But study after study, by groups both left and right, shows that illegal immigrants actually commit crimes at rates lower than the general population. 

Benjamin Gonzalez O'Brien explores the numbers, the issues, and the efforts to address them in his book Handcuffs and Chain Link: Criminalizing the Undocumented in America

ODOT

UPDATE: SATURDAY, SEPT. 1 -- A rapidly spreading wildfire that partially shut down northbound I-5 has been brought under control. The highway is back to normal operation.

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Labor Day is supposed to be about celebrating the working people of America, in part by giving them the day off.  We jumped in with all of our feet, and grabbed some past interviews to run.  
At 8:00: one of our favorite regional authors--good books, good interviews--Amy Stewart, took a new tack in her writing with a novel based on a real person.  That is Girls Waits With Gun, her first book about Constance Kopp, tough guy in a skirt from 1914.  
At 9:00: Frank Sinatra would be 103 if he were around today.  The centenary of his birth was observed in 2015 by the book Sinatra's Century: One Hundred Notes on the Man and His World

Over the last year, Shawn Mullins has been hard at work on a recording project in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the release of Soul's Core, which came out July 17th, 1998. That album elevated Mullins' career to a new level and spread his music around the world.

This new release - called Soul's Core Revival - revisits those songs from Soul's Core in two different ways: brand new band recordings with new arrangements, and and second collection of stripped down solo performances; some on acoustic guitar, some on piano.

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

Many residents of southern Oregon and northern California are into their seventh week of poor air quality. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is proposing a bill that would help people pay for temporary housing to escape unhealthy air from wildfire smoke. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR NEws

Last month, the Carr Fire forced nearly 40,000 people to flee their homes in Redding and the surrounding area. More than a thousand homes were destroyed and many businesses took a major hit. Now, as the smoke literally begins to clear, residents are dealing with the economic fallout of the disaster.

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