April Ehrlich

Reporter | Newscaster | Producer

April Ehrlich is a reporter, newscaster and producer at Jefferson Public Radio. She helps host JPR's local newscasts during Morning Edition, produces radio spots and features as a general reporter, and organizes segments for JPR's daily talk show, the Jefferson Exchange.

Reach her at 541-552-7075 or ehrlicha@sou.edu.

Klamath Lake Land Trust

It's not fair to say the Klamath Lake Land Trust is twice as committed to its mission as it used to be.  But it is now protecting and restoring twice as much land, after the purchase of 785 acres in the Sycan Valley. 

The plan is to preserve the land as wilderness and a wildife corridor, though there may be public uses. 

Jes Burns, OPB/EarthFix

A proposed natural gas pipeline and processing facility is at the center of a series of hearings in Southern Oregon starting Monday, Jan. 7.

skeeze/Pixabay

Roughly 35,000 people get organ transplants every year in the United States.  Which sounds like a big number, until you look at the one next to it: 115,000 people waiting for transplants. 

Experts say the first number could be bigger and the second number smaller, if a few changes were made to the acceptance of organ donations.  The group called Organize is taking big steps in this area. 

John Staggart, http://www.thebestairmattresses.com, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55055783

Frustration with recycling remains elevated in the region.  China's decision to stop taking most American recyclables changed what some recyclers will accept at the curb. 

But the recycling spirit remains strong and committed.  Witness Klamath Works, which got a materials management grant from Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality to aid in its work recycling mattresses. 

Claudio Giovenzana/www.longwalk.it via Wikimedia

Our fascination with turtles almost makes them something like honorary mammals.  They may not be cute and fuzzy like mammals, but they certainly have their appeal. 

That appeal extends to the dinner table, though, and that's one of the reasons turtles are having an increasingly hard time surviving in the world today. 

Peter Laufer, longtime journalist and teacher (at U of Oregon), looks at the fascination and the peril we bring to turtles large and small, in a book called Dreaming in Turtle

katchafire.co.nz

Josh Gross's love of music is infectious.  So infectious, we ask him to share it with us once a month on a segment we call Rogue Sounds. 

Josh scans the lists of musical acts coming to the region, and gives us a list of five to consider.  This month: Roseanne Cash, The Shifts, Wild Moccasins, Katchafire, and Church Girls. 

jarmoluk/Pixabay

Remember that series of howls and squeaks that came out of your modem when you dialed onto the Internet?  For most of us, it's ancient history. 

But rural areas, even if they don't have the old noisy modems, still lag behind urban ones in getting access to high-speed Internet service, broadband.  The federal Department of Agriculture is embarking on a $600 Million program to expand broadband in rural areas. 

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon helped push for the program in a recent spending bill. 

pixabay

The Boy Scouts of America is now allowing girls into its program, and all-female troops are appearing around the country, including in Southern Oregon.

Ryan Schnobrich of Ashland has been in the Boy Scouts almost all his life. He’s part of the third generation of his family to achieve the top rank of Eagle Scout.

Now his daughter can carry on the tradition. He has helped form an all-female Boy Scout troop based in Ashland.

For Schnobrich, it’s not about Girl Scouts versus Boy Scouts. It’s about sharing the same childhood experiences he had with his daughter.

pixabay

The housing crunch across the West Coast has cities taking a closer look at their affordable housing programs or forming new ones. But the city of Ashland in Southern Oregon is considering changes to its decades-old program because of one condominium charging exorbitant management fees.

Ashland’s affordable housing program requires certain housing tracts to offer some affordable units. That helped one retired couple get into the Turrell Terrace Luxury condos in Ashland.

TripCheck.com

Despite winter storms, the National Park Service is not plowing roads or helping lost tourists due to the partial government shutdown. It’s created a dangerous situation for anyone choosing to venture into the snow.

The main entry roads to the lake are closed, but people can still strap on their skis and head into the park at their own risk. There was a severe weather warning as of Wednesday morning.

Sheila Powley owns the Whispering Pines Motel, one of the few businesses just outside the park.

Wikipedia Commons

The internet might seem to connect everyone, but there are still towns in Oregon and California that lack a broadband connection.

Starting next year, they can begin applying for federal dollars to help them get a network. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently launched ReConnect, a pilot program that will provide loans and grants to cities needing a broadband connection.

pixabay

Temperatures are dipping into the low thirties in Southern Oregon, but many places don’t have warming centers where homeless people can find respite from cold. A member of a church in Grants Pass is trying to change that for his city.

Grants Pass doesn’t have an easily accessible homeless shelter. It also doesn’t have a warming center where people can seek temporary shelter from the cold.

Larry Sample manages community services at the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He plans on establishing a warming center in the church’s lower levels.

USFS/Darren Stebbins

A land-use group says Oregon policymakers are dawdling on creating policies that better plan for wildfires. 1000 Friends of Oregon outlined suggested policy changes in a report released Monday.

Urban deer are rampant in many Oregon cities. They eat people’s gardens, chase people with dogs, and weave through traffic. But starting in January, some cities will have a chance to get deer kill permits from the state.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday is proposing rules for a pilot program allowing cities to kill deer. As they’re drafted, the rules largely put responsibility for running the program into the hands of cities.

Public Domain

The state of Oregon is suing Josephine County over smart meters.

Josephine County this fall passed an ordinance prohibiting Pacific Corp from charging customers higher rates for opting out of its smart meters program. The digital meters use wireless networks to send information to the company.

Pacific Corp — through its Oregon-based subsidiary Pacific Power — is charging customers an extra $36 a month for opting out. That’s because without the wireless network turned on, the company has to pay someone to read their meters.

Klamath Water Users Association

After just two years on the job, Klamath Water Users Association president Scott White is stepping down.

The group represents irrigators’ interests in the Klamath Basin along the Oregon-California border.

Before joining the association in 2016, White was the Oregon official in charge of enforcing water rights in the basin.

During his tenure, the basin has faced water shortages and lawsuits between the interests of ranchers, farmers, and endangered fish. 

He says maneuvering through the different jurisdictions is “extremely complex.”

Photo courtesy SEIU 2015

Nursing home caregivers in Redding ended a two-day strike early Tuesday morning. They say understaffing and mismanagement at the River Valley Nursing Home are straining workers.

About three-dozen workers formed picket lines in front of the River Valley Nursing Home in Redding on Sunday. They say the facility overworked caregivers and pressured them into working double shifts.

Union representative Cyndie Fonseca said problems started when billionaire entrepreneur Shlomo Rechnitz  took over management.

Still from video by Tom Hitchcock

For Oregon homeowners, invasive blackberries and poison oak are the bane of their existence. Many resort to powerful herbicides to get rid of them. But those chemicals are harming nearby vineyards, particularly an herbicide called Crossbow.


Washington State University

Winegrowers across Oregon are tearing up their grapevines because of an aggressive disease likely brought in by plant nurseries.

Voice of America

Native and indigenous women have cried out for decades against the high rates of violence inflicted against them. And this year, they’re getting louder: many are running for elective office, and others are pushing for policy changes.

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