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.

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.

April Ehrlich | JPR News

Earlier this fall a major California winery canceled $4-million-worth of orders with Southern Oregon winegrowers over smoke taint. But what exactly is smoke taint?

Enologist Anita Oberholster of the University of California, Davis, Extension says it's what happens when a grape’s ripening skin absorbs fresh smoke, resulting in a flavor that’s like an old ashtray.

Except that it's not really a flavor.

“We say taste but it’s really a retronasal smell at the back of the throat,” Oberholster said. “But it feels like it is a taste.”

At their practice in Ashland, Southern Oregon University football players kneel to the ground and growl, their eyes bulging, their tongues sticking out. Lineman Masi Tunoa leads the chant.

Tunoa and his family used to perform luas for tourists back home in Hawaii. They also did the haka, a battle cry that originated from the indigenous people of New Zealand. It’s a powerful ritual that Polynesian cultures still perform today for ceremonies like weddings or funerals, or before a big game.

Picture of cannabis plant
Capital Public Radio / File

In an effort to keep illegal marijuana out of the black market, an Oregon state commission has assigned grant funds to help counties beef up patrols. Southern Oregon is getting most of those funds.

A good chunk of the illegal weed pouring out of Oregon is grown in rural areas with underfunded sheriff’s departments, including Josephine and Jackson counties. That’s why lawmakers passed a bill that would open up 1.5 million dollars to counties wanting extra law enforcement.

Noa Traylor of Weed, California
April Ehrlich | JPR News

Dozens of wildfires are filling the West Coast skies with thick smoke. In Southern Oregon, unhealthy air has forced people to wear smoke-filtering masks almost every day for more than a month. It has become part of the norm.

But in recent weeks, people have gotten tired of wearing the plain white paper masks every day. Instead, they’re investing in nicer ones made of fabric, and some even have artsy designs.

NOAH BERGER / GETTY IMAGES via NPR

A complex of fires in Northern California are consuming more land than any other wildfire in the state’s history. They’ve burned 290,000 acres, an area that’s almost the size of the city of Los Angeles.

The Mendocino Complex fires are growing rapidly in three rural counties 100 miles north of San Francisco. Fire officials have evacuated entire towns, including Clearlake.

CalFire spokesman Ron Oatman says massive fires are burning through a diverse stretch of terrain.

April Ehrlich | JPR

When a wildfire hits and people have to evacuate their homes, they often refuse to leave their pets behind. They pack their dogs in carriers and crates and head to the nearest emergency animal shelter, if there is one.

But increasingly people are refusing to separate from their pets, even if that means they can’t sleep in an evacuation center.

That was the case during the massive wildfire in Northern California that erupted last week. 


April Ehrlich/JPR News

Hundreds of Redding residents didn’t have much notice before they heard sirens blaring through their neighborhoods Thursday night, calling for immediate evacuations. People who left were snagged by traffic. If they tried to find a hotel, they were likely out of luck; most were booked solid clear down to Sacramento.

So they ended at an evacuation center, like the one at Shasta College. Cots covered the gym floors, and despite the midday noise, many evacuees slept solidly. They were exhausted. It was hot. And they didn’t know when they could return home, or if their home was left standing.

Geoffrey Riley | JPR News

Wildfires are pouring smoke into the valleys of southern Oregon, making hazardous air that’s nearly unbreathable.

April Ehrlich | JPR

UPDATE: As of Sunday morning, the Klamathon fire has grown to 30,500 acres and is 25 percent contained. The fire continues to spread into the Klamath National Forest. 

Ten people are reported missing in the Siskiyou County area.

One Hornbrook resident has died, and one firefighter is hospitalized with severe burns, but he is expected to make a full recovery. The agencies didn't provide more information about the people who are missing or the person who has died.

April Ehrlich | JPR

A northern California wildfire has spread into Oregon, triggering evacuations in parts of Jackson County.

As of 7 a.m. Saturday, the Klamathon Fire has burned about 21,800 acres and is 5 percent contained. About 40 structures have burned, many in the California towns of Hilt and Hornbrook.

A Hornbrook resident has also died; CalFire officials discovered the body Friday morning in a building destroyed by the fire. They have not yet identified the body.

The internet has been around for several decades now, but there are still large, rural areas that don’t have sufficient coverage. 

Christopher Tamarin is a broadband specialist with the Oregon Business Development Department, which has been working to expand broadband in Oregon. He says about 15 percent of Oregonians lack a high-speed connection. 

scottwebb/Pixabay

"Feel years younger now!"  We hear claims like that frequently, especially with 10,000 Americans reaching retirement age every day. 

Can you believe any of them?  Maybe, says microbiologist Carolina Livi. 

She has been working for a biotech company and teaching at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, exploring some of the products offered to slow the aging process.  Her work focuses on fasting and the drug rapamycin. 

Alterfines/Pixabay

Not everybody likes to go to the doctor's office.  With good reason: often, when we go, there's something wrong with us, and we're worried about that. 

Now consider this: it could be that the doctor dreads seeing YOU. 

Caroline Elton, a vocational psychologist, works with doctor, and many of them are having a hard time doing their work.  She gives plenty of examples in her book Also Human: The Inner Lives of Doctors

Puppeteers For Fears

School is out, and parents are looking for things to do with the kids.  Oh, look, a puppet show!  But Puppeteers For Fears says "Cthulhu: The Musical!" is NOT child-appropriate. 

The Halloween-themed show based on an H.P. Lovecraft story begins a summer tour this week, including several days in Hollywood. 

Josh Gross, our Rogue Sounds co-host, is the driving creative force behind P4F and the musical. 

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