Erika Soderstrom

News Intern

Erika Soderstrom traded in the dry desert for a lush forest when she moved from Phoenix, Arizona to Ashland, Oregon four years ago. Erika is Co-Editor in Chief of Southern Oregon University’s school newspaper and studying communication with an emphasis in social media and public engagement, with the goal of becoming a journalist.

As JPR’s News Intern she works to help find stories and update social media for the Jefferson Exchange. Growing up listening to NPR, she has a deep appreciation for the value of Jefferson Public Radio and the news they report.

When she’s not following the news or in the classroom she can be found on the track, running as one of SOU’s track and field athletes. 

NPS/Public Domain

We’ve all seen the beautiful pictures of ancient Redwood trees on social media. It’s almost a necessity when you visit to take a picture and share it with the world. But are those posts harming the trees?

After seeing photos on social media, some adventure to find the exact locale, where that specific tree is, even if it’s off the designated trail. Known as “social trails,” they are unmarked trails that humans create through repeated use, and they prove to be harmful to the surprisingly shallow Redwood roots.

Wikipedia Commons

Oregon's Measure 105 seeks to revoke Oregon's status as a "sanctuary state," which limits local law agencies' cooperation with federal immigration officers. The Oregon AFL-CIO took up a position against the measure. A union rep visits to explain why the union wants the sanctuary status to stay in place.

via pixabay

Despite a nationwide decrease in suicide rates, Oregon continues to rank among the states with the highest rates of suicide. The outlook is particularly bleak for seniors.

Oregon’s suicide rates have topped national averages for the past three decades. Federal data shows that those rates are highest among white men over age 70.

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

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. 

TSGT Robert Wickley, Public Domain,

The infant mortality rate in the United States has been steadily declining over time.  One problem, though: the rate for African-Americans is roughly twice the rate for white Americans. 

That's many more black babies dying at or soon after birth relative to the population. 

Dr. Fleda Mask Jackson created one of many programs to target racism in the medical profession.  Dr. Jackson's program is called Save 100 Babies, and it's based in Atlanta.

By Ferran Pestaña from Barcelona, España - Grillo de matorral 01, CC BY-SA 2.0,

North America is one of the few parts of the world where insects are not a regular part of the human diet. 

So there's certainly space in the market for a cricket-as-food provider.  And Craft Crickets in Eugene is only too happy to fill that space. 

The company says it's the first licensed cricket farm in Oregon.