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UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, NOV. 27, 4:15 p.m. ... The wind has calmed and the snow is tapering off. But wet roads are likely to turn icy around the region as temperatures drop Wednesday evening into Thanksgiving Day.

Out of all the Thanksgiving dishes Kim Yates has helped prepare for her large family over the years, one batch of mashed potatoes stands out clearly in her memory.

About 30 guests were gathered that year, at her sister's home in Palo Alto, Calif., and Yates had made a point of taking on responsibility for the mashed potatoes so that her young daughter Tessa (who was dealing with extreme food allergies to eggs, dairy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish) would have at least one safe side dish to eat.

Chelsea and Noah Isaacs were busy new parents of twin daughters when they lost their home in the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif. That same day — Nov. 8, 2018 — Chelsea discovered she was pregnant again; later she would learn it was with another set of twins.

"All of those things kind of created this perfect storm of appreciation for what I've got, but then at the same time [there was] this feeling of 'how is this all going to work?' that was really overwhelming initially," Chelsea said.

The Salem City Council Monday night decided to amend an ordinance that would have restricted people from sitting or lying on the city’s public sidewalks for most of the day.

The proposed ordinance originally consisted of the “sit-lie” restriction, banning people from sitting or lying on public sidewalks from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 24-hour bans on camping and leaving public property unattended on sidewalks.

The Council narrowly chose to take out the sit-lie portion, with a 5-4 vote, keeping the other two parts of the ordinance intact.

UPDATE (Nov. 26, 7:40 p.m. PT) — A federal judge in Oregon has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against a Trump administration rule that would have banned immigrants from entering the United States if they couldn’t afford health care. 

A federal judge has ruled that much of the expansion of Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in 2017 was illegal.

Updated at 7:57 p.m. ET

White House officials questioned whether President Trump might be breaking the law when he ordered military assistance for Ukraine frozen in July, according to transcripts released on Tuesday by House Democrats.

For almost three decades, Jared Taylor has been publishing his ideas about race at the American Renaissance magazine and now at a website called AmRen, which is considered a mouthpiece for white supremacist ideology.

"The races are not identical and equivalent," says Taylor, who calls himself a "race realist" and rejects the white supremacist label. "There are patterns of difference. But this is now something that's considered a huge, hateful taboo in the United States."

April Ehrlich | JPR News

Snow is billowing across the Rogue Valley and temperatures are predicted to dip into the 20s this week. So, where can you go if you need a warm place to sleep? The answer isn’t easy to find. 


Rogue Retreat

What started as a winter emergency shelter for homeless people in Medford has become a much more imposing presence.  The Kelly Shelter opened its doors recently, providing regular shelter space for 54 people in bunk beds, an upgrade from the church basement with mats on the floor of the original shelter. 

ACCESS, Inc. bought the building and renovated it, and Rogue Retreat will run the shelter, geared toward finding permanent homes for its short-term resident.

klimkin/Pixabay

Anti-immigration feelings are running strong in the country at the moment.  While efforts continue to reduce cross-border traffic with Mexico, so do efforts to keep people who cross that border from dying in the desert. 

The Green Valley Samaritans have been doing this for years; providing water and other supplies so that people making the journey do not meet with an untimely end. 

Ashland resident and former public health nurse Peg Bowden worked with the project, but also assisted a many who came onto her property, a story she tells in the book A Stranger At My Door.

Scientology Media - Flickr: The Chapel, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18782457

Sands Hall could not resist the gravitational pull of Scientology when she was younger.  The gravity reversed over time, and she found herself repelled by the religion, its practices, and its people. 

Hall tells the story in the book Reclaiming My Decade Lost to Scientology, which was previously published under the title Flunk. Start 

The author spent time in the region in the 70s, part of the acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Oregonians, it’s time to take pictures of the coast. For science.

Thanksgiving week, the world will experience some of the highest tides of the year. These tides, called king tides, can be 2 or more feet higher than the average high tides. Jesse Jones, volunteer coordinator with Coastwatch, said extra high tides can help us learn how different communities will be impacted by climate change.

Five people move in tandem down a trail as it gets steeper and narrower than the bright orange metal frame connecting them.

This trail, popular with Bend, Oregon, families, is a testing ground for inventor Geoff Babb, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

One miscalculation about how to navigate the tight squeeze of boulders, and he could topple over the edge toward an ice-cold river below. But, that’s not what worries Babb, who hasn’t walked since a stroke 14 years ago. 

Despite giving $1 million to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, Portland businessman Gordon Sondland was originally blocked from getting an ambassadorship by Trump’s inner circle.

Axios reported Sunday that Sondland was excluded from a list of potential ambassadors circulated by the White House in 2017 because Sondland had criticized Trump during the campaign.

Courtesy the National Weather Service

A major winter storm is headed for the Oregon-California coast Tuesday.


Updated at 9:33 a.m. ET Tuesday

A federal judge in Washington has ruled that former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify to House impeachment investigators, despite orders from the Trump administration that he not cooperate with Congress.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson clears the way for McGahn's testimony, sought by House Democrats in exploring Trump's possible obstruction of justice related to the Russia probe.

California School Bond Backers Have Some Selling To Do, Poll Shows

Nov 25, 2019
ludi/Pixabay

California voters have resoundingly approved tens of billions of dollars in state school construction bonds over the last two decades. But a new survey suggests that voters have yet to similarly warm up to the latest and heftiest proposal to come before them.

NikolayFrolochkin/Pixabay

The next scheduled Oregon legislative session is months away.  But committees do some work between sessions, including committees considering how to reform Oregon's campaign finance laws, which place very few limits on contributions or contributors. 

Most other states have some restrictions, and Senator Jeff Golden (D-Ashland) is determined that Oregon join them.  The Senate Campaign Finance Committee he chairs recently met to discuss the framework of a bill. 

For decades, Ken Medenbach has been driven by his belief that the federal government cannot own land.

It’s a notion that’s gotten him arrested repeatedly when he built homes on government property. In 2016, it led Medenbach to Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which he and others occupied for more than a month.

But today, with the federal government still controlling vast amounts of property in Oregon, Medenbach has another idea: He’s running for Congress.

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