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MEDFORD, Ore. — It’s Friday and that means it’s time for you to meet NewsWatch 12′s Pet of the Week. This week it’s two cats that are adopted brothers and are being adopted out together. Watch the video to meet Ned and Finn and see how you can take them home.

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Following the spring showers that came through yesterday is beautiful weather and improving conditions. Partly to mostly sunny skies are on the way for today with areas of fog in the morning, clearing quickly once the sun comes up. High temperatures will climb into the 60′s & 70′s.

Saturday a weak front will try to push inland but falls apart while doing so. Showers are expected only at the Coast beginning at 9am and continuing into early afternoon. A stray shower could make it into the West Side and the Cascades but these showers will be light and won’t amount to much.

Sunday looks to be fantastic — partly to mostly sunny skies will round out the weekend and temperatures will climb again into the 60′s & 70′s. All outdoor plans will have no problems, at least concerning the weather! A cooler and slightly more active weather pattern will move in for next week.

If you’d like more weather updates, head to my Facebook and/or Twitter pages!

Meteorologist Alyssa Caroprese

Students Stand for PrincipalNEAR GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Principal John George of Fleming Middle School in the Three Rivers School District is officially the Middle School Principal of the Year. Students gave George a standing ovation in an assembly Thursday. State officials considered the school “persistently dangerous” when George first starting his work as principal. Within years, the school jumped to being considered “outstanding.” Find out how those changes came to fruition, tonight on NewsWatch 12 at 5.

Governor John KitzhaberNEAR CHILOQUIN, Ore. – Governor John Kitzhaber and other Oregon and California leaders are gathering this morning for the official signing of the historic Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement.

Members include Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Undersecretary of the Department of Commerce Kathryn Sullivan, California Resources Secretary John Laird, Klamath Tribal Chair Don Gentry, and members of the Klamath Basin Task Force.

Members of the Klamath Tribes and Upper Basin water users have come together and developed solutions to water issues affecting the region. The Upper Basin Agreement represents a historic milestone for one of the most complex and contentious natural water wars in the West.

Friday’s event will celebrate the leadership, good faith, and hard work that made the Agreement possible while highlighting the economic and environmental benefits for the Klamath region.

NewsWatch 12 has a reporter at the ceremony this morning and will bring you the full story tonight at 5 & 6 PM.

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ASHLAND, Ore. — Alan “Rosey” Rosenberg was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year. He was given just six months to live without treatment, and one to two years to live with chemotherapy. Rosenberg chose to do the chemo, but has since finished his treatment.

In the wake of his diagnosis, Rosenberg decided to start a comedy stand up act called “Rosey’s Last Stand-Up.” In the show, Rosenberg sheds light on the idea of death and dying, and more importantly, living life to the fullest.

“Even my impending death, no matter if it’s days or weeks, or moments. It’s not now. Now I’m alive, and if that’s the message that people would feel moved by then that’s why I’m here,” said Rosenberg.

Rosenberg’s next show will be on Monday night at The Oregon Shakespeare Festivals Carpenter Hall on Monday, April 21, at 7:30.

Tickets are 10 dollars at the door and proceeds go to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank.


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CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — At 21 years old, Jose Mena decided to pursue his childhood dream.

“It was just kind of out of nowhere,” said Mena. “I always wanted to box and I just decided to go for it.”

Six years later, Mena punched his ticked to the Golden Gloves National Tournament.

“I always felt like I was okay, but just recently at the Golden Gloves. Right there, winning that to me was a pretty good accomplishment,” said Mena.

Getting to nationals took a win at the state competition in February and a win at regionals in March.

“Before the Golden Gloves, I told him, ‘Now I see you’re more serious about it and with your skills, you’re going to go far. You can go far if you keep doing it this way.’ He’s now pushing himself more to get in better shape,” said Salvador Regalado, Mena’s coach.

“I started working harder, really started getting a lot more serious, making sure I don’t skip a day, watching what I eat, things like that,” said Mena.

Mena said part of that intense work ethic comes from starting at a later age.

“I always thought these young guys that start young, they fall off the map,” said Mena. “They get off track, and I thought, I was 21. I was all, ‘Okay, it’s going to take a few years, but if I stick with it, I could see something out of it.’”

Despite the high demands, his confidence never wavered. It’s a confidence that can partly be attributed to Mena’s younger brothers.

“I’m the oldest brother of four,” said Mena. “There’s four of us so I was always the tough guy. Beating up on my little brothers, I guess that might have helped me out.”

“He’s just a natural athlete,” said Fernando Mena. “He’s good at everything. He plays everything. He does everything so he’s just a natural.”

Mena’s upcoming trip to the Golden Gloves National Tournament was anything but natural. It took hard work, confidence and the toughness of an older brother.

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A very well defined storm is moving through the area. The bad news is that it’s a quick-mover and will not stick around very long. The coast and the northern areas of the forecast area are already seeing a clearing from the rain. Reports from these areas have only seen a few tenths of an inch of rainfall at best. All that’s left are foggy conditions at the coast and at Sexton Summit due to the saturated air mass and onshore flow.

A few post-frontal showers will continue into the evening hours, but will be limited to the western slopes of the Cascades. Snow levels are starting today at 6,500′, and will drop to 5,500′ after midnight on Friday. However, because of the lack of precipitation, no snow is expected to accumulate and all that falls will be a rain/snow mixture. All shower activity should end around 3:00 a.m. on Friday.

Clouds will begin to decrease as a small bit of high pressure builds into the area on Friday. This will start the dry, and warm conditions we will experience this weekend. The only exception will be a weak cold front pushing into the region on Saturday afternoon. This front will break down as it hits the high pressure and therefore only a light bit of precipitation is expected along the coast and cascades into the afternoon on Saturday. Mostly sunny skies are expected to continue into Easter Sunday. Clouds will begin increasing in the overnight hours as another set of fronts approach the area bringing a better chance of precipitation next week.

Thanks for logging on and have a great day!

Meteorologist Seth Phillips

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distracted drivingSAN FRANCISCO, Cal. – Teenagers just getting their drivers license worry many parents.  Statistics show it’s with good reason.  Car crashes are the leading cause of death for young people.

The Journal of Adolescent Health published a series of articles aimed at helping reduce those deaths.

The reports include:

-training new drivers to improve attention control can overcome immaturity and driver inexperience

-those with the “greatest neural reactivity to social exclusion may be themost susceptible to risk taking while driving in the presence of peers.”

-the importance of parents being a good role model

One researcher says “common assumptions about adolescent driver distraction may not be entirely true, and that the association of passengers with distraction is more complex than previously realized.”

The final article indicates that when government agencies restrict cell phone use, the positive impact is likely limited.

You can read the entire Journal  of Adolescent Health about Teens and Driving.

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KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — A packed house filled the room for the budget hearing for the sheriff’s office Thursday afternoon.  Many of the public commenters thought cuts to the sheriff’s department would lead to bigger problems.

Sheriff Frank Skrah and his team met before Thursday’s budget hearing crunching numbers and seeing exactly what they need to make ends meet.

“For this coming, 14-15 budget starting in July, I want the same amount of money and I will make that work. That’s 3 years without asking taxpayers for one additional dime,” said Sheriff Skrah.

The budget committee has proposed cuts to the sheriff’s department. Sheriff Skrah said under the proposed budget, 32 positions would have to be cut – 16 in his jail and 16 on patrols.

Skrah said he only has ten deputies and the cuts would result in one, eight hour patrol a day with the rest of the day unpatrolled. Two days would have no patrols at all.

“I can’t do that, I took an oath of office, to do the right thing here. They’re tying my hands,” said Sheriff Skrah.

As the hearing began, the public showed support for the sheriff. Commissioner Dennis Linthicum said costs are rising as a whole, and fewer funds are coming in.

“Everybody will need to bear the burden of lowering the cost of government. The easiest way for us to engineer that is through a policy for long term sustainability,” Commissioner Linthicum.

The budget committee has said cuts will be made across the board, and personnel will be hit hard.

“80 percent of our monies goes for personnel costs, so it’s a big, big, portion of our county budget,” said Commissioner Linthicum.

Sheriff Skrah worries he has no personnel left to cut.

“It’s not a skeleton crew, it’s a graveyard for crying out loud. We’ve gone beyond skeleton crew here,” said Sheriff Skrah.

The budget for Klamath County and its department, will be finalized in the coming weeks.

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MEDFORD, Ore. — A Rogue Valley man convicted of murdering his wife was sentenced today to life in prison.

Wearing prison garb and in shackles, Bourne Huddleston showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down, and did not speak when given the opportunity. Huddleston was convicted of trying to hire two people to murder his wife, Kristy, in March 2012, and then committing the murder himself. Judge Lorenzo Mejia said he would recommend that Huddleston not be eligible for parole.

Members of Kristy’s  family spoke during the sentencing today. Kristy’s mother, Denise Esselstyn, said she can’t forgive him. Kristy’s sister, Melissa Esselstyn, said he lost her trust in Huddleston.

“The world will never be as bright without [Kristy],” she said.

The emotional week of testimony took its toll on everyone involved. Deputy District Attorney David Hoppe said he had never experienced anything like this in more than a dozen years as a prosecutor.

“[Huddleston] is probably the worst human being I’ve ever dealt with,” Hoppe said.

Mejia told Huddleston he had no sympathy for him.

“Your only concern is yourself,” he said.

After the sentencing, members of Kristy’s family hugged Hoppe and prosecutor Laura Cromwell, and thanked them for all of their work during the case. Family members said they felt justice had been served, but said Kristy’s death is still painful.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Denise Esselstyn said. “I still can’t believe that this has actually all happened, even though it’s been two years.”

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