thSALEM, ore.– A federal judge is set to hear oral arguments over the constitutionality of a voter-approved ban of same-sex marriage, Wednesday.

Four same-sex couples filed a lawsuit claiming the ban discriminates against gays and lesbians and serves no legitimate government interest. No one will defend the ban before the judge, Wednesday, because Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has refused to defend it.

Judge Michael McShane says he won’t rule on the constitutionality of the same-sex marriage ban until he decides on a request by the National Organization for Marriage to defend it. If he decides the group has legal standing, he says he’ll hold new oral arguments.

Several states have overturned the ban since the Supreme Court ruled last year, that parts of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act were unconstitutional. These include Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, Texas and Virginia. In three other states – Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee – federal judges have ordered the recognition of same-sex marriages that occurred out-of-state.

Supporters of the ban argue marriage should be for families units that can procreate.

 

STABBINGSUSPECT4-23MEDFORD, Ore. – Medford detectives are looking for more suspects who may be involved in an overnight stabbing that sent one person to the hospital.

It happened on the 200 block of Elm Street in Medford at about 10 o’clock Tuesday night.

Officers learned that the victim, who lives at the address on Elm Street,
was involved in a verbal dispute with some associates of a neighbor, who
the victim confronted for being loud. The victim came outside of his home
and was assaulted by several subjects. Immediately after the assault, the
victim realized he had been stabbed and was taken to the hospital by a
witness who was on scene.

Police said the 39-year-old victim was stabbed in the upper body and head area, and is recovering from surgery. Police confirmed that they had one suspect in custody.

Medford detectives continued their search for more suspects Wednesday morning. Medford Police contacted 18 year old Lucas Carstens, who was on  foot in the area. Evidence linked him to the assault and he was interviewed. Detectives lodged Carstens for two counts of Assault. Police believe several other suspects are outstanding.

Police are asking anyone with information about this case to call (541)770-4783.

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

Rain will continue today across much of the Pacific Northwest. A warm front is due to arrive by late morning bringing moderate to heavy rainfall into early afternoon, by about 1 o’clock, to the coastline. By late afternoon, the front will travel inland bringing moderate to heavy precipitation to the Cascades.

Jackson County will be in the rain shadow today and although we won’t see steady rain all afternoon, we will see rain showers and they are capable of dropping heavy rain as well. Josephine County has a better chance at catching steady showers throughout the afternoon.

Snow levels are starting off around 4,000′ this morning but they’ll be rising near 6,000′ into the afternoon. Come Thursday morning, the cold front pushes inland and this will then drop snow levels to 5,000′ Thursday evening. By Friday morning, they’ll be down to 4,000.’

Steady rain will move into the entire region as a whole on Thursday as the cold front sweeps south and east. Showers will linger into Friday before tapering off Friday night. The weekend will be mostly dry for inland locations right now with just very isolated showers. Temperatures will still be cool and skies partly to mostly cloudy. The Coast will see more showers Saturday afternoon and evening.

For more weather, head to my Facebook and/or Twitter pages!

Meteorologist Alyssa Caroprese

cartMedford, Ore. — If there is a ever child abduction case in Southern Oregon, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office now holds the lead role for coordinating a multi-agency response.

The Child Abduction Response Team or CART just finished a re-certification process and is now one of only 20 with that certification in the country and the only team in Oregon. Law enforcement, the District Attorneys Office, city police and social service agencies would share resources when responding to a child abduction case.

“Those are the type of cases that would be every parent’s worst nightmare to have happen. So you want a real organized response to how you’re dealing with it. It takes a lot of resources. So any one police agency may not have all the resources that it would need at a moment’s notice,” said Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert.

Heckert also said Jackson County is a good home base for the CART team because she said the area has a history of multi-agency cooperation in major cases.

 

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

Earth Day

A slight “break” in precipitation today has created the gap between two sets of storms that has and will be moving in to the region. Last night came the first round with a very strong cold front moving onto the coast. Cooler air was rushed in and allowed for our high temperatures to be 10-15 degrees cooler than the day before. Rain and Winds picked up into the afternoon/early evening yesterday but started to taper off into the morning hours. Snow levels also dropped with the cooler air. The Cascades and Siskisyous saw levels down to 3,500′ and got anywhere from 1-4″ of accumulating snow. The Basin saw a snow level of 4,300′ and also saw a rain snow mixture with very little accumulation. Once the daytime temperatures got above freezing, the snow began melting and slush was the main concern for commuters this morning. Thunderstorms were also hitting some areas, and lightning strikes were reported in some areas. Instability causing strong updrafts also allowed for some hail reports to come in. This is common with thunderstorms, especially this time of the year.

Tuesday night will see an increase in showers at the coast and in the mountain locations. A pronounced rain shadow will keep showers out of the valleys. The Southern Cascades will also stop any showers from reaching the Basin overnight. Storms are tracking north so only the Coastal range in Del Norte County will see overnight rain. Snow levels will fall to 4,000′ on Wednesday morning allowing for snow to fall in the High Country. Throughout the day on Wednesday, anywhere from 1-6″ of accumulation snow will be seen in the Cascades and Siskiyous. Keep in mind that daytime temperatures will get above freezing, therefore snow will melt quickly and roads will become slippery for the morning commute. Allow for extra time and drive carefully. Wednesday will continue the trend of coastal showers and higher elevation snow throughout most of the day. A warm front is slated to move through in the afternoon, bringing warmer air and heavier amounts of rain to all regions in the evening hours. Snow levels will climb back up to 6,000′ so, the only episodes of snow on Wednesday afternoon/evening will be in the high elevations near Crater Lake. Even then, precipitation will be a rain snow mix.

Right after the warm front passes in the late evening Wednesday, a cold front will pass on Thursday morning. Wind, rain and chances for thunderstorms will pick up into all areas in the late morning on Thursday and continue into the evening hours. Snow levels will remain high until the overnight hours then they will fall in the mountains to around 4,500′. Rain and snow will persist overnight into Friday. Once again, these snow levels will increase on Friday morning and the snow will turn to rain. Light, isolated post-frontal showers are the only thing in the forecast for Friday.

Long Term:

It seems as if the rain keeps coming. Saturday will see isolated showers in most areas, and a little heavier rain at the coast.  Another system is slated to move in around Sunday evening moving wind, rain and even more snow with cooler air coming in right behind it. Models are still in disagreement as to how strong the rain and snow will be. The first real break in precipitation for all areas should arrive by Tuesday with mostly cloudy skies overhead and warmer temperatures.  As we move closer to these events we’ll have a better understanding on what to expect. This pattern is much needed for the area.

Meteorologist Seth Phillips

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7-17-rob-web-library-250x250JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore.– Ten thousand signatures were turned in to get a library taxing district measure put on the November ballot, Tuesday.

Organizers said they only needed just over 7,000 in order to qualify, and it was accomplished two weeks early. The county clerk will now count and verify the signatures.

 

4-22 rob web careerASHLAND, Ore. — The unemployment rate for 2013 college graduates is the lowest it’s been since the class of 2007.
Tuesday, 40 employers set up tables at the Southern Oregon University career fair. Organizers said there was something for all students, ranging from internships to career opportunities.
Organizers said it’s important for students to get in touch and build connections early on in their time at S.O.U.

“Build those bridges, bring folks to campus to make it a little easier to get a sense of what opportunities are available to let folks know that people are hiring here in the Rogue Valley,” said Career Preparation Coordinator Max Brooks.

Commencement for this year’s S.O.U. seniors is less than two months away on June 14th.

commissioner write in 3JACKSON COUNTY, Ore.– There is another candidate in the race for Jackson County Commissioner, Position One. Tonia Moro launched her write-in campaign for the Democratic Nomination, Tuesday.

She is a Medford attorney and has been a resident for 24 years. She was born in Missouri and was raised in Florida, but currently lives in Talent.

Says she thought announcing her campaign on Earth Day was relevant because she believes several jobs can be created here revolving around the environment, which attracts thousands of tourists every year.

 

rogue 3ROGUE RIVER, Ore.–New rules are being proposed to deal with mercury levels in the Rogue River, but gold miners are not happy about it.

At a hearing Monday night, miners said they are being blamed for a problem that is not their fault. They say the suction dredges they use also help to filter out the Mercury.

Officials said the mercury found in fish in the Rogue River is 10 times higher than state standards. They said this could lead to stricter and more expensive permits for miners.

 

Coolio 1CRESCENT CITY, Ore. — A one and a half year-old elephant seal is on it’s way to the Pittsburgh Zoo from Crescent City.

Officials said the seal named Coolio will be the first Northern Elephant Seal in a zoo or aquarium in the United States. Coolio was found last fall at Pebble Beach in Crescent City malnourished and with damage to his eyes.
Over the past several months, volunteers have nursed him back to health and taught him how to eat fish.

Because he is blind, Coolio couldn’t be released back into the wild, and will now be the newest addition to the Pittsburgh Zoo.

“It’s pretty awesome to be able to place him after all the care and work that went into saving his life and getting him back in good condition,” said Northcoast Marine Mammal Center Dr. Dennis Wood.

Coolio was loaded into a polar bear cage loaned from Sea World San Diego and is now on a truck headed to Oakland where he will be loaded onto a Fed Ex airplane Wednesday morning before landing at his new home Wednesday afternoon.

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