CORVALLIS, Ore.–Oregon State’s Mike Riley, Sean Mannion, Jordan Villamin and Brent Brennan discussed the injuries plaguing the Beavers, the tough challenge that is Stanford’s defense as well as Villamin’s breakout performance against Utah.

Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley:

Oregon State Wide Receiver Jordan Villamin:

Oregon State Wide Receivers Coach Brent Brennan:

Oregon State Quarterback Sean Mannion:

 

Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost:

Oregon running back Gary Campbell:

Oregon center Hroniss Grasu:

Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner:

Oregon defensive tackle Arik Armstead:

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ASHLAND, Ore. — SOU suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday, but the Raiders are still very much in contention for a postseason run, and a good reason for that is the improvement on defense. A team known for its offense is starting to turn heads on the other side of the ball. One of the defensive standouts this season is linebacker Alex Stork. Stork played high school football at Klamath Union. He then signed to play Division I football at the University of Idaho. After redshirting his first year, Stork wanted to be closer to home so friends and family could see him play, and in his first season in Ashland, Stork’s been on display. He’s fifth on the team in tackles and tied for second in sacks. A missed opportunity two years ago is now turning out just fine for SOU.

“Two years ago we recruited Alex Stork out of high school,” SOU head coach Craig Howard said, “and we didn’t do a very good job recruiting him I guess because he chose to go to Idaho, a chance to play Division I football and, boy, I don’t see anything wrong with that.”
“It was a great experience, and I met some good people there and had a good experience, and I think I grew a little bit, too,” Stork said. “Being here has just been a great fit so far and I’m loving it. It’s so easy with the guys we have on the team and the coaching staff. They make it such a welcoming environment that it really wasn’t much of a problem making that transition.”

The Raiders are loving it too. Stork’s one of a number of D-I transfers, and there’s a process to incorporating those players into NAIA football.

“We’re keeping things simple,” SOU defensive coordinator Berk Brown said, “and with the amount of new faces that we do have on defense, keeping things simple lets them run around and make plays, and we know that the guys we’ve got can play with anyone in the country so allowing them to think less and do more is a big part of what we do.”
“I think the guys that have Division I talent, when they do come to Southern Oregon, they can add to our program,” Howard said, “and Alex is one of those kind of guys that has the ability to play at that level. We’re just glad he’s playing at our level.”

Indiana bodies found(CNN) — An Indiana man told police he “messed up” by killing a woman in Hammond, then came clean, leading them to several more bodies in nearby Gary, Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said Monday.

Doughty stopped short of calling Darren Deon Vann a suspected serial killer, but left the possibility open if police are able to connect the convicted sex offender to any of the six women found in Gary over the weekend.

“If we directly attach him to it, we can make that assumption,” he said, adding that Vann’s statements lead authorities to believe there are “possible other victims.” Some cases may date back 20 years, based on what Vann has told police, the chief said.

Text messages would be Vann’s undoing, Doughty said.

Vann, 43, ordered a prostitute through the backpage.com site serving Chicago and arranged a Friday meeting at a Motel 6 in Hammond with Afrikka Hardy, 19, the chief said.

The person who arranged the meeting, whom Doughty described only as “a facilitator,” later texted Hardy and received “suspicious texts” she believed were from Vann, the chief said.

She and another person went to the motel to check on Hardy, according to a probable cause affidavit. They found her body in a bathtub.

Using a phone number provided by the facilitator, police electronically tracked Vann down, the chief said.

A search warrant obtained for the vehicle police believe Vann drove to the motel as well as his home yielded a number of items that connect him to the scene, according to the affidavit. The search turned up clothing similar to the clothing worn by a man captured on surveillance video leaving the motel room, the same brand of condoms found inside the room and a cell phone that matched the description of Hardy’s.

In addition, Vann was wearing a shirt with a missing button. A button was found inside the room where Hardy was killed. The police affidavit said the shirt Vann was wearing when police questioned him matches the button from the room.

Vann told police he “messed up” and expressed surprise that he was found so quickly, Doughty said.

“He admitted his involvement in the Hammond incident” and began leading police to other bodies in Gary, Doughty said, adding that at this point, Vann is charged in only Hardy’s death.

According to the affidavit, police found signs of a possible struggle in the motel room: a broken fingernail on the floor and the beds moved away from the headboards.

A former boyfriend of Hardy remembered her as a terrific person and friend. Michael Moore said they had dated in high school and continued to keep in touch.

“She was a really loving person. She was very funny, very outgoing. She always was pretty lively,” he said. “It’s crazy because, I mean, she was really — she was an amazing person.”

Seven women total

Police found three bodies at three abandoned houses in Gary early Sunday morning, and later that night were able to find three more bodies, one at a new location and two at one of the places where bodies were found earlier Sunday, Doughty said.

Hardy and three other women have been identified. Doughty and the Lake County Coroner’s Office identified two of the women as Teaira Batey, 28, and Christine Williams, 36. Earlier Monday, Chelsea Whittington, a spokeswoman for Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, identified the other two as Hardy and Anith Jones, 35, of Merrillville, who had been missing since October 8.

Only Jones had been reported missing, Doughty said.

The coroner’s office said Williams and Hardy were strangled to death. The coroner listed two of the Jane Does as homicides but didn’t elaborate on the cause of death. Doughty declined to say how the other five women died.

As for a motive, Doughty told reporters, “I don’t have a specific reason he does this.”

The Gary homes where the bodies were stashed were all within a 5-mile drive of each other.

Vann cooperated, gave police descriptions and accompanied officers to certain locations, the chief said.

Asked why Vann chose to cooperate, Doughty said he wanted to cut a deal with prosecutors but didn’t provide further details.

“It was just something he wanted to do. That’s all I can say,” he said.

A man living next door to where one of the bodies was found told CNN affiliate WSBT that he believes the crimes occurred recently.

“Somebody had to come in there like last week or something, because (Northern Indiana Public Service Company) and the water company were there turning off the power and stuff, so there was no one in there,” Justin Jones said.

The Indiana-born Vann is a convicted sex offender from Austin, Texas, police said. Records show he was arrested on unspecified charges while living in Cherry Point, North Carolina, in 1993.

He was convicted of aggravated rape in 2009 from a 2007 case, the Austin Police Department said in a statement. After serving five years in jail, he left for Indiana in June 2013, police said.

Vann is not a registered sex offender in Austin.

The police department there said detectives would be conducting a review of potentially related cases, asking anyone with information to contact its missing person and homicide cold case units.

Vann also had a conviction in Lake County, Indiana, that was “not in the sex offender category,” Freeman-Wilson said.

Court records show Vann was accused of breaking and entering and intimidation in 2004.

“He certainly was cooperative. He led (police) to the locations of these bodies. Whether he was eager or not, I’m not in a position to say that,” she said.

Several police agencies are now working the case, which could grow larger and expand to at least one other state, the mayor said.

Obama-Health-CareWashington (CNN) — A repeal of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law is “not gonna happen” even if the GOP takes the Senate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said.

The Republican governor’s comments, in an interview with The Associated Press published Monday, are a major departure from the rest of his party — and stunning for a potential 2016 presidential contender.

“The opposition to it was really either political or ideological,” Kasich said of Obamacare. “I don’t think that holds water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives.”

The governor later reversed course on Twitter, saying The Associated Press “got it wrong” and that he wants to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. A Kasich spokesman said the governor was referring solely to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion — not the entire law — and that his comments were reported out of context.

Kasich angered conservatives when he bypassed Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature and embraced Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion last year.

His comments reflect the political balancing act facing GOP governors who criticized the law but have implemented parts or all of it.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has sought a middle ground, arguing for a version of the Medicaid expansion that includes changes such as individual health savings accounts requiring personal contributions — a program initially crafted under his predecessor, Mitch Daniels.

Others Republican governors seen as prospective presidential candidates, like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, have been outspoken opponents of Obamacare, refusing to implement it and saying they’d like to see it repealed.

In states that have expanded Medicaid, Democratic Senate candidates like Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky have pressed their Republican opponents about what would happen to the hundreds of thousands of low-income residents who now have health coverage.

“We have over a half a million Kentuckians who for the first time ever are filling prescriptions, they’re going to the doctor, they’re getting checkups,” Grimes said in a recent debate with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. “I will not be a senator that rips that insurance from their hands.”

Medford, Ore.– In just about two weeks we will find out the results of the 2014, November Election. Incumbent John Kitzhaber is up against Representative Dennis Richardson for the governor’s seat. Both Candidates talked with Newswatch 12 about some of the key issues for the state including the botched health exchange and Southern Oregon’s economy.

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

As expected, the area saw measurable rain along the coast and for inland locations.  What we weren’t expecting is the amount of rain we saw for west side valleys.  Of course, no one is complaining, since the rain is still much needed and appreciated.  Amounts were near half an inch for more areas, with higher amounts along the coast up to one inch.

A few showers are expected to continue early tonight then taper off by early tomorrow morning.  A few lingering showers are possible along the coast and parts of the Cascades early Tuesday, but those will come to an end as Tuesday moves on.  Clouds will also start to thin throughout Tuesday afternoon, but temperatures will remain cool.

Our focus now shifts to the next measurable rain chances arriving Wednesday.  The system will make a slow push inland Wednesday morning, bringing showers to the coast, but after it gets a stronger push behind it, we will see moderate steady rain move inland by Wednesday night and into Thursday.  Amounts for the Rogue Valley could once again reach upwards of half an inch, with a couple of inches possible along the coast.  Showers remain in the forecast even through the weekend.

For more information. or to send me your weather pictures, head over to Facebook or Twitter.

Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna

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MEDFORD, Ore. — NewsWatch 12′s Coats For Kids campaign has been very successful this year with the generous donations of community members in the Rogue Valley. However, there is still a need for kids coats, especially for toddlers and elementary school children.

Fred Meyer on Crater Lake Highway has a massive children’s coat section. Tyler Weist shopped for clothes for his 3-year-old son Monday.

“Winter is right around the corner and flu season is coming up so of course he has to stay bundled up nice and warm when he’s out there playing. It’s very wet and cold through out the next few months so he has to stay warm and dry,” Weist said.

Coats For Kids usually sees the highest demand for coats sizes 2T to 4T in toddlers and child sizes 5-8.

Southern Oregon Headstart is one of the organizations coats will be donated to. Supervisor Carolyn Rotar said Headstart serves families with children before they are born and up until the kids turn 5-years-old.

“Just to think that it may be their only warm coat to last them the winter and we do get snow on this area so when those temperatures are in the 20′s and they’re going to school in the morning we want to be able to give them something that can keep them cozy,” Rotar said.

Coats For Kids collected close to four thousand coats in 2013. During the week of Oct. 20-24, NewsWatch 12 will be going through coats that have already been collected to see what is still needed.

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CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one Central Point family is sharing their experience with the illness. NewsWatch 12 first introduced you to Leah Rodgers in 2012 as she was battling breast cancer. She passed away shortly after the story aired.

Now, her family is sharing their story, in hopes of helping others understand the disease.

“We all have gone on with our lives but we, we always know that she’s with us. No matter what. We all have pictures of her around we all keep little mementos and we know she’s always with us,” said Leah’s husband, John Rodgers.

Breast cancer was nothing new in Leah’s new in the family. Her mom, aunt, and grandmother all passed away from breast cancer as well. Leah beat it once before getting the disease a second time.

“Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer probably represents about five to ten percent of all breast cancers,” said Kate Newgard, an Oncology Nurse Navigator at Providence Medford Medical Center.

John said the loss was devastating to the whole family, but made easier with support.

“The letters, the cards, the phone calls, the posts to facebook,” said John. “All I can say is thank you to all of these people.”

Rodgers also hopes to spread the word so other families do not have to go through what he has.

“A lot of times, woman won’t go get the mammograms and they don’t push, they won’t find out. They think it’s just nothing. But if you love your wife, or love your mate, make her go and get checked out. Make her go,” said Rodgers.

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SHADY COVE, Ore. — Monday morning’s showers, combined with last week’s moisture, is helping jump start recovery from a dry year.

Water storage levels at Lost Creek Lake are lower than average for this time of year, and workers at the dam monitor water levels closely, with the top priority being flood regulation. However, with limited rain and snow pack from last year, the focus has shifted from too much water storage, to not enough.

The Army Corp of Engineers had to release more water from the dam this year to help sustain fish survival in the Rogue River. Most fish in the Rogue River rely on consistent flow of cold water year round. With hot, dry weather like what the Rogue Valley had this summer, it could be devastating to some of the fish populations.
At this point, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife hopes for more mornings like today throughout the winter.

“Having a normal winter again to recharge the tributary streams so that fish can really use the watershed, is kind of what are waiting on right now,” said Dan VanDyke, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife District Fish Biologist.

ODFW said it closely monitors level, temperature, and sediment at many recording stations along the river. They use that information to request more or less water to be released from the dam.

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