7-27 rentalsASHLAND, Ore. – The fight over vacation rentals in Ashland continues despite what would-be hosts say have been some unexpected delays.

A group called “The Hosts” in Ashland recently got the city council’s attention, calling for the drafting of an ordinance that would loosen restrictions on short-term vacation rentals in designated R-1 zones.

Originally the council members predicted an ordinance would be ready by August, but now legal hurdles and competing priorities have forced it back months.

“Personally would I have liked to have seen things go faster? Sure, but I understand how things work,” said Tom DuBois, a local homeowner and would-be host.

The city currently does not allow homeowners to rent out rooms for less than thirty days at a time in R-1 zones, in part to protect traditional lodging like bed and breakfasts and hotels.

Hosts say they hope the laws will be changed in time for the next tourist season.

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Cloud coverage over the region gave us a nice relief from the scorching heat we were otherwise supposed to get. The forecast high for today was to be 100 degrees in Medford and 90 in Klamath Falls. The best we got to was 95 and 88 respectively. Which, is still warmer than expected because in the early afternoon, clearing in the cloud coverage allowed for a little bit of radiation to make it to the surface and we jumped about 5-8 degrees in a matter of only a few hours. That’s a big jump in a short amount of time. Temperatures will remain very hot for the next several day, until about Thursday, when a weak frontal boundary brings in slightly cooler air that will drop temperatures down to a little above average.

The stratus deck hovered over the area and kept the daytime heating at bay. This is also the reason that there were no thunderstorms in the region today. We had enough instability, and a slight bit of moisture, but what we didn’t have is the daytime heating to kick off any activity. We need all three to get a healthy dose of storms going. However, when the early afternoon clearing happened in Northern California, a rogue cell popped up around 4:00 this afternoon. There was not enough development with this particular cell to get any lightning strikes out of it, and only a trace amount of rain fell from its base. Monday will bring yet another chance for these storms. However, there is only a little amount of moisture in the atmosphere at that time so any activity will be mostly dry.  Dry lightning is expected to be the main threat Monday afternoon.

Tuesday through the weekend, more of a southwesterly push brings in more tropical moisture to the region, and therefore we will see a better chance for widespread showers. Lightning will still be a factor, however rain will be more abundant. Small hail and gusty outflow boundaries will also be threats to consider. Each afternoon seems to bring a progressively better set of conditions for these storms to develop.

Thanks for logging on and have a great week!

Meteorologist Seth Phillips

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wwi(CNN) — Monday will mark 100 years since the start of World War I. It was on July 28th, 1914, that Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

The war would soon spread throughout Europe and across the globe.

The U.S. attempted a policy of neutrality, but hostilities with Germany led the U.S. to declare war against that nation nearly three years after the war started.

World War I would end in 1918.

Kilcullen-Memorial-RideEUGENE, Ore. — Hundreds of motorcycles took to the streets Sunday morning in honor of fallen Eugene Police Officer Chris Kilcullen.

This was the event’s fourth year. With close to 400 riders this time around, organizers say it has definitely grown since the inaugural ride, but that the meaning behind it all, honoring Chris Kilcullen and supporting the community, holds strong.

Hundreds woke up bright and early to get their coffee fix and good deed in for the day.

Chris’ widow, Kristie Kilcullen, says, “The excitement is overwhelming. We didn’t even open registration until 8 a.m. and we had people here at 6:30 a.m. ready to get moving and talking. So, it’s awesome chaos.”

But as hectic as things can sometimes get, the rush is welcomed by those it helps.

“The best way I have found to heal pain is by helping others. So, for me, this is my therapy and I’m just glad that everyone is allowing me to do it,” says Kristie.

And this year, in his honor, four organizations will benefit directly from his ride: Courageous Kids, Oregon Fallen Badge, the Springfield Education Fund and the Children’s Miracle Network at RiverBend.

Courageous Kids Board Member Jane Riggs says, “It’s just an incredible feeling to know that there’s community support behind us.”

“Chris was a great man and his family is just wonderful and the community is in such support of this effort and to have them reach out and help more, it just makes us feel very honored,” says Ronnel Curry, Springfield Education Fund Executive Director.

By 9 a.m., they were geared up and ready to take to the streets, to remember a man taken too soon and more importantly, help make sure his memory lives on.

“Chris was like a magnet for good people…and it’s enlightening being a part of something this big. It just makes you feel alive,” says Martin Goad, Chris’ childhood friend.

This year to provide a change of scenery, the route was 282 miles, a bit longer than normal. Usually, the ride is about 248 miles, Chris’ badge number.

For more on the Chris Kilcullen Memorial Ride and the Kilcullen Project, head to their website.

Hayward-Flags-250x250EUGENE, Ore. — A spokesperson from the University of Oregon says four members from the Ethiopian track team are missing from the IAAF World Junior Championships.

The championships wrap up Sunday night, but officials say the missing members left early without their team.

The University of Oregon Police Department is working to try to locate the members. They say a secondhand source claims the athletes are safe in another part of the state, but officials haven’t been able to contact the track members directly to confirm that.

Officials say three adult women and one 17-year-old male are missing.

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Police and loved ones are frantically searching Sunday night for a missing woman from Dundee, Ore.  The 38-year-old stay-at-home mom left her house to run errands on Thursday, and has not been heard from since.

It has been 72 hours since Jennifer Huston went missing. Her family and friends are reaching out to the public via social media, trying to find someone who knows information about her disappearance.

Former co-worker Mary Karr worked with Huston for several years and recalls her as being a kind-hearted and soft-spoken human being.

“She’s one of those people when she comes in a room she lights it up, you can see a glow of love on her face,” said Karr.

Huston leaves behind a husband and two little boys, ages three and six.  Huston was last seen at a Circle K gas station in Newberg.

Since then police said she has not contacted her family, and no credit card activity has been recorded.  Police have tried to ping her cell phone hourly, but it has been off since Thursday.

Huston has shoulder length blonde hair. She is 38-years-old, stands about 5 foot seven inches tall, average build, and has blue eyes.

She was last seen driving a 1999 Lexus LX, license plate WXH011.  Surveillance footage at the gas station showed Huston wearing black yoga pants, and black and pink Nike shoes.   Anyone with information is asked to contact the Dundee Police at 503-538-8321.

CAR WASH FOR A CURETALENT, Ore. — A local car wash and a breast cancer survivor are teaming up to raise money for breast cancer research.

A fundraiser is taking place at the Talent Car Wash on Highway 99.  Every cent people spend to wash their car goes directly to breast cancer survivor Adrienne Weiss.  She raising the money to donate at the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure in September in Seattle.   She is aiming to raise $2,300 to give back to the organization.  So far she’s raised close to $1,000 of that goal.

“I think everybody knows somebody who has either had breast cancer or they’ve had it themselves, or they have been supported by somebody meaningful in their life, and I just think people just see that pink ribbon, and they know someone so they want to give back,” said Weiss.

The carwash ends Sunday night, but there is still time to donate. You can make donations through the Talent Car Wash website for the next couple of weeks.

YARD SALE FOR CIVIL AIR PATROLCENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The largest Civil Air Patrol Squadron in Oregon is holding a fundraiser yard sale.

This is the second year for the yard sale that raises money for the volunteer organization.  The program has been in place since World War II.  It provides the community with aerospace education along with cadet and emergency services.  All money to keep for the program either comes from public or private donors.  Each year it costs roughly $3,000 for the program and the flight hanger. The yard sale brings in a large portion of the needed funds.

“It serves two purposes, it gets a little more floor space in the garage and also raises money for a good cause,” said Capt. Herman Dennington, Medford Civil Air Patrol.

Last year the yard sale fundraiser collected close to $2,000 for the Medford Civil Air Patrol.  This year officials are hoping to raise that same amount.

Roxy Ann Locked InMEDFORD, Ore. — Police officers say they’re having to respond to drivers locked inside of Roxy Ann’s Prescott Park gates. Apparently, visitors are ignoring the signage in the area showing the gate will close at 8:00 p.m. Officers say they “routinely” go up and open the gate for people locked inside.

As you could imagine, that takes the officer about 20 minutes to respond. It’s also inconvenient for the drivers because Medford Police consider this a low priority call, so the driver will often have to sit and wait for awhile before getting help.

Officers say most of the people inside the gates are hikers taking advantage of the longer summertime daylight hours.

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MEDFORD, Ore. – Paul Woolley pours a fresh serving of his latest IPA. After waiting for the thick head to subside, he sniffs it and gingerly takes a sip.

The yet-to-be-released beer, the 5-Speed IPA, is the newest batch from Rusty Bucket – Woolley’s tiny, one-barrel operation.

“I’m sure Caldera spills that much on their bottling line,” laughed Woolley. “But you gotta start somewhere.”

Each of Woolley’s beers are brewed in his old auto garage, using the same 12-gallon system he started homebrewing with six years ago.

Making enough to bottle and distribute, he says, would cost enough to put him out of business.

“You’re talking a $100,000 plus just for a seven barrel system,” said Woolley.

Just a few years ago, home brewers like Woolley would have a tough time getting off the ground. But that’s changing thanks to growler stations that are selling his beers, and those like it, by the keg-load.

Growler King, Medford’s first growler fill-up station, has only been around for just over a year.  They say business for the refillable bottles, once limited to a select few beer lovers, has doubled in that time.

“They want to take a growler, they don’t want to buy a six pack anymore,” said Ashlee Hope, a server at Growler King. “It’s definitely changed.”

That explosion in demand is due in large part to a growing sense of adventure among beer drinkers.

Growler stations rotate beers at the rate they sell out. In the case of one of Woolley’s beers, that can happen in 48 hours or less. They also feature beers that don’t sell anywhere else – often beers local to the Rogue Valley.

Whereas that obscurity used to be an impediment to starting a brewery, Woolley says it has helped the growler business grow the point where it can completely support a small brewer.

“That’s all we sell to at this point,” said Woolley.

It has also launched his business to the cusp of what five years ago would only have been a pipe dream.

“Five years from now we’ll have a tap room,” said Woolley. “We’ll be just happy campers making beer.”

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