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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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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MEDFORD, Ore. — Some at-risk kids in the rogue valley will have the opportunity to take home some new books. Newswatch 12, ABC, and First Book recognized the SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) program and awarded 2500 books to the organization through the Be Inspired Campaign.

The program consists of over 700 volunteers dedicating time once a week to kids who may need extra attention in reading. The program serves kids from pre-school to third grade, and also offers books for kids to take home twice a month.

“What’s exciting about it is we usually purcharse our books from scholastic and we were able to get these books through ABC and first book so we got some new titles and we’ve brought them into our programs and the kids have just been really excited about it,” said SMART area manager, Julie Brimble.

The SMART program has already started to distribute those new books to over 1200 kids enrolled in 34 SMART programs in the Rogue Valley.

For information or to find out how to volunteer in the SMART program visit

gay mariageJACKSON COUNTY, Ore.– Several vigils are underway tonight, to celebrate what could be the beginning of a change in gay rights. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane is expected to hear oral arguments to allow gay marriage in the state, Wednesday.

The challenge comes after the Supreme Court ruled last year, that parts of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act were unconstitutional. Several states have followed and overturned bans on gay marriage. Now residents are hoping the state of Oregon will follow.

Oregon has has a ban on same-sex marriage since 2004. Same-sex couples said the ban discriminates against gays and lesbians. Supporters of the ban said allowing gay marriage violates the traditional definition of marriage.

Some are also concerned about Judge McShane’s ability to be objective about the issue because he is openly gay. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden said he is confident Judge McShane’s personal life will not get involved. Senator Wyden said he has had a valuable track record during his time serving in the lower courts.

Judge McShane officially took the bench in Eugene one year ago. He was sworn in Monday at the Eugene Federal Courthouse.


bank cascadesMEDFORD, Ore. — A statewide phone scam has started targeting southern Oregon, and a local bank is urging people to protect their money.

The scam is an automated phone call that claims to be from Bank of the Cascades. It asks people to put in their account numbers and other personal information.

According to bank officials, the scam has been going on for the past few weeks, and is targeting people with a “541″ area code. But they said very few people have fallen for it. People who have received the call have been attempting to spread the word to friends and co-workers.

“I picked it up and it was a computer-generated voice that I could barely understand,” said Amy Moore, who received the scam phone call this week. “Something went off in my head that said, ‘this isn’t right.’”

Bank of the Cascades officials said they would never ask for confidential information over the phone. They said if you do receive a phone call, hang up, and call your local branch.

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