allenSAN FRANCISCO, Cal. – Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said he is pledging $100 million dollars to battle the Ebola virus.

The announcement comes as a New York City doctor is in isolation after testing positive for the virus.

According to Allen, the money will be used to train doctors in Massachusetts, and to build special containment units for those who are infected.

It’s the latest in major donations from Silicon Valley executives.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $50 million, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave $25 million.

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Tim Kiesling is a senior at Ashland High School. Tim and a couple of schoolmates are working to organize an ultimate frisbee club team, but in the meantime, Tim gets his ultimate fix with SOUPA, the Southern Oregon Ultimate Players’ Association.

“There’s a lot of really serious players who have played on national teams or coached national teams,” Kiesling said, “I mean the weather’s beautiful here in Southern Oregon so it’s almost always a good day to play.”

Kiesling started playing with SOUPA a few weeks ago, but with limited experience, he needed to study up on the game before playing with the more experienced players.

“I had been watching a lot of ultimate on YouTube, like professional games, so I already kind of knew what was going on,” Kiesling said, “but definitely the first game was a lot of learning.”

SOUPA offers a great chance to learn. The organization’s roots go back more than a decade. Jim Casetllano and some of his friends started playing a loose game in the early 2000′s. There was no official equipment, but that laid back game eventually took on a more competitive tone.

“Everybody kind of reminisces about when they bought their first pair of cleats just to play ultimate and how we were getting pretty serious.” Castellano said.

So Castellano and his friends joined with a group from Ashland to form SOUPA and now the seriousness of the sport is reaching new levels.

“We try to come out every Sunday,” Kellen Akiyama said. “There’s a game on Wednesdays, and we are competitive and we all know each other for the most part.”

“Everybody has a story about how they got into it, whether it was college, whether you were with friends at a park, or there was just a group of people that saw you doing something athletic and recruited you,” Castellano said.

“Somebody can find their niche or their place here in ultimate,” Akiyama said. “As long as they’re having fun and having success on the field, then they’ll stay and they’ll be a part of our community for a long time.”

One thing that brings the group together is a passion for the frisbee.

“I’m definitely always looking forward to it,” Kiesling said. “I mean, I’ll cancel plans on Saturday night if I think they’re going to go too late because I’ve got to be rested up and ready to go for ultimate on Sunday.”

“Part of what makes ultimate so beautiful is watching the disc fly,” Castellano said. “When somebody’s got a really good flick or a really good backhand and they let one rip, just watching that thing sail and somebody run it down, it’s beautiful.”

For more information on the Southern Oregon Ultimate Players’ Association, go to www.soupa.org

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

Thursday brought yet another day with showers across the area as a slow moving cold front crept eastward.  The highest rainfall totals were along the coast, with up to half an inch in northern California and west side valleys.  We will see the same cold front stall out and recede northwestward Friday morning as it becomes a warm front and pushes up from the southeast.

As the warm front passes, it will bring a band of rainfall back through southern Oregon and northern California.  However, for the remainder of the day Friday, it looks like we will stay mainly dry, at least by Friday evening – just in time for Friday night football.  A few clouds will stick around during the afternoon as well.

The next cold front is set to move through Saturday morning, also bringing with it more rain showers.  Temperatures will drop for Saturday afternoon and Sunday, with snow levels falling to near 5,000 feet in the high terrain by the end of the weekend.  It appears we may get a break from the showers come Monday, but another front Tuesday brings them right back.

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.– Here’s some ideas of what to do and what not to do with your fall leaves.

OSU Master Gardeners say don’t burn them! You can use fall leaves in your garden for compost, mulch, or as a garden amendment; or give them to your gardening friends. You can also call your disposal company for curbside pick-up.

There are, however, some leaves you don’t want to use, such as diseased, or pest ridden leaves, and leaves from walnut trees.

For more information, contact the OSU Extension Master Gardener near you:

Jackson County – (541) 776-7371
Josephine County – (541) 476-6613
Klamath County – (541) 883-7131
Coos County – (541) 572-5263
Douglas County – (541) 672-4461

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MEDFORD, Ore.– Things are getting spooky and crafty this Halloween. Betty Rodman from Michael’s Craft Store joined Newswatch 12 to explain some alternative Halloween activities, than the usual pumpkin carving.

This weekend is also a kids club event where anyone three and older can make their own Halloween treat bag from 10:30 to noon at Michaels in Medford. The cost is $2.

 

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MEDORD, Ore.– Bulbs are easy to plant and offer surprise color in the spring. A gardener can choose which to plant by when they bloom. Depending on when you plant them, you can have color from late February through May in your garden. Choose by which may be “safest”, as in the least likely to be eaten by gophers and other critters.

Perennials are also better to plant in the fall. There will be little to no growth of the actual plant in the cold
of winter, which allows time for the plant to put all of its energy into growing a strong root system. Pansies and Violas can withstand the cold and bloom in the winter through the spring.

Plants started in the fall will actually be larger the following growing season than those planted in the spring.

You can contact the OSU Extension Master Gardener near you.

Jackson County – (541) 776-7371

Josephine County – (541) 476-6613

Klamath County – (541) 883-7131

Coos County – (541) 572-5263

Douglas County – (541) 672-4461

 

2048px-ebola_virus_virion(CNN) — A ‘Doctors Without Borders’ physician in New York has tested positive for Ebola.

33-year-old Craig Spencer returned from West Africa about 10 days ago and started feeling sick Wednesday night.
Thursday morning, he was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan for testing.

On Thursday, officials went door-to-door in spencer’s neighborhood, talking to neighbors and handing out pamphlets. A team of three people from the Centers for Disease Control are headed to New York.

They’re part of what’s called a “go team” that was established after the Ebola cases in Dallas.

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MEDFORD, Ore. – Several volunteers from Windermere and other organizations sorted the first coats for the Coats for Kids Campaign.

Over the last month, Newswatch 12 has collected thousands of new and gently used kids coats that have been washed, and are ready to head out to the kids.

The remainder of the coats that are still being collected at the drop off sites will be taken to the cleaners, and this sorting process will continue for at least the next few weeks.

The first round of coats will be taken to schools on Friday.

Medford PoliceMEDFORD, Ore. — Medford Police and Jackson County Parole and Probation are taking action in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

On Wednesday, the agencies had a domestic violence round up in the city. Officers arrested seven people who were not compliant with their domestic violence probation, or had a warrant for a domestic violence crime. This is an annual round up, and police will continue to look for more than 35 people on that list in the next few months.

“It’s really hit here locally. A lot of unfortunately, our tragedies we have had here when it’s come to murders and homicides have been domestic violence related which is really sad. And we realize that domestic violence is very difficult situation,” explained Lt. Mike Budreau.

These events lead up to the Domestic Violent Walk in Medford on Friday. The event kicks off at the courthouse at 4 p.m. and ends in Pear Blossom Park.

CraterLakeCRATER LAKE, Ore. — National parks are getting the green light to raise their entrance fees. Park officials say this is the first time they are given the opportunity in eight years.

Representatives at Crater Lake National Park say they are not sure if they will raise fees just yet. Before they do they say they will get some feedback from the public first. They say this will be done through social media and other similar outlets.

Yosemite National Park released its proposal on Tuesday. A weekly pass could increase from 20 to 30 dollars. Camping fees could go up 20%.

Less than a third of the national park service’s 401 sites charge an entrance fee.

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