cancer fishing stillSPRINGFIELD, Oregon – We’re used to seeing Beavers and Ducks fight each other in the Civil War. But on Wednesday, no one was laying a hit on each other. Instead, both sides teamed up to fight a bigger war; the war on Cancer.

At Deer Horn Park, east of Springfield, athletes from both schools jumped into boats along the McKenzie River and celebrated life with a group of kids who beat the disease.

Majiec Bownik was one of many kids celebrating their victory over cancer. He was diagnosed when he was just a few months old. The cancer in his back caused a physical disability in his leg which forces him to now wear a brace.

The battles each of the kids faced in their short lives moved the very athletes these young people look up to.

“They’re stronger than I could ever be. Just the stuff that they’ve been through. How they’ve reacted to it, how upbeat they are and how excited they are about everything. You would never know all the stuff that they’ve been through by the way that they act,” said Oregon Track & Field athlete TJ Brassil.

Candlelighters, a non-profit organization organization that helps families and children fight cancer, celebrated many childrens’ victories with a fishing trip down the McKenzie River with some of our local celebreties, Oregon & Oregon St. Athletes.

One OSU football player was personally moved to join the party Wednesday. Lineman Fred Lauina lost a cousin to cancer.

“He only had three months to live, and uh, he passed away two months instead of three and it really touched me. So when I heard about this I came over and do the best I can to make him smile. Put a… Whatever makes him happy for the day,” Lauina said.

But that trip down the river was enough to make most everyone there take stock of their own lives.

“I thank God for waking up and the opportunities I have. I never take that for granted because in a split second, it could be gone,” said Oregon lineman Elijah George.

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EUGENE, Ore. — A sense of hope was in the air Wednesday afternoon, as employers met with Swanson mill employees looking for jobs.

“We do have today (Wednesday) over 20 employers here with over 140 job listings to try and get everybody back to work,” said Saundra Crawley, WorkSource Lane supervisor.

Crawley says they immediately reached out to help, after a fire at the Springfield Plywood and Veneer mill on July 17 left nearly 250 people unemployed.

“As soon as we heard about the news regarding the mill, we reached out to the employer to find out how we could help with services and how we could help with all these dislocated workers and get them back to work,” Crawley said.

Crawley says the hiring companies ranged from production and manufacturing to different mills and lumber work. Employers see this as an opportunity to potentially hire quality workers.

“Just get a good applicant pool. Quality employees, they’re hard to find and good employees are what we need,” said Troy Stroud, Murphy Plywood.

Stroud says although the other companies are considered competitors, the goal here is to get jobseekers employed and restore the hope in the air back into the lives for those without work.

“We’re also in the same industry and in the same group and have the same battles. So, it’s a good thing to come together and just put it out there that we’re Oregon and we’re employing and come to work,” Stroud said.

Stroud says he received more than 75 applications at Murphy Plywood’s booth alone. Crawley says more than 150 people were there looking for positions.

“To achieve is to get everybody employed–that is our goal,” Crawley said.

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CORVALLIS, Ore. –  The Benton County Fair is now in full swing, and anyone under the age of 18 gets in for free this year.

The carnival rides, the music, the 4H animals, the barbecued food, and the bungee jumping: the atmosphere at the fairgrounds is back to life.

“I just got to go like 20 feet up in the air,” said 8-year-old bungee jumper Dylan Lowther. “It was awesome. I love coming to the fair with my family. We have a lot of fun.”

Besides the rides, fair-goers can also take a walk on a different kind of wild side. They can meet exotic animals, including Nikita, a 5-week-old Barbary lion.

A Walk on the Wild Side, a nonprofit from Canby, bought her in the hopes of continuing to conserve the extinct wild lions. This year at the fair, the organization hopes to show the public what it is all about: education, conservation, and rescue.

“Usually when an animal is born into captivity, they need to stay in captivity,” said animal handler Julie Moore. “They wouldn’t know how to take care of themselves in the wild.”

Moore says without animal conservation groups, Nikita would not survive if released into the wild.

“There are not going to be these beautiful animals to see,” she said. “That makes me sad. It’s sad to have them in captivity, but if that’s the way we can keep them safe and keep them going on forever, then I’m all for it.”

The fair is a way for the group to not only educate, but to fundraise.

Nikita will be at the fair through Thursday, but the exhibit will be set up through Saturday.

More information about the organization is available by clicking here or by visiting its Facebook page.

To learn more about the fair, click here.

Riverfront SketchEUGENE, Ore. — Three development teams are making their best pitch for Eugene Water and Electric Board’s downtown riverfront property Wednesday night.

They each submitted plans earlier this year, and now they’ll unveil more details.

The University of Oregon Foundation is one of three coveting the 17 acres of surplus property.

EWEB expects to make a final decision by late summer or early fall.

Watch KEZI 9 News tonight at 11 p.m. for more details in our full report.

dentist officeEUGENE, Ore — Magnuson Dental and the Lane County Dental Society are teaming up to offer free dental services.  Those selected first receive a screening, which includes X-rays, a cleaning along with a consultation.  If additional dental work is required, an appointment will be scheduled at one of four upcoming dental clinics.

The care is provided for low-income, uninsured Lane County residents who are not on the Oregon Health Plan.  “So we are just trying to get them jump-started. They need urgent dental care, cleanings. We are just trying to get them so they can get a job, retain a job or just feel better about themselves,” says Debbie Magnuson who helps organize the free dental care clinic.

The clinic is starting its eighth year.  To date,  a team of about 9 doctors has provided $750,000 dollars worth of dental care.

To be considered for a screening you must first fill out an application.  Click here for the application.  For more information call the Lane County Dental Society at (541) 686-1175.

skin cancerEUGENE, Ore. — Oregonians might want to listen carefully to the U.S. surgeon general’s new warning about the dangers of skin cancer.

Nearly five million people are treated for skin cancer each year–that’s more than cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined.

In Oregon, about 26 people out of every 100,000 gets skin cancer, six more than the national average. In Lane County, there are about 67 cases a year, making it the sixth highest in the state.

Local physicians say people need to know UV rays are bad for you too.

“Stay out of the sun and stay out of UV rays. And they used to just say UVA, but really UVA and UVB, and especially the type, you know, both are in tanning beds are definitely dangerous and can cause skin cancer,” said Dr. Kathryn Maxwell, PeaceHealth Internal Medicine.

The new recommendations call for everyone to minimize sun exposure, apply sunscreen of at least SPF 15 very liberally and often, wear hats and get in the shade.

SAGECORVALLIS, Ore. — Three to four tons of organic food is produced every year from a community garden in Corvallis, and it all goes to local food banks.

The Corvallis Environmental Center runs the Starker Arts Garden for Education (SAGE).

It takes 500-600 volunteers a year to keep it going.

The group wants to educate people about the importance of growing and eating locally, saying produce that’s shipped in outside the area leaves a fossil fuel footprint.

“Whereas if we have local food growing here at SAGE or at other local farms that we’re purchasing or eating from, we’re reducing in that emissions, we’re reducing packaging; we’re reducing all those sort of steps that it takes,” said Deanna Lloyd, garden manager.

The garden also uses a rain water system to irrigate.

If you’d like to help volunteer, click here.

Dunefest picWINCHESTER BAY, Ore. — DuneFest 2014 kicked off Wednesday at the National Forest Dunes Recreation Area in Winchester Bay.

DuneFest is packed with exciting activities for all skill and age ranges with plenty of activities all weekend long.

For those who do not own an ATV, there are several vendors who rent dune buggy quads in the area.

Click here for event details.

matthew-goodnatureFOURMILE LAKE, Ore. – An off-duty firefighter staged near the Launch Fire at Fourmile Lake died Tuesday night in what officials are calling accidental in nature.

According to Sgt. Darren Frank at the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, 21-year old Matthew David Goodnature, of Phoenix, Oregon was taking a walk away from his fire camp at about 6:30 p.m. when the accident happened.

Detective Nick Kennedy with the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case, and said he cannot draw any conclusions until his investigation is done. However, it appears that Goodnature tripped on a large rock and fell backwards. Scruff marks and other traces indicated Goodnature fell on a log that struck him on the small of his back. Detective Kennedy said it appears he died of a broken back.

X-rays are being done and an autopsy will reveal exactly what happened later this week. Detective Kennedy was at the Launch Fire campsite Wednesday interviewing fellow firefighters and checking out the scene. Detective Kennedy said right now there is no evidence of foul play.

Goodnature worked for Pacific Oasis Wildland Firefighting out of Ashland. The Phoenix Police Department have notified next of kin.

whole-foodsEUGENE, Ore. — One of the most popular grocery store chains in the U.S. is officially coming to Eugene.

Whole Foods Market announced Wednesday plans to open its ninth store in Oregon at the corner of East Broadway Avenue and High Street.

A representative with Whole Foods says the new store will bring an estimated 150 new jobs to the area.

“We have long believed that Eugene was a wonderful place for Whole Foods Market because the community’s values mirror so much of what we hold important,” said Joe Rogoff, Regional President for Whole Foods Market in the Pacific Northwest.

Whole Foods stores have become popular over the years for their selection of natural, organic and local products.

The Eugene location for Whole Foods is scheduled to open in the first half of 2016.

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