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EUGENE, Ore. – A man is in custody after he barricaded himself in an apartment complex in downtown Eugene.

Police quickly closed off part of downtown Thursday night after learning the suspect, 36 year-old Kevin Eckhardt barricaded himself in the 1300 block of Charnelton.

Police shut down 13th Avenue from Lincoln to Willamette and Charnelton from 12th to 13th.

Several hours of tense negotiations left residents waiting to get back to their homes.

Armed police officers crouched down outside the apartments attempting to ask the man to come outside.

Eckhardt talked to police through a window.

An EPD spokeswoman says they had probable cause for felony charges.

They activated the Community Emergency Notification System to let people know of what was going on in the area.

For those who live in the area it was a chaotic scene especially for one woman who lives in the apartment complex.

“I heard banging and I went outside to see what was wrong. I saw my neighbors door halfway broken,” said Eugene resident, Charlotte Curtis.

“We drove on in it. When we came on we were just like we were able to enter the building. And that’s when we were able to find out a lot about what was going on. So that was the beginning that was when it was about fivehours ago,” said Eugene resident, Ivory Irene.

One woman was arrested for breaching the line and t’s unknown if the woman has a connection to the suspect.

The child who was with Eckhardt is safe.

Eckardt is facing burglary and assault charges.

ALBANY, Ore. — A deadly crash in Benton County and deputies think alcohol may have played a factor.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office says the crash happened around 7 a.m. this morning on Highway 20 east of NW Scenic Drive.

Deputies say a car driven by Damon Selves, 32, of Corvallis crossed the center line. According to witness statements, he tried to get back into his lane but smashed into the station wagon driven by Gabriel Lopez, 37, of Eugene.

Lopez died at the scene. Selves faces several charges including manslaughter and DUII.

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EUGENE, Ore. — In less than two weeks kids will be heading back to class for time with their teachers and classmates but this doesn’t mean kids don’t need a little extra mentoring in the off time.

All summer KEZI 9 NEWS has been featuring some great matches at the Boys and Girls Club. The waiting list at the Boys and Girls Club is shrinking but there are still many young ones looking to the community for guidance.

You could say Patrick Petti is an all star mentor. Petti has been volunteering his time at the Boys and Girls club for about a year and has three mentees.
One of those is 8-year-old Xaiden Conavad and he has a long list of things they like to do together. “Soccer, bobble and Wall ball.” said Conavad.

“We like to talk and share our different stories together.” said Petti. We talk about various things always good and positive and try to keep a positive note.” But, there are times when Xaiden says he needs advice on more serious issues.

“We talk about whenever I get angry he helps me he encourages me about stuff.” added Conavad.

“Just someone to talk to it that’s not a teacher, its not a parent, its not a friend or a peer. Sometimes you talk about things that you normally wouldn’t talk about with someone else that they cant or don’t know how to.” said Petti.

So many of the mentors at the Boys and Girls Club have neat backgrounds and insight they can offer these kids. Back in the day Patrick worked for a couple of different bands, you might know them. “Carlos Dantana, Frank Zappa, I did some sound work for them.” added Petti.

One of the reasons Petti has so many mentees, there aren’t enough people offering to become mentors in the community. One of the mentees in need, Raleigh Perko. You may recall we recently featured his sister Sophia Perko who just got a mentor.
He would like the same thing to happen to happen for him for one big reason.

“You know someone to talk to you know when things get a little harder.” added Perko. He wants to be a Veterinarian or a Programming Developer and for now he says he really wants someone to teach him how to strum some better notes.

“It would be really cool to learn more guitar.” added Perko. A plea for a music teacher, mentor and friend. “if you can change the life of a child it is well worth it.” said Petti.

Making a difference by just being there for those moments when these young ones need someone to look up to.

We also have good news to report. Eleven-year-old Mark Whitley who we featured two weeks ago now has a mentor. a lady emailed in after seeing the piece and offered to be his mentor.

CORVALLIS, Ore.–Injuries continue to plague Oregon State, and it’s hitting the offensive line the hardest. In the past three days, three players on the O-Line have gone down. As players continue to go in and out on the O-Line, Mike Riley says confidence up front is a concern. Versatility has become key for this unit to succeed. In fact, Sean Harlow has played all five offensive line spots since spring. Veteran offensive lineman Isaac Seomalu will have to wait to help plug those holes up front however, as he has officially been ruled out for the Beavers’ season opener against Portland State.

Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley:

Oregon State Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh:

Oregon State Offensive Lineman Sean Harlow:

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Meteorologist Marisa Woloszyn’s Forecast Discussion:

A weak front will move through early Friday bringing some drizzle across the area in the morning. Sunshine will return by the afternoon. High temperatures will be in the mid 60s along the coast and low 80s inland.

Sunny skies will continue this weekend and temperatures will slowly climb near 90 degrees by Sunday. A weak front will cool things slightly Monday before temperatures move back near 90 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Have a fantastic Friday!
~ Meteorologist Marisa Woloszyn

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CORVALLIS, Ore. — An Oregon State University (OSU) basketball player is still in intensive care Wednesday night, two days after he collapsed on the court. Doctors say Chai Baker is still in critical, but stable condition and he is making progress.

No specific details on Baker’s progress were released, but doctors say they are encouraged by what they see.

An OSU spokesman says Baker was working out with teammates Tuesday morning at the practice facility, when he suffered a cardiac related medical incident. A trainer performed CPR and an automated external defibrillator while waiting for medics.

Little is still known about what caused Baker to collapse. OSU staff say students go through medical checks and Baker had been cleared to play. But for now, they say their main concern is his overall health and well-being.

OSU Vice-President of Relations and Marketing Steve Clark says, “Our hope would be that Chai recovers completely. We want him to be a successful person in life. First, as a student at Oregon State and secondly, as an athlete, but the next 24 hours will determine that prognosis.

That’s how long doctors say it will take to get all his diagnostic work done. Those tests should give them a clearer picture of exactly what happened and what his outlook with the team will be.

Baker has relatives who live in Corvallis, but he is from Malone, Florida. OSU staff say students from the schools he went to there made him get-well cards and that those will be shipped in the next couple of days.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – The Springfield Target was probably one of the safest places to be Thursday morning.  Twenty three kids got escorted down the school supplies aisle by their own personal police officer.

Officers from Oregon State Police, Springfield, Eugene, Cottage Grove and Junction City took part.  It was the first fundraiser put on by “Sisters in Law,” a non-profit made up of spouses of law enforcement.
Group members reached out to victims of the Springfield mill fire, schools and DHS.

“When I was living with my mom, we didn’t have enough money so she wouldn’t be able to buy me new clothes, she wouldn’t really buy me any nice stuff,” said fifth grader Sarah Bishop.

“Sometimes we’re taking parents away or in some cases taking kids away so I think it’s great to have the opportunity to go do something positive with the kids,” said OSP trooper Ryan Martin.

Organizers are calling this event a success and hope to expand it next year.

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EUGENE, Ore — The Eugene Mission is trying a different approach as homeless numbers continue to grow and, it seems to be working.

This Saturday, the Mission celebrates the first graduates of its Life Change program.  A year ago, the Eugene Mission implemented the 24/7 holistic program, transforming the Mission from a homeless shelter to a wellness shelter.

Eleven members will graduate,  seven men and four women.  Another 31 are currently enrolled in the year long program where they live apart from the general population at the Gideon House. Each member puts in 20 hours a week working at the Mission and learning job skills.  In addition, they put in another 30 hours with classes, studying finances, overcoming drug addiction, improving relationships all while focusing on the Bible.

“There is great demand in this city, in Lane County, to expand this program,” said Jack Tripp, Executive Director of Eugene Mission. “We truly believe there will be hundreds of individuals in this program.”

“My story is, I came to the mission two years ago struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction,” said Mike Grimes, a graduate of the Life Change program.  Grimes now lives in his own apartment and enjoys his morning cup of coffee.  It’s a time for reflection; he thinks about where he’s been and where he’s going. “How cool it feels to wake-up, not sick or hung-over.  That’s the best part of the morning for me.”

Part of the Life Change program is assimilation back into the community. Nonprofits including White Bird, Catholic Community Services,  Goodwill, Sheltercare, Veterans Affairs, Willamette Family, St. Vincent de Paul and many other organizations and churches have paved the way. They’ve helped the graduates with resume-building and job interview skills, but will companies take a chance?

Ask and you will receive. Jeff Sherman, president of Ridgeline Pipe and former University of Oregon football star, and NFL player signed up for the challenge.

“I like it. We love to participate, be a part of the community and give people second chances who have a real desire to change and we need good people,” said Sherman.

Grimes is currently employed at Ridgeline. Another four graduates have secured jobs at area businesses working for owners who believe in the change that Jack Tripp knew was possible.

“Jack is a business guy, like myself, I can relate to. He thinks not just with his heart.  He knows the numbers he needs. He knows the difference he can make and he’s got a plan,” said Sherman.

Four other Life Change graduates are in the job interview process. Another two secured disability and housing and one has a full scholarship to Lane Community College.

As for Grimes, he says his life has changed and he’s optimistic about the future, “It was just the next phase in my redemption. My restoration in life.”

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Meteorologist Melissa Frey’s Forecast Discussion:

Brrrr! It was a  chilly start to western Oregon Thursday morning! We dropped to 47°…the coldest we’ve been in 59 days! So is summer over? Not just yet…

We officially have one month until Fall begins on September 22nd. Our average last 90° day in Eugene is September 10th and the record last 90° day is October 5th. Our average high temperature for this time of year is 82° which is exactly where we were yesterday and close to where we’ll be again today.

The jet stream has moved south and has brought a very chilly air mass over Oregon. That’s part of the reason while it was so chilly this morning and why even with sunshine from start to finish, today we’ll stay in the low 80s.

A weak disturbance will roll through western Oregon Friday morning. This will likely increase the cloud cover and bring us chances for drizzle/light rain for the first part of the day. Highs will stay in the low 80s.

High pressure begins to nudge its way back over western Oregon starting Saturday. We’ll may see brief morning clouds, but otherwise mostly sunny and high temperatures will return to the mid 80s for the weekend and upper 80s, if not low 90s for the first half of next week.

Have a great Friday Eve!

~Meteorologist Melissa Frey

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