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EUGENE, Oregon – Kenny Wheaton signed autographs and threw out the first pitch at Friday’s Eugene Emeralds game against Tri-City, but watched the home team drop a 5-4 decision in the early goings of the Northwest Division’s second half of the regular season.

Austin Louis RolfeSWEET HOME, Ore. – A man has been charged with the murder of a Sweet Home woman, more than two weeks after she was found dead in the Umpqua National Forest. Friends of the victim, 36-year-old Heaven Angel King, are still trying to digest and understand the accusations.

Austin Louis Rolfe, 33, was arraigned in the Lane County Jail on Friday on charges of murder and abuse of a corpse. He pleaded not guilty.

Veronica and Carla Schmidt lived next door to King for years.

“She was my best friend,” Veronica Schmidt said.

Schmidt says she barely knew Rolfe. She remembers seeing King the morning of her death, when she told Veronica she was going to drive Rolfe back home to Springfield.

“Why did he do this to her? It’s not right,” she said between tears.

Despite a slight comfort knowing someone has been arrested in the case – friends and neighbors say they are still angry.

“I hope the justice system works and does what it needs to do because he needs to be behind bars,” Carla Schmidt said. “To me that’s not enough. It’s not enough because she didn’t deserve to die.”

Veronica agrees with her mother, argueing that a conviction will never bring King back.

“Honestly I don’t think there is going to be anything putting me at ease except for her,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Schmidts say they still are not able to let go of the woman they say was more like a family member than a friend.

“My toenails are still painted the colors that she painted them,” Veronica said. “Yellow and pink. I don’t want to let it fade off. It’s not right. I miss you Angel.”

Hikers found King about 38 miles east of I-5 out of Cottage Grove in the Umpqua National Forest on July 9. Lane County investigators say her body was not concealed.

According to Rolfe’s Facebook page, he’s also from Sweet Home. He’s listed as a former student at Lane Community College and a current caretaker. His last Facebook post was on July 2 where he wrote “I love you Hun. Mrs. Heaven.King.Rolfe.”

Rolfe has a criminal history. According to the jail website, he has been arrested in the past for burglary, theft and assault among other charges.

As for this current case, Rolfe will be assigned to a judge and then his next court date will be set.

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EUGENE, Ore. — Every artist has a method of crafting a masterpiece.
For one Saturday Market artist, his method comes in the form of a straw, soap and bubbles.
Artist David Placencia is taking painting to a new height, literally.
He says his technique to creating his 3D works of art started as a simple Christmas wrapping paper project with his nieces, but it quickly grew into his own whimsical style.
“I start with pigment and soap combined together. You kind of get it like a snow cone going with the bubbles,” said Placencia.
It might seem like a playful process.
“I also learned that if you have your hands covered in soap, you can actually pick up the bubbles,” said Placencia.
But Placencia says underneath the light and airy application, there’s a deeper meaning.
“It’s a succinct way of seeing the world. Especially the bubbles are a great metaphor because life gets so chaotic,” said Placencia.
A freeing process for Placencia as he connects his life to his art.
“For me, if I’ve always painting everyday I start with the chaos and get out all my stresses. And then sure enough by the end of the painting I’m calm,” said Placencia.
But his paintings aren’t just about inward reflection.
“I want it to be a way to start a conversation with people. Number one a lot of artists want to really tell you things or prove a point,” said Placencia.
He says even though he’s the one who’s using this straw he’s not the only artist.
“With the nature of the bubbles people will see dogs because they like dogs. A Harley Davidson rider will come up and see skulls. They’ll tell me something about my artwork that I didn’t even know about it,” said Placencia.
The audience completes the picture.
“Sometimes it will be like a 10 year-old at the Saturday Market with two dollars in their pocket and I’m like oh no. Well it has to be yours now because they got the painting better than anyone else had,” said Placencia.
It’s a dialogue with himself, his audience and his mom who passed away.
“She was an artist and we were always painting together growing up. And I never thought in my lifetime that I’d be able to make a career out of it. And so for me it’s a way that we’re still kind of painting together,” said Placencia.
An important bond that comes to life on canvas, creating a vision just as unique as the artist behind the bubbles.
You can use special 3D glasses to see his paintings pop out of the canvas.
You can catch him at every Saturday Market and Placencia is also having a bubbles and beer fundraiser at the Emerald Art Center on August 30th.

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Chief Meteorologist Justin Stapleton‘s Daily Forecast Discussion:  

Clear tonight as highs reached into the low 80s after a cool couple of days. Tonight, lows settle down into the mid 50s overnight under clear skies. Even though we might see a bit of morning clouds, most of the region will be full sunshine all day and the return of 90s will start to move in for the weekend.

High pressure is moving back into the Northwest from the Rockies and that means the return of 90s for our weekend forecast. Sunny skies from start to finish and winds picking up at the coast for most of the day. Sunday, runners and walkers in the 2014 Eugene Marathon should start under clear skies and mid 50s for the 6am start. Warming up to the mid 70s by noon, but the real heat should hold off until most runners and walkers are finished. 7-25 wxpix

In the Cascades, Sunday might see a slight chance for some isolated afternoon thunderstorms. Most of them will be “dry” meaning, not a lot of actual rain making it to the ground, but still carry some chance for lightning strikes.

Most of next week will stay toasty with highs near 90 to low 90s in the Umpqua, 60s at the coast and plenty of sunshine. The mountains because of a southwesterly flow aloft, will carry a small chance for thunderstorms each afternoon. Not much change is expected in the forecast over the next 7 days, so be ready to get back to more typical July/early August weather.

Have a great Friday!

- Chief Meteorologist Justin Stapleton

Find me on Facebook and Twitter !  Do you have a weather question you’ve always wanted to ask a meteorologist? Now’s your chance! Submit your questions here, and I might answer them on air. 

LOS ANGELES, Calif.– KEZI 9 Sports Director wraps up Pac-12 Media Days from Hollywood, California by looking at Oregon’s Spring sensation Devon Allen, and the Beavers returning captain Michael Doctor.

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CORVALLIS, Ore. — Two Oregon State University students had a vision of creating more eco-friendly outdoor products, and now, they are already selling biodegradable sunglasses to customers in more than 30 countries.

Matthew Miner and Alex Cruft founded Bosky Optics about two years ago, and are now selling a line of wooden sunglasses.

“Bosky is actually an Old English archaic word,” Miner said. “And it means shade from trees.”

Miner says the duo’s business concept is to create outdoor products that are useful but are also from renewable and recyclable materials.

“We don’t need any more of that plastic stuff ending up in the landfills,” he said.

Miner says wooden sunglasses are actually more durable than plastic, and they are biodegradable.

“They have a triple-layer laminate frame,” he said. “Kind of the same way skateboards are made. So it makes them really durable and they actually end up being more durable than plastic frames. And you can have something that’s totally natural and it still works just as well.”

Miner and Cruft are collaborating with 13 artists around the world, whom they found online. The artists design the carvings on the sunglasses, then the company contracts somebody out to use a laser engraver to carve those designs into the glasses.

“We want to be able to feature more artists and use their work,” Miner said. “And it’s nice because they can actually earn royalties while they’re putting their artwork out there.”

Bosky is using Kickstarter, an online campaign organization, in the hopes of buying its own tools rather than contracting out workers to make the sunglasses for them.

“One of the big reasons we’re trying to raise money on Kickstarter is to buy a laser engraver,” Miner said. “I mean they’re like $4,000 -5,000. They’re really expensive machines. But once we get one, I mean the sky’s the limit.”

The company also wants to buy a carving tool to cut the sunglasses out, but they cost about $250,000. Bosky is also contracting with someone to cut the parts of the sunglasses out of wood.

Kickstarter allows customers to pledge a certain amount of money, and if the company reaches its goal, customers will get products at a discounted price.

But just because the company is raising money does not mean it has not already seen success.

“Honestly we sell more to other countries than we do in the United States,” Miner said. “We’ve sold to over 30 countries.”

The wooden sunglasses company is putting Oregon on the map, and is now getting a little extra help from a Corvallis organization: the OSU Advantage Accelerator.

“I think what the Advantage Accelerator can help us with is really just marketing and hopefully getting really good customer validation stuff,” Miner said. “That’s what we would need the most – is figuring out how to do good marketing; good sales.”

The accelerator program is part of a regional network that helps entrepreneurs in the community, and helps form businesses from research ideas out of OSU.

“My goal is to have something I really believe in that’s obviously not out there so I had to go make it myself,” Miner said.

Bosky also released a line of ski goggles made out of biodegradable materials, and is working on another line to release this winter. For more information about the company’s Kickstarter campaign, click here.

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EUGENE, Ore. — Sunday is a big day for Track Town U.S.A.

Thousands of runners will hit the pavement at 6 a.m. for the Eugene Marathon.

The Eugene Police Department says roads along the route will be closed, so avoid the area if you can.

Click on the video to look at the course runners will be following.

Oregon signee Ariana Washington and Team USA 4×100 relay team:

Oregon/Team Canada sprinter Christian Brennan:

Team USA distance runner Alexa Efraimson:

Team USA sprinter Kaylin Whitney:

Team USA sprinter Trentavis Friday:

Safety Town GraduationEUGENE, Ore. — Lots of smiles, but, no caps and gowns for this graduation ceremony.

More than a hundred pre-kindergarteners are the newest graduates of Safety Town.

During Friday’s ceremony, a record 128 kids demonstrated their new skills and knowledge.

Over the last two weeks, they learned all about bicycle, pedestrian, poison, fire, earthquake and water safety.

“Oh, it’s been a lot of fun, we’ve had a great time the last couple weeks here at Safety Town and the kids have learned really a lot,” said Debbie Janecek, Eugene Police Department Crime Prevention Unit Supervisor.

“You do the crime signal like this,” said 5-year-old Hailey Magnus.

Safety Town is supported through community donations and 25 teen volunteers that donated 80 hours of their own time.

Springfield Mill FireSPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Debris from last week’s mill fire in Springfield is still being found within a five-mile radius of the site.

Several residents have found burnt material ranging from the size of a quarter to the size of their palm.

Lane Regional Air Protection Agency says people need to be very careful before handling the debris. Some of it has tested positive for asbestos. You need to use a spray mister to wet the material down before handling it.

“When asbestos fibers are wet, they can’t be airborne, and therefore won’t be harmful. But still we want to encourage people to wear gloves and masks and use sealable plastic bags if they are going to dispose of it,” said Jo Niehaus, LRAPA spokesperson.

Call Lane County Public Works to dispose of the debris.

Experts hope the recent rain and wind has carried the asbestos out of the area.

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