Police-Lights 2EUGENE, Ore. — Clear Lake Road at Highway 99 is closed due to a vehicle crash.

At about 7:40 a.m. on Wednesday, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police say a 2005 Chevy Malibu four-door was traveling west on Clear Lake Road when it collided head-on with a 2005 Ford F250 quad cab traveling east on Clear Lake Road.

The driver in the Chevy Malibu was taken to the hospital. The driver of the Ford F250 has minor injuries.

Police say Clear Lake Road is closed to traffic at Highway 99 and also at Greenhill Road. It’s expected to remain closed for the next two hours.

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Meteorologist Melissa Frey’s Monday Forecast Discussion:

A warm front moved into northwest Oregon early Wednesday, bringing in overcast skies which helped to keep us warm overnight. The central and north Willamette Valley and Coast picked up light rain showers early, but we stayed dry south and we will all continue to stay dry through the day. The clouds will break up some this afternoon and highs will return to the low 60s in the Valley, mid 60s in the Umpqua Basin and upper 50s at the Coast.

By Thursday a stronger cold front will move across western Oregon. We’ll see good chances for rain Thursday afternoon and evening. Highs will stay in the low 60s.

Friday and Easter weekend are looking quite mild. We’ll still see partly to mostly cloudy skies and a chance for some very light showers overnight Saturday into early Sunday, but otherwise we’ll be dry with highs in the mid 60s.

Back to back fronts will move in Monday and Tuesday bringing in another round of rain showers across western Oregon.

Have a great day!
~Meteorologist Melissa Frey

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Police-Lights 2EUGENE, Ore. — A Eugene resident stopped a drunken intruder from entering his house, stabbing the suspect in the process.

It happened on the 2300 block of Norkenzie Rd. around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night. Police say the residents knew the suspect and he had been at their home earlier in the evening.

When he returned, he was intoxicated and demanded to be let inside, something the residents refused to do.

“When he was denied entry, he kind of pushed himself into the doorway and pushed one of the residents, which is harassment, which then turns his entry into the house into a burglary,” says Brad Henneman with the Eugene Police Department.

One of the residents armed himself with a pair of scissors and stabbed the suspect several times. He was sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police say he’ll be charged with burglary, harassment and assault.

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EUGENE, Ore. — A consultant team will present its recommended changes on Wednesday to an eight-block stretch of Willamette St.

It’s all for the South Willamette St. Improvement Plan. The plan has been in the works for more than a year now. It started with six possible roadway alternatives for Willamette St. from 24th Ave. to 32nd Ave.

Three options are now up for consideration. On Wednesday, a consultant team will recommend one of them. The alternative would change Willamette St. from four lanes to two lanes, with a center turn lane and two bike lanes.

The goal is to make South Willamette St. more accessible for walkers, bicyclists, drivers and bus riders, but businesses fear it will drive customers away.

“We’ve heard concerns from businesses about their livelihood and loss of business as a results of the changes to the street,” says Transportation Planning Engineer Chris Henry.

There are still two other options in play. One would keep the four travel lanes and expand sidewalks. The other would expand sidewalks, but reduce travel lanes from four to three. The total cost for the three alternatives is between $4.5 million and $5.5 million.

Next month, the public will be invited to provide feedback. Then the city council will make a decision by the end of the day.

4-15 raceEUGENE, Ore. — TrackTown will be well represented when the Boston Marathon gets underway next week.

According to the race website, there are nearly 40 runners from the Eugene-Springfield area taking part in the race.

KEZI 9 News caught up with two of those athletes at the Eugene Running Company.

They say they’re honored to be taking part and this will be their first time running in the iconic race.

“I want to be part of paying respect to the three people that died in that event last year,” said Bob Coll, Eugene Running Company Owner. “I also want to be a small part of the celebration.”

“I think the emotions will be running pretty high and it will be a very poignant experience,” said Kari Westlund. She will be running in this year’s race. “I totally honored to be part of it and excited to go.”

The marathon is scheduled for April 21.

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EUGENE, Ore. — After hearing from the community at a public hearing Tuesday night Lane County Board of Commissioners gave the green light to move forward in an ordinance and resolution opposing specific sections  of the National Defense Authorization Act.

All of the commissioners at the meeting Tuesday gave the head nod to start the process of drafting an ordinance and resolution to some of the wording of the NDAA.

This came after dozens of frustrated people voiced their opinions saying specific sections were unconstitutional.

One section deals with the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism or belligerent acts, which activist groups say is vague.

The other part authorizes U.S. military to detain those suspects.

A number of people who spoke Tuesday evening agreed Lane County needs to take action.

“These provisions deny anyone’s right to due process of the law and also allows the federal government to detain or even kill any U.S. citizens for any reason that they can conjure up, which makes this a non-partisan issue,” said Corvallis resident, Jeff Ford.

“I think the writers of this law probably did not intend to frighten Americans in this way. But if that is so, why won’t Congress change the language of the law so that the citizens of this country are legally excluded from detention,” said Eugene resident, Nancy McCullum.

Even though it’s a national law, under the act of civil disobedience Lane County can choose to not enforce it.

Commissioners gave remarks after public comments — they were appreciative of everyone showing up, and all agreed the specific sections were unconstitutional.

The board could meet as soon as mid may to discuss a draft of the ordinance and resolution.

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Chief Meteorologist Justin Stapleton‘s Daily Forecast Discussion:  

The first rain chances of the week are starting to move into the picture tonight as a warm front brings some light showers overnight. Less than a tenth of an inch of rain overall, but you might see some light lingering showers for your Wednesday morning commute. Lows tonight will stay up in the mid to upper 40s with the cloud cover.

Strongest rain chances and the best looking cold front will move through Thursday. Snow lines will hover around 5000 feet as well, so a light slushy mix around the Passes is also a possibility, albeit less than a half an inch of accumulating snow.  Ski level elevations may see a few inches of snow overnight.  Early Friday may also see a light shower, but we should start moving into a drier forecast for Easter Weekend.

Highs will be back into the mid to upper 60s. Saturday afternoon/evening may also see some light showers, however, things appear to be wrapped up later on that evening. Aside from some dew and light fog, Easter Sunday should be partly sunny with highs in the 60s! That might be the only day, as more rain showers are back for Monday and Tuesday.

Have a great Tuesday night!

- Chief Meteorologist Justin Stapleton

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EUGENE, Ore. — As the economy improves, enrollment is going down at Lane Community College and it’s forcing school officials to make tough decisions about their budget.

LCC has a budget shortfall between $10.9 to $12.6 million. School officials say they have to balance the budget for next year and with decreasing enrollment, they have to make cuts.

President Mary Spilde says since the recession in 2008, LCC enrollment shot up 40 percent and they hired quite a few part time teachers to accommodate the growing student body but since then, class sizes have dwindled. They expect it to go down anywhere between 7 to 12 percent. That means the school could cut some part-time professors, classes, and services.

“We recognize that we have to have a balanced budget so we started this year by focusing on the number of classes we have to meet the demands of students,” said Spilde.

She says the board is meeting on April 28 to talk about some preliminary plans.

The budget committee is set to meet May 1 and should reach a balanced budget by the end of June. Spilde says LCC is planning for the worst but she’s optimistic about the future of the college.

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CORVALLIS, Ore. – The first Corvallis Medical Marijuana Dispensary opened its doors to the public Tuesday morning.

The Agrestic, located on SE Third Street, is one of two Corvallis dispensaries that so far has a license.  The Agrestic received its license on Saturday, and set up outdoor signs letting the public know about its April 15 opening.

“It’s amazing,” said Kayla Dunham, the store’s owner. “It’s an amazing feeling because people have been asking ever since we got here – ever since we got this building – people knew and people have been trying to figure out when they could come in and get access.”

Dunham says the store’s primary goal is to help patients who suffer from chronic pain. She says one the businesses focuses will be to help children who have epilepsy.

“It’s becoming more evident that children with epilepsy and different seizure disorders are being treated very successfully,” she said. “Children who could die aren’t dying. So right now we’re trying to bring in as many of the strains that have been shown molecularly to be structured to help them. But we want to be able to help anyone who is suffering from chronic pain.”

On Tuesday morning, patients lined up to purchase products that had not yet been legally available for purchase in Corvallis.

One customer, known as Lee, was waiting for the doors to be unlocked at 10 am.

“I wanted to be the first customer,” he said.

That he was. He showed his valid medical marijuana card and was able to select various products from the back.

“It’s a big day in my life because I’m picking up medicine for the first time legally,” he said. “I suffered a severe broken neck in a car accident many years ago. I have bad arthritis in my cervical vertebrae, and really the only thing that ever relieved it was marijuana.”

Lee says he tried taking various pain medications, but they made him feel “foggy.” Other patients agree – saying that marijuana has so far been the only successful pain reliever for their conditions.

“I have multiple sclerosis,” said another customer, who goes by Craig. “It took my legs you know. And I’m depressed about it.”

Craig says he uses marijuana not only for pain, but for depression as well.

“This is much more effective than the anti-depressants that the doctor gave me, which turned me into a creepy-feeling zombie,” he said. “And this gives me a much, much better quality of life.”

The Agrestic says it chose its name because of its meaning – not because of a reference to the popular TV show “Weeds.” Dunham says she likes the definition: “of or relating to the country; earthy; rustic; in botany: growing wild.”

So far the Oregon Health Authority has approved one other Corvallis dispensary: High Quality Compassion on NW Ninth Street. The owner says he hopes to open within the next few weeks.

Corvallis Hotel UpdateCORVALLIS, Ore. — A Marriott chain hotel will be opening its doors in Corvallis within the next few years.

Earlier this month, the Planning Commission approved several land use applications by a hotel developer to build off of NW Ninth Street in Corvallis.

The developer, A&A Construction and Development of Spokane, Wash., says the hotel will be a Fairfield Inn and Suites. The hotel will share a parking lot with Shari’s Restaurant and Keller Williams Realty.

Vern McDonald, a representative for the developer in Corvallis, says the area needs another hotel.

“When there are big events in town, the hotels get booked quickly,” he said. “People are looking to stay in Albany and Salem.”

McDonald says he is excited that a Marriott hotel will be coming to town.

“This is big for Corvallis,” he said. “It’s exciting for the community.”

He says crews should break ground in about 12-18 months. The hotel should open about a year after construction begins.

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