ashland.news
February 23, 2024

Fire & Smoke

Fire & Smoke

Oregon ‘stumbling into future’ on wildfire funding, lawmaker says

Democratic lawmakers approached the February short session intending to create sustainable wildfire funding but their options have narrowed as the state nears another wildfire season with inadequate funding. The Oregon Department of Forestry and State Fire Marshal’s Office currently have $87 million for the next two seasons, compared with the $220 million for wildfire the agencies had two years ago.

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City Government

Ashland announces new program to connect residents and first responders

A new Ashland city program dubbed “Community Connect” allows residents to input information that could assist first responders as they answer calls for service. Through an online portal, residents can give first responders information the responders can access on their way to answering calls that could be helpful to know — such as if there are pets in a home.

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Fire & Smoke

Where there’s smoke, there’s — just smoke. This time.

A pair of calls came in to Ashland Fire & Rescue on Monday afternoon reporting smoke and possible structure fires in the 100 and 200 blocks of South Mountain Avenue, site of Ashland High School. Turns out staff from the city Wastewater Treatment Plant were using smoke to search for leaks in pipes at the school Monday.

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Fire & Smoke

Drug addiction, housing and homelessness to dominate legislative session 

Oregon lawmakers are starting the legislative session, promising to aim squarely at the state’s homelessness and drug addiction crisis. From Gov. Tina Kotek to Democratic and Republican legislators, elected officials agree on the priorities, especially with fentanyl overdoses skyrocketing in Oregon and across the country.

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Latest posts

SOU hires new director of government relations

Southern Oregon University has a new advocate in Salem and Washington, D.C. Marc Overbeck has been hired as SOU’s director of government relations, the university’s primary liaison with state and federal lawmakers, and advocate for the university on matters involving higher education policy and funding.

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Council Corner: Ashland responds to the homeless crisis

Tonya Graham: We are clear about one thing — engaging in magical thinking doesn’t help. Ignoring this problem will not make it go away. Instead, it will make it worse — for young families, elders, teens, and people with mental illness who find themselves surviving on the streets, as well as for the quality of life in Ashland.

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