State government

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Primary contests nearly all no contests

Walkovers ruled in Southern Oregon’s primary balloting, with Ashland’s incumbent state representative and senator hovering around 99 percent approval from their party’s voters. Primary races in the two county commissioner seats were similarly one-sided in three of the four contests, with no candidate on the ballot on the fourth.

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Oregon appears headed toward a low turnout

Oregon appears headed toward a low turnout by its nearly 3 million voters – and potentially a new historical low in a midterm election. The final count won’t be known until next Tuesday. The Legislature last year extended the timeline for mail-in ballots. Those postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day will be counted, provided they arrive within a week. As of Tuesday at 8 p.m., the Secretary of State’s Office showed that nearly 28% of the state’s 2.9 million registered voters had turned in their ballots.

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Invasive crayfish found in Ashland Canal

Northern crayfish, which can negatively impact other fish populations, were found in the Ashland canal, according to state Fish and Wildlife officials, the first such discovery in the state. The species is native to the Midwest. Officials said, “This discovery could be bad news for Oregon’s native signal crayfish — northern crayfish are much more aggressive.”

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SOU awards its highest honor to former Guanajuato governor and his wife

Southern Oregon University President Rick Bailey presented SOU’s highest honor on Monday in Guanajuato to two prominent supporters of the university exchange program between SOU and the University of Guanajuato. An SOU delegation and about 200 guests representing wide segments of the Guanajuato community looked on as the awards were presented to Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, holder of two master’s degrees earned at SOU before he embarked on a distinguished political career in Mexico, and his wife, Francis “Faffie” Romero Siekman, a prime mover behind a scholarship program supporting student exchanges.

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Ashland Fire & Rescue warns of intensified wildfire seasons

Ashland Fire & Rescue has warned of more intense fire seasons in years to come as local impacts of climate change become more apparent. Division Chief Chris Chambers told the City Council Tuesday, Aug. 2, that coming fire seasons could see an increase in acres burned of between 200 and 400 percent.

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Birds’-Eye View: An Ashland-based bird conservation organization

Birds’-Eye View: Ashland-based nonprofit Klamath Bird Observatory keeps on eye on bird life in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California. Since birds are a key indicator species and migratory paths from much of the Western Hemisphere pass through this area, KBO data helps inform natural resource management on a broad scale.

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One Hiroshima survivor nurtures seedling sprouted from another survivor

The 77th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, was marked in Ashland for the 38th year on Saturday. A capacity crowd gathered at Thalden Pavilion, site of an eternal World Peace Flame, to hear remarks and celebrate the planting of a gingko tree sprouted from seeds from a tree that survived the Hiroshima inferno.

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