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Published Thursday, May 7, 2009

Oregon's number of confirmed swine flu cases rose to 45 Wednesday, but the virus has yet to be found in Jackson or Josephine counties.

Public health officials said the rapid uptick in cases, from 21 on Tuesday, occurred because Oregon now has the equipment to test for the H1N1 virus. Samples formerly had to be sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

All 15 samples from Southern Oregon that were sent for testing have come back negative, said Chad Petersen, public information officer for Jackson County's Department of Health and Human Services. (photo courtesy


Published Thursday, May 7, 2009

Under a proposed bill students 65-years-old and over will be allowed to audit courses tuition-free. But there are some strings attached.

Students who fall in that age range must be registered for eight or fewer credits per term. They'll be allowed into the chose courses if there is space available. And the students will have to pay any lab fees or extra costs associated with the particular class. This bill would affect community colleges around Oregon where these students currently get a discount on their tuition, but it's not free. (Photo ©Rob Melnychuk/Corbis)

Published Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Miranda is the creator of WebSpirit Community, what she calls the "nervous system" for Ashland and beyond. Subtitled "Social and Economic Organization for Sustainable Community," her site,, connects 2,800 people with dozens of daily postings about classes, rentals, pet care, ride sharing, employment, house-sitting, volunteer opportunities, bartering, community announcements and just about anything else - but no opinionated ramblings that would cause offense.

Published Friday, April 17, 2009

Everyone knows that the price of going green is usually steeper than the alternative - in almost any product category. So with the recession putting the squeeze on consumer spending, are marketers becoming less enthusiastic about pushing environmentally correct products? Not according to the American Marketing Association (AMA) and Fleishman-Hillard. Their polling shows that companies are still investing in green projects and products—and they want their customers to know it.

Published Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A small but growing number of cash-strapped communities are printing their own money.

Borrowing from a Depression-era idea, they are aiming to help consumers make ends meet and support struggling local businesses.

The systems generally work like this: Businesses and individuals form a network to print currency. Shoppers buy it at a discount - say, 95 cents for $1 value - and spend the full value at stores that accept the currency.

Workers with dwindling wages are paying for groceries, yoga classes and fuel with Detroit Cheers, Ithaca Hours in New York, Plenty in North Carolina or BerkShares in Massachusetts.

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