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Loss Of Timber Payments Cuts Deep In Oregon

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Today in Oregon, voters are deciding whether to raise their own taxes to make up for lost timber payments from the federal government. Hundreds of counties in Western states are facing a financial crisis due to the loss of timber payments. Property taxes usually pay for county services such as law enforcement. But counties in states from Colorado to California have vast national forests and can't collect taxes on that land. So Congress created timber payments to compensate them. Now the bill authorizing those payments has expired. Oregon received the largest payments, and more than half its counties face a budget and safety crisis now. Amelia Templeton of Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that in Josephine County, the sheriff has laid of 80 percent of his deputies and no longer arrests people.
NPR

Check Out This 1999 Profile Of The Late, Great Juan Gabriel

Juan Gabriel stayed true to his roots, even when it wasn't easy. This LA Times piece takes a look at why that was.
NPR

Northeast Farmers Grapple With Worst Drought In More Than A Decade

This year, many fields are bone dry — and that has many farmers in the region thinking about how to manage their land, their animals and the water that is there.
WAMU 88.5

State Taxes, School Budgets And The Quality Of Public Education

Budget cutbacks have made it impossible for many states to finance their public schools. But some have bucked the trend by increasing taxes and earmarking those funds for education. Taxes, spending and the quality of public education.

NPR

Scientists Looking For Alien Life Investigate 'Interesting' Signal From Space

Russian astronomers detected an unusual radio signal last year. The SETI Institute says it's too soon to say whether the signal came from intelligent life-forms — but researchers are checking it out.

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