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|Articles - January 2010|
|Thursday, December 03, 2009|
BY JON BELL
Hit hard by declining harvests, the housing slump and the recession, Oregon timber towns have turned to everything from mountain bikes to microbrews to try to fill the economic void.But Prineville-based Ochoco Lumber Company is sticking with something a little closer to home to stoke up its Malheur Lumber Company in John Day: ponderosa pine wood pellets.
In November, the 77-year-old Ochoco received a $4.9 million economic recovery grant from Business Oregon to build a wood pellet fuel facility in John Day. The grant, funded with federal stimulus dollars, will create 11 new jobs and retain 80 positions at the Malheur sawmill operation. That plant processes about 30 million board feet of ponderosa pine annually, down from some 50 million board feet in its heyday.
"Without this grant, we would have had a serious concern about being able to continue to run the operation," says Bruce Daucsavage, president of Ochoco Lumber. "Now, we'll have the ability to make a multitude of different products, which will make us more competitive and give us a better opportunity to retain jobs."
Ochoco planned to break ground before the end of 2009 and have a drying system and two pellet-making machines installed by summer. Production, which could range from 25,000 to 40,000 tons annually, is scheduled to begin this fall using woody biomass from surrounding national forests as the raw material.
Ochoco has partnered with Bear Mountain Forest Products, a Cascade Locks company, to market the pellets and compressed bricks to hospitals, schools and other commercial buildings in the region that are heated by boilers.
Daucsavage says the hope is to ultimately increase output at the pellet facility and add even more jobs, all while helping to manage the surrounding woodlands wisely.
"We have a lot of responsibility and a lot of exposure, but we want to do it right," he says. "This is a great opportunity for our little town."
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Ask any college student: Textbook prices have skyrocketed out of control. Online education startup Lumen Learning aims to bring them down to earth.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
When gossip crosses the line.
Monday, August 03, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR
Pushing the extreme.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
The false promise of economic impact statements.
Friday, August 14, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
17 airlines make stops at Portland International Airport, but not all are created equal when it comes to customer service.
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Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.