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Music Coop Celebrates 40th Anniversary
The store has served locals in Ashland for 14 of the past 40 years, 10/08/15, (KTVL/Megan Allison)

By Megan Allison/KTVL.com

Ashland, Ore. --

Music Coop opened in Petaluma, California in 1975. The store moved to Ashland in 2001 and settled in its seventh location on Main Street five years ago. Co-owner Trina Brenes said the location brings a constant stream of customers through the door.

"The goal here is whether you are seven or eight years old or 70 or 80 years old when you walk in the door you can find something in our store that you don't want to go home without," Brenes said.

The store has even attracted celebrities over the years.

"We're very fortunate, musicians love the store. And we are friends with Linda Rondstadt, Aaron Neville, Bonnie Raight, a lot of the local musicians here in Ashland," Brenes said.

John Brenes opened the original Music Coop and at 71-years-old still enjoys being hands-on in the store. He said he spends at least 15 hours a week looking for new music.

"The best part of my job? Besides talking to good people every day? The best part of my job is buying. Buying records. That's what I love to do," he said.

Brenes said downloadable music hasn't slowed down business. He said people are buying just as many records now as ever.

"The downloading phenomenon has kind of faded away and people are buying physical product again. So it's just going back to what it was," he said.

Brenes said they're laying low for the 40th, but in ten years they'll have a big 50th anniversary party.

"I'm not slowing down. I feel exactly like when I opened this store when I was 31 years old. And I'm doing exactly the same thing I was doing," he said.

Brenes said in the meantime he plans to keep business the same, and has faith that locals will continue to come back for good music.

Water Flush Discoloration
Residents around Main Street in Ashland could see murky water tomorrow, 10/08/15, (KTVL/Megan Allison)

By Megan Allison/KTVL.com

Ashland, Ore. --

The Ashland Water Department is helping Ashland Fire and Rescue with a system flush on North Main Street early tomorrow morning. Water is flushed through the building's fire system into a water truck.

This may cause some water discoloration for nearby residents. The water department says the process disrupts the normal water pattern.

"Anytime you create a release it may disturb small mineral deposits that are in the line. Basically iron deposits. If you're nearby residents and businesses may experience a slight discoloration," said Steve Walker with the Ashland Water Department.

The discoloration is harmless. The water department says leave tap water running for a few minutes to get rid of it. If it doesn't clear up, give them a call. about 25 to 30 homes and businesses could be affected by the water flush.

Woman describes issues at mine during trial of ex-coal CEO

(MGN Online Photo)

JONATHAN MATTISE, Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Massey Energy management required alerting underground miners when federal inspectors arrived at Upper Big Branch Mine — the site of a deadly explosion in 2010 — so workers could stop mining and quickly attend to neglected safety problems, a former Massey miner testified in former company CEO Don Blankenship's criminal trial Thursday.

In Charleston federal court, former miner Bobbie Pauley was the first witness of several from the company expected to testify for the government against Blankenship.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to break mine safety laws and lying to financial regulators about safety practices at Upper Big Branch, in southern West Virginia. A 2010 explosion killed 29 miners there in the worst mine disaster in four decades. Blankenship's trial began with jury selection last Thursday, and both sides delivered opening arguments Wednesday.

Pauley, who worked as a dispatcher outside the mine prior to the explosion, said managers all the way up to Massey subsidiary president Christopher Blanchard ordered the warning system at Upper Big Branch. Blanchard is expected to testify for the government as a key witness.

Pauley said an inspector once was near her when she was making a warning call, and former mine superintendent Gary May told her not to let the inspector hear the conversation.

In 2013, May was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison on charges he defrauded the government through his actions at Upper Big Branch, including disabling a methane gas monitor and falsifying records.

"You just made sure you were running legal," Pauley said of how miners responded to the warning calls.

Pauley said Blankenship himself didn't instruct her to make those warning calls. She recalled speaking to him only a few times after the mine explosion.

Blankenship attorney William Taylor has contended the executive wasn't involved in the warning system.

"People (Blankenship) didn't know at the mine called other people he didn't know at the mine to tell them when inspectors were at the mine," Taylor said in his opening argument Wednesday.

In a 2013 plea hearing, former Massey executive David Hughart implicated Blankenship in cover-up efforts at Massey mines. Hughart, who did not work at Upper Big Branch, was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for conspiring in an illegal scheme to warn miners and other subsidiaries of surprise safety inspections, and is expected to testify against Blankenship.

On Thursday, Pauley also described ventilation problems when she worked underground at Upper Big Branch. She recalled seeing workers leave coal dust monitors in well-ventilated areas so the samples would be more positive. Coal dust can be highly flammable and breathing in too much can cause black lung disease.

She said one highly touted Massey safety program was "scoffed at" by Massey miners, and she never received a copy of it. She said she had never heard of another safety program when prosecutors asked her about it.

In opening arguments, prosecutors painted Blankenship as a profit-hungry executive who prioritized making money over keeping his mines safe, and was intricately involved in even minimal decisions at Upper Big Branch.

Taylor said Blankenship did not think breaking regulations was a smarter business plan than fixing health hazards, despite his reputation as a tough boss and divisive public figure.

Battery fires: FAA to back ban on passenger plane shipments

In this Feb. 8, 2006 file photo, firefighters battle a blaze onboard a UPS cargo plane at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek, File)

JOAN LOWY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The risk of unstoppable fires is prompting U.S. officials to back a proposed international ban on rechargeable lithium battery shipments as cargo on passenger airlines.

"We believe the risk is immediate and urgent," Angela Stubblefield, a Federal Aviation Administration hazardous materials safety official, said at a public meeting on Thursday. She cited research showing the batteries can cause explosions and fires capable of destroying a plane.

Billions of the lithium-ion batteries are used to power consumer electronics ranging from cellphones and laptops to power tools and toothbrushes. Tens of thousands of the batteries are often shipped on a single plane.

FAA tests show that even a small number of overheating batteries emit gases that can cause explosions and fires that can't be prevented by current fire suppression systems. Airlines flying to and from the U.S. that accept lithium battery shipments carry 26 million passengers a year, Stubblefield said.

Thursday's meeting was called to discuss what position the U.S. will take on the issue at an upcoming international aviation safety meeting. The International Civil Aviation Organization, a U.N. panel, is scheduled to take up the question of the safety of battery shipments at a meeting in Montreal later this month. ICAO issues global aviation safety standard, although it's up to countries whether to adopt them.

The government's announcement was the first time the U.S. has taken a formal position on the question of banning the battery shipments, and is particularly important because the U.S. has more influence at ICAO than any other country.

However, Congress has prohibited the FAA from acting on its own to bar the shipments on flights to the U.S. A 2012 law says the government can't issue regulations related to lithium-ion battery shipments that are any more stringent than ICAO standards unless accident investigators can show that a plane was destroyed by a fire started by the batteries.

Investigators say that's nearly impossible to do, since the evidence needed to reach such a determination is usually destroyed by the fires. Lithium batteries are suspected in the destruction of three cargo planes, resulting in the deaths of four pilots.

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations has proposed that the ICAO panel adopt a ban until better packaging or other measures can be developed to reduce the risk.

Earlier this year, aircraft makers including Boeing and Airbus called the battery shipments an "unacceptable risk." Boeing and Airbus also sent service bulletins to their airline customers warning of the risks revealed by FAA's tests.

As a result of the FAA tests, more than a dozen airlines have stopped accepting any battery shipments, or large quantities of batteries shipped together. ICAO also sent a bulletin to airlines this summer urging them to conduct safety assessments of their cargo operations to determine if they can safely handle battery shipments.

Janet McLaughlin, another FAA hazardous materials official, told the meeting that the U.S. position at the ICAO meeting will be that the ban should include all cargo shipments of the lithium batteries on passenger planes, not just bulk battery shipments.

The ban wouldn't apply to cargo airlines or to other kinds of batteries. It also wouldn't apply to lithium-ion batteries that are packed inside equipment. For example, a shipment of cellphones with lithium batteries inside them would still be allowed. FAA officials have said being inside a device lessens the risk that a short-circuiting battery will affect other batteries.

Officials from the rechargeable battery and cargo airline industries spoke against a ban at the meeting.

Passenger airlines are often paid by cargo airlines to carry shipments to destinations they don't service. A passenger airline ban would means some places around the world won't be able to receive battery shipments by air, industry officials said.

George Kerchner, executive director of PRBA — The Rechargeable Battery Association, said some airlines have conducted the safety assessments and determined they can safely transport the batteries. He said the FAA should leave the question of whether to transport lithium batteries up to the airlines, which are better able to determine what they can do safely than the government.

The U.S. is also backing a proposal to prohibit shipments in which thousands of small packages containing a handful of batteries are bundled together in a single cargo container. If ICAO agrees to a ban on battery shipments on passenger planes, the proposal to bar bulk shipments would only apply to cargo aircraft. If the ban is not approved, it would apply to both passenger and cargo aircraft.

Similarly, the U.S. is backing a proposal to require that batteries offered for shipment be only 30 percent charged. The less energy in the battery, the lower the fire risk.

University of Oregon to offer free football tickets to Umpqua Community College students, staff
By KTVL Staff/KTVL.com

EUGENE, Ore.-- The University Of Oregon Athletic Department is offering free tickets to students and staff of Umpqua Community College for the Oregon Vs. Washington State Football Game on Saturday.

Students and staff can receive a code that is good for four tickets to the game by going using this webform and entering their student I.D. number.

The game will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday and will be held at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

McCarthy abruptly withdraws candidacy for House speaker

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif. walks out of nomination vote meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, after dropping out of the race to replace House Speaker John Boehner, who is stepping down and retiring from Congress at the end of the month. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

ERICA WERNER, AP Congressional Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Confronting insurmountable obstacles, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy suddenly withdrew from the contest for speaker of the U.S. House on Thursday, shocking colleagues just before they were to vote and producing ever-deeper chaos for a divided Congress.

"We need a new face," McCarthy declared after a closed-door meeting where House Republicans were prepared to nominate him as speaker but instead listened in disbelief as he took himself out of the running. "If we are going to be strong, we've got to be 100 percent united."

Allies said that even though he would certainly have emerged the winner from Thursday's secret-ballot election of Republicans, McCarthy had concluded he did not have a path to getting the needed 218-vote majority in the full House later this month. A small but determined bloc of conservatives had announced they were opposing him, and they commanded enough votes to block him on the floor.

These same lawmakers, members of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, pushed outgoing Speaker John Boehner to announce his resignation just two weeks ago by threatening a floor vote on his speakership. Some of them cheered the announcement by Boehner's No. 2.

"The establishment has lost two speakers in two weeks. K Street must be shaking in their boots. Mitch McConnell must be shaking in his boots, too," said Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, naming the Republican majority leader of the Senate.

One immediate impact, however, might be to prolong Boehner's tenure. The Ohio Republican, who had intended to leave Oct. 30, said he would stay on "until the House votes to elect a new speaker."

The man most widely seen as a potential speaker in McCarthy's place immediately ruled it out.

"While I am grateful for the encouragement I've received, I will not be a candidate," said Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the former vice presidential nominee who now chairs the Ways and Means Committee. But Ryan was under intense pressure to reconsider, including from Boehner and McCarthy himself.

"I would hope he would" run, McCarthy said of Ryan.

Establishment-minded Republicans expressed bitter frustration at the sway of the Freedom Caucus at a time when Republicans command their largest House majority in 80 years. And stark uncertainty lies ahead as lawmakers question how any candidate backed by mainstream Republicans will be able to prevail in the House.

It all comes with Congress in desperate need of steady leadership as major fiscal and budgetary deadlines loom, starting with the need to raise the government's debt limit to avoid a market-shattering default in a month's time.

"This is unprecedented to have a small group, a tiny minority, hijack the party and blackmail the House," said Rep. Peter King of New York.

McCarthy might have been able to eke out a win, but he said that's not how he wanted to become speaker. It's now unknown when the House GOP election will occur, and in doubt as to whether a scheduled Oct. 29 floor vote by both Democrats and Republicans will go forward.

McCarthy's two announced GOP rivals for speaker — Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Daniel Webster of Florida — lack widespread support in the House GOP, although Webster has the backing of the Freedom Caucus, whose members dismissed McCarthy as a clone of Boehner.

Numerous other names began to surface of possible candidates, and lawmakers were openly discussing the possibility of elevating a "caretaker" speaker to serve for a short time.

"You understand it could be a quick end to your political career," remarked Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., one of those discussed. He held up his cellphone to show calls coming in from McCarthy.

The Republicans' noontime meeting was adjourned moments after it began with McCarthy making his jaw-dropping announcement as his wife and kids looked on.

"Disbelief, from the surprise announcement by Boehner to the quick nature of this election to it now being postponed — it's uncertainty on top of uncertainty," said freshman Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania. "I've been here nine months, I've never seen anything like this. I'd bet you most other members who have been here 20 or 30 years would say the same thing."

Several Republicans were crying after McCarthy's announcement, lawmakers at the meeting said.

Despite the pandemonium, the business of government continued, with committees holding hearings and the House convening to vote on a piece of energy legislation that passed on a largely party-line vote.

McCarthy, a 50-year-old from Bakersfield, California, in his fifth term in the House, is personable and friendly, popular with fellow lawmakers and known for his political acumen, if not his policy depth.

But his candidacy for speaker had gotten off to a rough start with a gaffe when he suggested the House's Benghazi committee was set up to drive down Hillary Rodham Clinton's poll numbers rather than search for the truth about the 2012 attacks in Libya that killed four Americans. He was roundly criticized and quickly backtracked, but the flub dogged him, giving ammunition to Democrats to discredit the committee ahead of Clinton's appearance Oct. 22 to testify.

Thursday morning, at a closed-door GOP candidate forum ahead of the elections, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, a natural McCarthy ally, stood up and told McCarthy that he wouldn't be able to support him because of that comment, people present said.

McCarthy brushed off a suggestion that his decision had anything to do with a letter circulated earlier this week by Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., asserting that any candidate for leadership should withdraw from contention "if there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference and the House of Representatives if they become public."

Jones has said the letter wasn't directed at anyone in particular. Asked whether it played a role in his decision McCarthy said: "Nah."

But the episode evoked memories of the shocking moment in December 1998, when Rep. Bob Livingston, R-La., astonished Washington by suddenly dropping his bid to replace Newt Gingrich as speaker. Livingston was the heavy favorite, but had been dogged by allegations that he had been unfaithful to his wife.

Livingston's announcement came as the House was debating President Bill Clinton's impeachment with its roots in Clinton's own infidelities.


Associated Press writers Andrew Taylor, Mary Clare Jalonick and Alan Fram contributed to this report.

Donald Trump says Bowe Bergdahl should have been executed

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should have been executed for leaving his post in Afghanistan.

Trump made the comments Thursday afternoon at a rowdy rally inside a packed Las Vegas theater at the casino-hotel Treasure Island.

Trump says Bergdahl is a "no-good traitor" and would have been shot 30 years ago.

Bergdahl was charged in March with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The Army conducted a hearing on his case earlier this month.

Bergdahl is accused of leaving his post in southeastern Afghanistan in June 2009. He was held prisoner by the Taliban for five years, then exchanged for five Taliban commanders being held by the U.S.

Trump has long railed against the deal.

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