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Growers Market Roots Run Deep
By Aaron Nilsson/KTVL.comMEDFORD, Ore. -- The roots at Medford's Growers and Crafters Market run deeper than new visitors may realize.

It started in 1987 with a handful of farmers and artisans. 

At the market, three generations represented Bigham Farms out of Central Point.

The eldest, Kenneth Bigham's grandfather sold vegetables and apples in Medford clear back in the 1890's.

Kenneth said he misses working in the soil and enjoyed all of the years he's been associated with farming.

"I've lived on an original farm for 70-something years and now I'm in a retirement home, so and it's hard to put a country boy in the city, mighty hard," Kenneth Bigham said.

Kenneth's son, Doug, currently manages the family farm.

Kenneth hopes grandson, Brandon, wants to continue the family farming business.

Medford's Saturday Growers and Crafters Market begins May 2nd.

Central Point park gets makeover
By Ashley Carrasco / KTVL.COM 
CENTRAL POINT, Ore - The playground at Van Horn park in Central Point is getting a make-over. It is part of a 5 year project to upgrade 4 city parks to meet news standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

By law every playground must have fall material which helps prevent children from getting hurt. Several organizations and businesses around the community donated money to help rebuild the 20 year old playground. 

"It's really fun to be able to get new pieces of equipment that have a lot different interaction for the kids to play with. So it's very exciting for the neighborhood to have this new fun park for everybody," said Jennifer Boardman with Central Point Parks and Recreation. 

The city is also installing lights into the gazebo and the sidewalk will now lead straight to the playground. 

The grand opening for the playground is May 11th.      

Two Lane Configuration Downtown Ashland
Ariana Rakhshani/KTVL.com

ASHLAND, Ore. -- Ashland's Public Works went before the Transportation Commission on Thursday with a proposal to add a bike lane between North Main Street and Siskiyou Boulevard by going down to two lanes of traffic.

Public Works said it will shorten the crosswalk for pedestrians, and so far, there has not been much opposition.

Paid Sick Leave Bill Would Affect Most Businesses
Ariana Rakhshani/KTVL.com

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. -- An Oregon legislative committee advanced a bill that would require nearly all employers to give workers up to five days a year of paid sick leave.

Small businesses in Jackson County--like Rogue Creamery--said there will be some effect on the business.

Garrison's Home Furnishings owner, Brian Garrison, said the proposed bill would not have as much of an effect on his business because he already gives his employees four days of paid sick leave.

Despite the lack of impact on his business, Garrison has strong feelings towards the bill.

"Personally, I don't ever like when the government steps in and tells me how to run my business and how to treat my employees," Garrison said.

The bill would apply to all businesses with at least six workers. They would get at least one hour of sick leave for each 30 hours of work. Portland and Eugene have local mandates for paid sick leave.

No marijuana tax collection in Jackson County
By Ashley Carrasco / KTVL.COM MEDFORD - Jackson County commissioners will not collect a local tax on recreational marijuana yet. 

In early March Jackson County voters  approved a local sales tax up to 25%. Commissioner Doug Breidenthal said Thursday, the wording in the law could have a negative impact on southern Oregon financially. He added, having an option to collect local taxes but not implementing gives commissioners more time to study the new law and decide how to move forward. 

"We basically gave Jackson County the ability to enter into argument that we never would have been able to do at the state legislature side and to have a real discussion to have money coming back to local governments," said Breidenthal. 

The local tax can be adjusted in the future.

Starting July first anyone 21 and older can legally grow or carry marijuana.The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will begin accepting applications for marijuana businesses on January 4, 2016. 

Oregon Democrats introduce gun background checks bill
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Democrats are taking the first step toward requiring background checks on private gun sales.

A bill introduced on Thursday could begin moving through the Legislature as soon as next week.

Gun control advocates have tried for years to expand Oregon's background check requirement. With expanded Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate following last year's election, the bill now has much stronger prospects.

The measure would require private gun buyers and sellers who aren't related to visit a licensed gun dealer for a background check.

Oregon already goes further than federal law in requiring background checks at gun shows.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says Oregon would be the eighth state to require universal background checks.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

Prosecutor: Co-pilot deliberately crashed plane
SEYNE-LES-ALPES, France (AP) -- A French prosecutor says the co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps this week appeared to want to "destroy the plane." He says the co-pilot was alone at the controls and "intentionally" sent the plane into the doomed descent.

Tuesday's crash in France killed 144 passengers and the crew of six.

Prosecutor Brice Robin says the cockpit voice recorder reveals that the co-pilot did not say a word once the captain left the cockpit. He says pounding could be heard on the cockpit door during the final minutes of the flight as alarms sounded. He said the co-pilot "voluntarily" refused to open the door to let the pilot back in, and his breathing was normal throughout the final minutes of the flight.

He says passengers could be heard screaming just before the crash.

The prosecutor says the co-pilot's responses, initially courteous, had become "curt" when the captain began the mid-flight briefing on the planned landing.

He refused to give details on the pilot's religion or ethnic background. The prosecutor says German authorities are taking charge of the investigation of the co-pilot, whom he identified as Andreas Lubitz.

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