Medford, Oregon


Medford, Oregon
Medford, Oregon
City
Medford City Hall
Seal
Motto: The Center of the Rogue Valley
Country United States
State Oregon
County Jackson
Elevation 1,382 ft (421 m)
Coordinates 42°19′55″N 122°51′43″W / 42.33194°N 122.86194°W / 42.33194; -122.86194
Area 21.7 sq mi (56 km2)
 - land 21.7 sq mi (56 km2)
 - water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Population 74,907 (2010)
 - metro 207,010
Density 2,910.5 / sq mi (1,124 / km2)
Incorporated February 24, 1885
Mayor Gary Wheeler
City manager Michael Dyal
 - City council Chris Corcoran
Al Densmore
Dick Gordon
Greg Jones
James Kuntz
Jill Stout
Bob Strosser
Ben Truwe
Timezone Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 - summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 97501, 97504
Area code 541, 458
FIPS code 41-47000[1]
GNIS feature ID 1124040[2]
Location of Medford in Jackson County and in the state of Oregon
Wikimedia Commons: Medford, Oregon
Website: www.ci.medford.or.us

Medford is a city in Jackson County, Oregon, United States. As of the 2010 US Census, the city had a total population of 74,907[3] and a metropolitan area population of 207,010, making the Medford MSA the 4th largest metro area in Oregon.[4] The city was named in 1883 by David Loring, civil engineer and right-of-way agent for the Oregon and California Railroad for his home town of Medford, Massachusetts and in recognition of its supposed position on the middle ford of Bear Creek.[5]

Medford is the county seat of Jackson County.[6]

Contents

History

Statue of Liberty, dedicated in 1951

In 1883, a group of railroad surveyors headed by S. L. Dolson and David Loring arrived in Rock Point, near present day Gold Hill.[7] They were charged with finding the best route through the Rogue Valley for the Oregon and California Railroad. Citizens of neighboring Jacksonville hoped that it would pass between their town and Hanley Butte, near the present day Claire Hanley Arboretum. Such a move would have all but guaranteed prosperous growth for Jacksonville, but Dolson decided instead to stake the railroad closer to Bear Creek.[8]

The response from Jacksonville was mixed,[9] but the decision was final. By November 1883, a depot site had been chosen and a surveying team led by Charles J. Howard was hard at work platting the new town. They completed their work in early December 1883, laying out 82 blocks for development.[10]

James Sullivan Howard, a New Hampshire Freemason,[11] claimed to have built the town's first building in January 1884,[12] though blacksmith Emil Piel was advertising for business at the "central depot" in the middle of December.[13] Others point out the farms of town founders Iradell Judson Phipps and Charles Wesley Broback, which were present before the town was platted.[12] Regardless, on February 6, 1884 (less than a month after it was built), J. S. Howard's store became Medford's first post office, with Howard serving as postmaster. The establishment of the post office led to the incorporation of the Medford as a town by the Oregon Legislative Assembly on February 24, 1885,[14] and again as a city in 1905. Howard held the position of postmaster for Medford's first ten years, and again held the post upon his death on November 13, 1919.[15]

The beginning of the 20th century was a transitional period. Medford built a new steel bridge over Bear Creek to replace an earlier one which washed away three years before. Without a bridge, those wanting to cross had to ford the stream, typically using a horse-drawn wagon; the first automobile did not arrive in Medford until 1903.[16] Pharmacist George H. Haskins had opened a drugstore just after the town was platted, and in 1903 he allowed the Medford Library Association to open a small library in that store. Five years later the library moved to Medford's new city hall, in another four years, Andrew Carnegie's donation allowed a dedicated library to be built. Construction on the Medford Carnegie Library was completed in 1912.[17][18]

In 1927, Medford took the title of county seat of Jackson County away from nearby Jacksonville.[5][19]

An aerial image of Medford

In 1967,[20] Interstate 5 was completed immediately adjacent to downtown Medford to replace the Oregon Pacific Highway. It has been blamed for the decline of small businesses in downtown Medford since its completion,[20] but nevertheless remains an important route for commuters wishing to travel across the city. In fact, a study completed in 1999 found that 45% of vehicles entering I-5 from north Medford heading south exited in south Medford, just three miles (5 km) away.[21]

The high volume of traffic on Interstate 5 led to the completion of a new north Medford interchange in 2006. The project, which cost about $36 million, improved traffic flow between I-5 and Crater Lake Highway.[22] Further traffic problems identified in south Medford prompted the construction of another new interchange, costing $72 million. The project began in 2006 and was completed in 2010.[23][24][25]

Since the 1990s, Medford has dedicated an appreciable amount of resources to urban renewal in an attempt to revitalize the downtown area.[26] Several old buildings have been restored, including the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater and the Prohibition era Cooley-Neff Warehouse, now operating as Pallet Wine Company, an urban winery. Streets have been realigned, new sidewalks, traffic signals, and bicycle lanes were installed, and two new parking garages have been built. Downtown Medford also received a new library building to replace the historic Medford Carnegie Library and now boasts satellite campuses for both Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University.[27]

Economic problems in 2008 and 2009 put a hold on The Commons project, a collaboration between the city of Medford and Lithia Motors.[28] The project, one of the largest undertaken in downtown in recent years, aims to provide more parking, recreation, and commerce to the area. Before the work stopped, the Greyhound Bus depot was moved and $850,000 was spent replacing water lines. Originally, The Commons was to be the home of the 10 story corporate headquarters of Lithia. It has since been scaled back to a four story building in wake of the economic uncertainty. Ground breaking for the project was April 22, 2011 with a Phase 1 completion date of 2012.[28][29]

Geography

Medford from Roxy Ann Peak

Medford is located approximately 27 miles (43 km) north of the northern California border at 42.3°N. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.7 square miles (56 km2), all land. The Pacific Ocean is about 75 miles (121 km) west of the city, and is the nearest coast. The nearest river is the Rogue River (8 mi, 13 km), and the nearest lake is Agate Lake (13 mi, 21 km).

Nearby cities include Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Ashland, Roseburg, Redding (California), and Crescent City (California). Medford is 229 miles (369 km) from Salem, the capital of Oregon.

The nearest interstate highway is I-5, which runs northwest-southeast through the center of the city. The nearest junctions with other interstate highways are with I-84 in Portland (273 mi, 439 km) and I-80 in Sacramento (309 mi, 497 km). Medford also serves as a junction for Oregon Routes 99, 238, 62, and nearby 140 (6 mi/10 km).

Medford is also situated in the remains of ancient volcanic flow areas as demonstrated by the Upper and Lower Table Rock lava formations and nearby Mount McLoughlin and Crater Lake, which is the remains of Mount Mazama.[30][31] In the late spring/early summer the snow on the slopes of Mount McLoughlin melt away into a formation called the "angel wings," which Native American tribes interpreted as an osprey, an indicator of the beginning of salmon run.

Climate

Medford sits in a weather shadow between the Cascade Range and Siskiyou Mountains called the Rogue Valley. As such, most of the rain associated with the Pacific Northwest and Oregon in particular skips Medford, making it drier and sunnier than the Willamette Valley. Medford's climate is considerably warmer, both in summer and winter, than its latitude would suggest, with a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa). Summers are akin to Eastern Oregon, and winters resemble the coast. In Medford, summer often includes as many as ninety days over 90 °F (32 °C), with temperatures over 100 °F (38 °C) common in July and August. In August 1981, the temperature stayed over 110 °F (43 °C) for 4 days,[32] with two days reaching 114 °F (46 °C).[33] Medford also experiences temperature inversions in the winter which during its lumber mill days produced fog so thick that visibility could be reduced to less than five feet. These inversions can last for weeks; some suggest this is because the metropolitan area has one of the lowest average wind speeds of all American metropolitan areas.[34][35]

Medford residents do experience snowfall during the winter months, however, due to the weather shadow effect it usually only averages about 5.0 inches (12.7 cm) and melts fairly quickly. In the past, Medford has seen snowfall measurements reach 31 inches (79 cm) (1955–1956).[36]

The lowest recorded temperature in Medford was −10 °F (−23.3 °C) on December 13, 1919,[37] and the highest recorded temperature was 115 °F (46.1 °C) on July 20, 1946.

Climate data for Medford, Oregon
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
(22)
79
(26)
86
(30)
96
(36)
103
(39)
111
(44)
115
(46)
114
(46)
110
(43)
99
(37)
80
(27)
72
(22)
115
(46)
Average high °F (°C) 47.3
(8.5)
53.8
(12.1)
58.3
(14.6)
64.3
(17.9)
72.2
(22.3)
81.2
(27.3)
90.2
(32.3)
90.1
(32.3)
83.5
(28.6)
70.0
(21.1)
52.8
(11.6)
45.2
(7.3)
67.4
Average low °F (°C) 30.9
(−0.6)
33.1
(0.6)
35.9
(2.2)
39.0
(3.9)
44.0
(6.7)
50.1
(10.1)
55.2
(12.9)
54.9
(12.7)
48.3
(9.1)
40.2
(4.6)
35.0
(1.7)
31.0
(−0.6)
41.5
Record low °F (°C) −3
(−19)
6
(−14)
16
(−9)
21
(−6)
28
(−2)
31
(−1)
38
(3)
39
(4)
29
(−2)
18
(−8)
10
(−12)
−10
(−23)
−10
(−23)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.47
(62.7)
2.10
(53.3)
1.85
(47)
1.31
(33.3)
1.21
(30.7)
0.68
(17.3)
0.31
(7.9)
0.52
(13.2)
0.78
(19.8)
1.31
(33.3)
2.93
(74.4)
2.90
(73.7)
18.37
(466.6)
Snowfall inches (cm) 1.6
(4.1)
0.7
(1.8)
0.6
(1.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.4
(1)
1.7
(4.3)
5.0
(12.7)
Avg. precipitation days 12.6 12.0 12.4 10.2 7.6 4.6 2.3 2.6 4.0 6.9 13.6 13.4 102.2
Avg. snowy days 1.3 1.3 0.6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.4 1.9 5.5
Sunshine hours 134.0 177.0 251.0 279.0 331.0 351.0 402.0 397.0 303.0 201.0 151.0 102.0 3,079
Source no. 1: NOAA[38]
Source no. 2: The Weather Channel[37]

Government and leadership

Medford has a council-manager style of government. The governing body of Medford consists of an elected mayor and eight city council members, two from each of four wards. The council hires a professional city manager to run the day-to-day operations of the city including the hiring of city staff.[39]

The mayor and council members are not paid, but are reimbursed for expenses.[39]

Mayor

The current mayor of Medford is Gary Hale Wheeler. He was first elected mayor in November 2004 with 16,653 of 28,195 votes (59%),[40] and then was reelected in 2008 with 21,651 of 22,211 votes (97.5%).[41] His current term expires in December 2012.

Wheeler is an optometrist with an office in Medford. Prior to his election, he spent thirteen years on the Medford Urban Renewal Agency Board and served in the US Army where he also practiced optometry.[42]

Previous mayors

  • Gary Wheeler 2004 – present; Dr. Wheeler is an optometrist in the Medford area
  • Lindsay Berryman, 1998–2004; first female mayor of Medford[43]
  • Jerry Lausmann, 1986–1998,[44] the longest-serving mayor in Medford history[45]
  • Gerald "Lou" Hannum, 1983–1986[46]
  • Al Densmore (Rep), 1977–1983,[47] president of the Bear Creek Greenway Foundation[48]
  • Sebastiano "Benny" Fagone, 1974–1977,[49] founded the North Medford High School Black Tornado softball program in 1980[50]
  • Lorin Jacobs, 1973 – 1974[51]
  • John W. Snider Sr., 1957–1962,[52][53] established Medford's sister city relationship with Alba, Italy in 1960
  • Diamond "Dime" Flynn, 1949 – 1954[51]
  • Clarence A. Meeker, 1942–1948[54]
  • Halbert S. "Hob" Deuel (Rep), 1940–1942,[55][56] former Jackson County congressman, died in 1971[57]
  • Charles C. Furnas, 1937–1940[58]
  • Earl Gaddis, 1925?[59]
  • Vernon Emerick, 1914? – 1918?,[60] lit the city's first official Christmas tree in 1915[61]
  • William W. Eifert, ? – 1913,[62] moved from Ohio, died of a heart attack during term on September 1, 1913, buried at the Eastwood Cemetery in Medford[63]
  • Edward P. Geary, 1888–1888,[64]
  • James S. Howard, 1887–1888,[64] Medford's first mayor

City council

City Ward Map

Medford municipal code divides the city into four wards, each represented by two city council members. Every biennium, one member from each ward is elected to serve a four-year term, creating an overlap where half of the eight-member council remains in office while the other half must campaign for reelection.[65]

Ward 1 Ward 2 Ward 3 Ward 4
2007–2010 Al Densmore
(elected 2006)
[66]
Ben Truwe
(elected 2006)
[67]
Jill Stout
(elected 2006)
[68]
Bob Strosser
(elected 1998)
[69]
2009–2012 Dick Gordon
(elected 2008)
[70]
James Kuntz
(elected 2004)
[71]
Chris Corcoran
(elected 2008)
[72]
Greg Jones
(elected 2004)
[73]

City manager

Michael Dyal retired as City Manager, effective July 31st, 2011. The city is under the current administration of John W. Hoke, City Manager Pro-Tem, and is actively under-going the process of recruitment of a permanent City Manager.

Economy

Welcome sign near the North end of Medford

Medford's economy is driven primarily by the health care industry.[74]

Medford is the economic center for over 460,000 people located in Southern Oregon and Northern California.[75] The Projected 2008 retail sales in the Greater Medford Area are $7.5 billion dollars.[76] The average is more than the expanded Portland and Eugene markets.[75]

In the past, Medford's economy was fueled by agriculture (pears, peaches, viticulture grapes) and timber products. The largest direct marketer of fruits and food gifts in the United States, Harry and David Operations Corp., is based in Medford. It is the largest employer in Southern Oregon, with 1,700 year round and about 6,700 seasonal employees in the Medford area.[77] Harry and David was founded in 1910 to market the harvest from the orchards of the Rogue Valley.

Benchmark Maps, founded in Medford in 1995, produces detailed atlases and maps in 10 western states.[78] Falcon Northwest, a personal computer manufacturing company, has been operating in Medford since 2002. A film production company, Pacific International Enterprises, has been distributing films from Medford since the 1970s.

RVMC Patient Tower

Lithia Motors, the 8th largest auto retailer in the U.S.,[citation needed] has been headquartered in Medford since 1970.[citation needed] Publicly traded on the NYSE as LAD, Lithia operates nearly 100 dealerships west of the Mississippi River.

As there are no towns of equal or larger size within several hours' drive, Medford is a regional hub for medical services. The two major medical centers in the city, Rogue Valley Medical Center and Providence Medford Medical Center, employ over 2,000 people. As Medford is also a retirement destination, assisted living and senior services have become an important part of the economy.

Medford and the surrounding area is home to the expanding Oregon wine industry that includes a large variety of Bordelaise, Rhone, and Burgundian varietals including merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, zinfandel, pinot noir, gewürztraminer, riesling, pinot gris, chardonnay, pinot blanc, early muscat, and Gamay Noir. Unlike the rest of Oregon, the region has also enjoyed success with two lesser-known varietals: Tempranillo, the red grape known best as the foundation of Spanish Rioja, and Viognier, a white grape previously found only in isolated parts of the Rhone region.

Demographics

Graph showing Medford's population growth[79][80][81]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 63,154 people, 25,093 households, and 16,511 families residing in the city. In 2005 the population was estimated at 71,000 people. The population density was 2,910.5 people per square mile (1,123.7/km²). There were 26,297 housing units at an average density of 1,211.9 per square mile (467.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.99% White, 0.50% African American, 1.07% Native American, 1.14% Asian, 0.26% Pacific Islander, 3.87% from other races, and 3.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.25% of the population.

There were 25,093 households out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,481, and the median income for a family was $43,972. Males had a median income of $34,533 versus $23,714 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,170. About 10.3% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.8% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.

Points of interest

Alba Park

Statue in Alba Park
Location: 42°19′26″N 122°52′34″W / 42.3238°N 122.876°W / 42.3238; -122.876 (Alba Park)

The oldest park in Medford, Alba Park is located at the intersection of Holly and Main in downtown Medford. Originally called Library Park due to its proximity to the Medford Carnegie Library, it was later renamed for Medford's sister city, Alba, Italy.[82] The park contains a gazebo, a statue of a boy with two dogs surrounded by a fountain pool, and a Japanese gun from World War II.[83][84]

The annual Pear Blossom Run starts across the street from Alba Park at the Medford city hall, with an all-day fair conducted in the park itself.[85]

Bear Creek Corporation/Harry & David

Medford is the birthplace of Bear Creek Corporation, known around the world for its fruit-laden gift baskets, especially locally-grown pears.[86] Tours of the plant are open to the public.

Bear Creek Park

Bear Creek Park

At nearly 100 acres (0.40 km2), this south Medford park is the second largest in the city (Prescott Park is the largest at 1,740 acres).[87] Bear Creek Park is bordered on the west by Bear Creek and the Bear Creek Greenway. On the park grounds are four tennis courts, a skatepark, a dog park, an amphitheater, a large playground, a BMX track, and a community garden.[88]

Since 1925, the property hosting Bear Creek Park has been used for several purposes. The first section was purchased from a resident of Medford named Mollie Keene. The town used it for incinerating garbage until 1939. After that, it spent 20 years as a girl scout day camp before seeing private ownership again for a few years. Concerns about pollution in the Bear Creek received media attention in 1963 and the city purchased more property.[89] In 1988, a playground designed by Robert Leathers of New York was built.[90]

I.O.O.F. Eastwood Historic Cemetery

The cemetery, established in 1890, lies on 20 acres (81,000 m2) just north of Bear Creek Park. It is here where J. S. Howard and many of Medford's citizens lie in rest. Free tours are offered on a regular basis by contacting the Parks and Recreation Department at 541-774-2400.

Claire Hanley Arboretum

The Claire Hanley Arboretum was first planted in 1962 by Claire and Mary Hanley, two sisters raised on the historic Michael Hanley Farmstead along present day Oregon Route 238.[91] It is part of a larger agriculture research center belonging to the Oregon State University. Located on the grounds are species of the dogwood cornus mas, the dove tree, and the Sorrel tree.

Medford Carnegie Library

Medford Carnegie Library

The Medford Carnegie Library is a two-story library building located in downtown Medford. It was erected in 1911 thanks to a gift from Andrew Carnegie, but was vacated in 2004 after a new library building was constructed near the Rogue Community College extension campus, also in downtown Medford.[92] Currently, there are plans to use the building for class reunions, public meetings, and for annexing some city offices from the neighboring City Hall building.[93]

Roxy Ann Peak and Prescott Park

Roxy Ann Peak overlooks Medford from the east

One of Medford's most prominent landmarks,[94] Roxy Ann Peak is a 30 million year old dormant volcano located on the east side of the city. At 3,573 feet (1,089 m), the mountain rises almost 2,000 feet (610 m) above the valley floor.[95] It was named for Roxy Ann Bowen, an early settler who lived in its foothills.[96]

A significant area of Roxy Ann Peak (including the summit) is enclosed in Medford's largest park,[97] a 1,740-acre (2.72 sq mi; 7.0 km2) protected area called Prescott Park. The land was set aside in the 1930s and named in honor of George J. Prescott, a police officer killed in the line of duty in 1933.[98]

The most commonly used trail on Roxy Ann Peak, part of Prescott Park, climbs about 950 feet (290 m) from the beginning of the footpath at the second gate to a height of about 3,547 feet (1,081 m). The trail is about 3.4 miles (5.5 km) one-way, and provides a panoramic view of the Rogue Valley.

Vogel Plaza

Art in Bloom 2007
Location: 42°19′35″N 122°52′19″W / 42.3264°N 122.8719°W / 42.3264; -122.8719 (Vogel Plaza)

Finished in 1997 at the intersection of E. Main St and Central Ave in downtown Medford, Vogel Plaza has quickly become a center of activity for many local events.[99] One such event is the annual Art in Bloom festival, which is held around Mother's Day each year. During the two-day festival, over 10,000 people attend and more than 75 artists showcase their work while surrounded by live entertainment, workshops, food, and children's activities.[100][101][102]

Education

Medford is served by Medford School District 549c and has two main high schools: South Medford High School and North Medford High School. In addition to the two public high schools, Medford has several private high schools. Two of the largest are St. Mary's School and Cascade Christian High School. In addition, there are 14 public elementary schools and two public middle schools, (Hedrick and McLoughlin). Medford 549C has over 12,500 students enrolled.

Crossroads School is a private, alternative high school operating in Medford along with three others operated or affiliated with a church; Cascade Christian High School, St. Mary's High School, and Rogue Valley Adventist School. Grace Christian and Sacred Heart School are private elementary and middle schools in Medford.[103]

In 1997, Grants Pass-based Rogue Community College (RCC) completed construction on a seven-building campus spanning five blocks in downtown Medford.[104] Nearby Ashland-based Southern Oregon University collaborated with Rogue in 2007 on the construction of an eighth building which will offer third- and fourth-year courses to students.[105] Pacific Bible College, formerly named Dove Bible Institute, was founded in Medford in 1989.[106]

Crime and law enforcement

Violent Crime Property Crime
Murder Rape Robbery Assault Total Burglary Theft Car Theft Total
2007[107] 0 30 44 191 265 412 2,662 196 3,270
2006[108] 1 22 36 193 252 456 2,748 177 3,381
2005[109] 1 28 53 243 325 556 3,455 279 4,290
2004[110] 0 21 38 229 288 551 3,272 257 4,080

The Federal Bureau of Investigation publication "Crime in the United States" provides unranked statistical data from law enforcement agencies across the United States. The table to the right are statistics reported for the city of Medford for the years 2004 through 2007.[107][111][112]

As with any city that experiences rapid growth, Medford has seen a recent surge in gang activity and organized crime in the past decade.[113] Methamphetamine use is a problem in Medford and southern Oregon and is believed to play a role in numerous property crimes, including identity theft.[114]

Police department

The Medford Police Department has 103 sworn police officers supported by a staff of 77 civilian employees.[115]

Notable people


Media

Television

Radio

  • KAKT 105.1 New Country
  • KBOY-FM 95.7 Classic Rock
  • KCNA 102.7 The Drive – Classic Hits
  • KCMX 880 Talk
  • KCMX-FM 101.9 Soft Adult Contemporary
  • KDOV-FM 91.7 Christian Top 40
  • KEZX 730 FoxSports Radio
  • KHRI 91.1 Christian Rock
  • KIFS 107.5 Kiss Top 40
  • KLDZ 103.5 Oldies
  • KLDR 98.7 Top 40
  • KMED 1440 Talk
  • KROG 96.9 The Rogue – New Rock
  • KRRM 94.7 Classic Country
  • KRTA 610 La Gran D – Regional Mexican
  • KRVC 98.9 Hot 98.9 Today's Hits
  • KRWQ 100.3 New & Classic Country
  • KSJK 1230 JPR/SOU Public Radio News & Information
  • KSMF 89.1 JPR/SOU Public Radio Jazz
  • KSOR 90.1 JPR/SOU Public Radio Classical
  • KSRG 88.3 JPR/SOU Public Radio Classical
  • KTMT 580 Sports
  • KTMT-FM 93.7 Popular & Top 40
  • KZZE 106.3 New Hard Rock

Newspaper

The official newspaper of Medford and Jackson County is the Mail Tribune, which is owned by Ottaway Community Newspapers. It began circulation in 1909 after a merger between the Medford-based Mail and the Ashland-based Tribune.[116] As of 2004, an average of 37,000 copies of the Mail Tribune are in circulation each day.[117]

Professional sports

In addition to having several athletes who were famous natives or residents of the city, Medford played host to several professional sports teams since 1948. It was the home city for several professional baseball teams, most notably the Medford A's, later known as the Southern Oregon Timberjacks, of the Northwest League. They were a short-season single-A minor league baseball affiliate of the Oakland Athletics who played at historic Miles Field from 1979 to 1999 before relocating to Vancouver, British Columbia. There is currently talk about bringing an expansion franchise to Medford, but there is no suitable stadium to host such a team at the moment.

Medford also hosted a professional indoor football team from the National Indoor Football League known as the Southern Oregon Heat in 2001. It played in the Compton Arena at the Jackson County Expo Park.

Medford's Lava Lanes bowling alley previously hosted the PBA's Medford Open every January, which aired on ESPN, the last Open took place in 2009.

Transportation

The city of Medford is responsible for over 322 kilometers (200 mi) of roads within its boundaries.[118]

Major highways

The I-5 viaduct in downtown Medford
  • I-5 (big).svg Interstate 5 runs directly through the center of the city. The section of freeway includes a 3,229 foot (984 m) viaduct that elevates traffic above Bear Creek and the city's downtown.[119][120] There are two freeway exits in Medford, one at each side of the city.
  • OR 99.svg Highway 99 runs through the city's center.
  • OR 62.svg Highway 62 runs through the northern portion of the town.
  • OR 238.svg Highway 238 runs through the northwestern portion of Medford.

Air

Medford is home to Oregon's 3rd busiest airport,[121] the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (airport code MFR). 647,471 people used this regional airport in 2007, which has served over 11 million passengers between 1978 and 2008.[122] Medford airport has two asphalt runways which handle about sixty daily flights from five airlines.[121]

With expansion of the airport terminal underway, the facilities are quickly being upgraded.[123]

Bus

The greater Medford metro area has been served by Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) since 1975.[124] The bus system operates eight routes from Monday to Friday, four of which travel to nearby cities Central Point, Jacksonville, Phoenix, Talent, Ashland, and White City.[125] All routes connect at the Front Street Transfer Station, which since October 2008 has contained Medford's Greyhound Bus depot.[126]

Rail

There are no passenger trains that route through Medford. Amtrak trains serve nearby Klamath Falls. People in Medford can board the Southwest P.O.I.N.T. (an intercity bus route) at the RVTD Front Street Transfer Station that will deliver them to the train station in about two and a half hours.[127]

Maritime

The nearest maritime port is the Port of Coos Bay, which is 167 miles (269 km) away.

The nearby Rogue River is monitored for flooding at the Gold Ray Dam, a decommissioned hydroelectric dam built in 1906 near Gold Hill.[128] The National Weather Service identifies 3.6 meters (12 ft) as the flood level.[129] At this depth, navigability between the Pacific Ocean and the Rogue Valley is limited. Even a small "handysize" freighter is unable to make the trip,[130] and any ship hauling cargo to Medford would have to have a much smaller draw.[131] Therefore, Medford does not have a nearby maritime port.

Medford in popular culture

Medford is the hometown of the fictional character Mr. Jackson, played by Porter Hall, in the classic noir film Double Indemnity. When pressed to recall the events that led to the supposed death of Dietrichson, Mr. Jackson proclaims, "Mr. Keyes, I'm a Medford man – Medford, Oregon. Up in Medford, we take our time making up our minds."[132]

Sister city

Italy Shortly after the sister city program was established in 1960, Medford was paired up with Alba, Italy. The cities are 9,175 kilometers (5,701 mi) apart and were paired based on 1960 similarities in population, geography, and climate.[133][134]

Each year, both Alba and Medford take turns exchanging students. During March and April of one year, students from Medford's high schools will visit Alba and stay with host families. Likewise, Alba students will visit Medford every other year. 67 Medford students applied for the 2007 trip to Italy, but only 24 were selected.[135]

It was former mayor of Medford John W. Snider who selected Alba during his 1957–1962 term, making a satellite phone call to Alba's former mayor Osvaldo Cagnasso.[52][136]

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