Local briefs

About 250 students from Crater Academy of Health and Public Services will spend about an hour this morning doing public-service projects at three locations in Central Point.

Starting at 10 a.m., the students will pick up trash and pull weeds at Cascade Meadows, Central Point City Hall and the Central Point section of the Bear Creek Greenway.

The findings from a recent Community Needs Assessment will be unveiled from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 25, at Medford City Hall, 411 W. Eighth St.

The assessment is the result of a regular biennial process coordinated by ACCESS Inc. to monitor and evaluate the services being provided in Jackson County. It was conducted in November and December 2010.

"This critical process helps to ensure that our community has the proper level of services to meet the needs of our citizens and that our community resources are used in the best and most efficient way," said Ed Angeletti, ACCESS Planning Director.

Representatives from city, county, state and federal governments have been invited for the presentation, to be held in the City Council Chambers, as well as service providers and partner agencies in human services. Printed copies of the assessment will be available at the presentation.

For more information, contact Ed Angeletti, ACCESS planning director, at 541-774-4330 or ejangeletti@access-inc.org.

Ashland High School's FIRST Robotics Team is one of 500 teams being sponsored this year by J.C. Penney Company, Inc. as part of a national program.

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology is a not-for-profit organization founded by Dean Kamen to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology by engaging them in robotics competitions.

AHS is a third-year veteran team that is spending six weeks designing and building an original robot for the FIRST Regional Competition, scheduled for March in Portland.

AHS received this year's challenge, "LOGO MOTION," a kit of parts made up of motors, batteries, a control system, a PC and a mix of automation components — but no instructions. Working with professional engineering mentors, the team has six weeks to build a robot that can maneuver a field flanked by poles and earn points by hanging as many triangle, circle and square logo pieces on each pole as possible.

Bonus points will be awarded for each robot that can hang and assemble logo pieces to form the FIRST logo as well as deploy a "mini-bot" to climb vertical poles positioned within the middle of the field. Competitions measure the effectiveness of each team's robot and the students' ability to collaborate effectively.

The 2011 FIRST Championship will be held April 27-30 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo. This season, participating FRC high school students are eligible to apply for more than $14 million in scholarships from leading universities and colleges.

Roughly 100 students from five local high schools will try a case in court Saturday, Feb. 26, as they compete to represent Southern Oregon in the 25th annual Oregon High School Mock Trial Competition.

The case involves a fictional murder victim who freezes to death in a restaurant cooler. Students know only minutes before their trial is to begin whether they will be arguing for the prosecution or the defense

Two teams will advance to the state finals March 11-12 in Portland. The state's winning team will travel to Phoenix, Ariz., in May to represent Oregon at the National Mock Trial Championship.

Regional competitions also are being held in Albany, Bend, Hillsboro, Oregon City, Pendleton and Portland.

The competition is sponsored by the Classroom Law Project and the Oregon State Bar.

A number of Talent families will meet to share their memories of life in Talent at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Talent Historical Society Museum.

Talent author and historian Jan Wright will facilitate an informal, roundtable discussion, called "Talent As It Was — Stories of Earlier Years," featuring members of the Bentley, Burnette, Creel, DeYoung, Gleim, Reichstein, Roberts, Seiber and Walker families. Several of these families are descended from some of Talent's older families, some with pioneer ancestors.

The public gathering is one of several the historical society plans in its attempt to educate recent Talent residents about the area.

Light refreshments will be served, including some "historic" grape juice from stock that came to Oregon in 1851.

The museum is located at 105 N. Market St., next to the Talent Community Hall and public library.

For more information, call 541-512-8838, afternoons, Wednesday through Saturday.

The Original Roadhouse Grill, 2699 W. Main St., Medford, is helping to raise money for the North Medford High School choir on Sunday, Feb. 27.

From 11 a.m. to closing time, the restaurant will donate 20 percent of all sales from customers who present a NMHS voucher.

Vouchers are free and can be picked up in the NMHS activities office, in the choir room or by contacting any NMHS choir student. Vouchers also are available at Connecting Point Computer Center, 545 Stevens St, Medford.

Choir students will use the money for things such as class trips, new concert attire, festival registration and accompanist fees.

For more information, call 541-842-5324.

On Feb, 9, the Ashland Kiwanis Club donated a miniature fire truck to the Ashland Fire Department. The fire truck is a model 1933 Seagrave Fire Truck made by Kiwanis member Ron Parker.

The presentation was made to Chief John Karns and to Margueritte Hickman, division chief and fire marshal. Don Paul, Kiwanis member and former assistant fire chief, set up the meeting at Fire Station No. 1.

Compiled from staff reports

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