Kim Melton, who covered the Legislature this session for The Oregonian, has left the daily to join the education advocacy group Stand For Children. Melton, who joined The Oregonian in September 2004, previously covered Portland Public Schools and suburban school districts. When her new role starts in July, she will work on policy issues and serve as and advocate and spokeswoman for Stand for Children. Melton joins former Oregonian reporters Ryan Frank (now publisher of the University of  Oregon Daily Emerald), Peter Ames Carlin (writing a Bruce Springsteen biography) and Julie Sullivan (now a spokeswoman at Multnomah County) as recent front-line defections from the paper.

"I'm excited about the new opportunity," Melton says.