The Voice of Malheur County

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May 3 2021 thru May 9 2021

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ONTARIO GOVERNMENT May. 7
VIDEOS: Rodriguez, upset by decorum call, marches out of Ontario City Council meeting
UPDATE: NEW VIDEO ADDED VIDEO: Councilor Freddy Rodriguez, facing a recall petition for his conduct, walked out during an active Ontario City Council meeting on Thursday, May 6.
RAIL RELOAD CENTER May. 7
Malheur County board to farm operation: You will stay silent
The board of directors of the public company that oversees the rail reload facility rejected a plea from a local agriculture family to remove a contract requirement that prohibits them from speaking publicly about the project.
MALHEUR COUNTY ELECTIONS May. 7
May election will give local voters first opportunity to weigh in on plan to move the Oregon-Idaho border
Measure 22-64 stipulates the Malheur County Court must meet three times a year to consider the plan that includes counties in eastern and southern Oregon.
ELECTIONS May. 7
School board, TVCC candidates press cases in Ontario forum
Candidates for the Ontario School Board and the Treasure Valley Community College Board had a chance to introduce themselves and their views to the public April 28 at Four Rivers Cultural Center.
COMMUNITY NEWS May. 7
Farmworkers can get rent relief
The STARR program at the Oregon Human Development Corporation is offering help with up to 12 months of back rent for certain populations. Immigration status will not be considered, so undocumented community members can apply.
MALHEUR COUNTY COMMUNITY May. 6
Vale mayor tells governor of distress of restrictions on local residents
Tom Vialpando wrote fluctuating state Covid mandates create frustration and impact businesses. He also sought guidance from the governor regarding the next steps in the Covid response.
HEALTH May. 6
Ontario hospital ranks in top 100 nationwide in national study
Saint Alphonsus Medical Center Ontario recently learned it made an elite national list. The hospital was cited for providing care that could be a model for others.
MALHEUR COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY May. 6
Dry weather over Malheur County proves worrisome for federal fire managers
The local high desert range is parched and future forecasts do not call for a deluge of moisture. The dry conditions may create greater wildfire challenges in the coming months.
MALHEUR COUNTY OBITUARY May. 5
OBITUARY: Ruby Chloe Linville
In Remembrance of Ruby Chloe Linville: Ruby passed away in her sleep at home in Ontario, Oregion in the early morning hours on April 15. (Submitted Information)
POLITICS May. 5
Recall drive homes in on signature goal as Ontario businesses host petition
A petition to recall Ontario city councilor Freddy Rodriguez is close to the requisite 494 signatures needed to force the matter to a vote. But that hasn't preempted a seemingly unending stream of drama on Facebook and at city council meetings.
MALHEUR COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY May. 5
State officials say worker Covid testing could foment unrest at Ontario prison
Snake River Correctional Institution officials said that if they test their workers for Covid before entry, delaying the start of shifts, it "could strike a powder keg" with adults in custody, who have been on lockdown for Covid for months.
MALHEUR COUNTY OBITUARY May. 5
OBITUARY: Kitty Strohmeyer
Born in Massachusetts, just after the second world war, Kitty was the oldest daughter of native New Englanders Ted and Millie. Teddy Jr., Kitty, Carol, Barbara, Karen, and Mike comprised the large family, which moved around a lot. While most of Kitty’s formative years were spent in Massachusetts, the family moved to Texas where Kitty attended Catholic primary school and enjoyed being a Campfire Girl. With both a New England and Southern flare, Kitty would later become an excellent cook, especially learning the talents of her maternal ‘Ma. Returning to Massachusetts for high school, Kitty met her best friend Dot and stayed close to home after graduation – but not for long. (Submitted Information)
MALHEUR COUNTY May. 5
Malheur County could get billion-dollar energy project on Owyhee Reservoir
Executives from a Utah company, rPlus Hydro, recently briefed the Malheur County Court on a proposal to build a pumped storage facility. Matthew Shapiro, chief executive officer of rPlus Hydro, said the project could generate 300 new jobs and generate a significant amount of electricity.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY May. 4
Malheur County sees 'concerning' increase in Covid cases, now faces new state restrictions
After being at a low level of risk for the coronavirus, Malheur County is now considered at "high risk" for the spread of the virus. On Friday, new limits take hold on some local businesses and institutions.
COMMENTARY May. 4
LETTER: New Interior secretary offers hope for protection of lands like Owyhee Canyonlands
A former member of the Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Council notes that with a new administration, there's an opportunity to restore conservation efforts that languished in the past several years.
POLITICS May. 4
Rep. Bentz slams governor over her increased Covid restrictions
After the governor announced that 15 counties would be moving into the category of "extreme risk" for Covid last Friday, U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz released a statement criticizing the restrictions, which include a shutdown of indoor dining for eight of the 20 counties he represents. Malheur County is still in "moderate risk," with indoor dining allowed.
OREGON POLITICS May. 4
Oregon delegation sees greater access, clout with addition of sixth representative
The latest Census tally gives Oregon a new Congressional district. Oregon's current representatives say that will give the state added clout in decision-making on matters of national and state import, and also offers constituents one more place to get help.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY May. 4
Non-profit seeks contractors to transform Presbyterian Community Care Center into housing
The $16 million project will create more than 50 affordable rental units inside the mothballed facility in Ontario. The project is scheduled to kick off in June.
EDUCATION May. 4
Voters may decide fate of Ontario schools director who resigned as censure loomed
Derrick Draper quit the school board during a meeting April 20 at which he and colleague Eric Evans were censured by the board for their treatment of Superintendent Nikki Albisu. But his name will remain on the ballot for the May 18 race.

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