Catch up on local news in Malheur County

Good morning…….

Your news team at the Enterprise works hard to hold public officials accountable. We think you need to know how they are using your money and their power.

That’s true with our recent reporting on the Ontario School District. School district executives and school board members aren’t happy with our questions. We’ve worked for weeks to get information about the closure of two schools.

Now, there’s been a curious development.

The web page outlining that plan has disappeared from the school district’s website. There is no explanation anywhere about that. The page was HERE.

That is the page where Superintendent Nikki Albisu directed our reporters. She meant to demonstrate that the plan to close Pioneer and Cairo Elementary Schools was “old news.”

We’ll have the latest on the elementary school plans soon.

Meantime, here’s a look at some of other recent news coverage.

The Treasure Valley Reload Center is back in the headlines. A consultant has spotlighted a list of problems with this stalled project.

Speaking of county projects, county officials have gotten behind planning for a new courthouse for Malheur County. That work depends on getting money from the Legislature, as reporter Pat Caldwell reports.

The video of a parent punching a Nyssa High School viral has gone viral. The parent, who also is a wrestling coach, is now banned from coaching for life. Police continue to investigate whether his actions were criminal.

At the Oregon Legislature, Democrats have proposed reforms to Measure 110 to get the state’s drug addiction crisis under control. Republicans are panning the proposals as Reform Light. Legislators gather next week for a short session in Salem. It could be the last for state Sen. Lynn Findley, the Vale Republican barred from running for reelection.

Locally, a drug task force has cranked up to deal with local trafficking. Ontario Police Chief Mike Iwai recently shared details on task force work.

The Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce recently held its annual banquet to honor leaders and businesses. Pat Caldwell and reporter Steven Mitchell produced profiles on each of them so you can learn more about those making a difference in the community:

•Woman of the Year: Patricia Sullivan

•Man of the Year: Ken Hart

•Educator of the Year: Joe Kurth

•Business of the Year: Ashley Furniture

•Agriculturist of the Year: Simplot Food Group

In the days ahead, you’ll learn more about Ontario’s school plans, graduation rates in area high schools and an event that drew “hunters” to downtown Ontario on Saturday.


One question we get from time to time is why our stories aren’t free.

A lot of what is “free” news on the internet is junk. It’s usually wrong. The information is put out with a bent, and usually without verification. Living off such news sources isn’t good for your news digestion.

At the Enterprise, we have a professional news staff that is highly trained. Within our profession, we have built a reputation for providing solid local news that is meaningful.

To do that, we need to pay a living wage. We need to pay the staff that supports that news gathering.

And we don’t charge much for the service we deliver.

A reader can get immediate web access to every single story we do at a price of $7.50 a month. Seven fifty. That’s nearly half what Ontario paper charges.

Look, the news business is in trouble all over the country. Other communities have simply lost their local news source. At the national level, even the biggest outfits are struggling. The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, for instance, recently made deep cuts in their reporting staff.

That means a lot of stories aren’t getting reported.

We’re on solid footing at the Enterprise, thanks to those who subscribe.

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–Les Zaitz, editor and publisher, Malheur Enterprise

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(The Enterprise/CYNTHIA LIU)