Your Sunday review of Malheur County news you might have missed

Good morning!

Here’s some of the work done recently by your team at the Malheur Enterprise.

SNEAKY KILLER: Fentanyl in Malheur County
In a special report, the Enterprise examines the increasing prevalence of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be 50 times more potent than heroin. It is driving drug overdoses across…
SNEAKY KILLER: Fentanyl in Malheur County
In a special report, the Enterprise examines the increasing prevalence of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be 50 times more potent than heroin. It is driving drug overdoses across…
For decades, Ontario mom-and-pop shop serves cold drinks and community
Near downtown Ontario, a mom-and-pop store serves one of the poorest sections of the community. New owners plan to continue that service by Mallard’s.
For decades, Ontario mom-and-pop shop serves cold drinks and community
Near downtown Ontario, a mom-and-pop store serves one of the poorest sections of the community. New owners plan to continue that service by Mallard’s.
Political center calls Oregon governor’s race a toss-up
The University of Virginia’s nonpartisan Center for Politics this week called the Oregon governor’s race a toss-up, despite the state’s leaning toward Democrats in recent decades.
Political center calls Oregon governor’s race a toss-up
The University of Virginia’s nonpartisan Center for Politics this week called the Oregon governor’s race a toss-up, despite the state’s leaning toward Democrats in recent decades.
State presses investigation into Nyssa’s migrant education program with fraud possible
The Oregon Department of Education is caling for an audit of the Nyssa School District as more problems found in its migrant student program.
State presses investigation into Nyssa’s migrant education program with fraud possible
The Oregon Department of Education is caling for an audit of the Nyssa School District as more problems found in its migrant student program.
State legislators will tour Malheur County to learn about rail center, gold mine
Malheur County’s economic issues will be the focus of a tour by state legislators scheduled for Aug. 23 and Aug. 24. The visit provides a meet-and-greet for local residents to…
State legislators will tour Malheur County to learn about rail center, gold mine
Malheur County’s economic issues will be the focus of a tour by state legislators scheduled for Aug. 23 and Aug. 24. The visit provides a meet-and-greet for local residents to…

On the public records front….

The group managing the Treasure Valley Reload Center is making it more difficult for the public – you – to get public records.

Greg Smith, project manager, is requiring that requests for documents about this public project would only be accepted by regular mail ­– to a post office box. Malheur County Development Corp. until recently didn’t have a PO Box.

And Smith added one other condition – that box would be only checked once a week.

The idea, simply, is to obstruct access to work by Smith and the board of MCDC. That board includes Grant Kitamura, Kay Riley, Corey Maag, Jason Pearson and Lynne Findley.

The change is puzzling. Every government agency we know of conducts business electronically, by email and websites. We don’t know of a single government anywhere in Oregon that spends money on a PO Box and on employees going to the post office to check for public records requests.

Smith, whose compensation for this project work is jumping from $6,000 a month to $9,000 a month, had said he would check with lawyers and then bring a plan back to the board. Instead, he’s decided to simply declare this new policy with no decision by the board.

The Enterprise has been vigorous in turning up public documents that show the truth about the reload center. We have been particularly determined to trace where millions in public money is going. Smith has been no friend of transparency and this latest move that appears small and vindictive.

As always, the Enterprise will do what the law requires. We’ll serve the public interest no matter what roadblocks Greg Smith wants to put in the way of you getting the facts.

If you want to weigh in on this, we suggest an email to Grant Kitamura, who is president of Malheur County Development Corp. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Have a tip? Let us know….

We get some of our best stories and photos after tips from readers. If you have an idea on something we can report on or just have questions about something happening in the community, send an email to Editor Les Zaitz at [email protected].