FreeELECTION 2022 May. 20
Many Oregon candidates breeze to victory with no primary opponents
Six legislators will take their seats in January without worrying about the general or primary election, and nearly 100 more have no primary opponents.
COMMUNITY May. 18
Vale proposes fee to bolster fire department
The city is drafting a plan for a fee that would help the Vale Fire Department upgrade equipment and staffing. A recent survey showed support for the idea.
OREGON ELECTION 2022 May. 17
FINAL RESULTS: Mendiola defeats Hodge for county commissioner, Joyce heads for re-election
UPDATED: Jim Mendiola, a Vale businessman making his second run for Malheur County commissioner, soundly defeated incumbent Don Hodge. Dan Joyce, incumbent Malheur County judge, edged out challenger Tom Vialpando for one more six-year term.
FreeOREGON NEWS May. 15
Oregon’s Agriculture Department Director Alexis Taylor nominated by White House to serve in USDA
A White House announcement said she was nominated to serve as under secretary for trade and foreign agriculture affairs.
TREASURE VALLEY RELOAD CENTER May. 13
Oversight of Smith unclear as reload project falters
As serious questions unfold about troubles with the Treasure Valley Reload Center, some county officials now want answers Malheur County's economic development director. "Where's the audit?" asks County Judge Dan Joyce.
FreeNATIONAL NEWS May. 13
Democrat legislators from the West push update of 150-year-old federal mining law
Proposed legislation would require companies to clean up abandoned mines, lease the federal lands they operate on and pay royalties for revenue from public land.
FreeELECTION 2022 May. 10
Clerk alerts voters after wind blows ballots out of Jordan Valley drop box
Malheur County Clerk Gayle Trotter says she secured the box and the wind-blown ballots were retrieved, but she wants voters who dropped off ballots Monday, May 9, to check with her office and make sure their votes were received.
FreeOREGON POLITICS May. 2
THEIR WORDS: Those who want to be governor answer for rural matters
Candidates for Oregon governor were asked to describe how they specifically would deal with rural issues if elected. A statewide media collaboration, including the Malheur Enterprise, assembled answers from most of those on the May 17 ballot.
FreeOREGON POLITICS Apr. 28
Candidates for Oregon governor tackle state issues in unique Q&A
Issues from crime and safety to climate change to education were put to every candidate running for governor in Oregon. Here's how they responded in a statewide media collaboration in which Malheur Enterprise participated.
COMMENTARY Apr. 28
EDITORIAL: It’s time for new, active leadership for Malheur County
EDITORIAL: Voters should use their opportunity in the May 17 election to make changes in Malheur County Court, voting in Tom Vialpando and Jim Mendiola.
MALHEUR COUNTY GOVERNMENT Apr. 27
DA orders Malheur County to release records about reload project cost overruns
Malheur County District Attorney Dave Goldthorpe last Friday ordered managers of the Treasure Valley Reload Center to turn over records sought by the Enterprise about the escalating cost of the project.
MALHEUR COUNTY GOVERNMENT Apr. 27
Ballots en route to voters will determine fate of key county offices
Malheur County voters will weigh in on state primary races for governor and other candidates, but they also will cast votes on two key county positions: county judge and county commissioner. Ballots are in the mail this week to voters for the May 17 election.
MALHEUR COUNTY GOVERNMENT Apr. 27
ELECTION 2022: Meet the candidates for Malheur County Court
Malheur County voters will decide two key contested races – for county judge and county commissioner – in the May 17 election. As ballots go out, here's a look at how the candidates stand on an array of issues.
MALHEUR COUNTY GOVERNMENT Apr. 26
Rail board cites needs vs 'wants' as costs escalate for Nyssa onion shipping center
The board overseeing the Treasure Valley Reload Center issued a statement last week, acknowledging rising costs but likening the situation to the balancing act faced by families with their own budgets.
VALE Apr. 21
Vale council sets hearing on fire department needs, funding
The Vale City Council will hold a hearing Tuesday, April 26, to hear from the public on the fire department's needs and funding options for the future.
ONTARIO CITY GOVERNMENT Apr. 20
Cummings tapped as interim city manager in Ontario
The city’s community development director said he is excited about stepping into the new post. Cummings will fill in for former city manager Adam Brown, who will depart this month for a top position with the city of Keizer.
TREASURE VALLEY RELOAD CENTER Apr. 19
Trucks damaging county roads on way to Nyssa reload project
A small road maintenance district is applying patches as temporary fixes to roads north of Nyssa. The roads have seen heavy truck traffic because of construction of the Treasure Valley Reload Center.
ONTARIO CITY GOVERNMENT Apr. 18
Ontario will pay former city councilor more than $28,000 to settle claim
Ontario city officials have agreed to pay Marty Justus, former Ontario city councilor, to settle his claims he was defamed and his rights were violated. The city is admitting no wrong doing in making the payment, according to the agreement document obtained by the Enterprise.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Apr. 15
Nyssa project can't tap state program cited as one source for emergency $9.8 million
The hunt for nearly $10 million in new public money to finish the Treasure Valley Reload Center has already hit a snag. A state program cited by project leaders as one place to go for $9.8 million isn't open to Malheur County Development Corp., according to officials.
FreeELECTION 2022 Apr. 14
Republicans vow to restore timber industry, protect ag if they win Oregon governor’s race
Timber Unity hosted a debate Thursday for Republicans running for governor – and 11 candidates took took the stage in Hillsboro.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Apr. 13
Construction on Nyssa reload center could stop unless nearly $10 million added, officials say
Project managers for the Treasure Valley Reload Center stunned a public meeting Tuesday with news that a shortfall projected just Friday at $5.3 million had nearly doubled in days. The county project has 60 days to find more money, the lead engineer warned.
FreeSTATE NEWS Apr. 8
Rise in nonaffiliated voters spurs push to open Oregon primaries
Nonaffiliated voters are the largest bloc in Oregon, but they can’t pick candidates in most primary elections. That's fueling an initiative effort to shift to open primaries In the state.
MALHEUR COUNTY GOVERNMENT Apr. 8
Ontario foundation seeks donations to help support emergency service providers
The Treasure Valley Paramedics Foundation recently kicked off a fundraising program called the “Paramedic Forward Campaign” designed to provide training and equipment for local fire and rescue crews.
FreeSTATE NEWS Apr. 4
State panel will spend $412 million on highway repairs, pedestrian safety
The state is looking at an array of local projects and community initiatives for a portion of the $1.2 billion in federal infrastructure money that's coming to Oregon over the next five years.
FreeNATIONAL NEWS Apr. 3
Bentz raises alarm about cartels as House votes to decriminalize marijuana
U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz of Ontario leads the opposition, citing cartels in the state, as the House votes to decriminalize marijuana federally.
FreeCOMMENTARY Mar. 31
EDITORIAL: These voters care more about solutions, trust than party identity
Voters sharing thoughtful observations in recent forums are hungry for a governor who can unite Oregonians. They want to see the focus on performance, not party.
FreeNATIONAL NEWS Mar. 30
Wyden says he'll push for more economic sanctions against Russia
Sen. Ron Wyden said last week sanctions against Russia are having an impact, and Jeff Merkley said he's hearing strong support for such measures from Oregonians.
FreeAROUND OREGON Mar. 24
Tucked into Oregon rural infrastructure package, $4 million to save a staircase
Advocates say the staircase work is not a pork barrel project, but the result of years of fighting to save a critical piece of Eastern Oregon University and La Grande history.
FreeSTATE NEWS Mar. 23
Emergency food aid will continue for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians
Low-income Oregonians will continue to get extra help with food costs, as the state extends the SNAP benefit bump for two more months.
MALHEUR COUNTY GOVERNMENT Mar. 22
Fees going up at Malheur County's Lytle landfill
The loss of a major customer and increasing costs have prompted an increase in tipping fees at the landfill.
FreeAROUND OREGON Mar. 19
Bentz presses agencies to act on wildfire commission – after voting against legislation
Oregon’s lone Republican in the Congressional delegation wants action report on commission not yet formed.
FreeAROUND OREGON Mar. 18
Skyrocketing food prices are pinching budgets of Oregon individuals and agencies
Though the federal government has increased some subsidies, they’ve not been enough to keep up with the pace of inflation.
COMMENTARY Mar. 17
EDITORIAL: Failing to oversee Smith’s work, Court fails Malheur County and its people
The Malheur County Court bears the responsibility for overseeing Greg Smith and the Economic Development Department, and so far they are failing. As the county's longstanding contract with Smith's company comes up for renewal again, we believe it's time for a change.
COMMENTARY Mar. 16
LETTER: Malheur County commissioner welcomes your thoughts about economic department
Malheur County Commissioner Ron Jacobs writes about his desire for the county's economic development efforts to be successful, and he says he will listen to citizens' concerns.
FreeSTATE NEWS Mar. 15
After millions spent on hotel purchases, shelter owners in Oregon face steep renovation costs
Owners face costs to renovate hotels purchased as part of Project Turnkey, which just got $50 million in a new round of funding by the Legislature.
MALHEUR COUNTY POLITICS Mar. 15
Bentz compares Ukraine war to Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962
U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Oregon, said developments in Ukraine show the importance of proper funding of U.S. military sources. He addressed the war in a speech on Monday, March 14, in Ontario.
FreeAROUND OREGON Mar. 9
Oregon primary elections for governor, Congress, other races are set
Nearly 400 candidates filed to run for state or district races ahead of the May 17 election. Rep. Mark Owens, R-Crane, who represents Malheur County, will run unopposed for re-election.
FreeAROUND OREGON Mar. 5
Oregon Legislature ends 2022 session with big spending, policy changes, little political rancor
Money will move to just about every part of life in Oregon to aid individuals, families and communities
FreeAROUND OREGON Feb. 28
STATUS CHECK: Where key legislative bills are on week 4
Track nearly 30 bills on education, homelessness, crime, health care, justice, the environment and other issues to see where they are as the Oregon Legislature enters its final week of the 2022 session.
FreeAROUND OREGON Feb. 27
Farmworker overtime bill advances in state Legislature
After three committee hearings on Thursday, lawmakers voted along party lines, with the majority Democrats in favor and Republicans against
FreeNATIONAL NEWS Feb. 24
Oregon’s Congressional leaders back sanctions on Russia, condemn attack on Ukraine
Oregonians are told to brace for economic impacts while Russians warn against any interference as Vladimir Putin presses ahead with his military invasion into Ukraine.
FreeAROUND OREGON Feb. 22
Legislative plans could repair roads in rural Oregon, promote energy efficiency, help the homeless
The Democratic majority has identified seven priorities and brought Republicans to the table to spend $100 million in rural Oregon.
FreeSTATE NEWS Feb. 17
Oregon Supreme Court upholds decision to keep Kristof off ballot in governor's race
Issuing its ruling Thursday morning, Oregon's high court said Nick Kristof didn’t prove that he lived in Oregon by November 2019.
FreeSTATE NEWS Feb. 15
Republican legislators serving vast area of Oregon have tough time advancing their agenda
If Republicans were at the controls, Oregon's short legislative session would be dominated by talk of tax cuts, school choice and clipping Gov. Kate Brown’s wings.
FreeAROUND OREGON Feb. 15
Proposal to pay farmworkers overtime clears first hurdle in Legislature
The first vote on the plan, which would establish a 40-hour workweek, is partisan, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed.
FreeAROUND OREGON Feb. 12
Corrections Department adjusts hiring process to draw more applicants
Prisons from Portland to Lakeview have jobs – correctional officer, nurse and in trades – but tight labor market is a challenge.
FreeAROUND OREGON Feb. 10
Oregon economic forecast: More money for lawmakers to spend, tax credits likely in two years
State government now expects to receive $1.5 billion more by the end of the budget period in 2023.
FreeAROUND OREGON Feb. 8
Push to pay overtime to Oregon’s farmworkers up against strong industry opposition
A legislative hearing is scheduled for Tuesday evening on a plan to phase in extra pay for the 86,000 farmworkers in Oregon.
AROUND OREGON Feb. 5
Luxury sales tax proposed for Oregon to help low-income parents, former foster youth
An Oregon legislator is proposing a 3% sales tax on certain goods to fund help for Oregonians in need. Voters have consistently rejected a state sales tax.
FreeAROUND OREGON Feb. 3
In final State of the State address, Brown touts victories, pushes spending plan
Gov. Kate Brown urged the Legislature to approve about $700 million for job training, housing and child care during a speech from her office on Thursday, Feb. 3.
MALHEUR COUNTY SCHOOLS Feb. 3
Ontario council OKs savings fund for local students' continuing education
The council approved setting up the Ontario Promise savings program, using some of the city's new marijuana tax revenues. "We're trying to help the students," said Mayor Riley Hill.
FreeAROUND OREGON Jan. 31
Oregon 2022 legislative preview: What’s ahead that could affect your life as legislators gather
Job training is top of mind for most lawmakers and Gov. Kate Brown. The session opens on Tuesday, Feb. 1, and while the Capitol is open, much of the action will remain virtual.
FreeAROUND OREGON Jan. 30
Most money, media attention flows to few candidates, but many are running for governor
They seek to be the next governor of Oregon. You might not have heard of some of those who want your vote. Meet candidates who don't get top-tier political billing.
FreeAROUND OREGON Jan. 26
Brown, Democrats outline big spending plans as GOP calls for limited action in short session
The governor wants legislative leaders to approve hundreds of millions in one-time investments, but Republican leaders said the 35-day session should be more restrained.
FreeAROUND OREGON Jan. 21
State attorneys urge Oregon Supreme Court to keep Kristof off ballot
As he awaits court decision, Nick Kristof continues campaigning and raising money in his bid for the Democratic nomination for Oregon governor.
OREGON NEWS Jan. 19
Bentz says 2020 presidential election was bought, not stolen
Speaking in La Grande on the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, the Republican Congressman said Democrats were blowing the event out of proportion to divert attention from inflation and other issues.
FreeAROUND OREGON Jan. 17
Running for governor, Kristof defends residency claim to Oregon Supreme Court
Gubernatorial candidate Nick Kristof submitted a filing Friday to the Oregon Supreme Court, reasserting his contention that Oregon has been his home for the required time. State attorneys this week are expected to present Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s case to bar him from the ballot.
AROUND OREGON Jan. 13
State Rep. Mark Owens eyes ag overtime bill as short session nears
The Crane Republican worries that a proposal to pay overtime wages to farm workers will crop up again in the Oregon Legislature when it convenes Feb. 1. He says farmers are operating on thin profit margins as it is in his district, which includes Malheur County.
MALHEUR COUNTY SCHOOLS Jan. 12
Ontario leaders float plan to help local kids save for further education
Council President Ken Hart, Mayor Riley Hill and Ontario School Board chair Tom Greco propose that the city invest some of its marijuana tax money in a fund to help local children afford college or other post high school training.
MALHEUR COUNTY GOVERNMENT Jan. 11
County Court mulls questions, finds few answers in Idaho border meeting
In a Malheur County Court meeting, people raise questions about the proposal to move some Oregon counties into Idaho, and what's next.
FreeAROUND OREGON Jan. 6
With Oregon residency in question, Kristof won’t share documents
Democratic candidate Nick Kristof claims tax records, other documents will establish his qualifications to run for governor in Oregon.
FreeAROUND OREGON Jan. 5
Kristof attorneys argue Yamhill has always been home for the gubernatorial candidate
Oregon election officials requested proof the Democratic candidate for governor meets residency requirements. Nick Kristof's campaign, which issued a 102-page response, contends he has always considered Yamhill home, and voters should get to make the call.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 31
Slowing effects of climate change among priorities for Oregon’s new watersheds director
Lisa Charpilloz-Hanson will oversee more than $170 million to pay for projects enhancing state waterways and protecting critical species.
ONTARIO Dec. 27
Lawsuit contends Ontario's nuisance fines are excessive, unfair
An Ontario woman's lawsuit claims the city's nuisance enforcement practices are unfair, and she can't sell her property without paying off the 'disproportionate' fines. It's the latest for a city program that has drawn complaints – even from the mayor.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 23
Oregon election officials want Kristof to prove residency for governor's race
Kristof campaign says he considered Oregon home even when he lived in New York. The Oregon secretary of state wants to know more about that.
COMMUNITY Dec. 22
Federal dollars could be coming to fix Ontario's worn streets
Cracked and pothole-ridden roads like East Idaho Avenue could get repairs with money from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Officials say having projects ready to go is the key to securing the funding.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 17
Governor, health experts brace Oregonians for a serious impact from Omicron by February
In a surprising development, state officials said Friday that hospitalizations for Omicron could soon end up dwarfing cases from earlier Covid variants.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 17
Oregon adopts new carbon emission caps on fuel suppliers, major polluters
The new regulations will help the state meet state and international targets for curbing the worst effects of climate change, regulators say.
ONTARIO Dec. 15
Plans advance to turn Ontario pool into outdoor facility, fundraising next
The Ontario Recreation District recently released sketches showing what the long-closed public pool would look like if turned into an outdoor pool. The district is launching a drive to finish raising $3.5 million.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 14
Legislators send millions in relief to rural Oregon for farms, water and to fight cartels
Oregon tenants waiting for state aid with past-due rent will remain safe from eviction until Sept. 30. State Sen. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, voted against the aid but supported millons for the ag industry.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 13
Oregon farmers and ranchers likely to see $100 million in fresh state relief
If legislators approve the funding, the money will help rural areas around the state but they’re not likely to see any cash for at least two months.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 13
With thousands facing eviction from their homes, Oregon Legislature coming to the rescue
In a special session Monday, the Oregon Legislature will consider providing $100 million to landlords for tenants’ back rent.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 10
Sen. Findley asked to act on shifting counties to Idaho – a request he sought
In a letter seeking legislative action, the Grant County Court took no position on the proposal to merge parts of Oregon with Idaho.
MALHEUR COUNTY Dec. 8
Malheur County employees get bonus pay for work during pandemic
More than 100 county employees got a one-time pay bump last month, thanks to federal pandemic relief funds. The "premium pay" – ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 – went to heath workers, jail staff, office personnel and even some elected officials.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 7
Brown calls for $200 million in workforce spending, offers few details
Gov. Kate Brown urged business leaders to push legislators to support the spending package.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 6
Oregonians can bid for lower taxes while funding scholarships through state auction
You could shave your income tax bill and push money into Oregon scholarships with an online auction under this week.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 5
Brown returns from international climate summit energized to push Oregon’s plans ahead
The governor sees even more possibilities for offshore wind-generated power to serve Oregon’s needs – and create coastal jobs.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 1
Governor calls special session on eviction protections for Oregon tenants
Gov. Kate Brown is asking state legislators to provide $190 million in new state funding for rental assistance, other protections.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 29
Medical professionals want mental health program extended to Oregon nurses
The Oregon Wellness Program now offers free and confidential therapy sessions to doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, podiatrists and dentists.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 26
More power, better restrooms and new visitor centers – Oregon parks to get major upgrades
Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site in John Day is among state parks getting upgrades with $50 million from state bonds.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 25
Panel of judges upholds Oregon congressional maps, dismisses gerrymandering claims
The ruling follows an earlier decision that redrawn legislative maps don’t unfairly favor Democrats.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 24
House Republican leader Christine Drazan will run for governor
Christine Drazan of Canby plans to officially launch her campaign by the end of the year.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 22
Environment Commission issues historic mandate for cleaner trucks on Oregon roads
Truck manufacturers, who had opposed the rules, will need to begin to manufacture more electric vehicles and cleaner diesel trucks by 2025.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 20
Oregon to get more than $400 million to rebuild from 2020 wildfires
Federal money continues to flow into the state to help homeowners, businesses recover from wildfires that tore through Oregon in 2020.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 18
Oregon economic forecast: Higher wages drive state revenue, workers feel inflation
Portland is lagging the rest of the state in economic recovery as the Covid pandemic’s effects linger.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 15
‘Sense of urgency’ in Oregon should follow passage of infrastructure bill, DeFazio says
The Oregon congressman expects the $1.2 trillion package to help drive up wages for American workers.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 15
Oregon tenants urged to get bid in for state rent help before Dec. 1 cutoff
Gov. Kate Brown said she’s working with legislators on plans for a future special session.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 14
Oregon will be flush in money to dramatically expand broadband – but that’s not happening soon
It will be more than a year before Oregonians benefit from $120 million in American Rescue Plan funds and $100 million from the just-passed infrastructure bill.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 9
A year after the 2020 election, Oregon county clerks still fighting back fraud allegations
Several legislators have added their voices to the chorus calling to investigate the 2020 election.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 8
Oregon transportation officials already at work planning to spend new billions
Oregon will have about 30% more for its bridge work because of the federal infrastructure bill. Potholes, too, will get more attention.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 7
Democrats in Oregon delegation applaud infrastructure passage, Bentz votes no
The passage of the infrastructure bill on Friday means billions will flow to Oregon for roads, bridges, broadband and more.
FreeSTATE NEWS Nov. 4
Coos Bay forestry official selected as new state forester
Calvin Mukumoto is set to lead the department following the departure of the former state forester over reports of mismanagement.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 3
Restaurant tax coming to Cannon Beach, southern Oregon dam gets repair money in Tuesday’s vote
Most school, fire districts with taxing measures on Tuesday’s ballot won approval in the special election. One county considers a move to Idaho.
FreeAROUND OREGON Oct. 30
Historic landmarks meeting in Oregon stopped by racist, homophobic slurs
The recording of the Zoom session, which was stopped, was turned over to Oregon State Police for investigation.
FreeAROUND OREGON Oct. 29
Oregon’s emergency management director testifies to Congress about wildfire issues
Wildfire responders urge Congress to improve disaster aid process for at-risk communities.
FreeSTATE NEWS Oct. 26
Future of clean trucks, buses facing key agency vote in November
If adopted by the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission, new clean trucks rules could cut in half the greenhouse gas emissions from big vehicles sold in the state.
FreeAROUND OREGON Oct. 26
Two lawsuits challenge Oregon’s new legislative boundaries
One suit asks the Supreme Court to get rid of the Legislature’s plan entirely, while the other alleges Democrats punished one of their own.
FreeAROUND OREGON Oct. 25
Ethics complaint against former Oregon State president will be dismissed
A 3-2 commission vote to dismiss an ethics complaint against F. King Alexander was moot because the commission needed five votes
FreeOREGON NEWS Oct. 24
New public lands chief faced with building bridges after confirmation battle
Tracy Stone-Manning, Biden's pick for Bureau of Land Management chief, leads an agency which oversees huge swaths of Oregon rangeland tensions over resource uses persist. In her prior posts in Montana, she built a reputation as a consensus-builder.
MALHEUR COUNTY HOUSING Oct. 21
Malheur County moves ahead to permit homes on marginal farmland
The Eastern Oregon Border Board is putting up $50,000 to help Malheur County launch a process to qualify some land – deemed inferior for farming – for much needed housing. Property would need to meet 15 benchmarks to qualify, with a county board evaluating the projects.