MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Apr. 20
Oregon Eastern RR expanding reload operations at Vale
Oregon Eastern Railroad owners see growing market demand for rail business, so they're expanding operations at their Vale track site. Planned upgrades are ranked high on a list for state funding.
AGRICULTURE Apr. 14
State offers aid to curb looming grasshopper, Mormon cricket outbreaks
Mormon crickets, which ravage rangeland plants and crops, proliferate in times of drought – like now. That's why the last Oregon Legislature pegged $5 million for a program to help landowners rein in a severe infestation expected this season.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Apr. 5
Malheur County should brace for continuing labor shortage, economist says
The audience at the Western Treasure Valley Economic Breakfast learned that are seniors retiring at a faster clip than expected and employers face years of challenges filling jobs. Tourism continues to be a bright spot in the region, an Idaho authority said.
COMMUNITY Mar. 30
Saint Alphonsus foundation offers scholarships for students training for health fields
Students studying for a career in a critical health care field could qualify for scholarship aid through the Saint Alphonsus Ontario Foundation. But the application deadline is coming up – April 8.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Mar. 24
After long delay, Western Treasure Valley Economic Breakfast is back on the local events schedule
The economic development session - set for March 31 - is sponsored by Snake River Economic Development Alliance, the Small Business Development Center at Treasure Valley Community College and the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce
FreeAROUND OREGON Mar. 16
No suspension of state gas taxes for now in Oregon
While other states and federal authorities consider suspending gas tax collections, Gov. Kate Brown has no plan to do so.
FreeSTATE NEWS Mar. 10
Oregon’s $5 billion agriculture industry struggles with rising gas prices
Officials say the war in Ukraine could make matters worse for ag producers, as energy prices continue to rise. The challenge follows two tough pandemic years and comes amid a continuing drought.
FreeAROUND OREGON Mar. 4
Oregon Legislature passes bill mandating overtime pay for farmworkers
The proposal, which will affect the state’s 86,000 farmworkers and the 10,000 farm operations, heads to Gov. Kate Brown. The Oregon Farm Bureau is asking her to veto the legislation.
ECONOMY Feb. 9
Malheur County economy rebounding, but employers still struggle to fill jobs
State employment officials say Malheur County's economy has "basically recovered," but the good news is tempered by the fact that job openings outnumber applicants in fields such as health care and prisons.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Dec. 30
Job fair focusing on health industry set for Jan. 12 in Ontario
People interested in jobs in the health care industry can learn more about the opportunities, training and more at a job fair Jan. 12 at Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario.
FreeAROUND OREGON Dec. 7
Investments needed in higher ed, job training to recover from pandemic, Oregon leaders say
At a meeting of business leaders Monday, Gov. Kate Brown and state’s higher education director said the state needs to bolster career training.
MALHEUR COUNTY BUSINESS Nov. 19
BUSINESS BEAT: New owners take on, expand Sears outlet in Ontario
The Sears Hometown Store in Ontario has new owners but they are not new to the business. Shaunie and Ryan Hamilton took on the business in September and have moved it to a new, larger location.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMIY Nov. 10
New burger eatery in Ontario offers taste of the Highlands
Shad Cupp and his family not only sell burgers at their new restaurant in Ontario – they grow the beef on the family farm. Cupp touts the low cholesterol and low fat content of the Scottish Highland cattle as keys to a healthy, tasty burger.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Nov. 3
Nyssa's lone bank to close in January
The U.S. Bank location in Nyssa will be closing its doors Jan. 19, 2022, forcing customers to travel to Vale, Parma or Ontario to do in-person banking.
FreeSTATE NEWS Nov. 2
Emergency food benefits for Oregonians to continue in November
As the pandemic continues to strain household budgets, officials announced that extra food benefits will continue in November. Oregon's Self-Sufficiency Program welcomed the extension of emergency aid.
AGRICULTURE Oct. 28
Hearing Friday will focus on plan for large dairy outside Vale
A hearing Friday will offer details on the proposal for what would be one of the largest dairy operations in the state at a farm west of Vale. Residents can listen in and comment as the state Department of Agriculture considers the plan.
VALE Oct. 22
Mahoney takes helm at Pioneer Place in Vale
Mark Mahoney, the new CEO at Pioneer Place, says his experiences as an emergency medical technician and helicopter pilot gave him the passion to serve people in long-term care.
MALHEUR COUNTY BUSINESS Oct. 21
A Street Tavern sold, ending three-decade run for owner Saldana
Kathy Saldana looks back on 30-plus years of hard work and enjoyable times as she turns her Vale business, the A Street Tavern, over to new owner Rebecca Lamott.
WATCHDOG Oct. 20
'NEED $3.6 MILLION' – Records raise questions about Malheur County rail center finances
SPECIAL REPORT: Newly-obtained county records show cost estimates for building the Treasure Valley Reload Center were more than $3 million beyond the money available. Those responsible for the estimate - and cutting it back - won't answer questions or document what was cut from the Nyssa project.
NYSSA NEWS Sep. 29
Old, new in spotlight as businesses in Nyssa transition
Las Esmeraldas, a new restaurant, opens this Friday, Oct. 1, and Munoz Building Supply replaces Stunz Lumber.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Sep. 23
Workers slowly return across Malheur County as pandemic benefit bump ends
Pandemic-era unemployment benefits are no longer – but it's not clear how the end of the benefits will affect the Malheur County workforce. The County has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, likely a contributing factor to the labor shortage.
MALHEUR COUNTY AGRICULTURE Aug. 18
Drought, hot weather produce new challenges for area ranchers
The extremely dry climate pushed some cowmen to bring stock off the range earlier than normal and sell them. The long-term outlook, though, may be a good one for local ranchers as smaller herds can push prices up.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Jul. 23
Data shows Malheur County jobless rate is better than state average
A new report from the Oregon Employment Department shows that the pandemic recession hurt some groups more than others. But Malheur County has, on the whole, made a strong recovery.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Jul. 22
New heat rules aim to safeguard farmworkers in Malheur County
The state OSHA office enacted new workplace heat regulations earlier this month after an outdoor worker at a nursery died of heat-related causes. As high temperatures persist across Malheur County, local farmworkers say they haven't waited for OSHA to begin taking protective measures.
RAIL RELOAD CENTER Jul. 14
Rail reload documents outline the private benefit from public dollars for economic development project
Americold, the conglomerate earmarked to lease the rail reload center, can abandon the project at any time if the economics appear shaky. The firm will lease the rail center for $2,500 a month.
MALHEUR COUNTY WEATHER Jun. 30
HEAT WAVE: Outdoor workers in Malheur County adjust to dangerous heat
Over 38% of employees in Malheur County work outdoors or in warehouses that will be especially at risk during the heat wave, which will have multiple days in a row over 100 degrees.
FreeHOUSING Jun. 23
Euvalcree to hold public hearing on shelter initiative Friday, June 25
The subject of the hearing is a $3.5 million shelter funded by the state of Oregon. It will be held at Four Rivers Cultural Center on June 25, with doors opening at 4:30 p.m.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY May. 19
Border board awards grants to local businesses, cities and education centers
The board announced last week it will distribute $276,725 across the county in the next few months. The money will be used for a host of projects including economic development and planning for infrastructure upgrades
AROUND OREGON May. 13
AROUND OREGON: For the first time, Klamath Project will receive no irrigation water from Klamath Lake
“Our people have far too much experience with being cut off from our means of subsistence, and we wish that pain on no one,” said Klamath Tribal Council Member Clay Dumont.
MALHEUR COUNTY BUSINESS May. 12
Vale couple nurtures love of flowers in unique greenhouse, opening a nursery
Bob and Donna Patterson recently opened Bryant's Nursery outside of Vale. The duo salvaged a 60-year-old greenhouse and rebuilt it by hand to guard a variety of plants and kick start their new business.
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 AGRICULTURE Apr. 29
Malheur County farmers, water managers cast a wary eye on water outlook
There will probably be enough of the wet stuff to go around this year for farmers but the long-term irrigation water picture remains blurry.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Apr. 5
Hundreds in Malheur County behind on utility bills but new help arrives
Malheur County customers won’t see their utilities shut off in coming weeks as the utilities and state regulators roll out new programs to help with past-due bills.
AROUND OREGON Mar. 26
AROUND OREGON: Website connects consumers to fresh Oregon-grown food
Oregon Taste, a public service project of nonprofit James Beard Public Market, announced the launch of OregonTaste.com, a searchable online directory of the state’s locally grown fresh food.
AROUND OREGON Mar. 23
AROUND OREGON: Criticism from all sides on Bureau of Reclamation's plan for Klamath Basin
Irrigation district managers in the Project received a notice from Reclamation last week that diversions of water from Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River will be delayed until April 15 at the earliest. Kirby said a greater portion of TID’s water will likely have to come from Upper Klamath Lake through the Lost River Diversion Channel south of Lake Ewauna, since he won’t be able to rely as much on drainage water from KID and other districts further up in the system. As is true in Upper Klamath Lake, inflows to the river between Keno and Iron Gate Dams have been significantly lower than last year, so even more water from the Upper Basin is needed to meet those requirements.
MALHEUR COUNTY BUSINESS Mar. 18
Railroad opts to close Nyssa crossing, disrupting long-standing farm operation
Solutions have proved hard to come by for onion producer Robin Froerer and her family regarding the Gem Avenue railroad crossing north of Nyssa. The crossing is scheduled to be closed to make way for the $26 million rail reload project but the move will partially cut off access to more than 1,000 acres of the Froerer's prime onion farm ground.
EASTERN OREGON NEWS Feb. 25
IN OREGON: Brewer bullish on beer prospects in Baker City
Kevin Multop has been brewing his own ales for years, but now he's stepping it up with plans to open a new brewery in Baker City. He believes the town's brew-related businesses could make it a big draw for beer aficionados.
AROUND OREGON Feb. 17
AROUND OREGON: Holey war: Klamath Falls donut shop sued by restaurant with similar name
The family-owned operation, known until last week as the Holey Donut, will no longer go by that moniker after its owners were sued by The Holy Donut, a Maine bakery located 3,100 miles away.
ONTARIO CITY GOVERNMENT Feb. 11
Hartley takes controls at Ontario's airport
The Ontario Municipal Airport has a new manager, who says the city already feels like home.
MALHEUR COUNTY BUSINESS Feb. 10
With state's blessing, lottery's back online in Malheur County
Although local restaurant owners stand to profit from lottery commissions, they expressed frustration that the state was willing to reopen the video lottery machines without reopening indoor dining.
FreeEN ESPAÑOL Feb. 4
Nueva tienda ofrece el sabor de México para todos
Tienda Mi Lupita, el nuevo establecimiento ahora abierto en 104 A Street East, parece haber sido transportado desde un mercado mexicano hasta Vale.
MALHEUR COUNTY BUSINESS Feb. 4
New Vale store offers taste of Mexico, produce for all
Tienda Mi Lupita, the new general store now open at 104 A St. E, seems as if it were transported directly from a Mexican market to Vale.
RAIL RELOAD CENTER Jan. 21
Transportation commission approves release of construction funds for Malheur County rail center
The decision marks a milestone in the project slated north of Nyssa. The taxpayer-funded reload facility is projected to cut costs for local onion producers and help the local agriculture industry.
MALHEUR COUNTY BUSINESS Jan. 16
Farewell Bend comes back to life with another freeway stop for coffee and more
A gleaming truck stop stands where there were once just ruins of another venture at the Farewell Bend exit on Interstate 84. The TravelCentersofAmerica turned on the "open" sign Jan. 12.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Jan. 15
Malheur County landlords, tenants counting on relief as Covid rules hold
With the statewide eviction moratorium extended, tenants are protected through the beginning of July. Landlords can get some relief through a fund that reimburses them for 80% of back rent owed if they forgive the other 20%.
COMMUNITY NEWS Jan. 14
Restaurant operators in Ontario get break on utility bills
A city program, which is meant to help shield the struggling industry from the economic downturn caused by Covid, is expected to cost the city up to $20,000.
MALHEUR COUNTY BUSINESS Jan. 13
Long, winding road for Malheur County mushroom plant takes new turn
The firm that owns the facility - Western Heritage Investments LLC - filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December in Boise. The plant kicked off production of mushrooms in 1988 but closed suddenly in 2007. Since then its ultimate fate has remained in limbo.
MALHEUR COUNTY BUSINESS Jan. 13
RV park with 170 spaces planned in Ontario
The park, planned for the intersection of Southeast Third Avenue and Southeast Fifth Street, will be the only one of its kind within city limits.
MALHEUR COUNTY BUSINESS Dec. 18
Boise grocery store chain buys Logan's Market in Vale
Intermountain Food Stores purchased Logan's Market stores in Filer, Marsing and Redmond. Intermountain Food Stores owns M&W Markets across southern Idaho.