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WATCHDOG Sep. 16
Onion executives rely on public, private roles in pushing along Nyssa rail center
Grant Kitamura and Kay Riley fill multiple functions as leaders of their private firms, board members of a local non-profit designed to oversee the construction of the rail facility and top directors of a private onion shipping firm geared to use the center.
SPECIAL REPORT Aug. 4
Delays and missed deadlines: the history leading up to TVRC and Americold's lease agreement
A detailed timeline of how Malheur County Development Corp.'s inability to hit deadlines has led to yearslong delays in the project.
SPECIAL REPORT Aug. 4
WATCHDOG: Nyssa rail center, public money, and a most unusual deal
The lease being given to an international company to run the Treasure Valley Reload Center provides the county less money than projected nearly three years ago. Experts say some provisions in the deal are unusual, but the company and county economic development officials won't address questions.
ONTARIO CITY GOVERNMENT Jun. 30
WATCHDOG: Clean up or pay up: Ontario property owners owe nearly $1 million in fines
WATCHDOG: Ontario's code enforcement system has allowed for high fines to be levied through daily civil penalties. Officers say it's necessary to clean Ontario up.
STATE NEWS May. 27
AROUND OREGON: Oregon State Hospital situation ‘dire,’ National Guard asked to help staffing
The share of nursing staff on Covid-related leave at the state hospital in Salem has grown to an unprecedented 33%, prompting hospital administrators this week to seek help from Oregon Health Authority managers and the National Guard.
FreeSPECIAL REPORT May. 21
CUT SHORT: A troubled Ontario teen's path to recovery ends in fentanyl overdose
Juan Lopez-Robles of Ontario entered Oregon's juvenile justice system as a troubled 15-year-old. He was returned to his family three years later in an urn. A story from Eugene Weekly chronicles the events leading to his death.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY May. 20
How we did the reporting to expose Greg Smith's handling of county invoices
The Enterprise relied on public documents and interviews to answer the question: Why isn't Malheur County getting thousands of dollars from the state? We take you behind the scenes to show the work that went into our latest watchdog report.
ONTARIO POLITICS May. 18
Reports show Rodriguez slings unproven claims and Ontario mayor offers tip against former councilor
Councilor Freddy Rodriguez castigated Marty Justus as a child molester and pressed police to investigate him, even after their inquiries turned up no evidence of illegal conduct. Mayor Riley Hill also relayed to police hearsay about Justus and sought to be treated as anonymous.
MALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY May. 18
Development board slams Enterprise for 'wrongful' reporting
The board of the Malheur County Development Corp. on Friday, May 14, issued a statement that said it was 'unfortunate' that the Enterprise would 'speculate negatively' about its rail shipping project. The board sent the statement instead of responding to detailed questions sent about unpaid invoices and missing documents.
FreeWATCHDOG May. 18
Smith finds recovering thousands for Malheur County 'more work' than it's worth, blames ODOT
The deal was set. Malheur County could start recovering up to $5,000 a month on what it was spending for Greg Smith's services. The county hasn't seen any of the money. An investigation by the Enterprise established why.
WATCHDOG Apr. 15
WATCHDOG: Farmland picked for rail center needs $6 million in soil, gravel, rock and work to make buildable
Old irrigation canals and wetlands on the proposed site of the Treasure Valley Reload Center will cost the project $6 million to fill in, a cost not clearly identified in early budgets.
MALHEUR COUNTY CRIME Apr. 7
Nyssa plays unlikely role in international counterfeiting conspiracy
Gene L. Thompson and his wife, Guojiao Zhang, also known as Becky Thompson, ran a lucrative scheme importing knockoff luxury handbags from China for sale at reduced prices in the U.S. until they were caught.
COMMUNITY Mar. 10
Records law used to pry free Malheur County project documents
Greg Smith, the economic development director for Malheur County, balked at releasing public documents regarding the planned rail reload facility in Nyssa. The Malheur Enterprise, aided by a legal arm of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, pushed back against the secrecy and got a district attorney's ruling for disclosure.
SPECIAL REPORT Mar. 10
WATCHDOG: Construction of Malheur County rail center on hold as key contract talks drag on
Two key agreements for the Malheur County reload facility at Nyssa remain unfinished, prompting officials to put aside the shovels for now. The Oregon Transportation Commission agreed to release funds for the project in January, but noted the state could take the money back if the county failed to meet all of its requirements.
WATCHDOG Feb. 25
Industrial park work that cost Malheur County thousands now getting done for free
WATCHDOG: For nearly two years, Malheur County put up money for Gregory Smith & Company to pursue a much-needed federal grant for a publicly-owned industrial park. Now, a Pendleton firm is taking on the work for free, according to public records and interviews
ONTARIO CITY GOVERNMENT Feb. 18
Records chronicle actions leading to Ontario mayor's lawsuit
Mayor Riley Hill, now suing his own city over a $500 civil penalty incurred last year, testified he requested personal assistance from the city police department in cleaning his property. The fine proposed for his company was reduced from an initial $3,500 by Ontario Police Chief Steven Romero, according to public records obtained by the Enterprise.
FreeSOLUTIONS JOURNALISM Feb. 8
COMMENTARY: Take this survey, help Malheur County, and let's try something new
Your opinion about community issues matters a great deal as the Enterprise embarks on its next phase in practicing what's called solutions journalism. With your help, we can aim our journalistic power at one issue to help improve life in Malheur County. Here's how.
SPECIAL REPORT Feb. 4
State to pour millions more into addiction treatment despite little proof it works
With Ballot Measure 110 in play, the machinery that treats Oregon substance abusers will get millions more on top of the $200 million already spent on addiction treatment. An investigation by Salem Reporter finds officials aren't sure what becomes of people once they leave treatment - and whether that treatment worked. A documentary, "A D.A.'s Dilemma," in collaboration with Independent Lens (PBS) is part of this special report.
FreeMALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Jan. 13
WATCHDOG: Malheur County's bid to grab $15 million in federal money stymied by errors in application
Officials poured two years of work into the effort to acquire the subsidy - dubbed a BUILD Grant - often touted as a crucial tool to kindle expansion of a proposed business park. Now the county must search for a new funding source to pay for water and sewer expansion for an empty stretch of sagebrush north of Nyssa.
COMMUNITY NEWS Jan. 7
PHOTO GALLERY: 2020 photos of the year in Malheur County
We soared, we struggled, and we found hope as a new year dawned.
FreeMALHEUR COUNTY ECONOMY Dec. 14
Help a Malheur County restaurant survive - where to get takeout meals
Few sectors of the Malheur County economy have suffered as many twists and turns as the restaurant industry. To give them a chance to keep going, the Malheur Enterprise compiled this list of places providing takeout service. Give one a try today.
FreeCORONAVIRUS IN OREGON Dec. 8
'The more who die, the less we care' – Why we're growing numb to Covid-19
Why do many people seem to relax their guard and dismiss concerns in the face of a clearly exponential spread of Covid? University of Oregon professors examine the psychological research to offer some explanations.