CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell revealed plans Thursday to preserve habitat in 10 Western states for an imperiled ground-dwelling bird, the federal government’s biggest land-p…
ONTARIO — A haze of confusion surrounds the topic of recreational marijuana dispensaries, which are going to be legal by state law July 1, but Ontario officials are taking steps to establish restrictions anyway.
ONTARIO — Whether to fund renovation of the Oregon State Capitol building in Salem is one decision the Legislature will make before it adjourns in July.
ONTARIO — Two daytime burglaries in Ontario Thursday have prompted the Ontario Police Department to promote vigilance throughout the city.
VALE — As notices are going out again that arsenic levels in the city’s potable water are above water quality standards, Vale’s test project to remove arsenic is proving successful.
ONTARIO — Moving the minimum wage up to $15 an hour in Oregon is dead, and mandatory sick leave is not moving forward in the Oregon Legislature.
TIM FOUGHT and JEFF BARNARD The Associated Press PORTLAND — The resignation of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber instantly promoted the liberal Democrat who is next in line to succeed him: the 54-year-old secretary of state who has long been thought to have her eye on Oregon’s top elected position. Kate Brown, who is widely considered to be to the left of the departing Democratic governor, will also become the first openly bisexual governor in the nation. She will not assume office until Wednesday, when Kitzhaber’s resignation takes effect. He is stepping down amid suspicions that his fiancee used their relationship to land contracts for her green-energy consulting business. “This is a sad day for Oregon. But I am confident that legislators are ready to come together to move Oregon forward,” Brown said Friday. “I know you all have a lot of questions, and I will answer them as soon as possible. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work to be done between now and Wednesday.” Unlike most states, Oregon has no lieutenant governor. Under the state constitution, the secretary of state takes over if a governor steps down or dies. That has happened eight times since statehood, according to the Blue Book, the state government almanac. Until recent weeks, the assumptions were that Kitzhaber would finish his full, fourth term and Brown would be a top contender in 2018 to succeed him. The new job will require her to start running for election immediately, said Ron Cease, a retired professor of political science and public administration at Portland State University who served in the Legislature with Brown. Brown would not serve out Kitzhaber’s full term, but would have to go on the ballot in the next general election in 2016. “I would think the stress level is going to be enormous,” Cease said. Brown, a Minnesota native, came to Oregon to attend law school in Portland, the state’s largest city, and established a family law practice before her first run for the Legislature. Her sexuality has never been a prominent issue in Oregon, where Portland recently had an openly gay mayor in Sam Adams and where the current speaker of the House, Tina Kotek, is a lesbian. News accounts have long said Brown is married but considers herself bisexual, without elaborating. Her Blue Book biography says she lives in Portland with her husband, Dan. She still considers herself bisexual, her spokesman, Tony Green, said Friday. Democrat Jim McGreevey of New Jersey has been the nation’s only openly gay governor. He came out during a scandal-plagued term and resigned in 2004. Mike Michaud, a Maine Democrat, lost a race last year that would have made him the first openly gay person elected governor. The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund endorsed Brown in her two campaigns for secretary of state, in 2008 and 2012. The fund’s executive director, Denis Dison, said that she would be the first openly bisexual governor. Former Secretary of State Phil Keisling vividly recalls Brown knocking on his door to ask for his vote during her first House primary, which she won by just seven votes. “Kate Brown is really a hard worker,” said Keisling, now director of the Center for Public Service in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. “She cares a lot about public policy.” Brown made improvements to the vote-by-mail system and has sought transparency in government, including instituting an online database for campaign finance, Keisling said. She also fought to pass a bill to register nearly every Oregonian to vote by signing them up through driver license records. She failed to get that through the Legislature two years ago, when she could not summon a united front among Democrats. Republicans solidly opposed it, fearing it would add to the registration advantage that has propelled the Democrats to dominance in statewide offices. More Democratic legislative gains in 2014 make the prospects for her bill brighter in the session that began in earnest this month. At her latest inauguration, Brown pledged to ensure effective audits of government agencies and to ask the Legislature for authority to create an office to help small businesses navigate regulations. She also said it was time for Oregon to limit contributions to political campaigns. “I will put the strength of democracy before politics,” she said. She was appointed to the Oregon House in 1991, when another Democrat left to take a new job, and was elected to two terms. She was then elected to the state Senate and in 2004 became the first woman to serve as majority leader. At this stage, “it’s fair to say people just don’t know who she is,” Cease said, citing the lack of exposure for the secretary of state job. But, he added, Brown “cares about people. And there’s nothing mean about her.”
Nyssa Police Chief Raymond Rau, right, talks with Cpl. Robert Rodriguez (not pictured) in the front office of the Police Department. Rau is being honored Saturday as the Public Servant of the Year by the Nyssa Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture.
These are the attention-getters. As your community news source, the Argus is committed to covering stories of all sizes here in the Western Treasure Valley. If it makes the paper, that story is newsworthy — an important piece of the story we're telling about this place we call home. But some stories attract more attention than others. City council meetings, while important, might not draw as many readers as, say, a story about discovering a van full of cats in Ontario. These stories — plus one column — are the 10 that attracted the most attention in 2014. This list is not chosen by the Argus; it is based on the number of page views each story received. In other words, it's how many people somehow made their way to these particular stories, whether through a subscription to our website or following a link shared by a friend on social media.
Nyssa held two celebrations Saturday afternoon to commemorate the coming holiday. The first was a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Thunderegg Memorial Park. The second event was the annual Nite Lite Christmas Parade.
Lejuan C Lee, 38, arrested on aggravated assault charges in conjunction with the Saturday morning Mountain Home shooting of an airman.
After fighting a blaze at a shed south of the city for about six hours late Thursday and early this morning, Ontario firefighters returned to the shed this morning to spray flare-ups that had been spotted on the property. Very little of the building is left standing, and much of the property inside likely will be difficult to salvage.
This year’s carnival features seven rides, including Hog Wild, on which occupants get spun around quickly in containers that are on a large track that is also spinning around. Laughing and shrieking from the feeling of spinning are, from left, David Bates, his son Emmet, 5, his niece Taylor Bates, 6, and his daughter Danielle, 7, all of Vale.
Dave Tschida prepares to lead a sheep off the scales after weighing it Tuesday afternoon.