Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, May 21 2014 at 4:29 PM, Updated: Wed, May 21 2014 at 10:11 PM
Klamath Falls, Ore. - Klamath County voters hired a new commissioner, and passed two tax levies Tuesday night.
Commissioner-elect Kelley Minty Morris says she'll have one top priority when she takes office next year...
"What we need to be doing from day one is being laser-focused on how do we improve the economy around here."
Voters rejected a proposal to hire a county administrator, and make the commissioner positions part-time.
Kate Marquez was the chief petitioner behind the charter government effort...
"I am disappointed. We thought it would be a really good thing for Klamath County."
Voters did pass a tax levy to fund operations at the Klamath County Museum.
The measure extends a levy already in place for another five years.
Voters also answered a call for help from Klamath County 911, passing a levy to hire more dispatchers for peak hours.
"We'll be receiving those funds in November." Notes Klamath County 911 Executive Director Keith Endacott. "So we have to coordinate our hiring with receiving those funds."
Klamath County had a 46% turnout in Tuesday's election...down from the 51% turnout in the presidential primary two years ago.
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KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.