Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, July 4 2013 at 3:49 PM, Updated: Thu, July 4 2013 at 3:57 PM
While Malin has a population of about 800, a crowd of over a thousand was on hand for a Fourth of July parade...
The people of Malin know it doesn't take a big town to throw a big parade.
And while the town was out enjoying the day, they were also taking time to reflect on their freedom...
"Well, for a favorite, I guess I'd say the right to bear arms." Says Ed Stanton of Klamath Falls. "I believe it keeps us all safe."
Even holding a parade reflects a community's right to peacefully assemble...
"Probably freedom of speech." Notes Janet Fall of Rocky Point. "Just because it allows me to express myself. Sometimes I don't like what people say, but I'll defend their right to say it."
Elena Adair of Tulelake agrees. "I don't know why, but speech - because I want to say what I want to say when I want to say it."
The parade, car show, and fireworks display in Malin draws in plenty of visitors from outside the area...reflecting another freedom.
"It's not really a given right, but we love to travel." Adds Ed Stanton. "Being able to go where we want, do what we want."
The spirit of freedom is alive and well in Malin.
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.