Klamath Falls woman serves as Sen. Merkley’s State Communications Director

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley was in Klamath Falls this weekend.

It was an important visit for the Senator, and a homecoming for a Klamath Falls woman who plays a key role in Senator Jeff Merkley’s Portland Office.

Whenever you see Senator Jeff Merkley in Oregon, Sara Hottman is likely to be nearby.

After graduating from Henley High School, Hottman pursued a journalism degree.

“Her experience as a journalist is exactly what we need.”  Notes Senator Merkley.  “And of course, she’s very adept at connecting with press around the state.”

Hottman says her journalism work led to a job with the Mayor of Portland.  “The Senator’s office reached out to me – I was at the Portland Mayor’s Office, and his term was ending.  And so they reached out, and it seemed like a great opportunity.”

Senator Merkley’s visit to Klamath Falls over the weekend was a homecoming for Hottman, and her dog.

“She’s traveling now with her little dog named ‘Liz’.”  Said Senator Merkley.  “And I wish Liz was with us right now, because everybody sees the dog, and goes, ‘That’s the most adorable little puppy’.”

Hottman says she’s pleased with her boss, and the work she’s doing.  “It’s great job, and working with a great guy who’s a really big champion of Oregonians.”

Sara Hottman is the daughter of Karen and Tom Hottman of Klamath Falls.

Tom Hottman works in communications and marketing at Sky Lakes Medical Center.

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.

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