Benton County Holiday Food Drive

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Volunteers started to assemble holiday food boxes on Tuesday at the Benton County Fairgrounds for those who need it. Judy Gibson, the coordinator for the 33rd annual drive, says the group puts together around 1,400 food boxes before Thanksgiving. “About 3,500 people a month are eating out of food boxes in Benton … Continue reading »

Church Named Historical Site

ADAIR VILLAGE, Ore. – The oldest church in Benton County has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, and the County is working to renovate the building to reopen. The County acquired the North Palestine Baptist Church a few years ago and moved it from its original location at the Palestine Cemetery betewen … Continue reading »

Charity Group Repairing Woman’s Home

CORVALLIS, Ore. — A Corvallis woman will soon have a safe deck and a roof that no longer leaks, thanks to Benton County’s Habitat for Humanity. Margaret Cummins has fallen on her slippery deck several times and uses pots and pans to catch the rain that falls through the roof of her mobile home. But … Continue reading »

Oregon Child Care Prices Increase

CORVALLIS, Ore. – It’s getting harder and harder for parents in Oregon to afford the cost of child care. A new study by researchers at Oregon State University found that child care prices increased 13 percent from 2004 to 2012, while household incomes declined nine-percent. Oregon has been ranked the third-most expensive state in the country … Continue reading »

Benton County Early Burn Ban

  BENTON COUNTY, Ore.– An early burn ban is in effect in Benton County due to dry conditions. This year has seen an active and early fire season. “Over the weekend, the state of Oregon had over 36 grass fires that were related to burning,” said Corvallis Fire Marshall Jeff Prechel. The Forest Service has deemed … Continue reading »

Girl Scout Troop Leader Accused of Theft

CORVALLIS, Ore. — A former Girl Scout troop leader is facing first-degree theft charges for stealing more than $8,000 from her troop’s bank account.  Investigators say she stole money from cookie sales. Benton County sheriff’s deputies arrested Sheila Cowart on Saturday. “I’m sorry and give me a chance to make it right and I will,” Cowart … Continue reading »

Benton County Touts Lowest Unemployment

SALEM, Ore. — One Western Oregon county can tout the lowest unemployment rate in the state while others still struggle. In March, Benton County reports 6.1 percent unemployment–that’s the best in Oregon. The rate is 10.5 percent in Coos County and 11.1 percent in Douglas County. Lane County’s rate dropped a tad to 8.2 percent. … Continue reading »

DA Seeking Special Prosecutor

CORVALLIS, Ore. — The district attorney of Benton County is proposing a new idea to stop crimes before they happen. John Haroldson wants to create a specialized prosecutor position to focus on juvenile and mental health cases. “What I really want to avoid is finding ourselves in that situation where something terrible happens and after the … Continue reading »

Philomath Fire Approves Rural Annexation

PHILOMATH, Ore. — An annexation recommended Monday could provide fire protection for rural Benton County families. The Philomath Fire and Rescue Board approved a recommendation to annex a small part of an area known as the Greenberry Gap. The area hasn’t belonged to a fire district in five decades. There are about 500 buildings, including … Continue reading »

Benton County Unemployment Rises

ALBANY, Ore. — Benton County’s unemployment rate is traditionally the lowest among Oregon’s 36 counties. But new numbers showed an increase this year. According to the Oregon Employment Department, 6.2 percent of Benton County’s population was unemployed in February–that’s up from 6 percent last February. Amy McClaws is a single mother with two kids to … Continue reading »

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