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116 years of delivering local news
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116 years of delivering local news

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TWIN FALLS — In one form or another, the Times-News has continuously provided news coverage of the Magic Valley for 116 years. On Wednesday, the newspaper — which started as two fierce competitors in 1904 and 1905 — starts its 117th year of publication.

The first order of business for the young newspaper was to promote the Twin Falls Irrigation Tract, which, at the time, had not come to fruition. The Snake River was dammed at Milner and released in early March 1905, filling the main canal with lifegiving water.

Editors O.H. Barber and Charles P. Diehl, both of Salt Lake City, printed 1,000 copies of the regular press run of the Twin Falls News and another 8,000 copies for the Twin Falls Investment Co. — which owned stock in the newspaper — to promote the tract and new town, named for a double waterfall on the river.

A few months later, Wilbur S. Hill started the Twin Falls Times, just a few blocks from the News on Main Avenue.

Each newspaper cost $2 a year.

In 1906, Diehl, a college acquaintance of photographer Clarence E. Bisbee, talked the young Nebraskan into moving to Twin Falls in order to document the progress that was soon to come.

Throughout the early years, the newspapers were well invested in the valley; Roland S. Tofflemire, publisher of the Twin Falls News and owner of the Twin Falls Times, coined the term “Magic Valley” in 1937.

Under Tofflemire, the two newspapers consolidated after four decades of competition to form the Times-News, which printed its “first” edition Feb. 16, 1942.

When they moved to a new building in 1945, the newspaper bought the old building, which still stands just off Second Avenue on Gooding Street West. The building still bears the newspaper’s name on the facade, along with the Masonic symbol of the square and compasses.

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The newspaper moved in 1970 to its current location at Second Avenue and Fairfield Street West. Other changes came to the Times-News during the 1970s: William Howard became general manager. Kelder and Al Westergren, who had worked at the paper since 1928, retired in 1974.

Howard left the newspaper in 1989 and managing editor Stephen Hartgen became publisher.

In 1993, a bureau was opened in Mini-Cassia, and, in 1997, the Times-News went online as Magicvalley.com. Lee Enterprises bought the Times-News in 2002.

1910 Times-News flag

1910

1930 Times-News flag

1930

1945 Times-News flag

1945

1980 Times-News flag

1980

1998 Times-News flag

1998

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