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The Helena Independent Record recently hired a new reporter to cover a new beat within the newsroom.

James DeHaven comes to the IR from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, where he covered city and county government. Most recently DeHaven was part of a reporting team that exposed the identity of the secret buyer of the Review-Journal as casino mogul and major political financier Sheldon Adelson. 

"James brings to the IR the kind of work ethic and watchdog mentality that our readers value in covering local and state government and business issues," said IR editor Greg Lemon. 

DeHaven will serve as the IR's business and state government reporter. It's a new coverage area for the IR and will serve to keep readers better informed of what's happening at the Capitol and within the many state agencies based here in Helena, Lemon said. 

"For our readers, state government happenings are daily, front page news," he said. "We want to meet that expectation, while continuing to expand our role as a watchdog for taxpayers and citizens. This will be one of the most important beats we have, and James' experience will be crucial."

DeHaven covered two city halls in his nearly three years at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, reporting on Nevada's first and fourth-largest cities, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, for the state's largest news organization.

The Dayton, Nevada, native is a two-time recipient of investigative reporting awards from the Nevada Press Association, which has acknowledged his work on stories uncovering allegations of fraud and tenant intimidation at a low-income housing complex, as well as a previously unreported backlog of parolees in the Nevada prison system.

He's also written newsroom award-winning stories that sparked a recall effort aimed at a sitting North Las Vegas municipal court judge, detailed covert computer hacking operations at Las Vegas City Hall and revealed allegations of revenue-driven “shake down” schemes aimed at Las Vegas traffic court defendants.

"After a few years covering local government, I'm excited to get to play in a bigger sandbox," DeHaven said. "Doubly excited that I get to do so in a place that, for me, is going to feel a lot more like home."

DeHaven will start work on Jan. 4. You will be able to reach him at the IR at james.dehaven@helenair.com or by phone at 447-4081. You can find him on Twitter at @JamesDehaven.

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