Cowlitz Webmaster Starts News Aggregate Site

Rod Van Mechelen, who for nine years has been distributing published news about Indian country through a vast e-mail network, is now focusing his energies on a news website.

CowlitzCountry.com is a Native news aggregation site similar to Indianz.com and Pechanga.net, but with more of a focus on Washington and Oregon. “Eventually I plan to run original content, but right now it will just be an aggregate site,” he said.

Van Mechelen, a Cowlitz tribal councilman, is a health insurance specialist with the state Health Care Authority. He was webmaster of Cowlitz’s website from 2003 until July this year.

Van Mechelen wants to make news from various sources easy to access. Besides headlines and links to the day’s top stories, his site has links to 57 daily and online publications, including Indian Country Today Media Network, and a reader forum.

“Instead of digging through a mass of e-mail, you can find links for all the current local tribal news I can find on CowlitzCountry.com,” he said. “And as I backfill the archive with old headlines, you will be able to quickly find links to older articles too. Once the new site is established, I might resume sending an e-mail once a day that includes just the headlines you can find for the current day.”

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