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Liberty Theatre Foundation to benefit from fundraising dinner

Event Sunday at Ten Depot Street features Italian-style dinner, jazz music, auction and presentation by architect

Local restaurateur Sandy Sorrels is putting recently-acquired knowledge of Italian cuisine to good use, cooking up a benefit dinner for the Liberty Theatre Foundation. 

Investing in local economy to be focus of author’s talk

BAKER CITY — Michael Shuman, author of “Local Dollars, Local Sense,” is coming to Baker City’s Bull Ridge Brew Pub Monday.

Shuman will talk, starting at 5:30 p.m., about community capital and how investing in the local economy creates benefits for both the investor and regional businesses.

UCEDC tours Barreto plant

Greg Barreto, founder of Barreto Manufacturing, talks about one of his company’s trenchers to a group of local residents who participated Thursday in the Union County Economic Development Corporation tour of the Barreto site located near the Union County Airport. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)

Union County Economic Development Corporation receives first-hand look at multi-million dollar operation that employs 75 workers

Greg Barreto built his first all-hydraulic tiller more than 30 years ago. As a college student he grew tired of fixing tillers, so he began to make his own.

He sold his first tiller to his employer at a rental yard and launched Barreto Manufacturing, Inc. in 1984. 

Homegrown entrepreneur giving back

Elgin Subway owners Brock and Alex Eckstein have given $8,000 in contributions to the Elgin community during their first year in business. (TRISH YERGES/WesCom News Service)

ELGIN — Too often high school grads leave the peaceful country of Northeast Oregon in exchange for a metropolitan job and lifestyle. 

Not Brock Eckstein, who put his entrepreneurial ideas to work and because of his success has given $8,000 in contributions and funding back to his community. 

Family opens ranch to guests

Marcie Sheehy and her daughter, Carrie Hermens, brand cattle with their family and neighbors. This spring, they will open up a Wallowa ranch house to guests looking for an authentic ranch experience. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)

WALLOWA — The Wallowa County ranching lifestyle may not seem extraordinary to most rural dwellers, but to those in urban areas, life on a working ranch could be intriguing enough to travel to Eastern Oregon for a taste of it for themselves.

Small business happenings November 6, 2013

Small business happenings November 6, 2013

Artistry Ink: Tattoo shop featured in book

La Grande tattoo artists Leon Higley and his shop, Redemption Tattoo, will be featured in the book “Tattoo Road Trip —The Best of Oregon.” “I was excited to be admired by someone who’s been in the business for so long,” Higley said. “It was really a step in my career that said I had done something real.”

For years Leon “Primo” Higley read articles by Bob Baxter in Skin and Ink magazine. Higley, a tattoo artist in La Grande, never imagined he would be getting a personal call from Baxter. But that’s exactly what happened last year.

Baxter and his wife, Mary Gardner, had started working on “Tattoo Road Trip — The Best of Oregon,” and they had heard good things about Higley. They wanted to feature him and his shop, Redemption Tattoo, in their book. 

Teen fashion store opens in Island City

(CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

Island City’s new clothing store rue21, located in front of Grocery Outlet off Walton Road, celebrated its opening with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony last week. Sharing the honors of wielding the scissors are the four store managers, from left, Heather Hunt, Lindsay Hodgson, Ashley Johnson and Jessica Bingaman. The store caters to the teen fashion market although, according to its website, rue21 “is a favorite with almost anyone looking for fashion that is young, fresh and affordable.”  

Local FFA member selected


Kelsee Carlsen, a member of the Imbler FFA chapter, who has FFA-supervised agriculture experiences in goat production, both in breeding and market animals, will be on stage and in the spotlight Wednesday through Saturday during the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Ky. 

Corporate community helps launch food drive

(CHRIS BAXTER/WesCom News Service)

The annual Community Action Network’s annual food drive for Union County kicked off recently with a major boost from the local corporate community.

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