Carol Knopp of Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation and Life Celebration
Center recently was awarded the gold level Presidential Volunteer
Service Award for her service to MarineParents.com.
The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation was
established in January 2003 by executive order of then president George
The council was established to recognize the important contributions
Americans of all ages are making within their circumstances through
service and civic engagement.
UNION — Longtime Union resident Adina Ferguson is some entrepreneur.
She started her business just a few months ago, and already she employs
hundreds of workers.
It isn’t hard being in charge of so large a work force. There’s no
payroll to speak of. All Ferguson does is make sure her employees have
optimal working and living conditions, and plenty to eat.
Ferguson, a lady who loves science, nature and wildlife, is in the
rather esoteric business of skull taxidermy. It’s the process of
cleaning, degreasing, bleaching and mounting for display the skulls of
animals hunters have taken in the great outdoors.
La Grande’s Oregon Main Street program took tangible strides toward
downtown improvement last Wednesday, awarding two grants for
improvements of building facades.
in for a facelift: The Anthony Building, located at 1118 Adams Ave. and owned by Mary McCracken, will get facade improvements thanks to a $6,400 grant awarded by the Main Street Program. Observer photo/BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH
The City of La Grande had $14,000 in state and local funds
available, and gave it out during the Main Street Program’s semi-annual
meeting at Cook Memorial Library.
“These two restoration projects will be very noticeable in downtown
La Grande,” said La Grande Community and Economic Development Director
Charlie Mitchell. “It is our hope they will be the first of many facade
A cure for Parkinson’s disease won’t be found today, tomorrow or anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean people will stop looking.
FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Tricia Takahashi, manager of Domino’s in La Grande, asked her co-workers to contribute toward her brother Michael Decker’s efforts to raise funds for Parkinson’s research. Employees chipped in $300, and inspired Domino’s owner Jessy Watson to expand the fund-raising effort. The Observer/BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH
Employees at Domino’s Pizza in La Grande are doing all they can to
help. After they heard about Michael Decker and his goal of walking in
a Sole Support for Parkinson’s fundraising event, they started taking a
dollar here, a dollar there out of their tips and placing the money in
a special box in the kitchen.
Manager Tricia Takahashi said the money added up fast.
Buffeted by some unfavorable economic winds lately, Union County got together last week to make some new plans for the future.
action plan: Consultant Brian Cole of Orbis Group talks about economic strategies and key success factors during a county-wide economic development summit held last week at the Blue Mountain Conference Center. The Observer/CHRIS BAXTER
On Thursday and Friday, the Union County Economic Development Corp.
hosted public meetings at the Blue Mountain Conference Center, inviting
anyone interested in the health of the local economy to attend.
The turnout was gratifying, said UCEDC Interim Director Mike Sanford.
The City of La Grande Main Street Program has received an
overwhelming response to the request for proposals it issued last month
targeted at downtown building owners interested in partnering with the
city and the state on building renovation projects this summer.
Numerous downtown building owners are interested in partnering with the city and the state on building renovation projects this summer. Observer file photo
The city received notice of a $6,667 grant award from the state in
April. In addition, the city is providing up to $7,500 in local urban
renewal funding for a total available building renovation grant of
$14,167. City officials received 12 proposals as of the May 21
Twelve project proposals from nine applicants representing 10 buildings in La Grande’s Historic District have been submitted.
Have you ever wondered why commercial trucks have to stop at weigh stations along Oregon’s highways?
CHECKING UP: An Oregon Department of Transportation employee checks a truck through a weigh station during a statewide weight enforcement event last year. This month, ODOT Motor Carrier enforcement officers again conducted checks at stations throughout the state, including the one near Spring Creek on Interstate 84 west of La Grande. Photo/ODOT
In Oregon, commercial vehicles more than 26,000 pounds pay a
weight-mile tax instead of the fuel tax that passenger vehicles pay.
The weight-mile tax is a large part of the funding that Oregon uses
to preserve and maintain public roads and bridges. In 2008, ODOT
collected more than $240 million in weight-mile tax. Weigh stations
throughout the state ensure compliance with size and weight laws.
Local economic development leaders are encouraging the public to
attend summit meetings on economic strategic planning hosted next week
by the Union County Economic Development Corp.
UCEDC is inviting all members of the community to participate in one
of two meetings slated for May 28 and May 29 at the Blue Mountain
The purpose is to help Union County prepare and plan for the future, said UCEDC interim executive director Mike Sanford.
ELGIN — While some rural cable companies are folding under the
pressure of changing technology and economics, Elgin TV Association has
survived the transition and remained financially solvent in the
upgrades in progress: Systems technician Mike McCants and Ted Thamert, Elgin TV Association president, stand by their goal board that outlines the priority upgrades targeted for future completion by the association. The Observer/TRISH YERGES
Ted Thamert, president of the non-profit association, is serving his
second year of a two-year term at Elgin TV Association. He is one of an
eight-member board of directors, all volunteers who supervise various
departments and functions of the organization.
Each of them puts in between five and 20 hours of volunteer labor
each month. Besides these, the organization employs two full-time and
one part-time employee.
Hundreds of local manufacturing and wood products industry jobs have
vanished in the current recession, and nobody knows if they’re ever
DELICATE WORK: Students Matthew Collins (right) and Jennifer Dockweiler practice the fine art of splicing fiber optic cable. Looking on are classmates Matt Hall (left) and Ady Ayatullah. The Observer/BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH
For many dislocated workers, the answer to the problem of
unemployment lies in learning something new. A group of about 20 people
had a chance to do just that recently when Training and Employment
Consortium hosted a hands-on class in fiber optic technology.
Armed with new knowledge — and a certificate of completion — the
students have a shot at getting a job in a high-growth, high-demand
industry, said Lynn Trice, TEC’s workforce development supervisor.
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