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The Observer paper 11/25/15

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Making a swift recovery Alicel teen now back home

The Martin family will celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday at their home with plenty to be thankful for. Kelly Martin said that having Calvin, above, back for the holiday will make it one of the familyís best Thanksgivings ever. (Dick Mason/The Observer)
Mike Martin knew that the next steps taken by his 14-year-old son, Calvin, who had just regained consciousness in a Seattle hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage three days earlier, would pose a challenge.

The father was right. The steps did prove challenging — not for Calvin but for a medical team not prepared for a fast-moving patient.

Wallowa County holds first pot opt-out hearing

ENTERPRISE — A wide difference of opinion emerged Tuesday as Wallowa County commissioners heard testimony about a proposed ordinance to prohibit wholesale and retail marijuana operations in unincorporated areas of the county.

Term limits group pushing forward

Sue Albers signs Sharon Porterís petition on Sunday. The Union County Citizens for Good Government is looking to gather 627 valid signatures. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
The Union County Citizens for Good Government is “on pace” for the anticipated Feb. 17 deadline of 627 valid signatures to limit commissioners’ terms, according to Jim Mollerstrom, the chief petitioner and one of the group’s founders.

BRIEFLY: Philly Group sells Christmas trees

ELGIN — The Imbler/Elgin Philly Group will be selling Noble and Nordmann fir Christmas trees beginning Friday in the old ISU lot across from Community Bank in Elgin. The lot will be open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, and from noon to       

6 p.m. Sundays, until the trees are all sold. Prices are $25 for trees shorter than 5 feet, $35 for trees 5-7 feet, and $45 for trees taller than 7 feet. The group will also be selling trees in La Grande during the same hours next to Aaron’s on Adams Avenue.

US traffic deaths rise sharply after small decline in 2014

DETROIT — After declining for most of the past decade, traffic deaths spiked 8 percent in the first half of this year, prompting a call from the nation's highway safety chief to find ways to reduce the human errors that cause most fatalities.

Chopping block: Petition asks La Grande City Council to avoid service cuts to kidsí programs

Lifeguard Morgan Baek watches swimmers at Veteranís Memorial Pool. Among items discussed at a recent Fiscal Committee work session earlier this month were ideas to close the pool for three months of the year. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
More than 175 people have signed an online petition urging the La Grande City Council to say “no” to kids’ programs cuts.

Union County communities weigh options

Union is not alone in Union County.

Union is not the only city in the county still in the process of deciding whether it will opt out of Measure 91, the measure Oregon voters approved a year ago that legalized the sale and production of marijuana in Oregon for recreational purposes.

BRIEFLY: Union City Council to discuss marijuana

UNION — The Union City Council will meet Tuesday for a work session. The work session will start at 6 p.m. at city hall. Street funding and marijuana will be two of the topics discussed. 

DIVERSITY OF VOICES: Opinions vary on marijuana

The City of Union is one of only four towns in Union County that have not officially opted out of recreational marijuana sales. (Tim Mustoe/ The Observer)
The question has supporters and foes of the sale of recreational marijuana buzzing in Union.

Should Union opt out or in?

The question rolls lightly off the tongue but weighs heavily on the minds of Union’s city councilors and citizens.

Meanwhile, the clock continues to tick as an all important deadline approaches.

The Union City Council is now deciding whether to opt out of Measure 91, the measure voters approved a year ago that legalizes the sale and production of marijuana for recreational purposes in Oregon.

BRIEFLY: Theater offers special needs show

The Granada Theater will cater to their sensory-sensitive patrons with an 11 a.m. Saturday showing of “Peanuts” (rated G). The lights will be dimmed but not turned off and the volume will be decreased. 

Those who are light and sound sensitive are invited to participate in this special showing and let the staff know if it was more comfortable for them. The staff at the Granada are using this event to see if their sensory-sensitive patrons come out to see it and respond well to the changes. 

If successful, the Granada will schedule more sensory-friendly shows in the future. 

Elgin-area man sentenced to three consecutive life sentences Thursday

Additional public meetings scheduled in December on the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision

NORTH POWDER — The U.S. Forest Service has scheduled a public meeting for Dec. 15 in North Powder to discuss aspects of the agency’s work on revising the management plans for the Wallowa-Whitman, Umatilla and Malheur national forests.

Suspected architect of Paris attacks is dead, according to two senior European officials


I-84 eastbound closed Tuesday night after multiple vehicle accidents

Read more... Interstate 84 was closed Tuesday through the night after Oregon State Police responded to two separate accidents involving multiple vehicles.

City ready for new 20th Street

20th Street, from Gekeler Lane to Adams Avenue, has been closed to through traffic as work crews work on the new Gekeler Slough crossing. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)

La Grande’s 20th Street is long overdue for a new overlay, a project set to finally come to fruition next year.

And then there were none

MAXVILLE — The last remaining building in the extinct logging town of Maxville has been dismantled for later reconstruction.

Marijuana town hall in Union draws supporters and opponents

BRIEFLY: PFLAG honors Transgender Day

Friday is Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is a day to honor the memory of those people who have died because of anti-transgender prejudice and violence. PFLAG Union County will light candles in memory of those killed during a memorial service at Max Square in La Grande from 5 p.m. to approximately 9 p.m. Friday. Volunteers to help light candles are welcome. The event is open to all.

ODOT: High winds across NE Oregon area

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