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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 09/17/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

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Man held on $500,000 bail for alleged assault on grandparents

Scott Allen Kassel, 25, is being held at the Union County Jail on $500,000 bail on multiple charges of first-degree assault against his grandparents.



2 dead, 3 injured in crash northwest of Enterprise

UPDATE — 7:45 a.m.: Two people are dead and three hospitalized following a vehicle crash last night on Crow Creek Road northwest of Enterprise.

A release from the Sheriff’s Office said at approximately 9:20 p.m. Thursday night, the Wallowa County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene of a crashed motor vehicle. Two of the occupants were pronounced dead at the scene and three were flown to Wallowa Memorial Hospital. One person was later flown to a Boise hospital.

No names have been released at this time. The Sheriff’s Office said the case is under investigation.


Police continue to investigate death of worker

Police contine to investigate the death of a road construction worker.


Two assaulted Wednesday afternoon

Two people were assaulted with a knife yesterday at Hot Lake Lane.

The Union County Sheriff's Office responded to an assault in progress at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The suspect, Scotty Allen Kassel, 25, was taken without incident.


Behind the scenes: Councilors, residents get chance to tour La Grande Public Works facilities

Read more... Upon waking up, many La Grande residents may head to the bathroom or grab a glass of water from the tap.

Probably not on their minds, though, is where that water comes from and where the water goes after it’s used.


BRIEFLY: Fire nearly destroys house in Union

Fire nearly destroys house in Union

UNION — A house in Union was fully engulfed in flames last night, said Union Rural Fire Protection District volunteer Tony Davis.


CJD brings in visitors, dollars

The Bucking Horse Stampede down Joseph’s Main Street kicks off the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo week, when Joseph’s population grows significantly and businesses prepare for the influx of visitors. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)

Businesses see increase in revenue during busy week

JOSEPH — The line of traffic into Wallowa County started last weekend, evidence that the thousands who come for the 69th annual Chief Joseph Days Rodeo are making their way toward Joseph. 


Apartments will be built to last

Official: Low-income housing costs more but should save on major maintenance

Construction of the 38-unit $8.2 million Blue Springs Crossing low-income housing complex is set to begin in late August or early September.  


Henneke follows family tradition with Guard service

Sgt. Matt Henneke, La Grande, a communications specialist assigned to Eastern Oregon’s Oregon Army Guard unit, the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, tests a radio in a Humvee July 12 at the Orchard Combat Training Center south of Boise, Idaho. Henneke is a member of the battalion’s communications team. (PAT CALDWELL, WesCom News Service)

La Grande soldier follows father’s career path in military

La Grande’s Matt Henneke came to the region’s Guard outfit in a roundabout fashion but in a real way his decision to join the military traces its roots to a strong family tradition.

Henneke, 37, works full-time as a computer help desk technician with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, but once a month he steps away from his desk and dons his uniform to work as a communications specialist with Eastern Oregon’s 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment. 


Eastern board taking shape

List of nominees for inaugural board of trustees will soon be sent governor

Eastern Oregon University’s first-ever institutional board may include a number of people who have played important roles in the school’s history. 


Hurricane Creek Fire keeps crews busy

Fire officials estimate Wallowa County blaze to be several hundred acres

ENTERPRISE — After a week of maintaining a perimeter of roughly 120 acres, high winds pushed the Hurricane Creek Fire northward into heavily forested Dunn Creek. At press time there was no estimate of total acreage burned, but fire officials estimate it to be at several hundred acres.


Helicopter flight path concerns raised

Ken Bruce, a retired La Grande School District electrician, is urging the school district to use caution if a November bond passes. If the bond passes, the school district plans to build a new Central Elementary School south of the current one. That plan concerns Bruce, who believes moving the school could place students and teachers in harms way because of the flight path of Life Flight. (AMANDA JOHNSON for The Observer)

Former school district employee urges precautions be taken if Central Elementary School relocated 

Ken Bruce, a retired La Grande School District electrician, believes there is a lot to like about the $31.85 million bond levy the school district will ask voters to approve in November.

“I like all the things that will help the district’s buildings last longer,” Bruce said. “I also support all of the attempts to improve safety and security.” 


BRIEFLY: One treated after Boise Cascade fire

One treated after Boise Cascade fire

ISLAND CITY —  One person was treated for smoke inhalation late Saturday night as result of a fire that caused moderate damage at the Boise Cascade particleboard plant. 


Observer wins 9 awards at ONPA

The La Grande Observer received nine awards, including four first-place awards, in the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association’s annual competition, held Thursday and Friday in Salem.


Water rates raised by $6

La Grande residents will soon be paying $6 more a month for their water.

The La Grande City Council, on a 6-1 vote, approved raising water user fees from $16.04 to $22.04 a month.

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