Bruce Coutant shows the similarities of a French horn and the alphorns he makes. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)
At his workshop in the Lostine Canyon, horn player, carpenter tackles the complex process of making instrument synonymous with Swiss mountain dwellers
by KATY NESBITT / The Observer
If the Eagle Cap Mountains are considered Oregon’s Little Alps, then where better for alphorns to be built than Wallowa County.
Beginning in medieval times, alphorns were played by shepherds in the Alps, primarily Switzerland and France, to send messages to the people in the valley. Likewise, valley dwellers would play tunes as messages for the shepherds.
Two people were injured in a two-vehicle accident Sunday morning on the western edge of Union County.
The accident occurred at about 10 a.m. in the westbound lane of Interstate 84 about a mile west of the Union-Umatilla county line.
A La Grande Fire and Ambulance crew transported the two injured individuals to Grande Ronde Hospital.
Richard Higgdon, the La Grande man injured Friday evening in an accident on Island Avenue, is still listed in critical condition at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.
Higgdon, 48, was hurt when hit by a motor vehicle near the intersection of Island Avenue and Interstate 84 at about 7:45 p.m. Higgdon was standing in the right-hand lane of traffic when he was hit. He was transported by air ambulance to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.
NORTH POWDER — A quick response by the North Powder Rural Fire District held damage to a minimum in a Sunday morning fire in a double-wide mobile home just north of town.
Fire Chief Sam Martin said the fire was caused by an overheated wood stove that ignited the wall and the siding of the home on property owned by Ken Holman on Oregon Trail Highway about a mile north of North Powder.
The Red Cross was called to provide emergency housing for the tenants, a family of two adults and three children. Their names were not available in time for this story. The Red Cross also provided food, comfort kits and information on mental and physical health services, according to Dennis Kelly, an after-hours Public Affairs volunteer.
Martin said 10 North Powder firefighters responded to the fire at 11:47 a.m. They worked at the scene for about an hour.
The house sustained only minor damage thanks to the response of firefighters who arrived just seven minutes after they were called and were able to douse the fire quickly despite the high winds, the fire chief said.
“Most of the time doublewides burn really quick,” Martin said. “We’re really happy with the way things went. It could have been a complete loss.”
None of the family’s belongings was lost in the fire and there were no injuries, he said.
Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church members applaud pope’s humility
by Dick Mason/The Observer
Less than a week has passed since Pope Francis was elected the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church but some La Grande-area Catholics speak like they already feel a connection with him.
“He is not pretentious at all. It is like dealing with an uncle or a relative you have great respect for. He is someone you are very comfortable with,” said Jim Wimer, a member of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in La Grande.
Carol Wimer seconded her husband’s opinion Sunday morning during a coffee following Mass at Our Lady of the Valley. Carol said she is impressed with Pope Francis’s humility.
“He is very down to earth, he is a people’s pope,” she said.
Peter Maille suggests compensating farmers, ranchers for wolves on their property
by Dick Mason/The Observer
The question is as intriguing as wolves are controversial in Northeast Oregon.
Would paying ranchers a meaningful sum for each wolf on their land make them more willing to accept the growing presence of wolves in this region?
Peter Maille, an assistant professor of economics at Eastern Oregon University, posed this question Friday during a presentation in La Grande, “Rethinking the rancher-wolf relationship in Northeast Oregon.”
Maille believes that the possibility of paying ranchers for their wolves should at least be examined in light of what the predator, whose numbers are growing in Northeast Oregon, costs ranchers.
“Wolves are costly to ranchers in more than lost cattle and other livestock. There are indirect costs,” the economics professor said.
U.S. Marine James Nash, a Wallowa County native, earns two Purple Hearts
by Katy Nesbitt/The Observer
For the past 12 years, American troops have been deployed to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, while most of us go about our day-to-day lives untouched by the perils of war.
That is until one day a family gets a call that their son or daughter was injured in an attack.
The reality of war came crashing in for James Nash’s family last summer when he called to say he was recovering from a concussion at Camp Leatherneck, a 1,600-acre U.S. Marine Corps base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
“On Aug. 6, during Operation Lion Den IV, my platoon was doing some clearing operations in Now Zad,” said Nash, a first lieutenant and tank commander. “We were surrounded and attacked by a large element of Taliban — the opening of that attack was an 82 millimeter mortar.”
(CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
by BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH / for The Observer
Take care of the earth, and the earth will take care of you.
For third-graders from Central, Greenwood and Island City elementary schools, that message came through loud and clear during the annual Future Stewards Day event Thursday at Riveria Activity Center.
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