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La Grande Observer 04/24/15

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Shelter finds new home

Big changes are in store for Shelter From the Storm.

BRIEFLY: Check out Christmas village on display

The community is invited to view a Christmas village display at the La Grande Forest Service Ranger District building. The village is set up in the conference room.

Police: 1 injured in Wednesday shooting

UPDATE (7:50 p.m. 12/18): La Grande Police have arrested Matthew Woodford, 33, in connection to Wednesday night's shooting. He is charged with assault in the second degree and is lodged in the Union County Jail, Police Chief Brian Harvey said.

"Both he and his family members are cooperating with the investigation," Harvey said. 


Santa Train rolls again

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(Observer file photo)
A cherished La Grande Christmas season tradition, one derailed a year ago, will be renewed late this afternoon.

Barreto appointed to ag, business, ed committees

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Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek selected Greg Barreto, right, to serve on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, Business and Labor Committee and Education Committee during the 78th Legislative Assembly.
Union County businessman Greg Barreto is ready to get to work on key issues in the region, including agriculture, business and education.

Timeline set for school projects

Greenwood Elementary School, Island City Elementary School, La Grande Middle School and La Grande High School may be hubs of extensive construction activity next summer.

BRIEFLY: Bonfire for teens kicks off winter break

The City of La Grande’s Parks & Recreation Department and its Youth Advisory Board are hosting a Winter Break Kick-off Bonfire at Pioneer Park. The event will take place behind Optimist Field in the gravel parking lot from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Friday. This is a supervised free event for high school students and refreshments will be provided.

Will revised ordinance help curb barking Dogs?

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Kendall McGinnis of La Grande walks her dog, Norah, in downtown La Grande. McGinnis says that Nora generally barks at other dogs and skateboarders walking by but hasn’t had any problems with neighbors. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Union County officials are excited about a revised animal control ordinance and its potential to quiet barking dogs.

Will city dip into budget to fix issues?

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New sidewalks in Elgin built to help get children to school safely have drainage issues, amongst other problems. The city council said with the cold weather, the water can turn to ice and the students are still going into the street to avoid falling. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The City of Elgin will likely have to use the $10,500 set aside from its budget for the Stella Mayfield Safe Routes to School project, despite continuous efforts not to use the funds.

Former teacher, coach leads fast-paced life

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Max Lane and Virginia McLaughlin dance Thursday during the noon hour at the Union County Senior Center. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Max Lane of Cove knows four or five dance steps.

BRIEFLY: R&C Family Store broken into last week

R&C Family Store was broken into approximately 3 a.m. Thursday morning, according to Manager Mike Simonis. 

The burglars smashed the windows to get into the store and took approximately $87, according to La Grande Police Sgt. Jason Hays. 

“There is no reason to believe it was connected to the (14 burglaries previously),” Hays said. “This is an isolated incident.

Simonis said they made a mess when they smashed the window and the security cameras the store has were not working at the time. He said they are getting in contract with the security company about the possible malfunction.

Hays said the burglars left money and did not take any merchandise from the store. 


New courthouse site plan final

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Shelter From the Storm officials have dropped an appeal to the site plan for the new Union County courthouse. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The La Grande City Council is no longer set to hear the site plan application for the new Union County Courthouse.

Child care costs among nation’s highest

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Talia Welch, art teacher at Heidi Ho, helps the students with their art projects. Some of these students use the extended program so they can stay at school while their parents are still at work. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Child care is often a necessary service for working parents. However, according to an audit released last week by Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, the state’s child care costs are one of the least affordable in the nation.

City moves pot ban forward

The La Grande City Council sent the ordinance establishing a moratorium on marijuana facilities to its second reading at Wednesday night’s city council meeting.

BRIEFLY: Elks seek help this Christmas season

ENTERPRISE — The Enterprise Elks are looking for help this holiday season with the Christmas Baskets and Tree of Giving Program. People who can help with a donation or volunteer time should call Donnie Rynearson at 541-263-0598. The Tree of Giving is up and decorated with cards of those who are in need of some Christmas magic. Families who may need help buying presents for their children can ask to have a card put on the tree, or if someone knows a family in need, they can make the request. To request help for a family, contact Enterprise City Hall at 541-426-4196 no later than Monday.

La Grande City Council likely to pass moratorium on marijuana facilities

The La Grande City Council decided to send the ordinance to enact a moratorium on future marijuana facilities for up to 10 months to its second reading, with the very likely possibility it will pass in the Jan. 14, 2015 meeting. At last night's meeting, no testimony was heard for or against the moratorium which will allow the council to add more regulations to their already passed ordinance.


Travel Conditions Update: December 10

Strong wind throughout northeast Oregon and around the state are creating challenging driving conditions for travelers. 

Travel Conditions Update

The National Weather Service in Pendleton has issued a High Wind Watch and Wind Advisories in effect through Thursday for sections of eastern Oregon. 

Sixth annual Shop with a Cop a success

                                                                                                                                                            

Fifteen La Grande students brought a bit of Christmas home Tuesday.


New electricity tariffs would hit hard

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A new electricity tariff imposed by Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative could add nearly $2,820 to the cost of operating Hog Wild Days in Island City. The event is hosted by the Island City Lions Club. (Lowell Beeman photo)
One of Island City’s signature celebrations may soon take a big hit.

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