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Lucky to be alive

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Dan Koopman’s vehicle was totaled but he was not injured when he was caught in a landslide Wednesday night. Koopman says the experience was life changing and he is glad he made it out alive. (KGW TV photo)
 

La Grande man unhurt during landslide on I-84

A La Grande man is feeling lucky to be alive after he was caught in a rockslide on Interstate 84 Wednesday night.

Dan Koopman was traveling home from a meeting in Salem when the rocks started smashing into his car near Hood River. One boulder came crashing down in a near miss. 

 

Public Safety Report for February 14, 2014

Public Safety Report for February 14, 2014
 

McClatchy-Marist Poll: American dream seen as out of reach

WASHINGTON — Racing into a new century in which many of the old rules don’t seem to apply anymore, Americans are overwhelmingly pessimistic about their chances of achieving and sustaining the American dream, according to a new Marist-McClatchy Poll.

 

Avalanche victim credits guide for her survival

BAKER CITY — A backcountry skier who suffered two broken legs in a deadly avalanche credits much of her survival to the guide who "scarcely left her side" as they waited roughly 30 hours for rescuers to overcome dangerous conditions and remove her from the slope.

 

10 Things to Know for Friday, Feb. 14

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

 

Rockslide closes eastbound lanes of I-84 near Hood River

HOOD RIVER — The Oregon Department of Transportation says it has a lot of work to do before it can reopen the eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 that were hit Wednesday night by a rockslide in the Columbia River Gorge.

 

La Grande School District's preliminary budget for 2014-15 is positive

The La Grande School District's 2014-15 budget picture is bright.

"The outlook is very positive. I'm forecasting that the budget we build will be five percent more than than the one we built last year,'' Chris Panike, the district's budget and plant operations director told the La Grande School Board Wednesday night.

 

Injured skiers being taken by sled to snow cat

The two backcountry skiers who were seriously injured during an avalanche Tuesday are being hauled out of the mountains by way of ski-sleds, Baker County Undersheriff Warren Thompson said this afternoon.

Rescuers began bringing the two skiers out about 12:22 p.m. today, Thompson said.

 

Snow slide kills 2 skiers

Avalanche in Wallowa Mountains near Cornucopia leaves others with broken legs

Two backcountry skiers, one a client from the Seattle area and one a guide from a Joseph company, were killed about noon Tuesday in an avalanche near Little Eagle Meadows, in the southern Wallowa Mountains near Cornucopia.

Two other skiers, also from the Seattle area, suffered broken legs in the slide.

 

Former La Grande mayor leaves impressive legacy

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Buzz Fulton dies Friday at age 93  

Buzz Fulton, a community servant who spoke with a slow drawl but connected with people at light speed, passed away last week.

 

Thespians win awards at regionals

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Joseph High School Seniors Holly Taylor, Mia Ritter-Whittle and Noel Taylor won awards at the Oregon Thespian Northeast Regional Acting Competition last month. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)

Three Joseph High School Thespians gave award-winning performances last month at the Oregon Thespian Northeast Regional Acting Competition in Sandy.

Holly and Noel Taylor won the Duo Novice Comic category. That qualifies them to compete with winners from the other regions at the State Acting Competition in April. They performed a cutting from “Lemonade” by James Prideaux.  

 

Grange members prepare to clean up, rebuild

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The Southfork Grange in Lostine is planning several fundraisers to help it recover from Saturday’s fire. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)

LOSTINE — The work continues to identify the source of a fire that destroyed Norton’s Welding and the Southfork Grange in Lostine Saturday morning, but locals are looking to rebuild history and commerce in the tiny Wallowa County city.

 

Public Safety Report for February 12, 2014

Public Safety Report for February 12, 2014
 

Briefly: Walk for warmth event set

Walk for Warmth event set 

It is not too late to join this year’s Union County’s Walk for Warmth event Saturday. Registration runs from 10 a.m. to noon at the Union County Senior Center, 1504 Albany St.

Participants can choose one-, two- and three-mile walks or a six-mile run.

 

Chamber hopes to draw tourists from Washington

Changes coming to Union County tourism efforts

An effort to boost Union County tourism has the Union County Chamber of Commerce director casting an eye toward the Tri-Cities, Wash., area.

 

Chamber hopes to draw tourists from Washington

Changes coming to Union County tourism efforts

An effort to boost Union County tourism has the Union County Chamber of Commerce director casting an eye toward the Tri-Cities, Wash., area.

 

Council moves to ban feeding of wildlife within city limits

UNION — Citing public safety, property damage and established management practices, the Union City Council read an ordinance Monday that would prohibit feeding deer, raccoons, wild turkeys and other potentially habituated wildlife within city limits. 

If the ordinance passes, violators could face a citation.

 

Council moves to ban feeding of wildlife within city limits

UNION — Citing public safety, property damage and established management practices, the Union City Council read an ordinance Monday that would prohibit feeding deer, raccoons, wild turkeys and other potentially habituated wildlife within city limits. 

If the ordinance passes, violators could face a citation.

 

Little Creek nears flooding levels

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The water level at an ice jam on Catherine Creek, a half-mile east of Union, is nearing flood stage. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)

North Union homes would be threatened  

Little Creek, which runs north of Union, is nearing flood stage, possibly threatening a number of homes along it.

“It is high and muddy,” said Paul Phillips, the public works director for the City of Union. 

 

Dealing with a backlog

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Retired Lt. Steve Taormina test fires a rifle at an Oregon State Police crime lab. A backlog at state crime labs has at least one local family searching for answers.
 

Crime lab backlog isn’t new, but directors work to mitigate court delays

A backlog at state crime labs has at least one local family searching for answers.

Jeff Black, who was badly burned in an August 2013 incident, is wondering when the district attorney’s office will get results on forensics in the case.

 
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