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Island City councilor will step down at the end of February

ISLAND CITY — Kevin Bradshaw, a member of the Island City City Council since January of 2013, will step down at the end of this month.

Bradshaw has announced he is resigning because his family is moving out of the Island City area. His family will soon move to La Grande and then to Idaho Falls, Idaho, later this year.


Stepping down with no regrets

Dale De Long has announced he will step down as mayor of Island City at end of year, bringing an end to 24-year storied political career. 


Wildlife officials, law enforcement urging caution after dog gets leg caught in trap

Police say trap had no identifying markings as required 

WALLOWA — Oregon State Police are continuing an investigation of a dog caught in a trap in the city of Wallowa earlier this month. According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, trapping is illegal in any municipality.


Forest project will reduce fire danger, insect damage

More than 36,000 acres of forest restoration work planned within the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area will control insects and disease and improve timber and streamside health.

The Puderbaugh Vegetation Management project is available for review by the public until March 5, and can be accessed on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest website.


City not likely to modify policy

La Grande unlikely to follow Milton-Freewater’s lead and allow employees to carry firearms while on the job 

City employees in the Eastern Oregon city of Milton-Freewater received the green light recently to carry firearms on the job, but the same kind of proposal locally does not appear to be high on anyone’s priority list.


10 Things to Know for Monday, Feb. 17

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


Briefly: Adult singles group meets for lunch

A SOLO Adult Singles Group Luncheon will take place at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the Nazarene Church Fellowship Hall at 18th and Gekeler. Lunch will be provided. This is a fragrance-free venue. For more information, call Linda at 541-963-3751.


School district budget picture is bright

La Grande budget may be 5 percent higher in 2014-15

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 5 percent more than the one we built last year,” Chris Panike, the district’s budget and plant operations director, told the La Grande School Board Wednesday. 


Fire chief remembered for long, distinguished career

COVE — A career dedicated to safety and a willingness to help others has come to an end.

Cove Rural Fire District Chief Sonny Johnson stepped down recently, ending a run as fire chief that started in 1992. Johnson had been a volunteer with the department for about 10 years and served under Red Hill before taking the position of fire chief.


Court affirms LUBA decision

Litigation could continue in Island City controversy

The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by the Land Use Board of Appeals to remand the issue of a trucking company in a residential zone back to Island City.


Flooding threatens several structures

Two to three feet of water and ice forced the closure of Highway 244 near Red Bridge State Park Thursday afternoon. The road was reopened Friday morning. In addition to the closing of Highway 244, flooding around Union and Wallowa counties has also threatened a number of structures. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)

Flood waters begin receding by Friday morning

Flooding in Union and Wallowa counties forced at least one road closure Thursday and threatened a number of structures.


Officials: Safety was critical

BAKER CITY — The effort to bring two injured backcountry skiers out of the Wallowa Mountains Wednesday was hampered by steep terrain, deep snow and ever-changing weather.

Chris Galiszewski, coordinator of the Baker County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team, said safety was the emphasis throughout the rescue.


Lucky to be alive

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.

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