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La Grande Observer 01/23/15

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Logging Operations Brings Scheduled Closure to Forest Service Road 7700-950

BAKER CITY, OREGON – Forest Service Road (FSR) 7700-950 near Catherine Creek Summit will be closed starting around September 22, to provide for public safety during line-logging operations on the Little Bear Timber Sale. 

13-year-old cited for Stella bomb threat

The Union County Sheriff's Office has cited a 13-year-old female for the bomb threat last week at Stella Mayfield in Elgin.

Commissioners hold off on contract approval

Union County Commissioners have recessed a Tuesday morning meeting without approving a contract with Mike Becker General Contractor, the company selected by the commission to construct the new county courthouse.

EOU President has sobering message

Interim Eastern Oregon University President Jay Kenton did not sugar coat the shaky financial situation his school is facing during a presentation at EOU's Fall Convocation Tuesday morning.

BRIEFLY: Squirrel knocked out power to 160 Sunday

A squirrel caused an electrical power outage in the Sunnyhills area of south La Grande Sunday morning.

Power went out at 9:05 a.m. after a squirrel caused a short in a line.  The short left 160 Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative customers without electricity. Power was restored for 142 customers at about 11 a.m. Power for the remaining 18 customers was restored by noon.

The short damaged equipment that had to be replaced before power could be restored, said Jim Horan, OTEC communication manager.

Neighbors not enamored with dispensary

Armando Robles, owner of La Fiesta and neighbor of Green Apothecary, is concerned for his business with the medical marijuana dispensary open across the street. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
I’m not in favor of it at all,” said Sandee Fox, who lives just down the block from La Grande’s one and only medical marijuana dispensary.Fox doesn’t like that it’s right down the street from her on Adams Avenue and doesn’t want a dispensary in La Grande at all.

Shelter, county headed to court

Shelter From the Storm and Union County will be back in court Friday for eviction proceedings.

SFS served eviction papers

Shelter From the Storm was served with eviction papers Friday.

The nonprofit and Union County will be back in court at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 19 for eviction proceedings.

New software provides better access to info

A new software system is being used by local law enforcement agencies that is saving money and giving officers more information than ever before.

Kids back at Stella following bomb threat

Students from Stella Mayfield Elementary School were evacuated Wednesday in an emergency response to a threat made to the school. (Trish Yerges/For The Observer)
ELGIN — Students at Stella Mayfield School returned to school Thursday and Friday after they were evacuated Wednesday afternoon because of a bomb threat.
Union County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the call and roped off the entrance of the school building on Division Street.

Common concern: Some worried about new Common Core-related assessment testing

Math teacher Chris Wagner helps a student with a problem on Thursday during class at La Grande Middle School. Concerns are being raised about the impending Smarter Balanced test, which is part of Common Core, that is being implemented in public schools in all 43 states that have adopted Common Core State Standards. Oregon is one of the states that has adopted Common Core standards. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The daunting specter of a new student assessment tool, the Smarter Balanced test, is looming large over parents, students and teachers in the La Grande School District and throughout Oregon.
The Smarter Balanced test, which all students, beginning in third grade, must take starting next spring in Oregon public schools, is regarded as far more difficult than the state’s previous assessment test.

BRIEFLY: Yard sale funds Union County scholarship

The Chapter DK P.E.O. annual yard sale will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday. The multi-family sale will be held at 308 L Ave. in La Grande. All proceeds fund scholarships for Union County students.
GRH Auxiliary meets Monday morning
The Grande Ronde Hospital Auxiliary will  hold a general meeting at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Island City City Hall. The speaker will be Eden Kruger, who will be familiarizing everyone with the hospital’s MyHealth website.

Business hours, location regulations discussed at hearing

La Grande City Council discussed the developing city ordinance on regulating medical marijuana dispensary at Wednesday night's meeting. 

The main topics of concern for the council was regulating a dispensary's hours and expanding the regulation to include Eastern Oregon University campus as a grade level.





Stella Mayfield evacuates in response to threat

Stella Mayfield students were immediately evacuated in response to a threat made to the school early Wednesday afternoon. Two Union County squad cars responded to the call, and the deputies roped off the entrance of the school building on Division Street.


Council wants ordinance enforced

UNION — Owners of dogs who bark constantly in Union are now on a short leash.

Frustrations mounting over Wastewater issue

North Powder Mayor Bonita Hebert, left, and Jim Hebert of the North Powder Public Works Department are concerned that the city hasn’t been able to irrigate its wastewater ponds since July. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer )
NORTH POWDER — Members of the North Powder City Council are at a loss.

Downtown business owner gets surprise

Candace Osterloh opened her store Tuesday morning to find Donald Bryant, 47, sitting on the floor surrounded by merchandise. His bike sat outside the window police said he broke to get into the store. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Candace Osterloh had a surprise waiting for her when she opened the doors to her store in the form of a 47-year-old man surrounded by bins of her merchandise and talking about elves and hobbits.

BRIEFLY: Administrator pay dropped to $36K

ELGIN — Elgin City Council decided to lower the starting pay for the city administrator position from $58,000 to $36,000.

The city administrator position is up for re-election this November as City Administrator Laird Allen will not run for election.

“Why start them at the top of the pile?” City Councilwoman Kathy Warren questioned. “They may not have any previous experience. The last elected official did not know what she was doing.”

One argument brought up that someone may not want to run for election if the position paid only $36,000.

That seemed a favorable outcome because, most of the council argued, if there is no one running for that position then it’s up to the council to hire someone to fill the vacancy.

Warren said someone with 12 years of city administrator experience can run against someone with no experience and it’s up to voters who to choose. 

“You can’t fire someone who’s in an elected position,” Warren said.

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