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The Observer paper 02/12/16

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BRIEFLY: Cattlemen to meet new extension agent

ISLAND CITY — Union County Cattlemen will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Ag Service Center in Island City. Farm Services Agency will provide information about this year’s drought program, and the new Union County Extension Agent will be introduced. The meeting is open to the public.

Wallowa-Whitman easing restrictions

Starting Thursday, the Wallowa-Whitman is allowing campfires in designated campgrounds and recreation areas, and in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.


La Grande City Council declares emergency, will not allow for pre-sale

The two main topics of Wednesday night's La Grande City Council meeting had to do with marijuana — one regarding the pre-sale of recreational marijuana by the medical marijuana facilities in La Grande beginning Oct. 1, and the other was whether to opt-out of the sale and production of marijuana by year's end. 


Taking a big gamble

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Lt. Col. Brian Dean, right, of Salem, the commander of Eastern Oregon’s Army Guard unit, the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, discusses a battle plan for a hasty defense with Maj. J.W. Lundell, of La Grande, at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, last month. (Spc. Michael Germundson/115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
FORT IRWIN, California — The moment of truth for Lt. Col. Brian Dean appeared inside a cone of darkness on a desolate piece of ground on the Mojave Desert. 

Former ale house auctioned

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The building that housed Mt. Emily Ale House at 1202 Adams Ave. in La Grande has been sold to Community Bank following a foreclosure. Mt. Emily Ale House and owner Gerold “Jerry” Grant are named as defendants in foreclosure documents filed in Union County Circuit Court. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
The Adams Avenue building that last housed Mt. Emily Ale House has been sold to Community Bank following a foreclosure.

BRIEFLY: Elgin man arrested on sex crimes charges

ELGIN — Paul Kevin Sanders, 52, Elgin, was arrested Friday night at 9 p.m. on a secret indictment warrant on charges of first-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree sexual abuse, according to Capt. Craig Ward of the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

Sanders is currently lodged in the Union County jail on a full bail warrant of $100,000.

He was arraigned in court Monday.

Ward said the case is under investigation and could not provide additional information on the circumstances of the arrest or the individuals involved.


Union County Commissioners approve Med Transport

After almost four months of waiting, Chris Arvidson can begin setting up his non-emergency transport business after the Union County Commissioners gave him approval on Wednesday.

Police investigating stolen vehicle incident

UPDATE: Daren Usher, 46, has been charged with one county of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle following some follow-up information after Usher and two others were detained this morning in the Safeway parking lot, said La Grande Police Chief Brian Harvey.

Two people who were with Usher have been released from police custody and have not been charged with any crimes.

 


Fiscal committee looks at raising revenue

The La Grande Fiscal Committee would rather work on the city's revenue than make cuts, the group indicated Monday night.


Progress made against Grizzly Complex fires


Growing Concern

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Jon Wright, of Union, is a medical marijuana cardholder and grows for himself, his girlfriend, Chantel, and eight other people. He has about 50 plants in his backyard. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
Jon Wright wants to ensure the other side of the medical marijuana story is told.

Officials optimistic about progress

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Shane Greer, left, and Chris Barth examine a map of the Eagle Complex fires on Sunday. Greer is the incident commander for Rocky Mountain Team Black, an interagency team combating the fires. Barth is a public information officer for the fires. (Dick Mason/The Observer)
MEDICAL SPRINGS — A sense of relief could be detected in the voice of Shane Greer as he stood in front of about 20 people at a fire camp for the Eagle Complex blazes at 6:15 a.m. Sunday. 

Leads still elusive in Rogers case

Neli-Cristina Rogers, 27, is still missing after disappearing on June 20. La Grande Police Sgt. Jason Hays has spent the last two months following up on leads.

BRIEFLY: Forest Plan Revision meetings on hold

Given several wildfires across the Blue Mountains, the Forest Service and High Desert Partnership will postpone, until further notice, the announcement of additional public meetings to discuss the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision.

The supervisors of the Wallowa-Whitman and Umatilla national forests have asked Forest Service personnel to continue to focus on the ongoing firefighting efforts to protect public and private lands. The Forest Service and partners will announce additional meetings via email, an updated news release and updates to www.fs.usda.gov/goto/BlueMountainsPlanRevision. For more information, contact Peter Fargo at 541-523-1231, public affairs officer for the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision, U.S. Forest Service.


High wind advisory warning

The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory and Blowing Dust Advisory for high winds in parts of central and eastern Oregon, and sections of Washington.



AC work underway for kids back at school

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Foreman Tim Hursh, left, looks over plans, while Shane Colton uses stilts to inspect the ceiling for future air conditioning systems and ducting on the second floor of La Grande High School. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
A 13-year tradition is ending for La Grande Middle School Principal Kyle McKinney.

Wallowa County fires continue growing

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Crew members work on the engine of a firefighting helicopter stationed at Joseph State Airport on Thursday. (Chuck Anderson/For The Observer)
Two stubborn wildfires continue to burn in Wallowa County as firefighters anticipate cooler weather with the chance of rain over the weekend.

Burnout operations underway ahead of wind

Eagle Complex firefighting crews took a big step on Thursday in preparing for what is expected to be a stiff Saturday challenge.

BRIEFLY: Band raises funds with yard, bake sale

The La Grande High School band is holding a yard sale to help raise money for student activities. A wide variety of items as well as baked goods will be for sale. Yard sale items range from large to small with bag prices on clothing. The sale will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the Union Wallowa Baker Federal Credit Union at 3 Depot St., La Grande.

Eagle Complex fires stable


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