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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 07/31/15

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Legislators propose raising state’s minimum wage

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Keri Shirley, who has been working at Bear Mountain Pizza since May, thinks it would be nice to get a raise to $15 as is proposed in the Oregon Legislature. However, that raise would hurt a privately owned business like Bear Mountain, she said. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
A recent bill introduced to legislators suggests raising Oregon’s minimum wage from $9.25 to $15 an hour — a feat many small businesses believe would put them out of business. 

Kindergarten proposed at two schools

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The Kindergarten Committee recommends kindergarten be taught at Willow, shown here, and Greenwood in 2015-16. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The La Grande School District’s kindergarten map will change next fall but not as dramatically as once anticipated.

USFS, public continue to meet

BAKER CITY — In a continuing attempt to poll the community on how best to involve the public in the Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision, the Forest Service called a meeting of county government officials and forest users.

BRIEFLY: Community invited to free chili supper

UNION — This Saturday, the community is invited to share in a free chili supper and game night from 
5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Union. Participants are welcome to bring their favorite board and card games. 

Art activities will also be available for youth and adults. For further information, call 541-562-5748. (The event was previously published as occurring Feb. 28; the Observer regrets the error.)


Board holds initial session

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A vote is taken during the first meeting of EOU’s board of trustees Thursday. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
It was a red-letter day in Eastern Oregon University’s nearly 86-year history. 

Oregonians rally for universal health care

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Alex Watson, left, helps Rosemary Powers take a selfie and send it to state legislators at the Health Care for All Oregon rally in La Grande on Wednesday. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
Hundreds of Oregonians  
rallied at the capitol steps and across the state to promote a single-payer health care system on Wednesday.

ODOT proposes widening highway

ENTERPRISE — A plan to build a bike and pedestrian path along the Wallowa Lake Highway will require a lot of fundraising to come up with the more than $20 million price tag.

BRIEFLY: Class of 1965 plans 50th reunion

The La Grande High School class of 1965 will have a 50th reunion planning meeting at noon Tuesday at Bear Mountain Pizza.

Gov. Kitzhaber announces resignation

Gov. Kitzhaber announced just after noon today he will resign from his position as governor. 

Welcome to The Jungle


Secretary of State releases statement

After nearly 24 hours, Secretary of State Kate Brown today broke her silence on why she left two days early from a national conference she was heading to meet with Gov. John Kitzhaber.



Governor won't resign as planned over ethics scandal

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — With an ethics scandal weighing him down, embattled Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber decided to resign but then changed his mind, three people with direct knowledge of the situation said.

They said the Democratic governor told some of his aides Sunday that he was going to step down as criticism mounted over allegations his fiancée used his office to land contracts for her consulting business.


Kids club, campus leaders talk

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Noah Thomas works with a Mr. Potato Head toy Friday afternoon at Kids Club. Eastern Oregon University and Kids Club leaders are in early discussions about teaming up to add a child care program at or near the EOU campus. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The leaders of Kids Club, a child care program run by Community Connection of Northeast Oregon and one of the largest in La Grande, have expressed an interest in teaming up with Eastern to run a child care center. 

Warmer temps brings a glimpse of spring

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Lindsey Warness and her dog Tana enjoy the warmer weather on Tuesday afternoon at Birnie Park. Warness said she would prefer more snow. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
It’s just the second week of February, but the Grande Ronde Valley has been experiencing some warm weather — about 10 degrees above normal.

East Moraine lands national rank

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Forty acres of Wallowa Lake’s east moraine was put into permanent easement by The Wallowa Land Trust and land owners Jacob Hasslacher and Chris Antemann. (Kendrick Moholt/For The Observer)
ENTERPRISE — A geologic wonder attracting thousands of visitors each year earned prominent status last week when it was ranked 10th by the Forest Legacy Program.


BRIEFLY: Information sought in Cove robbery

The Union County Sheriff’s Office is seeking additional information after a robbery was reported in Cove Saturday night.

The sheriff’s office received a call with a report of a robbery on Jasper Street at about 8:35 p.m. Sheriff’s deputies and Oregon State Police troopers responded to the scene where they learned a disguised male suspect forced entry into a home and confronted the resident with a weapon, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. The suspect demanded property and fled the scene with stolen items, the release says.

Deputies and troopers searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect. Items of evidence were recovered and the investigation is ongoing.

The suspect is described as a male approximately 5’7” with a thin build.

Citizens who saw or heard anything suspicious, or who have any information about the incident, are asked to call the sheriff’s office at 541-963-1017.

Residents are reminded by the sheriff’s office to keep their homes secure and to be aware of any suspicious activity to report.

The sheriff’s office is being assisted by the Oregon State Police and the La Grande Police Department.


Expect delays for on I-84 near Boardman


Mini stimulus program approved by Union City Council

The Union City Council approved a mini stimulus program for businesses at its meeting on Monday.

The mini stimulus program will provide one to two  businesses which open on Main Street in Union $200 a month in 2014-15.  The plan was approved by a 6-0 vote by the city council. Nobody spoke in opposition to the plan at the city council meeting.

Information sought in Cove robbery

The Union County Sheriff's Office is seeking additional information after a robbery was reported in Cove Saturday night.

Still searching for answers: Brother, uncle of death row inmates questions investigation

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Doug Turnidge flips through one of several binders full of information regarding the 2008 Woodburn bank bombing investgation. Doug’s brother, Bruce, and nephew, Joshua, are on Oregon’s death row in the case, but Doug has a number of concerns surrounding their convictions. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Doug Turnidge believes in the death penalty, even with a brother and nephew on Oregon’s death row.

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