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The La Grande Observer Daily Paper 06/29/15

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Walden to hold town hall meeting

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden will hold a town hall meeting at 4 p.m. Sunday, January 18th in the Cook Memorial Library in La Grande. Walden will take questions from the public and provide an update on his efforts to reduce regulation on small business and create jobs in eastern Oregon.People are asked to show up early as seats are bound to go fast.

Elected service comes to an end

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La Grande Mayor Dan Pokorney will attend his last meeting as mayor of La Grande on Wednesday at city hall. Once old business is taken care of, Mayor-Elect Steve Clements will take control of the meeting. Pokorney reflects fondly on his time in city government and is appreciative of a council that worked collaboratively to find solutions. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
It seemed only fitting on New Year’s Eve that Mayor Dan Pokorney be the person to light up “2015” as 
La Grande’s own New York City-style ball dropped at midnight.

Forest Service asks for help

Read more...PENDLETON — In response to a strongly negative public opinion of the Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision, the Forest Service is looking for help.

Body cameras remain key issue

Body cameras have become a hot topic. So much so, in fact, President Barack Obama has asked Congress to authorize spending $75 million toward purchasing the cameras for police across the nation.

BRIEFLY: Retired teachers look at LHS Aspire

The Union County Retired Educators will meet at the Dusty Spur restaurant Wednesday. Lunch orders will be taken at 11:30 a.m.

The meeting will include a presentation on the La Grande High School Aspire program and a discussion on the River Bend donation. New and interested people are invited to attend.


The Weekend: One Smart Phone fits All


Raising concerns

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The McCarthy family has concerns about a proposed transmission line near Morgan Lake because of an eagle’s nest they have found in the area. Sue McCarthy and her daughter, Madeline, attended an open house for the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project to learn more and bring to light information about the birds, which they have previously been quiet about in order to protect the habitat. (Pat McCarthy photo)
Residents living around Morgan Lake will be giving the Bureau of Land Management input about eagles in the area as the agency takes comments on the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project.

Winter weather taking a break

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Meteorologists with the National Weather Service say the remainder of the winter in the region will be warmer and drier. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Winter isn’t over yet, but weather experts expect conditions across the region to be slightly warmer and drier than normal even as other portions of the U.S. wrestle with extreme cold.

City wins DEQ appeal

The city of Elgin will not have to pay $13,000 after being accused of non-compliance from Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality. 

BRIEFLY: Oyster and Steak Feed date changed

WALLOWA — The date for the Wallowa Fire Department’s Oyster and Steak Feed has been changed to Feb. 7. 

The event will be held at the Wallowa Senior Center from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cost is $30 for all-you-can-eat steak or oysters. Hot dogs will be available for children for $5. There will be a no-host beer and wine bar. For more information, call the city hall at 541-886-2422.


Dense fog advisory in effect until Saturday

A dense fog advisory has been issued until noon on Saturday.

State urges residents to test for radon levels

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Radon levels are based on the maximum result, the average of all results and the percent of locations with a result of 4 pCi/L or greater. The Oregon Health Authority on Tuesday released data showing La Grande and other areas are at high risk for dangerous radon levels. The state is urging residents across Oregon to test their homes this month during Radon Action Month. High risk areas include Scappoose, Banks and North Plains in addition to Boring, Parkdale, Dundee and Turner. Some parts of Portland were also at high risk.
La Grande residents should take advantage of low-cost testing kits to determine whether their homes have high levels of radon in them.

Council signs deal to begin project

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The City of Cove will replace corroded pipes like this with pipes that can bend and will last 500 years. The city signed an agreement for the project Tuesday night. (Observer File)
The Cove City Council signed an agreement Tuesday to hire Anderson Perry and Associates to help with the city’s hydropower plant project.

EOU launches online program this winter term

High school students in Eastern Oregon will soon have a chance to take online classes from Eastern Oregon University at a considerable savings. 

County considers emergency notification system

Union County is in the pre-planning stages of purchasing a county-wide emergency notification system.


BRIEFLY: Josephy Center hosts open mic night

JOSEPH — The next Open Mic and Potluck Night at the Josephy Center, 403 N. Main St., Joseph, will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Solo and group performers of all kinds are welcome, and a karaoke system will also be available. Performers and spectators may bring finger foods or desserts to share. 

Open Mic events will continue on the second Sunday of every month throughout the winter. These events are open to all ages, and families are encouraged to attend.


Ready for business

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Carol Lauritzen and Teresa Brain volunteered to help the Shelter From the Storm move into their new location on Saturday. The nonprofit opened this morning at 10901 Island Ave. after a two-week whirlwind of preparing the building for the move. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
Shelter From the Storm is ready to reopen for business.

UPDATE: Howard to be sworn in by telephone

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Union County Commissioner-Elect Jack Howard suffered a number of facial injuries in a New Year’s Day sledding accident. He will be sworn in via telephone today. (Jack Howard photo)
Jack Howard will be sworn in by telephone today after he was seriously injured in a sledding accident New Year’s Day.

Power line open house scheduled

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A proposed transmission line that would go through Union County — and near Morgan Lake — has been in the works since 2006.


BRIEFLY: Rain expected on top of melting snow

La Grande received snow heavy with water Sunday night, making travel and snow removal difficult. With the weather expected to continue, La Grande Public Works crews are plowing all sides of town using “all of the manpower and equipment we have available,” according to an email from Public Works Director Norm Paullus. They are concentrating first on bus routes, ambulance routes and steeper hillside roads.

Flooding is a concern as snow melts. With current conditions, crews may not have time to pick up all the snow and remove it before it melts.


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