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PUBLIC SAFETY REPORT: Wednesday, Jan. 22


Briefly: Two Big Read events on tap for Thursday

WALLOWA — Fishtrap celebrates the 2014 Big Read with seven weeks of events surrounding the classic Western novel “True Grit.” Thursday, Paul VanDevelder will present “Portrayal of Indians in True Grit and Western Literature” at 6 p.m. at the Wallowa Band Nez Perce Trail Interpretive Center and at 7 p.m. at the Wallowa Senior Center. For more information on the Big Read, go to www.fishtrap.org.


Change made in 200-mile race

The Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race is a highly recognized race in the West, offering the only Iditarod and Yukon Quest qualifier in the region. A balance of consistency and change has helped keep this race at the forefront of the best-run races, organizers said.


Novice musher hits trail

Susan Parraga runs her Siberian Huskies along the Divide Country between Big Sheep Creek and the Imnaha River — some of the same ground covered by the mush teams of the Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race. (Courtesy Gary Parraga)

Rural Joseph woman tests dogs in Eagle Cap Extreme

Celebrating 10 years of hosting dog sled racers from around the West and Canada, this year’s Eagle Cap Extreme welcomes local Susan Parraga of rural Joseph to its list of competitors.


Snow removal for residents to end

The City of Elgin will likely halt snow removal services for elderly and disabled residents.

That was the consensus of the Elgin City Council at a Tuesday work session.


WURA gets support from state parks

WALLOWA — The framework for a coalition to pursue construction of a trail along the Joseph Branch was laid out by representatives from Oregon State Parks Tuesday at the Wallowa Union Railroad Authority’s monthly meeting.

Rocky Houston presented an outline of how the state parks department planned to facilitate the planning process to determine if communities along the line, stretching from Elgin to Joseph, support a trail alongside the railway and if the project is feasible.


Collaboration stressed at MLK rally

Participants in a march commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day head up Eighth Street on Monday in the final phase of their walk that ended at Eastern Oregon University. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

Martin Luther King Jr. did not do it alone.

That was the message Jamarkus Springfield, president of the Black Student Union at Eastern Oregon University, had during a short rally at Max Square late Monday morning commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


Pursuit results in crash

A vehicle pursuit ended with a crash in Union Tuesday afternoon. (Union County Sheriff's Office photo)
What started as a domestic disturbance call led to a vehicle pursuit and crash in Union Tuesday afternoon.


10 Things to Know for Wednesday, Jan. 22

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


10 Things to Know for Tuesday, Jan. 21

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


Citizens rally, march in MLK's memory

Eastern Oregon University students and others march through La Grande Monday in memory of Martin Luther King Jr. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)
Martin Luther King did not do it alone.

That is the message that Jamarkus Springfield, president of the Black Student Union at Eastern Oregon University, had during a short rally at Max Square late this morning prior to a march commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


Public Safety Report for January 20, 2014

Public Safety Report for January 20, 2014

EOU tops state list for online affordability

Eastern Oregon University is starting 2014 ranked No. 1 in the state.

EOU tops a new affordability list of Oregon colleges and universities offering online degree programs. The list was assembled by the operators of the website Affordable Colleges Online. The website ranks public and private colleges and universities throughout the United States.


Briefly: Want to play the dulcimer?

The Wallowa Dulcimer Club will meet Tuesday. The new club meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Woodshed at 705 S. River St. in Enterprise. Bring your mountain dulcimer and join the jam, with music and tablature handouts. All levels of players are welcome. For more information contact Heidi Muller at 304-382-9422 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Cattle loss alarms ranch

Above normal cattle loss that graze on public land prompted a Baker County ranch manager to send a letter to area agencies and media early last week.

George Rollins of the Pine Valley Ranch said 12 mature cows and 12 calves (not pairs) were missing from the cattle turned out in July on the East Pine Valley allotment north of Halfway. The cattle were gathered in October.


Finding a future for sage grouse

The greater sage grouse, known for its mating dance, is in decline across the West. The United States Bureau of Land Management’s preliminary blueprint is designed to prevent the sage grouse from securing protective status under the mandates of the Federal Endangered Species Act.

One critical implication of a recent spate of meetings about the future of sage grouse in Oregon is that ranchers and farmers must be attuned to potential regulatory initiatives, the chairman of a key Oregon Cattlemen Associations committee said.


Helping US veterans cut through red tape

Lonnie Myers, standing next to a sign for the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, devotes much of his time to helping veterans. The retired U.S. Marine colonel is an active member of the advisory board of the Community Based Outpatient VA Clinic in La Grande. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)

Lonnie Myers extending meaningful support to veterans

Miles of red tape often are insurmountable roadblocks for military veterans seeking health care from the Veterans Administration.


Harold Fruitts sentenced to 20 months

Elgin man fined, sentenced to prison for 2012 death of county public works employee

Harold “J.R.” Fruitts was sentenced to 20 months in a Department of Corrections facility Friday morning.

The sentencing follows a December conviction of criminally negligent homicide in the February 2012 death of John Rysdam III. 


Garcia targets LGPD, others

La Grande talk show host files complaints against police officer, deputy district attorney

Local radio personality Eddie Garcia has filed official complaints against a La Grande police officer and a Union County deputy district attorney. 


Caught in a typhoon

Portland-based band gets students electrified about music, begins national tour in Cove

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