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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 07/29/15

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Officer cleared of wrongdoing

PENDLETON — The wife of an Eastern Oregon businessman shot and killed by a small-town police officer has lost a federal civil rights lawsuit that sought $10.5 million in compensation.

BRIEFLY: Let bingo shake off the winter blahs

ENTERPRISE — The community is invited to join the fun at a series of Bingo Nights this winter at Cloverleaf Hall, located at the Wallowa County Fairgrounds, to be held the second and fourth Wednesday during January, February and March. Sponsored by the fair board members, this is a fundraiser for Wallowa County Fairground improvements. Play bingo between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Jan. 28, Feb. 11 and 25, and March 11 and 25. 

Call Sondra Lozier at 541-426-3229 for more information.

Willow Elementary institutes lockout after suicidal subject incident this morning

A lockout was conducted at Willow Elementary School today from about 8 a.m. to noon.

Forest restoration

State Foresters Jana Peterson, far left, and Jamie Knight, left, discuss stand improvement options with landowner Tim Fisher. Last year the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Forest Service chose several sites around the country to improve forest health along private/public land boundaries. In Oregon, the east face of the Elkhorns was chosen as a pilot. (Katy Nesbitt/The Observer)
Last year the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Forest Service chose several sites around the country to improve forest health along private/public land boundaries. In Oregon, the east face of the Elkhorns was chosen as a pilot.

East Face vegetation management proposal released for comment

BAKER CITY — The public is invited to submit comments on the East Face Vegetation Management Project Proposed Action  through Feb. 13. 

BRIEFLY: LHS Class of 1947 meets Monday

The La Grande High School Class of 1947 will meet at 1 p.m. Monday at the Flying J Travel Plaza.

Suicidal man barricades himself in motel room

Police draw their weapons during a situation Friday morning at the Orchard Motel on Adams Avenue in La Grande. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The 27-year-old man who barricaded himself inside the Orchard Motel has killed himself. 

Rock Slide Blocks Road to Hells Canyon Dam

It could be up to a week before vehicles can be allowed north of Hells Canyon Park. Idaho Power crews are removing a 60-yard-long section of boulders and rock, and clearing additional unstable material from the cliff above the road.
OXBOW, Oregon, January 22, 2015 — The only road to Hells Canyon Dam could be closed for up to a week due to a large rock slide that completely blocked the road about three miles north of Hells Canyon Park Wednesday afternoon.

Taking no chances

Students walk out one of the many outer doorways of La Grande High School on Friday. Even though the school has many points of entry, Principal Brett Baxter said the school was locked down within five to 10 minutes. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
La Grande High School Principal Brett Baxter did not fear the worst while reaching for his ringing cellphone, but he suspected that an urgent message awaited him.

Baxter was right.

Man claims he was injured in bar attack

Jerry Keagle sustained facial injuries Saturday night in what could have been an assault outside Bud Jackson’s. (Courtesy photo)
A La Grande woman is looking for answers after her husband sustained injuries outside a bar Saturday night.

Mitchell set to head west

Dale Mammen, left, chair of the Liberty Theatre Foundation, and La Grande Community and Economic Development Director Charlie Mitchell look around inside the old theater. Mitchell is set to take a new job next month but hopes to be back for the first show at the Liberty. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Charlie Mitchell arrived in 
La Grande in October 2008 after the city council decided to hire someone to work on economic development.

BRIEFLY: Elgin chip seal assessment bills paid

ELGIN — The outstanding chip seal accounts in Elgin have all been collected and the property owners have paid their dues. 

Approximately 30 past due accounts on a chip seal assessment from as far back as 1997 were brought to the Elgin City Council’s attention in July. 

The council voted to send out letters warning of the past due accounts and at one point discussed putting liens on the homes of those who had not paid. 

An estimated $35,000 was due from these past due accounts. The council gave homeowners 30 days to respond. 

At last week’s city council meeting, Brock Eckstein said the homeowners have paid their bills.

MY VOICE: Ensuring SFS continues to exist

Union County needed a new courthouse, but the community failed to support funding. Approximately $2 million from an inmate retribution fund are granted to Union County to build a new courthouse. Commissioners did a feasibility study and came up with a plan that entailed demolishing the community’s DV/SA center. 

State of the Union 2015

Interstate 84 pileup

Black ice, steep terrain and poor visibility are likely to blame for the series of crashes early Saturday 33 miles east Baker City. Twelve people were transported to the emergency department at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City for injuries, according to hospital officials. (Oregon Department of Transportation photo)
A dozen people were injured, some of them seriously, in a massive 26-vehicle pileup that closed Interstate 84 for the day Saturday.

Walden talks timber, health

 U.S. Rep. Greg Walden is confident about the direction of the 114th Congress.

Project ready to move forward

ENTERPRISE — After months of deliberation and years of study, PacifiCorp is working on its final license application for the Wallowa Falls hydroelectric project.

BRIEFLY: Square dancing lessons start Thursday

Free square dancing lessons will begin Thursday at the Fort Union Grange Hall on McAlister Lane. The class begins at 7 p.m. Call 541-963-5740 for more information.

Black ice blamed for I-84 pileup

BAKER CITY — Black ice is believed to be the cause of a freeway pileup involving more than a dozen tractor-trailers that left 12 people injured Saturday in eastern Oregon, police said.

Travelers advised to bypass I84 completely in Eastern Oregon

ODOT advises travlers to stay away from I-84 completely in Eastern Oregon due to two major accidents that occurred earlier this morning.

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