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The Observer Paper 10/22/14

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BRIEFLY: Lodge serves Elgin Stampede breakfast

Lodge serves Elgin Stampede breakfast 

ELGIN — Hiram Lodge No. 67 is serving an Elgin Stampede sausage, egg and pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday. 


Remains found near Eastern Oregon recreation area

MILTON-FREEWATER — Loggers have found human remains scattered near a Blue Mountains recreation area where an Eastern Oregon teenager went missing nine years ago.


BRIEFLY: Festival celebrates pioneer heritage

Festival celebrates pioneer heritage 

Heritage Days will take place Thursday through Sunday in the community building at Emigrant Springs State Park, off Interstate 84 near Meacham. 

Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings the Blue Mountain Fiddlers and other regional entertainers will play from 6 p.m. until they’re too tired to go on. 


Loan was a long time in the works

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Gov. John Kitzhaber, second from left, tours the Boise Cascade particleboard plant June 28. There he presented a check for a $166,000 forgivable loan. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
 

Boise Cascade forgivable loan part of Business Oregon program

Over the past 12 months, Boise Cascade has ramped up production in La Grande, hiring 70 new employees between Mount Emily Lumber and its particleboard plant.

The expansion was aided in part by a Business Oregon forgivable loan that helped pay for on-the-job training for 58 employees.


Support strong for housing project

Groundbreaking for $8.2M Blue Springs Crossing looming 

ISLAND CITY — A vacant two-acre field less than 400 yards southeast of Walmart will soon be a beehive of activity.

Groundbreaking for the $8.2 million Blue Springs Crossing apartment complex for low-income residents is set to begin next month at Walton Road and Mulholland Drive.  


Decades of practice pay off

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Martin Birnbaum wraps copper foil around a piece of glass in preparation for soldering at his home workshop in La Grande. (KELLY BLACK photo)
 

Local men have spent years working on perfecting the craft of building stained glass

Back in the 1970s, Monday nights found a group of men in the basement workshop of a local funeral home watching “Monday Night Football” with announcers Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford and working on stained glass.


Wildland fire started by illegal fireworks

Crews from Oregon Department of Forestry, La Grande Rural Fire Protection District and City of La Grande responded to a wildfire near Fox Hill Road Saturday night. The cause of the fire was illegal fireworks being set off in the area.


Woman missing on Snake River

A 60-year-old woman is missing and is presumed to have drowned on the Snake River.


BRIEFLY: Brennan biographer appears in Joseph

JOSEPH — The Josephy Center will host Carl Rollyson, who is working on a biography of long-time Wallowa County rancher and Hollywood actor Walter Brennan, at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Rollyson has biographies of Marilyn Monroe, Norman Mailer, and Dana Andrews to his credit, and teaches the craft at a New York university. 


Flaggers face long shifts, difficult travelers

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Nita Thomas watches as traffic passes on Highway 30 near Gangloff Park Thursday. Hundreds of drivers are turned around from trying to use the westbound Exit 259 on-ramp each day by the flaggers, who are stationed around the clock. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

Difficulties with drivers prompts ODOT to contract for flaggers to monitor on-ramp 

About halfway through the construction season, flaggers monitoring the closed Exit 259 on-ramp say travelers continue to try to negotiate onto the closed road.

Hundreds of drivers are turned around each day by the flaggers, who are stationed around the clock at Gangloff Park.


Fire devastates Mt. Glen Road house

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A fire destroys a house at 62208 Mt. Glen Road early Sunday morning. A man was in the house at the time but escaped safely. (JIM VOELZ photo)
 

No injuries in early Sunday morning blaze, fire officials said

A fire destroyed a small one-story house just north of La Grande early Sunday morning.

The blaze broke out at about 3 a.m. at 62208 Mt. Glen Road near Blackhawk Trail Lane. A man was in the house at the time but escaped safely.


BRIEFLY: Parks’ kids classes coming next week

Parks’ kids classes coming next week 

The following classes will be offered by the City of La Grande Parks and Recreation next week. 


District, UCSO finalize SRO deal

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Cody Bowen
 

Cody Bowen will serve as resource officer in school district in 2014-15

The La Grande School District will soon have a new set of eyes, giving students, teachers and staff a new reason to feel more secure.

Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody Bowen will serve as the district’s resource officer in 2014-15. Bowen has been a deputy with the sheriff’s office for 3-1/2 years. He is a familiar face in local schools because he works with students in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. 


Lightning storm sparks small wildfire

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Lightning lights up the sky northeast of La Grande Wednesday night. Officials with the Oregon Department of Forestry said about 400 strikes were recorded between Wolf Creek Reservoir and La Grande. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

Hundreds of lightning strikes result in a wildfire, leave some without power 

Dozens of lightning strikes Wednesday night prompted Union County residents to grab their cameras while others later dealt with a wildfire near North Powder.

About 400 lightning strikes were recorded between Wolf Creek Reservoir and La Grande during the storms, said Joe Hessel, a forester with the Oregon Department of Forestry. One strike resulted in a small wildfire about 6 miles northwest of North Powder. 


Going back home

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A 1969 Young Crusader fire truck retired by the Cove Rural Fire Department was returned to the East Coast department that originally owned it.
 

Cove Rural Fire District returns classic fire truck to its original department in Virginia Beach, Va.

The throaty sound of the engine evokes memories of the past.

“It has a 671 Detroit Diesel. When you hear the sound, it is like yesterday,” said Keith White, a retired captain at the Virginia Beach Fire Department.


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