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Main Street wants signage

Signs along I-84, parking changes and brew festival in the works


La Grande Main Street Downtown hopes to bring some signage to the area in the coming year.

Signage, parking concerns and the upcoming brew festival were topics of discussion at a community roundtable for LGMS Downtown Tuesday night.



Mayor: Interested residents need to file for election

Daniel Pokorney is hoping for choices, diversity in upcoming council, mayor races

As Mayor Daniel Pokorney prepares to end his career as an elected official, he wants to make sure other residents are willing to take up the torch.


Radio host pleads not guilty to trespass charge


A local radio personality pleaded not guilty to a trespassing charge in court Tuesday afternoon.

Edward “Eddie” Garcia, host of the “Speak Your Mind” radio talk show, appeared in Union County Court for a plea hearing in the case regarding an alleged trespassing.


Storms bring little relief

Snowpack in Northeast Oregon is below average for this time of year. The dry conditions has local growers hoping for a wet spring to help improve the outlook. Much of the rest of the state is in worse condition. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)

Snowpack, moisture levels still below normal

Last weekend’s powerful storm system brought some good news for area moisture and snowpack, but not quite enough to relieve officials and growers.

According to the Department of Agriculture, snowpack is at 74 percent of normal for the Grande Ronde, Powder, Burnt and Imnaha region.


SolWest Fair moving to Union County

La Grande will be the site of one of the largest sustainable energy and living fairs in Eastern Oregon this summer.


Change: State in good position

Some not pleased with Veterans Affairs proposed standardized disability form

If the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs follows through on its plan for a standardized disability claim form that can be filed electronically, veterans in Oregon will be in a good position to deal with the change.

But Union County’s Veterans Service Officer Byron Whipple said he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to completely do away with the process now in place, where a veteran can get his or her claim started with a note handwritten on paper. 


Looking for a strike

Gary Kiesecker closed on the old Eagles Lodge building last week. He hopes to transform the century-old building into a 12-lane bowling alley. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)

Businessman eager to bring bowling back to Grande Ronde Valley 

A local entrepreneur is hoping to transform a dilapidated century-old building in downtown La Grande into a 12-lane bowling alley and event center.


Chili feed unfolds

Renovations are under way at the Lostine Tavern. A chili feed and tour of the historic building, set to reopen in May, is scheduled for noon Saturday. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)

See progress of historic building’s renovations 

The doors of the Lostine Tavern will be open to the community for a chili feed at noon Saturday.

With renovations under way, the public is invited for a special sneak-peek inside the historic building to view the newly exposed Bowlby stone and the framing for the new bathrooms and kitchen. Co-owners Peter Ferré and Lynne Curry will share plans for the bar, seating area and more. 


Going inside ‘True Grit’

Jay Jennings

Tough characters live on frontier trying to survive in really rough place 

A story known to many on screen and in print comes to life this winter as Wallowa County celebrates the Big Read with Charles Portis’ “True Grit.”

Portis expert and writer Jay Jennings spoke about the author and his works at the Josephy Center kick-off event Jan. 9.


10 Things to Know for Wednesday, Jan. 15

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


Island City water upgrade to include welded tank

Island City residents now have a clearer idea of what their water system will look like after it receives a $3 million upgrade.

The Island City City Council voted unanimously on Monday to have the new reservoir tank for the system be a welded tank. The new tank will look exactly like the welded one now in place on Walton Road.


10 Things to Know for Tuesday, Jan. 14

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





BRIEFLY: Discounted parking permits available

People can purchase city parking permits that will allow them to park for longer than the two-hour restriction on city streets, where signs permit. 

The permits can be purchased for $40 until Jan. 31. The price will increase to $60 effective Feb. 1. Permits are available at City Hall, 1000 Adams Ave. For more information, call 541-962-1313.


ODFW adopts new rules

SALEM — Temporary administrative rules for killing wolves attacking livestock became permanent Friday at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Salem.


Portland Republican stops in La Grande on small business tour

U.S. Senate hopeful Monica Wehby talks with residents about their economic concerns Friday afternoon. Wehby stopped in La Grande on a small business tour of Oregon. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)
U.S. Senate candidate Monica Wehby stopped in La Grande Friday afternoon while on a small business tour around Oregon.


Wind knocks power out for thousands

Penny Green of Elgin awoke Sunday to find a mangled storage shed and debris scattered from high winds. Gusts knocked out power on two separate occasions over the weekend. (Penny Green photo)
Elgin resident Penny Green was surprised when she woke up Sunday to find her shed turned around and mangled.


Public meeting set to discuss street conditions

JOSEPH — The City of Joseph is looking ahead to improve its infrastructure in the not-too-distant future with increased street maintenance and cost-saving measures to power its water supply. 


ANSWER MAN: Who is Meacham named after?

The small community, located about 21 miles west of La Grande, was named for the brothers Harvey J. and Alfred B. Meacham. The brothers operated Meacham Station, a stage coach firm, from 1863 to 1870. 


Housing project moves forward

A drawing shows a conceptual site plan at Blue Springs Crossing in Island City. The 38 units at the development would add to the approximately 210 units the Northeast Oregon Housing Authority owns and manages in Union, Wallowa and Baker counties. (Myhre Group Architects illustration)

ISLAND CITY — Construction of the $8.2 million Blue Springs Crossing apartment complex may begin later this year, according to a representative of the company in charge of building the proposed low income housing project. 

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