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The Observer paper 02/10/16

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BRIEFLY: Arts Commission discusses scholarships, more

The La Grande Arts Commission will be holding its monthly board meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday,  at the Parks and Recreation office, 2402 Cedar St. 

On the agenda will be discussions about the commission’s annual high school scholarship, the regional high school exhibit-artist award and the upcoming Saturday Salon. As always, anyone that would like to attend is welcome, as the meeting is open to the public.


State warns of Moda-related scams

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services is warning Oregonians of potential scams in which callers pretend to be able to help those who have Moda health insurance policies. 

Grand jury indicts Ammon Bundy, 10 others

PORTLAND — A federal grand jury has indicted Ammon Bundy and some of the men and women who joined him at the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, authorities said Wednesday. 

Minimum wage hike could wind up in court

SALEM — As Democratic lawmakers tried this week to create a tide of support for Gov. Kate Brown’s plan to gradually raise the minimum wage by $4 an hour statewide, the proposal’s opponents brought in a new wave of threats. 

Priorities outlined for upcoming fiscal year

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(Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
As the Urban Renewal Agency continues to be a significant issue, La Grande city councilors pointed out Monday night during their annual retreat that many residents are still peppering councilors with questions about Urban Renewal.

After a century, windows still tell biblical stories

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This stained glass window at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church portrays the Virgin Mary and the angel Gabriel during the Annunciation. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
All are enveloped in mystery, works of art as fragile as they are timeless. 

County alert plan in place

Union County residents who want to be in the know if a disaster strikes will soon secure an opportunity to sign up for an emergency notification service.

BRIEFLY: LHS parent teacher conferences set

La Grande High School Parent Teacher Conferences times will be conducted Thursday and Friday. The conferences will be conducted from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on  Thursday and from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday. The conferences will be in the LHS commons.

AFOLs gather at Cook Memorial

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Rose Peacock and Chris Wunz judge the final pieces of the adult LEGO competition Saturday at Cook Memorial Library. The pieces will be displayed at the library during the month of February. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
LEGOs: they’re not just for kids. At least that’s what a group of adults made clear on Saturday at the Cook Memorial Library as they competed against one another to come up with the most creative piece in two hours.

Man dies Sunday in I-84 accident

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Emergency personnel respond to a crash Sunday on Interstate 84 near North Powder. One was killed in the accident. (Oregon State Police photo)
A Washington man died Sunday morning along ice-coated Interstate 84 near North Powder when he was hit by an out-of-control vehicle while he put chains on his commercial truck, Oregon State Police said.

Students show support for teacher with cancer

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Students, faculty and staff gathered together on Thursday in Ackerman Hall, donning their pink shirts to support the Pendleton High School Spanish teacher, Kathryn Youngman. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
It was a plethora of different shades of pink on Thursday afternoon, but the students from Eastern Oregon University stood behind a unified message: to support a local Spanish teacher going through her third diagnosis of cancer.

BRIEFLY: Temperatures rise slightly in La Grande in January

According to preliminary data received by NOAA’s National Weather Service in Pendleton, temperatures in La Grande averaged slightly warmer than normal during the month of January.

The average temperature was 33.1 degrees, which was 1.6 degrees above normal. High temperatures averaged 39.9 degrees, which was 1.5 degrees above normal. The highest was 48 degrees on Jan. 23. Low temperatures averaged 26.3 degrees, which was 1.8 degrees above normal. The lowest was one below on Jan. 4.

There were 24 days with the low temperature below 32 degrees. There were three days when the high temperature stayed below 32 degrees.

Precipitation totaled 0.74 inches during January, which was 0.89 inches below normal. Measurable precipitation — at least .01 inch — was received on eight days with the heaviest, 0.20 inches, reported on Jan. 19.

The highest wind gust was 50 mph, which occurred on Jan. 26.

The outlook for February from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center calls for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. 

Normal highs for La Grande during February are 42.9 degrees and normal lows are 25 degrees. The 30-year normal precipitation is 1.14 inches.

The National Weather Service is an office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.


One man dead in Sunday accident near North Powder

A Vancouver, Washington, man died Sunday morning near North Powder while he was chaining up his vehicle on Interstate 84, according to an Oregon State Police news release. 


Drop in students prompts closure

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Sophomore dental students, from left, Jenny Taverez, Olivia Train, and Jade Crossley give a presentation on a patient case study Thursday afternoon for the principles of dental hygiene class at the ODS College of Dental Sciences La Grande branch. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Citing declining enrollment numbers, the Oregon Dental School College of Dental Sciences announced it is shutting down the La Grande branch in March 2017, according to a news release. 

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