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BRIEFLY: Mountain Valley Therapy offers free arthritis class

La Grande’s Mountain Valley Therapy, 2519 Cove Ave., is offering a free information class on arthritis at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The class will be led by Corrine Dutto (MPT, OCS) and Mica Riley (Arthritis Certified Aide) and is designed for anyone with arthritis or related rheumatic diseases of musculoskeletal conditions.

Topics covered will include how to reduce pain and stiffness, restore or maintain joint range of motion, maintain or increase muscle strength and improve balance and coordination. For more information call 541-962-0830.


Feds’ ruling still leaves some key questions unanswered

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Changes to floodplain management criteria that can be completed without federal rulemaking will be implemented by Jan. 1, 2019. Mapping changes to include additional hazard areas and residual risk are completed, and enforcement has begun, by Sept. 15, 2019. Any needed changes to FEMA’s regulations will be completed by Jan. 1, 2021. (Observer file photo)
To protect federally endangered fish species, Wallowa and Union county cities enrolled in the National Flood Insurance Program will have to follow new rules regarding floodplain development.

The new mandates stem from a lawsuit filed against the Federal Emergency Management Administration by the Audubon Society of Portland and other environmental groups. The legal action asserted the Federal Emergency Management Administration floodplain insurance allowed for the development in Oregon’s floodplains.



AmeriCorps veterans lend a Helping hand

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Tyson Schoenmoser, an Air Force veteran, and Richard Castillo, a Coast Guard veteran, examine an outcropping near Joseph. (Ellen Morris Bishop/For The Observer)
Verna Gonzales always wanted to be an archeologist. Helping communities find their roots and keeping history safe and alive is important to her. But life happened, and she had to bypass graduate school. 

Now, thanks to AmeriCorps, this U.S. Army veteran will be reconnecting with work she loves in Wallowa County for the next 11 months. 



BRIEFLY: Tuesday is cut-off date for voter registration

Tuesday is the last day you can register to vote in order to have a say in the May presidential primary election. Tuesday is also the last day registered voters can change their party affiliation before the election. If you have any questions, call the Union County Clerk’s office at 541-963-1006 or go to www.oregonvotes.org.

Irrigation season getting started in valley

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A central pivot irrigation system applies water Tuesday morning to a field of Kentucky bluegrass on a farm in the Sandridge area southwest of Alicel. The farm is managed by Matt and Melanie Insko, the owners of M & M Farming, LLC. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Grande Ronde Valley farmer Matt Insko is reaching for his smartphone a little more frequently than he did a week ago. 

Insko began irrigating his crops this week, a process he does with the help of his smartphone. Insko has an application on the device that allows him to switch any part of his central pivot irrigation system on or off, adjust the water application rate and monitor it. 


Land managers take advantage of spring weather

ENTERPRISE — There’s been a little smoke on the horizon the past few weeks as landowners and public land managers take advantage of spring weather to clean up the woods and ditches with fire.

BRIEFLY: Kindergarten round up set for Thursday

The La Grande School District will hold its kindergarten round up from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Willow Elementary School, 1305 N. Willow St.

All parents of children who will be kindergartners in the LGSD his fall are encouraged to attend. They will be able to register their children for kindergarten at the round up, and parents can bring their children to the event.

Those who cannot attend can pick up kindergarten registration packets at all La Grande School District elementary schools.


Wallowa Lake Lodge has new owners

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Wallowa Lake Lodge General Manager Laura Cosgrove, left, and Office Manager June Newburn complete set-up of an online transfer of funds to the lodge’s Bank of Eastern Oregon accounts. (Ellen Morris Bishop/For The Observer)
A nine-month-long campaign to secure the future of Wallowa Lake Lodge is ending on a high note. The historic lodge has been purchased by a group led by local investors, Lake Wallowa Lodge LLC. The sale became final late last week.

‘She lit up the hallways’

Hanna Doig-Cashell never forgot her friends, and on Sunday night those friends made sure she will not be forgotten.

BRIEFLY: Town hall to be held on underage drinking at 6 p.m. Tuesday

A town hall meeting on preventing underage drinking will be conducted Tuesday. 

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the La Grande Middle School Commons. The town hall is being put on by Union County Safe Communities. Refreshments will be provided and there will be drawings for prizes, including a 32-inch smart TV donated by Walmart. 

To pre-register call 541-963-1068 or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Those who preregister will have a chance to win the television.


LHS Shooting plot: School District did not hesitate to hand case to police

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La Grande Police Department and Union County Sheriff’s Office vehicles were parked outside La Grande High School for much of Thursday. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
La Grande School District Superintendent Larry Glaze has made many difficult decisions during his 41-year career as an educator.

A decision he made early Monday evening was not one of them — it was one he made without a moment’s hesitation.


NOAA delivers opinion on floodplains

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Oregon has 271 communities enrolled in the National Flood Insurance Program; 251 will be affected by a biological opinion announced Thursday to protect floodplains in salmon and steelhead bearing streams. (Katy Nesbitt/For The Observer)
ENTERPRISE — National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries announced Thursday a biological opinion that would greatly affect all new development along salmon-bearing streams in Oregon.

BRIEFLY: Tribute set for Hanna Doig-Cashell

A tribute for Hanna Doig-Cashell will be conducted Sunday night at La Grande High School. The tribute will run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.  at the LHS commons.   

Hanna Doig-Cashell, an Eastern Oregon University student and a 2015 LHS graduate died in a car accident Monday. 

The event will be informal and everyone will have a chance to speak.


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