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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 07/27/15

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Group wants term limits

A grassroots group of Union County residents has taken the first steps in regulating the number of terms a commissioner can serve in Union County.

Explosion kills man in old Pendleton City Hall

PENDLETON — An explosion downtown Tuesday morning blew out windows and ignited massive flames that burned for more than an hour in a century-old building in northeast Oregon.

BRIEFLY: Registration open for AARP driver class

An AARP “Smart Driver” class will be offered Aug. 21 at Grande Ronde Hospital. The class will run from        9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with an hour break for lunch. Participants may be eligible to receive a discount on their car insurance by completing the class. 

Cost is $15 for AARP members, $20 for nonmembers. To register or for more information, call Fred Moore at 541-910-9797.

Union County drought declared

GRANTS PASS — Gov. Kate Brown has declared drought emergencies in three more Oregon counties.

Committee: Everything on the table when it comes to city finances

Nothing is off the table for the La Grande Fiscal Committee, committee members said Monday.

The ad hoc committee held its first meeting Monday night to begin discussions of how to move forward in addressing the city's general fund deficit. 

Project moving forward

La Grande City Councilor John Bozarth, left, shows fellow councilor John Lackey a part of the intricate woodwork Friday in one of the European-style corridors of storefronts. Bozarthís wife, Janis, and their grandchildren, Anthony and Gianna DiFalco, look on. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
La Grande’s Market Place has obtained its occupancy permit, but much work remains before the center opens.

New cameras for traffic control

Elcon Corporationís Cody Childs hoists himself up in a bucket to install a camera on the corner of Fourth Street and Adams Avenue. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
New cameras atop 
La Grande traffic lights are nothing nefarious, ODOT officials say.

A race to the finish line

Carl Strickler participated in Saturdayís La Grande Soap Box Derby. He constructed his vehicle in two days, and coordinator Ron Osterloh said he had the best brakes in the derby. (Alyssa Sutton/The Observer)
La Grande held its first ever Soap Box Derby during the annual Crazy Days that took place downtown over the weekend. 

BRIEFLY: City council to meet in special session

The La Grande City Council will meet at 6 p.m. tonight for a special session. The council will consider awarding a bid for demolition and cleanup of the property at 1601 Seventh St. The house was substantially damaged by fire in April.

Public comments will not be taken during the special meeting.

Following the special session, the La Grande Fiscal Committee will meet. Public comments may be taken at the end of the meeting, at the discretion of the ad hoc committee.

Rollover accident on Mount Glenn Road

No people were apparently hurt in a rollover motor vehicle accident this morning on Mount Glenn Road almost a half mile north of Riverside Park.

Man injured in Crook County motorcycle crash

An Enterprise man was transported to St. Charles Bend via air ambulance after crashing his motorcycle Thursday evening in Crook County, according to Crook County Sheriff’s Sgt. Travis Jurgens.

CSI: Eastern Oregon

High school students Desiree Maddern, front, of Mission and Selene Andrade of Boardman examine a mock crime scene at Eastern Oregon University on Thursday. (Tim Mustoe)
Everyone loves a mystery, an adage that explains why a group of high school students are now flocking to Room 311 of Badgley Hall at Eastern Oregon University.

The room is the site of a mock crime scene, a site being examined closely by 23 high school students taking a three-week forensic chemistry class at the university this month.

West Nile arrives early

Chris Law, Union County Vector Control manager, collects a mosquito trap Thursday in Ladd Marsh where West Nile virus was detected in one of the mosquitoes. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
West Nile virus has been identified in Union County about a month earlier than usual. 

Despite partisanship, session a good one

When Cove resident Greg Barreto arrived in Salem in February for the start of the legislative session, he knew he’d be on a steep learning curve, immersed in familiarizing himself in his new role as Oregon House District 58’s representative.

BRIEFLY: Relay for Life set for this weekend

The annual La Grande Relay for Life will be conducted Saturday and Sunday at the Eastern Oregon University track. 

The event, which raises money to fight cancer, will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday with opening ceremonies, include a presentation of colors, sponsor recognition, an opening prayer and the National Anthem.

The event’s annual Survivor Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Those providing entertainment will include the Mark Stratton Band, which will play at 6:30 p.m.

The relay event will also include potato golf at 7 p.m. Saturday; a costume contest at 11 p.m. Saturday; a lighted hula hoop contest and glow stick contest at midnight; a glow in the dark volleyball contest at 1 a.m. Sunday; a poker lap at 1 a.m. Sunday; and a sunrise service at 
5:30 a.m. Sunday. Closing ceremonies will run from 
7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday.

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