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UCSO, Cities enjoy solid working relationships

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Deputy Dustin Heath says his favorite part of serving Elgin is interacting with business owners and other community members. When they are comfortable with him, he says it makes solving crimes easier. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)

Contracts with Union County Sheriff’s Office offer financial savings, constant coverage 

Elgin officials and community members had some uneasiness when the city moved to contract with the Union County Sheriff’s Office in 2012 after its own police department was disbanded. 

 

Cattle killer to face charges

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Joel Rice, right, listens as his attorney Wes Williams makes a point during a hearing Thursday regarding August’s Glass Hill Road cattle shootings. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)

Criminal mischief charges dropped, animal abuse charges to move forward 

Visiting Judge Lung S. Hung approved dismissing first-degree criminal mischief charges against Dr. Joel Rice pursuant to a civil compromise Thursday afternoon.

After hearing about five hours of testimony and arguments, Hung, a circuit court judge out of Malheur County, found that animal abuse charges are not subject to a civil compromise, but agreed to sign an order dismissing the criminal mischief charges. 

 

BRIEFLY: Oregon Green Free meets Saturday

The local chapter of Oregon GreenFree meets at noon Saturday at the Integrated Services Building, 1607 Gekeler. Lunch this week will be soups and desserts. 

Oregon GreenFree is an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program’s resource center committed to providing information, education and a sense of unity for those who choose to use medicinal cannabis.

 

Small bird carries potential to make big impact on economy

BAKER CITY — They brought in the extra chairs even before the meeting began.

Even after the session kicked off Thursday night regarding a proposed management plan for sage grouse on BLM land in Eastern Oregon, people continued to filter into the Baker County Events Center, sending a clear signal that for many the small bird carries the potential to make a big impact on the local economy.

 

County district attorney retiring

Feb. 28 is DA’s last day, state to appoint replacement

Union County District Attorney Tim Thompson announced his retirement this week.

His last day as district attorney will be Feb. 28.

 

Lower Joseph Creek restoration slated for 2015

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Restoration of national forest land in northern Wallowa County is slated to start in 2015.

Wallowa County community-based forest project published on Federal Register

ENTERPRISE — A grassroots effort to restore national forest in northern Wallowa County is in line to have boots on the ground by 2015. 

The Lower Joseph Creek Restoration Project was published in the Federal Register Jan. 9 by the Forest Service — a community-based project five years in the making. 

 

Marine deserter sentenced for attack

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Chang

PENDLETON — A Marine Corps deserter and son of Christian missionaries was sentenced Wednesday to at least 35 years in prison for fatally stabbing a motel maid in Pendleton and trying to beat a woman to death on a jogging path.

Lukah Chang, 23, pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder in Umatilla County Circuit Court.

 

10 Things to Know for Friday, Jan. 10

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

 

Criminal mischief charges dropped, other counts remain in cattle shooting case

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Joel Rice, right, listens as his attorney Wes Williams makes a point during a hearing regarding August's Glass Hill Road cattle shootings. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)
 

UPDATE: Visiting Judge Lung S. Hung granted a motion to dismiss criminal mischief charges in the case involving cattle shootings on Glass Hill Road that occurred in August 2013.

Joel Rice, a La Grande psychiatrist, is charged with seven counts of criminal mischief in the first degree, five counts of aggravated animal abuse in the first degree and two counts of animal abuse in the first degree in connection with Glass Hill Road cattle shootings.

 

10 Things to Know for Thursday, Jan. 9

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

 

Marine deserter sentenced for fatal Oregon attack

PENDLETON — A Marine Corps deserter and son of Christian missionaries was sentenced Wednesday to at least 35 years in prison for fatally stabbing a motel maid in Pendleton and trying to beat a woman to death on a jogging path.

 

Expansion project comes in under budget

Final loan amount for Cove wastewater expansion expected to be $1.4 million

COVE — Mayor Lyndon Rose signed the final acceptance report for the city’s wastewater expansion project during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled city council meeting. 

“I am very pleased with the end results of the project,” Rose said. “The quality of the work is very good.”  

 

County loses jurisdiction over claim

Decision in Hayes Farm Measure 49 claim put on hold

ENTERPRISE — A decision to approve a subdivision in Joseph was put on hold at a public hearing Tuesday.

 

Hospital welcomes New Year baby

Emmalynn Tayler Halsey is Union County’s first baby of 2014. Emmalynn made her grand entrance into the New Year at Grande Ronde Hospital’s Family Birthing Center at 4:26 p.m. on Jan. 3, weighing 6 lbs, 12 ounces and measuring 22 inches long. The parents are Scott Halsey and Ashley Aldrich. 

 

School districts receive state grant funding

Wallowa, Enterprise land combined $730,314 to boost vocational technical programs

Enterprise and Wallowa school district officials are beginning the new year with new problems — the type of problems educators dream of having.

 

Former EOU director receives big surprise

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Muriel Shaw, the retired director of the OHSU School of Nursing at EOU, is surprised Monday by the news that a Badgley Hall room will be named in her honor. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)
 

Muriel Shaul to be honored with Badgley Hall dedication

Muriel Shaul retired as the director of the Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing at Eastern Oregon University in June. 

The popular educator still stays in close contact with her colleagues, but her visits to Eastern’s campus since June have been infrequent. Shaul soon, however, will have an everlasting presence at EOU.

 

Reason for base closure elusive

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Air Methods, one of the country’s largest air ambulance fleets, began operating as Air Life in La Grande in October 2013 as competition with Life Flight Network. The Colorado-based company closed its air ambulance bases in La Grande and Ontario Friday.

Air Life reciprocity deal still in place with Life Flight 

Air Life, the company that abruptly closed its air ambulance bases in La Grande and Ontario Friday, is not expounding on a reason for the sudden base closures.

The bases employed 24 people.

 

Special delivery

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Union County Citizens for Good Government volunteer Terry Edvalson, center, submits signature sheets to Union County Clerk Robin Church Tuesday morning. The group, which includes Jim Mollerstrom, left, submitted the signatures to get a measure on the May 20 ballot that would pose to voters, “Shall the office of Union County Commissioner become a nonpartisan office?” (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)
 

Petitioners submit signature sheets to county for commissioner ballot measure

An effort to create a nonpartisan county board of commissioners took a major step forward Tuesday. 

 

Round-Up picks queen; Willis serves as princess

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Kylie Willis

The Pendleton Round-Up Association announced that Shaina Zollman of Pendleton will reign as queen of the 104th annual Pendleton Round-Up.

The 2014 queen and court were announced last month during an introduction breakfast at the home of Dr. Doug Corey, DVM, where court members met each other together for the first time. The event was attended by Zollman and princesses Kylie Willis of Enterprise, Crystal Mitchell, an Eastern Oregon University student from Pendleton, Kylee Jensen of Pilot Rock and Katy West of Athena. 

 

The Book of Ocho

 In a new collection of poetry, local writer Cameron Scott reflects on life through the simplicities of a cat afflicted with cancer

In a county of 7,000 souls, the wealth of artistry never ceases to amaze — from the painters to the sculptors, the photographers, the musicians and the writers. Some of the citizens of this corner of Oregon are lucky enough to have two or more artistic talents.

 
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