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Kelsie McDaniel named new DA

SALEM — Gov. John Kitzhaber announced the appointment of Kelsie Davis McDaniel as Union County district attorney Wednesday. McDaniel will fill the vacany created by Tim Thompson's retirement at the end of the month.

10 Things to Know for Thursday, Feb. 20

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


ODOT to close portion of Whiskey Creek Road this summer

The Oregon Department of Transportation will host a public open house Feb. 27 regarding the Whiskey Creek Culvert Replacement Project which will cause a 14-day closure at the work site.

The meeting will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Wallowa City Hall, 104 N. Pine St., Wallowa. 


Natural resources dominate town hall

“We need to spend more on the front end and less on fires on the back end,” Merkley said.

He said recent legislation passed in Washington will help ranchers and small-timber growers deal with recent drought and wildfires. Within the recently passed Farm Bill is compensation for forage lost to wildfires on public and private land and the replacement of fences and livestock. The compensation, Merkley said, is retroactive and will cover losses incurred in the summer of 2012.


Record for February 19, 2014

Record for February 19, 2014

Obituaries for February 19, 2014

Frank, Gribling, Jeffers, Fulton, Graham

Briefly: Academy plays host to school tour

Academy plays host to school tour 

Learn more about Grande Ronde Academy when it plays host to its first school tour of 2014 at 12:30 p.m. Friday. 

For more information, call 541-975-1147.


Project funding available through counties

BAKER CITY — Federal funding to offset loss of income to timber counties is available for forest projects across the Malheur, Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman national forests. Applications for Title II, under the Secure Rural Schools Act, will be accepted by county commissioners through March 14.


Board to delay seeking bond levy

COVE — Cove School District voters will not be asked to approve a bond levy for maintenance and capital construction in 2014.

The Cove School Board reached a consensus Tuesday night to delay making a bond levy request until 2015. The board had planned on seeking a bond levy in November for maintenance and capital construction work but had not yet formally voted do so.


Better late than never

Cover Oregon launches website for agents — finally

SALEM — More than four months late, Oregon’s troubled health insurance exchange is finally allowing some people to enroll online.


Avalanche risk minimal at area ski resorts

A trio of cross-country skiers make tracks at Anthony Lakes Saturday. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)

The potential danger of an avalanche resonated tragically last week after two skiers died in the rugged back country of the Wallowa Mountains near Cornucopia.

One area where the avalanche danger may seem obvious is the steep slopes of regional ski resorts. Yet for many of the most popular winter recreation destinations in the region the avalanche danger is either minimal or nonexistent. 


Merkley hosts town hall meeting in Imbler

Sen. Jeff Merkley speaks to residents and students at Imbler High School Monday. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)

Senator recognizes high school students during meeting

Imbler High School students impressed Sen. Jeff Merkley in a town hall meeting Monday night.

Seniors posed questions about immigration, modified diplomas and health care, some of which are topics Merkley said he has never been asked about. 


A true passion for robots

Union High School students Ethan Patterson, left, and Scott Yeager works with their robot, while Orrin Black of Baker City operates the labtop computer that runs the robot during a test run of the robot Monday in Union High School’s gym. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)

Robot made by Union High School students may be the best yet in four years of competition

UNION — Do not let its friendly handshake fool you — this robot is missing a personality. 

What the machine does have is an ability to bring out the best in Union High School students. 


Goodall watched Ukraine unrest from up close

Suzy Goodall of Imbler spent several years in Ukraine. Goodall became increasingly aware of the protests by students, professionals and even grandmothers against the government’s corruption. (SUZY GOODALL photo)

Teacher worked in Europe and expanded her circle of friends

IMBLER — Suzy Goodall remembers the protests in the streets of the Ukraine, but, she said, they were nothing like what’s going on there now.


10 Things to Know for Wednesday, Feb. 19

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


Imbler students impress senator at town hall

Imbler High School students impressed Sen. Jeff Merkley in a town hall meeting Monday night.

Seniors posed questions about immigration, modified diplomas and health care, some of which are topics Merkley said he has never been asked about.


Three arrested following attempt to elude OSP troopers

Three were arrested Saturday after attempting to elude Oregon State Police. (OSP photo)
Three people with outstanding warrants were arrested Saturday afternoon following their attempt to elude an Oregon State Police trooper northeast of Springfield in the Marcola area. 

On Saturday at approximately 11:59 a.m., an OSP trooper patrolling on Marcola Road near milepost 3 attempted to stop a 1993 Honda Accord four-door displaying Oregon license plates after detecting the vehicle traveling 80 mph in a 55 mph speed zone. The Honda's driver failed to yield and sped up to over 100 mph as the trooper kept the vehicle in sight heading northbound toward Marcola. 


PUBLIC SAFETY REPORT: February 17, 2014



BRIEFLY: UCSO deputies to teach gun class

UCSO deputies to teach gun class

Union County Sheriff’s Office will offer a concealed handgun class starting at 8 a.m. March 15. The class will be held at the Union County Sheriff’s Office, 1109 K Ave.

The cost of the class is $50. Pre-registration is required. 

For more information and to register for the class, contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 541-963-1017.


Island City councilor will step down at the end of February

ISLAND CITY — Kevin Bradshaw, a member of the Island City City Council since January of 2013, will step down at the end of this month.

Bradshaw has announced he is resigning because his family is moving out of the Island City area. His family will soon move to La Grande and then to Idaho Falls, Idaho, later this year.

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