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District sets push for better attendance

Alarm clocks and the addition of two new positions may help the La Grande School District reach a noteworthy attendance objective during the upcoming school year.


Pendleton crime lab may be up for closure

The future of the Eastern Oregon crime lab is up in the air.

Employees at the Oregon State Police's Pendleton crime lab were told Wednesday that the OSP is considering all options for its forensic labs — including closing the Pendleton location.


China Cap Fire mapped at 195 acres Wednesday

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The wind shifted on the Hurricane Creek Fire Thursday afternoon. (Katy Nesbitt/The Observer)
JOSEPH — The China Cap fire discovered July 29 in the Eagle Cap Wilderness was mapped at 195 acres Wednesday afternoon.

The fire is in rugged, steep country — too dangerous for ground crews. Nathan Goodrich, Wallowa-Whitman North Zone fire management officer, said McCall smokejumpers who jumped the fire Tuesday afternoon are directing helicopter drops and single engine air tanker retardant drops, taking weather observations and monitoring fire behavior.


China Cap Fire fought from the air, monitored from the ground

JOSEPH — Tuesday morning the Sled Springs helicopter rappel crew was headed to the Willamette National Forest when it spotted a five-acre fire burning on China Cap in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

Nathan Goodrich, Wallowa-Whitman North Zone fire management officer said it was in a spot none of the lookouts could see. He thinks the fire may have started as long ago as July 22.


LIVE STREAM: Watch the La Grande Town Hall meeting

A town hall about Shelter From the Storm and its future will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday. If you can't make it, catch the town hall in its entirety here. Streaming is being done by Brent Clapp Media Services.

We also want to hear from you, so feel free to leave your comments during the town hall down below. 


Camp host enjoying Morgan Lake

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Bill Theissen is set up to be the Morgan Lake camp host through the end of September. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
Bill Theissen, 65, has done a lot in his life.

He fought in Vietnam, has traveled the country and enjoys time with his grandkids.

This summer, though, he is slowing down to enjoy the pace of life at Morgan Lake.


Vaughan wakes from coma

It will be a long road to recovery, but Joseph Vaughan, 23, of Elgin surprised the medical staff at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Wash., when he woke up from a chemically-induced coma after three weeks and began walking with the aid of a walker and physical therapists at his side.


Overstocked forests: Private, state and federal land managers discuss how to treat area around Antho

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La Grande District Ranger Bill Gamble introduces a large group of stakeholders to the East Face Project that will reduce the risk of stand-replacing fire, while improving habitat for wildlife and protecting watersheds necessary for agriculture and recreation. (Katy Nesbitt/The Observer)
ANTHONY LAKE — Getting forests healthy is a mission of the federal and state governments and private landowners. The East Face project near Anthony Lake will treat overstocked forest while keeping stakeholder interests in mind.


BRIEFLY: Bicyclist struck by car Tuesday morning

Bicyclist struck by car Tuesday morning 

A 72-year-old Elgin man was struck by a car Tuesday morning while riding his bicycle on Highway 82.

The name of the victim is not being released until family has been notified, according to police. His condition and the extent of his injuries is not being released at this time.

The man was riding his bicycle southbound on the northbound shoulder near Philberg Road at approximately 7:30 a.m. Witnesses said that the bicyclist swerved into the northbound traffic and the man was struck by an Elgin woman.

The bicyclist suffered undisclosed injuries and was taken by La Grande Fire Department ambulance to the Grande Ronde Hospital.

The motorist was uninjured, and her vehicle sustained minor damage.


New fires burning in Eagle Cap Wilderness

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The China Cap Fire burning southwest of Joseph grew to 300 acres Tuesday afternoon and is being fought by McCall smoke jumpers, single engine air tankers and helicopters. (US Forest Service photo)
JOSEPH — Eight smoke jumpers landed on the China Cap fire in the Eagle Cap wilderness late Tuesday morning. By nightfall it had grown to 300 acres.

The jumpers are being assisted by single-engine air tankers and helicopters dropping retardant and water on the blaze. The fire is burning in heavy subalpine fir in steep terrain, making firefighting from the ground difficult.


Elgin City Council agrees to pay for equipment, with stipulations

The Elgin City Council voted Monday to pay for the equipment purchased for the Elgin Opera House air conditioning unit to buy the city council and the opera house board some time to work out finances.

"We do support the opera house, but we need to worry about the taxpayers," said Councilman Allan Duffy during Monday's special session.


Report: cause of death was drowning following crash

ENTERPRISE — Two people were killed and three injured in a vehicle crash Thursday on Crow Creek Road northwest of Enterprise.

A report from Wallowa County District Attorney Mona Williams said the cause of death of Sean Alan Dean, 21 and Barry Lee Anderson, 23, was drowning after a pickup truck driven by Dean crashed into a power pole and landed in Prairie Creek. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

 


Opera House takes one step toward finishing project

The Elgin City Council voted to pay for the equipment purchased for the Elgin Opera House air conditioning unit to buy the city council and the opera house board some time to work out finances. 


Police say truck involved in fatal crash struck elk

Investigators from the Oregon State Police said today that the driver of a pickup truck that crashed on Interstate 84 near Baker City Saturday night, leading to the death of one passenger, struck an elk, causing the driver to lose control.

Briggs: We need new voting system

UNION — Union City Councilor Sue Briggs wants her community to capitalize on its growing number of dedicated volunteers. 


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