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The Observer paper 04/29/16

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EOU campus shaken by shooting

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There are several emergency assistance boxes on the Eastern Oregon University campus with a red button to press to summon help. Potentially, this box could warn people of a possible shooting on campus. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
It’s becoming a repetitive experience. Open a media page or turn on the television to read reports of another mass shooting. The tragedy in Roseburg Thursday hit closer to home since the shooting, which left approximately nine dead and at least seven injured, occurred in Oregon — and on a campus of a similar size to Eastern Oregon University.

Former La Grande resident survives mass shooting at UCC

Kerrie Wylam may never know who pounded on the door of the break room in the administration building at Umpqua Community College late Thursday morning. 

Fundraiser in front of medical marijuana shop cut short

A fundraiser for the La Grande High School Band in front of Hwy 30 Cannabis, a medical marijuana dispensary, ended abruptly Thursday afternoon.

BRIEFLY: Nile Club gathers at Denny’s Monday

Union County Nile Club will meet at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Denny’s Restaurant on Island Avenue in La Grande.

Committee generating master plan

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A master plan for the La Grande/Union County Airport is underway and it will focus on how to better accommodate the U.S. Forest Service and its use of the airport. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
A master plan for improving the La Grande/Union County Airport is underway and, after this summer’s busy fire season, it focuses on the U.S. Forest Service and how to accommodate the agency.

La Grande: violent crime low for the area

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La Grande Police Sgt. Gary Bell conducts a traffic stop earlier this year. Data released by the FBI Monday shows the city of La Grande is just as safe, if not safer, as cities of similar size. (Observer file photo)
La Grande remains a relatively safe place, according to recently released FBI crime data.

The data, released late Monday, indicates the city is just as safe, if not safer, as cities of similar size.

In 2014, La Grande tallied 15 violent crimes and 326 property crimes, according to the data set.


Grizzly Bear Complex still a threat to some cabins

Days are getting shorter and nights cooler, but the stubborn 80,725-acre Grizzly Bear Complex fire is a long way from being extinguished.

“This fire will remain on the landscape until there is a significant rainfall or a snow event,” said Joani Bosworth, a public affairs specialist for the Umatilla National Forest. 


County burn ban extended until Oct. 14

Union County's burn ban will have a two-week extension due to persistently dry conditions, said La Grande Rural Fire Chief Larry Wooldridge, who spoke on behalf of all the fire chiefs in the county to the Union County Commissioners Wednesday morning.


BRIEFLY: Money available for wolf-livestock conflict

PENDLETON -— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has set aside $190,000 for livestock losses, with $83,690 awarded to Washington and $66,000 for non-lethal prevention, along with $81,300 to nine Eastern Oregon counties in June. 

For more information, visit www.fws.gov/endangered/grants.


Restrictions eased on Interstate 84


Anthony Lakes Highway work begins Tuesday

BAKER CITY — The sinkhole on Anthony Lakes Highway (Forest Service Road 73) near the lower crossing of Antone Creek will receive final repairs on Tuesday through Thursday.


Young dragster burns up the track

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Nine-year-old Dylanie Petersohn has only been involved in drag racing for a few months but is quickly improving in the sport. She won her first race back in August and can already hit speeds too fast for the 8- and 9-year-old age group in her division. (Ronald Bond/The Observer)
She won’t be able to get her driver’s license until 2022.

Sending a positive message

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Justin Hernandez runs in the Drug Free Relay Saturday while pushing his 7-month-old son, Kingston, in a jogging stroller. Hernandez, a Union County Sheriff’s Office deputy, was one of about 70 people who participated in the Drug Free Relay at La Grande High School’s track. (Dick Mason/The Observer)
One look was all Justin Hernandez needed for a timely jolt of inspiration.

State decides to move forward on complaint

The Oregon Ethics Commission will move ahead with an investigation of Buffalo Peak Golf Course golf pro Scott Marcum in the wake of a complaint filed by Union County Commissioner Jack Howard.

BRIEFLY: Student symphony begins rehearsals

The Grande Ronde Student Symphony, also known as youth orchestra, will be tuning up with weekly rehearsals beginning Tuesday, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at Groth Recital Hall in Loso Hall on the Eastern Oregon University campus. The youth orchestra is under the direction of Music Director Roseanne Skinner.

InterMountain ESD still strong following pull out

The InterMountain Education Service District’s budget is about $2 million smaller than it was a year ago, but this will have no impact on the services it provides to Union County school districts.


Group plants a seed to secede from Oregon

It may sound like a tall task. It may even sound impossible, but some living in the rural areas of Eastern Oregon and Washington are fed up with the political power going to the western side of the states. The idea has been planted and a group has been formed to discuss the possibility of secession.


Personal mentorship

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Matt Grishim, left, is one of Jeremy Arno’s new clients after recently being released from the Union County Jail. Grishim left the jail and met with Arno immediately outside to get some encouragement and the promise that if Grishim needed to talk to someone, Arno was available.
 Officials are hoping a new, personal touch at the Union County Jail can help inmates stay out of the facility for good.


Enterprise has three final candidates for police chief position

The City of Enterprise has announced three final candidates for the police chief position, according to a press release from City Administrator Michelle Young.

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