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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 09/02/15

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

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Welcome to The Jungle

Secretary of State releases statement

After nearly 24 hours, Secretary of State Kate Brown today broke her silence on why she left two days early from a national conference she was heading to meet with Gov. John Kitzhaber.

Governor won't resign as planned over ethics scandal

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — With an ethics scandal weighing him down, embattled Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber decided to resign but then changed his mind, three people with direct knowledge of the situation said.

They said the Democratic governor told some of his aides Sunday that he was going to step down as criticism mounted over allegations his fiancée used his office to land contracts for her consulting business.

Kids club, campus leaders talk

Noah Thomas works with a Mr. Potato Head toy Friday afternoon at Kids Club. Eastern Oregon University and Kids Club leaders are in early discussions about teaming up to add a child care program at or near the EOU campus. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The leaders of Kids Club, a child care program run by Community Connection of Northeast Oregon and one of the largest in La Grande, have expressed an interest in teaming up with Eastern to run a child care center. 

Warmer temps brings a glimpse of spring

Lindsey Warness and her dog Tana enjoy the warmer weather on Tuesday afternoon at Birnie Park. Warness said she would prefer more snow. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
It’s just the second week of February, but the Grande Ronde Valley has been experiencing some warm weather — about 10 degrees above normal.

East Moraine lands national rank

Forty acres of Wallowa Lake’s east moraine was put into permanent easement by The Wallowa Land Trust and land owners Jacob Hasslacher and Chris Antemann. (Kendrick Moholt/For The Observer)
ENTERPRISE — A geologic wonder attracting thousands of visitors each year earned prominent status last week when it was ranked 10th by the Forest Legacy Program.

BRIEFLY: Information sought in Cove robbery

The Union County Sheriff’s Office is seeking additional information after a robbery was reported in Cove Saturday night.

The sheriff’s office received a call with a report of a robbery on Jasper Street at about 8:35 p.m. Sheriff’s deputies and Oregon State Police troopers responded to the scene where they learned a disguised male suspect forced entry into a home and confronted the resident with a weapon, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. The suspect demanded property and fled the scene with stolen items, the release says.

Deputies and troopers searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect. Items of evidence were recovered and the investigation is ongoing.

The suspect is described as a male approximately 5’7” with a thin build.

Citizens who saw or heard anything suspicious, or who have any information about the incident, are asked to call the sheriff’s office at 541-963-1017.

Residents are reminded by the sheriff’s office to keep their homes secure and to be aware of any suspicious activity to report.

The sheriff’s office is being assisted by the Oregon State Police and the La Grande Police Department.

Expect delays for on I-84 near Boardman

Mini stimulus program approved by Union City Council

The Union City Council approved a mini stimulus program for businesses at its meeting on Monday.

The mini stimulus program will provide one to two  businesses which open on Main Street in Union $200 a month in 2014-15.  The plan was approved by a 6-0 vote by the city council. Nobody spoke in opposition to the plan at the city council meeting.

Information sought in Cove robbery

The Union County Sheriff's Office is seeking additional information after a robbery was reported in Cove Saturday night.

Still searching for answers: Brother, uncle of death row inmates questions investigation

Doug Turnidge flips through one of several binders full of information regarding the 2008 Woodburn bank bombing investgation. Doug’s brother, Bruce, and nephew, Joshua, are on Oregon’s death row in the case, but Doug has a number of concerns surrounding their convictions. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Doug Turnidge believes in the death penalty, even with a brother and nephew on Oregon’s death row.

Wind wreaks havoc

A house on Enterprise’s River Street had a large fir fall across it. (Katy Nesbitt/The Observer)
ENTERPRISE — A freak mid-winter wind storm ripped through the Wallowa Valley Thursday night and Friday morning leaving extensive damage to homes and trees in its wake.

Search for new president progressing

The search for Eastern Oregon University’s next president is gaining momentum.

BRIEFLY: Missing boy found safe in north county

A missing 13-year-old boy was found safe after the group he was shed hunting with Sunday afternoon reported him missing.

The boy, who was not named by authorities, was reported missing mid-afternoon Sunday, said Union County Sheriff’s Capt. Craig Ward. Union County Search and Rescue was fully activated with a command center set up on Bowman Loop north of Elgin and a communications team back at the sheriff’s office.

Ward said Sunday while the boy was missing that the boy did not have a known medical condition but was not equipped to be out overnight.

The boy was found around 6:10 p.m., several hours after law enforcement had been called.

School district set to make new hires

Following a hiring process that involved board members, administrators, teachers and classified staff, La Grande School District Superintendent Larry Glaze will recommend Carol Byron for the special education director, Suzy Mayes for the Central Elementary School principal and Ryan Westenskow as the Greenwood Elementary School principal.


Taking care of business: The FBLA Blue Mountain Regional Skills Conference

La Grande High School sophomores, from left, Emma Eggert, Keesha Grover, Braden Crews and Mariah Bornstedt talk while taking a break between events at the FBLA’s Blue Mountain Regional Skills Conference on Thursday. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Elgin High School student Carrie Jo Moore did not look but she could see a mini-disaster looming. A disaster she deftly avoided.

Bill would help cities: Senate Bill 524 would give power to tax, ban pot to Oregon city councils

SALEM — La Grande and other Oregon cities and counties would get more power to ban, tax and regulate recreational marijuana under a bill filed this week in the Oregon Senate.

City council pay gets reinstated

For the first time since 2011, members of the La Grande City Council will be paid more than $1 a month.

BRIEFLY: Groundhog breakfast set for Saturday

NORTH POWDER — The annual groundhog pancake breakfast will run from 
8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Wolf Creek Grange in North Powder. The cost is $3 for children 10 and younger, $6 for adults and $20 for a family of five or more. The children’s meal will consist of two pancakes, eggs, meat and a drink. The adult meal will consist of three pancakes, two meats and a drink.

OBITUARIES: Feb. 6, 2015

Mayfield, Shorb, Campo, Berg, Cochran, Townsend, Wilson

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