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The Observer paper 04/29/16

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Two La Grande teens arrested after threat

Two La Grande High School students are in juvenile custody and are currently being held on charges of conspiracy to commit murder after an alleged threat against students at LHS,  La Grande Police Department Chief Brian Harvey said today.

Baum park lands funding

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Union County secured more than $1 million from the Oregon Business Development Department for the funding of new infrastructure at the 60-acre Baum Industrial Park outside of La Grande. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The Baum Industrial Park received a large boost in its efforts to expand business last week.

Park gets new fencing

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Volunteer Richard Mills, right, helps remove a temporary fence at Gangloff Park Saturday. A group of volunteers installed a split-rail fence to help keep people from getting too close to the eroded embankment and to protect the vegetation. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
Gangloff Park has 
received a tweak to make it look just a bit like it did in days of old.

BRIEFLY: Union City Council sessions held tonight

UNION — The Union City Council will meet tonight. The council will meet at 6 p.m. for a work session to discuss a franchise agreement with a utility company. The council will meet at  7 p.m. for its regular monthly meeting. The work session and regular meeting will both be at city hall. 

Union City Council will meet Monday

The Union City Council will meet Monday. The council will meet at 6 p.m. for a work session to discuss a franchise agreement with a utility company. The council will meet at 7 p.m. for its regular monthly meeting.

The work session and regular meeting will both be at Union's city hall. 


Spring brings fire dangers

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Mike Eckrich finishes “spring cleaning” after raking dead branches from the back of his truck at a dumping site at Waste Pro Thursday morning. Eckrich supplies firefighters with chainsaws, pumps, tools and clothing from La Grande Fire Cache. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
This is a deceptive time of year in terms of wildfire danger.

Lush, green, slow-burning vegetation is everywhere. But so is dry, dormant foliage that has not greened up yet and is potential tinder for wildfires.


Cook library honored by state

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Cook Memorial Library was one of five libraries in the state recognized as outstanding Ready to Read Grant Projects for 2015. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Five libraries in the state were recognized as outstanding Ready to Read Grant Projects for 2015 by the Oregon State Library.

Fair board splits job into 2 positions

The Union County Fair Board made some changes to its previously open position of fair board manager, deciding to split the position into two — an events coordinator and a business manager.

BRIEFLY: Arts Commission gathers Tuesday

The La Grande Arts Commission will have a business meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Parks and Rec Office, 2402 Cedar. Due to lack of a quorum, the March meeting was canceled. The agenda for April includes discussing budget items, future scholarships and brochures, the Arts for All event and the upcoming Eastern Oregon Film Festival. The public is welcome to attend.

The Art Commission currently has two potential openings. Information and applications can be found on the City of La Grande home page, from any of the current commissioners or from Stu Spence or Minnie Tucker by calling 541-962-1352


Gov. Brown to deliver 2016 State of the State address tomorrow

Governor Kate Brown will deliver the 2016 State of the State address at the Portland City Club’s Friday Forum at noon on Friday, according to a press release from the Governor’s office.


Prescribe Burning Notice: Baker City Foothills Fuels Reduction

The Whitman Ranger District is planning to begin implementation of prescribed burning on the Foothills Fuels Reduction Project within the next week.

Prepared for the worst

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UCSO Sgt. Ken Woodward stands at the northeast entrance of La Grande High School Monday afternoon on perimeter patrol duty during an active shooter drill. Initial entry team members entered the school from other locations as Woodward and other law enforcement stood guard outside. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Monday’s exercise is something law enforcement would prefer remain a simulation.

“We hope we never have to use it,” Union County Sheriff’s Office Cpt. Craig Ward said.


Union County Drug Court helping turn lives around

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Michelle Saling hugs her fiance, Jeff Leitch, at her drug court treatment graduation Tuesday afternoon as Union County Judge Brian Dretke looks on. Saling has been clean for more than 18 months. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
The numbers are what they are most proud of.

“Five hundred twenty-six days clean,” Gary Morrison said Tuesday, surrounded by friends and family at the Union County Courthouse.

Morrison was one of two graduates Tuesday from the drug court treatment program. Standing alongside Morrison was fellow graduate Michelle Saling, with 582 days clean.



ODOT setting higher goal for minorities, women

The Oregon Department of Transportation is trying to create a more level playing field for minority- and woman-owned companies in Oregon.

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