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La Grande Observer 03/27/15

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Fire earns man jail sentence

ENTERPRISE — A Wallowa County man was sentenced Wednesday to 270 days in Union County Jail for charges stemming from a November house fire.

BRIEFLY: Crab feed set for Saturday evening

ENTERPRISE — The annual Enterprise Elks Lodge crab feed is scheduled for 
4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at Cloverleaf Hall in Enterprise. Prices are $35 for all-you-can-eat ocean-fresh dungeness crab, $25 for a prime rib beef dinner or $25 for prime rib and a bowl of crab. Purchase tickets at the door.

Gov. Kate brown hopes to restore trust

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Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown is sworn in as Oregon Governor by Oregon Chief Justice Thomas A. Balmer in Salem this morning. John Kitzhaber, elected to an unprecedented fourth term last year, announced last week that he would step down amid allegations his fiancee used her relationship with him to enrich herself. (Don Ryan/The Associated Press)
SALEM — Oregon’s incoming governor, Kate Brown, faces a monumental challenge as she takes the reins of a state government mired in scandal with less than a week’s notice and with a special election already looming.

Bank: We’re not closing

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Union community members attended the small meeting at Umpqua Bank on Tuesday afternoon. Ryan Hildebrandt, store manager, said the bank is not closing. (Cherise Kaechele)
Union’s only bank has decided to reduce its hours starting next month, which has many in the community worried it’s a foreshadowing to its eventual closure.

Joseph Creek project moves on to final EIS

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The comment period for the Lower Joseph Creek Restoration Project ended last week. (Katy Nesbitt/The Observer)
ENTERPRISE — Wallowa County’s long-term commitment to restoring local forests was most recently supported in its comments regarding the Lower Joseph Creek Restoration project.

BRIEFLY: Model watershed directors meet

WALLOWA — The board of directors of the Grande Ronde Model Watershed will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Wallowa Community Center, 204 E. Second St. 

For more information, call 541-663-0570.


I-84: Expect delays near Boardman


Legislators propose raising state’s minimum wage

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Keri Shirley, who has been working at Bear Mountain Pizza since May, thinks it would be nice to get a raise to $15 as is proposed in the Oregon Legislature. However, that raise would hurt a privately owned business like Bear Mountain, she said. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
A recent bill introduced to legislators suggests raising Oregon’s minimum wage from $9.25 to $15 an hour — a feat many small businesses believe would put them out of business. 

Kindergarten proposed at two schools

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The Kindergarten Committee recommends kindergarten be taught at Willow, shown here, and Greenwood in 2015-16. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The La Grande School District’s kindergarten map will change next fall but not as dramatically as once anticipated.

USFS, public continue to meet

BAKER CITY — In a continuing attempt to poll the community on how best to involve the public in the Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision, the Forest Service called a meeting of county government officials and forest users.

BRIEFLY: Community invited to free chili supper

UNION — This Saturday, the community is invited to share in a free chili supper and game night from 
5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Union. Participants are welcome to bring their favorite board and card games. 

Art activities will also be available for youth and adults. For further information, call 541-562-5748. (The event was previously published as occurring Feb. 28; the Observer regrets the error.)


Board holds initial session

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A vote is taken during the first meeting of EOU’s board of trustees Thursday. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
It was a red-letter day in Eastern Oregon University’s nearly 86-year history. 

Oregonians rally for universal health care

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Alex Watson, left, helps Rosemary Powers take a selfie and send it to state legislators at the Health Care for All Oregon rally in La Grande on Wednesday. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
Hundreds of Oregonians  
rallied at the capitol steps and across the state to promote a single-payer health care system on Wednesday.

ODOT proposes widening highway

ENTERPRISE — A plan to build a bike and pedestrian path along the Wallowa Lake Highway will require a lot of fundraising to come up with the more than $20 million price tag.

BRIEFLY: Class of 1965 plans 50th reunion

The La Grande High School class of 1965 will have a 50th reunion planning meeting at noon Tuesday at Bear Mountain Pizza.

Gov. Kitzhaber announces resignation

Gov. Kitzhaber announced just after noon today he will resign from his position as governor. 

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

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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. 

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