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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 07/31/15

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Dam owners planning needed repairs

JOSEPH — Repairing the Wallowa Lake Dam, a plan in the works for more than 30 years, is getting closer to fruition. At a cost of $15 million, sights are on downstream water users to foot the bill.

Jenkins steps down after 36 years

After more than 36 years, Union County Planning Director Hanley Jenkins has retired and is looking forward to some fishing trips. 

BRIEFLY: Public welcome at board meeting

IMBLER — The Imbler School District Board of Directors will meet for its regular July meeting at 
7 p.m. Tuesday in Room 1 of the high school. 

The public is welcome to attend.


Flash Flood warning for Friday afternoon in Wallowa County and the Grande Ronde Valley

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for Friday afternoon through the evening for Northeast Oregon, including Wallowa County and the Grande Ronde Valley.

Drought foils Eagle Cap wilderness Fire policy

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Last week, the Dennis Creek fire, fueled by hot, dry weather and wind, grew so quickly that it threatened to block the firefighters’ escape route. (Nathan Goodrich/U.S. Forest Service)
The early onset of severe fire danger has convinced U.S. Forest Service fire managers to try to douse, rather than merely monitor, a lightning-sparked blaze in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

Seeing the country on a bike

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Kai Hatton rides through La Grande July 4 after an 8-1/2-month trek across the United States. (Alyssa Sutton/The Observer)
The Fourth of July is usually a time of celebration for many Americans but for the Hatton family of La Grande, this Independence Day proved to be extra special.

Funding will benefit region

Eastern Oregon University is set to lose Hunt Hall but restore its wrestling program.

BRIEFLY: Wolf pack blamed for death of sheep

The Umatilla River wolf pack has been blamed for the death of two sheep in the Weston Mountain area.

An investigation report released Monday said a sheep herder found two injured sheep early Thursday afternoon. 

Soon after the discovery a male lamb died from its injuries and a ewe was euthanized as a result of its injuries. 

Later that day, another male lamb was discovered injured in the same area and is currently being cared for by the livestock owner. 

The following day the carcass of a fourth sheep was discovered 25 yards up the canyon from where the ewe was originally found by the herder. It had been partially consumed similar to the previous two sheep and is assumed to have died as a result of the same incident. 

The report said the sheep herder found tracks near where the first two dead sheep were found, and an investigation conducted by an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist revealed bite wounds consistent with previous wolf attacks.

The sheep were killed in an area within the Umatilla River pack home range. Currently there are no radio collars on any of these wolves. 

The report said Umatilla River pack wolves have periodically depredated other sheep in the larger general area for three years.

In June 2014, several dead sheep were killed by the pack in the Wildhorse Road area. The same sheep and pen had confirmed wolf depredation by the Umatilla River pack in 2012.


UPDATE: Neli Rogers still missing

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Neli Rogers was reported missing June 18
 The La Grande Police Department continues to investigate the disappearance of Neli Rogers, who went missing June 18, according to a press release from LGPD.

Oregon lawmakers finish 2015 session

SALEM — State legislators Monday approved spending more than $1 billion on projects for water, roads and seismic upgrades for schools, among others, and another bill to create an LGBT coordinator in the state Department of Veterans’ Affairs as the final gavel marked the close of the 2015 session.

Democrats and Republicans hurried to give their thoughts on the session, which Republicans said was filled with partisanship and burdensome new business mandates and which Democrats hailed as a positive five months that saw new social and environmental policies enacted.


Oregon lawmakers finish 2015 session

SALEM — State legislators Monday approved spending more than $1 billion on projects for water, roads and seismic upgrades for schools, among others, and another bill to create an LGBT coordinator in the state Department of Veterans’ Affairs as the final gavel marked the close of the 2015 session.

Democrats and Republicans hurried to give their thoughts on the session, which Republicans said was filled with partisanship and burdensome new business mandates and which Democrats hailed as a positive five months that saw new social and environmental policies enacted.


Acquisitions give hospital rural clinics

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Grande Ronde Hospital will assume ownership and clinic operations management of the Union Family Health Center and the Elgin Family Health Clinic effective Aug. 1. The clinics will then operate as Grande Ronde Hospital Union Clinic and Grande Ronde Hospital Elgin Clinic. (file photo)
Grande Ronde Hospital will assume ownership and clinic operations management of the Union Family Health Center and the Elgin Family Health Clinic effective Aug. 1.

Balloon artist gets ‘twisted’

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George “Mr. George” Gilchrist creates a piece of balloon art recently. Gilchrist started creating balloon animals for children seven years ago. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
Elephants, bumblebees and ladybugs, oh my.

Construction projects in the works

The temperatures are warming up and construction projects are in full swing in the Grande Ronde Valley. The City of Elgin is no different with several projects planned for the summer.

BRIEFLY: Free popcorn at Teen Movie Night Friday

The library-sponsored Teen Movie Night will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at Cook Memorial Library in La Grande. Teen Movie Nights are offered year-round and are always free and open to anyone in grades 6-12. Free popcorn and soda are provided, and teens may bring comfortable chairs and snacks. 

Call 541-962-1339, visit the library, or view its web and Facebook pages for current movie information and upcoming teen events.


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