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Mayor: Letter reflects vote

Whether a document signed by five of La Grande’s seven city councilors is a violation of state law may come down to whether it constituted a “decision.”

BRIEFLY: WURA forms subcommittee

ELGIN — The Wallowa/Union Railroad Authority decided to create a subcommittee of three members to discuss the implementation of the Rails-with-Trails concept at its January meeting Tuesday night at the Elgin depot.

Only five of the eight members were present Tuesday night so no official action could be taken at the meeting, but a committee was formed to take the public comment previously given about the Rails-with-Trails plan and look at what the next steps are. 

It’s no easy task to add trails alongside a 63-mile railway because the state and federal government heavily regulate railways, according to WURA board member and Union County Commissioner Mark Davidson.

“We need to make sure we don’t end up with a noncompliance plan,” Davidson said.

Davidson, along with board members Stephen Adams and Susan Roberts, volunteered to sit on the subcommittee.

EOU to add men's, women's wrestling

Not only will Eastern Oregon University reinstate its men’s wrestling program, but it is also poised to introduce a women’s wrestling program, with both set to begin competition next year, university officials announced today.

Historic downtown buildings offer investing opportunities

La Grande Interim Fire Chief Emmett Cornford inspects an old fire engine on display at the Eastern Oregon Fire Museum. Officials hope the building that houses the museum may soon have more to offer, potentially including a brewery, restaurant and other businesses. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
La Grande Economic Development Director Christine Jarski has been on the job six months. In 2016, she hopes the city — and its Urban Renewal Agency — can help revitalize the downtown by filling some vacancies, specifically vacancies of city- or URA-owned property.


University selling president’s home

The 2,674-square-foot house used for Eastern Oregon University presidents was put on the market in mid-August and is now for sale for $349,000 — $10,000 less than the original asking price. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
For anyone who has dreamed about living in the president’s house, now’s your chance.
 No, it’s not the White House, but the Eastern Oregon University president’s house.

LG, Elgin school districts receive major grants

La Grande and Elgin school district officials are beginning the new year with a new deadline hanging overhead — the type of deadline educators dream of having.

BRIEFLY: Make snowman cookies at iCraft

Cook Memorial Library is offering iCRAFT for teens at 4 p.m. Friday, in the library’s Teen Zone. This month participants will make melting snowman cookies. 

This free class is open to anyone in middle or high school. All supplies are provided. View the flier and watch for upcoming teen events on the library’s Web and Facebook pages.

More armed men visit site of Oregon wildlife refuge standoff

BURNS — A group of armed men from around the Pacific Northwest who arrived at a wildlife refuge on Saturday morning left several hours later after people leading an occupation of the refuge told them they weren't needed.

Armed group not ready to end wildlife refuge occupation

The leader of an armed group occupying a national wildlife refuge to protest federal land management policies said he and his followers are not ready to leave even though the sheriff and many locals say the group has overstayed its welcome.

Sheriff meets with armed group, asks them to leave

BURNS — Three Oregon sheriffs met Thursday with the leader of an armed group occupying a federal wildlife refuge and asked them to leave, after residents made it clear they wanted them to go home.

Mayor to investigate letter signed by five councilors

La Grande Mayor Steve Clements said Wednesday night he will be in touch with the Department of Justice to determine whether a letter signed by five of seven councilors violates state law.

Greenwood moves into new kindergarten complex

Kindergartner Toby Heideman sits down to read near a student storage area in the new kindergarten classroom at Greenwood Elementary School Tuesday morning. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The La Grande School District’s new full-day kindergarten program is gaining  
momentum. The program took a leap forward Monday when the new kindergarten complex at Greenwood Elementary School opened for its first day of classes. Some of Greenwood’s kindergarten students reacted almost with Christmas Day excitement.

Depots play integral part in La Grande’s history

The second La Grande railroad depot was built in 1901. The building was used as La Grande’s railroad depot through 1930 when its current one was constructed. The second depot was bigger than the first one at 22 feet long and 118 feet wide, and featured at least six offices, a waiting room and a freight room. (Bob Bull Collection)
They are long forgotten and lost remnants of La Grande’s railroad history, structures that were integral parts of the city’s rail story.

Police: Scam calls continue

Oregon’s No.1 scam of 2015 hasn’t relented into the New Year — at least not in La Grande.

BRIEFLY: Herbs 101 class offered Thursday

A crash course in herbal use will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Nature’s Pantry, 1907 Fourth St.,  La Grande. Herbs 101, a free class, will teach the basics of 12 popular herbs and the health benefits associated with them.

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