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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 07/21/14

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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'Santa Claus' makes stop at URA meeting

The La Grande Urban Renewal Agency experienced a sort of Christmas in June last night.

Local attorney Steve Joseph had words of criticism for the group — accompanied by a demonstration of how Joseph says the agency uses their "Santa Claus hats." During the public testimony portion of the URD budget hearing, Joseph put on a Santa hat and tossed money in the air. 


‘Sheriff’ of Sammyville passes away

Union County icon remembered for renegade reputation, compassion  

Union County lost a one-of-a-kind character Monday, a man with a big reputation, an even bigger heart and the possessor of answers to an enduring question. 


Federal office closed down

Powdery substance received in mail at La Grande’s Social Security office

The La Grande Social Security office building, 2205 Cove Ave., was evacuated Tuesday afternoon after a suspicious powdery substance, later determined to be harmless, was found. 

The Social Security office had received the substance in the mail.


Ropes rescue launches camp

Under the guidance of paramedic Chancey Ferguson, Jennifer McDougal, left, of Pendleton and Aubrey DeLaRosa of Creswell learn the technique of rope rescuing as they raise ‘victim’, Jaine Homan, from a ravine to safety on Fox Hill Monday. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

High school students in La Grande for week during health care career exploration camp 

Aubrey DeLaRosa isn’t sure what she wants to do when she grows up.

Maybe a neonatal nurse, maybe a lawyer.

On Monday, though, she was a ropes rescuer. 


BRIEFLY: Chef at market provides free samples

Chef at market provides free samples

Saturday at the La Grande Farmers Market, the Matt Cooper X-tet will perform, followed by a special demonstration by Emelie Montgomery Jones at the Chef at the Market booth. 

Stop by during the music break at 10:30 a.m. for a free sample of apple spinach salad with warm bacon dressing made at the market from seasonally available local ingredients.

The market runs 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Oct. 18. The Tuesday market runs from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Social Security office evacuated Tuesday

The La Grande Social Security office building, 2205 Cove Ave., was evacuated Tuesday afternoon after a suspicious item was found in the mail.


Man arrested in stockshow incident

The Union County Sheriff's Office arrested a man in connection to an incident in which a 22-year-old man was seriously injured June 7.

Deputies located the truck and the driver allegedly involved in the injury of an Echo man during the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show weekend on Sunday. Mathew D. Price, 31, Island City, was arrested on charges of failure to perform duties of a driver (felony "hit and run"), reckless driving and reckless endangerment. 


Vet gets fresh start

Read more... 

Vietnam veteran Donald Remick found out not long ago that if a man ends up broke and stranded somewhere, he could do a lot worse than La Grande.

Last November, Remick was on his way from Colorado to Portland, where he planned to look for a new job and start a new life. He was excited about it.


Newly minted grads

With her bachelor’s degree in business firmly in hand, Katelynn Schaefer-Cranston of Umatilla flashes a celebratory reaction for family and friends watching from the Community Stadium stands. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

A total of 468 Eastern Oregon University students received their diplomas at EOU’s graduation ceremony Saturday. Commencement was conducted under mostly cloudy skies at Community Stadium. The students walking represented a portion of Eastern’s  graduating class of 783, the largest in its history.  

see Monday's issue of The Observer and The Observer Facebook page for more photos 


BRIEFLY: Kids explore science, arts June 23-26

Kids explore science, arts June 23-26 

Marian Academy, a non-denominational Christian school in La Grande, is offering “Going on a Bear Hunt,” a week-long science and math summer school course June 23-26 for children in pre-K through first grade. Activities will include painting, stamping, life cycle lessons and teddy bear stations. Running from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. each day, the schedule will include story time, art activities, snacks, recess and science and math explorations. Cost is $50. 


BRIEFLY: Market features shearing demos

Market features shearing demos 

JOSEPH — The Joseph Farmers’ Market is featuring Ag Day Saturday with sheep to shawl and shearing. 


Ready for the fire line

Micah Grammon, left, and Kody Younger have spent the past few weeks preparing engines for GCT Construction, the company with which they have joined as wildland firefighters. The new recruits are anxiously awaiting their first assignment. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

New firefighting recruits prepare for their first season battling western wildfires

Nineteen-year-old Kody Younger never saw himself sitting behind a desk for eight hours a day.

This summer, he will join a host of new recruits from across the nation who will  instead be behind the fire line. 


State: New wolf territory labeled near Meacham

OR-26, a wolf recently collared on Mt. Emily, has his own range north of Meacham in Umatilla County. (ODFW photo)

A new wolf territory was designated this week on Mt. Emily north of Meacham in Umatilla County.

OR-26, a male wolf collared last month, is thought to have a mate and pups, but the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s report said further field surveys are needed to confirm.


District, sheriff close to deal

Plan to have resource officer in La Grande School District close to being finalized

The fatal shooting at Reynolds High School in Troutdale Tuesday will push many school districts in Oregon to ramp up security measures in their schools.

The La Grande School District is among those which intends to boost its security, but its plans were in place prior to Tuesday’s shooting. 


I-84 opens after grass fire in median

Crews work to suppress a fire near Interstate 84 Thursday afternoon. (OSP photo)
Traffic is now moving on Interstate 84 just west of Pendleton after a grass fire broke out in the area around 2 p.m.

The East Oregonian reported that the fire started in the median of I-84 about three miles west of Pendleton resulted in the highway closure and threatened nearby structures.

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