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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 08/03/15

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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.


Oregon Scenic Bikeways contribute $12.4 million in economic activity

On an early June morning, a group of spandex-clad tourists pedaled down a the highway out of the tiny town of Prairie City.


For most companies it remains business as usual

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Sue Blair, of Intermountain Mobile Service, said she doesn’t expect the number of drug tests to increase due to the legalization of marijuana on Wednesday. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
Marijuana may be legal in the state of Oregon, but it is still illegal on the federal level. 

Fire officials urge caution with fireworks

Last month may have been the warmest June on record for La Grande, with conditions drier than normal, but that will not stop fireworks on the Fourth of July.  

Union County veterans have varied feelings about Choice First

Local veterans have mixed opinions about the potential of Choice First, the revised version of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014.

BRIEFLY: Summer Exploration Camp begins soon

JOSEPH — A “Summer Exploration Camp” for kids who were in kindergarten-fourth grade last school year will take place at Joseph 
Elementary School July 6-16.

The free two-week session will run Monday-Thursday and include educational fun, snacks and lunch. 

Another two-week session will be held Aug. 3-13 in Wallowa.


State House backs Eastern Oregon speed limit hike


Grande Ronde Chinook season closes July 6; Imnaha, Wallowa to close July 13

ENTERPRISE — Low and warm river water, and waning angler participation, has prompted ODFW fish biologists to announce the closure of the Chinook salmon season on the Grande Ronde River beginning July 6. The Chinook seasons on the Imnaha and Wallowa rivers will close beginning July 13.


Boy makes a life saving phone call

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Eight-year-old Hayden Michael looks over the smartphone he used to call 911 to get help for his grandmother, Julie Lavimodiere, right. Hayden made the 911 call, told the dispatcher about his maternal grandmother and gave his address. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Several weeks after Hayden, a Central Elementary student, started his summer vacation, he spotted his maternal grandmother, Julie Lavimodiere, lying on the bathroom floor of his family’s house on Cedar Street coughing up large quantities of blood.

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