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The Observer paper 02/10/16

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Freezing rain and snow expected in Eastern Oregon

PENDLETON — The National Weather Service is predicting another series of weather systems starting tonight across Eastern Oregon and other parts of the state, according to a release from the Oregon Department of Transportation. 


Effects from tragic accident linger for many

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Oregon State Police said preliminary information about last week’s train versus car accident indicates the train was going 66 miles per hour. The speed limit at that location for trains is 70 mph. Officials with Union Pacific Railroad said the railroad is committed to “maintaining the safety of our employees and the general public.” (Observer file photo)
Union’s Thomas Kollen saw the flashing emergency vehicle lights last Tuesday on Miller Lane and Curtis Street outside of Union. He has traveled the road himself many times and had nearly been hit by a train at that intersection when he was younger.
 

The Latest: Sheriff says ranchers have turned themselves in

Updated at 9:25 AM

BURNS — The latest on armed people who have taken over a federal building at an Oregon wildlife refuge (all times local):


Feds monitor armed group near Burns, but keep their distance

Updated at 2:19 p.m.

BURNS — Federal authorities kept their distance and made no immediate attempt Monday to retake a wildlife refuge in the remote high desert of Oregon after armed anti-government protesters seized it as part of a decades-long fight over public lands in the West.


Missing ODOT sign causes safety concerns

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A group of bull elk graze a field near Interstate 84 outside of La Grande. The Oregon Department of Transportation is looking for an elk crossing sign that went missing last month along Highway 82 just north of Imbler. The sign was installed in November. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
The Oregon Department of Transportation is looking for an elk crossing sign that has gone missing.

BRIEFLY: Democrats meet Wednesday afternoon

Union County Democrats will meet 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Sac Annex, 105 Fir St., La Grande, in the second-floor conference room.

No injuries suffered in early afternoon garage fire

No one was injured in a garage fire early Sunday afternoon at 902 C Ave. in La Grande.


Militia members occupy US building in Oregon after protest

BURNS — A family previously involved in a showdown with the federal government has occupied a building at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon and is asking militia members to join them.


1 seriously injured following Umatilla County pursuit with troopers

Police are investigating a high-speed pursuit in Umatilla County early Saturday morning that ended with one man being transported to a Portland-area hospital.


Marking a milestone: La Grande Train Depot celebrates 85 years

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(Bob Bull photo collection)
The four bulletin boards in the lobby of La Grande’s Union Pacific Railroad depot are filled with postings of current information, but look closely at one and the etchings of a bygone era become visible.

BRIEFLY: Commissioner candidates speak at meeting

A Union County Republican Central Committee meeting is scheduled for noon Wednesday at the Flying J Truck Stop. 

Speakers will be Union County Commissioner candidates Mark Davidson, Troy Pointer and Charles Gillis. PCPs are encouraged to attend to nominate and elect a new county chair. For more information contact Jennifer at 541-786-2245.


Video: Oregon snowpack off to great start for 2016 season


Environmental groups sue Oregon over wolf protections

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Three environmental groups are suing Oregon wildlife officials over their decision to remove the gray wolf from the state's Endangered Species Act list.

A good start

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The summit of Mount Emily is covered over by one of the many snowstorm clouds that have come through the Grande Ronde Valley earlier this month. The snowpack in the Grande Ronde, Powder, Burnt and Imnaha basins stands at 136 percent of normal, according to officials. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Old Man Winter has been generous to the driest parts of Oregon. Snowpack totals as of this week show the entire state sitting above average for snow water equivalent, with the Owyhee basin at double its normal for this time of year, according to USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service data posted Monday.

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