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No injuries in early morning house fire

Pizzeria moving into Bear Mountain Pizza Co. building

The wait wasn’t too long to find a replacement for the beloved pizzeria on Island Avenue. 

High speed chase ends in rollover accident on Interstate

A high speed chase ended in a rollover accident on Interstate 84 eastbound near milepost 282. 

Letter ultimately proves too good to be true

In a letter addressed to Jerry Foster of La Grande he was advised to contact a claims agent at a specified phone number to start a process to certify a $3,650 check. The attached check, bottom, was from the “Bank of New York Mellon.” Foster said one of the first items he noticed that ignited alarm was the fact the words “Void after 180 days” on the check contained a misspelling. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Jerry Foster said he has always tried to live by the old adage: There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Union council fills vacancy

UNION — John Farmer, a Union businessman and book author, is about to begin a new life chapter.

BRIEFLY: Joseph man dies after being caught in an avalanche

JOSEPH — A 29-year-old Joseph man caught in an avalanche Tuesday afternoon died of his injuries before rescuers could reach him Tuesday night.

Wallowa County Sheriff Steve Rogers said Kip Rand was skiing with another man when the snow underneath him gave way. His companion, Bill Vandenbos, escaped the avalanche.

Rand died from his injuries before the backcountry skiers reached him, Rogers said. Late Tuesday night a group of backcountry skiers helped Vandenbos ski out.  Today, Wallowa County Search and Rescue and backcountry skiers will retrieve Rand’s body from Miner’s Gulch, one of the biggest basins on Chief Joseph Mountain, Rogers said.

“If it wasn’t for the backcountry skiers it would be a lot harder for search and rescue to reach people in some of these higher altitude, deep snow rescues we have to do from time to time,” Rogers said.

Wallowa County Search and Rescue volunteers are shuttling the skiers to the trailhead and clearing trail to aid in retrieving Rand’s body.

Rogers said Rand was the coordinator of the Wallowa Avalanche Center based in Joseph.

Getting to the heart of police use of force

The proper use of force by police is an important topic for local law enforcement leaders such as Union County Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen and La Grande Police Chief Brian Harvey. Proper use of force by police is a component of law enforcement that is constantly evolving for both Rasmussen and Harvey. (The Observer)
The illegal occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by a group of activists eventually led to the death of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, an event that ignited strong reaction across the state and the nation and raised questions about the proper use of force by police.

Group braves ice and cold to jump into lake

Mark Karl grabs a piece of floating ice Saturday during the La Grande Parks and Recreation Department’s Polar Bear Plunge at Morgan Lake. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
A small group of people accepted the challenge and took the plunge into Morgan Lake Saturday 

BRIEFLY: Union School Board to meet Tuesday, Wednesday

The Union School Board are meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. The meetings will start at 7 p.m. both days at the high school athletic complex. 

Tuesday’s board meeting consists of a grounds and facility tour, and the board will meet on Wednesday for its regular monthly meeting.

Changes made to grocery store designs

The Urban Renewal Agency approved a key design change for the Market Place Family Foods. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The La Grande Urban Renewal Agency approved a key design change for the Market Place Family Foods project Wednesday night.

Idaho woman arrested Thursday

BRIEFLY: Donate cans, help kids attend summer camp

COVE, UNION — Union County Young Life kids will be collecting redeemable cans and bottles Saturday in Cove and Union. The donations will help send them to summer camp. For more information call Bob at    541-568-4230.

Idaho woman arrested outside La Grande

Obama praises Oregon's new landmark minimum wage law

SALEM — Oregon's governor on Wednesday signed trailblazing legislation that will raise the minimum wage to nearly $15 in six years and do so through a three-tiered system that has not been tried anywhere else in the country.

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