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State: Eastern president will do right by the university

Despite departure, Bob Davies will push hard for new governance model

The impending departure of Eastern Oregon University President Bob Davies to Murray State University in Kentucky is raising questions about the direction EOU will take in the future.

New uncertainties now loom, but this much is certain — Eastern is still on track to have the hybrid governance structure Davies is endorsing for the university. The hybrid governance model is one Davies will keep pursuing for Eastern.  


Chamber recognizes Doug Durfee as ‘Man of Year’

Firefighter Doug Durfee was named “Man of the Year” Tuesday during the Elgin Chamber Banquet’s “Hometown Heroes” dinner and recognition ceremony at the Elgin Community Center.

Chamber President Kem Brainerd  gave an introductory welcome to the audience before the honors ceremony commenced.


Oregon AG to implement gay marriage if ban falls

PORTLAND — Oregon's attorney general told a federal court Tuesday why she believes the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages violates the federal constitutional rights of homosexual couples. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum added that Oregon is prepared to implement gay marriages if a federal judge strikes down the ban.


10 Things to Know for Wednesday, March 19

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:


Former official involved with Cover Oregon may sue

SALEM — A former state technology manager involved in building the software behind Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange notified the state Monday that she may file a lawsuit for defamation and wrongful termination.


Oregon senators support change to firefighting funds

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of members of Congress at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise pledged Monday to work on behalf of legislation that would change the funding structure for fighting wildfires.


Cook Memorial Library offers slew of activities

Events in March at the Cook Memorial Library in La Grande include a teen Video Game Tournament and a Spring Tea & Film for adults.

Every week are Baby Tot Bop for ages 0-3 on Tuesday and Children’s Storytime with stories, songs and crafts on Thursday; both start at 11:15 am. There won’t be Storytime during Spring Break on March 27. 


BRIEFLY: Man arrested for alleged threats

Man arrested for alleged threats

A 35-year-old man was arrested Saturday for allegedly threatening people with a gun on Ladd Canyon Road.


Saturday service resumes

For the first time since 2011, La Grande will have a Saturday bus program. The program is set to launch this weekend at 10 a.m. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

Back for first time since 2011, service will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

Those needing a ride on Saturday will be able to turn to La Grande’s public transit.

Community Connection of Northeast Oregon plans to launch Saturday bus service this weekend beginning at 10 a.m.


Remembering the rails

A steam locomotive arrives at the switch for the sidetrack in Cove around 1909 or 1910. Richard Roth has written a new book, “The Central Railroad of Oregon, Oregon’s Blue Mountain Route,” which focuses on the story of a short line railroad that provided passenger and produce shipping service between Union and Cove for about 20 years through 1927.

Richard Roth book examines area’s railroad history  

Richard Roth did not know what to expect when he began conducting research more than a year ago for a book about the Central Railroad of Oregon, which operated in Union County for about two decades. 

“I had no idea where it would lead. I didn’t know what direction it would take me,” Roth said.


Man arrested for allegedly pointing gun at people Saturday

A 35-year-old man was arrested Saturday for allegedly threatening people with a gun on Ladd Canyon Road.
Union County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Bill Miller said dispatch received the report about 4:05 p.m. from a citizen who said a man had pointed a gun at them while on Forest Service Road 43, also known as Ladd Canyon Road.

Wyden talks forests with constituents

Forest restoration and wildland fire suppression were on Sen. Ron Wyden’s mind when he visited Wallowa and Union counties Saturday.

The bill would dedicate funds for wildfire suppression instead of depleting the U.S. Forest Service’s general budget.

“The president announced he would accept a bill designed by (Idaho Republican Sen.) Mike Crapo and me,” Wyden told the Wallowa County gathering. “The government borrows from the prevention fund to fight the fire, then the problem gets worse.”


Beard named GM of rodeo

Pendleton Round-Up hires first-ever general manager

PENDLETON — The Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Associations have hired Casey Beard to serve as the event’s first general manager. 

“I believe Casey brings a knowledge and understanding of rodeo and our Western heritage and culture,” said Round-Up President Tim Hawkins. “He also brings a diverse background that will be invaluable to our two organizations. He is the right guy at the right time as we move into the next 100 years.”


State agency punishes Pine-Eagle teacher

HALFWAY — A teacher at the Pine-Eagle Charter School in Halfway has been disciplined by the state teacher licensing agency for using poor judgment in his interaction with students.

During its quarterly meeting in Salem on March 7, the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission agreed to impose a public reprimand on the teaching license of Christopher Howard de Castro, 38, who teaches fifth- and sixth-graders at the Halfway school.


10 Things to Know for Monday, March 17

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:

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