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Home arrow Opinion arrow Our View arrow FRIENDS COME THROUGH WHEN SEARCH WANES

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FRIENDS COME THROUGH WHEN SEARCH WANES

When a team is looking for someone who has been lost in the mountains, how long should the search continue? Four days? Five days? Or even a week?

No one can fault the Wallowa County search and rescue unit that began to scale back its efforts on Thursday, Oct. 31, after Mischelle Hileman, a 39-year-old Wallowa hunter, had been missing since the previous Sunday.

The odds did not look good for Hileman, who was enduring winter-like temperatures at night and no food or fire. During the first five days, hundreds of man-hours were put into the search, involving helicopters and dogs.

When this past weekend rolled around, Hileman's friends and family members were not about to give up. They still held out hope that the lost hunter might be found.

Hileman was found alive at about 10:45 a.m. Sunday by Bill Lehr, 44, who had helped organize the weekend search. Since then, she has been in critical but stable condition at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

Hileman and her parents forever will be grateful to the original search team, and the tenacious group of friends and family members who never gave up hope but hung in there, not being dismayed by the odds. A great amount of credit, of course, must go to Hileman herself for the energy and creativity she showed in digging a makeshift shelter and covering herself with bows, sticks and brush to keep her body warm.

The incident is a reminder to anyone venturing into the mountains to be prepared. People should consider carrying some basic survival items like matches, a knife and enough food to make it through a night or more if lost in the woods. Carrying a whistle also can be helpful. It's always nice, of course, to have some friends standing by to provide help when needed.

ASCN's niche

Paul Allen's experiment in providing a regional sports cable channel has failed. Action Sports Cable Network went off the air Monday night.

The channel was another of Allen's great experiments. As one of the world's richest men, he can try new ideas, buy sports franchises and cable companies, and build music museums. But ASCN was a different kind of attempt, and for those few sports fans who had a chance to view the network, it's too bad it went away. Not only did ASCN provide a way to show Blazer games, but more importantly it provided a place where viewers could get a glimpse of small college sports and even Oregon high school athletic events — the kind of events no one else televises.

Blazer Cable will find a home. But the variety of games ASCN featured won't be found anywhere else.

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