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The Observer paper 05/22/15

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Pack of ranchers on lookout for Imnaha wolf

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With his dogs in the lead, Kurt McCormack uses a GPS collar to hunt for an Imnaha wolf. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)

JOSEPH — Kurt McCormack travels up the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road on a hot, July morning in his pickup, with a horse trailer in tow. He’s headed to the hills to look for signs of wolves among cattle grazing summer pasture.

Each morning, McCormack and dozens of ranchers in the Imnaha wolf pack territory receive a text message regarding the whereabouts of the only Imnaha wolf with a working GPS collar. On days when he receives a text, McCormack uses the information to try and narrow down where the collared wolf is. If he’s concerned about wolves near cattle, he calls the ranchers and lets them know. 


New tactic evaluates fish stocking on Wallowa Lake

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Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is releasing more than 2,000 tagged fish into Wallowa Lake to monitor how well they overwinter and how many are caught and where they are caught on the lake. Fish Biologist Jeff Yanke holds up a future trophy rainbow. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)
 

WALLOWA LAKE — On a drizzly early summer morning the fish hatchery stocking truck backs down the boat launch at the south end of Wallowa Lake. A large hose is guided into a boat releasing hundreds of tagged trout into the hull as it takes on water.


State meet a success for Union Co.

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The Union County Special Olympics team, top row from left to right: Coaches Doug Trice, Tim Helwick, Art Trice Kathy Hagey and Tina Bowen. Front row from left to right: Joey Gross, Jason Franks, Braden Trice, Dani Thorne, Jenny Coppin and Mary Lee.

The Union County Special Olympics team enjoyed a successful weekend at the Special Olympics Oregon State Meet in Newberg Saturday and Sunday.

Jason Franks was one of two Union County athletes to earn a gold medal, as he took first in the 100-meter dash. 


A cool head prevails

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Recent La Grande High School graduate Jake Girard tees it off during a high school meet this past year. Girard will be competing for Southwestern Oregon Community College this fall after accepting a scholarship this summer.

Channeling emotions leads to success for Girard 

Over the course of Jake Girard’s recently completed high school golf career, patience has been his biggest virtue.

After going through issues with his temper early on, some words of wisdom from his head coach, Ron Evans, helped smooth out the La Grande High School graduate’s mental approach. His new attitude led to a positive finish to his Tiger career and ensured his career didn’t end at his final state meet.


Union County places third at district tourney

Despite numerous missed chances, Union County qualified for the Babe Ruth state tournament.

The all-star team, comprised of 13 and 14 year olds, bounced back from two straight losses with a 6-0 win over the Snake River Valley Americans to earn third place at the district tournament Sunday in the 15-and-under group in Ontario.


Seymour shoots a career-best score

Anna Seymour and the rest of the golfers did what they set out to do during Friday’s junior golf tournament — have fun, but also stay sharp for their high school seasons.

La Grande High School’s Seymour finished with the best score in the girl’s 15- to 18-year-old age group at a Northeast Oregon Junior Golf Association tournament held at La Grande Country Club.


Bailey bounces back

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Joseph native and Eastern Oregon alum Lane Bailey holds tight as he is bucked backwards during the Elgin Stampede Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association event Saturday evening. (ERIC AVISSAR/The Observer)
 

Bailey able to hang on after Elgin struggles

Joseph native and Eastern Oregon alum Lane Bailey entered the bullriding competition at the Elgin Stampede Saturday hoping to take another step in his pro career.

After a steady couple of seconds to open his ride, Bailey was flung backwards and fell off the bull after just over four seconds.


Elgin gets petition approved

Elgin athletic director Paul Willmarth announced that the school’s football program has succesfully petitioned the OSAA to compete as an independent 8-man squad in the upcoming season, rendering the program ineligible to compete in any postseason. 

The move comes after Elgin went 5-3 playing 8-man football at the Class 1A level last season. Elgin head coach Brock Eckstein said he is not worried about keeping his players in spite of having no postseason to play for.


Johnson keeps kicking

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Eric Avissar/ The Observer Grande Ronde Kung Fu and Karate School founder Ken Johnson, right, provides instruction to Isabel Brooker on how to effectively land a kick during training Wednesday. Johnson currently has 35 students in the school. (ERIC AVISSAR/The Observer)
 

Johnson takes two world titles in Las Vegas

Since moving to La Grande in 1991, Ken Johnson has held numerous martial arts world championships and has never lost a title match. Johnson has fought competitively since 1969, and never had to pull out of a competition until his most recent one at the International Martial Arts Councils World Championships June 27-29 at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. 

 


Stocking Lakes, rivers helps keep fish biting

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After hatchery quotas are met, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will often use surplus steelhead to augment many of our local waters. This is in addition to the thousands of legal-sized (8 inches), trophy (16 inches and over) and fingerling trout that are released to provide recreation for area fishermen. (JIM WARD photo)

Outdoor folks in Northeast Oregon have a good many things to do when summer rolls around. There’s hiking, camping, horseback riding, boating and swimming. Toss in a little watermelon and a good game of horseshoes. Many go fishing. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has done a great job of helping our days on the water become successful.  


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