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The Observer 05/01/15

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Johnson keeps kicking

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

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.  

East Coast group studies forest visitors

Hells Canyon Overlook is one of the sites where West Virginia natural resource students are surveying Wallowa-Whitman National Forest visitors this summer. (KATY NESBITT/WesCom News Service)

Surveys aimed at improving park experiences

HELLS CANYON OVERLOOK — Outfitted with a safety vest and a clipboard, Alex Wooding approaches an oncoming car leaving the parking lot at the Hells Canyon Overlook. He asks the occupants of the car if they’d like to do a survey. 

Lightning strike at Stars 'n' Stripes

Union County did not make it easy on themselves, but they still walked away with its second consecutive tournament crown.

After dropping their three pool-play games Saturday, the Lightning stormed back in bracket play, winning three straight — including a 10-9 thriller against Northwest Reign in the championship game — to earn the 16/18A title at the Stars ‘n’ Stripes Tournament in Salem.

Special Olympics golfers gear up

The Special Olympics Union County golf team will head to the state tournament at the Chehalem Golf Course in Newberg beginning Friday.

Under the Special Olympics golf format, one special Olympian will play with a partner while alternating shots over a nine-hole course. Union County will field four teams as Sam Altenburg will play with his father, George, Ian Altenburg will play with Pat Vaughn, Alex Weissensluh will pair up with his grandfather, Allen, and Terry Bolken will team up with Scott Hayes. Coach Pam Thompson said she is eager to see the golfers in action.

Legends split at home

La Grande Legacy Legend Eli Wisdom successfully advances to second base during the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, as the Legends split the twinbill with Burns. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

La Grande wins opener, falls in second game

The La Grande Legacy Legends split a doubleheader Tuesday at Pioneer Park against Burns, winning, 14-6 before falling, 8-6.

In both games, the winning team took control with a six-run inning. The Legacy Legends scored six runs in the third inning, a surge that Eli Childs sparked after hitting a two-run double.

Legacy Legends split doubleheader

Legacy Legends split doubleheader against Burns at Pioneer Park.

Legends struggle through Spokane

The La Grande Legacy Legends struggled over the weekend at the Spokane Woodbat Classic in Spokane, Wash., as they lost their first three games before winning 8-0 against the Spokane Cannons Saturday.

Tanner Stremcha pitched a complete game to close the tournament, throwing seven strikeouts while giving up two walks and six hits in six innings on the mound.

Crow finishes on top

Runners take off to begin the one-mile race at the Lostine River Run. Ben Shaw of Deer Park, Wash., won the race, while La Grande’s Andrew Lackey, Maia Vandervlugt and Taylor Fox finished second, third and fourth, respectively. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)

Eastern Oregon grad Alma Crow wins 5k race

LOSTINE — Less than a year after giving birth to her daughter Riley, Eastern Oregon graduate Alma Crow emerged as the winner at the Lostine River Run 5k Saturday with a time of 18 minutes, 49 seconds.

“I was really nervous. I just wanted to place in the top 10,” Crow said. 

Legends falter twice at Woodbat Classic Invite

Mud Dogs also lose pair in Spokane

It was a brutal start of the Woodbat Classic Invitation in Spokane, Wash., for the La Grande Legacy Legends, as they suffered two one-run defeats on the opening day Thursday.

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