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The Observer paper 05/27/15

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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.

Long road back

Kayla Rasmussen flies over a hurdle during her junior year at the Oregon state track and field championships in Eugene. She recently signed to run track at Eastern Oregon.

Recent Eastern Oregon signee looks to collegiate career after high school senior season derailed by illness

After a tumultuous senior year as part of the La Grande High School track and field team, Kayla Rasmussen relishes her shot at redemption after committing to run for Eastern Oregon University.

“I’m excited to see what I can do, because I never got to finish how I wanted to,” she said. 

Protection a must for native species

WALLOWA — Along a river bank where the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce Tribe once camped and fished for salmon, the Wallowa Land Trust diligently works to protect its habitat.

On a drizzly June morning, volunteers gathered to fence young willows along the shore where the Wallowa and Lostine rivers join. The idea is the young willows have established themselves but need protection from browsing deer to flourish.

Abundance of beauty

Baker City Herald Editor Jayson Jacoby and his son, Max, 3, hike through one of the many meadows along the Crane Creek Trail in the North Fork John Day Wilderness. (LISA BRITTON for The Observer)

Hiking along Umatilla’s Crane Creek gives glimpses of diverse fauna, wildlife

The elk weren’t quite the accommodating photo subjects that zoo animals usually are.

But for wildlife — and wildlife that live in a wilderness area, no less — the elk were pretty patient.

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