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La Grande Observer 03/30/15

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A day in the life for a rescue worker

Never a dull moment for local animal rescuer

PENDLETON — The ringing of Lynn Tompkins’ cellphone often means her day is about to take a U-turn.

On Monday afternoon, the caller was a young man worried about an injured American white pelican he and his girlfriend spotted along Pendleton’s river walk. Could she come and rescue the bird and take it to her rehabilitation facility? 

Memorable day out on the water


Area fishing club instructs local youth the ropes of fishing 

It was an extremely rewarding day last Friday for the kids of the Grande Ronde Child Center, and it had little to do with how many fish they caught.

The Grande Ronde Fly Fishing club and the GRCC teamed for their annual joint venture of bringing kids from the center to Morgan Lake for an introduction to fly fishing.


Conservancy events highlight natural resources

Blue Mountains Conservancy offering free field trips, talks

The Blue Mountains Conservancy has announced its summer schedule of events, known as the Heart of the Blues series, that will include field trips and talks provided by local natural resource experts. 

Events are free, open to the public, and will highlight local plants, wildlife and historical sites within the Grande Ronde Valley. 

Search and rescue volunteers hone skills

Daarla Klages of the Wallowa County swift water rescue team dives into the Wallowa River during certification training at Minam State Park.

Three-day swift water rescue training covers all aspects of water safety, recovery  

MINAM — Wallowa County’s rivers from the Imnaha to the Snake draw thousands of visitors each year. For those who choose to recreate next to or in great bodies of water, safety is a must.

Every three years, Wallowa County Search and Rescue hosts a three-day certification for swift water rescue. This spring, eight team members, along with two search and rescue volunteers from Baker County, a Nez Perce Fisheries technician and a Winding Waters Rafting Expedition guide underwent a high intensity training led by Nate Ostis of Wilderness Rescue International.

Four Tigers earn all-state honors

Four La Grande High School baseball players were honored for their contributions over the past season, as Tyson Wicklander, Jared Rogers, Jake Chamberlain and Tanner Stremcha earned OSAA 4A all-state honors.

Wicklander was named a second team all-state infielder after batting a team-high .438 as the leadoff hitter. After playing catcher for every inning last season, Rogers was named as an honorable mention catcher along with first baseman Chamberlain as an infielder and Stremcha as a utility player. 

Special athletes thrive

From left to right: Jason Marks, Mary Lee and Braden Trice practice running the 100-meter dash Saturday at La Grande High School to prepare for the upcoming Special Olympics Oregon Summer Games next month. (ERIC AVISSAR/The Observer)

Local athletes gear up for upcoming state meet

The Union County Special Olympics team is preparing for the Special Olympics Oregon Summer Games next montha at Newberg High School after what head coach Doug Trice called a very successful showing at the regional meet at Milton-Freewater June 7-8.

In both the 100-meter dash and the softball throw, Justin Bowling earned silver medals. Jennie Coppin earned gold medals in both the 100-meter race walk and the softball throw, while Jason Franks took gold in the 100 dash and silver in the standing long jump. In the 100-meter race walk, Fred Jordan earned bronze and also finished fourth in the softball throw. 

Legends finish perfect

The La Grande Legacy Legends had a successful outing in Meridian, Idaho, winning the Smokey Mountain Wood Bat Invitational.

In the championship game, Eli Wisdom threw a complete game for the Legacy Legends, giving up six hits and no walks in a 4-1 win over Vallivue, Idaho.

Wolfpack wins third championship

The La Grande Wolfpack 12-and-under youth baseball team won its third tournament of the season, winning the Boise Summer Classic in Boise, Idaho, Sunday.

After scoring 34 runs in pool play, the Wolfpack defeated Caldwell, Idaho, All-Stars, 6-3, before beating the host Boise Cobras in the championship by an 8-3 margin.

Riding for the money

Riley Freeman of Middleton, Idaho, was the lone bull rider ride to 8 seconds and was the sole winner of the purse over the weekend at the 10th annual Mountain High Broncs and Bulls Rodeo in Enterprise. (KATIE NESBITT/The Observer)

23 saddle bronc and 15 bull riders competed 

ENTERPRISE — Spring showers broke in time for the 10th annual Mountain High Broncs and Bulls Rodeo at the Wallowa County Fairgrounds in Enterprise. Oregon was chosen to host the 11-state Western States Ranch Rodeo Association’s pro tour, attracting 23 bronc riders. 

Former Union star Evans commits to EOU

McKenzie Evans will be sticking around the area for college after a decorated high school track career.

The recent Union graduate inked a letter of intent to compete in both cross country and track and field for Eastern Oregon University, track and field head coach Ben Welch announced Thursday.

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