LA GRANDE — The La Grande School Board voted to ratify a new contract with Mountain Valley Therapy to continue providing physical therapy and occupational therapy services to special needs students in the La Grande School District. Occupational therapy addresses fine motor skills and sensory needs. About 50 La Grande School District special needs students currently receive physical and occupational therapy from Mountain Valley Therapy via the school district.

The contract stipulates that the school district will pay Mountain Valley Therapy $45,000 a year for physical therapy services. The school district has paid this much annually since 2013, said Chris Panike, the La Grande School District’s business manager.

The school district will pay $175 per student visit for occupational therapy services. Mountain Valley charged $150 per student visit prior to July 1, 2017, and had not raised its rates for occupational therapy services since 2012, Panike said. Mountain Valley Therapy has provided services to the La Grande School District for at least seven years.

“We have been very pleased with the service we receive from Mountain Valley Therapy. They are awesome to work with,” said Carol Byron, La Grande School District’s special education director.

Morgan Lake opens Friday with new rules

LA GRANDE — The La Grande Parks & Recreation Department will open Morgan Lake for the season April 20 with some new rules in place. Through an updated ordinance effort with the La Grande Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission, camping is limited to three days and is allowed only between the two dams on the northwest side of the lake. Fires are allowed only in metal fire rings in the camping area. No campfires or camping will be allowed near the entrance to the park below the Morgan Lake sign. New fire rings and picnic tables were installed last fall. ODFW fishing season opens April 22. For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 541-962-1348 or email .

Yard sale funds Imbler senior party

IMBLER — The students of Imbler’s senior class of 2018 and their parents are having a yard sale from
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 21 in the Imbler Elementary School gym. Proceeds will help fund the senior class drug- and alcohol-free

Free blood screening offered in Elgin

ELGIN — Grande Ronde Hospital is offering free blood screenings in Elgin Saturday. Get more than $200 worth of blood tests at no cost between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. April 21 at the GRH Elgin Clinic. Pre-registration is not required. The screenings will be given to the first 100 people who come. A 9-12 hour fast is required; GRH reminds participants to drink plenty of fresh water. GRH provides this free health service once a year for the essential screenings that monitor cardiac health, glucose and red blood cell count. For more information, call 541-963-1418 or 541-963-1480.

Find the right fitness and nutrition plan

LA GRANDE — Dr. Kyle Pfaffenbach, EOU professor of nutrition and exercise science, will lead an “Individualized Nutrition” class at 6 p.m. April 26 at Nature’s Pantry. Participants will gain health and wellness insights and learn information to help them find the nutrition and fitness plan that’s right for them. The cost is $10 per person; half of the class fee will be used to support student research in the EOU Physical Activity and Health Department. Register at Nature’s Pantry, 1907 Fourth St., La Grande, or call 541-963-7955.

Express yourself through dance, journaling

LA GRANDE — Art Center East is offering unique opportunities to express yourself this spring. “Ecstatic Dance” sessions are 90 minutes of meditative, free-form dance set to a soundtrack of global beats. Get lost in the music while being accepted exactly as you are in a supportive, respectful and drug- and alcohol-free space. The sessions are open to all ages and will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 24, May 8 and 24, and June 12 and 26.

Or, learn to express yourself through visual journaling in “Journaling for Self-Discovery” classes offered April 25, May 9 and 23, and June 13 and 27. Each session runs from noon to 2 p.m. and is open to age 14 and older.

For more information or to register for any of the center’s classes, stop by ACE at 1006 Penn Ave., La Grande, go to or call 541-624-2800.

Grants are available to make communities more livable

According to an AARP press release, applications are being accepted for the AARP Community Challenge grant, which funds quick-action projects that help communities become more livable. These small grants may be used to improve housing, transportation, public space and other community elements that support great places for people of all ages. For example, winners in 2017 used the grants for better signage at pedestrian crossings, adding chess tables and benches in a park and improving bus ridership. For more information or to apply, go to

Kettle Corn N’ More opens in La Grande

LA GRANDE — Kettle Corn N’ More, 1209 Adams Ave., La Grande, is having its grand opening at 10 a.m. April 21. There will be a ribbon cutting and food samples. The event is co-hosted by the Union County Chamber of Commerce.

IRS provides additional day to file and pay for taxpayers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Internal Revenue Service announced it is providing taxpayers an additional day to file and pay their taxes following system issues that surfaced early on the April 17 tax deadline. Individuals and businesses with a filing or payment due date of April 17 will now have until midnight on April 18. Taxpayers do not need to do anything to receive this extra time. Automatic six-month extensions are available to taxpayers who need additional time. For more information go to