Union Fire District Board meets tomorrow

UNION — The Union Rural Fire Protection District’s board meeting will be held Aug. 20. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Union Fire Department.

Registration scheduled at dance studio

LA GRANDE — Beckie’s Studio of Dance, 110 Depot St., La Grande, invites anyone interested in dance classes to stop by between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 21-23. The studio offers instruction in tap, ballet, pointe, jazz and acro/tumble for all skill levels age 3-1/2 through adult. The Co. B dance group is by audition only. Call 541-805-8317 for more information.

Free back-to-school events include backpack giveaway

ISLAND CITY — Mountain Life Church, 10700 S. Walton Road, Island City, invites families to three evenings of KidsQuest back-to-school free events Aug. 21-23. Held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., the evenings will include illusions, games, live music, skits and prizes, including backpack giveaways. For more information, call 541-805-0073

OTEC board meets tomorrow

BAKER CITY — The Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m. Aug. 20 at OTEC headquarters, 4005 23rd St., Baker City. The board is scheduled to discuss the ORECA annual meeting in November.

Free talk on memory loss offered at senior center

LA GRANDE — Dr. Quinto will give a talk on memory loss at noon Aug. 21 at the Union County Senior Center, 1504 N. Albany St., La Grande. All are welcome. The event is sponsored by GRH Home Care Services.

Granite Gulch Fire smoke may be visible

JOSEPH — The USFS reported that the Granite Gulch Fire in Wallowa County is becoming more active now that fuels have dried following last week’s rain. Smoke will likely be visible above the western Wallowa Mountains as the fire progresses, primarily to the west. Firefighters are actively managing the fire with a confinement strategy, limiting it to the upper reaches of the Minam River valley, well within the Eagle Cap Wilderness. For the remainder of the fire season, firefighters will continue to use suppression tactics to meet objectives including allowing the fire to play a natural role in maintaining the ecosystem.

Forest visitors who plan to travel through the upper Minam River area should contact the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Wallowa Mountains Office at 541-426-5546. There are currently no trail or area closures, but there may be a need for future closures to protect public health and safety.

Ribbon cutting held for hydropower facility

WALLOWA LAKE — On Aug. 23, Wallowa County, Pacific Power, Wallowa Resources and Energy Trust of Oregon will hold a ribbon cutting to celebrate the region’s newest hydroelectric project: a 22-kilowatt micro hydro facility located within Wallowa Lake State Park. The event will include remarks by local elected officials and stakeholders followed by an outdoor lunch for attendees.

The new hydro turbine is expected to generate around 134 megawatt hours of clean energy each year — enough to offset about 85% of the power demand for the service district’s water pump station, providing reliable drinking water and sewer service for the residences and businesses located at the head of Wallowa Lake. The facility is also an educational asset within the state park. Paths leading to the powerhouse from the campground feature information on renewable no-impact hydropower and windows allowing visitors to see the turbine and generator in operation.

This project is a recipient of a $60,000 grant from Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Program customers and an $80,000 incentive from the Energy Trust of Oregon.

Register now for
gun class

LA GRANDE — The Union County Sheriff’s Office is now taking registration for a concealed handgun and firearms safety class to take place Sept. 14 at 1109 K Ave., La Grande. The class will run from 8 a.m. to around 12:30 p.m. and costs $50 (cash or check only, due at the time of the class). Class size is limited, and pre-registration is required by calling the UCSO at 541-963-1017, option 2 and 3. Participants must have a current/valid driver’s license or state-issued ID card and will not be allowed to bring weapons or ammunition to the classroom.

Unemployed homeowners may be eligible for mortgage assistance

SALEM — Oregon Housing and Community Services announced that the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative is re-opening a mortgage payment assistance program for Oregon homeowners receiving unemployment benefits. The Mortgage Payment Assistance Unemployment program is designed to help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure while they seek new employment.

The application deadline is Sept. 30. For details on requirements and the application process, go to www.oregonhomeownerhelp.org.