More than 125 people in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties have helped finance their small business or higher education using the Individual Development Account program offered by Northeast Oregon Economic Development District. If you meet income and net worth guidelines, you can use an IDA to quadruple your savings through donated matching funds, up to a maximum of $12,000. Most savers are adults, but children 12 years or older who live in households with low-to-moderate incomes are also eligible to enroll. Youth may save for higher education or to start or improve a business.

For more information on the program and how to apply, go to or call the office at 541-426-3598.

Joseph real estate agent named Realtor of the Year

JOSEPH — Anette Christoffersen, principal broker in the Joseph office of local real estate company Wallowa Mountain Properties, was named “Realtor of the Year” by the Northeast Oregon Board of Realtors. Christoffersen was presented with the award and a plaque by the current board president, Sharron Langdon, at a ceremony Oct. 20.

Christoffersen won the award based on a variety of criteria, including professional accomplishments, continuing professional education and certifications and community involvement. Christoffersen has served as a Wallowa County representative to the Northeast Oregon Board of Realtors for the past three years, teaches the real estate section of a free class for first-time home buyers offered by Community Connections and is an active member of The Rotary Club of Wallowa County.

Hearing planned to discuss micro entrepreneur grant

LA GRANDE — The City of La Grande is eligible to apply for a 2017 Community Development Block Grant from the Oregon Business Development Department. These funds come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grants can be used for public facilities and housing improvements, primarily for persons with low and moderate incomes. Approximately $12 million will be awarded to Oregon non-metropolitan cities and counties in 2017. The maximum grant that a city or county can receive is $2,500,000.

The City of La Grande is preparing an application for a 2017 Community Development Block Grant from Business Oregon for Microenterprise Assistance in Wallowa, Baker and Union Counties which would consist of classroom training for micro entrepreneurs.

A public hearing will be held by the La Grande City Council at 6 p.m. Nov. 8 in La Grande City Hall, 1000 Adams Ave. The purpose of this hearing is for the council to obtain citizen views and to respond to questions and comments about community development and housing needs, especially the needs of low- and moderate-income persons, as well as other needs in the community that might be assisted with a Community Development Block Grant project.

Written comments must be received by Nov. 7 at P.O. Box 670, Attention City Manager, La Grande 97850. Both oral and written comments will be considered by the City Council in deciding whether to apply.