BAKER CITY —A Baker City man, who police considered a high-risk threat, is being held in jail today on charges of illegal possession of guns and drugs.

Zachary Charles Persicke, 32, who spent time in prison for shooting Jesse Rounsville of Baker City in October 2009, had threatened “to shoot it out with law enforcement,” Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner stated in a press release.

(Rounsville recovered from his injuries in the 2009 shooting. He died on May 23, 2017, at the age of 54 of unrelated causes.)

Persicke was taken into custody about 9:20 a.m. Wednesday in the 1700 block of Washington Avenue. Police said he was found in possession of a 9-mm handgun, a small quantity of methamphetamine, a number of morphine pills and drug paraphernalia.

Persicke is being held on charges of violating conditions of his parole, felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a concealed firearm and possession of methamphetamine and morphine.

The incident began at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday when police began surveillance on a room at the Oregon Trail Motel where Persicke, who had a warrant for his arrest on the parole violation charge, was believed to be staying, Lohner said.

Information about Persicke’s whereabouts was obtained by Sgt. Craig Rilee and Deputy Rich Kirby of the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, Lohner said.

Police saw Persicke leave his motel room about 9:15 a.m. and get into the passenger side of a 2001 Ford Expedition. The vehicle left the parking lot and turned onto Bridge Street and then north on Resort Street.

Baker Police Officer Chris Sells attempted a high-risk traffic stop in the 1900 block of Resort Street, but the vehicle continued and turned east on Washington, Lohner said.

With the knowledge that Persicke’s vehicle was headed toward Brooklyn Primary School, an undercover patrol car was able to pass the Expedition, activate its emergency lights and make a U-turn to block the Expedition’s progress east down Washington.

Police called out the driver, who was later identified as 31-year-old Melissa Carey. Carey informed police that her young son was inside the vehicle. She retrieved the boy and brought him back to a patrol car.

Officers then brought Persicke out of the vehicle. Once he was in custody, Lohner said, Persicke told police “he should have had the officers kill him.”

Union library levy ballots due Tuesday

UNION — Ballots for the five-year option levy election for the Union Carnegie Public Library are due Nov. 7. Ballots for the mail election must be deposited in drop boxes at Union City Hall or the Union County Clerk’s Office in La Grande by 8 p.m. Tuesday. It is too late for voters to mail their ballots in.

Of the 1,460 ballots mailed out Oct. 18, 35 percent have been returned, according to the Union County’s Clerk’s Office.

The Union library option levy would raise about $118,000 a year, enough to fund the library’s proposed 2018-19 operating budget. The option levy would cost property owners about $1.21 for each $1,000 of assessed property value. This means the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $121 a year to fund the library’s services.

Public invited to translator district board meeting

BAKER CITY — A public meeting of the board of directors of the Blue Mountain Translator District will be held at noon Nov. 7 at Baker City Hall, 1655 First St. The meeting will include a time set aside for public comment.

Parks & Rec meets Nov. 9

The City of La Grande Parks & Recreation Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting Nov. 9. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Parks & Recreation building, near Pioneer Park, at 2402 Cedar St. Contact Stu Spence, Parks & Recreation Director, for more information at 541-962-1348 or .

Cove City Council meets tomorrow

COVE — The City of Cove will hold its regular council meeting Nov. 7. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Cove City Hall, 504 Alder.

Retired educators group hears about Cuba

The Union County Retired Educators will meet at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 8 at the Flying J Restaurant. Guest speaker Gerald Hopkins will present “A Visit to Cuba.”

RSVP by Nov. 13 for senior meal

COVE — The next senior meal in Cove will be held Nov. 17 at the Cove Baptist Church. The meal will feature a traditional Thanksgiving dinner: turkey breast with dressing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, ambrosia salad, rolls and pumpkin pie. Coffee and tea are available at noon and the meal is served at 12:30. RSVP by Nov. 13 by calling Imie Bristow at 541-568-4545 or Betsy Arnson at 541-568-4902.

Island City Veterans Day program set Thursday

The annual Island City Elementary Veterans Day program will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 9 in the school gym. All are welcome to come help the school honor veterans. No school will be held on Nov. 10, the official Veterans Day Observance.

Foreign film shown Thursday

Once a month Cook Memorial Library hosts a free subtitled foreign film. Because the library will be closed Nov. 10 for Veterans Day, this month’s foreign film will be shown at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Community Room. The featured movie will be “Listen ... Amaya,” a Bollywood-style 2013 film from India. Refreshments are provided. Contact Rose at the library with any questions at 541-962-1339.

Presentation looks at implications of natural disaster

JOSEPH — Wallowology is hosting a free lecture at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 at 508 N. Main St., Joseph. Photographer David Jensen will present “Darwin, Disaster and Adventure in Peru” based on his experience and research. Jensen’s presentation focuses on the most appalling natural disaster ever to hit the Western Hemisphere and explores the Darwinian implications of Peru’s violent natural history and the cultural impact globally of Darwin’s big idea. Contact the Wallowology Natural History Discovery Center for more information at 541-263-1663 or or go to

Sen. Bill Hansell, Rep. Greg Barreto meet with WC Chamber

ENTERPRISE — State Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena) of Senate District 29 and Representative Greg Barreto (R-Cove) of House District 58 are holding a series of meetings with members of local Chambers of Commerce. They will meet with the Wallowa County Chamber at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Tomas Conference Room, 309 S. River St., Enterprise. For more information, contact the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce at 541-426-4622.

Spaghetti dinner follows Veterans Day Parade Saturday

The La Grande Veterans Day Parade will begin at 11 a.m. Nov. 11. Following the parade, the La Grande American Legion Post 43 is serving a spaghetti dinner free to veterans and all Legion members who have paid their 2018 dues. The general public may eat for $5. This year, Heart ‘n Home Hospice and Palliative Care is sponsoring the dinner, held at the La Grande American Legion Hall, 301 Fir St. Grande Ronde Retirement and Wildflower Lodge Assisted Living are donating desserts.

Cook Memorial Library offers ‘Food for Fines’

As the holiday season tighten budgets, library customers can reduce their library fees while helping friends and neighbors who struggle to afford food. Cook Memorial Library is currently offering “Food for Fines,” giving library customers the opportunity to reduce their overdue fines by $1 for each donated food item, up to a limit of $10/10 items per library card. Food will be accepted for fines on returned library items only. Food items must be non-perishable, labeled, undamaged and non-expired. Food items must be brought to the front desk for fine dismissal by Dec. 23.

Union School Board to meet Wednesday

UNION — The Union School Board will meet Nov. 8. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the high school athletic complex. Long-range planning will be one of the subjects discussed at the meeting.

DEQ taking public comment on Cleaner Air Oregon

The Oregon Department of E nvironmental Quality and the Oregon Health Authority are opening the public comment period on proposed new rules that will regulate industrial air toxins and reduce the impact these pollutants have on the health of Oregonians. The proposed Cleaner Air Oregon rules would set health risk limits on pollutants that industrial facilities emit in order to protect neighbors and vulnerable people (such as children) from potentially harmful levels of exposure.

The proposed Cleaner Air Oregon rules would close gaps in the state’s existing air quality rules that have the potential to create health risks for families and communities. The Cleaner Air Oregon rules have been drafted to provide businesses with predictable and flexible air quality rules so Oregon industries can remain competitive in a global economy.

Members of the public have until Dec. 22 to submit comments. Oregonians can submit their input online at or at public hearings scheduled throughout the state. A Northeast Oregon meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Pendleton Library, 502 SW Dorion Ave.

Housing Authority updates Agency Plan

The Northeast Oregon Housing Authority has updated its Agency Plan in compliance with the

Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998. The plan is available for review at the Housing Authority’s office, 2608 May Lane, La Grande, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. In addition, a public hearing will be held at 9 a.m. Dec. 12. Call NEOHA at 541-963-5360 for more information.