Teens invited to join book club

LA GRANDE — Cook Memorial Library is seeking new members for the library’s middle and high school book clubs. The next meetings will be held Thursday in the library’s Community Room. The middle school club will meet at 3:30 p.m. and the high school club at 4:30 p.m. This is a free activity. For more information, call 541-962-1339, visit the library at 2006 Fourth St. in La Grande or go to www.cookmemoriallibrary.org.

City commissions meet this week

LA GRANDE — The La Grande Arts Commission will meet Wednesday and the Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission will meet Thursday. Each city commission meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Parks & Recreation Office at Pioneer Park. Commissioners are sought for the arts commission. Contact Stu Spence, Parks & Recreation director, at 541-962-1348 for more information.

Sign up up for Mental Health First Aid

LA GRANDE — Grande Ronde Hospital is sponsoring a Mental Health First Aid Course from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 16 and Jan. 17. The same eight-hour session will be taught each day in the classroom at the hospital’s Pavilion, 909 Adams Ave., La Grande.

Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their effects and provides training on how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis. For more information and to register for one of the sessions, call 541-963-1486.

Union County appoints special deputy district attorney

LA GRANDE — Union County District Attorney Kelsie McDaniel appointed Gregory Baxter to take over the prosecution of arson suspect Kael Knight. Baxter is the district attorney for Baker County.

“He started the case and handled it before he was appointed to Baker County,” McDaniel said. “He wanted to see it through.” 

McDaniel said appointments like this are rare in Union County and usually due to a conflict but that is not the case in this situation. 

Knight faces several counts of arson. State court records show he has a plea hearing and sentencing Jan. 24. 

OTEC seeks candidates for board of directors

BAKER CITY— Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative is seeking candidates for three board of director seats for 2020.

The board positions up for election, which is in May, are:

Position 1 – Union County, held by incumbent George Galloway

Position 2 – Baker County, held by incumbent Aletha Bonebrake

Position 3 – Harney County, held by incumbent Robert Cargill

If you are a member of the cooperative and interested in running for the OTEC Board of Directors, contact the administration at 541-524-2831 or visit otec.coop/annual-meetingboard-elections for nominating committee information, qualifications and applications. The nominating committee recommends candidates for the board elections and is requesting any members interested in running to contact them on or before Jan. 31. Nominations by petition are due by March 3.

EOU receives high rankings for fire, business and education degrees

LA GRANDE — Eastern Oregon University reported several of its programs and services received national and regional recognitions this year, including a No. 1 spot for its online Fire Services Administration program.

The privately supported website Intelligent.com ranked Easter’s bachelor of science degree in fire service administration as the No. 1 fire science degree. Intelligent also ranked Eastern’s newly revived MFA in creative writing as No. 4 among online master’s degrees in creative writing, its online master’s education degree program No. 20 and the online early childhood education degree at 25.

EOU’s College of Business also earned distinctions. Onlineschoolsreport.com ranked the college’s online economics degree an No. 9 in the nation. Intelligent ranked the online business administration degree at No. 12. And MBACentral.org ranked Eastern’s no-application-fee online master of business administration program at No. 16. And the website Colleges of Distinction recently featured Eastern.

EDsmart.org, a publisher of college resources and rankings, placed Eastern at No. 9 on its list of the top 20 colleges in Oregon for 2019-20. University of Oregon, Eugene, ranked No. 1, and Blue Mountain Community College, Pendleton, rounded out the list at No. 20. Eastern also ranked 10th on study.com’s list of accredited online schools.

EOU reported it jumped to No. 77 in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of universities in the West and came in at No. 37 among public schools in the region.

Collegeconsensus.com placed EOU as No. 4 for affordable online colleges, and collegevaluesonline.com set Eastern as No. 5 for the most affordable colleges in the Pacific Northwest. And EOU earned a “bronze” from the website Military Friendly for support of active duty and former members of the U.S. military.

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