Wallowa County to seek drought declaration

ENTERPRISE — A resolution to declare Wallowa County in a state of drought is the sole agenda item for an emergency session of the Wallowa County Board of Commissioners when it meets at 3 p.m. Friday, May 21.

The declaration is actually a request for Gov. Kate Brown to make a declaration of drought for the county, as she has done for several other counties in the state, Commissioner Todd Nash said May 19.

Such a declaration will make federal funding available primarily for agricultural needs, Nash said. He said it wouldn’t apply to any municipal water shortage in the county.

“We’re pretty well set that way in Wallowa County,” Nash said. “It gets the process started,” he said of the declaration request, adding that he expects to hear the governor’s response soon.

The meeting will be open to public comment after the declaration resolution is passed.

Hurricane Creek half-marathon is May 29

JOSEPH — Wallowa County is urged to get out and run or walk at a half-marathon event that will take place Saturday, May 29, starting at Joseph City Park, according to a press release.

The Hurricane Creek Half Marathon/5 Mile/5K starts at 8 a.m. and heads toward the Hurricane Creek Trailhead. This is for anyone from walkers to advanced runners.

The whole mission of the event is to encourage more active lifestyles and the goal is to get Wallowa County out and running.

Whisky Fest announces 2021 show; musical acts to be announced later

PENDLETON — The Pendleton Whisky Music Fest will be back in 2021, but it will look significantly different than past events.

A year after event organizers were forced to cancel the concert due to COVID-19, Whisky Fest announced it would come back on July 10, albeit with new headliners. Facing a 12,000-person capacity limit at the Round-Up Grounds, Whisky Fest is postponing previously announced headliners Macklemore and Eric Church to 2022 and bringing in a new slate of musicians.

Whisky Fest will announce its new headliners Friday, May 28.

Baker County proposes lodging tax review

BAKER CITY — Two of the three Baker County commissioners want to hire a consultant to coordinate a comprehensive review of how the county spends nearly half a million dollars in lodging taxes that guests at motels and other establishments pay annually.

But that plan is contingent on attorney Drew Martin deeming it legally sound for the county to extend, for the fourth time in the past 15 months, the county’s contract with the Baker County Chamber of Commerce to operate the visitor’s center using lodging tax revenue.

Most recently, commissioners extended that contract, which is for about $77,000 per year, through Aug. 31, 2021.

Commission Chair Bill Harvey abstained from voting on the motion.

— EO Media Group

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