75 years ago
Feb. 5, 1942
Sister first — then brother subjected to removal of appendices
“It never rains but what it pours,” and this old adage well explains an unusual situation in the Orval D. Yokom household this week. Believe it or not:
Tuesday evening, Sandra, the 6-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Yokom became suddenly ill and, upon the advice of the family doctor, she was rushed to the hospital at Prairie City and subjected to an operation for the removal of her appendix. All went well and after the night’s ordeal, the mother and father were breathing easier Wednesday, and that evening Mrs. Yokom returned from the hospital to her home for a much needed rest. But, lo and behold as she stepped in the door, her first glimpse at little Donald, 4-year-old son, warned her that something was wrong. He was “white as a sheet.” Again the family practitioner was summoned — and again another trip to the hospital was advised, and for the second time in a 24-hour period, Mr. and Mrs. Yokom had to go through the ordeal of an operation — as little Donald’s appendix was also removed and has now gone into quiet repose in a glass jar to keep company with the one earlier removed from his sister, Sandra.
At this writing, both of the little tots are reported to be getting along nicely and again Mamma and Papa Yokom are breathing easier.
50 years ago
Feb. 8, 1968
Steelhead angling slow; weather condition factor
Steelhead have been scarce to date, and there have been many rumors that imply fish access has been blocked at the John Day Dam. However, there is no evidence of a blockage at the John Day Dam. In fact, there is a large flow going through the dam, and turbines have not been installed yet.
There is a possibility that a number of fish are concentrated below the dam temporarily for some reason, but there is no blockage.
Some excellent steelhead catches were taken in November and December as usual. The absence of steelhead at Kimberly through January is not unusual. February and March are always the best months upriver.
There have been seasons in the past when a steelhead was not seen in the upper John Day until mid-March. Weather conditions seem to influence the movement of these fish more than anything.
There are many other things that cause variations in the population as well. We should not forget the flood of 1964-65. Heavy losses of sub-yearling steelhead could have occurred at this time. These fish would be due to return this year. Apparently two-year old steelhead did not suffer much loss during the flood. These are the juvenile fish that migrated out in 1965, and they would have returned last year.
Last year was one of the best years for steelhead on record, which indicates good survival of smolts during the spring of 1965. Investigations indicate that most John Day steelhead reside two years in fresh water, one year in salt water and one year ascending back upriver. There are some variations but the majority of fish have this life pattern.
Most John Day steelhead move through Bonneville Dam in July and August. They start moving into the John Day river in the late summer and early fall as soon as water conditions cool off with fall rains.
If weather conditions are wet in the fall and the winter is mild with considerable moisture, fish will move upriver faster and will be taken earlier in the upriver areas. Cold weather and prolonged freezing spells slow down the steelhead migration.
25 years ago
Feb. 4, 1993
Mock trial regionals planned for county
Grant Union High School this year will field two mock trial teams to participate in the regional competition planned Saturday, March 13, for the Grant County Court House.
The program, under the direction of Pete Piazza, an instructor at the Mt. Vernon School, started two years ago at Mt. Vernon. Last year, both Grant Union and Monument put together teams.
Presently, 12 teams are scheduled to compete in the one-day regional competition in which student teams argue both the prosecution and defense on a case based on actual case lay.
A panel of three judges, composed of judges and attorney’s, rates each team on its presentation, courtroom demeanor, court and judicial procedures and intangible factors such as their ability to think on their feet during a mock trial proceeding.
Grant Union and Baker City will each field two teams for this year’s competition. Other participating schools include Cove, Burns, Mitchell, Pilot Rock, Ontario, Nyssa, Vale and Powder Valley.
If no teams drop out, the top four regional finalists will advance to the state-wide competition with aspirations of being the state representative at the national finals.
In years past, teams from Mt. Vernon and Grant Union have narrowly missed advancing to the state level, but with two teams this year, past experience and four finalists expected to advance from this region, Piazza is hopeful Grant Union can advance beyond the regional competition.
10 years ago
Feb. 6, 2008
Chess with a vengeance
“Go, Fight, Win” is a cheer usually reserved for sports teams, but three middle-school students — Dakota Kygar, Seth Lallatin and Justin Joslin — are ready to join the fray with the slogan during a Chess for Success regional competition on Feb. 9 in Vale.
The competition is for elementary through high school students.
Dakota, a sixth-grader, learned to play chess when he was about 5 years old.
“My brother Alex taught me, with my dad’s help,” he said.
He said the chess club at Mt. Vernon Middle School has been preparing for the tournament by playing chess in their spare time.
Didgette McCracken, a math teacher at the school, facilitates the club, but she said it was the students’ idea. They meet on most Fridays at the school to play chess.
“I like that it takes thought,” said Dakota. “You have to be able to strategize the opponent’s move in order to trap his king.”
Seth, an eighth-grader, predicts he’ll win his division this year. He won last year, beating opponents in four games out of five.
Seth went on to state at Portland. He joined chess club at age 9 and has been in the club ever since.
The fastest game he’s ever played was when his older brother, Jacob, was trying out his “quick chess moves” — Seth lost that one.
Justin, an eighth-grader who is home-schooled, also plans to attend the competition. He’s been practicing chess on his Game Boy.
“You can go all the way to Bobby Fischer level,” he said.
His uncle, Darrell McKrola, taught him to play when he was about six, he said.
“He crushed me,” Justin said. “I learned through failure.”
His failures must have built some strengths; on Jan. 29 he almost beat last year’s chess champ (Seth). Their game went something like this:
“Don’t, that’s not good…”
“… Run and die.”
“… It’s my last hope.”
“Take that! …”
“… Three-move stalemate.”