Blue Mountain Eagle | Blue Mountain Eagle Wed, 26 Oct 2016 23:45:36 -0400 en Blue Mountain Eagle | Staffer sues Rosenblum, key employees for racial profiling Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:30:04 -0400 PARIS ACHENCapital Bureau The Oregon Department of Justice’s civil rights director is suing Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and other department employees for subjecting him to racial profiling.

In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, Erious Johnson alleges DOJ special agents identified him as a “threat to police” based on a threat assessment performed with a software program that examined social media postings.

In addition to Rosenblum, the suit names as defendants Deputy Attorney General Frederick Boss, DOJ Chief Counsel Darin Tweedt, Special Agent in Charge David Kirby, and Special Agent James Williams.

The lawsuit claims that in September 2015 Williams used a software program called Digital Stakeout to search terms, including the Twitter hashtag, “#blacklivesmatter,” in the Salem area. That search produced an image of Johnson and prompted Williams to download Johnson’s entire Twitter account, according to the lawsuit.

A post on Johnson’s account containing lyrics to a rap song by Public Enemy and an image of the group’s logo led Williams to believe Johnson presented a threat to police, the lawsuit states.

Williams shared his concerns with Kirby, who was his supervisor. Kirby consulted Tweedt, who recommended a written assessment. Boss approved the written assessment. After Williams prepared the assessment, he submitted it to the department’s counsel for review.

Johnson alleges that investigators never attempted to contact him or independently verify information, which was a violation of department policy. He didn’t learn of the assessment until about two weeks after Boss and Rosenblum received the report.

According to the suit, Williams had no reasonable suspicion of a crime, and was not involved in a criminal investigation when he performed the original assessment.

Johnson claims the defendants violated his First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. He seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.

The Attorney General’s Office issued a statement Wednesday noting that Rosenblum has replaced staff members involved in the digital search of Johnson’s tweets and taken steps to help prevent racial profiling. She fired Williams last summer and demoted Tweedt in January. Kirby left his post in May to become operations integrity director of Privateer Holdings in Seattle, according to his LinkedIn page.

DOJ employees also will be required to undergo cultural competency and implicit bias training, beginning next month, said Kristina Edmundson, a department spokeswoman.

The attorney general still considers Johnson “a valued member of her inner circle staff, as he serves as her outreach director to diverse communities throughout the state,” Edmundson said.

GU hosts state playoff volleyball game Saturday Wed, 26 Oct 2016 15:59:58 -0400 The Grant Union Prospector volleyball team will host the Kennedy Trojans in Round One of the OSSA state playoffs at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Grant Union Junior-Senior High School in John Day.

Admission is $6 for adults, and $4 for students.

Grant Union faced Kennedy last year, defeating the Trojans 3-0 at the OSAA state tournament, competing for third place.

The Kennedy team of Mt. Angel is coached by Laura Beyer and is ranked No. 15 for OSAA 2A teams.

The Trojans have a 16-11 overall record, 8-4 in the 2A-2 Tri-River Conference.

Grant Union, coached by Shae Speth, is ranked No. 2, and they have a 25-3 overall record with an 8-0 Wapiti League record.

This is the seventh consecutive year Grant Union has made it to the state playoffs. Last year, they hosted Central Linn in Round One.

Speth said Kennedy graduated a couple of their key players. She added they will look at film to spot their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses and make any needed adjustments.

Grant Union student and adult fans are encouraged to dress in Halloween costumes, or in Prospector red and black at the game.

“We definitely encourage the community to attend and support the team,” Speth said. “This is a great group of girls that work hard and play together — they are exciting to watch.”

Grant County Court minutes: Oct. 19, 2016 Wed, 26 Oct 2016 15:21:06 -0400 Grant County Court minutes from Oct. 19, 2016:

Pursuant to notice made to the newspaper of general circulation throughout Grant County, the radio station, county website, and e-mail distribution list, a regular meeting of the County Court was held at the County Courthouse in Canyon City, OR.

9:00 am -- Call to Order. Present were Judge Scott W. Myers, Commissioners Chris B. Labhart and Boyd Britton, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright, Rick Minster, Judy Schuette, Beth Spell, Judy Kerr, Jim Sproul, Sally Bartlett, Rob Seaver, Dan Becker, Kay Steele, Mike Cosgrove, Doug Ferguson, Francis Kocis, Reporter Logan Bagett, Scott Fairley, and Haley Walker. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Commissioner Britton.

CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and extension district warrants #219-220. A claim from the Sheriff’s Department was red flagged for being over budget for vests.

AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to accept the agenda as presented.

ANNOUNCEMENTS. Commissioner Britton traveled to Silverton last Wednesday after court for an OTC meeting to discuss issues regarding transportation. In the last week Britton also attended a Farm Bureau meeting where agriculture and predator control were discussed.

Commissioner Labhart attended an eclipse meeting last Wednesday and said there was a good turnout and 10 to 50 thousand people are still expected. He drove the VA van to Boise last Thursday, attended lunch at the Senior Citizens Center on Monday and went to an Oregon Solution meeting and an LCAC meeting on Wednesday of last week.

9:05 am Kathy Smith entered.

Tomorrow Labhart will be driving the VA Van to the Boise VA Hospital and going to an EMS meeting on Friday. Labhart added the Farm Service Bureau will be opening a satellite office in John Day.

9:06 am Susan Church entered.

Judge Myers performed a wedding here last Wednesday and last Thursday he met with Laurie Wright and Sharon Harris from CIS (the counties insurance carrier) regarding risk management. Last night Myers met with Sally Bartlett at the Canyon City Council meeting to discuss the hazard mitigation process and plan. This morning Myers met with Rex Burkholder from Oregon Solutions at the Outpost.

9:08 am Elaine Smith, Kurt Shelley, and Elaine Mezzo entered.

Tomorrow Myers will perform a wedding, attend a Mental Health Advisory Board meeting and in the afternoon participate in an Eastern Oregon Association of Counties conference call. Myers will travel to Pendleton on Friday for a meeting regarding the Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision at the Umatilla National Forest headquarters. Next Monday Myers will assist with interviews for an assistant cook at the Prairie City Senior Center and will travel to La Grande on Tuesday for a Community Connections meeting.

MINUTES. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to approve the October 12th minutes as presented.

RIGHT OF WAY EASEMENT. The court reviewed a Right of Way Easement to Oregon Trail Electric Co-Op. This is an easement for OTEC to put in a junction box at the Airport for future hanger owners to be able to access power. Airport Manager Haley Walker explained OTEC will own the transformer and owners will only need to pay a fee to have the power installed from the junction box to their hanger. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to grant the easement to OTEC and circulate for signatures.

9:14 am Dave Traylor entered.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. Economic Development Coordinator Sally Bartlett requested court approval to hire a contractor for the Canyon City Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. Bartlett explained an RFP was advertised but no responses were received even though it was advertised in three different newspapers numerous times. The county attorney advised that since it was advertised so extensively a contractor could be contacted and chosen. Bartlett received some contractor’s names from the State and received a bid from one that she contacted (Winterowd & Brooks LLC) in the amount of $20,000. The Canyon City Council had a meeting last night and provided a vote of confidence to hire Winterowd & Brooks LLC. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve hiring Winterowd & Brooks LLC as the contractor for the NHMP and authorize Judge Myers to sign.

Engineering Needs. Bartlett said as this process moves forward they will be putting in for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) to assist with some of the actual work that will need to be completed. The grant is approximately $400,000. Barlett explained her thoughts on moving forward with engineering for flood prevention and said she has prepared an RFP for engineering services and she believes this needs to be kept confidential for now to keep everything fair for future bidding. Myers said this grant could also possibly provide funds to purchase one home that is in the flood zone and use the land to mitigate flooding danger. Doug Ferguson of Ferguson Surveying and Engineering said his understanding is that the money could not be used to purchase a home. Bartlett stated she still would like to put this in the application because she wants everything documented and if it is denied she will continue to try to locate other funding. The court agreed by consensus that Bartlett should move forward on this. Scott Fairley thanked the county for allowing Bartlett to work with the City of Canyon City on the hazard mitigation grant. Fairley believes the City of John Day is also in support of the grant for flood mitigation.

PUBLIC COMMENT. Judge Myers offered public comment to the audience. Britton asked Fairley how much time he thought the county still had to get assistance from the State for a water impoundment. Fairley said the money is still available and believes as long as funding is there this can move forward.

9:32 am Rylan Boggs entered.

Fairley stated it would be helpful to have a local group assist with locating impoundment sites. Ferguson added it is very difficult to locate impoundment sites. Labhart advised there was a group of people that met this morning with Oregon Solutions and asked Fairley to explain what Oregon Solutions does. Fairley explained the difference between Oregon Solutions and Oregon Consensus. Britton asked Fairley to urge the State to keep Bates Pond and allow improvements.

9:41 am Kathy Stinnett entered. 9:43 am Jim Carpenter entered.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY. District Attorney Jim Carpenter presented a request to the court to approve a longer training session for the new Deputy District Attorney once hired. Carpenter said his current Deputy DA Matt Ipson has given his notice and wishes to move back to the west side of the state. Ipson would like to be finished before the end of the year. Carpenter explained the cases the Deputy DA handles to those in attendance. Carpenter said the position has been advertised in the local paper as well as at Oregon law schools. Carpenter would like to have a two week training period in which Ipson can train a new Deputy DA and get the new person up to speed on his case load. The cost for this would be $2207 which includes salary and taxes. This position is a grant funded position. Carpenter believes his budget can cover some of this cost because he does not plan to attend a prosecutor’s training in the spring and so this would offset some of the expense. Carpenter explained what type of applicants he expects to receive. Britton thinks a week should be enough for training. Labhart asked Carpenter if he believed a week was long enough to transfer cases to a new deputy. Carpenter doesn’t think it is, although the very serious Measure 11 cases have already been transferred to the Department of Justice in anticipation of Ipson leaving. Myers said he was concerned that after allowing additional training to a department during last week’s court meeting if they continue to do this it will set a precedent. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to decline the request for a two week training session and continue with the allowed one week.

9:58 am Zach Williams, Glen Johnston, Nicky Sprauve, and Roger McKinley entered.

PUBLIC FOREST COMMISSION. Dave Traylor asked the court for an update on the status of the Circuit Court decision regarding the dissolution of the Public Forest Commission. Myers told those in attendance that as of this morning the court had not received an explanation of Judge Cramer’s decision. The County Attorney did provide some Oregon Statutes that address appeal times. Labhart spoke with Ron Yockim yesterday and no findings regarding his decision have been received from Judge Cramer and as of today and the circuit court clerk’s advised they have also not received findings. Jim Sproul asked if the county intended to appeal the decision. Myers said he feels it is unfortunate the decision came out as it did, but he does not intend to appeal. Myers stated after reading what Judge Cramer wrote he doesn’t believe this initiative should have ever been on the ballot. Sproul asked the court to vote on whether to appeal. Myers said this isn’t on the agenda for a vote, but the court could come to a consensus. Nicky Sprauve asked why the members of the Public Forest Commission weren’t notified about the alleged hearing. Sprauve said the Judge is kind of shady and wants to know why they are all now labeled as felons and criminals. Myers pointed out this was not a criminal case, it was a civil case and this court has no control over what the circuit court does. Sprauve began talking about his opinion of Judge Cramer and Britton told him the court would not allow him to talk like that about a Circuit Court Judge. Roger McKinley said he believes the county court has been against the Public Forest Commission since its inception. Sprauve said this is not over and he wants it on the record and his rights have been violated by the kangaroo court upstairs and called Judge Cramer a coward. Labhart said the only way he found out about the hearing was by looking at the television upstairs in the lobby, he wasn’t notified and Sprauve could have done the same thing. Myers told Sprauve that the court has provided everything they know to those in attendance. Sprauve threatened a protest and thinks his rights have been violated. Britton feels appealing this would be a waste of money as it is a point of law and he has no intention of appealing the decision. Traylor stated the reason for the request today was only to find out what information the court had and they have provided that. Sprauve stated Judge Cramer is on the take. Mike Cosgrove asked the court if anyone had seen anything accusing the Public Forest Commission members of being felons and Myers stated absolutely not. Sproul said the initiative process is a valuable tool for citizens to use to enforce meaningful laws, rules and regulation within a county and the initiative was reviewed by the Secretary of State in 2002. Sproul stated the last two initiatives have been rejected and if another is rejected it will be obvious what is going on. Myers reiterated his belief that this initiative should never have been put on the ballot. Susan Church understands the initial vote was for something that never happened. Myers told her she was right and it was set up to take over management of federal lands if they were ever turned over to the county by the federal government, but this never happened and likely never will. Myers thinks when this initiative was put on the ballot the intentions were good, but it has since been found it should not have been placed on the ballot. Sproul asked if the court had used the Public Forest Commission and Myers said not as a body, but the court has asked for opinions from members of the commission. Traylor stated Grant County has always been proactive and there was a rumor that federal lands might at some point be given over to local control and so that is the reason the initiative was created and the intent was honorable and honest. Elaine Smith advised the Oregon Republican Party has sent a resolution requesting public lands be turned over to the states. She thinks the resolution was sent to the National Republican Party and she believes it was passed. Smith wanted to know how the court found out about the hearing and Myers said he found out the morning of the hearing. Smith feels someone dropped the ball on this and the forest commission should have been notified. Traylor suggested a checklist be created of everything going on in the courthouse so that pertinent individuals could be contacted. Traylor said he has suggested this in the past. Myers said it is not this court’s responsibility to post circuit court information. Sproul reported the Public Forest Commission is going to meet tonight and are requesting the public to attend and give input on whether they want the commission to continue. Labhart asked if an agenda was published in advance to notify the public and Sproul said they don’t post an agenda and he’s giving notice now. Labhart said not posting the agenda 24 hours in advance is not following public meeting laws. Judy Schuette asked if minutes were available and Traylor said he takes some notes and anyone can come and review his notes and believes they are following the law. Kay Steele believes without minutes there is no public record of what the commission has done and without a record of what has been done in the past, or what the commission intends to do in the future, the voters of this county cannot make informed decisions about the value of the commission. Steele feels this is an issue because voters can’t be educated about the commission without knowing its history and this isn’t how a democracy is supposed to be conducted. Labhart wanted it to go on the record that he has not read Judge Cramer’s decision yet and he will not make a decision on whether or not to appeal until he reads the decision. Dan Becker asked if the forest commission still existed. Myers said in their eyes they do. Becker thought that after the order was rendered the forest commission no longer existed under the laws of the State of Oregon. Traylor advised the meeting will be held tonight at the Squeeze-In at 5:30 pm.

10:37 am -- Adjourned

Respectfully Submitted,

Laurie Wright

Administrative Assistant

Trick or treat: Grant County Halloween events Wed, 26 Oct 2016 14:05:23 -0400 A variety of Halloween events are planned in Grant County, offering fun for all ages.

A series of Halloween parties will be held at the John Day Elks Lodge, 140 NE Dayton St. The adult party will be at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, with live music, a costume contest and social session.

The kid party will run from 6-8:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30. Admission is $1 or two cans of food. There will be games, food and a costume contest.

The teen party will be held from 7-9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31. Admission is $1 or two cans of food, to partake in games, food and laser tag.

The annual Elks Lodge Haunted House will be held from Friday, Oct. 28, to Monday, Oct. 31. The scaring starts at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 6 p.m. on Sunday and Monday. Admission is $1 or two cans of food. For more information, call the Elks Lodge at 541-575-1824.

Dayville School’s Associated Student Body will also sponsor a carnival from 6:30-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Dayville Community Hall. The event will feature a haunted house, a cake walk, games and prizes. Tickets will be sold at the door, five for $1. A chili feed will cost $5 per person or $20 per family.

Monday, Oct. 31, will see a variety of Halloween events open to all:

• The John Day Fire Hall will host trick-or-treaters, starting at 5 p.m. Firefighters will hand out candy and glow sticks.

• Trunk or Treat in the Grant Union Jr./Sr. High School parking lot from 5:30-7 p.m. Businesses and community members are welcome to host a trunk. Decoration of the vehicle’s trunk is encouraged but not required. Setup begins at 4:45 p.m. Space is limited. To host a trunk or for more information, call Sophia Nicodemus, 541-663-6011.

• Everyone is welcome to visit the Grant County Library to bob for apples, have a treat and win a prize for best costume from 6-8 p.m.

Juniper Arts Council celebrates 25 years Wed, 26 Oct 2016 14:03:52 -0400 The Juniper Arts Council, established in 1991 to promote the arts, arts education and cultural heritage in Grant County, is celebrating its 25th year.

The all-volunteer Council has sponsored heritage, literature, performing arts and visual arts events and has advocated for local organizations that endeavor to do the same, according to a press release from the organization.

In 2016, the council helped bring a variety cultural events to Grant County: the University Chamber Choir, African Drumming and 45th Parallel Ensemble from Eastern Oregon University; the Inland Northwest Chorale; artist Theresa Weil’s collage portrait exhibit; and the Mia Dyson concert.

The council has focused on bringing arts opportunities to local schools and has sponsored youth-oriented community programs. These have included artists-in-residence, writers-in-residence, children’s theater and music education. The council offers one to two small scholarships each year to Grant County graduating seniors, who are pursuing higher education in an arts-related field.

In 2015, the Council welcomed Rebecca Bogardus and her Youth Arts Program to the Council. YAP currently includes a two-week summer camp, music ensembles and a drama club. This fall, the junior choir, ages 4-10, meets at 5 p.m. Tuesdays in the music room at Humbolt Elementary School. An adult choir, ages 11 and up, meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays. A fall concert is scheduled for Nov. 18. For more information, contact Bogardus at 541-987-2440.

Also in 2015 the Council welcomed two youth members. The students are now seniors, so the council is looking for replacements. Interested students should contact Kris Beal at 541-932-4892.

The council is also the Grant County fiscal agent for the Oregon Cultural Trust. Each year, the council receives grant money from the trust to distribute. This year, the council will distribute approximately $6,000 to Grant County organizations. Grant applications will be available in November with distribution in January.

In fiscal year 2016, the council distributed $6,674 to nine Grant County organizations, including Dayville School for a mural artist-in-residence; Fox Valley Community Church to repair and paint the exterior of the church; Grant Union Jr./Sr. High School Art Department for a mixed media artist-in-residence; Grant Union Jr./Sr. High School Drama Club for the purchase of microphones and lighting for the old gym stage; Youth Arts Program for Summer at the YAP; and Strawberry Valley Historical Association for a visitor information center in Prairie City.

Currently, the Council has $576 from the Gray Family Foundation to distribute. The Gray Family Foundation is committed to increasing outdoor education and other age-appropriate environmental learning experiences. Contact Beal for additional information on applying for this grant money.

In 2016, the council began its newest program, an instrument program. Instruments may be donated to the council, which is a nonprofit organization. The council will loan instruments to students with the understanding that the instruments are to be returned to the council once the students no longer need them. Contact Karin Barntish at 541-575-2721 to make arrangements to drop off an instrument and receive a tax-deduction form.

The council is currently sponsoring a logo design contest open to Grant County students in grades 7-12. The council is working with the BMW Riders of Oregon to choose a logo design for its 2017 Chief Joseph Rally patch. Information has been sent to area schools, and the contest information can also be found on the council’s Facebook page.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month in the community room of the John Day Fire Hall.

Spell returns from aftermath of Hurricane Matthew Wed, 26 Oct 2016 14:03:21 -0400 Rylan Boggs John Day resident Jim Spell recently returned from South Carolina where he was managing and working in relief shelters, providing aid to those affected by Hurricane Matthew.

Spell rotated through four Red Cross shelters, two of which he managed, in schools and a detention center. The shelters provide people with basic necessities, food, clean clothing and a place to sleep.

The parts of South Carolina Spell visited did not receive the brunt of the storm’s force. Spell dealt with flooding, rain and displaced people but wasn’t exposed to some of the destruction seen in other areas affected by the storm, he said.

Spell began volunteering with the Red Cross in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina. Since then, he has volunteered on the Canyon Creek Complex fire, the Chimney Fire in California and other disasters.

When a Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster is declared, more resources become available, something Spell said is enormously helpful. During his time working with the Red Cross, he has encountered language barriers and sometimes high expectations of people being served by Red Cross. He says sometimes people expect them to rebuild houses, drain flood waters and put out fires.

“We are the first point of providing safety and the first step towards recovering,” Spell said.

He said he volunteers because sometimes it’s the only way things can get done.

“People just have to step up to provide those services to people,” he said. “I think we have a calling, a calling to help people in need, so that’s why I do Red Cross.”

Grant County Seniors Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:58:45 -0400 JOHN DAY — On Oct. 17, we had approximately 30 diners for a lunch of spaghetti, salad, peas and carrots, garlic toast and ice cream for dessert. Rick Rhinehart and Pastor Al Altnow delivered 30 lunches to homes. There were also 30 frozen lunches delivered to shut-ins.

Greeting us at the front desk were Bonnie Kocis and Ron Dowse. Our servers were from First Christian Church, and they were Karen Barrietua, Jan Ellison, Ron Dowse and Judy Nelson. They were assisted by Pat Amling, who seems to be a helper for all serving groups. Thanks, Pat. And the other “old faithful” is Don Porter, who washes silverware every time.

Karen Barrietua led the flag salute, and Ron Dowse asked the blessing. Pacific Source Insurance Company bought all our lunches today and were here to answer any questions we had about insurance. Judy Nelson won the Len’s Drug gift card, and Bonnie Hester won the free meal.

The Oct. 20 meal was Greek chicken, spinach tortellini soup and broccoli salad, with birthday cake for dessert. Ron and Dave greeted us at the desk. The entree was sponsored by Billie Bullard in honor of her 95th birthday. The servers were from the Methodist Church. Jean Willey led the flag salute, and Ben Leuthe gave the blessing. Dennis and Linda Dickenson, Veanne and Linda Stoltz delivered 39 meals and we had 50 that dined in.

The Chester’s Thriftway gift card was won by Billy Drinkwater, and Gene Essex won the free meals for two at Valley View. We celebrated Billie Bullard’s 95th birthday with a lovely cake Billie’s daughter brought in that was shared with all. There is a picture on the John Day Senior Center Facebook page. Kim brought a whole table of folks down from Valley View. It was nice to see Billy Drinkwater and all the others.

Veanne announced that someone left a black jacket at the center on October 15. At the back table by the desk we have copies of the “Easy Voting Guide.” It has very large, easy-to-read type. Stop in and get one if you are in need of large print. We also have an official ballot box for your convenience. The center could use more durable medical equipment. Bedside commodes are especially needed. If you have durable medical equipment you are not using, bring it by or call Veanne at 541-575-2949 to have it picked up.

Next Thursday, Oct. 27, will be our Halloween meal and we will have lots of door prizes. It will be breakfast for lunch on Monday, Oct. 31.

MONUMENT — My wonderful hubby took down all the notes for me for the lunch of Oct. 18. I was in Portland with my kids. I had to take my eldest to have her wisdom teeth extracted. So according to my hubby, the greeters were Bob Blakeslee, Jimmy Cole and Marva Walker. Bob led the flag salute, and Judy Harris prayed the blessing over the meal. Our faithful cooks, Terry Cade and Carrie Jewell, prepared hamburgers, french fries, macaroni salad, brownies and ice cream for the lunch. Bob Cockerell and Olivia Hoodenpyl both won free meals. Linda Blakeslee won the Len’s Drug gift card. There were 37 lunches served and five takeouts. 

The next sewing get-together will be Nov. 12. The time will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring your sewing machine and a dish to share at our potluck. We had a wonderful time on Oct. 17. It was good to sew again and sit and visit with the ladies. Our meal was real nice too! We did some more crazy quilt blocks. It was funny though because we couldn’t remember how to do the crazy quilt. We needed to refresh our minds because it had been awhile since our last sewing get-together.

Don’t forget, bingo will be going on this coming Saturday, Oct. 30. Bingo starts at 6 p.m. They play 10 rounds, break for potluck supper and then continue on with the next round of bingo. Come on over to play; it is fun and maybe you might get lucky and win some money.

I must be getting quite country now because I couldn’t wait to get home. When driving to Portland, we ran into a big rainstorm. I was going 60 mph, and thought that was still too fast. The crazy Portland fools were going past me at 70 mph or more. I don’t know if they knew they were hydroplaning? The traffic jam was horrible. I don’t know, but I swear I think it was worse than L.A. At least in L.A., there were five to six lanes each, unlike Portland’s two lanes. I did notice they had these fancy digital signs telling you how long it was going to take from point A to point B. I thought to myself, why didn’t they use that money to better their freeway system instead? 

I have yet to make my apple pie filling. I think I will try making some dried apple leather first. I’m so excited to make some apple leather. I hope they turn out OK. Let’s see if my ambitious and wishful thinking will come into fruition. Ha.

Proverbs 19:1 “Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.”

PRAIRIE CITY — New things have happened in the hall/center. We have new chairs that are padded, with nice high backs, and they are very comfortable! We are so thankful to be able to purchase them for a very reasonable price. Then there are the Halloween-themed table coverings. They get you in the right mood for the season. The tables were decorated with the cutest little flower vases with the cutest flower arrangements in them. And to top it off, there was a beautiful bouquet on the reception table that no one would admit to knowing where it came from. Hmm. We dubbed them the mystery flowers.

Frances announced Iva is going to have a cooking class starting soon. So if you need to know how to prepare goodies for upcoming holidays, get your name in the pot.

We are also going to open up the building for vendors during the Nov. 19 celebration of Christmas on the Prairie. Iva is going to provide goodies for that day also. So you can eat and browse the other “goodies” that will be available.

Buzz, Tom and Ken did all the home deliveries. There were 68 names on the book, I think. I forgot to write that down in the little green book.

Buzz led the flag salute, and Jack Retherford asked the blessing. The $5 gift certificate donated by Prairie Hardware & Gifts was won by Jack Retherford. The winner of the Chuck’s Little Dinner gift certificate was Nadine Smith. Our meal had cottage cheese, cheesy cauliflower with bacon, hamburgers, rolls and a pumpkin “fluff.” And I must tell you that we have used the monies donated for the past few years as memorials to purchase a brand spanking new commercial mixer for the cooks to use. Iva and Linda have been having a ball mixing all kinds of breads, etc.

And speaking of Linda — who has been helping Iva since Helen retired — Oct. 26 will be her last day with us. Linda’s husband, Joe, has taken a job with the Union Gospel Mission in Spokane, and they will be moving there. That makes two singers and two chimers that I have lost this year. But life goes on. I will miss Linda immensely. Godspeed to you both.

Lorna and Krystin brought Lois Hill, Marilyn Randall, Dorothy Blasing, Otho Laurence and Richard Finley from the Blue Mountain Care Center. Just so you know, I won’t get bored taking care of Derrol’s food, medications, doctor visits and advocacy; I still have to see the dermatologist for the hole he made in my head last month. Since I can’ t see it to take care of it my neighbor Vickie comes over every morning and picks off the crusties and puts the medication on the wound. Thank you for doing that for me.

So Thanksgiving is coming. Don’t make a list of what you want, make a list of what you are thankful for. Mine starts with those who are supplying us with food. My brain isn’t up to thinking about meal preparation yet! Blessings to you!

Acts 28:15 “At the sight of these [women] [I] thanked God and was encouraged.”

Just what the doctor ordered Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:44:13 -0400 Rylan Boggs The Strawberry Wilderness Community Clinic has welcomed two new doctors, who moved to the area to work in rural communities.

Dr. Rafaela Betsa is in her first month at the clinic and said she has been pleasantly surprised by how well she has been settling in. Betsa came here with her husband and 3-year-old son.

Betsa’s path into medicine was a bit roundabout. She began studying at Johns Hopkins and transferred to a school in Edinburgh, Scotland, and graduated in 2002 with a degree in political philosophy. She then joined the Peace Corps and moved to Côte d’Ivoire, Africa, and remained there until civil war broke out. She was evacuated and went back into the Peace Corps to central and western Africa.

“That experience doing health work is what made me want to go to medical school,” she said.

Following the Peace Corps, she moved back to the states and attended Agnes Scott College in Georgia and then University of Washington.

“I think all the experiences I had before med school really focused me on why I wanted to be a doctor and what kind of doctor I wanted to be,” Betsa said.

She was drawn to John Day because of its small size and natural beauty.

“I knew my ultimate goal was to be a rural family doctor in the West,” she said.

This desire was what motivated her to attend medical school at University of Washington, where she could do her rotations in rural communities.

Betsa shares a hallway with the clinic’s other new doctor, Dr. Janessa Sickler.

“Sometimes it’s helpful to have someone who started just a month before you around to answer questions,” Betsa said.

Sickler and her husband moved to John Day for the rural lifestyle and to try their hand at ranching.

After traveling the world, Sickler is ready to settle down in the rural community of John Day.

Sickler has worked in Africa, India, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

She and her husband, Brandon, bought a small hobby ranch near Canyon City and already have four horses and plan to purchase cows in the spring. Though neither of them have ranching experience, Sickler said it’s coming along great.

Sickler graduated from the University of Washington, attended medical school in Iowa and completed her three-year residency in Klamath Falls. During her residency, she spent time in John Day and was drawn back by the friendly community.

She works as a family doctor, a choice she said evolved from wanting to not be too specialized during her time traveling and a desire to assist patients with long-term health.

“John Day is awesome,” she said. “There’s not a lot of places where family docs do everything anymore and not a lot of places where you can be a rancher. You can do both here.”

Grant County natives open salon and spa Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:42:48 -0400 Angel Carpenter The BLVD Salon and Spa in John Day is a new spot for a fresh look.

Grant County natives Bobbee Hueckman and Kori Martin have joined forces, offering services for hair, nails and skin.

Hueckman, who owns the business, opened doors to The BLVD at 501 S. Canyon Blvd. in July.

Two side-by-side pedicure stations are one thing that sets them apart, Hueckman said.

“We can do double pedicures for mother and daughter or girls night out,” she said. “For those over 21, a relaxing drink is offered with the pedicure service.”

Hueckman, raised in Mt. Vernon, has been a hairstylist and nail technician for eight years. She graduated from Headmasters in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 2008.

Her services at the salon and spa include men’s, women’s and children’s haircuts, perms, color and highlighting, manicures, acrylic nails, gel polish, nail art, pedicures, and full-service facials and waxing.

Hueckman said she loves the flexibility her line of work gives her to spend time with her three children.

“I love being at home (in Grant County) because your clients are your family,” she said.

Martin, who grew up in Dayville, left the medical field to pursue a nail technician career.

“I decided I wanted to make people feel good and laugh and spend time with them,” she said.

Martin attended the nail technician program at Pendleton College of Hair Design, graduating in 2013, and has worked locally since that time.

She offers gel manicures, acrylic nails, nail art and spa pedicures. The pedicures include a leg massage from the knee down.

The nail art is free, unless it’s intricate, she said.

She’s especially excited about the opportunity she and Hueckman will have to offer double pedicures.

“It’s a nice time to spend with your friends, and not have to take turns,” she said, adding customers should book their appointments early.

Developing a relationship with her clients is one thing Martin loves best about her job.

“You kind of go through life with them,” she said.

She’s happy that some of her clients travel far to see her — one from Idaho and another from Prineville.

“I feel pretty proud of myself,” she said. “They’re not just coming to see me. They’re coming to get their nails done, because they like the way I do them.”

She said visitors are welcome to drop in at the salon and spa.

“Bobbee and I have a really relaxed atmosphere,” she said.

The BLVD Salon and Spa is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and some Saturdays.

For more information, or to book an appointment, call 541-575-0268 or text Hueckman at 208-660-8420 or Martin at 541-620-2229.

Sewer relationship down the drain? Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:40:59 -0400 Rylan Boggs Canyon City has been paying considerably less than John Day has been billing for sewage treatment since July.

John Day had budgeted to receive roughly $68,000 from Canyon City this fiscal year but is expected to receive only $38,928 if current payments continue, according to John Day City Manager Nick Green.

The cost to operate the facility fluctuates from year to year, according to figures provided by Green, and each city contributes a percentage of the actual cost. Green said Canyon City’s payments were $61,073 in fiscal year 2013-14, $48,444 in 2014-15 and $55,298 in 2015-16.

Canyon City was expected to contribute about 25 percent of the total cost of operating the plant and has instead been contributing roughly 15 percent since July. So far, for the 2016-17 fiscal year, Canyon City has also not paid for amounts billed for overhead police and motor pool expenses connected with running the wastewater plant or the contingency fund in place to cover emergencies related to the plant, according to Green.

Green attended a Canyon City City Council meeting on Oct. 18 and urged Canyon City to pay its bills.

Canyon City Mayor Steve Fischer explained the reduction in payments stemmed from a feeling of frustration that they felt they had 25 percent of the responsibility of paying for the plant but none of the ownership. Fischer asserted the reasoning for the larger bills had never been made clear to them, and they felt like they were being treated as the “red-headed stepchild.” He said Canyon City would be willing to work with John Day to reach an agreement, but the city wanted a fair and transparent deal.

The Canyon City City Council minutes from the July 19 meeting confirm the city passed a resolution to “remove the motor pool, police and contingency line-items and to pay 15 percent of the remaining balance.” The minutes state Fischer said the city would be willing to pay 11.5 percent, which is how much he said the city actually uses, plus an added 3.5-percent premium for John Day owning the plant.

The cleaning of the wastewater treatment plant’s anaeorobic digestor, a $56,000 expense, may have been the tipping point for Canyon City — an expense that contributed to a more than $12,000 increase to Canyon City’s bill this fiscal year.

The public works committees for John Day and Canyon City met jointly in February to negotiate an agreement to replace the one that would expire on June 30, but a new agreement was never signed.

The Canyon City council members have also been looking into creating a separate wastewater treatment facility, but Fischer admitted the plan was still in its infant stage. Council members said they were intrigued by Green’s idea of incorporating a revenue-generating hydroponic plant into the wastewater system and expressed gratitude for all the hard work he has done, though they raised questions about Canyon City’s involvement in the new venture.

At previous John Day City Council meetings, Green said Canyon City’s resolution to reduce its payments was not binding to John Day as the service provider. He compared the issue to phone service and said he did not get to tell his cell phone provider what he was willing to pay, only that he had the option of using their service if he paid the amount required.

“Under no circumstances should the city of John Day subsidize Canyon City’s wastewater treatment,” Green said in a statement.

Green said Canyon City did not notify John Day of the change in payments and merely began paying smaller amounts.

“I think their way of telling us was childish,” John Day City Council President Steve Schuette said. “As a matter of fact, it makes me upset they even thought that would do anything.”

He expressed interest in billing Canyon City the unpaid sum of their bills with interest.

The council members also discussed simply halting treatment of Canyon City’s wastewater. While Green admitted this was an option, he said there were more diplomatic solutions.

Green plans to deliver an analysis of a proposed wastewater rate structure to the John Day City Council during the Nov. 8 council meeting.

Grant County Meetings Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:25:01 -0400 (Meetings subject to change. Call for confirmation.)


Grant County Library is open 1-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday; 10 a.m.-noon and 1-7 p.m. Tuesday; and 1-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Thursday. 507 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, 541-575-1992.

Canyon Mountain Center offers meditation sittings from 5:30 to 6:10 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 511 Hillcrest, John Day. Call ahead, 541-932-2725.

Burns-Hines VA Clinic – Services for Grant County veterans. Immunizations, minor surgical procedures, blood pressure and diabetes monitoring, group therapy for combat PTSD, sobriety and other issues. Lab draws on Wednesdays. Nursing staff and therapy Monday through Friday. 541-573-3339.

Grant County Genealogical Society Research Center – Open 1-4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. Parsonage building behind Historic Advent Church, West Main Street in John Day. 541-932-4718 or 541-575-2757.


12 p.m. – Seniors Meal Program at the Prairie City Senior Center, 204 N. McHaley, Prairie City.

12 p.m. – Women’s Support, by Heart of Grant County, for domestic violence survivors. Free lunch. 541-575-4335.

12-1:30 p.m. – Community Advisory Council, Grant County Regional Airport, John Day. Open to the public, call 541-620-0444.

6 p.m. – Long Creek Volunteer Fire Department, City Hall.

6:30-8:30 p.m. – Family History Center open, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, John Day. Also open by appointment. 541-656-8069.

7 p.m. – Prairie City School Site Council, school library.

7:30 p.m. – Let Go Group of Alcoholics Anonymous, St. Elizabeth Catholic Parish Hall, John Day. 541-575-0114.


9 a.m.-5 p.m. – Family History Center open, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, John Day. Also open by appointment. 541-656-8069.

Noon – Seniors Meal Program and bingo, John Day Senior Center, 142 N.E. Dayton St. 541-575-1825.

6 p.m. – “The Girlfriends” Women’s 12-step Recovery, Families First office, John Day. 541-620-0596.


4 p.m. – Long Creek Historical Society, Long Creek City Hall, 541-421-3621.

7 p.m. – Whiskey Gulch Gang, Sels Brewery, Canyon City. 541-575-0329.


8 a.m. – Overcomers Outreach, Christ-centered, 12-step support group. Living Word Christian Center guest house, 59357 Highway 26, Mt. Vernon. 541-932-4910.

7 p.m. – Bingo, Monument Senior Center. Potluck dinner at halftime. 541-934-2700.


Fun Jam, musicians and listeners welcome for bluegrass, gospel and traditional country western music. Call for time and location, 541-575-1927.


Noon – Seniors Meal Program, John Day Senior Center, 142 N.E. Dayton St. 541-575-1825.

6 p.m. – Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department, 541-932-4688.

7 p.m. – John Day Valley Bass Club, Outpost Restaurant. All are welcome. William Gibbs, 541-575-2050.

7:30 p.m. – Outlaw Group of Alcoholics Anonymous, Presbyterian Church in Mt. Vernon. 541-932-4844.


9 a.m. – Grant County Food Bank, board of directors, 530 E. Main St., John Day. 541-575-0299.

10-11 a.m. – Story Hour and craft project, Grant County Library, for preschoolers 0-6 years old. 541-575-1992.

12 p.m. – Seniors Meal Program at the Monument Senior Center. 541-934-2700.

5:15 p.m. – Monument School Site Council, school science building.541-934-2646.

6 p.m. – Compassionate Women, support for women who have lost a loved one. Outpost Restaurant. 541-575-1515.

6:30 p.m. – John Day Swim Team Board, Outpost Restaurant. Open to the public.

7 p.m. – Venturing Club, Boy Scouts of America, Church of the Nazarene, John Day. 541-575-2765.

7 p.m. – Oregon Hunters Association Harney County Chapter, at Glory Days Pizza. Gift card drawing for members who attend.

Degree of Honor, Margaret E. Lodge 64, Time and place vary. 541-575-2528.

7:15 p.m. – Boy Scout Troop 898, John Day Elks Lodge, John Day. 541-575-2531.


7 a.m. – Ministerial Association of Grant County, Outpost Restaurant, John Day.

9 a.m. – Grant County Court, courthouse, Canyon City.

9 a.m. – Shepherd’s Closet, open, with free clothing for all ages and coffee, at Prairie City Assembly of God. 541-820-3682.

9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. – Veterans/families services, John Day Elks Lodge. Topics include PTSD services and individual needs.

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. – TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), weigh-in, meeting. United Methodist Church library, 126 N.W. Canton St., John Day. 541-575-3812, 541-932-4592.

New I-84 variable speed signs go live Nov. 1 Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:24:42 -0400 In a first of its kind project in Oregon, ODOT highway managers are testing new variable speed signs to provide a greater margin of safety during winter weather on Interstate 84.

Over the past few weeks, crews from ODOT have been installing variable speed signs in a critical 30-mile corridor of Interstate 84 from Ladd Canyon to Baker City, according to an ODOT press release.

These electronic message boards indicate a safe speed limit for vehicles when weather conditions turn adverse. Computers collect data regarding temperature, skid resistance (ice) and average motorist speed to determine the most effective speed limit for this area and then present that speed on the variable speed signs. This gives motorists additional information about their drive in order to remain safer on the highway. The signs will lower and raise speeds automatically to meet observed conditions on the roadway.

Currently, the new variable speed signs are in a test phase and are expect to go live on Nov. 1. At that time, they will indicate the speed limit that will be enforceable by state and local police.

Motorists may notice these signs as they traverse the highway and various on-ramps between Ladd Canyon and Baker City.

Watershed council youth workers restore resources Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:24:39 -0400 In 2016, the North Fork John Day Watershed Council employed 61 teens and young adults, along with six crew leaders, to work on public and private lands, lending many hands to the efforts of maintaining trails, building fences, pulling weeds, studying wildlife, and restoring meadows.

In the two- to 16-week paid program for 14- to 24-year-olds, participants learned a variety of skills for local jobs, according to a press release from the watershed council. Older crew members received chainsaw and first aid training/certification to allow them a broader scope of work opportunities and to build their resumes for future job skills.

“This is a great program for the kids, providing opportunities that local youth otherwise wouldn’t find,” Amy Early, a program leader, said. “These are great kids. They soak in the learning, grow in their sense of responsibility and find the value of teamwork when facing a challenging task.”

The council partnered with landowners, and both the Malheur and Umatilla national forests prepared many projects for the youths to complete. The participants learned about new restoration concepts, and a large volume of work was completed quickly.

Crew leader Shelley Reich said the youths worked hard as a team.

“Through it all, participants saw firsthand what could be accomplished when they worked together as a team and persevered through a difficult task,” Reich said.

Projects included:

• Maintaining 70 miles of trails, many in the ashes of the 2015 Canyon Creek Complex fire

• Repairing 122 wildlife fence exclosures

• Removing 8 miles of old fencing

• Building a new stream bed in an 8-foot tall washed out culvert, where each of hundreds of bucket loads of cobble had to be hauled by hand

• Filling 4,850 feet of eroded gully with wood to keep meadow water from washing down the gully and out of the meadows

• Transporting van loads of weeds to restore native vegetation

• Building 15 bridges

• Surfacing 13 eroded creeks

In addition, kids engaged in educational programming at the Grant County Fair and volunteered in a fish salvage operation in the Middle Fork John Day River. They also surveyed bats, goshawks and avian populations to collect data that will be valuable for resource managers throughout the Blue Mountains.

Umatilla National Forest’s North Fork John Day District Ranger Ian Reid said he appreciated meeting the youth crew on site this year during the Battle Creek Culvert retrofit project designed to improve fish passage for steelhead and other native fishes.

“It’s really important that the Forest Service works hand-in-hand with local communities and helps expose youth to different career tracks in natural resources,” he said. “The crew was really instrumental in helping us maintain some of our roads and trails for forest users to enjoy.”

Malheur National Forest Partners Coordinator Susan Garner said the program is beneficial to the forest.

“The youth crews they employ have been invaluable in getting work done on the forest, and it is a great pleasure to see young people taking an interest in natural resources work,” she said.

One of the crew members said it was a great experience that taught respect and responsibility.

“Our landscapes and our communities are inextricably intertwined, and engagement of our youth is the guarantee that local people and natural resources will go on enduring side by side forever,” said watershed council Executive Director Elaine Eisenbraun.

Funding was provided by the Malheur National Forest, Umatilla National Forest, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Bill Healy Foundation, Oregon Youth Conservation Corps and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The Keen boot company also provided 32 pairs of free boots to all of the four-week crew members.

Young people who want to participate in 2017 should contact the watershed council or watch for employment notifications in early spring.

Burton bags big buck Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:14:36 -0400

Cops & Courts Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:13:30 -0400 Arrests and citations in the Blue Mountain Eagle are taken from the logs of law enforcement agencies. Every effort is made to report the court disposition of arrest cases.

CANYON CITY — The Grant County Circuit Court reported the following fines and judgments:

• Brendan Leroy Conner was found guilty of reckless endangerment of another person and criminal driving while suspended or revoked. He was sentenced to 18 days in jail with credit for time served, 3 years probation and fined $700.

CANYON CITY — The Grant County Sheriff’s Office reported the following for the week of Oct. 20:

• Concealed handgun licenses: 3

• Average inmates: 20

• Bookings: 14

• Releases: 11

• Arrests: 1

• Citations: 3

• Fingerprints: 7

• Civil papers: 16

• Warrants processed: 2

• Asst./welfare check: 2

CANYON CITY — The Grant County Justice Court reported the following fines and judgments:

• Exceeding the speed limit: Emily Ann Lieuallen, 33, John Day, 40/25 zone, Sept. 29, fined $160; Norma Yaneth May, 52, Prineville, 74/65 zone, Sept. 29, fined $160; Eric Paul Nelson, 27, Corvallis, 74/65 zone.

• Violation of the speed limit: Shannon E. Deep, 27, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 40/25 zone, Sept. 22, fined $135.

• Violation of the basic rule: Joshua Alexander Witt, 20, Woodacre, California, 74/55 zone., Sept. 29, fined $160; Brian James Janego, 26, Bend, 73/55 zone, Oct. 5, fined $160; Christopher R. Hendry, 32, 69/55 zone, Sept. 30, fined $160; Caitlin Michelle Hulsey, 21, Pendleton, 69/55 zone, Sept. 30, fined $160; Steven Josef Janego, 26, Sisters, 73/55 zone, Oct. 5, fined $160; Steven Brent Anderson, 49, Lakeview, 72/55 zone, Oct. 4, fined $160; Paul A. Mertens Jr., 25, Cottage Grove, 78/55 zone, Sept. 23, fined $260.

• Failure to stop for school bus: Teresa Perkins, 40, Dayville, Sept. 29, fined $435.

• Driving while suspended: Fawn M. Warrington, 35, John Day, Sept. 5, fined $435; Fawn M. Warrington, 35, John Day, Sept. 7, fined $435.

• Driving uninsured: Fawn M. Warrington, 35, John Day, Sept. 5, fined $260; Fawn M. Warrington, 35, John Day, Sept. 7, fined $260.

• Registration sticker expired: Fawn M. Warrington, 35, John Day, Sept. 5, fined $110.

John Day dispatch worked 125 calls during the week of Oct. 17-23. Along with the various traffic warnings, trespassing, injured animals, noise complaints and juvenile complaints, these calls included:

• John Day Police Department

Oct. 17: Responded to a report of a theft.

Oct. 19: Responded to a hit and run and charged a 57-year-old John Day resident with failure to do the duty of a driver.

Oct. 21: Responded to a report of a no contact agreement violation.

Oct. 22: Responded to a report of a domestic disturbance and arrested a 27-year-old John Day man for violating probation. Responded to a report of a hit and run.

• Grant County Sheriff’s Office

Oct. 17: Restraining order violation.

Oct. 18: Took a report of a possible break-in in Seneca. Restraining order violation.

Oct. 18: Responded to reports of shots fired or fireworks.

Oct. 21: Responded to reports of shots fired but were unable to locate the suspect. Responded to a report of an overdue subject who was found to have committed suicide.

Oct. 22: Responded to a report of someone actively trying to break into a residence. Responded with OSP to a report of a suicide.

• John Day ambulance

Oct. 22: Dispatched for a female subject who broke her leg while horseback riding.

Out of the Past Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:13:29 -0400 APOLOGY DUE BEAR

Bert Dale of Long Creek has been taught to kill bear all his life. In fact when he was an infant, his mother told him bad bear stories. He naturally had a dislike for the animal and always had it in mind to kill every bear which came to his sight. Last week, the opportunity arrived, and he bagged two large ones.

Proudly he bore the bear to his home and displayed his kill. And all to his surprise an officer tapped him on the shoulder within a few hours and said, “You have committed a crime.”

“Now what have I done?” he asked.

“You have killed two bear and we have the evidence against you.”

“It’s no crime to kill a bear. My mother never told a lie in her life. She always told me that they were bad animals and to kill them.”

“The law says the bears are protected my boy,” answered the officer.

“Don’t that beat thunder,” answered Bert as he scratched his head. “My mother was one of the best mothers on earth and the very thing she taught me to do is now unlawful. Funny how things do change. I guess I owe an apology to the bear, Mr. Officer, and I’ll appear in your court.” The hearing is set for October 27th.

Bank Offers Credit Cards

The Grant County Bank, with offices in John Day and Prairie City, soon will have available for its customers a versatile, all-purpose credit card, Executive Vice President Edmund Way has announced. Through the First National Bank of Oregon, the Grant County Bank will make available the First National BankAmericard, a credit card which may be used to purchase everything from gasoline and automobile repairs to hotel accommodations and airline tickets.

“Retail credit at stores and service firms in Oregon and elsewhere in the United States is only a part of the program,” Way stated. “Holders of the First National BankAmericard also will be able to secure advances simply by presenting their cards.”

Way urged merchants in Grant county to enroll in the program.

“There is no charge for signing up, and the advantages of belonging are obvious,” he continued. “Merchants receive cash immediately following a charge sale, thereby eliminating reedit losses and the cost of bookkeeping and collection. In addition, a merchant’s volume of business is bound to grow with the number of potential customers holding BankAmericards.”

The card’s advantages to customers include the fact that it can replace all other credit cards a person may carry and therefore requires only one billing and the writing of a single check each month. BankAmericard has been successfully employed in California since 1959. Officials of the BankAmericard Service Corporation have revealed that present there are about 1,800,000 card holders and more than 60,000 merchant members in California alone. Applications for the all-purpose First National BankAmericard are now available at the Grant County Bank. Cards will be distributed later this fall to customers who qualify. Merchants interested in the program should contact an officer at the bank for details.

Cash prizes awarded at 6th Indian Summer No-Tap Tournament

Fifty-three pairs of keglers bowled in the 6th Indian Summer No-Tap tournament held at the Nugget Lanes Oct. 11-13 with the team of Elvin Webb and Ed Newton rolling a 1,557 to capture first place honors and $127 in prize money. Other finishers included: Richard Hanson and Willie Green, second, 1,513, $108; Sharon Maloy and Willie Green, third, 1,476, $95; Tom Sheets and Mike Toombs, fourth, 1,473, $82; Mel Hones and Dennis McCormick, fifth, 1,467, $69; Jerry Sanford and Ann Randle, sixth, 1,428, $57; Marci Toombs and Robie Ranft, seventh, 1,425, $44; Debbie Gorte and Willie Green, eighth, 1,424, $31; and Jeanette Wilson and Peggy Carey, ninth, 1,417, $23. Nugget Lanes offers a variety of leagues for bowlers of all ages on every day of the week except Friday.

50 years of memories

Faces, young and old, gathered in the Humbolt Elementary School cafeteria in Canyon City Oct. 21, not for ravioli and a carton of milk, but for a taste of friendship and a trip down memory lane — and an ice cream sundae to boot. Principal Kris Beal welcomed the crowd of over 100 people who were there to celebrate the school’s 50th year of operation. The Little Singers group sang fun and inspiring songs under Louise Kienzle’s direction, leaving plenty of time for meeting, greeting and reminiscing. Visitors filled out a form, sharing their best Humbolt memories, which the staff plans to use in a scrapbook. Among those filling out the forms and milling about were current and former students and staff, parent and even future Humbolt students. Some of the teachers at Humbolt were once students of the school, such as kindergarten teacher, Shermayne Boethin, who was in first grade in 1957. Her husband, Ken, was one of the first first-graders at Humbolt in 1956. Marge Wright, a former Humbolt teacher’s assistant, was once taught by Al Olson, who was a music teacher from 1963 to 1999 at Humbolt, Grant Union and Seneca.

“Al was my music teacher when I was a senior in Idaho at Camas County High School,” Wright said.

Learning to play percussion with Olson years ago has helped her with playing in the bell choir at the Church of the Nazarene, she said. The celebration ended with the announcements of winners. Students, Cody Bowden and Mariah Boyd won Humbolt T-shirts. Other young people won a handful of pencils and helium balloons: Hannah Andrews, Erickson Demko, Chloe Bentz, Emma Pulleiro, Harsh Patel and Robby Bullock. Tom Wilson of John Day, won the raffled schoolhouse quilt sewn by the Saturday Quilters. The fundraiser brought in $1,750 to purchase books for the school’s library.

Stinnett elected president of Oregon Justice of the Peace Association Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:13:12 -0400 Grant County Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett has been elected president of the Oregon Justice of the Peace Association.

The Oregon Justice of the Peace Association consists of sitting Justices of the Peace and their appointed pro tems, and as the association’s executive officer, Stinnett will supervise the association’s business and affairs for two years and will meet with organizations such as the Association of Oregon Counties, Oregon Department of Transportation and state legislators, where she will advocate for local court systems, according to a press release.

“I am honored to serve as OJPA’s president,” Stinnett said in a statement. “I consider it a privilege to work on behalf of Oregon’s 33 Justice Courts and their judges. These historic courts provide citizens with access to justice on a local level and judicial services that most individuals can navigate on their own. As president, I will continue the association’s mission of preserving our local court systems and providing educational opportunities for its members.”

Other officers elected include Hon. Joel Stevens (Tillamook County, vice president), Hon. Chuck Fadeley (Deschutes County, treasurer), Hon. Robin Ordway (Wheeler County, secretary) and Hon. Janice Zyryanoff (Marion County, director at large).

Student art: Connor Teel Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:13:11 -0400

Electric cooperative selects replacement for retiring manager Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:12:59 -0400 The Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative’s board of directors announced Les Penning has been selected for the position of general manager.

A South Dakota native with formal education in industrial technology and business, Penning will arrive in early December to replace Werner Buehler, who after nine years serving as General Manager of the co-op and 46 years in the electrical utility industry, announced his plans for retirement beginning January 2017, according to a press release from the cooperative.

“We are happy to welcome Les into his new role with (the cooperative),” said Board President George Galloway. “It’s been a long, competitive vetting process and Les brings 22 years of leadership experience with 16 years of senior utility leadership to the table.”

Penning most recently served as the chief operations officer and deputy general manager for Powder River Energy Corporation, a transmission and distribution cooperative with 140 employees, serving 28,000 meters, in Wyoming and Montana.

Penning said in the release he is excited to serve as the manager.

Editorial cartoons Tue, 25 Oct 2016 18:19:03 -0400

Our View: Measure 98 would help Oregon’s education woes Tue, 25 Oct 2016 18:18:46 -0400 Another day, another bit of bad news for Oregon’s beleaguered education system.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education noted that Oregon’s graduation rate is at 74 percent. And this at a time when the country has never been better at graduating its students on time. Nationwide, the on-time graduation rate hit 83 percent for the class of 2015, the best mark in our history.

Yet, Oregon continues to fall behind the trend.

The state is now third worst in graduation rate, having been leapfrogged by Alaska and now only ahead of Nevada and New Mexico. The graduation rate for white students in Oregon is better than just one state — but that’s actually an improvement, up from 50th last year to now second from the bottom.

In Oregon, the problems with graduating students on time are multi-faceted.

One reason is surely financial — Oregon students have one of the shortest school years, and are below average for state dollars spent per student. Surely the helpful additions to basic offerings — career technical education classes, for instance, along with school nurses and counselors — help keep students on the fringe in school and on track to graduation. Oregon’s fluctuating education budget has not allowed those types of positions and programs to be funded and staffed with enough consistency.

But another, larger reason is cultural in nature. Chronic absenteeism is an ingrained, systemic issue across the state. And the absenteeism problem is exacerbated by the state’s short school year, because every minute missed is of greater importance.

Plenty is up for debate in November, but two Oregon measures have the best opportunity at addressing the state education issue.

One is Measure 97 — you may have seen a billion ads for it while trying to watch your football game or favorite sitcom. It taxes corporate sales and feeds that money into the general fund, where a percentage of it would then go to education. While the measure could help education, we think it goes too far and the tax burden would be passed along to consumers.

Measure 98 is a smaller, more precise measure that stipulates money to be used specifically to establish or expand programs for career technical education, dropout prevention and college-level opportunities for high school students. We believe these types of programs are exactly what students need, and we believe Measure 98 is the best chance this November to make a meaningful impact on the state’s education problems — something that cannot continue to be ignored.

Whatever your political outlook — and your faith in legislators and state employees to direct and spend money wisely — it’s clear that something is wrong with Oregon education, and it stretches from the top to the bottom, from homeroom into dining rooms.

If November’s measures aren’t your cup of tea, better ideas are needed, and they’re needed now.

Letter: Re-elect Glenn Palmer as Grant County sheriff Tue, 25 Oct 2016 18:18:36 -0400 To the Editor:

I know both Todd McKinley and Glenn Palmer personally. I could say that either one of them might make a good sheriff. I have known every Grant County sheriff in the last 50 years, and so far as I’m concerned, Sheriff Palmer has been the best sheriff Grant County has had in that time. No one knows what Todd McKinley would be like until after he has been in office. Glenn Palmer is a very strong believer in the Constitution. He has been on the Glenn Beck show in New York because of his belief. Sheriff Palmer uses common sense instead of going strictly by the book. My wife, Jane, and I work with Glenn and his wife RoseAnn every year at the annual Christmas community dinner for our citizens. They put in long hours, cleaning, cooking and serving everyone before eating themselves. So in closing, why try fixing something that doesn’t need fixing? We don’t need anymore misconceptions or downright lies against him. Join with me in voting to re-elect Glenn Palmer for Grant County sheriff!

Kenneth Moore

Mt. Vernon

Letter: Keep Sheriff Palmer in office Tue, 25 Oct 2016 18:18:35 -0400 To the Editor:

As this election year comes to a close, it is disheartening to see the disdain created in our sheriff election. Glenn Palmer is a good and proven dependable public servant. A lot of half truths and distrust has been brought in by out-of-county agitators. One being the propagandist Les Zaitz. His far-left, biased views are present in all of his headlines. He needs to exhibit more of the overzealous ambitions towards investigating former Gov. Kitzhaber. His corruption has not received any serious degree of investigation by his newspaper nor the legal system. A lot of criticism is coming from city employees supporting Glenn’s rival. I personally have heard some of the same criticism about Todd in the past, but I prefer not to be drug into the same sewer they come from. Glenn’s record stands for itself! Sheriff Palmer’s job is not to get along with the powers that be — whether city, state or federal. He is the chief law enforcement officer for the county and has been a number of years. His service to the county has been a relentless one. No one person can be everywhere at one time and anytime at one place in this large and great county. He has covered all parts of this county and in a timely manner. Glenn cares about the elderly, his annual holiday dinner included, watches our cattle as is needed, his search and rescue missions (assisted by citizens) and relentless road patrols. Glenn’s department has been a dependable backup for other law enforcement departments as well as a well-coordinated disaster notification plan that worked well in our latest major fire. We need to keep him in office and in one last line: I was visiting with a local elderly lady who has lived in the county a large number of years and in her words, “The reporter from the Oregonian needs to pack his bags and leave the county.” I had to chuckle a little. Yes, I support Glenn. We need to keep public servants that are as responsive as he has been. In a nutshell, he’s proven dependable!

Bob Pereira

John Day

Letter: Not the time for silence Tue, 25 Oct 2016 18:18:34 -0400 To the Editor:

A letter in last week’s issue questioned if there would be a debate between the candidates for sheriff. Two organizations have offered to sponsor a debate: Grant County Positive Action and the Grant County Chamber of Commerce.

GCPA sent certified letters to both candidates. Todd McKinley accepted. Sheriff Palmer refused.

The September minutes of the Chamber of Commerce indicate that it was decided to sponsor a debate if Sheriff Palmer accepted the invitation. Apparently, he refused the opportunity.

The sheriff’s race is an important election. Voters should be able to question both candidates and hear their views about the issues in a public debate. Elections are about communication of values, not silence.

Elaine Mezzo

John Day

Letter: Is Palmer professional? Tue, 25 Oct 2016 18:18:33 -0400 To the Editor:

Today in our nation and around the world, there have been significant changes in many of our daily lives with increases in crime, murders, law enforcement officer shootings and loss of respect for their positions.

Last month in neighboring Washington in Skagit County’s Burlington Mall, five individuals were killed by a 20-year-old from Oak Harbor, Washington. After an intensive, 24-hour search, the gunman was apprehended and placed in custody in Island County. Through cooperative efforts of local, state and federal agencies, the gunman was captured.

This most recent event at the mall and the incident in neighboring Harney County earlier this year with the takeover of the Malheur wildlife refuge are very real and credible incidents that could also happen to residents in Grant County.

For this reason, all Grant County residents need to feel secure, safe and know that their elected sheriff will be at the forefront in exhibiting leadership, communicating and cooperating with other agencies, the public and media. In recent years, Sheriff Glenn Palmer has chosen not to follow the duties of his described position as shown by his actions.

Sheriff Palmer’s use of social media as recorded this past year on Grant County Free Classifieds posted by a local: “Free to a good home a 55 gallon drum of cement. I will/can deliver in john day/canyon city in the next few hrs.” Reply from Glenn Palmer: “If you deliver, I know a reporter that could use this.”

Are these comments a professional law enforcement officer would use?

I want a sheriff with these qualities: trust; respect and integrity for all residents; will listen to all Grant County people (not be selective); maintain open communication and cooperation with local, state and federal agencies for the betterment of Grant County residents and/or visitors to our area; perform full duties of the job description of Grant County sheriff; be responsive for all residents’ public safety needs and provide leadership/training for employees of the sheriff’s office; and exhibit characteristics of being a professional law enforcement officer.

This November, I will be voting Todd McKinley for Grant County sheriff.

Francis Kocis

Canyon City