Blue Mountain Eagle | Blue Mountain Eagle Sun, 28 May 2017 22:31:15 -0400 en Blue Mountain Eagle | Loggers association suggests federal reforms to improve forest economy Thu, 25 May 2017 18:16:34 -0400 Sean Hart For the first time since 2013, the Oregon Department of Forestry and Associated Oregon Loggers hosted an operators dinner in John Day May 17, where attendees heard updates on the industry, legislation and insect problems.

Associated Oregon Loggers Fores Policy Manager Rex Storm said, although there have been changes since 2013, the forest economy remains “very slack,” with only one local mill and lean timber supply. The problem is not a shortage in demand, he said, but a lack of a “sufficient and reliable volume of timber” preventing investment in mills, making it difficult to find buyers for private logs.

While ODF primarily works with private landowners, Storm said the timber supply from the larger national forests has more impact on the logging infrastructure. He said, while the association looks forward to the completion of the forest plan revision that has been in progress for many years, he is “not optimistic” it will have the legal sufficiency for a sustainable timber supply. He said harvest levels need to double or triple to improve the economy.

Storm said he was hopeful President Donald Trump would usher in changes needed at the federal level. He said four steps would improve timber supply: a forest plan with legal sufficiency for local authority; Forest Service leadership reform; Forest Service regulation reform; and the reform of laws, such as the Environmental Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

“Things do need to turn around,” he said.

At the state level, Storm said the association has focused its lobbying on preventing “bad bills,” such as diesel emissions and labor legislation, and tax increases. He said the current legislative session was a “train wreck” under single-party control with Democrats wanting to tax and spend, increasing the size of government.

He said, however, ODF provides many services to loggers with a tiny general fund budget.

“The Department of Forestry is one of the good things in government we strongly support,” he said.

After Storm spoke, ODF Entomologist Christine Buhl discussed problems with bark beetles. Prevention is important, she said, because once they’re inside the tree, it’s too late. She said pheromone-based repellants can prevent the beetles from targeting trees by deceiving them into thinking the tree is fully occupied by other beetles.

The rice-sized insects can attack trees as a group, overwhelming the trees’ defenses, she said. Symptoms include pitch, boring dust, staining and galleries under the bark. While just the tip of a branch may yellow from drought, Buhl said bark beetles will affect an entire branch or the top of a tree or the whole tree.

She said ODF provides a variety of fact sheets about bark beetles and other problems, available at

ODF John Day Unit Stewardship Forester Kirk Ausland concluded the dinner by awarding Brad Clemends of B & M Timber a Central Oregon District Merit Award for his salvage work after the Canyon Creek Complex.

“B & M Timber has produced quality results under the most difficult circumstances and challenging conditions,” Ausland wrote when he nominated Clemens for Eastern Oregon Operator of the Year. “... Desired future conditions will be more obtainable, and reforestation efforts in the near future will benefit from these salvage operations.”

Grant County Court minutes: May 10, 2017 Thu, 25 May 2017 11:35:42 -0400 Grant County Court minutes from May 10, 2017:

9:00 am -- Call to Order. Present were Judge Scott W. Myers, Commissioner Jim Hamsher, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright, Katy Nelson, Frances Preston, Jim Spell, Rick Minster, Judy Schuette, Gail Beverlin, Alan Hickerson, Billie Jo George, Amy Stiner, Chris Labhart, Reporter Rylan Boggs, Gary Jacobson, Marlene Greer and Pastor Flora Cheadle. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Cheadle. Commissioner Britton was absent as he was meeting in Salem with Senator Ferrioli regarding economic development.

CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and extension district warrants #308-310.

AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to accept the agenda as amended. Commissioner Hamsher declared a conflict with voting on the bullfighting contract for the Fair so it was tabled until the next court meeting.

ANNOUNCEMENTS. Judge Myers said on May 4th he attended peace officer union negotiations.

9:02 am Susan Church entered.

On May 5th he performed a wedding and on May 9th he attended Greg Walden’s town hall meeting at the credit union and then at noon went to an Internet Task Force meeting. Yesterday afternoon Myers went to the road department for bid openings for a new equipment storage shed. There is a meeting today at noon for the airport master plan and tomorrow he will attend an Oregon Solutions project meeting at The Outpost. On May 15th he will be at road union negotiations. May 16th he will assist the DA’s office with legal assistant interviews. May 22nd Myers will attend the Senior Citizens Trust meeting if time allows.

Commissioner Hamsher reported he attended the Senior Citizens lunch in Prairie last week. Hamsher attended the breakfast meeting with Senator Walden yesterday at the credit union. He met with an electrician at the Fairgrounds to look at the wiring in Keerin’s Hall and said the electrician doesn’t believe much work would need to be done on the electrical system. He also reviewed the trenching project at the Fairgrounds for the PA and Reader Board systems. This morning he and Judge Myers went to the Fairgrounds because they have some power poles that are leaning dangerously.

MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the April 26th minutes as amended allowing Commissioner Britton to review and make changes if necessary.

9:07 am Reporter Logan Bagett entered.

IGA MAP MAINTENANCE. Assessor David Thunell had provided the court with an Intergovernmental Agreement (#3607-17) between the Oregon Department of Revenue and Grant County to provide map maintenance services to the Assessor’s Office. This is an annual agreement and the total cost is $13,680. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve IGA#3607-17 and circulate for signatures.

VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION LETTER. The court reviewed an appreciation letter to Bruce Kaufman for his years of service as Chair of the Senior Citizens Advisory Council. Kaufman is still serving on the council, but is no longer the Chair. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the appreciation letter to Kaufman and circulate for signatures.

9:11 am Steve Beverlin and Mike Stearley entered.

IGA OREGON HEALTH AUTHORITY #153123 . The court reviewed an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Oregon Health Authority and Grant County for financing of mental health, substance use disorders and problem gambling services for 2017-2019. Myers explained even though the county contracts the services with Community Counseling Solutions the contract is between the county and the Oregon Health Authority. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve IGA #153123 and authorize Judge Myers to sign.

FAIRGROUNDS CHANGE ORDER. Judge Myers advised after all the bids were received for the electrical installation at the Fairgrounds for the PA system and reader boards it was discovered that electrical conduit was omitted from the proposal for bids. S&C Electric was awarded the electrical contract and has submitted an estimate of $5,000 for the extra conduit and installation needed to complete the project. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the change order in the amount of $5,000 with S&C Electric.

MALHEUR NATIONAL FOREST PLAN REVISION. Forest Supervisor Steve Beverlin gave an update to the court on the Forest Plan Revision. Beverlin said he will also address travel management today. Beverlin explained each forest, the Malheur, Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman will each have a forest plan revision approved for them under one environmental impact study. He said every forest in the nation was required in 2005 to update its forest plan revision. Until the forest plan revision is complete the travel management plan will not be finished. Beverlin stated the forest plan revision does not have any site specific designation of routes in the plan. The designation of roads, trails, and areas for motorized use will be addressed in the travel management plan. Beverlin explained the difference between a forest plan revision and travel management plan. The forest plan revision is an umbrella plan covering everything on the forest and the travel management plan deals with motorized vehicle access. Citizens and the court will have opportunities to comment on the travel management plan.

9:24 am Zach Williams and King Williams entered.

Myers asked for clarification of what the distinction is between current projects happening and travel management. Beverlin said current projects are analyzed site specific and the transportation system is adapted for that specific site and travel management is the official process for analyzing motorized use across the entire forest. Billie Jo George asked if once travel management is completed if additional roads be closed in projects that have already been completed. Beverlin said the intent is to leave the projects the way they are and doesn’t believe changes will be made to recent decisions. He said this would be a rare occurrence in his estimation. Frances Preston asked if travel management is mandatory or a choice by the forest and also if the forest management plan will name designated routes. Beverlin said designated routes will be named for motorized use on roads, areas and trails. He added the same process will be followed for the travel management plan as is used for specific projects. Beverlin said in 1972 and 1977 two executive orders were signed mandating the use of off road vehicles on public lands. The 2005 travel management rule can be found at Beverlin explained the 2005 rule and answered additional questions from those in attendance. Beverlin said until the 2005 rule is changed the Forest Service is mandated to implement a travel management plan. Maps are available for free at every Forest Service office showing roads open for travel. The travel management plan consists of three parts, identification of minimal road system analysis, designation of areas, roads and trails for motorized use, and over the snow motorized use. Hamsher said he is receiving a lot of concern about stubble height from ranchers. Beverlin stated the Court, Stockgrowers and some ranchers have standing to object to this once the environmental impact study is completed. Myers pointed out that in order to object to stubble height a person must have expressed concerns about grazing issues initially. The intent is to being travel management in the spring of 2018 and Beverlin said the Forest Service is trying to give the public as much time as possible to be engaged in the process. The Malheur National Forest has over 9000 miles of road which is the third highest in the nation. Discussion was held regarding cross country damage and personal responsibility to ensure people aren’t causing destruction to our public lands.

JUSTICE COURT. Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett had presented information to the court regarding her wish to change collection agencies. She explained in her narrative that her office has never utilized the services of the current collection service (Credits, Inc.) and would like to switch to Western Collections Bureau, Inc. Stinnett expressed her belief that Western Collections Bureau, Inc. would be a much better fit for the needs of her office and offer more support to the Court both with set up, implementation and follow up. She reported other courts are using this service and very pleased with it. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve cancellation of the contract with Credits, Inc. and to approve a new contract with Western Collections Bureau and to authorize Judge Myers to sign the cancellation letter.

FIREWISE CONTRACT. The court had previously awarded the Firewise Contract to Jerome Natural Resources Consultants, Inc. and this is the final contract signed by Irene Jerome. Myers explained Firewise is a program to assist communities with fire proofing their properties. Discussion followed about where the funding comes from for Firewise. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the contract with Jerome Natural Resources Consultants, Inc. and circulate for signatures.

PROPERTY TAX REFUND. Assessor David Thunell had presented and Order and Tax Refund to the court for approval. CoreLogic of Coppell Texas paid $1,360.59 and then it was discovered that CoreLogic was billed an incorrect amount. The Assessor is requesting the amount of $1,360.59 be refunded to CoreLogic. Myers read the Order to the audience. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the refund of $1,360.59 to CoreLogic and circulate the Order #2017-03 and Tax Refund #05 for signatures.

10:23 am Joe Hitz entered.

ROAD DEPARTMENT. Road Master Alan Hickerson presented bid results to the court for a metal equipment storage building. Hickerson explained this will be an open sided storage shed for equipment. Two bids were received for this project, Smucker Quality Homes ($132,250) and Mike Voigt Construction ($103,100). After reviewing the bids Engineer Josef Hitz and Hickerson recommended awarding the project to Mike Voigt Construction. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to award the project Mike Voigt Construction in the amount of $103,100.

10:28 am The court took a short break. 10:38 am Andrea Officer entered.

10:44 am The court returned to session.

VICTIM ASSISTANCE. Couch: Victim Assistance Director Andrea Officer requested court permission to purchase a couch for her office to provide a seating area for victims with families and children of domestic violence and sexual assault crimes. The VOCA grant granted her permission for this purchase and the amount budgeted was $750 to $1000. Officer asked the court to waive the three quote requirement as she would prefer to purchase locally (Mosier’s Home Furnishings) and be able to measure the comfort of the couch prior to purchase. Myers said Mosier’s is the only local dealer for furniture. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve purchase of a couch from Mosier’s Home Furnishings in the amount of $750-$1000 to be paid from the VOCA grant.

ESD Grant Award: Officer further notified the court that together with the District Attorney’s office they received notification that they received a $10,000 grant to further their assistance to children that have been identified as victims of crimes involving domestic violence, neglect and child sexual assault. This is a one-time grant that will allow for additional follow up services for victims. Judge Myers advised he was on the committee that helped score and select the grant awards and complemented Officer on her well prepared application. The grant money was left over funding from when the Commission on Children and Families closed.

PUBLIC COMMENT. Judy Kerr asked if the court could guarantee the speaker system would be installed prior to the next court meeting. Myers said the court can’t guarantee this, but is working towards having it installed. Laurie Wright advised she has emailed Al Altnow and he will be coming by tomorrow to look at this and thinks it can be installed prior to the next meeting. Jim Spell understands Congressman Walden was here for a town hall and expressed his disappointment that the public wasn’t invited. He asked how this meeting came to be. Myers said it was attended by approximately 20 people and was by invitation. Myers said it was a simple discussion about the new administration and committees Walden is on. Spell said people are frustrated they were not invited or told about the meeting. Myers suggested making those complaints to Walden’s office directly. Hamsher added cellular service around Mitchell was discussed at the Walden meeting as well. Myers said other blind spots in Eastern Oregon for cellular phone towers are being looked at due to the upcoming eclipse.

10:55 am – Adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Laurie Wright

Administrative Assistant

**** Please note the court minutes are a summary of the court proceedings. An audio recording of each court session is available, after approval of the minutes, by contacting Laurie Wright at 541-575-0059 or ****

House votes to join effort to elect president by popular vote Wed, 24 May 2017 17:24:25 -0400 PARIS ACHENCapital Bureau SALEM — The Oregon House of Representatives voted 34-to-23 Wednesday to join a group of states that want to elect the U.S. president by the national popular vote.

Under the Constitution, the nation’s president and vice president are the only officials selected through the Electoral College process. Candidates are awarded votes equal to the number of senators and representatives from the states they carry. Under the bill, Oregon’s electors would be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of who wins the state.

“House Bill 2927 ensures every vote in every state will matter,” said Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland.

The House has voted three times since 2009 to join the National Popular Vote compact. Each time, Senate President {img:156567}Peter Courtney blocked the legislation in that chamber.

Courtney has said he would support the effort this year only if the decision were referred to voters.

“I would be open to amending the bill and sending the question to the ballot,” Courtney said. “If you believe in the popular vote, then let the popular vote decide the issue.”

The popular vote campaign took on new life after President Donald Trump won election by the Electoral College while losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost 3 million.

“Oregon deserves a voice in who becomes president,” Keny-Guyer said.

Oregon had no plan for checking Medicaid eligibility Wed, 24 May 2017 17:15:11 -0400 Claire Withycombe Capital Bureau

SALEM — When Oregon expanded access to Medicaid in 2014, it had no system in place to perform the annual checks on recipient eligibility required by federal law.

That was one of the many flaws of Cover Oregon, a state health care exchange also intended to handle patient registration for Medicaid. Medicaid is the federal government’s health care coverage for the poor and other qualifying groups. In Oregon, about a quarter of the state’s population — approximately 1 million people — receives it.

More than three years after the expansion was launched under the Affordable Care Act, the state is scrambling to finish verifying whether every Oregonian on Medicaid — the Oregon Health Plan — meets the criteria.

Oregon’s new system for managing its Medicaid enrollees, called ONE, has this capability, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

But since ONE was launched in late 2015, patients are still being entered into the system, due in part to disparate datasets and a laborious initial process that requires enrollees to complete a paper application more than 30 pages long.

And the 465 state workers assigned to the task of re-enrollment are not yet finished.

As a result of the problems with Cover Oregon, the state received a series of waivers from the federal government on performing redeterminations until mid-2016. OHA maintains the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are aware of and have approved the agency’s ongoing efforts to resolve the backlog, despite the current lack of a formal waiver.

The governor has given OHA an Aug. 31 deadline to get about 101,000 Oregonians double-checked. Another 14,000 people are in the process of being removed from the Oregon Health Plan because they did not respond to the state’s termination warnings.

Although the OHA emphasizes the process is now about 90 percent complete, the remaining 10 percent has come to the attention of the state’s top auditor, who released a memo arguing that the state could have spent millions of dollars on people who do not qualify for the program.

Secretary of State Dennis Richardson’s memo riled up legislators on both sides of the aisle, who are busy hammering out healthcare budgets and a potential tax on providers to cover some of the costs of expanding Medicaid.

The possibility that the state could have lost money by paying for unqualified recipients — and to clean up the data — in its effort to provide coverage to more people has been highlighted as legislators attempt to close a $1.4 billion budget gap.

Richardson’s office released an audit Wednesday finding the new ONE system functions well when it comes to verifying people for Medicaid. However, auditors also found that manual entry poses a risk to the accuracy of eligibility determinations and payments to healthcare providers.

OHA says the enrollment and redetermination process will be simpler as time goes on because the system can do certain things automatically, such as verifying an applicant’s income by comparing the application to existing datasets.

Asked whether the OHA was equipped to redetermine the eligibility of the approximately 1 million people on the Oregon Health Plan, the agency responded Wednesday that it has “taken aggressive action” to verify recipients’ eligibility since the Cover Oregon failure.

The agency hired 300 temporary employees, according to a spokeswoman. It has brought on multiple private contractors to help with the process, OHA’s Director, Lynne Saxton, told legislators Tuesday.

EOU online fire degree ranked 16th in nation Wed, 24 May 2017 17:04:01 -0400 A new survey from Best Degree Programs names Eastern Oregon University’s online fire science degree as one of the top 30 online fire and emergency services offerings in the country.

EOU’s Fire Services Administration program landed at No. 16, and remains the only bachelor’s degree offering of its kind in Oregon.

The study follows recognition from on its list of “Best Online Programs: Bachelor’s in Fire Science” in 2016 and 2017, as well as a top 10 listing by OnlineU in 2016.

“For prospective students, it helps give confidence that the program is recognized as one of the best FSA programs in the nation. Ergo, they’re getting good value for their educational dollar,” said department chair Kevin Walker. “Becoming recognized as a Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education compliant program by the National Fire Academy this spring will only enhance that sense of value.”

Wilson wins heritage foundation basket drawing Wed, 24 May 2017 17:03:59 -0400 Jessica Wilson of Izee won the Grant County Family Heritage Foundation’s Mother’s Day basket drawing. The basket contained a retail value of $700 in prizes from local businesses, and 111 tickets were purchased. The fundraiser kicks off the foundation’s efforts to install a cooling system and electrical upgrades to the Heritage Barn at the Grant County Fairgrounds. The project is designed to increase comfort for the animals, 4-H and FFA participants and attendees.

Buzz Harris Wed, 24 May 2017 17:00:33 -0400 Buzz Harris went to be with the Lord on

April 2, 2017, at the age of 87 after a

short illness in Caldwell, Idaho. A

memorial service will be held on

Monday, May 29, 2017, at 1:00 pm at

Prairie Baptist Church in Prairie City,

Oregon with a graveside committal

following the church service at the Prairie City Cemetery. A reception will

be held after the conclusion of the service at the Prairie City Senior Center

in Prairie City, Oregon. Services are open to the public.

Buzz Harris was born to Clarence and Hattie Harris on November 24, 1929,

in Prairie City, Oregon. He was born on the property where he lived most

of his life, except nine months that he lived in New Mexico. He was the 8th

of 10 children, and he and his brothers helped build the house where he

lived. Buzz attended the Prairie City Schools and graduated in 1949.

Like many of the time, he got his first job away from home when he was ten

years old and earned ten cents per day plus an egg sandwich and a quart of

milk. Additionally, he helped his Dad and brothers in the family mechanics

shop and learned many skills. Buzz was involved in almost all aspects of

the lumber industry from the time of his high school graduation. He built

roads, skidded logs, worked in the mill, hauled lumber, moved heavy

equipment, but most of his time was spent hauling logs. Because of his

diverse work background and skills, one of his bosses at Edward Hines

Lumber Company told Buzz that they did not have a man at the company

who could replace him for all of the different jobs he could do. He retired

from logging in 1994 and then spent the next 14 years working for Wish

Poultry and Mark Wishard in Prairie City.

Buzz married Marjorie M. Sager on June 27, 1959, at the Boise Valley

Church of the Brethren in Nampa, Idaho. Marjorie passed away November

2, 2011, after over 52 years of marriage.

Buzz loved fishing, hunting, gardening, traveling, and spending time with

family and friends. Buzz was a member of Prairie Baptist Church. Buzz

and Marjorie enjoyed their many years helping with the Prairie City Senior

Center, and Buzz was the vice-president of their council in recent years.

Buzz is survived by two sons, Thomas Harris of Boise, Idaho, Jerry Harris

of Caldwell, Idaho, Jerry’s wife, Camille Harris of Caldwell, Idaho, six

grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

Buzz was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Hattie Harris, four

brothers, Thomas, Robert, Frank, and James Harris. Also, five sisters, Jessie

Randolph, Allice Kight, Janette Deardorff, Clarice (Mickey) Plantz, and

Virginia (Ann) Cemelich and four brother-in-laws.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Prairie City Senior Center in

honor of Buzz through Driskill Memorial Chapel at 241 S Canyon Blvd,

Prairie City, OR 97820.

To light a candle in memory of Buzz, please visit:

— Paid for by the family of Buzz Harris

Kathy Williams Wed, 24 May 2017 17:00:30 -0400 Kathy Williams was born

on June 7, 1939 in

Alturas, California to R.J.

Ritchey and Kathleen

Roberts. She died at 77

years of age on May 16, 2017 after a short battle with

cancer, with her family by her side. Our Mom and sister

attended school in Ft Bidwell and Cedarville, California

and Medford, Oregon.

In 1958, in Reno, Nevada, Mom married our Dad, Wally

Williams, and from that union Tami was born in 1959

and Gina in 1961. In 1963, Mom and Dad moved to John

Day, Oregon where Mom started working for Dr.

Bennett. In 1967, Mom and Dad purchased Driskill

Memorial Chapel after the death of Carl Driskill.

Shortly after the purchase of the funeral home, Mom

started working with Dad. That was the beginning of

Mom’s life-long passion of helping people, eventually

leading to her becoming a licensed Funeral Director.

For many years she, and seven other life-long friends,

calling themselves “The Bridge Club”, made annual

trips to Reno, in Jean Sproul’s motor home, for gambling

and shopping. In 1980, she moved to Bend, Oregon

where she started working for Paul Reynolds at

Niswonger Reynolds Funeral Home. In 1986 Mom

moved to Redmond, Oregon to manage Redmond

Memorial Chapel.

Mom was very active in the Redmond community for

many years. She was passionate about her involvement

with the Hospice of Redmond for 30 years and she was

on the board of Directors for 21 years. Mom looked

forward to the Hospice Festival of Trees where she

directed tree traffic, telling everyone where to set up their

trees. She took great pride in bidding up the price of the

trees into the thousands of dollars, all for the benefit of

Hospice of Redmond. Mom

enjoyed working at Lords Acre

day sale at Powell Butte, selling

pies. Mom was active

in the Community Presbyterian

Church where she served as

an elder.

Mom was on the Redmond City Council from 1998 to1999, and

on the Budget Committee for the City from 1999 to present.

Under Mom’s leadership, the columbarium at Redmond

Memorial Cemetery went from a dream to a reality.

Mom loved to play bridge, especially with the “boys”, and going

on trips and cruises with the International Order of the Golden

Rule. She enjoyed many travels with her friend Ardyce Swift.

Her great passion was doing cross stitch, and she always said

she couldn’t live long enough to complete all the patterns she

had collected.

Mom was preceded in death by her parents and step mother


Kathy is survived by her daughters Tami (Keith) and Gina

(Fred), granddaughter Ashley and great grandson Jayden,

brothers Kenneth (Joan), Karol, Robert (Sandra) and sister

Susan (Mike).

The family would like to thank the nurses and doctors at St.

Charles Hospital Cancer Center for their care and Paul

Reynolds for guidance and support.

Kathy will be missed by all of her many, many friends with

whom she shared her life.

A memorial service was held at the Community Presbyterian

Church in Redmond, on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 11:00.

Donations in her memory may be sent to Hospice of Redmond

for the Transitions Program, the Community Presbyterian

Church and St. Thomas Catholic Church.

Kathren Lois Ritchey Williams

June 7, 1939 – May 16, 2017

— Paid for by the family of Kathy Williams

Joyce Dowdy Wed, 24 May 2017 17:00:25 -0400 Joyce Dowdy, 78, of Mount Vernon,

Oregon passed away in her sleep, early

on the morning of Sunday, May 7,

2017, at Blue Mt. Care Center in Prairie

City, Oregon. A “Memories of Joyce”

potluck is scheduled for June 24th, 2017

at 11:00 AM to be held at the Grant

County Senior Center in John Day,

Oregon. A Celebration of Life for

Joyce will also be held at the Marcola Christian Church in

Marcola, Oregon at 11:00 AM on July 8th, 2017.

Joyce was born on March 21, 1939, to John and Helen Reynolds in

Eugene, Oregon. She was the only girl and had 3 brothers, John,

Bob, and Terry. Joyce attended school in a one room schoolhouse

on Old Marcola Road, and then went to Springfield High School,

in Springfield, Oregon. She married her high school sweetheart,

Ronald Dowd, on August 31, 1956. Ronald was 6 years old when

he told his Mother he was going to marry Joyce. Joyce finished

her senior year at Marcola High School, graduating in 1957.

Joyce and Ronald went on to have three children; Lloydene,

Lewis, and Lenny. She was a school mom for all of her kids.

Joyce spent most of her life on a farm or ranch and was a very hard

working lady. She did many different jobs and raised many farm

animals. She had a sixth sense when it came to her animals. The

family showed their animals at the Lane County Fair and Joyce

even delivered pigs at the fair for many years. The Dowdy’s

raised cattle and registered pigs, and Cotswold sheep. Joyce also

worked at most of the local dairies, milking cows, so the dairy

Joyce Dowdy

farmers could take vacations. She drove the bus to pick up bean

and berry pickers in the summer months and was also the boss of

the fields. She also worked some paper routes for the Eugene

Register Guard Newspaper. Ronald and Joyce lived in Creswell

for 46 years, selling the family farm in 2006 and bought a ranch in

Grant County to be near their kids, grandchildren and great-


Joyce loved her family. She loved to watch the kids in their

sports, dance and their programs. She taught her whole family

what unconditional love looks and feels like. Joyce had an

awesome sense of humor and loved to tell jokes and make people


Joyce is survived by her Husband of 60 years, Ronald; their three

children, LLoydene and her husband Bill, Lewis and his wife

Lynette & Lenny and his wife Sherri, Grandchildren; Simmie

(Wade), Shanna (Chris), Toby (Meredith), Lyssa (Wayne), Lloyd

(Ashlee), Lexie (Bryce), Maycee, Stephanie (Tye), Sylvia (Blain),

Randy (Caitlin), Great-Grandchildren; Trinity, Riddick, Tate,

Jerett, Addy, Emma, Clive, Hunter, Saber, Halle, Taylor, Owen,

Tenley, Cooper, Jordan, Riggin, Keranee, Axtyn, Apryl, Trystan,

Nataley, Ely & Sophia. Joyce has three angel great grand babies,

Payton, Kadyn and Ashyr. Nanny Joyce was very excited to have

two more great-grandchildren due this year.

She was preceded in death by her parents and 3 brothers.

To light a candle for Joyce or leave a condolence for the family,

please visit:

— Paid for by the family of Joyce Dowdy

Myrtha Fields Wed, 24 May 2017 16:51:04 -0400 Myrtha Fields, 96, died peacefully Saturday, May

20th at Blue Mountain Care Center. She was born

January 22, 1921 to Jacob Lemar and Merdith Edna

Kent Westenskow at their home in Imbler, Oregon.

She was one of eleven children.

Life during the depression era was difficult for

everyone. Her older sister Rowaine died at the age of

6. Her mother became ill after her 6thchild was born.

Her father remarried and his second wife died. He

again remarried and they had 5 children. Because her

family lived on a farm they did not go without

something to eat. She remembers men coming by the

farm looking for work or some food and her father

always finding something for them. She was kept

busy working at home, babysitting, and tending

animals. One of the things she enjoyed doing was

playing outside and watching critters. Once she

watched a mouse family at play and said that it was

like watching any family take care of their home and


Myrtha graduated from Imbler High School and

attended BYU for a year. She thought it would be

great to get away and not be babysitting all the time,

but she got homesick and returned to Imbler. It seems

she missed all of the younger ones she had been

caring for. She graduated from Eastern Oregon

Normal School, which is now known as Eastern

Oregon University. She taught school in Portland for a

year. It seems that there were several young men that

were vying for her attention, but she was informed by

Vern Fields that he was the one she was going to

marry. They were married in her family home in

Imbler by her uncle. They made their home in several

towns as Vern had various jobs and finally they

settled in John Day. They had three children,

Meredith, Bill and Stuart. After her older children

were in school, she resumed her teaching career. She

taught third, fourth, and fifth grades. Her favorite

position was teaching the fifth grade.

Myrtha had many different hobbies. She liked

bowling, fishing, and shooting trap. But most of all

she loved to work in her flowers. She especially liked

roses and iris. When asked what flowers she liked best

she always said she liked them all.

Myrtha was never one to be left behind in any

adventure. There was no way she was going to be left

behind if Vern planned to head out on one. She was a

very caring person and will be missed by her family,

friends and all the young people whose lives she


Myrtha is survived by her daughter Meredith and son-

in-law Roger Ediger of Mt. Vernon, son Bill and

daughter- in-law Gayle Fields of Canyon City; eight

grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband Vern, her

son Stuart, her sisters Rowaine, Betty and Winona,

and brothers Donald and Pete.

Memorial contributions in memory of Myrtha may be

made to Blue Mountain Care Center’s Residence

Fund, Valley View’s Residence Fund, Grant County

Library Foundation or a charity of one’s choice.

Services for Myrtha are scheduled for 2 pm Saturday,

May 27th, at Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S Canyon

Blvd., John Day, OR.

— Paid for by the family of Myrtha Fields

Critics claim liability bill would banish GMOs from Oregon Wed, 24 May 2017 15:40:23 -0400 Mateusz PerkowskiCapital Bureau SALEM — A proposed bill imposing new financial liability on biotech patent holders in Oregon would effectively banish genetically engineered crops from the state, opponents claim.

Under House Bill 2739, biotech patent holders would be liable for triple the economic damages caused by the unwanted presence of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

The bill is now before the House Rules Committee, which is considering an amendment clarifying when landowners can file lawsuits over GMOs on their property and the defenses available to patent holders, among other provisions.

The amendment would also ensure that patent holders cannot transfer liability to farmers who cultivate GMOs, though they could transfer liability to seed companies.

“It’s putting the onus on the producers and people who sell these crops rather that grow them,” said Amy van Saun, an attorney with the Center for Food Safety, a non-profit that supports HB 2739.

By making patent holders liable for unwanted GMO presence — either through cross-pollination or seed dispersal — the bill reduces potential conflicts among farmers, said Elise Higley, executive director of the Our Family Farms Coalition, which supports HB 2739.

“We don’t believe the GE farmer should be held responsible when they follow all the rules,” Higley said during a May 23 legislative hearing.

Biotech crops have “tracer genes” to identify patent holders, eliminating confusion about the source of an unwanted GMO, she said. “There’s no arguing about it. It’s just black and white science.”

Critics of HB 2739 believe the underlying goal of the proposal is to stop production of GMOs in Oregon.

For developers of genetically engineered crops, the risk of lawsuits would likely outweigh the benefits of licensing biotech traits to growers in the state, opponents say.

“If this bill passes, those seed companies may stop selling to Oregon completely,” said Shelly Boshart-Davis, whose family plants genetically engineered alfalfa between rows of hazelnut trees.

Likewise, Oregon State University breeders would be reluctant to use new gene editing techniques due to the financial risks of licensing the resulting crop varieties, said Dan Arp, dean of OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

“As the patent holder, we would be liable for the judgment,” Arp said.

The bill was subject to sharp questioning by several Republican lawmakers, but the committee’s chair, Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, ended the hearing without any remarks about HB 2739’s future, such as a possible work session.

In April, the House Judiciary Committee moved the bill without recommendation to the House Rules Committee, where it’s not subject to the same legislative deadlines as in other committees.

House approves ballot measure for state executive impeachment process Wed, 24 May 2017 15:30:58 -0400 PARIS ACHENCapital Bureau SALEM — The Oregon House of Representatives voted 49-to-5 Wednesday to send a constitutional amendment to voters to create a process for impeaching the governor.

Oregon is the only state in the nation that has no mechanism for executive impeachment.

Rep. Jodi Hack, R-Salem, has been working on the joint resolution since 2015, the year Gov. John Kitzhaber resigned amid an influence-peddling scandal.

Hack and other lawmakers introduced the proposal to address the lack of an impeachment process. The proposal was not a direct reaction to the Kitzhaber debacle, said Preston Mann, a spokesman for the House GOP.

“I think most Oregonians would be surprised to learn that our state does not have a mechanism for executive branch impeachment already in place,” Hack said. “In fact, Oregon continues to be the only state in the nation without this kind of protection against executive branch misconduct. I am of course hopeful that we would never need to pursue an impeachment proceeding, but we should not pretend that Oregon is immune to potential political scandals.”

The measure would allow the House to impeach a statewide official on the grounds of malfeasance in office, corruption, neglect of duty, felonies or misdemeanors. The process would require a three-fifths majority vote in the House. The official would then face a trial in the Senate, where conviction would require a two-thirds majority vote.

The proposal was first offered in 2015 but stalled in the Senate, Mann said.

“As I have said since I originally introduced this concept in 2015, this resolution is not intended to create a new weapon for partisan politics, but rather a tool for holding our executive branch accountability when necessary,” Hack said Wednesday. “Let’s do right by the people of Oregon, pass HJR 10 out of the Legislature, and give Oregonians an opportunity to weigh in on this discussion.”

The resolution now heads to the Senate. If approved, the measure would appear on the 2018 general election ballot.

Eulala Herbert Tue, 23 May 2017 16:53:23 -0400 Eulala Herbert, 105, of John Day passed away Thursday, May 18, at Chesley’s Elderberry House in John Day. A funeral service was held May 23 at the John Day United Methodist Church. A vault interment service followed at the Canyon City Cemetery.

On Nov.14, 1911, Herbert was born to William O. and Gertrude (Hall) Cummings. She attended grade school at Cummingville School, and graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1931. She married Dale Conlee in 1930 and had two sons with him, Alva and Dee. After Dale’s passing in 1947, she married Ed Herbert, who passed away in 1982.

She worked for many years at the Grant County Courthouse for the county clerk’s office, the sheriff’s office and the county extension agent. Herbert retired in 1973.

She enjoyed crafts, especially knitting, crocheting and working on puzzles. She was a member of the John Day United Methodist Church and regularly frequented the John Day Senior Center.

Herbert is preceded in death by her first husband, Dale Conlee; her second husband, Ed Herbert; her son Dee; her sister Eva; two brothers, Harry and Otis; and daughter-in-law Helen.

She is survived by her son Alva and his wife, Margie; her brother Robert of Baker City; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the John Day United Methodist Church or John Day Senior Center through Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845.

To leave a condolence, visit

Quilters display colors, patterns, memories Tue, 23 May 2017 17:38:28 -0400 Angel Carpenter Visitors from near and far admired the workmanship shown in 101 quilts on display in John Day at the 17th annual Grant County Quilt Show.

The exhibition is presented by the Grant County Piecemakers Quilting Guild with a lot of volunteer help, said guild president Karen Hinton.

She noted several volunteers who are not guild members also assisted with the show, including Ferguson Surveying staff, which set up the display frames.

Guild member Dotty Parsons said she heard people saying it’s a top-notch quilt show.

“The variety was awesome,” she added. “I’ve heard some nice feedback.”

“It is really nice to see how the quilters come together,” Hinton said.

And it’s all for a good cause.

Along with the quilt displays, artwork was also exhibited, and vendors had booths with fabric and other sewing items, jewelry and more for sale.

The guild uses proceeds from the show to further their work in the community, including giving quilts for babies born at Blue Mountain Hospital and for victims of house fires. They also give quilts for raffles to support cancer patients, rodeo queens and other needs in the community.

People’s Choice winner was Faith Hundley of John Day who created a quilt out of heirloom items, such as a World War II parachute, a wedding dress and pillowcases from her grandmothers and aunts.

Second-place winner was Cheryl Ringering of Hamilton with a warm-toned star quilt.

Youth also showed their creativity at the show with a home-schooled sophomore entering a quilt and Hinton’s 4-H sewing group entering projects in the Crayon Color Challenge where each entrant creates a small quilt based on a randomly selected color.

Guest quilting instructor Maggie Ball of Bainsbridge Island, Washington, taught workshops, showing techniques from her book “Bargello Quilts with a Twist,” using quilting squares in a variety of patterns.

Forest plan revision will be followed by travel management planning Tue, 23 May 2017 17:37:48 -0400 Rylan Boggs The Malheur National Forest will wait until its forest plan revision is complete before moving on to the required travel management plan.

Malheur National Forest Supervisor Steve Beverlin gave an update on the Malheur forest’s travel plan to the Grant County Court and members of the public May 10.

While the Forest Service hopes to complete its forest plan revision by the end of June, the travel management plan for the Malheur is expected to begin in the spring of 2018, after the forest plan is complete. Beverlin said, in the version of the forest plan currently being revised, the Forest Service removed portions about “designated routes,” opting to address those issues more appropriately in the travel management plan.

Beverlin said a federal rule finalized in 2005 required all national forests to undertake travel management planning, but the Malheur is one of few that has not yet done so.

A travel plan centers around three parts, he said. The first part — the only one completed on the Malheur — is an analysis of what is needed to administer and maintain the road system. The second part of the plan identifies what trails, roads and areas can be used by motorized vehicles. The third part of the plan identifies what routes can be used for over-the-snow travel.

Beverlin said the public would be able to submit feedback on the travel plan during comment periods.

The feedback process often includes public meeting where people can voice concerns and gather information about the project.

For each plan and project, a scoping period takes place where the Forest Service can identify important issues and incorporate feedback into a draft environmental impact statement. Interested parties will have the opportunity to submit written comments, which are reviewed by the Forest Service, and then a final environmental impact statement will be produced. Substantive comments —those that provide “relevant and new information with sufficient detail and rationale” — can be used to inform the final plans, and people who submit substantive comments can object to the final plans during a subsequent objection period.

Forest access and road closures were a major topic of concern for many residents during the comment periods on the forest plan revision process.

Resident Judy Kerr said preserving roads and access to the forest is important for hunting, fishing and gathering of mushrooms and firewood.

“They are inch by inch restricting more and more access to our public lands,” she said.

Kerr believes the Forest Service is listening to concerns voiced by the public, but doing very little to address them. She said they only listen when people identify specific roads with concrete reasons for not closing them. She gives an example of a road on the Ragged Ruby project, which was reopened after it was shown there was heavy use of the road.

“I really don’t think they’re paying that close of attention because that’s not their intent to open the roads up,” Kerr said. “Their intent is to close the roads, and they’ve made that very clear.”

Beverlin said the Forest Service does not have specific guidelines to meet in terms of how many miles of roads are available or which roads should be closed, but the agency must address certain road issues, such as conflicts with other uses, conflicts with wildlife and allocations for special uses.

Beverlin explained grazing permittees, search and rescue and fire operations have access to closed roads. Grazing permittees are allowed access to check on herds, perform fence maintenance and deal with other issues that arise.

Resident Billie Jo George expressed dismay that some would get preferential access to roads and asked if there would be more road closures after the travel plan was completed. Beverlin said it could happen but only in rare circumstances.

Beverlin urged those with concerns about road closures to work through the government’s feedback system to specify which roads they want to remain open and why.

Out of the Past Tue, 23 May 2017 17:37:35 -0400 Every county will oversubscribe war savings bond sales

Every county in Oregon, including Grant County, will subscribe and oversubscribe its quota for War Savings bond sales, committeemen and workers from every section of the state declared enthusiastically at an all-state “Enroll for Victory” meeting in Portland last weekend. Quota for the state for May is set by the U.S. Treasury Department at $5,500,000, of which this county must raise $19,900, it is pointed out by Orval D. Yokom, committee chairman.

Definite plans for promotion and sales for this and other counties were outlined at the Portland session. These include vigorous continuation of the payroll savings plan installation campaign, renewed activity on the part of various other committees and use of all ideas that will bring home to the people of this county the necessity of raising funds in this way for the armed forces, the chairman stated.

A close inspection into just how the money will be spent was a feature of the Portland meeting. All of the county workers toured the large plant of the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation, where they saw some 30,000 men hard at work constructing ships. The group also visited the Portland Air Base, where they saw army life, the airfield, shops and planes.

County committeemen learned that Oregon’s quota of war bond sales for the coming year, $100,000,000, will be spent in just six months at the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation plant alone. This will provide approximately 40 huge ships, so badly needed by the United Nations. Enthusiasm of the county workers reached such a high pitch at the session that they dispatched a telegram to President Roosevelt, assuring him that this state would not only reach the quota for May and for the year, but would be the first state to do it, the local chairman reports. Details of activity planned for communities in this county will be given by the chairman in the near future.

Students ready for trip to Grand Canyon

Monday is a big day for 18 students of the John Day grade school, as they will begin a 3,200-mile trip through six states with the highlight being a visit to the Grand Canyon. The students will observe natural history, geology, tour industrial sites and mines and visit an observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. A tour will be made of Kennicott copper mine and smelter, Zion National Park, a petrified forest, museums, a computer center in Salt Lake and other places of interest. The five-vehicle caravan will leave John Day at 7 a.m. for Winnemucca, Nevada, the first stop of the trip. From Winnemucca, the group will move to Ely. After two days in Ely the students will make an overnight stop at Zion National Park before moving to the Grand Canyon for a four-day stay. From the Grand Canyon, stops will be made at Holbrook, Arizona, Mesa Verde, Colorado, Salt Lake City and Boise, and back to John Day on June 13. Students will be camping out throughout the trip. And as a preparation for the trip, a trial campout was held earlier this month at the Unity reservoir. All expenses for the trip are being paid by the students who held various projects during the school year to raise money for the trip. The group appreciates the contributions made by several individuals and business firms, said Bob Pesicka, science instructor at the grade school. The idea for the trip started on a return trip to the Fossil Beds by the Science Club. Wishful thinking led to further talks and planning before the idea was approved by the school. Once approved, students and parents met to draw up the plans. Accompanying the students on the trip will be Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Ellingson, Mr. and Mrs. John Brown, Lois Wacken, Bob Pesicka and Tom Switzer.

Wreckage, pilot of a downed plane are finally recovered

The body of a pilot from Madras was found last Tuesday, more than 16 months after he had been reported missing. Grant County Sheriff Fred Reusser said the wreckage of the 1958 fabric-covered Piper Supercub and skeletal remains of its pilot, Steven Scott Welch, 36, were discovered Tuesday by a contract timber cruiser in the Aldrich Mountain area near Fields Peak. The charred wreckage was located approximately 1.5 miles west of the Aldrich Lookout at the head of Smokey Creek – near its last known radar location when the plane went down Jan. 1, 1991. The plane went down while on a flight from Madras to John Day. Ruesser, Undersheriff Jim McNellis and Gale Wall, a Forest Service law enforcement officer with the Bear Valley Ranger District, went to the scene Wednesday morning and located the wreckage in a steep, heavily wooded area. The skeletal remains of Welch were removed from the scene after the initial investigation and transported to the Driskill Memorial Chapel. Investigators believe Welch was killed on impact as the plane crashed and caught fire. Located on a north slope in heavy timber, the plane was not visible from the air. The location of the plane lays to rest one of the longest and most extensive searches in the county’s history. Since Welch was reported missing on New Year’s Day 1991, countless hours of ground and air search were devoted to finding the plane. It included the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, sheriff’s personnel from adjoining counties, Grant County Air Search, the Civil Air Patrol and the 304th Air National Guard search and rescue helicopters from Portland and Pendleton. Joining in the search effort were aircraft and pilots from Madras and Burns, and numerous friends and family of Welch. Investigation into the cause of the crash is continuing through the Oregon Aeronautics Division, the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board. A 10-day search began after the plane was reported missing, but the search had to be called off because of winter storms. Initially, searchers though the wreckage would be found by hunters, but after going to the crash site, Reusser said he understood why the debris was never spotted. He said it was just fortunate it was discovered in the manner it was.

Rattler strikes toddler in yard

Dispatchers, ambulance and hospital crews and police sprang to action last week to save the life of a toddler who had a chance encounter with a rattlesnake. The action began the afternoon of May 15, when the 3-½-year-old boy was bitten on the finger by a young rattler outside his home at Monument. The boy was walking by the house, and the snake had curled up in a cool spot against the foundation. A neighbor helped the father calm the boy, and they packed the child’s hand in ice. A Monument ambulance picked up the boy and drove toward John Day as a second ambulance rushed to meet them. The crew from John Day brought critical antivenin – the substance that counteracts venom from such snakebites – to start the child’s treatment. “Our ambulance met them halfway,” said Bob Houser, chief executive officer of the hospital. He said the John Day crew administered six vials of the antivenin on the spot. The ambulance rushed the child the rest of the way to the hospital in John Day, where he received another six vials. The hospital had 12 vials – the usual initial dose – on hand, but has an agreement with hospitals in Burns and Baker City to share additional antivenin, as needed. Doctors assessed the boy’s condition, deciding to send him to Portland for further care. They put in a call to Burns for additional antivenin in case it was needed for the trip. At 5:48 p.m., Grant County Dispatch alerted the Oregon State Police office in John Day about the snakebite case and that the antivenin was en route from Burns. Trooper Cody Weaver was sent to meet a Harney County Sheriff’s Deputy for the hand-off of the antivenin, which took place on Highway 395, halfway between John Day and Burns. Houser said the antivenin from Burns was “our safety valve,” a backup in case the child needed additional treatment in John Day. The toddler was taken by Air Life from John Day to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. He was released from the hospital on May 18. Houser said the initial news reports, picked up across the state, incorrectly suggested that there was no antivenin at Blue Mountain Hospital. “Contrary to what was reported, we do keep it on hand,” said Houser. He said the rural hospitals generally keep the basic dose available, and rely on each other for backup. They don’t keep larger supplies because antivenin is very expensive and has a limited shelf life, he said. Houser lauded the ambulance crews for their quick work in administering the substance. If antivenin is not available, a rattlesnake bite can be fatal or can cause loss of use in limbs and other problems. As for the toddler, “our understanding is that he’s doing fine,” Houser said.

High desert oysters Tue, 23 May 2017 17:36:52 -0400 Local residents began the feed to raise money for the golf course

By Rylan Boggs

Blue Mountain Eagle

Hundreds flocked to Seneca to enjoy fresh oysters last weekend.

The annual Seneca Oyster Feed is a local tradition, though no one is quite sure how long it’s gone on. Organizers Andrea Combs and Mindy Walker said it was either 26 or 27. Pete Walker, who’s helped with the fundraiser every year, said it might be less.

“Everybody argues over that,” Pete Walker said. “I think it’s 23 or 24. There’s a few old timers around here who could tell you exactly but I don’t know.”

Pete Walker transported this year’s oysters from the Oregon coast.

“You can’t get fresh oysters over here, and our guys drive over on Thursday, pick them up and bring them back on Friday so they’re fresh. They’re right off the oyster beds,” Mindy Walker said.

At this year’s festival there were 75 gallons of shucked oysters and 275 dozen oysters still in the shell, according to Mindy Walker.

Local residents began the feed to raise money for the golf course. Mindy Walker said they usually raise $2,000-5,000 for the golf course and city park. During the fundraiser, softball and golf tournaments were held with participants from all over the area.

Along with all-you-can-eat oysters, attendees could eat salads, garlic bread, corn and a drink. Those not wanting oysters could get burgers, hot dogs, fries and chicken baskets at the grill shack while 1188 Brewing provided a beer garden.

There was also a raffle silent auction and 50-50 drawing that handed out over $1,000 in prizes.

Young Grant Union girls team soars to second at state Tue, 23 May 2017 17:35:21 -0400 Angel Carpenter The young five-member Grant Union girls team aimed for the top spot at the May 17-18 2A Track and Field State Championships in Eugene, landing in second with 82 points, just four points behind 11-member East Linn Christian.

Two Grant Union Prospector sophomore girls earned state track and field titles at University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, including Kaylee Wright, who set a season-record with her javelin throw of 128-11, and Trinity Hutchison in the triple jump with a leap of 34-10.00.

The Prospectors were hoping for a repeat of last year’s state championship win, and after the close loss, the team is already making plans for a strong comeback in 2018.

After seeing East Linn, a team of juniors and seniors, pull ahead of them in one of the last events of the day — the 4x400-meter relay — a race which Grant Union didn’t have on the list this year, the Prospectors started plans to improve their score.

“The athletes that are coming back next year immediately sat down and thought of who they could recruit for next year for the 4x400,” said Grant Union head coach Sonna Smith.

This year’s Prospector girls team was comprised of one freshman, three sophomores and one junior.

Earning 28 points for Grant Union, Wright also had second-place finishes in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.91, the high jump at a height of 4-10.00 and was part of the second-place 4x100 team, which also included Sydney Brockway, Hutchison and Sierra Cates, with a time of 50.97.

“That was something I was really proud of,” Wright said of the relay. “We went in second and ended the day better than we had planned. Our time was improved — not easy being sophomores and freshmen, competing against seniors and juniors.”

Cates said their handoffs improved significantly over the season.

“We worked on our handoff all week,” she said. “They all did a good job, and we ended up being faster, each leg of the race.”

Rude brought in 21 points, earning second in javelin with a throw of 115-03, third in shot put (36-11.50), third in pole vault (9-03.00) and eighth in discus (100-10).

“It’s always fun to go to state,” she said. “I look forward to coming back next year. I’m very proud of our team, and we’re going to beat (East Linn) next year.”

Hutchison earned 20 points with her events, which also included second place in long jump at 16-06.25.

Sydney Brockway placed third in long jump at 16-03.00, setting a personal record, and was sixth in triple jump (32-04.25) for a total of 11 points.

Cates earned two points, also competing in the 400 for 12th place.

Not to be left out, Grant Union also had one male competitor at state, Nick Springer, who placed seventh in high jump at 5-08.00.

Smith said she was pleased with this year’s outcome at state.

Last year’s team of seven girls scored 86.5 points for the win, she said, and this year, five girls scored 82 for second.

“They averaged more points per athlete than last year’s team,” she said.

She added, two of last year’s athletes graduated and another moved.

“I didn’t know if we would be able to repeat our state championship because we lost three athletes from last year’s team, but we had athletes step up and fill our holes,” she said. “I couldn’t be prouder of this year’s team. They did a great job.”

Monument girls stand out at Hayward Field Tue, 23 May 2017 17:34:57 -0400 Angel Carpenter Monument High School has a student population of just 19, but that didn’t stop their four-member girls track team and one boy from shining at the OSAA 1A Track and Field State Championships held Thursday and Friday at University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene.

Sophomore Sophie Pettit won her second consecutive 1A 100-meter dash Friday.

“It was really cool to repeat,” Pettit said. “The competition for the sprints was a lot tougher this year. Everyone has gotten a lot better.”

She posted a time of 12.7, shaving .05 off her winning time from last year. Pettit also placed fourth in the 200 with a season-record time of 26.67, fifth in the long jump (15-06.00) and fourth as a member of the 4x100-meter relay team (53.46), which included Faythe Schafer, Kyla Emerson and Dinorha Vidrio Landin. Freshman Aubrey Bowlus was on hand as an alternate.

“The 4x100 was really exciting,” Pettit said. “At the beginning of the year, none of us thought we would go to state. It was really cool just to take the team to state and compete there. I think the relay and the 100 were my favorite.”

She said reaching state each year is her goal.

“I’m looking forward to next season,” she said. “I’m really trying to get a four-time repeat in the 100.”

Emerson set a personal record when she placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.90, and she was sixth in the 300-meter hurdles (50.93).

She said head coach Darrin Dailey helped her succeed in hurdles, teaching her techniques to improve her times.

“In the 100 hurdles, I was hoping that when I went there I would hit 16, and I did,” she said. “I liked the 300 hurdles, and I got a personal record the first day, and then in finals I wasn’t my fastest, but I was still on the podium.”

She added, “The 4x100 was super exciting just to be with my team and see everyone on the podium.”

John Ramirez, competing for the Monument boys, finished 10th in the 200-meter dash with 23.94.

For the girls team it was the school’s best state finish yet, placing seventh out of 39 teams. Last year, they placed eighth.

“I think it’s our best season since the comeback (2012),” coach Dailey said. “I’m proud to know every one of them.”

Dailey said the future for Monument track and field looks bright. He expects six middle schoolers, including five boys, to join the team next season.

“We haven’t had enough boys for a competitive team in a long time,” he said. “We may even have enough for a relay. It should be a larger team with the same potential for podium time that we’ve enjoyed in the past couple of years.

“It was a great season, and I’m so happy such a large percentage of athletes qualified for state and made it to finals.”

Sonna Smith awarded Coach of the Year Tue, 23 May 2017 17:34:48 -0400 Grant Union track and field head coach Sonna Smith was honored Saturday in Eugene as the Girls 2A Coach of the Year by the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association.

She received the plaque at Autzen Stadium, awarded for the 2016 girls team she led to a state championship title. The team included Chelsie Kodesh, Kaylee Wright, Kenzie Wilson, Samatha Brock, Sydney Brockway, Jozie Rude and Kori Pentzer.

Smith said she gives much of the credit for the award to her assistant coaches, including Ken Boethin, hurdles; John Houk, long jump and triple jump; Kelsy Wright, javelin; Angie Lusco, discus and shot put; Buzz Gilmore, pole vault; and Emma Robinson, high jump. Smith trains athletes for sprints, distance and relay.

Smith once before received a Coach of the Year award when the Grant Union boys 2A team won the state title in 2007.

Kristina Humphreys finishes second in javelin for Dayville Tue, 23 May 2017 17:34:41 -0400 Angel Carpenter Dayville sophomore Kristina Humphreys threw javelin for second place at 117-09 at the OSAA 1A Track and Field State Championships.

She competed on Friday at University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene along with 11 other athletes in the finals.

Humphreys said she only recognized two of her opponents this year.

“It was a really cool experience visiting with the other competitors, asking how far they throw,” she said.

Humphreys won the title last year with a throw of 129-02.

Dayville head coach Peter Bogardus said the weather at state was sunny, but there was a headwind for javelin.

Looking ahead to next year, Humphreys said she hopes to add shot put to her events at state.

She competed in shot put just twice before qualifying for the 1A-Special District 4 meet, where she placed fourth.

“Next year, I hope to make it in shot put,” she said.

Dayville had only two on this season’s track team, Humphreys and sophomore Gabe Walker, the sole member of the boys team.

Bogardus said there are no eighth-grade track and field athletes to move up to varsity, but he’s hopeful.

“Every year, people move into the district, and I look forward to seeing who will join,” he said. “Gabe is also determined to qualify for state next year, and with his constant improvements this year, I have high expectations.”

What’s Happening Tue, 23 May 2017 17:34:11 -0400 The deadline for What’s Happening items is 5 p.m. Friday. Call the Eagle, 541-575-0710, or email For meetings this week, see our list in the classifieds on Page B9.

• 6:30 p.m., Canyon City Community Hall

Grant County Democrats will meet. For more information, call 541-542-2633.

• 7:30 p.m., Grant Union Jr./Sr. High School old gym

The Grant Union Jr./Sr. High School Drama Club will present two back-to-back, one-act comedies directed by Julie Reynolds. Middle school actors will open with “Snow White Lite,” a fun, sweet adaptation of the classic fairy tale by Jacob Dorn. The high school thespians will then present “The Entire American Revolution (In 40 Minutes or Less!)” by Eddie McPherson. The plays are produced by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service Inc.

The cities of Prairie City, John Day, Seneca and Dayville are having a clean-up day to start preparing the communities for the Aug. 21 eclipse. The city of John Day will be providing two dump trucks at the Oregon Pine property for John Day city residents. If special help is needed to pick up a large load, contact the Chamber of Commerce office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to get on a pick-up schedule for the public works department. If anyone needs garbage bags or safety vests to wear for cleaning up around traffic, they are available at the Chamber office. In Prairie City, volunteers will pick up bagged curbside trash from 12:30-3:30 p.m., and the recycling center will be open during that time. To volunteer as a helper in Prairie City, call Mayor Jim Hamsher at 541-620-2861. For more information, contact your local city hall, or the Chamber of Commerce office at 541-575-0547.

• 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Prairie City City Hall

Lyn McDonald is retiring after 28 years, and well-wishers will have a chance to say goodbye and meet the new city clerk. Cake will be served all day. For more information, call city hall at 541-820-3605.

• 7 a.m., Spray; 8 a.m., Service Creek

Oregon’s oldest half marathon kicks off from Service Creek to Spray at 8 a.m., but a shuttle will leave Spray at 7 a.m. to transport runners to the starting line. Preregister at or sign up the day of the race. For more information, visit, call 541-362-6179 or email

• 4 p.m., Mt. Vernon Community Hall

The Cinnabar Mountain Rendezvous will host a potluck and bingo. Bring a hot or cold dish to share, and table service. For more information, call Drew at 541-792-0393.

• 11 a.m., Prairie City Cemetery

American Legion Post 106 will perform a Memorial Day salute. The event is free, and all are welcome.

• 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Magone Lake

Eastern Oregon Trail Alliance will host a volunteer trail building day. A brief intro to sustainable trail building will be given at 10 a.m. before the activity and a bike maintenance tutorial will be given at the end of the day. Volunteers are asked to bring hiking boots, gloves, food and water. For more information, contact Darin Toy at 541-620-4030 or

• Grant County Fairgrounds, John Day

Horse trainer and competitor Joe Wolter returns to John Day to head up a colt starting, cow work and roping clinic. For spectators, the cost is $30 per day. Rider pre-registration is required. To sign up for the clinic, call Patti Hudson at 541-421-3456. Learn more about Wolter at

• 9 a.m. to noon, McHaley Pond, east of Prairie City

The event includes free fishing for kids with prizes, crafts and games, fishing help and other activities. The annual event is sponsored by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Malheur National Forest. The pond is a half-mile east of Prairie City; turn right at the Forrest Conservation Area sign. For more information, call Emily Davis at 541-777-2831. The event coincides with Oregon’s free fishing weekend when a license is not required, but regulations still apply.

Grant County Seniors Tue, 23 May 2017 17:32:44 -0400 JOHN DAY — Monday, May 15, Merry Henry and I were at the front desk, greeting guest. Our faithful regulars from the First Christian Church, Al and Kathy Altnow delivered meals in the John Day and Canyon City Area. Rodney Brunson, Ron Jerome and Amber Wright delivered meals on the Mt. Vernon Route, for a total of 31 regular takeouts and 28 frozen meals. Good job gang! Drew Harmer surprised us with home-grown lettuce. And more to come it seems.

The Altnows graciously served tables in the dining room, and Kathy did some comedic slight of hand tricks in conjunction with Shay and Lisa (probably Danny too!) at my place at the table — much laughter. I just groaned!

The flag salute was done by Chris Labhart, and Al Altnow asked the blessing for our meal. Jan Sanderson won the drawing for the free meal, and Pat Amling won the Len’s Drug gift certificate.

Our entrée of chicken Caesar pasta salad joined by creamy turkey soup with fresh bread and a giant chocolate chip cookie to celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day was well worth coming out for. We had 21 diners.

Thursday, May, 18, Jeanette Julsrud and Bonnie Kocis manned the greeting station, while the ladies from the Methodist Church served the tables. Jean Willey and Sherry Feiger did a great job as always, and we thank you. Sherry Feiger and Chett Bay delivered to the John Day and Canyon City folks, while the Step Forward crew took the Mt. Vernon Route. We so appreciate you all.

Veanne cautioned about phone scams. Don’t say “yes.” Also the $1.8 billion budget cuts in Oregon will be cutting into DHS, which means some of Veanne’s programs could suffer. Evelyn Ogilvie has been ill; pray please. And Eulala Herbert died on Tuesday; she was 105. Ron Dowse had a successful bone marrow transplant; he says he feels great. He and Roberta look forward to getting back with us as soon as they can.

As always, our time was opened by the salute to the flag of the United States of America, led by Jean Willey, and our meal blessing was given by Sherry Feiger. The Valley View meal was won by Eva Harris, and the Chester’s Thriftway certificate was drawn for Kathy Morris. Old-fashioned meatloaf and baked potatoes with veggies and chocolate poke cake were served. We were blessed by 56 diners

We had a lot of visitors. The Sandersons had a crew of eight: Larry and Kathy Morris, Marion and David Jarman, Carol and John Moore, Russ and Willis Douglas. This group of friends comes in every year to spend time together with Jan and Larry while they work at Holliday park. Kim Ausland brought her friends from Valley View, including Dawn Hindman, Randy Persinger, Mary Lou McCurry, Chuck Corwin, Linda and Larry Christianson, Sharon Bell, Jen Winkler and daughter Gail Beverlin.

We’ll have fried chicken, macaroni salad and watermelon Thursday. Please arrive at the center by 11:45 a.m. so the servers can start on time. Don’t forget we play bingo at 1 p.m. on Thursday after a great meal!

Please let Shay know if you can help serve brunch each morning (three days) during the Solar Eclipse in August. The parking lot will be closed that Monday due to the eclipse campers.

As I was in Bend for doctor appointments on Thursday, I was blessed by Alma Joslin, who took notes for me. Alma is not responsible for errors, if you find any — I can make those by myself!

Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.”

MONUMENT — Our hardworking cooks, Terry Cade and Carrie Jewell, made us macaroni and cheese with ham bits, broccoli, an assortment of breads and cookies for dessert.

Our greeters were Bob Blakeslee, Bodean Andersen and Marva Walker. Bob led us in the flag salute. Bodean prayed the blessing over our meal and made announcements. Marva counted the money. The free meal tickets were won by Rickie Doland and Karen Stubblefied.

Rose Howe was present to make a special announcement. You will all be delighted to know that our Monument ambulance is up and running again. She also thanked the senior center for allowing the next group of volunteer EMR to finish their training. We had quite a group from Monument who participated in this training course. The best news of all is that the Blue Mountain Hospital has been in full cooperation and is working with all who are involved. Isn’t that a relief to hear? It most assuredly is for me, personally.

Well, preparations are being made for the upcoming event in September. Our Buckaroo Fall and Harvest festival is coming up Sept. 23. Mark that on your calendars! Last year’s event was quite a success.

Judy Harris has arranged a gun raffle and a quilt raffle that will be going on from the present until the Buckaroo festival. The rifle item is from Nydams at Ace Hardware in John Day. It is the Savage Axis series, I believe to be valued at almost $400. I will have to get the exact info next time. The winner of the rifle raffle will have the opportunity of 95 choices to choose a gun from. The quilt is a beautiful quilt made by Judy, and it has the hunting game theme on it.

You can have a chance to win either of these great items by purchasing raffle tickets. The price of the tickets are $1 each or $5 for six tickets. There is no limit to how many tickets you can purchase. You need not be present to win. The winners will be drawn and announced on Sept. 23. So, don’t miss this great opportunity to win some very nice prizes.

We will have a special item that will be up for silent auction at the Buckaroo Festival. They are a pair of salt and pepper shakers. These were beautifully handcrafted and donated by Dennis Abraham. The wood was from a black walnut tree from Judy Harris’ parent’s place right here in Monument. So if you win this item, you will have a piece of Monument in your home. Last year was quite the event and we are expecting maybe double the attendance. As I get more info on the planning and activities, I will give you more notice.

We had one more freak snow storm that came through. I think we have seen the last of it. Now we are into the blazing hot summer, oh boy.

Matthew 10:39 “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

PRAIRIE CITY — I hope you got your lawn mowed before it snowed. I even had to put my pant liners back on and wear my winter coat today. But by the time you read this, it will be 80 degrees! Welcome to Grant County spring! All the tulips that I transplanted (and the deer didn’t get to) bloomed nicely. But they all had a white stripe on one petal. Guess that was the place the frost was really bad.

Betty Retherford led the flag salute, and hubby Jack asked the blessing. Assistant cook Tom brought some petunias to give to each mother in attendance. Delores Scott was our oldest mom; youngest and with most children was Livy Atchley; Carla Wright won for having the most grandchildren (11) and great-grandchildren (11). The amazing thing is that all of her children and grandchildren were born in Grant County. Not many can top that achievement. Other winners were Ken Koser for the $5 in trade gift certificate donated by Prairie Hardware & Gifts and Bonnie Lake got the $7.50 gift certificate donated by Chuck’s Little Diner.

So the 47 of us registered enjoyed juice, cheesy broccoli and rice, glazed carrots, meatloaf, rolls and chocolate cheesecake for dessert. Tom picked the menu and oversaw its bringing to fruition for our enjoyment. Again the collective response was, “I ate too much.” Hard not to when it tastes so good!

On the medical report, we’re getting over the crud – finally. My ears are still not what they were before, but they are getting better. I presume the little tube is still in there. The Eustachian tubes do a lot of popping at unusual times, so I assume that’s a good thing. Have more news next time after the re-check. Have acquired volumes one and three of the Great American Bathroom Book. These are kind of like the Cliff Notes books for college students who don’t have time or won’t take time to read the assigned texts for their courses. The bathroom book has summaries of all-time great books. I never got to read a lot of those, so now I know what they are all about. Found out that some of them that are purported to be “great” are not what I would want to read anyway. Tried to read The Brothers Kasimarov but couldn’t keep the characters straight. I’m more of a Mrs. Pollifax person. Anyway, I’m really enjoying these summaries of the great books. According to the order form in the back of the 600-page books, you can get a leather-bound copy for only $50. What a deal! Ahem.

We have the contractor all lined up to come in June to install the new ADA compliant exit ramp to this old building. That will require two new doors and enlarging of the door frames. Due to the age of the buildings, the contractor opined that it was probably built using the old “balloon” construction technique. That was a new one on me. He explained it, but I don’t have room to repeat it. Ask a carpenter. We also want to replace the crash bar and door closer on the most used door at the front entry. It’s probably obsolete by now, but the door company is looking! Your donations at work. Thank you.

Rev. 3:20: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…”

Prairie City clerk retires after 29 years Tue, 23 May 2017 16:56:42 -0400 Rylan Boggs Lyn McDonald has been through 11 mayors.

After almost 29 years as the Prairie City city clerk, she decided it’s time to retire and enjoy life.

Her husband, Dan, a lifetime contractor, retired in October, which prompted her to spend more time at home.

“I just decided I wanted to be home so we could do things together,” she said.

The two are currently remodeling their home, and she is looking forward to purchasing new furniture and landscaping their yard. Once they’ve completed the remodel, she said they have a week-long trip to the coast planned in their RV.

McDonald is looking forward to visiting friends in northern California and exploring some of the eastern part of the country.

“I’ve never been east of Boise, so it would be a joy for me to go east and see some of that country and some of those other states,” she said.

While she is glad to be retiring, she said she would miss interacting with residents, especially the seniors.

“When they come in to pay their bill, it’s become over the years a time to catch up with them and see what they’re doing,” she said. “We always have to stop and visit a little bit, and I’ve enjoyed that a lot.”

Her least favorite part of the job was chasing down people with delinquent payments.

She remembers when the city renovated Front Street, adding new sidewalks, trees and flower beds.

“That was probably the best event that happened in the time I was here,” she said.

McDonald performed a wide variety of duties, including acting as the city planner.

“I’m not educated in that, but I’ve managed to get them through,” she said.

In her retirement, McDonald said she wants to stay involved with the city. She isn’t planning on running for city council, but plans to attend meetings. She plans to get involved in local activities and groups like Talents and Treasures.

“People tell me that you become very busy, whether you like it or not,” she said.

A celebration is planned for McDonald’s retirement from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 26, at the Prairie City City Hall. Cake will be served all day, and residents will have a chance to meet the new city clerk, Bobbie Brown.

Elks buddies make a catch Tue, 23 May 2017 16:56:18 -0400 It was a fine day for fishing at the fifth annual Elks Buddy Fishing Day May 5 at Gail and Shirley Enright’s Mt. Vernon ranch.

The event pairs up members of the John Day Elks Lodge and other volunteers with invited students from Grant School District No. 3.

This year, 15 young anglers had assistance from 15 adult helpers for a fun day of catch and release with an abundance of blue gill and bass.

The Enrights host the event at their home, providing a lunch with hamburgers for all the guests.

Elks youth activities chairperson Connie Wood, the Enrights and Robyn Miller of Grant School District No. 3 coordinated the event.