Blue Mountain Eagle | http://www.bluemountaineagle.com Blue Mountain Eagle Sat, 28 May 2016 12:27:03 -0400 en http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/staticimage/images/rss-logo.jpg Blue Mountain Eagle | http://www.bluemountaineagle.com FS releases new report about Canyon Creek Complex http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160527/fs-releases-new-report-about-canyon-creek-complex http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160527/fs-releases-new-report-about-canyon-creek-complex#Comments Fri, 27 May 2016 18:11:41 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529912 The Canyon Creek Complex fire destroyed 43 homes and burned more than 110,000 acres of the Malheur National Forest in August and September of 2015.

In the wake of the destruction, many Grant County residents have called for an investigation of the fire and suppression efforts.

On Friday, May 27, the Forest Service released a new report with answers to frequently asked questions.

The report from the Forest Service is attached to this article in .pdf format, and the full text from the report is below.

Forest Service Canyon Creek Complex report, May 27:

This report provides a narrative timeline of key events that occurred during the Canyon Creek Complex Fire as well as answer to the most frequently asked questions about the incident. Also included is an overview of the 2015 wildfire season across the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Region. Regional context is provided to explain when and why firefighting resources were limited—as well as the impacts of those limitations.

The 2015 fire season in the Pacific Northwest was the most severe in modern history from a variety of standpoints. Oregon and Washington experienced more than 3,800 wildfires (almost 2,300 in Oregon and more than 1,500 in Washington) that burned more than 1,600,000 acres (more than 630,000 acres in Oregon and more than 1,000,000 acres in Washington)—including 1,325 fires representing 507,000 acres on U.S. Forest Service lands (information as of September 30, 2015. Initial Attack was successful in rapidly containing all but about 119 of these fires. This response represents an almost 97 percent Initial Attack success rate.

Approximately 50 of these fires occurred during a ten-day period in mid-August when numerous Large Fires (a wildfire of 100 acres or more in timber or 300 acres or more in grass/sage) were already burning in the Pacific Northwest. During this time, the Northern Rockies and Northern California were also experiencing unusually high numbers of wildfires. This situation limited the ability to rapidly obtain Initial Attack reinforcements as well as almost all types of firefighting resources needed for Large Fires. During this severe fire season, approximately 675 structures were lost.

The Pacific Northwest Region was listed as the first or second priority for national resources on the National Interagency Coordination Center’s Situation Report for 82 days (of 122) between June 1 and September 30. During the entire month of August, the Pacific Northwest Region was ranked Number #1 (18 days) or Number #2 (13 days) in the National Priority.

At the peak of the season’s fire activity, the following resources were assigned to wildfires burning in the Region: 1 Area Command, 21 Incident Management Teams, and more than 11,450 personnel. Firefighters were mobilized to attack the Pacific Northwest Region’s fires from most of the 50 states as well as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, the Oregon National Guard, Washington National Guard, and the United States Army were all dispatched to help with suppression efforts.

The Berry Creek and Mason Springs fires were two of 12 fires ignited by lightning on August 12 on the Malheur National Forest. Pushed by strong winds, the Berry Creek and Mason Springs fires merged together to become the Canyon Creek Complex on August 14.

On August 13 a Type 3 Incident Commander (IC) was assigned to and assumed command of both fires.

On August 14, prior to merging, the Berry Creek and Mason Springs fires were encircled by retardant lines prior to the strong winds causing the fires to escape containment. An Initial Attack response from the volunteer fire departments in Grant County included 12 Engines and 32 Firefighters with structure protection the highest priority for all resources. The National Interagency Situation Report stated that the growth of the Berry Creek and Mason Springs fires was reported to be in excess of 34,143 acres; with 39 residences destroyed. A Type 1 Incident Management Team was ordered to establish a Unified Command with the Oregon State Fire Marshal.

On August 17, the Canyon Creek Complex became the Number 1 priority fire in the nation and was receiving critical resources as they became available in the resource mobilization system.

The complex remained active for the next three weeks, with runs of 20,000 acres to the southeast, 11,600 acres down Pine Creek and 17,600 acres down Indian Creek toward Prairie City. By September 4, the fire had increased to more than 110,000 acres and destroyed 43 primary residences. The Fire was declared controlled on November 5, 2015; suppression costs to this point are approximately $31 Million.

Frequently Asked Questions: Canyon Creek Complex

Beginning at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, August 12, a new lightning storm passes over the Malheur National Forest.

By the afternoon of August 12, local firefighting resources have responded to 12 new fire starts across the

Malheur National Forest—stretching from south of Seneca to Indian Rock, located on the Forest’s north side.

The Mason Springs Fire, located north of the community of Seneca, and the Berry Creek Fire, located south of the town of John Day in the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness near private lands, are two of these 12 new fire starts that receive aggressive Initial Attack response.

· On August 12, both the Pacific Northwest Region and National Fire Preparedness Levels are Level 4—the second highest severity level. In Oregon and Washington, 15 Large Fires (a wildfire of 100 acres or more in timber or 300 acres or more in grass/sage) are active with 5,947 firefighters assigned. Across the nation, 62 active Large Fires are burning with 20,747 firefighting resources assigned. The severe lightning storm that impacted the Malheur National Forest area on August 12, also establishes new fire starts throughout the region—creating an additional draw of firefighting resources.

No forest is able to staff for the worst case scenario. Our staffing levels are based on our budget and augmented with severity funding from the regional office when fire danger is very high. The interagency wildland fire community shares resources across the country by sending available firefighting personnel and equipment from the slower areas to the region that is experiencing the most severe fire conditions. This includes all Malheur National Forest fire resources (Rappellers, engines, crews, aircraft, helicopters, etc.)

In July the Forest was fortunate in getting agency engines from out of the Region, but in August, we could not find any agency engines available for standby because of the demand for resources for the ongoing fires across the western U.S. Our local pool of contracting engines and crews was assigned to the many large fires across Oregon and Washington.

· 8 - Malheur NF engines

· 1 - Malheur NF 20 person handcrew assigned to the West Fork Fire, near Aldrich Mountain

· 2 - Malheur NF contract engines

· 1 - Malheur NF contract Water Tender

· 1 - Malheur NF contract dozer

· 1 - Type 3 Incident Management Team

· 2 - Task Force leaders

· 4 - Malheur NF contract engines- West Fork Fire

· 2 - Malheur NF contract water tenders- West Fork Fire

· 1 - Malheur NF contract faller- West Fork Fire

· 5 - ODF engines

· 1 - ODF 5 person handcrew

· 2 – Malheur NF contracted 20 person crews on short term loan to Burns Fire Zone

Immediate initial suppression response to the Berry Creek and Mason Springs fires included both aerial and ground resources:

· Berry Creek Resources

1 Heavy Airtanker, 5 Smokejumpers, 6 Rappellers, 3 Single Air Tankers (SEATS)*, 2 Helicopters*, 1 20-Person Hand Crew (contract)

· Mason Springs Resources

2 FS Engines, 1 20-Person Hand Crew, 3 SEATS*, 2 Helicopters*, 1 Dozer, 1 Contract Engine

*These air resources were shared between the two fires.

Early morning lightning storms are unusual, making a quick response challenging because our crews, engines and aircraft are not on duty. The normal work schedule for fire crews during fire season is from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. so they are on during the time period when most fires start. Fire Staff had plans in place to have staff and crews come on duty an hour earlier than normal on the morning of August 12. The lightning storm became very active over the forest that morning, between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m.

Firefighters, pilots, dispatchers and duty officers reported to work as quickly as possible once notified of the lightning and subsequent fires on the morning of August 12. As soon as firefighters reported into their duty station and engines could be staffed, they were dispatched to fires. As quickly as dispatchers could get into the office and received requests from the duty officers they ordered ground resources, aircraft and aerial delivered firefighters.

· The Berry Creek Fire was reported to Dispatch at 7:22 am. Knowing the approximate location of the fire, the Forest opted to use aerial delivered firefighter as the first response. We ordered smoke jumpers and rappellers. The orders were placed at 7:30 a.m. The rappellers coming out of La Grande were staffed up and ready to deploy at 7:30 a.m. but by the time the order came in, there was a thunderstorm over head that delayed their departure until 9 a.m. The aircraft coming out of Central Oregon was staffed and ready to depart by 9 a.m. The smokejumpers out of Redmond, Oregon were the first resources over the fire, followed quickly by the rappellers from Central Oregon and the rappellers coming from La Grande, Oregon.

· For the Mason Springs fire, we opted for using ground resources. The fire was reported to dispatch at 7:18 a.m. Three engines were initially dispatched to the incident once the firefighters arrived at the station in John Day at 8 a.m. It took approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes for the engine crews to travel to the general area and locate the fire. Crews were on scene at 9:45 a.m.

Engine 610, Engine 613 (both local MNF engines) and Engine 22 (a contract engine) stayed overnight on the Mason Springs Fire. By 9:30 p.m., the fire was lined with retardant and dozer line. The crews had a hose lay around the fire and had started mopping up the hot areas along the perimeter. The fire was looking very secure. They bedded down at 9:36 p.m. at their camp, which was very close to the fire. Two water tenders and the hand crew returned to town for the night. The next morning, crews arrived on scene at 9:30 a.m., the fire was still looking very secure. The crews and engines were put back to work mopping up the fire.

The Mason Springs and Berry Creek fires were full suppression efforts. The Mason Springs Fire was 100 percent contained on the morning of August 13, meaning that fireline was constructed with a bulldozer and reinforced with retardant and a hose lay around 100 percent of the fire and the fire spread had been stopped.

Crews were also working very aggressively on the Berry Creek Fire during the daylight hours. Crews hiked off of the Berry Creek Fire at 8:45 p.m. once it became dark due to the high probability of being hit by the multiple snags (dead trees that come down unexpectedly), and the potential for rolling rocks coming off the very steep slopes. Crews didn’t stay on the fireline of the Berry Creek fire overnight because of those hazards to the firefighters and the fact that no aviation resources would be available to evacuate a firefighter if one were to be hit by a snag or rolling rock. Crews were hiking out a firefighter who was suffering from a heat-related illness when a snag fell across the line on the right (west) flank of the fire causing fire to spread upslope and to the west. The Incident Commander reported the snag and fire spread to dispatch and requested that a Type 2 helicopter respond as soon as they were able to fly the next morning; national fire policy does not allow for helicopter bucket work or airtanker drops after dark. Temperatures remained abnormally high and humidity remained abnormally low into the night and well into the next morning.

Engines were not able to drive to the fire edge of the Mason Springs Fire because of the terrain, brush and fuels around the fire. The IC didn’t want to tie up engines by parking them below the fire when there was still a demand for engines on other fires. The IC was in need of and ordered 2 - 20 person ground crews.

Trainees are common on all fires and they are always paired with an experienced trainer who is qualified as an incident commander. This is not unique to the incident commander position - the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) sets the standard qualifications for all positions in incident management. Trainees take required classes and then serve as trainees until they have completed a position taskbook that is signed by a qualified person in that position. The NWCG training system allows individuals to learn by experience, which is essential in a dynamic field like wildfire management.

Once the dozer line was completed on the Mason Springs Fire, crews began mopping up (extinguishing all hot spots from the dozer line towards the interior of the burned area) on the afternoon of August 12. The fire was looking secure that evening so the engine crews bedded down near the fire that night.

The firefighters were back on the fireline early the next morning and were continuing the process of mopping up the fire on August 13. The IC calculated it would take 2-3 days to completely mop up the fire with the resources they had. The IC asked for an additional crew to help speed up the mop-up but the Berry Creek fire was causing problems and became the priority fire the morning of August 13 and received the crew that was intended for Mason Springs.

“Contained” is the status of a wildfire suppression action signifying that a control line has been completed around the fire, and any associated spot fires, which can reasonably be expected to stop the fire’s spread.

The Mason Springs Fire was completely surrounded by a dozer line and a retardant line August 12. On August 13, handcrews were mopping up (extinguishing hot spots) working from the fireline to the interior of the fire. That afternoon was very hot, dry and windy; making the fuels (any burnable vegetation) were very receptive to ignition from any spark. Firefighters on scene believe that strong winds pushed firebrands (burning embers) downwind from the main fire and across containment lines. Those firebrands may have ignited a new spotfire 400 feet from the main fire. The spot fire immediately began running and torching trees creating new spots. The IC ordered air tankers, helicopters and requested the dozer back, the fire was spotting ahead of itself as much as ¼ mile. Even with much of the crew less than 500 feet away from the spot fire when it was noticed, there was no way to get it contained.

· On August 12 all of the local aircraft was used extensively all day long.

· On August 13 all of the local aircraft was able to fly most of the day. In the late afternoon winds became very erratic and gusty making it extremely difficult to be effective with water bucket drops. If the pilots, both fixed wing retardant planes and helicopters felt it was safe to fly in the gusty winds, they did. Between all of the helicopters in John Day on August 13, they dropped over 31,000 gallons of water, which equals about 100 bucket drops, on the fires burning that day.

The Berry Creek Fire was actively fought from the air and ground from the first day. Crews could not safely remove a very dangerous snag burning along the right flank of the fire, so the helicopter doing bucket work focused on the right flank while the hand crews built fire line from the heel of the fire along the left flank. At 8:45 p.m., crews disengaged from the fire due to many dangerous snags and unchecked fireline. There wasn’t a safe strategy to allow firefighters to work the fire at night with the snags and steep slopes. If a firefighter were to be injured while fighting the fire at night, no aviation resources would be available to medevac the patient as aviation resources are grounded at night per national policy.

For further information or questions please call 541-575-3000 or visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/malheur

Malheur National Forest

431 Patterson Bridge Road

P.O. Box 909

John Day OR 97845

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Judge denies Emry’s request for pretrial release http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160527/judge-denies-emrys-request-for-pretrial-release http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160527/judge-denies-emrys-request-for-pretrial-release#Comments Fri, 27 May 2016 16:57:04 -0400 Sean Hart http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529913 A judge denied a pretrial release request for Michael Ray Emry, who was arrested May 6 in John Day on weapons charges.

In U.S. District Court in Eugene Tuesday, May 24, Magistrate Judge Jolie A. Russo denied the request without prejudice.

Emry, 54, was arrested after agents served a federal search warrant on his trailer, truck and car at the Grant County Fairgrounds and RV Park where he had been staying, according to an FBI press release. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the John Day Police Department and the Oregon State Police provided assistance.

The criminal complaint filed by Special Agent Miguel Perez states agents found a fully automatic .50-caliber Browning M2 “Ma Deuce” machine gun with an obliterated serial number. The weapon was not registered to Emry in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, as required for fully automatic firearms.

After being arrested, Emry said the gun could fire 550-650 rounds per minute and that he took it from a shop where he worked in Idaho, according to Perez’s complaint.

Perez also said Emry took the gun without the shop owner’s knowledge and obliterated the serial number before transporting it from Idaho to Oregon.

Emry is charged with unlawful possession of a machine gun not registered to him and unlawful possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. He is in custody in the Lane County jail.

According to an article on The Voice of Idaho News website, Emry was the proprietor of that organization, as well as The Voice of North Idaho and The Voice of Grant County, Oregon.

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Celebrating with a splash of color http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160527/celebrating-with-a-splash-of-color http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160527/celebrating-with-a-splash-of-color#Comments Fri, 27 May 2016 16:56:37 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529914 CANYON CITY — Humbolt Elementary School staff celebrated the retirement of three coworkers Bonnie Zick, librarian; Suzy Burton, educational assistant, and MaryAnn Vidourek, music director.

The Wednesday, May 25, party held at Canyon City Community Hall included at painting lesson by Haley Hueckman.

Each participant created a landscape painting to take home.

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Officials urge novices start slow with pot-infused edibles http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/bme/capital-bureau/20160527/officials-urge-novices-start-slow-with-pot-infused-edibles http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/bme/capital-bureau/20160527/officials-urge-novices-start-slow-with-pot-infused-edibles#Comments Fri, 27 May 2016 16:42:12 -0400 PARIS ACHENCapital Bureau http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529915 SALEM — Oregon health officials are urging novice marijuana users to start slow when pot-infused edibles are introduced in the state’s legal recreational market June 2.

Since Oct. 1, anyone 21 and older may purchase a limited amount of cannabis flowers, seeds and starter plants. The Legislature earlier this year added edibles, extracts and non-psychoactive lotions, balms and oils to that list.

“We are concerned about folks who are novice users,” said Jonathan Modie, spokesman for the Oregon Health Authority. “We are concerned about calls into the poison center, not just children but adults.”

Health authorities adopted temporary rules last month on the sale of the new products. The rules take effect June 2 and expire Dec. 31, when the Oregon Liquor Control Commission is scheduled to take over regulation of the recreational marijuana program.

Temporary rules restrict sales to one edible product and one extract per day to each customer. An edible product may contain no more than 15 milligrams of Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive chemical in pot. Extracts are limited to 1,000 milligrams. Customers may buy an unlimited number of topical products.

The 15-milligram limit on edibles might be too potent for some people, health officials said.

“What we are telling the industry is they should divide it up into 5-milligram servings,” said Andre Ourso, manager of the state’s medical marijuana program. “At that point, we would recommend that they label it and say that it contains three servings.”

Proposed permanent rules, effective Jan. 1, limit serving sizes to 5 milligrams of THC. Up to 10 servings will be allowed in each package. The proposed rules also impose stricter specifications for child-resistant packaging.

“Part of the reason we chose the 15-milligram limit for the temporary rules is that labs can’t test for that low of a concentration without it being very expensive and can’t even give a good confidence level that, that is what it actually contains,” Ourso said, referring to the 5-milligram amount. “In proposed permanent rules, the labs will test the 50 milligrams in the package but won’t be required to test each serving size.”

When eating the drug, it can take one to four hours to feel effects, he said.

“If you aren’t feelings the effects after an hour, wait a couple of more hours, before consuming more,” Ourso said. “We would caution people to start out slow.”

The Oregon Responsible Edibles Council has launched a public education campaign designed to guide new users through eating marijuana-infused foods for the first time. The group’s Try Five Campaign advises consumers to eat no more than 5 milligrams of THC for their first experience.

“Fifteen milligrams is definitely going to be too much for people who are unfamiliar with edibles, so we were really glad we were able to launch the campaign before edibles became available,” said David McNicoll, council founder and owner of Dave’s Space Cakes in Eugene. The council has a web site and has been distributing posters to put up in dispensaries and T-shirts for so-called “bud tenders” to wear when they’re selling products.

“Everyone in the edibles industry should be behind this campaign because when there is overconsumption of edibles and people have bad effects it taints the industry as a whole,” said Leah D’Ambrosio, edibles council member and owner of Sconed in Portland.

D’Ambrosio said even for some regular marijuana users, eating 15 milligrams of pot can be too much.

“For someone who doesn’t smoke and is not used to ingesting marijuana, I advise eating 5 milligrams or even half of that just to see how it hits you,” she said.

The processor, who makes pot-infused toffee and is planning on soon debuting scones — her company’s namesake — also produces edible decals. The decals are marked with a green cross and can be attached or baked onto marijuana-infused foods. The health authority already requires processors to add a symbol to packages showing that food contains marijuana, but the edible decal is meant to alert consumers that a food item contains marijuana, even after the product has been removed from its package, D’Ambrosio said. All of the Sconed sweets carry the symbol, and D’Ambrosio also is starting to market the decals to other processors.

“It’s just another safeguard after the product is out of the package,” she said

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Shamrock pack implicated in probable wolf depredation http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160527/shamrock-pack-implicated-in-probable-wolf-depredation http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160527/shamrock-pack-implicated-in-probable-wolf-depredation#Comments Fri, 27 May 2016 16:03:17 -0400 Steve ToolEO Media Group http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529916 An investigative report released by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on May 27 lists a wolf or wolves as the probable cause of death for a 6-week-old calf found dead on private land in the Mud Creek drainage area in northern Wallowa County.

According to the report, the owner of the calf found its carcass on May 23 and had last seen the calf alive on the evening of May 22. He called ODFW, and wildlife officials arrived the same day to investigate the incident.

While the investigation indicated no specific evidence of wolf depredation, various bones of the mostly consumed animal suggest it was attacked by a predator with large teeth. A large percentage of the calf was consumed in a short time period, also an indication that wolves may have been involved.

The report states two collared wolves from the Shamrock pack — OR23 and OR21 — were in the vicinity around the time of the calf’s death.

Wildlife officials also recently confirmed a separate depredation involving a sheep on private land near the South Fork of the Walla Walla River in Umatilla County. That kill has been attributed to the Walla Walla pack.

ODFW has either confirmed or reported as “probable” nine wolf depredation incidents in 2016. Seven of those nine occurred in Wallowa County.

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Prairie City man dies in ATV wreck Thursday http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160527/prairie-city-man-dies-in-atv-wreck-thursday http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160527/prairie-city-man-dies-in-atv-wreck-thursday#Comments Fri, 27 May 2016 13:19:15 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529917 A 77-year-old Prairie City man died in an all-terrain vehicle wreck Thursday, May 26.

Larry Blasing was using a Honda four-wheeler equipped with a weed sprayer on or near his property four miles east of Prairie City when the ATV rolled in a small ravine, pinning Blasing underneath, according to a press release from Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer.

Deputy Tyler Smith investigated the incident, Palmer said, and the initial report indicated a family member of Blasing asked a neighbor to look for him when he did not return home. The neighbor returned and had the family call 911, before beginning CPR.

The sheriff’s office was dispatched to the incident at about 8:40 p.m., and Blasing was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Iron Man Shoot returns May 28 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20160527/iron-man-shoot-returns-may-28 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20160527/iron-man-shoot-returns-may-28#Comments Fri, 27 May 2016 11:15:24 -0400 Angel Carpenter http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529918 PRAIRIE CITY — The Canyon Creek Bowhunters club is sponsoring the third annual Iron Man Shoot on Saturday, May 28, at the Bear Creek Shooting Range.

Teams and individuals, including youth and adults, compete in three shooting disciplines: .22 silhouette, clay target shotgun and 3-D archery.

Last year, the contest drew 25 participants, and this year organizer Mike Springer hopes to attract 60-100 participants from across the state. The event features a novelty archery shoot, creative 3-D targets and a traditional and compound 3D course.

There will be cash prizes, as well as raffle prizes.

The cost to enter with a preregistration is $25 for adult individuals, $55 for three-person adult teams and $10 for youth individuals and $25 for a team. After May 20, the price for each individual or team entry goes up by $5. Registrations will also be accepted the day of the event.

For more information, contact Springer at 541-620-0676 or Les Percy at 541-620-0193 or email ccbhunters@gmail.com.

Springer said the bowhunters club plans to buy new targets and make range improvements with the proceeds.

“We have a lot of return shooters to this event,” he said. “Whether participants are in it for the competition or just out to have a good time, everyone enjoys this shoot.”

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Man dies in Seneca wreck http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/man-dies-in-seneca-wreck http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/man-dies-in-seneca-wreck#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 19:11:38 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529919 A 69-year-old Seneca man died in a single-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon.

At about 3 p.m., first responders were dispatched to a report of a vehicle crash in Seneca, and the driver, Gary Wilson Sawin, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a press release from Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer.

Sawin was the sole occupant in a black 1994 Toyota pickup that left the pavement at mile post 25C on Highway 395 and went airborne into a deep ditch, where it traveled 190 feet along the ditch line on its wheels until stopping with the engine still running, Palmer said.

A Seneca school employee observed the incident and found Sawin unconscious. Others stopped to help, and CPR was administered.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

“Sawin was wearing a seatbelt and there is no indication that alcohol or speed was a contributing factor into the crash,” Palmer said in the release. “It is believed that Sawin may have suffered some type of a medical episode that caused the loss of consciousness, prior to the crash.”

The vehicle was towed from the ditch and released to a family member.

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Goodwin indicted for sex crimes to person younger than 12 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/goodwin-indicted-for-sex-crimes-to-person-younger-than-12 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/goodwin-indicted-for-sex-crimes-to-person-younger-than-12#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 18:38:59 -0400 Sean Hart http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529920 William Allen Goodwin III was indicted on two sex crimes involving a minor Monday, May 23, and arrested Wednesday.

Goodwin, escorted by a jail deputy, appeared in Grant County Circuit Court Thursday.

Judge William D. Cramer Jr. set bail at $100,000 and said, if Goodwin was able to post bail, the release agreement would also include no contact with anyone under the age of 18.

The grand jury indictment accuses Goodwin of Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First Degree between March 1, 2015, and Oct. 1, 2015, in Grant County to a person younger than 12, a class A felony, and Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, a class B felony.

Deputy District Attorney Matt Ipson said both counts corresponded to one alleged victim.

Cramer set a plea hearing for 3 p.m. June 30.

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Hatley accused of pointing a firearm at another http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/hatley-accused-of-pointing-a-firearm-at-another http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/hatley-accused-of-pointing-a-firearm-at-another#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 18:38:56 -0400 Sean Hart http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529921 A Monument man is facing several misdemeanor charges, accused by the state of pointing a firearm at another.

According to a document filed in Grant County Circuit Court May 3 by Deputy District Attorney Matt Ipson, the state believes Casey Alan Hatley pointed a gun at Nickolaus Peter Devine on May 2 in Grant County.

The court document accuses Hatley of Menacing, a class A misdemeanor, Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree, a class B misdemeanor, and Pointing a Firearm at Another, a class U misdemeanor.

Hatley was arrested and booked into Grant County Jail May 2 and spent the night in custody.

He is scheduled to appear in Circuit Court at 4:30 p.m. June 9.

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Jail inmate accused of supplying contraband http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/jail-inmate-accused-of-supplying-contraband http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/jail-inmate-accused-of-supplying-contraband#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 18:38:54 -0400 Sean Hart http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529922 Robert Chandler pleaded not guilty Thursday, May 26, to a charge of supplying contraband while in the Grant County Jail.

Chandler, escorted by a jail deputy, appeared in Grant County Circuit Court Thursday, and his attorney, Robert Raschio, entered a not-guilty plea and requested a 12-person jury trial.

Judge William D. Cramer Jr. accepted the plea and set the one-day trial date as the first alternate for July 13 or the prime case Aug. 10. He said he would be willing to reconsider the prime date if Chandler was unable to appear due to work.

A grand jury indictment May 23 accused Chandler of one count of Supplying Contraband, a class C felony, for making, obtaining or possessing “Pruno, a beverage containing alcohol, while confined in Grant County Jail.”

According to the jail roster, Chandler was booked into the March 30 for a probation violation. His scheduled release date is July 23.

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Lobbying, campaign contributions give interests clout http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/bme/capital-bureau/20160526/lobbying-campaign-contributions-give-interests-clout http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/bme/capital-bureau/20160526/lobbying-campaign-contributions-give-interests-clout#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 17:19:52 -0400 Hillary BorrudCapital Bureau http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529923 SALEM — The day after Oregon’s primary election, Gov. Kate Brown stepped up to the podium at the opening of a software company’s new office in northwest Portland.

The company, Vitu, operates an electronic vehicle titling and registration system in California and last year won a state contract to expand into Oregon. That was exciting news for Brown, who joined executives from Vitu’s parent company Motor Vehicle Software Corporation to celebrate the office opening.

“I am so pleased to be here today to help open Vitu here in the city of Portland,” Brown said. “Their very innovative tools to modernize vehicle registration, I think, will be an essential service for Oregonians throughout the state.”

For the Motor Vehicle Software Corporation, the governor’s attendance at the office opening followed two years of investments in lobbying and political contributions in Oregon.

The Motor Vehicle Software Corporation reported spending $108,000 on lobbying in Oregon from 2014 through March, and contributed $107,500 to local and state politicians’ campaigns since 2013. This included $20,000 in contributions to Brown’s campaign, with the latest contribution in early May, according to state campaign finance records.

The combination of spending on lobbying and campaign contributions is common practice for many companies and interest groups in Oregon, which has no limits on the size of political contributions and expenditures. However, it is difficult for the public to track the connection because the state uses separate systems to record political campaign and lobbying spending. The state also does not require lobbyists to disclose if they play a role in raising political donations.

As for the Motor Vehicle Software Corporation’s spending, it is dwarfed by the millions invested by the state’s top lobbying and political spenders.

For example, the Oregon Nurses Association reported spending $2.3 million to lobby lawmakers and other state officials from 2007 through 2015. It was the second largest amount spent on lobbying by any private sector group during that time period, according to analysis of state records by the EO Media Group/Pamplin Media Group Capital Bureau. Since 2008, the nurses’ political action committee also contributed more than $1.5 million to a long list of state officials and lawmakers, including co-chairs of the Legislature’s budget writing Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

Kevin Mealy, a spokesman for the Oregon Nurses Association, said during this time period the group advocated for legislation that ultimately increased school nurse staffing and “improved staffing” at hospitals. “The nurses have always been patients’ most important advocates, and nurses don’t think that stops at the patient’s bedside,” Mealy said.

The private sector entity that spent the most on lobbying over the last nine years was Umatilla Electric Cooperative in Hermiston, at $2.7 million. The cooperative spent a much smaller amount — approximately $170,000 — on political donations since 2006, mostly to political action committees that contribute to individual state lawmakers’ campaigns.

Steve Meyers, member services administrator for the cooperative, declined to cite any specific legislation or outcome the cooperative hoped to achieve through its lobbying and political spending, and the state does not require entities to report that information.

“Umatilla Electric has long advocated for the interests of our 10,000 members and the surrounding region, on issues that include energy, salmon restoration, water conservation and rural economic development,” Meyers wrote in an email. “UEC will continue to advocate for our members and constituents on these important issues.”

Government agencies and associations were also among the top spenders on lobbying in recent years, but they cannot contribute to political campaigns.

Although some groups spend as much on lobbying as political donations, Dan Meek, a public interest attorney and co-chair of the Independent Party of Oregon, said he is more concerned about Oregon’s lack of campaign contribution limits.

“Lobbying expenses and reporting is overshadowed by campaign contributions,” Meek said. “I also think lobbyists are only as effective as the campaign contributions they can deliver.”

Meek also downplayed the importance of the software company contributing $20,000 to the governor’s campaign. “Twenty thousand dollars would be significant in another state,” Meek said. “In Oregon, it’s trivial.”

Liz Accola Meunier, a spokeswoman for Brown’s gubernatorial campaign, wrote in an email that the governor’s decision to speak at Vitu’s office opening was unrelated to the software provider’s campaign contribution.

Bill Cross, a lobbyist whose clients do not include the nurses, electric cooperative or software company, disagreed with Meek’s claim that delivering campaign contributions is a key measure of lobbyists’ success.

“Some of us I think are good lobbyists and we don’t have big PAC’s,” Cross said. “Money doesn’t drive everything, but I recognize it is a big factor. But I don’t think it’s necessarily the role of a lobbyist and a measure of success as to how much he can generate. Because in some cases your clients — it’s not going to be a realistic strategy they can use.”

As it turns out, vehicle electronic registration and titling is just the start of the services Vitu hopes to eventually provide in Oregon. The software company already provides software that allows governments to track transactions from vehicle sales to salvage, “so basically the birth to death of a car,” said John Brueggeman, Motor Vehicle Software Corporation’s Vitu Division president.

The company lobbied in the last couple of years for legislation to allow the Oregon DMV to accept more electronic transactions in the future. “We had a bill last year and the year before cleaning up some of this stuff,” Brueggeman said.

Brueggeman said the company has been lobbying Oregon lawmakers and officials in support of legislation that would allow the company to continue expending the services it offers.

“As we’re bringing these types of services into areas, a lot of times the law didn’t foresee what technology made possible,” Brueggeman said.

The Capital Bureau is a collaboration between EO Media Group and Pamplin Media Group.

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Dennie Harris http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Obituaries/20160526/dennie-harris http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Obituaries/20160526/dennie-harris#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 16:34:57 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529924 Dennie Harris, 69, of Mt. Vernon, died May 25 at Blue Mountain Hospital in John Day. There will be no services at this time.

Harris was born Dec. 6, 1946, in Eugene, to Dennie O. Harris and Rebecca (Slack) Harris. He graduated from Albany Union High School.

In 1966, he married Teresa (Averill) Harris in Albany. He was a laborer for the Duraflake Mill for 28 years, retiring in 1995.

He enjoyed hunting and was a boxing coach for 10 years.

Survivors include his wife, Teresa Harris of Mt. Vernon; daughter, Annette Sather of Tangent; son, Jeff Harris of Stayton; half-brother, Nathan Aazzerah of Gresham; and four grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Arrangements are under the care of Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845.

For condolences, visit www.driskillmemorialchapel.com.

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Unity school extends invitation to Portland students http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/unity-school-extends-invitation-to-portland-students http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/unity-school-extends-invitation-to-portland-students#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 15:50:49 -0400 Eric MortensonEO Media Group http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529928 A tiny Eastern Oregon school has an invitation for Portland high school students: Come stay with us for a semester and learn about ag and science.

The program, which will begin next school year with eight Portland girls visiting the first semester and eight Portland boys arriving for second semester, is a deliberate attempt to span the urban-rural divide. And Oregon does not get more rural than the Burnt River School in Unity, Ore., about 50 miles east of John Day.

The Burnt River School District has a single building, a K-12 charter school. In the 2015-16 school year — they’re already out for the summer — the district had 34 students. Fielding an eight-man football team last fall required an allegiance with Prairie City School. Cattle ranching is the primary way to make a living in the area.

District Superintendent Lorrie Andrews also serves as school principal, teaches personal finance and careers, helps seniors with their portfolios and advises the yearbook kids. She’s been there 30 years. “Time for me to go, huh?” she jokes.

She’s been working on Burnt River’s invitation to Portland for a couple of years, with noteworthy help from state Rep. Greg Smith, a Republican from Heppner, state Rep. Cliff Bentz, a Republican from Ontario, and Baker County Commissioner Mark Bennett. Now they are ready to try it.

“It is something we’ve thought a lot about,” Andrews said. Burnt River has a “great school and an excellent staff,” she said, but the district’s enrollment has declined for several years. Twenty-eight of the school’s 34 students are high school age.

“We were just thinking we need to think outside the box, so to speak,” Andrews said.

Over the May 21-22 weekend, Portland Public Schools sent an email to its high school families, telling them of the opportunity to take part in the Burnt River Integrated Agriculture/Science Research Ranch program, or BRIARR.

On Monday, May 23, Andrews responded to 23 emails about the program. A bunch more arrived Tuesday.

Portland students will get a semester of hands-on learning in what Burnt River describes as a “variety of natural resource settings.” They’ll learn about animal production science, sustainable rangeland science and forest restoration studies, and do water quality monitoring with the Powder Basin Watershed Council.

She said it made sense to extend the invitation to Portland, by far the state’s largest urban center. The city has more than 49,000 students in 78 schools, including 10 high schools.

“We were thinking there probably are students out there who would enjoy a rural experience and a small school experience at the same time,” Andrews said. “I think it’s a way to bridge that divide. I think there are a lot of misconceptions in both directions. I think we can all learn from one another. Kids are usually open to that.”

Attracting more students helps the district’s budget. The Oregon Department of Education pays school districts a standard per-student amount of $7,100, and that funding will follow the Portland students to Burnt River School. The students will be hosted by local parents, but the details haven’t been finalized.

Andrews said the district is engaged in a number of alternative ways to stay viable. The school became a charter school so it could offer “distance learning,” and attract students outside the district who attend class by Skype, the on-line system. The district also has successfully hosted a number of foreign exchange students over the years, Andrews said.

Burnt River partners with other institutions. Blue Mountain Community College, in Pendleton, put on a short-term welding class for Burnt River kids. Welding, GPS use and small engine maintenance will be offered as mini-courses next year, and Andrews hopes to have a mobile livestock artificial insemination lab visit the school. She’s talking to Treasure Valley Community College about an equine science unit.

Students can take college credit courses, and the district pays for it, she said.

“It’s important,” Andrews said. “It’s a priority for the school board to have students prepared to go on, even though we’re so rural.”

The district will interview applicants in June, looking for students who will be the right fit for Unity, population 75.

“If it’s important to you to spend a lot of time at the shopping mall or the movies, this isn’t the place for you,” Andrews said. “Because that’s not where we are.”

Application forms and a brochure are available on the district’s website: http://burntriver.k12.or.us/home

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EOU named to ‘best of’ online lists http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/eou-named-to-best-of-online-lists http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/eou-named-to-best-of-online-lists#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 16:01:02 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529925 LA GRANDE — Three independent ranking sources for students looking to complete their college degree online have named Eastern Oregon University to their “best of” lists for 2016.

EOU appears second on the list of 50 best online bachelor’s in education published by College Choice; fourth on the roster of 50 best online liberal arts colleges for bachelor’s degrees released by The Best Schools; and is in the top seven schools, along with Penn State and Purdue, reviewed by College Values Online for affordable online economics degrees.

“These rankings spotlight what we believe are the strengths of our online programs — high academic quality, flexibility and curriculum keyed to our students’ career plans and success,” said Donald Wolff, EOU’s interim vice provost for Academic Affairs.

Each site’s ranking system is weighted slightly different, with College Choice looking at projected earnings for graduates and The Best Schools basing their selection on quality and types of programs offered, faculty strengths, school awards, rankings and reputation. Similarly, College Values Online factors in academic excellence, course offerings, faculty strengths and reputation.

To learn more about Eastern Oregon University’s online programs, visit eou.edu.

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Forest Service to sell home in Ukiah http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/forest-service-to-sell-home-in-ukiah http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/forest-service-to-sell-home-in-ukiah#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 15:59:05 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529926 UKIAH — The U.S. Forest Service will conduct a sealed bid, followed by an oral auction, to sell a residential home owned by the Umatilla National Forest at 301 E. Waid St. in Ukiah.

The bidding process is open to the public, and sealed bids will be accepted through Monday, June 27.

Sealed bids will be opened at 10 a.m. June 28, followed by an oral auction at the North Fork John Day Ranger Station in Ukiah. The minimum suggested bid is $25,000, with a bid deposit of $2,000. Two open houses will also be held June 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The house was built in 1933 and served as the original Ukiah Ranger District Office. Most recently, it was used for permanent and temporary housing for forest employees. The house has been empty for 10 years.

More information about the house is available online at fs.usda.gov/umatilla, or by calling Karen Gamble at 541-523-1245 or Laura Livingston at 541-523-1230.

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Walden: Economic help on the way http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/walden-economic-help-on-the-way http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160526/walden-economic-help-on-the-way#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 15:57:44 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529927 U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) announced 13 counties in Oregon’s Second Congressional District will receive job creation assistance in an effort to diversify and strengthen the local economy.

The 13 counties include: Grant, Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla and Wheeler. The region served by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is also receiving assistance.

“With this assistance, counties will be able to better coordinate to attract private investment to our region,” Walden said. “This is good news for efforts to grow jobs and strengthen the economy in central and eastern Oregon and the Columbia Gorge.”

The federal Economic Development Agency awarded the assistance to the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, the Greater Eastern Oregon Development Cooperation, the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

For more information, call the EDA at 202-482-2900.

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Al fine: Music teacher Mary Ann Vidourek closes 25-year career http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160526/al-fine-music-teacher-mary-ann-vidourek-closes-25-year-career http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160526/al-fine-music-teacher-mary-ann-vidourek-closes-25-year-career#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 15:03:21 -0400 Angel Carpenter http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529929 JOHN DAY — Grant Union Junior-Senior High School choir members serenaded their director Mary Ann Vidourek, “Mrs. V,” on Tuesday, May 24, during the final district band and choir concert.

It was a grand finale for Vidourek as she plans to retire at the close of the school year, after 25 years of teaching.

Vidourek taught for nine years at Seneca School, John Day Junior High and Mt. Vernon School; 11 years at Grant Union High School and Mt. Vernon Middle School; and five years at Humbolt Elementary and Grant Union Junior-Senior High School.

She had planned to be a sixth-grade teacher, majoring in elementary education with a minor in music education at Ohio State. She fell into music education when she moved to Grant County.

Starting out as a substitute teacher in the District, she was asked to fill in as conductor of the Christmas concert when music teacher Al Olson fell ill. Vidourek said he told the principal of John Day Junior High she was “the only person who could pull it off.”

Later, when Dr. Ed Carwithen retired as the high school band and choir teacher, Vidourek, who had by then earned a master’s in music education, took on that role as well.

Currently, Vidourek directs the Grant Union junior and senior bands, the Grant Union 7-12 combined choir, the Humbolt 3-6 choir and the Humbolt sixth-grade band.

Her students have performed at various state competitions and jubilees; Disneyland in Anaheim, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle; and in Europe through the Oregon Ambassadors of Music program.

Vidourek said she and her husband plan to move to Redmond to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

She also plans to continue some of her current music pursuits, staying on as a staff member for the Western International Band Clinic as a facilitator for the honor band, housing chair for the Oregon All-State competition and music staff for the Oregon Ambassadors of Music program.

When asked what she’s enjoyed most about teaching music, she recalled her choir students singing “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran during the district concert.

The students rehearsed the song on their own time — without their teacher’s knowledge — with eighth-grader Samantha Floyd accompanying on piano.

“To know that you can give them the tools to become musicians, and they can take those tools and make music” is what she enjoys most, she said. “When they learn music, that is something they have for the rest of their lives. It’s a lifelong skill.”

Vidourek herself learned music at a young age. She was in eighth grade when she became the organist at her church, and she also learned piano, accordion and guitar at that time.

“My mother is 88 years old, and gives 25 piano lessons a week,” Vidourek said. “It helps keep your brain healthy and active.”

She said when her Grant Union choir had a fundraiser, offering singing Valentine’s, they visited an assisted living center where an elderly man, who was ill, requested a song he found consoling.

“It’s about being human,” she said. “If people would share more music, there would be less conflict in life. It teaches students to work together for a goal.”

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Academic Report http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160526/academic-report/1 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160526/academic-report/1#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 14:16:39 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529930 Emmalee Hettinga, who is set to graduate this year from Dayville High School, is among those who have been named Ford Scholars by the Ford Family Foundation.

The list includes 106 students from Oregon and 14 from Siskiyou County in California.

Hettinga plans to attend Pacific University in Forest Grove in the fall.

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Academic Report http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160526/academic-report http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160526/academic-report#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 14:14:49 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529931 Ashley Metcalf, a student at Valley City State University in Valley City, North Dakota, has been awarded three scholarships: the Steve Welken Scholarship by the Welken family, the Jim and Meryl O’Connell Scholarship by the math department and the Hazel McBride Scholarship by the school of education and graduate studies.

Metcalf is a senior pursuing majors in mathematics education and Spanish education, with a minor in teaching English language learners. She is the daughter of Kristine Metcalf of Seneca.

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Anonymous woman pays for Valley View residents’ lunch at Squeeze In http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160526/anonymous-woman-pays-for-valley-view-residents-lunch-at-squeeze-in http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160526/anonymous-woman-pays-for-valley-view-residents-lunch-at-squeeze-in#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 12:45:51 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529932

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Eagle on Vacation http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160526/eagle-on-vacation http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160526/eagle-on-vacation#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 09:35:45 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529934

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William I. March Jr. http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Obituaries/20160526/william-i-march-jr http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Obituaries/20160526/william-i-march-jr#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 09:36:18 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529933 William “Bill” March Jr., 77, died March 6 at his Ritter home. There will be no services.

March was born June 9, 1938, to William March Sr. and Evelyn (Williams) March in Dunsmuir, Calif. In his younger years, he ran an Arctic Circle restaurant in Medford with friends Mel McDanials and Hank Davies. He often enjoyed talking about that time.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Marines.

He was content living among wildlife and enjoyed a scenic view from his home near Deep Canyon in Ritter.

His hobbies included hunting, wood carving and visiting with longtime friends on topics such as how to keep old vehicles running long after they are no longer manufactured.

He was preceded in death by his mother, and more recently, his cousin, Jim Dychoff of Long Creek.

Arrangements are under the care of Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day.

For condolences, visit www.driskillmemorialchapel.com.

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County Court minutes 05-18-16 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/County_Minutes/20160526/county-court-minutes-05-18-16 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/County_Minutes/20160526/county-court-minutes-05-18-16#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 09:31:57 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529935 IN THE COUNTY COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF GRANT

Access the County Court Agenda and approved Minutes on the Commissioner’s page at www.gcoregonlive2.com

May 18, 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, Linda Gingrich, Jim Sproul, John Morris, Logan Bagett, Judy Kerr, Mike Cosgrove, Vickie Thompson, and Pastor Wes Aasness. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Aasness.

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS. Judge Myers said he picked up ballot boxes in Mt. Vernon last night. Next Tuesday he will attend a Ragged Ruby open house at the airport and on the 23rd he will attend a court security meeting in the county courtroom. Myers will perform a wedding here on Friday and tomorrow will be attending a harassment training conducted by the county’s insurer (CIS). Myers announced Haley Walker was hired as the new airport manager and said Walker has a history with Horizon Air and Cabela’s and has a wealth of airport and management experience. Walker will start for the airport on May 26th.

Commissioner Labhart reported he attended the Oregon Food Bank Taskforce meeting at the fairgrounds and the Grant County Stock Growers meeting at Keerins Hall on May 12th. On Tuesday, May 17th, he participated in an Air Service Development Taskforce meeting in Baker City via telephone. Today Labhart will be attending a Local Community Advisory Council meeting at ESD and on Monday, May 23rd he will be participating in a Community Health Needs Assessment survey at Blue Mountain Hospital.

9:13 am Patrick Bentz entered.

Commissioner Britton advised he still talks to Doug Ferguson about the large flood project frequently. Britton said Monte Grove is the Region 5 ODOT area manager and he will be stepping down. Britton stated he and Ferguson advocated for Craig Sipp to be hired in this position and he was. Britton reported GEODC has re-hired Judy Moore (former director) as an employee, but Britton thinks Susan Christenson will probably remain the director.

Labhart said Doug Ferguson was selected to serve on the State Aviation Board.

Myers added the paving at the fairgrounds is mostly done. Britton believes the public is going to be very happy with the project.

MINUTES. MSP: Britton/Labhart -- to approve the May 11th minutes as amended.

AIRPORT SIGN. Airport Manager Patrick Bentz informed the court the airport did not receive the grant from the Chamber of Commerce for a stone airport entrance sign. Bentz said the Chamber declined because they didn’t feel the sign would be a tourism benefit to the county. Bentz advised the airport budget has money available to fund the sign because the electric entry gate is going to be less than expected and the forest service will be splitting the cost with the airport. The estimate for the sign is $2500. Bentz advised the airport commission wants this sign to happen and have been pushing him to get it done. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to allow Bentz to move forward with procuring bids for the sign. Britton suggested contacting Cody Jesse in Prineville and Doug Hudson here for possible bids as well.

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE. Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett had presented two requests to the court. The first is for a larger window unit air conditioner for the reception office in Justice Court. The current air conditioner is too small to cool such a large area, but could be repurposed to a smaller office in the building. Myers stated he authorized Stinnett to purchase a replacement air conditioner a couple of weeks ago for one that failed and it also needs to be approved. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the purchase of two window air conditioner units in the amount of $349.99 each paid from general capital outlay. The second item is to purchase a 48 inch television to be mounted on the wall in the courtroom. Stinnett currently has money in the capital improvement fund in her 2015-16 budget to cover this expense. Stinnett’s current budget was for a 32 inch television, but she has been advised a larger television should be placed in the room. Treasurer Kathy Smith said Stinnett had budgeted for some items she is not going to be purchasing so there is extra money available in her budget. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the purchase and installation of a 48 inch television in the justice courtroom in an amount not to exceed $600 paid from Justice of the Peace capital outlay.

FERGUSON SURVEYING INVOICES. The court members discussed two invoices received from Ferguson Surveying & Engineering for work conducted on the potential large flood project. Smith asked if any court members knew if this would be the last bill received from Ferguson. Myers stated he wasn’t sure. Smith said this could be paid out of the general-other line. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to authorize payment of invoice #3516 in the amount of $950.00 and payment of invoice #3517 in the amount of $2,100.00 from general-other line.

ASSESSOR’S OFFICE IGA #3519-16. Assessor Karen Officer presented an intergovernmental contract to the court. IGA Contract #3519-16 is an annual contract for the state to provide map maintenance in the assessor’s office. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve IGA Contract #3519-16 and circulate for signatures.

FAIRGROUNDS PRINTER. Fair Manager Mary Weaver requested approval to purchase a new printer for the fairgrounds and to pay for it out of the fairgrounds capital outlay budget line item. This is a replacement for a printer that failed. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve purchase of the new printer in the amount of $370.38 to be paid out of fairgrounds capital outlay.

RESOLUTION 16-16. Treasurer Kathy Smith prepared Resolution 16-16 which transfers funds in the amount of $300.00 from materials & services into capital outlay equipment for the purchase of the new printer for the fairgrounds. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve Resolution 16-16 and circulate for signatures.

EXTENSION & 4H DISTRICT COPIER LEASE AGREEMENT. Carol Waggoner sent a lease agreement for a new copier for the Extension & 4H District to the court for review and approval. The rate for the new copier will be $194.27 per month for a 60 month term. Britton would like Judge Myers to follow up with the extension office to confirm if the lease includes maintenance. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the lease agreement for the copier and circulate for signatures.

9:46 am Zach Williams entered.

GEOGRAPHIC NAMES BOARD LETTER. The court members reviewed another proposed letter to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names again requesting Grant County have input on what names are being implemented for sites within Grant County. Britton reported the letter is to remind the USBGN of their own policies, to give up on attempting to retain the name “Squaw”, and asking the USBGN to accept alternate names. This letter will be sent to all USBGN board members along with the Secretary of the Interior and Inspector General. Britton advised a few typo’s need to be changed in the letter and it needs to be placed on county letterhead before being sent out. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the letter to USBGN and circulate for signatures once the edits are made.

COUNTY CLERK. Clerk Brenda Percy advised the court and those in attendance that when our internet service went down yesterday ESD went above and beyond to work around the problem and get internet back for her so she could conduct her election. She wanted the court to know she truly appreciated ESD’s efforts.

VOLUNTEER APPLICATION. Jan Ensign sent a volunteer application to the court to service on the Senior Citizens Advisory Council. There is currently one vacant position on this council with a term expiring on June 30, 2017. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to appoint Jan Ensign to serve on the Senior Citizens Advisory Council with a term expiring on June 30, 2017.

PUBLIC COMMENT. John Morris said he received a paper on Saturday and wants to know if the county court has had any input on BLM draft impact #2. Myers advised there is a telephone call scheduled that he will be sitting in on that is supposed to clarify the impact on the county. Morris stated there are some very significant changes being proposed and has a lot of potential to affect the county. Commissioner Labhart will contact AOC to find out what their stance is on this issue. Morris would like to see things like this reported in the local paper and feels a lot of citizens don’t know what is going on.

Jim Sproul is very concerned the BLM is going to shorten the comment period.

10:05 am -- Adjourned

Respectfully Submitted,

Laurie Wright

Administrative Assistant

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Honor Roll: Grant Union Junior-Senior High School — third quarter http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160526/honor-roll-grant-union-junior-senior-high-school-x2014-third-quarter http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20160526/honor-roll-grant-union-junior-senior-high-school-x2014-third-quarter#Comments Thu, 26 May 2016 09:04:26 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160529936 GPA 4.00

Grade 12: Dawson Quinton and Katie Shockley.

Grade 11: Hailey Carter and Jessica Carter.

Grade 10: Kori Pentzer, Annie Wall and Fallon Weaver.

Grade 9: Danielle Goldblatt and McKelly Miller.

Grade 8: Gage Brandon, Jonathan Desjardin, Drew Lusco, Kellen Shelley and Madalyn Way.

Grade 7: Jordan Hall.

GPA 3.50-3.99

Grade 12: Mackenzie Woodcock.

Grade 11: Rose Allen, Sam Bentz and Reitta Wyllie.

Grade 10: Maggie Justice, Reagan Shelley, Duane Stokes, Zack Deiter, Samantha Badia, Jay Goldblatt, Whitney McClellan and Mariah Moulton.

Grade 9: Madison McKrola, Lauryn Amick, Victoria Coalwell, Kori Jo Girvin, Celine Hicks, Cynthia Allen and Aiden Broemeling.

Grade 8: Taylor Allen, Samantha Floyd, Emily Springer, Fallen Bolman, Taylor Hunt, Warner Robertson, Tiler Voigt, Makenna Culley, Cinch Anderson, Samantha Buckhaults, Erika Dickens and Donavan Smith.

Grade 7: Kenna Combs, Abigail Lusco, Devon Stokes, Rhea Mead, Peyton Neault, Kaia Allen and Bladen Burril.

GPA 3.00-3.49

Grade 12: Taylor McCluskey, Meisha Meyerholz, Mariah Boyd, Mariah Gibson, Jocelynn Smith, Avery Lenz, Meghan Rider, Wyatt Weaver, McKenzie Wilson and Jaiden Kerr.

Grade 11: Natalie Stearns, McKenzie Nielson, Nick Springer, Rebecca Batease, Mickayla Coalwell, Chelsie Kodesh, Dauna Bishop and Declan Jensen.

Grade 10: Jesse Paulson, Diamond Workman, Mariah Wright, Tegan Wright, Jennifer McCormick, Cameron Hallgarth and Hunter Martin.

Grade 9: Kade Blood, Cody Combs, Andrea Comer, Kaylee Wright, Sydney Brockway, Danielle Girvin, Trinity Hutchison, Braden Spencer, Hailie Wright, Tiana Allen, Nicole Jones, Jacob Vaughan, Deja Amsden, Roen Langum, Avaley Mortimore and Savanna Randleas.

Grade 8: Emilie Updegrave, Sarah Barker, Rylee Browning, Sierra Cates, Shanniyah Hall, Ellie Justice, Angelo Towers, Kaden Madden, Megan McManama, Tyler Blood, Kohlten Jones, Shaine Madden and Angel Olivera Sanchez.

Grade 7: Quaid Brandon, Matthew Musgrove, Clara Carr, Christian Glimpse, Eithen Hatfield, Leah Comer, Jesaka Culley, Quinten Hallgarth, Taylor Osgood, Paige Pentzer, Jordyn Young, Kevin Duvall and Averie Wenger.

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