Blue Mountain Eagle | http://www.bluemountaineagle.com Blue Mountain Eagle Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:17:17 -0400 en http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/staticimage/images/rss-logo.jpg Blue Mountain Eagle | http://www.bluemountaineagle.com ODFW shoots two more Pine Creek wolves http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180418/odfw-shoots-two-more-pine-creek-wolves http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180418/odfw-shoots-two-more-pine-creek-wolves#Comments Wed, 18 Apr 2018 14:17:53 -0400 GEORGE PLAVENCapital Press http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419899 HALFWAY, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shot two more wolves from the Pine Creek pack Wednesday morning in Baker County, following the latest in a string of attacks on livestock.

The most recent depredations were confirmed Sunday, April 15 and Monday, April 16 at Pine Creek Ranch in Halfway, Ore. The pack has now preyed on livestock five times in April, killing four calves and injuring another six at two different ranches roughly 5-6 miles apart.

The spate of incidents prompted the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association to ask ODFW to kill more wolves from the Pine Creek pack to prevent further livestock losses.

“The wolves are being seen on the valley floor, and that’s what’s really disconcerting folks,” said George Rollins, a Baker County rancher and co-chairman of the OCA wolf committee for Eastern Oregon. “So many people have seen them now, it’s like daily sightings.”

ODFW quickly followed through with the request, shooting an uncollared yearling female and adult male from a helicopter as the wolves were spotted on private land where the latest depredations occurred. Wildlife officials previously shot one yearling female from the Pine Creek pack on April 10 as part of a separate lethal take permit.

OCA had asked to kill all wolves in the Pine Creek pack, with Rollins stating that incremental take has not proven effective in changing the animals’ behavior.

“They just keep coming back,” he said. “They are not following the herds of elk that are on the low hills area.”

Earlier this year, University of Wisconsin researchers released a study suggesting that government killing of wolves may benefit one farmer or rancher, but by fracturing the pack it could actually increase the risk of predation at neighboring farms up to three miles away.

In this case, ODFW authorized killing two wolves from the Pine Creek pack after back-to-back attacks on private land leased by rancher Chad DelCurto. Nine days later, the pack began preying on livestock again at Pine Creek Ranch, about 5-6 miles away.

Environmental groups are staunchly opposed to killing any wolves in Oregon, arguing the population is still too small and fragile. ODFW recently reported there were at least 124 wolves statewide at the end of 2017, an 11 percent increase over 2016.

Conservationists also point to four cases of wolves that were illegally killed in 2017. Out of 13 total wolf deaths throughout the year, 12 were human-caused.

Under Phase III of the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, ODFW can authorize killing wolves that make a habit of preying on livestock in Eastern Oregon. The species remains federally protected west of highways 395, 78 and 95.

Local ranchers had been using non-lethal deterrents, according to ODFW, including burying bone piles, removing dead cows, patrolling cattle from daylight to darkness and moving the animals off of pastures where the latest wolf attacks occurred.

“It’s really disrupting (ranchers’) schedules, both for turning cattle out and getting spring work done,” Rollins said.

Jerome Rosa, executive director for the OCA, said incremental take of wolves will not solve the problems ranchers face, and actually leads to packs becoming more aggressive.

“It’s a no-win situation,” Rosa said.

The Pine Creek pack now includes five known wolves — after the three that were shot — occupying territory mostly south of the Imnaha River and east of Halfway to the Idaho state line. In 2017, the pack produced at least five pups that survived to the end of the year.

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Quarter pound of meth found in man’s car http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180418/quarter-pound-of-meth-found-in-mans-car http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180418/quarter-pound-of-meth-found-in-mans-car#Comments Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:13:10 -0400 Richard Hanners http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419900 A John Day man has been charged with two felony drug charges following a traffic stop on Highway 395 north of Mt. Vernon and a search of his vehicle that turned up a large quantity of methamphetamine.

Mathew Walker was charged with possession of methamphetamine (commercial offense) and delivery of a controlled substance (methamphetamine). He was also charged with violating his probation and is being held in Grant County Jail.

According to a press release by Grant County Undersheriff Zach Mobley, Oregon State Police stopped Walker’s vehicle for a traffic violation April 16 and Walker, who was driving, was arrested for probation violations stemming from the stop.

The vehicle was seized and a drug canine from OSP was deployed. The dog alerted to the presence of a controlled substance, and the Grant County Interagency Narcotics Team served a search warrant on the vehicle.

“During the search of the vehicle, methamphetamine paraphernalia and about a quarter pound of methamphetamine was seized from the vehicle,” Mobley said.

The narcotics team estimated the street value of the seized methamphetamine at about $12,900.

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Small cities’ building permit programs face uncertainty http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/bme/capital-bureau/20180417/small-cities-building-permit-programs-face-uncertainty http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/bme/capital-bureau/20180417/small-cities-building-permit-programs-face-uncertainty#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 22:08:01 -0400 PARIS ACHENCapital Bureau http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419901 SALEM — Amid a statewide housing shortage, the building permit programs of 25 small municipalities could be in jeopardy following a recent state Department of Justice opinion that using private-sector consultants to oversee plan reviews and building inspections may violate state law.

The opinion included in a February DOJ memorandum could result in new restrictions on small jurisdictions and require them to have building officials on staff, city officials said.

Small counties and cities, such as the rural city of Aurora, with a population less than 1,000, don’t have the resources to hire a building official. Instead, those local governments rely on third-party contractors to provide building review services for them.

“This is going to raise costs in a huge way because we can’t cover these costs with our current funding,” said Aurora Mayor Bill Graupp. “It will raise costs in housing especially in rural Oregon. Low-cost, low-income housing is hit the worst, which is what we are trying to work on in rural Oregon, and this is a huge spike in the heart for us.”

Relying entirely on third parties to conduct a city’s building program violates several state laws, according to the memo by Katherine Lozano, assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s Business Activities Section. The state Building Codes Division within the Department of Consumer and Business Services is the agency responsible for delegating the state’s authority to approve building plans to cities and counties. Approving local building programs that rely entirely on third party consultants would be unconstitutional. It is legal for cities and counties to use such third-party services when the contractors are under the supervision of a building official, Lozano wrote.

Some city officials said they have heard that the Building Codes Division in the Department of Consumer and Business Services plans to make rules to clarify restrictions on the use of third-party building plan reviewers and inspectors.

“We were told that we will need to modify our building codes inspection program sometime by end of the year,” Graupp said. “We were told that notices would be going out soon.”

Mark Peterson, a DCBS spokesman, said Tuesday, April 17, he could “not speak” to whether the agency plans to issue rules or notices to cities about their building programs.

Officials with DCBS have taken the legal opinion “under advisement,” Peterson said in an email to the Pamplin/EO Media Group.

“We would have to contract with the county or state, and that is increase in cost, and the state and county programs are not prepared to handle all of the cities that would need to come in,” Graupp said. “The other alternative is to hire a permitting inspector to do not that much work.”

‘Fix what works’

Legislation earlier this year, House Bill 4086, sought to address the dilemma by allowing a regional council of governments to hire a building official, which cities could share to supervise their building programs and third-party reviewers and inspectors. The bill passed the House 33-23 Feb. 23 but came to naught in the Senate.

Even that solution presented problems for small jurisdictions, according to Michael Weston II, city manager of King City, who wrote a letter to lawmakers in opposition to the bill. King City in Washington County has a population of about 3,000 and relies entirely on contractors to administer its building program.

“A full-time or even a part-time building official is an unnecessary six-figure expense or nearly a fifth of our budget,” Weston wrote.

Greg Hinkelman, city manager of Clatskanie, said he would like lawmakers to pass legislation next year that allows cities to use third-party contractors to review and inspect plans. “The thing that worries me about the DOJ opinion is that it might be turned into rules and an edict that we have to have a building codes official on staff,” Hinkelman said. “For small cities, this is devastating. If the state of Oregon is forcing small jurisdictions to hire people for things where we typically contract services out, where does this end? Does it mean I can’t use a contract employee as city attorney or a city planner? Does it have to be staff?

“We’ve got a system that works and now someone saying ‘let’s fix what works and it doesn’t have to be this way,’ ” he added.

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IRS glitch gives Oregon tax filers an extra day to file http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/bme/capital-bureau/20180417/irs-glitch-gives-oregon-tax-filers-an-extra-day-to-file http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/bme/capital-bureau/20180417/irs-glitch-gives-oregon-tax-filers-an-extra-day-to-file#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 20:27:35 -0400 CLAIRE WITHYCOMBECapital Bureau http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419902 SALEM — You can submit your 2017 state and federal taxes without being penalized until midnight Wednesday, April 18.

Tax day 2018 dawned with a technical glitch at the Internal Revenue Service, and ended with the federal government pushing Tuesday’s filing deadline back by 24 hours. The state has also pushed back its filing deadline by 24 hours.

Oregon’s Department of Revenue says the problem, which prevented the IRS from accept electronic returns from popular tax preparation services TurboTax and H&R Block, shouldn’t translate into significant delays for the department’s tax season work. Those services submit both federal and state tax returns to the IRS, which in turn sends states their file submissions, according to Derrick Gasperini, a spokesman for the state revenue department.

While the system was down on Tuesday, April 17, the revenue department was encouraging taxpayers using TurboTax or H&R Block to file their tax returns anyway because the tax preparation companies held the information until the IRS could accept them.

It also shouldn’t affect when you get your refund. “Since this was resolved in a day, it should not impact the schedule for taxpayers to get their refunds,” Gasperini said in an email to the EO/Pamplin Capital Bureau.

You can check the status of your refund at http://www.oregon.gov/DOR, by clicking the “Where’s My Refund?” button.

Appreciating everyone’s patience

Nationwide, about 5 million people were expected to file their taxes on Tuesday. On Tax Day last year — April 18, 2017 — the state received about 68,000 2016 tax returns; the day before the due date, about 54,000.

Acting IRS Commissioner David J. Kautter apologized on behalf of the agency late Tuesday. “This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers,” Kautter said in a statement. “The IRS appreciates everyone’s patience during this period. The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation.”

The agency said Tuesday that the cause was likely a hardware issue.

On Tuesday morning, Oregon’s senior U.S. senator, Democrat Ron Wyden, criticized what he says is a lack of funding from Congress for the nation’s tax collecting agency. “While we don’t yet know what has caused this systems failure, the lack of Republican funding for the IRS to serve taxpayers will only compound the issue,” Wyden said in a statement. “Americans should not be punished for being unable to file their tax returns or pay their tax bills today.”

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Election 2018: Five vie for county commissioner http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/election-2018-five-vie-for-county-commissioner http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/election-2018-five-vie-for-county-commissioner#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:54:58 -0400 Richard Hanners http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419903 Editor’s note: This link contains all five articles about each of the candidates for Grant County commissioner in alphabetical order. Links to the individual articles are also available at the end. Candidate Dave Rose withdrew from the election.

Commissioner candidate Richie Colbeth, 79, John Day, grew up in New Jersey and retired from the Air Force as a non-commissioned officer in charge of administration and personal affairs after 20 years in the service. He’s worked as a school bus trainer, a union representative, an airport security screener and a paralegal.

Colbeth moved to John Day about 10 years ago and currently owns and operates John Day Taxi. He has degrees in administration, electronics and theology and hosted the “Cowboy Chapel Chaplain Richie” radio show on KJDY for seven years.

He’s served on numerous boards and committees, including the John Day Budget Committee, Republican Precinct Committee, Senior Citizen Advisory Board and a local ministerial association. He’s volunteered at the Grant County Historical Museum, the Grant County Ranch and Rodeo Museum, Grant County Hospice and the Grant County Chamber of Commerce.

“I’ve been a very busy boy,” he said.

One of Colbeth’s top concerns is the kind of proposals coming from John Day City Manager Nick Green. He wanted to know who will pick the vegetables in the city’s “greenhouse on a swamp.”

Providing broadband internet to the county is not an important issue, he said. He said he’s happy with the fiber optic cable Ortelco ran to his house on Seventh Street.

When asked about whether 911 dispatch should be kept local or outsourced to Frontier Regional 911, Colbeth replied, “Send it to Condon.” Maintaining dispatchers with local knowledge is not important, but keeping costs down is, he said.

Colbeth opposed the idea of establishing a natural resource adviser position to advise the Grant County Court. In addition to costing money, the position would likely become political.

“I don’t like it,” he said. “Environmentalists would end up steering it.”

His vision for the future is to grow the timber industry, which would benefit the entire economy and help reduce fire dangers.

“Let the loggers loose,” he said.

He also opposes legalizing marijuana, which alters people’s minds, and he wants more security at school entrances, but no armed guards inside.

“I’m the most qualified because I have the most eclectic experience,” he said.

Commissioner candidate Tanner Elliott, 18, John Day, is a junior at Grant Union Junior-Senior High School and serves on the county’s Planning Commission and 4-H Advisory Council.

He was elected freshman and sophomore class presidents and is the current vice president of the high school’s Associate Student Body. He is a 4-H county ambassador and member of the Future Business Leaders of America program. He has worked in lawn maintenance and as a lifeguard.

The big issue facing Grant County is the economy, Elliott said.

“We’re going the wrong direction and lack leadership,” he said. “While the U.S. economy is booming, ours is shutting down.”

The county needs more job diversity and a better education system. When people consider moving to Grant County, they look at schools, health care, opportunities for work and cultural or recreational amenities, he said.

Elliott said he opposes a government-owned broadband network because it will lead to higher prices and poorer service. He cited similar networks that failed in Burlington, Vermont, and Provo, Utah. Private companies should provide broadband, if at all, he said.

“We don’t have the economy here to support broadband,” Elliott said. “We don’t need it to survive. It’s not a top priority.”

Elliott said he’d prefer to keep 911 dispatch local, but if the county can’t afford to do that, then it should accept the offer from Frontier Regional 911 for contracted services. He also said he’d like to see the county’s natural resource adviser position filled.

“It would be good to have an expert to advise the county court on minerals, timber, grazing and water,” he said.

Elliott didn’t believe the position was a political issue.

“We have a ton of natural resources here, and we need to put them to use,” he said, adding that he wanted to see them used properly.

Elliott’s vision for the county is to bring back another timber mill, which would lead to bigger schools, more jobs and more competition between existing businesses. He said he supports the Initiative 12-71 to legalize recreational marijuana in Grant County because it will create jobs and provide tax revenue to the local community.

He believes he can be an asset to the county court.

“I have youth, idealism and fresh ideas,” he said. “I’m self-funded and not owned by anyone. And I have no self-interest conflicts.”

Commissioner candidate Gordon Larson, 54, Canyon City, grew up on a dairy farm in Scappoose. He was in the National Guard when he was recruited by the Oregon State Police in 1987.

Larson retired from OSP in 2014 after serving on a gang strike force and a multi-state drug task force, as the outpost commander in John Day and as a regional commander based in La Grande.

He served on the Grant School District 3 board for 12 years, 10 years as chairman. He now runs a ranch south of Canyon City.

The foremost issue facing the county is economic decline, but positive trends can be found in recent state statistics, he said. The divided community is also a major issue.

“It’s been slow to heal following the Canyon Creek Complex fire,” he said. “Neighbors no longer wave to neighbors. People view each other through a political prism rather than if they are good neighbors.”

Larson supports the county court’s decision to join the Grant County Digital Network Coalition, which is one piece in a larger solution to an ailing economy. As for the government’s role in the broadband project, he compared it to the Pony Express, interstate highways and rural electrification.

Noting his lengthy experience with emergency dispatch, Larson said he supports keeping 911 dispatch local and not outsourcing it to Frontier Regional 911.

“Seconds matter,” he said. “It’s critical to have local dispatchers providing this service.”

He was optimistic that the dedicated first responders at a recent 911 User Board meeting, which he attended, will resolve the dispatch question.

Larson sees merit in creating a natural resource adviser position with the county, comparing it to the county court providing funding for a federal animal damage control agent. He said it’s critical the adviser does not make policy or speak for the court, but he saw benefits coming from a well-trained and well-educated person in the position.

Larson said he’d like to see the local economy restored to its 1950 level, with more than 8,000 residents and a diversified economy that was more resistant to downturns. He wants to explore the options, including providing broadband to attract telecommuters.

He said he offers more than 20 years with executive-level leadership experience. He’s served on numerous boards and committees and has testified in the legislature and helped write legislation.

“I want to capitalize on these experiences,” Larson said. “My heart is in Grant County.”

Commissioner candidate Archie Osburn, 61, Monument, has been working on his family’s ranch for most of his life. He graduated from Monument High School with honors and attended Blue Mountain Community College for a time before returning to the ranch.

“I’ve had the same address since 1967,” he said.

Osburn’s ranch employs eight people. He also operates a wildfire support business and an agricultural trucking service.

He was elected and served for several terms on the boards for Monument School and the Monument Soil and Water Conservation District. He’s also served on the Farm Service Agency since the 1980s, which handles disaster relief funds for fires and floods, and loans for conservation projects, student education and 4-H projects.

“Through my ranch and firefighting business and my work on the Farm Service Agency, I’ve brought several million dollars into Grant County,” Osburn said. “No other commissioner candidate can say that.”

The biggest issue facing Grant County is jobs, he said.

“We need employees who are qualified to do the jobs that already exist here, and we need to diversify the local economy to attract skilled workers,” he said.

It’s important that Grant County holds onto the skilled workers who live here now, but there is a lack of opportunities. Bringing broadband internet here is one thing that will help achieve that goal, he said.

“Broadband access is necessary — it’s our new highway,” Osburn said, adding he believes access will eventually branch out from John Day to the rest of the county.

“Lack of good internet access has stopped economic development in Monument,” he said.

Osburn also supports creating a countywide special district for 911 dispatch in Grant County to protect existing dispatcher jobs and to ensure calls are handled by people who are knowledgeable about local geography and people.

He strongly opposes the creation of a natural resource adviser position for the county. He said he leases large tracts of land in two counties from the Bureau of Land Management, and he didn’t want anyone interfering in his relationship with the agency.

“I’ve put my whole life into working with them,” he said.

Osburn said his 45 years of business experience would be an asset for the county court.

“I don’t feel like any other candidate has that kind of experience,” he said.

Commissioner candidate Sam Palmer, 53, John Day, was born and raised in John Day and is a graduate of Grant Union High School and Blue Mountain Community College.

He’s been a registered nurse for 30 years and worked locally and around the U.S. in “frontier medicine,” including a stint as a flight nurse in Las Vegas. He works three days a week in Burns and will retire in about a year.

Palmer sees three main issues facing Grant County — a lack of jobs, a high suicide rate and a high child abuse rate. They’re interrelated, he said, noting that Grant County and Harney County have been No. 1 or No. 2 in unemployment among Oregon counties for 35 to 40 years.

“Now they have the highest suicide and child abuse rates,” he said. “Those are my issues because I care. I’ve done well here, and I want to give back.”

Palmer said he has some concerns about the current proposal to bring broadband to Grant County — hanging a main fiber optic cable on power poles doesn’t seem secure, and evolving technology could make the proposal soon obsolete.

“Grant County needs something,” he said, noting that his new home on Marysville Road doesn’t have good internet access and he’s trying to take classes online. Wireless might be the solution, he suggested.

Palmer said he favors keeping 911 dispatch local in order to protect jobs, but as a team leader on the county’s Search and Rescue team with extensive experience in the forests, he doesn’t believe the argument that local dispatchers are needed to help first responders locate incident sites.

At a public meeting, he proposed putting 911 dispatch under the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and then contracting service with local cities and users.

Palmer strongly supports the idea of establishing a natural resource adviser position with the county. He said it’s not a question of whether to establish the position but how to fund it. The adviser would help bridge the gap between county, state and federal governments, he said.

Palmer’s vision for the economy is growth. Burning down forests and locking up forest roads will not lead to prosperity, he said. Instead, he’d like to see biomass-powered generating plants in Long Creek, the John Day Valley and around Seneca to power new industry.

“I bring open-mindedness,” he said. “I listen to all sides before making a decision. As a trauma and emergency nurse, I dealt daily with conflict resolution. I want to be a servant of the people. I’m not in it for personal gain.”

Dave Rose, Canyon City, has withdrawn from the Grant County commissioner race. He cited unexpected circumstances for his decision.

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Findley holds town hall meeting in John Day http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/findley-holds-town-hall-meeting-in-john-day http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/findley-holds-town-hall-meeting-in-john-day#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:54:43 -0400 Richard Hanners http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419904 In his fifth town hall meeting since the Oregon Legislature completed its short session this year, Rep. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, spoke about the issues and his goals at the John Day Fire Hall April 11. He addressed the Grant County Court that morning.

Representing the five Eastern Oregon counties in District 60, Findley was chosen Jan. 25 to replace Cliff Bentz, who in turn replaced Ted Ferrioli in the state senate. Findley, who will complete Bentz’s term this year and is running unopposed in the upcoming election, said he didn’t take the job for the money, prestige or because he liked long-distance driving.

“I took it to make a difference in Eastern Oregon,” he said.

Findley grew up on a small ranch in Malheur County where his family lived for three generations. He spent 32 years with the Bureau of Land Management’s Fire and Aviation Management division and most recently served five years as the city manager of Vale.

He has deep roots in Eastern Oregon and wants to promote the region’s interests in the legislature. The “urban-rural divide is huge,” he said, and he intends to ensure that bills originating in the west don’t cause unintended consequences for residents in the east.

“Eastern Oregon needs a helping hand, not a hand-out,” he said.

Findley sits on the Revenue Committee and the Energy and Environment Committee. Work on the Revenue Committee can be highly technical, he said, but he learned long ago that to be effective one had to “follow the money.”

The Revenue Committee looked at 23 bills. Findley said he opposed one because it offered property tax exemptions, which he believes should be a local decision, and noted that a bill to provide tax breaks for solar developers was tabled because supporting documents lacked real numbers. Landowners need protection from sophisticated solar developers, he said.

A cap-and-trade bill aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions failed to pass. Findley called it “a bad idea for Oregon.” He also called the passage of Senate Bill 1528, which disconnects Oregon from the recent federal tax bill that provided a 20 percent deduction for small businesses, “a bad day for small businesses in Oregon.”

The first bill he ever nominated, House Bill 4153, which designates Eastern Oregon University as Oregon’s Rural University, passed by 60-0, an unusual accomplishment for a beginning legislator.

Findley is familiar with strong local interest in seeing 911 phone taxes increased to help fund emergency dispatch centers, and he supports the idea of keeping a dispatch center in Grant County, but he wants to find out where the money has been going before seeing the tax raised. At the same time, he recognized the need to fix the funding shortage before the phone tax sunsets in 2021.

While he supports expanding broadband internet service to rural areas, Findley voted against a net neutrality bill. The legislation was a “fluff bill,” he said, limited to internet providers that served government agencies in areas where real competition existed.

When asked about the high cost of hunting tags, Findley said the problem was that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife relied too heavily on hunting tags for habitat protection and other purposes. Money for those purposes should come from the general fund, he said.

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Sam Riggs performs Friday in John Day http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/sam-riggs-performs-friday-in-john-day http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/sam-riggs-performs-friday-in-john-day#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:43:34 -0400 Sean Hart http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419906 Sam Riggs will perform Friday at the Madden Brothers Performing Arts Center.

The country rock singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas, and his band will follow Tylor & The Train Robbers from Idaho with doors opening at 6 p.m.

Owners Jesse and Joe Madden said they hope for a better turnout because attendance has been low at the last two concerts. Although feedback from the shows has been positive, not enough people have been attending over the winter to cover the costs, Jesse Madden said.

“People need to know, if it’s something they want to have in their community, they need to find a way to participate in it, or we’re going to have to not do it anymore,” Joe Madden said.

While attendance at the first concerts in August 2017 was over 200, attendance at the last two concerts was less than 100. Not only does the lack of ticket sales make it difficult to break even, bands aren’t willing to come to the area with poor ticket sales. Joe Madden said a show was almost canceled recently by a band’s management team because of poor sales.

He said the venue could adjust ticket prices higher to cover costs, but that would lead to less attendance, and they are trying to keep ticket prices reasonable for most of the county.

Joe Madden said having a concert hall makes the community more attractive by providing something to do in an area that has no bowling alley or movie theater.

“We have less to do in our community as far as any kind of entertainment events than any community I can think of,” he said. “I really expected more of a community turnout for it.”

Jesse Madden said the venue is bringing some money into the community with out-of-town attendees, and each show brings a little more. He said many attendees often go out to other establishments after the shows as well.

He said, depending on attendance, they may have to book fewer shows, or only during summer when temporary visitors could bolster attendance.

The concert hall was started as a way to improve the community, Joe Madden said, and he appreciates the many people and sponsors who have supported it.

“There’s a good group of people who have been really supportive and have showed up in attendance,” Jesse Madden said.

After Friday, the next show is Jeff Crosby & The Refugees May 18.

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Four-way stop proposal draws debate http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/four-way-stop-proposal-draws-debate http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/four-way-stop-proposal-draws-debate#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:44:23 -0400 Richard Hanners http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419905 A request by Leanna Perkins for a four-way stop at the intersection of Third Street and Northwest Bridge Street was discussed at length by the John Day City Council at their April 10 meeting.

The proposal was not new. Both Public Works Director Monte Legg and Councilor Dave Holland, the former public works director, were familiar with the idea.

Perkins reported seeing several near-accidents at the intersection. In one case, a teenager on a bicycle was struck by a car, but the incident was not reported. She also said Police Chief Richard Gray put an electronic radar speed sign at the intersection, but she wasn’t sure if it made a difference.

Perkins said the problem becomes worse during baseball season, when she typically sees more vehicles speeding on Northwest Bridge Street. She said she’s seen people jumping onto the curb to avoid being hit.

Holland said he didn’t think a four-way stop would address the issue and noted that the council opposed a four-way stop there in the past. Stop signs provide a “false sense of security,” and bicyclists often ignore stop signs, he said. He also noted that the city was laid out with north-south through-streets and stop signs on east-west streets.

Holland asked if the council wanted to “chop up” the city with stop signs. Speeding is a problem all over town, he said, suggesting that the problem could be addressed through social media. He also said he expected more accidents would occur if a four-way stop was put in place at the intersection.

Councilor Paul Smith agreed that speed was the real issue, and Councilor Shannon Adair suggested that stop signs would slow vehicles down. Councilor Steve Schuette, however, noted that vehicles would get back up to full speed within a short distance after stopping at a stop sign.

John Day resident Beth Spell said she was familiar with the intersection and felt the neighborhood had changed. The safety of children and pedestrians was important, she said, and if the city did not install a four-way stop, then it should consider installing speed bumps.

Councilor Gregg Haberly said he supported using speed bumps, and Perkins said she would be happy with that. Mayor Ron Lundbom recommended that the matter be brought to the city’s safety committee, which is composed of three councilors.

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Primary election rules explained http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/primary-election-rules-explained http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/primary-election-rules-explained#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:40:42 -0400 Richard Hanners http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419907 Rules governing how county candidates win primary elections have changed over the years in Grant County.

Here’s how the winner is determined, according to Grant County Clerk Brenda Percy.

In the case of the county treasurer, county clerk and sheriff, the winner cannot be determined by the May primary election. If there are two or less candidates, their names do not appear on the primary ballot, and the winner is determined in the general election held in November. That’s the case this year, as Percy is running unopposed for re-election.

If there are three or more candidates for treasurer, clerk or sheriff, their names will appear on the primary ballot, and the top-two vote-getters will compete in the general election, where the winner is determined.

For all other county positions, a candidate can win in the primary election by garnering 50 percent of the total vote plus one vote more. If no candidate meets that threshold, then the top-two vote-getters go on to compete in the general election.

In the case of this year’s races for Grant County judge and Grant County justice of the peace, it’s likely one of the two candidates will earn more than 50 percent of the vote and win the race in the primary election.

That’s not the case in the race for Grant County commissioner, where five candidates vie for a single seat and winning half or more of the vote could be more difficult. So it’s likely the top two commissioner candidates will face off in the fall election.

Unlike statewide elections and some Oregon counties, all county races in Grant County are nonpartisan. The county commissioner race was the last to change to nonpartisan, Percy said.

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Osburn wants diversified economy http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/osburn-wants-diversified-economy http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/osburn-wants-diversified-economy#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:35:22 -0400 Richard Hanners http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419908 Commissioner candidate Archie Osburn, 61, Monument, has been working on his family’s ranch for most of his life. He graduated from Monument High School with honors and attended Blue Mountain Community College for a time before returning to the ranch.

“I’ve had the same address since 1967,” he said.

Osburn’s ranch employs eight people. He also operates a wildfire support business and an agricultural trucking service.

He was elected and served for several terms on the boards for Monument School and the Monument Soil and Water Conservation District. He’s also served on the Farm Service Agency since the 1980s, which handles disaster relief funds for fires and floods, and loans for conservation projects, student education and 4-H projects.

“Through my ranch and firefighting business and my work on the Farm Service Agency, I’ve brought several million dollars into Grant County,” Osburn said. “No other commissioner candidate can say that.”

The biggest issue facing Grant County is jobs, he said.

“We need employees who are qualified to do the jobs that already exist here, and we need to diversify the local economy to attract skilled workers,” he said.

It’s important that Grant County holds onto the skilled workers who live here now, but there is a lack of opportunities. Bringing broadband internet here is one thing that will help achieve that goal, he said.

“Broadband access is necessary — it’s our new highway,” Osburn said, adding he believes access will eventually branch out from John Day to the rest of the county.

“Lack of good internet access has stopped economic development in Monument,” he said.

Osburn also supports creating a countywide special district for 911 dispatch in Grant County to protect existing dispatcher jobs and to ensure calls are handled by people who are knowledgeable about local geography and people.

He strongly opposes the creation of a natural resource adviser position for the county. He said he leases large tracts of land in two counties from the Bureau of Land Management, and he didn’t want anyone interfering in his relationship with the agency.

“I’ve put my whole life into working with them,” he said.

Osburn said his 45 years of business experience would be an asset for the county court.

“I don’t feel like any other candidate has that kind of experience,” he said.

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Palmer sees negative impacts from unemployment http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/palmer-sees-negative-impacts-from-unemployment http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/palmer-sees-negative-impacts-from-unemployment#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:35:04 -0400 Richard Hanners http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419909 Commissioner candidate Sam Palmer, 53, John Day, was born and raised in John Day and is a graduate of Grant Union High School and Blue Mountain Community College.

He’s been a registered nurse for 30 years and worked locally and around the U.S. in “frontier medicine,” including a stint as a flight nurse in Las Vegas. He works three days a week in Burns and will retire in about a year.

Palmer sees three main issues facing Grant County — a lack of jobs, a high suicide rate and a high child abuse rate. They’re interrelated, he said, noting that Grant County and Harney County have been No. 1 or No. 2 in unemployment among Oregon counties for 35 to 40 years.

“Now they have the highest suicide and child abuse rates,” he said. “Those are my issues because I care. I’ve done well here, and I want to give back.”

Palmer said he has some concerns about the current proposal to bring broadband to Grant County — hanging a main fiber optic cable on power poles doesn’t seem secure, and evolving technology could make the proposal soon obsolete.

“Grant County needs something,” he said, noting that his new home on Marysville Road doesn’t have good internet access and he’s trying to take classes online. Wireless might be the solution, he suggested.

Palmer said he favors keeping 911 dispatch local in order to protect jobs, but as a team leader on the county’s Search and Rescue team with extensive experience in the forests, he doesn’t believe the argument that local dispatchers are needed to help first responders locate incident sites.

At a public meeting, he proposed putting 911 dispatch under the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and then contracting service with local cities and users.

Palmer strongly supports the idea of establishing a natural resource adviser position with the county. He said it’s not a question of whether to establish the position but how to fund it. The adviser would help bridge the gap between county, state and federal governments, he said.

Palmer’s vision for the economy is growth. Burning down forests and locking up forest roads will not lead to prosperity, he said. Instead, he’d like to see biomass-powered generating plants in Long Creek, the John Day Valley and around Seneca to power new industry.

“I bring open-mindedness,” he said. “I listen to all sides before making a decision. As a trauma and emergency nurse, I dealt daily with conflict resolution. I want to be a servant of the people. I’m not in it for personal gain.”

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Larson wants economy restored to past heights http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/larson-wants-economy-restored-to-past-heights http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/larson-wants-economy-restored-to-past-heights#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:34:47 -0400 Richard Hanners http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419910 Commissioner candidate Gordon Larson, 54, Canyon City, grew up on a dairy farm in Scappoose. He was in the National Guard when he was recruited by the Oregon State Police in 1987.

Larson retired from OSP in 2014 after serving on a gang strike force and a multi-state drug task force, as the outpost commander in John Day and as a regional commander based in La Grande.

He served on the Grant School District 3 board for 12 years, 10 years as chairman. He now runs a ranch south of Canyon City.

The foremost issue facing the county is economic decline, but positive trends can be found in recent state statistics, he said. The divided community is also a major issue.

“It’s been slow to heal following the Canyon Creek Complex fire,” he said. “Neighbors no longer wave to neighbors. People view each other through a political prism rather than if they are good neighbors.”

Larson supports the county court’s decision to join the Grant County Digital Network Coalition, which is one piece in a larger solution to an ailing economy. As for the government’s role in the broadband project, he compared it to the Pony Express, interstate highways and rural electrification.

Noting his lengthy experience with emergency dispatch, Larson said he supports keeping 911 dispatch local and not outsourcing it to Frontier Regional 911.

“Seconds matter,” he said. “It’s critical to have local dispatchers providing this service.”

He was optimistic that the dedicated first responders at a recent 911 User Board meeting, which he attended, will resolve the dispatch question.

Larson sees merit in creating a natural resource adviser position with the county, comparing it to the county court providing funding for a federal animal damage control agent. He said it’s critical the adviser does not make policy or speak for the court, but he saw benefits coming from a well-trained and well-educated person in the position.

Larson said he’d like to see the local economy restored to its 1950 level, with more than 8,000 residents and a diversified economy that was more resistant to downturns. He wants to explore the options, including providing broadband to attract telecommuters.

He said he offers more than 20 years with executive-level leadership experience. He’s served on numerous boards and committees and has testified in the legislature and helped write legislation.

“I want to capitalize on these experiences,” Larson said. “My heart is in Grant County.”

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Elliott says economy is No. 1 issue http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/elliott-says-economy-is-no-1-issue http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/elliott-says-economy-is-no-1-issue#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:34:28 -0400 Richard Hanners http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419911 Commissioner candidate Tanner Elliott, 18, John Day, is a junior at Grant Union Junior-Senior High School and serves on the county’s Planning Commission and 4-H Advisory Council.

He was elected freshman and sophomore class presidents and is the current vice president of the high school’s Associate Student Body. He is a 4-H county ambassador and member of the Future Business Leaders of America program. He has worked in lawn maintenance and as a lifeguard.

The big issue facing Grant County is the economy, Elliott said.

“We’re going the wrong direction and lack leadership,” he said. “While the U.S. economy is booming, ours is shutting down.”

The county needs more job diversity and a better education system. When people consider moving to Grant County, they look at schools, health care, opportunities for work and cultural or recreational amenities, he said.

Elliott said he opposes a government-owned broadband network because it will lead to higher prices and poorer service. He cited similar networks that failed in Burlington, Vermont, and Provo, Utah. Private companies should provide broadband, if at all, he said.

“We don’t have the economy here to support broadband,” Elliott said. “We don’t need it to survive. It’s not a top priority.”

Elliott said he’d prefer to keep 911 dispatch local, but if the county can’t afford to do that, then it should accept the offer from Frontier Regional 911 for contracted services. He also said he’d like to see the county’s natural resource adviser position filled.

“It would be good to have an expert to advise the county court on minerals, timber, grazing and water,” he said.

Elliott didn’t believe the position was a political issue.

“We have a ton of natural resources here, and we need to put them to use,” he said, adding that he wanted to see them used properly.

Elliott’s vision for the county is to bring back another timber mill, which would lead to bigger schools, more jobs and more competition between existing businesses. He said he supports the Initiative 12-71 to legalize recreational marijuana in Grant County because it will create jobs and provide tax revenue to the local community.

He believes he can be an asset to the county court.

“I have youth, idealism and fresh ideas,” he said. “I’m self-funded and not owned by anyone. And I have no self-interest conflicts.”

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Colbeth wants to keep costs down http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/colbeth-wants-to-keep-costs-down http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/colbeth-wants-to-keep-costs-down#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:34:12 -0400 Richard Hanners http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419912 Commissioner candidate Richie Colbeth, 79, John Day, grew up in New Jersey and retired from the Air Force as a non-commissioned officer in charge of administration and personal affairs after 20 years in the service. He’s worked as a school bus trainer, a union representative, an airport security screener and a paralegal.

Colbeth moved to John Day about 10 years ago and currently owns and operates John Day Taxi. He has degrees in administration, electronics and theology and hosted the “Cowboy Chapel Chaplain Richie” radio show on KJDY for seven years.

He’s served on numerous boards and committees, including the John Day Budget Committee, Republican Precinct Committee, Senior Citizen Advisory Board and a local ministerial association. He’s volunteered at the Grant County Historical Museum, the Grant County Ranch and Rodeo Museum, Grant County Hospice and the Grant County Chamber of Commerce.

“I’ve been a very busy boy,” he said.

One of Colbeth’s top concerns is the kind of proposals coming from John Day City Manager Nick Green. He wanted to know who will pick the vegetables in the city’s “greenhouse on a swamp.”

Providing broadband internet to the county is not an important issue, he said. He said he’s happy with the fiber optic cable Ortelco ran to his house on Seventh Street.

When asked about whether 911 dispatch should be kept local or outsourced to Frontier Regional 911, Colbeth replied, “Send it to Condon.” Maintaining dispatchers with local knowledge is not important, but keeping costs down is, he said.

Colbeth opposed the idea of establishing a natural resource adviser position to advise the Grant County Court. In addition to costing money, the position would likely become political.

“I don’t like it,” he said. “Environmentalists would end up steering it.”

His vision for the future is to grow the timber industry, which would benefit the entire economy and help reduce fire dangers.

“Let the loggers loose,” he said.

He also opposes legalizing marijuana, which alters people’s minds, and he wants more security at school entrances, but no armed guards inside.

“I’m the most qualified because I have the most eclectic experience,” he said.

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A heart for foster kids http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20180417/a-heart-for-foster-kids http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20180417/a-heart-for-foster-kids#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:32:32 -0400 Angel Carpenter http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419913 Local foster kids will receive comfort items such as blankets and stuffed animals through a caring senior project called Comfort for Kids.

Grant Union High School senior Jeffrey Hensley set up collection boxes at a few local businesses for a month, gathering several loads of fluffy teddy bears and plush blankets.

For Hensley, the project meant much more than fulfilling a graduation requirement. He said he’d like to make his career in child protective services.

“I just wanted the experience of helping foster kids,” he said.

Hensley gathered items from the collection boxes each Friday and delivered them to the Department of Human Services in John Day.

“They will be distributed to foster kids going to new homes, and this is going to help them because it will provide comfort for those first few nights staying in a new home,” he said. “That’s why I called it Comfort for Kids.”

He added, “My brother and two sisters and I were adopted and knowing that feeling helped to come up with the idea.”

He said the project has helped him narrow down his career path.

“Knowing that feeling of helping foster kids helped me know that it would be a good field to go into,” he said.

Heather Edgar, office specialist at the Department of Human Services in John Day, said Hensley’s service is appreciated.

“A lot of times when kids come into care, they don’t get to bring all their belongings,” she said. “It’s nice to give them something soft and snuggly to ease into the situation — just something to hold onto.”

Edgar said the office doesn’t always have the money to purchase comfort items, and sometimes the availability is limited in the area.

“It’s nice to have a supply that we can draw from,” she said.

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Obituaries: April 18, 2018 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Obituaries/20180417/obituaries-april-18-2018 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Obituaries/20180417/obituaries-april-18-2018#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:19:24 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419914 May 31, 1942 - April 8, 2018

Margaret Ann Wood Meads, 75, of Hermiston passed away peacefully at home April 8 after a long battle with cancer. She was born May 31, 1942. A celebration of life gathering will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at the Let’er Buck Room, 1205 SW Court Ave., Pendleton, OR 97801. Sign the online condolence book at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com. Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements.

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Local radio operators participate in statewide emergency exercise http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/local-radio-operators-participate-in-statewide-emergency-exercise http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20180417/local-radio-operators-participate-in-statewide-emergency-exercise#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:01:32 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419915 Local radio operators are preparing for the worst.

On April 14, 12 Grant County FCC-licensed amateur radio operators took part in a statewide simulated emergency based on a scenario where the Pacific Northwest electricity gird was shut down by the hacking of a foreign state. Participants in the exercise had to run on battery or generator power during the four-hour exercise. Messages were exchanged throughout the state.

During the exercise, portable stations were established in several locations in Grant County. The primary station was set up in the parking lot in front of the office of the Grant County emergency manager. Other portable stations were established on Starr Ridge, a generator powered station on Bumpy Road, a mobile station at the Blue Mountain Hospital and the airport, and fixed stations operated from Mt. Vernon, Canyon City and John Day. Voice check-ins were established with 82 stations throughout Oregon including a Net Control Station operating at a state level on behalf of the Office of Emergency Management in Salem.

Digital messages were sent via radio to OEM and to the ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) Emergency Coordinators in neighboring counties.

The radio footprint of Grant County was noticed and commented on both by Arnold Sias of the Net Control Station and by John Cores of the Oregon ARES section manager. On a local level, Grant County Emergency Management Coordinator Ted Williams said he was pleased because objectives were met.

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Grant Union boys battle Elgin 2-1 to start league http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20180417/grant-union-boys-battle-elgin-2-1-to-start-league http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20180417/grant-union-boys-battle-elgin-2-1-to-start-league#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:01:21 -0400 Angel Carpenter http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419916 Grant Union’s league baseball opener was everything the Prospectors had hoped, defeating the Elgin Huskies April 10 with a 9-0 shutout in John Day.

Prospector head coach Dusty Williams was pleased with the win, but said he knew the Huskies, led by head coach Gregg Luse, would be ready to play “a little tougher” in Saturday’s home doubleheader.

Elgin won game one 2-0. Then Grant Union battled back for an 8-7 win in game two Saturday.

In the second game, Grant Union was down 6-2 when they made a comeback in the sixth inning.

Prospector Warner Robertson doubled. Then Damion Young singled, scoring Robertson.

Both Russell Hodge and Logan McCluskey were walked. With leadoff hitter Zack Deiter up to bat and the bases loaded, Elgin switched pitchers.

Deiter was hit by a pitch, scoring Young. Then Jacob Vaughan doubled for two RBIs and tied up the game 6-6.

When Ty McDaniel walked, and Roen Langum, one of Grant Union’s top hitters, came up to bat, Elgin again switched pitchers.

Langum singled to score Deiter and Vaughan for an 8-6 lead.

McCluskey, on the mound for the Prospectors, struck out Elgin’s first batter of the seventh, before things became dicey as Elgin loaded the bases, and a walk scored one run.

McCluskey, who relieved Robertson in the third, neared his pitch-count limit and was relieved by Hodge who finished out the game.

A double play, with a flurry of action, ended the game. After a force out at second base, the runner from first was called for interference.

“The kid running from first to second has to either vacate the baseline, or he has to slide,” Williams said. “Now, he didn’t slide, which is fine, but he also didn’t vacate the baseline to give the defense a clear path to throw the ball. He stayed in the base path running ... so that (other) runner is automatically out at first base.”

Williams said he was pleased with McCluskey’s pitching.

“He threw a heck of a game for us,” the coach said. “For a freshman coming into a tight situation, he did a really good job.”

McCluskey said he was pleased with the 8-7 win.

“I think we played a lot better in the second game,” he said. “We executed plays better.”

Williams said Elgin’s pitcher from Saturday’s game one loss is likely to earn all-state honors this season.

“We hit the ball pretty hard today,” Williams said. “The first game, we hit the ball hard — it was just right at them. It was one of those games where you hit the ball, but you don’t find the hole. It’s just the way baseball goes. The second game, we started out throwing the ball around a little bit, had a few errors in the infield — didn’t help our pitching out at all. We battled back, and we did a good job coming back and getting the win.”

In the April 10 win, Grant Union outhit Elgin 12-3, and Deiter pitched a full game.

The game was called due to rain in the bottom of the seventh inning, so three Grant Union runs in the top of the seventh didn’t count, the game ending with the sixth inning score.

“We just have to continue to work hard and focus in practice and get better every day,” Williams said after that game.

The Prospectors hosted the Pilot Rock/Nixyaawii/Ukiah Rockets on Tuesday in league action, past press time.

Grant Union is on the road to Pilot Rock for a doubleheader at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Prospectors are currently 7-7 on the season and ranked No. 17 among OSAA’s 2A teams. The Rockets are 8-2 and ranked No. 9.

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Sports Roundup http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20180417/sports-roundup http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20180417/sports-roundup#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:00:25 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419917 Grant Union track athletes face west-side foes at Meet of Champs

Grant Union 2A track and field athlete Kaylee Wright launched to first place in javelin at Friday’s Meet of Champions in Salem.

She landed the throw with a mark of 127-06 ahead of 19 competitors, several from 3A and 4A class schools.

Wright also placed well in her other events, placing fourth in the high jump, fifth in the 100 and fourth in the 4x100-meter relay with her teammates Sydney Brockway, Sierra Cates and Trinity Hutchison. In those events, Wright — and her teammates for the 4x100 — placed first among the 2A teams.

Twelve Grant Union athletes competed at the event held at Willamette University — four boys and eight girls.

“Meet of Champions was a good look at what we could see at state,” said head coach Sonna Smith. “The athletes overall had a great meet. We were dealing with gusting winds, so I was very pleased at our times and distances.”

Smith said Duane Stokes had an outstanding day in triple jump, where he set a season record, and Brockway was steady with her hurdle time, despite the winds.

Brockway also set a season record in triple jump, and Hutchison set season records in triple jump and long jump. Jozie Rude set a season record in shot put.

Other Grant Union athletes competing were Jordan Hall, Drew Lusco, Mason Gerry and Cameron Hallgarth for the boys, and Abby Lusco and Alcie Moore for the girls.

Grant Union

Boys results

110m Hurdles

22, Jordan Hall, 19.43

Discus

15, Drew Lusco, 101-03.50

Javelin

17, Mason Gerry, 133-10

18, Cameron Hallgarth, 132-02

Triple Jump

6, Duane Stokes, 40-00.75, PR

11, Jordan Hall, 38-09.50

Girls results

100 Meters

5, Kaylee Wright, 13.44

400 Meters

22, Alcie Moore, 1:09.60

100m Hurdles

5, Sydney Brockway, 17.28

4x100 Relay

4, Sydney Brockway, Sierra Cates, Trinity Hutchison, Kaylee Wright, 52.76

Shot Put

2, Jozie Rude, 38-06, SR

Discus

12, Jozie Rude, 98-02

16, Abby Lusco, 91-06

Javelin

1, Kaylee Wright, 127-06

5, Jozie Rude, 117-00

High Jump

4, Kaylee Wright, 5-01

Pole Vault

2, Jozie Rude, 9-04

Long Jump

6, Trinity Hutchison, 16-01.50, SR

7, Sydney Brockway, 15-11.50, SR

Triple Jump

7, Trinity Hutchison, 33-11, SR

13, Sydney Brockway, 32-06

Long Creek Mountaineer track and field head coach Linda Studtmann said most of her athletes set personal records in at least one of their events, both boys and girls, at Thursday’s Ranchers Invitational in Crane. Most of the Mountaineer athletes are new to the sport, but are making progress by leaps and bounds.

“They are learning and improving on a regular basis, and that’s what we like to see,” Studtmann said.

She added they learn the basics of their event and seek details on form and technique.

The Long Creek boys placed fourth at the event, and the girls placed sixth.

Out of seven teams, in first place was Crane for the boys and Notus for the girls.

Monument/Dayville coach Peter Bogardus said he was pleased with his athletes beating their previous records at the Ranchers Invitational.

The Tiger girls placed fourth, tying with Huntington, and the Monument/Dayville boys placed fifth.

“They are off to a great start, and the personal records are what interests me,” Bogardus said. “These athletes have a history of constantly improving, and I am excited to see how far they can go this season.”

Boys results

100 Meters

2, Luka Pesic, 12.56, PR, Long Creek

4, Rafael Gumerato, 12.66, Long Creek

5, Kim Donggyu, 12.83, PR, Long Creek

13, Gabriel Walker-Hopkins, 13.09, Monument/Dayville

200 Meters

1, Rafael Gumerato, 25.59, PR, Long Creek

8, Donovan Schafer, 26.79, PR, Monument/Dayville

400 Meters

3, Jaime Ballesteros, 1:00.36, PR, Long Creek

800 Meters

1, Mark Thomas, 2:16.41, Monument/Dayville

6, Chuen Sooksomchitra, 3:11.23, Long Creek

1500 Meters

1, Mark Thomas, 4:43.61, Monument/Dayville

300m Hurdles - 36”

3, Gabriel Walker-Hopkins, 48.66, PR, Monument/Dayville

4, Jaime Ballesteros, 51.26, Long Creek

4x100 Relay

1, Jaimie Ballesteros, Luka Pesic, Kim Donggyu, Rafael Gumerato , 50.34, Long Creek

Shot Put

5, Donovan Schafer, 31-10, Monument/Dayville

Discus

3, Donovan Schafer, 102-04, Monument/Dayville

Javelin

2, Luka Pesic, 133-01, PR, Long Creek

5, Kim Donggyu, 106-00, PR, Long Creek

High Jump

4, Rafael Gumerato, 4-10, Long Creek

Long Jump

10, Chuen Sooksomchitra, 13-09, PR, Long Creek

Triple Jump

3, Donovan Schafer, 33-08, PR, Monument/Dayville

6, Gabriel Walker-Hopkins, 30-11, Monument/Dayville

Girls results

100 Meters

1, Faythe Schafer, 14.03, PR, Monument/Dayville

200 Meters

2, Faythe Schafer, 30.87, Monument/Dayville

400 Meters

2, Lucchese Douglas, 1:11.97, PR, Long Creek

300m Hurdles - 30”

3, Joe Mun, 1:22.24, PR, Long Creek

4x100 Relay

3, Lucchese Douglas, Joe Mun, Ximena Millan, Dorotha Johnson, 1:08.41, Long Creek

Shot Put

2, Aubrey Bowlus, 28-11.50, PR, Monument/Dayville

6, Lucchese Douglas, 26-02, PR, Long Creek

Discus

2, Faythe Schafer, 82-01, Monument/Dayville

3, Aubrey Bowlus, 75-02, PR, Monument/Dayville

4, Lucchese Douglas, 67-07, Long Creek

11, Ximena Millan, 48-05, PR, Long Creek

Javelin

3, Ximena Millan, 62-10, PR, Long Creek

Long Jump

7, Dorotha Johnson, 11-10.50, Long Creek

Prairie City boys place third at Burns Lions Invite

Prairie City and Grant Union athletes exceeded their speeds and marks in several events at the Burns Lions Arlie Oster Memorial Invitational in Burns.

Prairie City’s Levi Burke raised the bar in the high jump, improving his mark by 4 inches for first place in the event.

And he’ll “only jump higher,” head coach Nate Barber said. “He is getting better technique each week.”

“It is fun as a coach to see these athletes improve,” Barber said. “Track is a sport that their individual hard work is evident in the improvement from each competition. We’ll keep working and improving.”

He said Samantha Workman is also improving her marks in the long jump and triple jump as well as the pole vault.

“She stays for extra practice, and it is evident with her heights,” he said.

Barber said Tristan McMahan, Brandon Horrell and Jonathan Lawrence are also showing improvement.

“Tristan has always been fast, but he is getting stronger,” Barber said. “Jonathan has improved his 1,500 time each week, and he was able to break into 4-minute times. He has been pushing himself at practice. Brandon Horrell also got under 1 minute in the 400.”

He added, “I am very thankful for Coach Hitz, his wife and community members that take their time to help with extra coaching with the athletes.”

Twelve of Grant Union’s top athletes were gone for the Meet of Champions in Salem, but several competing at the Burns event exceeded their previous records.

“There were a number of athletes that set PRs,” said assistant coach Brandon Smith, who oversees distance runners and those in the long relay. “Overall, it was a positive meet. Given how hard we’ve been working them, to see a little improvement is good. It means they’re right on track for where we need them to be for district.”

Grant Union hosted the Small Schools Meet on Tuesday, past press time, where Prairie City, Long Creek and Monument/Dayville also competed, with 10 teams in all participating.

Prairie City competes at the Condon/Wheeler Invite at 11 a.m. on Friday at Condon High School. Grant Union travels to Union for the Pepsi Invitational at 11 a.m. Friday.

Boys results

100 Meters

3, Tristan McMahan, 12.57, Prairie City

7, Taylor Hunt, 12.80, Grant Union

9, Donavan Smith, 13.06, Grant Union

13, Jonathan Haskins, 13.52, Prairie City

15, Lane Williams, 13.89, Prairie City

200 Meters

6, Tristan McMahan, 25.82, Prairie City

9, Jonathan Haskins, 27.18, PR, Prairie City

11, Donavan Smith, 27.28, Grant Union
12, Brandon Horrell, 27.70, PR, Prairie City

400 Meters

9, Brandon Horrell, 59.89, PR, Prairie City

12, Frank Douglass, 1:06.80, Grant Union

800 Meters

5, Tanner Elliott, 2:27.12, SR, Grant Union

8, Frank Douglass, 2:51.09, Grant Union

1500 Meters

4, Jonathan Lawrence, 4:58.61, PR, Prairie City

8, Jacob Smith, 5:10.31, PR, Grant Union

10, Daven Mauseth, 5:47.93, Grant Union

11, Jesse Randleas, 6:00.02, PR, Grant Union

110m Hurdles

4, Gage Brandon, 20.93, Grant Union

300m Hurdles

4, Gage Brandon, 53.52, Grant Union

4x100 Relay

2, Jonathan Haskins, Levi Burke, Brandon Horrell, Tristan McMahan , 49.09, Prairie City

4x400 Relay

4, Quaid Brandon, Ben Henry, Donavan Smith, Jacob Smith, 4:20.40, Grant Union

Shot Put

5, Jake McHatton, 33-07.50, Prairie City

9, Lane Williams, 26-06.50, Prairie City

Discus

1, Jake McHatton, 97-04, Prairie City

Javelin

13, Jake McHatton, 80-01, Prairie City

High Jump

1, Levi Burke, 6-02, PR, Prairie City

Pole Vault

2, Braden Spencer, 10-00, PR, Grant Union

Long Jump

3, Levi Burke, 16-09.50, Prairie City

4, Taylor Hunt, 15-06.75, Grant Union

5, Lane Williams, 14-01, PR, Prairie City

6, Jonathan Lawrence, 13-11, PR, Prairie City

Triple Jump

1, Levi Burke, 36-09.50, PR, Prairie City

2, Tristan McMahan, 36-01, PR, Prairie City

Womens Results

100 Meters

3, Abbey Pfefferkorn, 15.30, Prairie City

5, Rilee Emmel, 15.80, Prairie City

7, Bryanna Homan, 16.31, PR, Grant Union

200 Meters

3, Shanniyah Hall, 30.02, Grant Union

5, Rilee Emmel, 32.34, Prairie City

6, Abbey Pfefferkorn, 32.57, Prairie City

400 Meters

6, Shanniyah Hall, 1:07.88, PR, Grant Union

800 Meters

3, Rylee Browning, 2:50.71, PR, Grant Union

7, Sammi Buckhaults, 3:55.89, PR, Grant Union

100m Hurdles

3, Hailee Wall, 21.32, PR, Prairie City

4x100 Relay

2, Rilee Emmel, Hailee Wall, Haley Pfefferkorn, Abbey Pfefferkorn , 59.19, Prairie City

4x400 Relay

2, Relay Team , 5:52.91, Grant Union

Shot Put

2, Megan Camarena, 32-06, Prairie City

6, Megan McManama, 24-07.75, Grant Union

Discus

3, Megan McManama, 79-08, PR, Grant Union

4, Haley Pfefferkorn, 76-04, PR, Prairie City

5, Megan Camarena, 74-01, PR, Prairie City

Javelin

3, Haley Pfefferkorn, 84-10, Prairie City

Pole Vault

1, Samantha Workman, 7-00, PR, Prairie City

Long Jump

6, Samantha Workman, 12-07, Prairie City

8, Deja Amsden, 11-07.50, PR, Prairie City

9, Hailee Wall, 11-02.75, Prairie City

Triple Jump

3, Samantha Workman, 29-10.25, Prairie City

6, Deja Amsden, 27-08, Prairie City

Grant Union golf team hosts invitational on Friday

Grant Union Prospector golfer Duane Stokes tied with Kellen Grant of Heppner with 75 for the win for the boys at Thursday’s Heppner Invitational, which was an individual competition.

“This is a fun tournament that all the teams look forward to,” said Grant Union head coach Ron Lundbom, adding the golfers get along and there is a big barbecue afterward.

The enjoyable match had its challenges, though.

“The wind chill was in the mid- to high 30s, but they stuck it out — there was no quitting,” Lundbom said.

Other boys’ scores for Grant Union included Devon Stokes with 82 and Kellen Shelley 95.

For the girls, Sasha Kowen of Heppner won with a 76. For Grant Union, Kaytlyn Wells had 104, Makenna Culley 105, Maddy Way 106, Fallen Bolman 109, Emily Springer 118 and Athena Tipton 156.

Culley was closest to the pin on hole 4 and won some golf balls.

Grant Union competes at the Burns Invitational at 11 a.m. Wednesday for the first time in at least six years, Lundbom said.

Then the Prospectors host the Grant Union Invitational at 11 a.m. Friday with seven teams in all and about 60 golfers. A hamburger feed for the golfers will follow.

“The weather should be nice, and people are invited to come out,” Lundbom said. “Everybody is looking forward to it.”

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Sports Schedule http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20180417/sports-schedule http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20180417/sports-schedule#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:00:24 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419918 Wednesday, April 18

Grant Union golf @ Burns Invitational at Valley Golf Club at 11 a.m.

Friday, April 20

Grant Union golf teams hosts invitational at John Day Golf Club at 11 a.m.

Prairie City, Long Creek, Monument/Dayville @ Condon/Wheeler Invitational in Condon at 11 a.m.

Grant Union softball @ Vale (2) at 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. (MT)

Saturday, April 21

Grant Union track and field @ Pepsi Invitational in Union at 11 a.m.

Grant Union baseball @ Pilot Rock/Nixyaawii/Ukiah (2) at 11 a.m., 1 p.m.

Tuesday, April 24

Grant Union baseball vs. Weston-McEwen at 4 p.m.

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Grant County Seniors http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Seniors/20180417/grant-county-seniors http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Seniors/20180417/grant-county-seniors#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:00:22 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419919 JOHN DAY — Monday, April 9, at the senior center found Ron Dowse and Merry Henry at the greeter’s desk. Our Lutheran Church friends, Bonnie and Francis Kocis, Buzz Gilmore and Betty Holznagel, did table service for us. Francis and Betty made meal deliveries to John Day and Canyon City, and David Gill and his crew from Step Forward took the Mt. Vernon route. Altogether, they delivered 30 regular and 20 frozen meals. Way to go, volunteers.

Buzz opened our time together by leading the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. Jan Ellison won the drawing for the Len’s Drug gift, and Carol Roe won the free meal. Francis gave the blessing, and we enjoyed chicken teriyaki with angel hair pasta. We also had mixed veggies, homemade bread and birthday cake to celebrate our April birthdays. We were surprised with fortune cookies too. (Mine said, “I cannot help you, for I am just a cookie.”) We served 21.

We’ll be starting a free tai chi group on Mondays right after lunch. Stay and give it a try; focus is on balance.

On Thursday, April 12, Jeanette Julsrud and Olivia Cornell were greeters; Joan and Joel Tayles took the John Day and Canyon City route for meal delivery. Thanks for stepping up. Rodney and Harvey (who didn’t sign in with last names) from Step Forward did the Mt. Vernon route. Altogether they delivered 30 meals. Thank you. Volunteers, please sign in.

Our friends from Cornerstone Church, Zola Pike, Carla and Andy Anderson, Donna St. Cyr, Donna Johnson, Linda Sprouffske, Dottie Parsons and Pastor Levi Manitsas, served us. Thank you all so much. Love Levi’s jokes and coffee service. Donna Johnson opened our time by leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance to our American flag. Pastor Levi shared the Lord’s blessing on our meal. Our meal was sponsored by Dave and Sherry Pasko and Gregg and Betty Starr in memory of Geri Pasko. We had a “beef and potato bake,” and we licked the platters clean. We also enjoyed delicious veggies, homemade dinner rolls, and Lisa made a delicious cake she called, “a taste of sunshine,” and it was.

Don’t forget bingo after lunch on Thursdays begins at 1 p.m.

Next Thursday, April 19, we’ll have stuffed pork loin, and Monday, April 23, we’ll have chili dogs and cheesecake.

Billie Bullard is recovering from her surgery, and we expect her back at the senior center soon. She is so missed. We love you, Billie. It is good to see Maryanne Morris feeling better, too.

I want to again thank some wonderful volunteers who actually do a service every meal, but stay quiet and unthanked, Don and Deda Porter actually hand wash our silverware before it goes through the dishwasher. They care. Thank you.

Note: Someone donated a working treadmill to the senior center. Call Veanne for info if you can use it, 541-575-2949.

John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.’”

MONUMENT — We had a most scrumptious meal, my favorite, Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas and carrots, biscuits and apple cobbler for dessert. I ate every bite. Thank you to our wonderful cooks, Carrie Jewell and Christy Howell.

Our greeters were Bodean Andersen, Jimmy Cole, Debbie Reid and Lonnie Lawrence. Bodean led us in the flag salute, made some announcements and prayed the blessing over our meal. Jimmy, Debbie and Lonnie helped in collecting and counting the monies.

We had lots of guests join us for lunch: John and Charlene Morris, Katee Hoffman (the Grant County veterans service officer) and Gordon and Julie Larson. We were also joined by Tyler Stone, our tai chi instructor. Sorry, I had his name wrong in last week’s article. We had a warm welcome for Darlene Forrest of Monument who suffered broken ankles this past winter. Good to see that she was up and walking.

We had a new dishwasher that was installed by David Stubblefield for our senior center. Yay! We thank David for his time and hard work and appreciate all that he has been doing.

We had 48 guests on the books and 11 takeouts. The drawing for the Len’s Drug gift card went to Linda Abraham. Larry Vote won the Chester’s Thriftway gift card. Yours truly won the free meal ticket. We thank all our generous supporters for their gifts.

Here are some very important announcements you might want to mark down. Lots of events are coming. First of all, the third annual rummage sale will be going on April 21-22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donations have come from many areas, and there will be something for everyone. On April 22, the 4-H kids will be serving hot roast beef sandwiches and desserts with donated proceeds going to support their group.

Donations for the rummage sale will be taken up to the day of the sale, and all proceeds will go toward the operation fund for the senior center.

Mikayla Mitchell’s funeral service will also be April 21 at 11 a.m. It will be held at the gravesite in the cemetery. There will be a potluck dinner at the park afterward. We grieve with her family and lift them up in our prayers.

Jay Ball, who passed away recently after moving to Monument, had his funeral services and was remembered by his family and friends in the town of Heppner. We pray for peace and comfort for his family. We will miss seeing Jay at the senior center for lunch.

Well, while we had a couple of days of sun, my kids and I decided to clean up some flower beds, pull out weeds and put some mulch down. It was quite satisfying work. I’m glad we did that. It looks so nice and clean and pretty. The daffodils are blooming, and my columbines are sprouting too. Looks like my one rhubarb plant is doing good. I’m glad it didn’t die after I accidentally fell on it and squashed it last year.

John 8:32 “And you will know the truth. And the truth will set you free.”

PRAIRIE CITY — Quote on my calendar from Richard Wagner: Joy is not in things; it is in us. So therefore you didn’t have to be fearful on the first of the two Friday the 13ths that will occur this year. Do you know what the proper word is for those who have such a fear? If I had a smartphone, I could probably ask Siri. Seem to remember that it is a very long word. But that is not the subject for today. Ha. That was just to get your attention.

The 62 of us who had a meal prepared by our fabulous cooks, Marjean and Joy, certainly had things to be joyful about. And, again, it was a meal that I would never prepare. Chicken tortilla soup, black bean and corn salad, cheese quesadilla and flan cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. What a delicious meal. Again, I usually cannot eat Mexican-type food, but this whole meal never gave me a problem.

Heard several others commenting on how delicious everything was. And next week’s will be just as good, so you better come and get yourself a great meal. It will be pot roast. Goody, goody.

Leone Meador led the flag salute, and Tom Roark asked the blessing. Betty Retherford was the winner of the Valley View gift certificate. And this is a super one. A free meal for you and a guest. Thank you so much, Valley View. I have been there, and I know the meals are good. Our home delivery men did their thing. Thanks to Ken, Scott, Larry and Carlos. Thanks to Pam for her registration desk duty and help in the kitchen afterward. And thanks to Del, Bonnie, Leon, Ginger, Sharon and Lynn for help in the rest of the kitchen and hall cleanup. And isn’t it nice to have next week’s menu displayed on the outside message board? You just have to remember to look up.

First-timers included Phyliss Schultz. Kristi Steber representing the Shelk Family Foundation was also in attendance. She even stayed to help Sharon in the kitchen cleanup. Hope to see you again.

Lorna and Kristin brought Marilyn Randall, Thelma Kite and Bud Salisbury from the Blue Mountain Care Center.

Our pinochle game is going great guns. Drew likes to help those who are still relearning the game, so if he could find two or three more people, we could have another table going. Games start around 10 a.m. so come join the fun. Carla and I surmise that our fathers probably played with each other years ago. Ah, yes, the good ol’ days when fun and games were person to person and not phone to phone.

I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I proceeded to the garden patch on Monday and spent two and a half hours on my knees prying weeds out. Got about two-thirds done before my body said that was enough. Guess it’s too early to see if my experiment with putting vinegar on the morning glory weed root was successful. Someone else is trying rock salt. Stay tuned.

Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”

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What’s Happening http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Happening/20180417/whats-happening http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Happening/20180417/whats-happening#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:00:19 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419920 The deadline for What’s Happening items is 5 p.m. Friday. Call the Eagle, 541-575-0710, or email editor@bmeagle.com. For meetings this week, see our list in the classifieds.

• 10:30 a.m., chamber office, 301 W. Main St., John Day

The public is welcome to attend the business and board meeting of the Grant County Chamber of Commerce, with an adjournment to the Outpost restaurant at noon. Speakers are Deanna Longair from “Oregon Saves,” a retirement program through the Oregon State Treasury and Mark Webb, who will give an update on the Blue Mountains Forest Partners’ current projects. For more information, call the chamber office at 541-575-0547.

• 7:30 p.m., Madden Brothers Performing Arts Center, 116 NW Bridge St., John Day

Country rock singer-songwriter Sam Riggs from Austin, Texas, and his band will perform with opening act Tylor & The Train Robbers from Idaho. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $30 for seated, $25 for general admission and $15 for children, available at maddenbrothers.tix.com.

• 7:30 p.m., Lefty’s Taphouse, 1934 Broadway, Baker City

The Eastern Oregon Regional Theater will present the show, featuring Grammy Award-winning artist Laurie Lewis and Friends. The event is a fundraiser for the restoration of Baker Orpheum Theatre. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 the day of the show. Tickets are available by visiting bakerlivetheatre.com, calling 541-523-9652 or at Betty’s Books at 1813 Main St. in Baker City. For more information, visit bakerlivetheatre.com.

• 4 p.m., Grant County Fairgrounds

Current foundation members are invited to attend the fundraiser benefiting elk and other wildlife. The doors open at 4 p.m., dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. and the auction begins at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, call Gale Wall at 541-575-2661.

• 7 p.m., Madden Brothers Performing Arts Center, 116 NW Bridge St., John Day

The festival features a collection of a dozen films that speak to the environmental concerns and celebrations of the planet. Suds Pub will be present for food and drinks, and a raffle will be held. Tickets cost $15 for adults, and children 17 and under are free. The event is hosted by the Blue Mountain Land Trust and sponsored by the Madden Brothers Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available by visiting bmlt.org.

• 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monument Senior Center

Proceeds benefit the senior center at the third annual rummage sale. Chili, rolls, coffee and maple bars will be served April 21. 4-H’ers will serve hot roast beef sandwiches and desserts April 22. For more information, call Judy Harris at 541-934-2244.

• 1 p.m. Saturday

• 10 a.m. Sunday

• Grant County Fairgrounds, John Day

The event is an American Cowboy Team Roping Association qualifier. All proceeds benefit the Grant County Family Heritage Foundation. Doors will open an hour prior, and admission is free.

• 1 p.m., Grant County Fairgrounds pavilion

All local candidates in the upcoming election are expected to attend a candidate forum sponsored by the Mt. Vernon Grange. Ted Ferrioli, former state senator and current member of the Northwest Power & Conservation Council, will moderate the event. Each candidate will be allowed to speak for five minutes, with an opportunity for a three-minute rebuttal. Questions from the audience for Ferrioli to present will be gathered during an intermission. Coffee and cookies will be available during the intermission. For more information, contact Jean Sagert, 541-575-1007.

• 1 p.m., Thomas Condon Paleontology Center, 9 miles west of Dayville

Participants will drive their own vehicles on a free three-hour tour, guided by former park ranger John Fiedor. The tour will travel through the Sheep Rock Unit with stops for discussion. Quality tires are recommended for the gravel road portion. For more information, contact the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument at 541-987-2333.

• 2-4 p.m., Canyon City Community Hall

Stewards of Children is a prevention training program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. The program is designed for organizations that serve youth and individuals concerned about the safety of children. Community members are welcome. For more information, contact Lisa Weigum at lweigum@gobhi.net or Tracey Blood at pcaorinfo@gmail.com.

• Parks and Recreation office, 845 1/2 Bridge St., John Day

Registration for players is due by April 27 to John Day-Canyon City Parks and Recreation. A late fee of $5 will apply to those turned in after the date. The registration fee is $45, or $50 for out of district, and a scholarship fund is available on request. For questions or to receive a registration form, visit jdccparksandrec.weebly.com or contact Bobbee Hueckman at 541-575-0110.

• 6 p.m., Dayville School gymnasium

Proceeds will benefit Cheryl Hubbird in her fight against cancer. The silent auction begins at 5:45 p.m., dinner starts at 6 p.m. and the live auction begins at 7 p.m. On the menu is pulled pork and sloppy joes with sides, drinks and dessert. The cost for ages 11 and up is $10, and $5 for 10 and under. Tickets are available through local area merchants or by contacting Skip Inscore at 541-987-2383. Auction items or financial donations are appreciated and may be arranged through Inscore.

• 6 p.m., Long Creek School

All proceeds will go to the Long Creek ambulance crew and volunteer fire department. Live and silent auctions will be held, along with a 50/50 drawing and fire engine auction. Dinner includes sides, dessert and beverages. Admission is by donation, and reservations must be made by April 23. For more information, call the city of Long Creek at 541-421-3601 or email info@cityoflongcreek.com.

• 6-8 p.m., Long Creek Community Center

Local election candidates will attend a question and answer meeting. All county residents are invited to attend. For more information, call Linda Hunt at 541-519-4663.

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Out of the Past http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Life/20180417/out-of-the-past http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Life/20180417/out-of-the-past#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:00:16 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419921 Mt. Vernon boy awarded Silver Star for gallantry in action

By direction of the president, the Silver Star was awarded March 16, 1943, by Lt. General Millard F. Harmon, commanding the United States Army Forces in the southern Pacific area, to Private Jess R. Moore, Infantry, United States Army for gallantry in action on January 19, 1943, at Guadalcanal. As a member of a squad on patrol, caught in the cross fire from enemy machine guns, Private Moore displayed exceptional courage and determination. Although the squad was halted by intense machine gun fire, Private Moore continued his advance and charged one of the enemy pill-boxes, putting it out of action. Private Moore, single handed, thus accounted for three of the enemy and aided in the accomplishment of the mission assigned to his company with a minimum loss of lives. Private Moore’s home address is Mt. Vernon.

Cattlemen discuss issues

Bangs disease, marketing and a feedlot operation for the Monument area were the main items on the agenda of the Grant County Stockgrowers at the recent annual meeting in Monument.

A resolution was passed by the stockgrowers favoring a reversion of brucellosis vaccination ages for calves back to four to 12 months from the newly adopted three to eight months period.

The new vaccination period creates problems for ranchers with cattle on the range. It is not always possible to bring on all calves off the range within the new age period for vaccination, the stockgrowers noted.

Ray Griffin, a member of the California Livestock Marketing Association, appeared at the meeting to discuss marketing with local ranchers.

While stating he had no connections with a sales yard in Red Bluff, Griffin noted that the prices for cattle in Red Bluff were higher than at an eastern Oregon sales yard. It is possible for ranchers to gain in sales at Red Bluff even by shipping cattle in large trucks, said Griffin.

He made the following comparisons in prices:

Choice calves, 400-500 pounds, Red Bluff, 29.00-32.80; eastern Oregon, 26.30-28.50.

Feeder cattle, 500-700 pounds, Red Bluff, 26.00-28.10; eastern Oregon, 24.80-27.40.

Cows with calves, Red Bluff, 237.50-247.00; eastern Oregon, 185.00-222.00.

Griffin said order buying, pool buying and on-the-ranch sales arrangements can be made.

Al Troutman of the Long Creek Meat Co. discussed the possibilities of a 5,000 head feedlot for the Monument area. There would be about three turnovers a year so actually 15,000 head of cattle would be handled by the feedlot.

Among the points favoring a feedlot are:

There is a surplus of feed raised in the area, additional acres are available for irrigation if there is a market for feed, with the feed it would be possible for year-round slaughter operations, and it would be possible to haul carcasses out of Long Creek daily and haul feed on return trips.

Denny Jones, president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, spoke on the addition of a public land specialist for the American National Cattlemen’s Association.

Mythtime planned Sunday

Grant County residents are invited to explore 40,000 years of history along the North Pacific Rim this Sunday, April 18, beginning at 2 p.m. in the Grant Union High School library.

Join storyteller Dave Barrett for a fascinating afternoon of stories drawn from the cultures of the North Pacific Rim when he presents “Pacific Rim Mythtime.” The program explores 40,000 years of history along the North Pacific Rim reaching back to tell the story of the Bering Land Bridge and the history of the first human people to venture into the New World.

The program will be sponsored by the Grant County Library Board with major assistance from the Oregon Council for the Humanities.

Woven into the discussion are stories from that special time of beginnings: Mythtime. Some Siberian natives refer to Mythtime as “stories from the beginning of time, and even before that!”

Sunday’s program will describe the role of the storyteller in the cultures spanning the North Pacific Rim. To underline the central theme of storytelling as a positive and educational event within the Pacific Rim culture communities, Barrett presents different stories from many of these groups.

Pacific Rim Mythtime originated with the Oregon Council for the Humanities’ 1984 Chatauqua, and has been a success with family audiences throughout Oregon.

Q: When is a library more than just books? A: When it’s a community center…

Local library supporters last week unveiled a dream of creating an expanded Grant County Library and a community center, possibly using the old junior high building in John Day.

Members of the Grant County Library Board and Library Foundation took that vision to the Grant County Court to seek its blessing to explore their options for grants and fundraising for the project.

Adele Cerny, a foundation member, said the proposal was in the preliminary stage, but the proponents wanted permission to “start the process of inquiry.”

Those testifying said the current library, on South Canyon Boulevard, is too cramped, lacks space to host community events and programs, and its site has no room for expansion. They proposed to seek grants to acquire the former Blue Mountain Junior High School, which would be remodeled to create a combination library-community center that could be shared with other agencies.

Grant School District No. 3 recently decided to put the junior high property up for sale, which library advocates said presents “a once-in-a-life-time opportunity.”

“We’re not likely to have a structurally sound, centrally located building available in John Day again,” said Cerny.

However, the court, while lauding the effort that went into the proposal, balked at the idea of renovating a building they called “a money pit.”

“I’m very cautious about the building,” said County Judge Mark Webb. “I don’t think it’s a good purchase.”

Commissioner Boyd Britton and Scott Myers also expressed reservations about the school structure, noting that the county has had expensive experience with old buildings.

Library advocates came to the meeting with a more optimistic assessment of the school building.

Cerny told the court that a building evaluation conducted by the Matrix Group in 1999, along with more recent facility tours, found that the structure was generally sound. She said the foundation is sound, the wiring is adequate and the roof is in good condition.

The downsides include, limited handicapped access, inconsistent heat from the aging boiler and old-style windows. The building does have asbestos, but none of it is exposed and “an asbestos plan is in place,” she reported.

The group proposed remodeling the U-shaped building to concentrate library use in the central portion and create conference and meeting rooms in the south wing. The gymnasium on the north side could be retained for community use.

JoAnne Cordis Phippen, a member of the Library Foundation, said other communities have renovated old school buildings and turned them into valuable community resources.

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Margaret Ann Wood Meads http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Obituaries/20180417/margaret-ann-wood-meads http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Obituaries/20180417/margaret-ann-wood-meads#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:49:01 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419922 Margaret Ann Wood Meads, 75, of Hermiston passed away peacefully at home April 8 after a long battle with cancer. She was born May 31, 1942. A celebration of life gathering will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at the Let’er Buck Room, 1205 SW Court Ave., Pendleton, OR 97801. Sign the online condolence book at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com. Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements.

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Editorial cartoons http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Opinion/20180417/editorial-cartoons http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Opinion/20180417/editorial-cartoons#Comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:48:30 -0400 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2018180419923

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