Blue Mountain Eagle | Blue Mountain Eagle Sat, 4 Jul 2015 02:49:51 -0400 en Blue Mountain Eagle | Corner Creek Fire still on the move Fri, 3 Jul 2015 10:08:47 -0400 The The Corner Creek Fire continues to burn actively on the west side of the South Fork John Day River, 11 miles south of Dayville. It is the largest fire in the area with 19,000 burned acres and 0% contained. The fire is burning on Prineville BLM, Ochoco National Forest and private lands. Part of the fires is in the Black Canyon Wilderness. Structure protection is being done with aerial resources. Day shift firefighters to protect cabins and various outbuildings, extinguish spot fires and begin control lines for the fire. Night shift firefighters are concentrating on structure protection and preventing the fire from crossing the river.

The fire is growing rapidly, spreading to the south and southwest. A strong and visible pyro-cumulus clouds formed over the fire yesterday afternoon, towering to more than 20,000 feet. Firefighters are protecting structures in the vicinity. Fire crews are looking for opportunities to control the fire spread, including clearing fuels near forest roads to the south and west of the fire. These may be used as fire lines for burnout operations.

Steep terrain on the south end of the fire is causing difficulty for firefighters and to the west the fire is burning in grass and bush.

The South Fork Road/County Road 42 has been closed to the general public from near Dayville to south of the US Forest Service 58 Road junction due to fire activity. Local traffic should drive with caution due to heavy fire-related traffic. A forest closure has been issued for part of the Ochoco National Forest near the Corner Creek Fire, including the Black Canyon Wilderness.

The camp for firefighters assigned to these fires are on Highway 26 about 2.5 miles west of Dayville. Drivers are asked to drive with caution in this area and watch for heavy fire traffic.

The Sugarloaf Fire, 8 miles north of Dayville, is currently 85% contained and 5,057 burned acres. Burnout operations are continuing in the northeast edge where the fire is most active with heavy fuels.

The Sugarloaf Fire, Blue Basin Fire and Schoolhouse Gulch Fire have little heat and are being patrolled. Fire personnel and equipment not needed on these fires are being reassigned to the Corner Creek Fire.

Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 1 is managing the Corner Creek Fire and Surgarloaf Fire.

The Harper Creek Complex, nine miles southwest of John Day, is now 100% contained.

The Jones Canyon Fire, 20 miles southwest of Ukiah has shown little activity in the past couple of days. Resources have been released at a steady rate over the past two days.

The forecast for the rest of the week is a concern for fire managers. A Red Flag Warning is in effect through 8 p.m., Saturday, July 4 indicating an increased chance of fire development and spread. The forecast calls for continuing hot weather with low humidity and northwest winds gusting 20 to 25 mph. A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for Friday and Saturday due to expected hot, dry weather with wind gusts to 30 mph.

Other fires outside of Grant County:

Umatilla County:

The Flat Iron Fire on the Heppner Ranger District three miles west of Bull Prairie Lake is estimated at 11 acres and 60% contained.

The Rocky Flat Fire, located near Highway 207 and Big Flat Road, burned 127 acres and is now 100 percent contained.

Crews also continue to secure and improve control lines on theTexas Fire, two miles east of Madison Butte Lookout. The fire is currently 80 percent contained and staffed with one crew and 12 rappellers. Mop up continues in heavy fuels. 

Resources continue to mop up and patrol the fires within theTable Rock Complex located on the Walla Walla and Pomeroy Ranger Districts two miles south of Bluewood Ski Area.  The five fires (three fires in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness and two fires in the Mill Creek Watershed) burned a total of 80 acres and remains 95 percent contained.

Wasco County:

A new fire five miles south of Clarno has been estimated at 800 acres. Several helicopters, engines and rappellers have responded in addition to two SEATs (Single Engine Air Tankers). It has been confirmed that one abandoned structure was consumed by the fire which is burning in light grasses and brush. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Bill allowing dispensaries to sell recreational pot awaits signature Thu, 2 Jul 2015 17:19:31 -0400 Hillary BorrudCapital Bureau SALEM — Oregon medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to temporarily sell limited amounts of pot to all adults in Oregon starting Oct. 1, under a bill headed to Gov. Kate Brown for a signature.

Lawmakers want to provide a legal way for Oregonians to purchase marijuana, because the state’s recreational marijuana retail system likely will not launch until late 2016. Possession and consumption of marijuana for adults age 21 and older became legal in Oregon Wednesday, under Measure 91 which voters passed in November.

Senate Bill 460 would allow recreational customers to purchase cannabis seeds, plants that are not flowering and up to one-quarter ounce of marijuana flowers or leaves from medical marijuana dispensaries. The Oregon House passed the bill 40-19 on Thursday.

It was a busy week for marijuana bills in Salem. Lawmakers also passed a broad bill to regulate the state’s existing medical marijuana program and set up the new recreational pot regulatory system.

That legislation, House Bill 3400, also includes a seed-to-sale tracking system for recreational pot and will allow elected officials in cities and counties where at least 55 percent of the electorate voted against Measure 91 to pass bans on recreational and medical marijuana businesses. Brown signed the bill into law this week.

A third marijuana bill, which will replace the harvest tax on pot in Measure 91 with a 17 percent sales tax intended to generate roughly the same amount of revenue, also passed in the Senate this week. House Bill 2041 is also now awaiting Brown’s signature.

“These bills represent a session-long, bi-partisan consensus that respects the will of the voters and provides the safeguards and funding necessary to regulate the recreational marijuana industry in Oregon,” said Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, said in a written statement this week. Burdick was co-chair of a legislative committee that drafted the bills.

Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, said the bills were some of Oregon lawmakers’ best work.

“Marijuana advocates have asked, ‘Why not just implement the will of the people as outlined in Measure 91, passed by voters in 2014?’” Ferrioli said in a written statement this week. “But making cannabis available for recreational use has been the most complex public policy issue of the decade. I believe the Legislature has done a remarkable job of balancing the interests of recreational users with protections for medical users and respect for local control.”

County Court minutes 06-24-15 Thu, 2 Jul 2015 13:01:36 -0400 IN THE COUNTY COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF GRANT

Access the court’s weekly Agenda and approved Minutes on the Commissioner’s page at

JUNE 24, 2015

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

9:00 am -- Call to Order. Present were Judge Scott W. Myers, Commissioners Chris B. Labhart and Boyd Britton, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, Jim Sproul, Billie Jo George and Pastor Al Altnow. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Altnow.

CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved year-end claims.

AGENDA. MSP: Britton/Labhart -- to accept the agenda with a discussion on RAC appointments


Labhart attended Blue Mountain Hospital budget and board meetings Thursday and drove the VA van to Burns Friday. Monday Labhart attended a Regional Community Advisory Council meeting in

La Grande and will have a Local Community Advisory Council meeting at the airport today at noon.

Britton attended the full Collaborative Group meeting last week. His team played in the CASA Golf Scramble last Saturday. He has been visiting about Title 2 with NE Oregon Forest RAC Coordinator Jeff Tomac, Pam Harney of Oregon Wild, and local member Jack Southworth about the need to nominate people to serve on the RAC. Yesterday he had a video interview with a company contracted by Oregon Department of Forestry and Eco Trust about his thoughts on collaboration and advocating for more involvement from our state agencies in federal forest management.

Myers met with some representatives of the Stock Growers, Bisnett Insurance and the Fair Board, and the Fair Manager, last Thursday about how entities can insure liability for alcohol being served on the fairgrounds. The Stock Growers agreed to run the beer booth at the fair. Friday he met with Malheur NF Supervisor Steve Beverlin at his office about listening sessions and public meeting dates regarding the Forest Plan Revision. Myers’ team played in the CASA Golf Scramble and he helped serve breakfast at the BMW rally. He traveled to Baker City yesterday for a Community Connections of Northeast Oregon board meeting. Monday he donated blood at the Red Cross blood drive. Tomorrow he will attend the Road Advisory Board meeting at 4 pm. Myers noted that final inspection for the elevator installation is planned for Monday, June 29.

9:10 am – Kathy Smith entered

MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to approve the June 17 minutes as corrected

530. E. MAIN. The court acknowledged notice received from Blue Mountain Forest Partners that it will vacate use of office space at 530 E. Main, No. 7 in John Day by July 31, 2015.

9:20 am -- Chris Cook and Larry Blasing entered

DISTRICT ATTORNEY. District Attorney Jim Carpenter previously requested signature on Intergovernmental Agreement No. 148542 with Department of Human Services to provide legal services for Child Welfare dependency cases. The agreement provides the balance of state funds related to the Title 4 Entitlement federal agreement the court signed on March 11, 2015. The maximum amount payable to the DA office in 2015-2017 is $30,000.00 based on the actual amount of reimbursable costs and percent of staff time spent on juvenile dependency cases. Quarterly reporting to the DHS office will be done by the DA office; funds help support Office Manager and Legal Assistant salaries. MSP: Britton/Labhart -- to allow Judge Myers to sign Intergovernmental Agreement No. 148542 with Department of Human Services

BUDGET RESOLUTIONS. Court members, also acting as governing body of the Extension Service District, reviewed and signed the following resolutions. Resolution 15-11 Making Cash Loan from General Fund to County Fair Fund in the amount of $30,000.00 to pay the month end bills and payroll until July. Treasurer Kathy Smith pointed out that last year’s cash loan was $11,000.00 so the fair is going even further into the red. She recommended that someone address the problem with the Fair Board this fall; she would like a plan in place by October. Discussion followed about how this problem has been occurring over the past few years. It was noted the Fair Board has been doing its best to try and resolve the situation. It was generally understood that some other way needs to be found to operate the fair. Resolution 15-12 Making a Cash Loan from General Fund to Domestic Violence Fund in the amount of $18,000.00 since reimbursement revenue will not be received until July; Resolution 15-13 Adopting the Annual Budget, Imposing Taxes and Making Appropriations for FY 2015-2016 for Grant County in the total amount of $21,288,012.00. Resolution 15-09 Making Budgeted Transfers, Grant County Extension and 4H Service District, from District General to District Reserve Fund in the amount of $2,000.00 and Resolution 15-10 Adopting the Annual Budget, Levying Taxes and Making Appropriations for FY 2015-2016 for Grant County Extension and 4H Service District in the amount of $256,933.00.

PUBLIC HEARING. At 9:30 am a public hearing was opened to consider the Petition by Landowner for Annexation to the Mt. Vernon Rural Fire Protection District filed by Chris and Spring Cook pursuant to ORS 198.857 and ORS 478.140. The 5.0 acre portion of property is located at Township 14 S, Range 30 E, Section 01, Tax Lot 500. Oregon Department of Forestry previously approved annexation of this property into the forest protection district. Chris Cook was present.

Myers asked for one round of proponent and opponent testimony on annexation into the Mt. Vernon Rural Fire Protection District. The only comment heard was from Jim Sproul who asked Mr. Cook about the location of his property and the surrounding landowners. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to dispense with the rest of the rounds of testimony. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to close the hearing on the Petition for Annexation of this property. MSP: Labhart/Britton -- to approve 57525 Cayuse Lane, Mt. Vernon OR 97865 to be annexed into the Mt. Vernon Rural Fire Protection District as outlined. The court signed the Petition and Order 2015-01 Annexing Territory Described in Exhibit A to the Mt. Vernon Rural Fire Protection District.

9:45 am Gregg Smith, News Reporter Tim Trainer, and Mark Witty entered

SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 3. Outgoing School District No. 3 Superintendent Mark Witty thanked the County Court for its strong collaborative relationship with the county’s schools over the 17 years he served the district. Witty expressed gratitude for the productive relationship between the county and the schools which resulted in outstanding benefits for students. Witty said SRS funds are no longer tied to personnel costs, so the school has been able to use the money to fill the gap in State School Funds and have some flexibility to preserve and expand programs and student services. Witty believed the school district would have been devastated without the county’s support. Other discussion followed about the county’s economic environment, the changes he’s seen in student population over the years, and the hope he has for future economic growth in Grant County. Witty also believes in collaborative efforts between the county and the Forest Service to bring back multiple use forest management, since it’s such an important factor in this community’s ongoing social and economic health.

GEOGRAPHIC NAMES. Historian and local citizen Gregg Smith provided informational handouts, displayed a Nez Perce dictionary, and said he hopes to engage in a dialog with the Forest Service to see if a geographic name change from Summit Creek back to the original name “Klatawa” Creek would be possible. Klatawa is a Chinook Jargon word meaning “to go,” or “to travel.” Smith also provided historical information and maps about Passport in Time Projects with the name Klatawa – Following the Obsidian Trail with a focus on testing sites along the proposed travel routes to and from the Malheur Headwaters. Smith was concerned about pressure from the Umatilla Tribe to change so many geographic names with unsubstantiated, and historically inaccurate and geographically historic names. He would welcome a county letter of support for the name Summit Creek being changed back to the original name “Klatawa” Creek. Billie Jo George asked Britton what he thought. Britton talked about his involvement in the geographic names process including a previous visit to Washington DC to meet with the U. S. Board on Geographic Names. He said there has been no response to the county’s invitations to come to Grant County and speak about the board’s name change proposals. Britton believes the county must maintain active involvement by continuing to raise concerns about the geographic names process. The court was in support of Smith engaging with the Forest Service regarding the original name “Klatawa.”

10:25 am – Kathy Stinnett and Glenn Palmer entered

BATES POND. Historian and local citizen Gregg Smith proposed sending a letter to Oregon Parks and Recreation Department about the need to clean-out and renovate Bates Pond which is desired by ODF&W, Grant SWCD and Grant County. He explained that the Pond has been filling up with silt and weeds. The letter notes that the Pond has a strong cultural, economic and recreational value to the county, so a plan to renovate Bates Pond is needed in the Master Plan for Bates State Park. The court signed the letter to the OPRD Director as presented.

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE. Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett requested approval to start using Credits, Inc. to provide collection services for Justice Court. Stinnett said collection agencies were previously used for delinquent money judgments, but the office has been actively enforcing collections on their own for several years. Since these tasks have been so time consuming with a poor success rate, she recommends entering into an agreement with Credits, Inc. which would involve no cost to the county. Stinnett noted that Credits, Inc. is a preferred service provider since it interfaces with the office’s current software. Also, accounts would be assigned to another agency or use Circuit Court if legal action needs to be taken. When Britton asked, Stinnett said there’s approximately $50,000.00 outstanding this year. She added that she would like to turn over collections for the past five years. The court suggested that Stinnett contact Credits, Inc. to clarify language on the 9% interest rate and ask about inserting an opt-out clause. Sheriff Palmer applauded Stinnett for her efforts because contracting out collections will also alleviate staff time as well as other costs for the Sheriff’s office.

11:00 am – Zach Williams entered

EAGLE PEAK. Sheriff Glenn Palmer updated the court on a proposal by Alexandra Communications, Inc. to purchase and install a new radio tower at Eagle Peak. He provided maps of the area showing that the tower site is on county property. Palmer had been in contact with some individuals who gave positive reports about this company and others who gave negative reports. Palmer stressed the need to find another solution for communications at Eagle Peak and continue upgrading our important radio communications system. Myers has been in contact with certain individuals about the situation at Eagle Peak and asked for an opportunity to consider a couple more options. This matter would be discussed further in the near future.

RAC MEMBERS. At Labhart’s request the court discussed a June 16, 2015 letter from Jeff Tomac, Northeast Oregon Forests RAC Coordinator, about nominees being sought for the Resource Advisory Council and the process for making nominations. Local citizens Ken Holliday and Jack Southworth currently serve on the RAC, and Harney County Judge Steve Grasty. Five members from three separate categories (15 in all) serve on the RAC. Court members planned to make contact with citizens who may be interested in serving on the RAC to represent interests in Category B or C. Follow up discussion would occur at a future meeting of the court. HHaH

PUBLIC COMMENT. Jim Sproul asked if the court heard from the Forest Service about the Wolf Project. They had not. It was noted Myers personally has standing in the Big Mosquito and Elk 16 projects, but the court does not.

Billie Jo George talked about her conversation with Malheur NF Supervisor Steve Beverlin who told her the Forest Service cannot take RS 2477 roads into account because the county only had two roads on the list of those roads. She asked if a group of three volunteers she knows could perform research on possible RS 2477 status roads, with the objective of getting more roads designated. Britton said the county had done this before and simply declared the RS 2477 designation, but does not have to maintain it. A few years ago the county employed a Road Historian at the Road Department, but the position is no longer filled. Labhart thought this was a public record process which George could research herself. She felt, after the research is done, the court should do something with the information. Other discussion took place about dates associated with the RS 2477 law and possible roads that may qualify for RS 2477 designation, if it serves a public interest. News Reporter Tim Trainer and the court brief discussed a medical marijuana ban in the county and Measure 91 legislation currently going on in Salem.

11:30 am -- Adjourned

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary R. Ferrioli

County Court Secretary

Letter: Trails group appreciates response Thu, 2 Jul 2015 08:49:40 -0400 To the Editor:

The Grant County Chapter (GCC) of COTA (Central Oregon Trail Alliance) greatly appreciates all public responses and takes all concerns seriously in regards to building and maintaining

multi-use, purpose built, single-track trails on the Malheur National Forest.

Learning more about the Wildlife Emphasis Area, within the Magone Lake project, GCC has asked for those trails to be moved out of that area and into the eastern part of the project. We

are excited to see what has transpired when the new proposals come out soon.

It is our goal to create human-powered recreation on this incredible, beautiful forest, while taking all environmental factors and community thoughts into consideration.

Some of the proposed trails are on old closed roads, we do this whenever we can. It is important to understand we can not take an open road – whether it is minimally used or not – and

turn it into a trail, as road-to-trail conversion makes the road impassable to all vehicles. We must use already closed/decommissioned roads. Although some closed roads have grades that are too steep and/or run along stream beds, that is not sustainable for trails or the environment in the long run. GCC looks for ways to build and maintain trails in the least impactful way.

GCC appreciates being able to have constructive discussions for the greater good and future of our community.

Andrea Mesple-Herburger

Grant County Chapter Rep., COTA

John Day

No ladies gatherings until Sept. Thu, 2 Jul 2015 08:49:24 -0400 JOHN DAY – There will be no Second Saturday Gathering held during July and August.

The monthly women’s meetings will resume in September.

Man sentenced to 30 years for sex crimes Wed, 1 Jul 2015 18:09:43 -0400 CANYON CITY – Judge William D. Cramer Jr. sentenced Bobby Wayne Lampton, 63, in the Grant County Circuit Court to 30 years in prison Wednesday, July 1, for sex crimes against a child.

On June 24 Lampton was found guilty on six counts, including two counts of sodomy in the first degree, one count of unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree and three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.

Grant County District Attorney Jim Carpenter and Deputy District Attorney Matt Ipson prosecuted the case, and Renee Denison of Ontario represented Lampton.

Lampton was given credit for time served – approximately one year in the Grant County Jail.

Family members who took the stand to make statements said the sentencing is a victory not only for the victim, but for other victims as well.

Burns Airport adds fuel truck to aid firefighting flights Wed, 1 Jul 2015 12:18:20 -0400 Eric MortensonCapital Press During fire season last summer in southeast Oregon, the Burns Municipal Airport ran out of fuel for firefighting airplanes nine times.

With drought expected to bring an even worse wildfire danger this year, airport Manager Jeff Cotton, community members and the Bureau of Land Management, which manages much of range and forestland in the region, began looking for ways to avoid similar shortages and response delays. Having to halt flights until fuel was delivered interrupted the firefighting effort.

Cotton and the others learned a military surplus tanker truck was available at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and federal General Services Administration approved the airport’s request. The tanker was free, and the BLM paid for two drivers and a low-boy hauling rig to go get it.

The tanker, a 1995 Volvo with only 300 miles on it, holds 6,000 gallons of fuel. Cotton said the rolling cache gives the airport about three days worth of fuel for the air tankers. He’d like more, but he’s glad to have it.

“We’ve got bigger fires, more fires and earlier fires,” Cotton said. The area saw two fires in June; the earliest last year didn’t happen until July 6.

Cotton said he hopes to obtain another tanker truck next fall or spring.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” he said.

Meet the grand marshals! Wed, 1 Jul 2015 12:05:59 -0400 Among all the colorful parade entries, three sets of grand marshals – in Prairie City, Monument and Dayville – will be riding and waving to onlookers during the Fourth of July festivities.

Here’s a brief glance at the honored dignitaries:

Jim and Lynette Sullens were born and raised in Prairie City. Both worked for the Forest Service, and Jim is also retired from the Prairie City Fire Department, on which he served as chief. The couple have three children and several grandchildren, and are active in Prairie City community events.

Marina Martin has lived in Dayville since 1977. She has held many roles at Dayville School – art teacher, bus driver for 25 years, baseball coach and sports team medic. She was an EMT for 16 years, and has served on several clubs. She has three children and four grandchildren.

Bob Cox comes from pioneer stock. His grandparents homesteaded in the Monument area soon after 1900, in the Top area. Cox has spent his life farming the family homestead and has also been involved with 4-H and other community activities.

Wednesday update: Little overnight action on Sugar Loaf fire Wed, 1 Jul 2015 10:01:07 -0400 Tim Trainor The Sugar Loaf Fire, located outside Dayville, has steadied at about 5,000 acres.

The fire, though still just 20 percent contained, burned little additional acreage outside a fire perimeter. A fire line has been established on the north edge of the fire, and work has been completed to protect structures on Dick Creek Road.

As of July 1, three crews, two engines, 2 water tenders and 75 personnel kept an eye on the fire overnight. A larger day shift crew will attempt to further solidify fire lines Wednesday.

In addition, a Hot Shot crew worked on the Blue Basin Fire near State Route 19, maintaining containment without damaging sites in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

A crew also suppressed a small lightning fire discovered June 30, about four miles north of Sugarloaf Mountain. The same crew is working the Schoolhouse Gulch Fire, about 100 acres in size, located about two miles east of Dayville.

Crews continue to battle the still-growing Corner Creek Fire, located on the west side of the South Fork John Day River about 11 miles south of Dayville. It expanded by several thousand acres Tuesday.

The forecast for the rest of the week is for continuing hot weather with low humidity. Winds are a concern, especially in the evenings when they have been gusting to 20 mph.

In addition, the Jones Canyon Fire has grown to about 500 or 600 acres, burning 12 miles northeast of Monument. It is not yet contained.

The Harper Creek Complex, consisting of three lightning-caused fires of a combined 400 acres, is roughly 50-75 percent contained, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The Jones Canyon Fire burning 20 miles southwest of Ukiah is 22 percent contained. Cause is under investigation.

The lightning-caused, 462-acre Candy Kid Fire burning on Bureau of Land Management lands eight miles north of Drewsy is 30 percent contained.

Updates on fires throughout the area will be posted at Check back throughout the day.

Burns man arrested after chase through John Day Wed, 1 Jul 2015 08:44:15 -0400 Tim Trainor A Burns man fled from police Tuesday in John Day, and was captured after a short pursuit.

Charles D. Platt, 25, was arrested and charged with felony attempt to elude with vehicle, and misdemeanor charges of attempt to elude on foot, reckless driving and DUII.

At about 4 p.m. June 30, Oregon State Police were searching for a burglary suspect from Harney County, believed to be Platt. A trooper spotted the man’s vehicle traveling north on Highway 395, just south of John Day.

The trooper stopped the vehicle, but before the officer could make contact with the driver, Platt sped away. After a short vehicle pursuit, Platt’s car stopped near the Snaffle Bit Dinner House, and he fled on foot.

John Day Police and Grant County Sheriff’s Office helped search for the suspect, who was found a short time later and arrested without incident.

Golf scramblers highlight fun in CASA fundraiser Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:12:34 -0400 Angel Carpenter JOHN DAY – Golfers took a swing for children served by Court Appointed Special Advocates at last Saturday’s 5th Annual CASA Golf Scramble.

The group of 32 players raised a record amount, over $6,000, while competing at the John Day Golf Club.

CASA executive director Tracey Blood said they had more sponsors contributing to the cause than previous years

“All proceeds received will go toward supporting children who live in Grant and Harney counties who are subjected to neglect and abuse,” she said.

She added CASA volunteers are trained to help children through the dependency court system.

“The program’s goal is to advocate for a safe, permanent and nurturing home for every child it serves,” she said.

Breakfast included biscuits and gravy, with Judy Hudson’s famous homemade cinnamon rolls, and fruit, and lunch consisted of barbecued ribs by Ed McCrary, salads by Margie McCrary, Lori Hickerson, Linda Watson, and Sandie Gilson and desserts by Hailey Delaney, Alena Smith and Aaron Roth.

Next up is the Harney County CASA Golf Scramble Aug. 15 at the Hines Golf Course.


First place: Roof Creek Guttering Team – Scott Myers, Colt Carpenter, Mitch Saul, and Alex Finlayson

Second place: (tie) Phil Jenkins, Kathie Stoddard, Charlie Wilson, and Randy Horner; Ed McCrary, Ryan Torland, Travis Jones, and Lance Woodcock

Closest to the pin: Randy Horner, 7 feet, 7 inches

Longest drive: Women, Melody Jackson; men, Alex Finlayson

Scoring “most strokes for kids”: Team Broemeling

Marijuana faces hazy future in Grant County Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:16:49 -0400 Tim Trainor As legal marijuana arrives on the scene in Oregon, its future remains hazy in Grant County.

The County Court has not banned medical or recreational dispensaries, and the state Legislature continues to finalize a plan that gives counties that voted against Measure 91 back in November, the ability to ban all dispensaries.

In a brief conversation during the June 24 Court meeting, Commissioner Boyd Britton said he would be in favor of banning both medical and recreational dispensaries from the county while Commissioner Chris Labhart said he would not want to override decisions made by other municipalities. Britton said he would have no problem overriding those decisions.

In John Day, the city council carved out a small space on the far east end of town as the sole place a dispensary could locate within city limits. The council made no distinction as to whether that could be a medical or recreational dispensary, but the state has said business licenses will not be ready for recreational dispensaries until at least 2016.

After much debate, Prairie City’s council decided to take no steps to ban or put restrictions on dispensaries.

Instead, the city is in the process of instituting a first-ever business license, which all businesses located within the city will have to pay upon opening and annually thereafter. The current plan calls for a $25 annual license fee, and the funds raised would be spent on city beautification, said Mayor Jim Hamsher.

Hamsher said the council went back and forth on plans for dispensary regulations, but eventually decided to hold off on any ordinance until the state and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission release their regulations.

Hamsher said he did not think a dispensary of any kind would fit in Prairie City.

In Mount Vernon, city councilors wanted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries outright, but were told their city insurance would not cover the legal fees to defend the ordinance if they were sued.

Instead, councilors instituted restrictions that nearly ban it altogether, requiring any dispensaries to be located more than 1,000 feet from a city park or residential area.

The city council in Canyon City has taken no action on marijuana dispensaries.

As zoning rules and bans are enacted, some marijuana-related businesses have moved forward.

Devin Freeman opened Juicy Tree, at 135 E. Main in John Day, in early June. The store sells glass bongs, lighters, rolling papers and other smoking accessories.

Freeman has lived in Prairie City for two years, has a medical marijuana card and is a grower for other clients with medical cards.

He said he didn’t have the desire – or the money – to open a dispensary. He did, however, have fears that he would be run out of town when he tried to open his small paraphernalia store.

“Surprisingly, we really haven’t gotten much of that,” said Freeman.

The process for getting a business license was simple. There were no people blocking the doors or harassing customers on his first day. Nearby business owners have been polite.

A John Day police officer did fine a person leaving the store, he said, after the officer found marijuana residue on the customer’s pocketknife.

“That sort of stuff is over though,” said Freeman. “With everything else that’s being fought over (in the marijuana debate), I don’t think a store like this is the most important,” he said.

Freeman is hoping for an increase in sales starting July 1, when the weed becomes legal.

He said business has been “better than I thought it was going to be” already.

When prohibition lifts, no one is quite sure what will change, only that many things will.

— Tim Trainor is interim editor of The Blue Mountain Eagle. He can be reached at

Chinook fishery yields low catch Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:12:11 -0400 ODFW hopeful for longer salmon season next year

By Angel Carpenter

Blue Mountain Eagle

JOHN DAY – Anglers had the opportunity to hook a chinook in Grant County during the late May and early June salmon fishery, however, reports are the harvest was low.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife approved the May 20 to June 7 opening of the chinook fishery along a stretch along the mainstem John Day River near Kimberly.

ODFW’s action district fish biologist Brent Smith said he is only aware of three salmon caught.

“The river was in good shape for fishing flowing near 1,000 cfs at Service Creek about a week prior to the season, but when the rains came it rose to a high near 5,500 cfs,” he said. “During high turbid flows it is nearly impossible to catch salmon.”

He added the river dropped to around 2,000 for the last week of the season and a handful of anglers tried again.

“Overall, due to river conditions, there was very light angler pressure,” he said. “I am hopeful for next year if salmon numbers are good, to open a longer season with a larger fishery area.”

Baker City Cycling Class included punishing leg to Prairie City Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:11:48 -0400 Tim Trainor The Baker City Cycling Classic began June 26 in Sumpter, as competitors raced 87 miles out and back to Prairie City. The punishing route had a total ascent of 7,500 feet and temperatures pushed 100 degrees.

The four-day race concluded June 28. The winner in the men’s pro division was Camilo Zambrano, who finished just ahead of Sepp Kuss in 3 hours, 47 minutes and 10 seconds.

In the women’s pro division, Heather Albert won in 4 hours 31 minutes and 51 seconds, beating Jennifer Luebke by 14 minutes.

(No heading) Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:12:50 -0400 Angel Carpenter

Autism workshop on tap Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:07:51 -0400 JOHN DAY – A free workshop on autism and applied behavior analysis will be offered from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, July 5, at Families First Parent Resource Center.

Topics to be covered include defining autism spectrum disorder and applied behavior analysis, symptoms of autism, how autism is treated, and helping children with autism.

The workshop will be presented by Carshena Tronnes, M.A., BCBA, and hosted by ROCCOS Family Network and Families First.

Families First is at 401 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day.

To register, call 541-575-1006 or email

Hunters education classes start next week Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:08:07 -0400 JOHN DAY – A series of hunter education classes will start July 6 at the Old West Federal Credit Union conference room in John Day.

Deanna Maley will teach the classes from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings over a two week period.

A field day live shoot is set for 9 a.m. Saturday, July 18.

No one under the age of 18 may hunt wildlife (except on their own land) without first successfully completing the course. All ages planning to hunt as nonresidents in other states may be required to have a hunter education card.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife sponsors the classes with a $10 class fee per student, which may be waived in some circumstances.

Preregistration is available at Ace Hardware, True Value Hardware, ODFW office or other ODFW license sales outlets.

For additional information, call Bryan Nelson at 541-575-1808 or ODFW office, 541-575-1167.

Special Olympians find joy in competing Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:07:39 -0400 Angel Carpenter MILTON-FREEWATER – Grant County Special Olympics athletes put their best foot forward at the June 20 Regional Summer Games.

The event, at Milton-Freewater’s Shockman Field, drew Special Olympics groups from Baker, Hermiston/Pendleton, Milton-Freewater, Union, Mitchell, Harney County and Washington State.

Coaches Anthony and Sharon Busch led the Grant County team of 11 athletes for track and field events, ranging from softball throw to pentathlon.

“I thought they all did really well,” Anthony said. “We practice at Grant Union High School, and almost invariably they beat their time in practice.”

He said he appreciated the other volunteers who attended: Deronda Lallatin, Jannet Hoeffner, Kodi Bremner and Karla Colson.

“You can’t do it without your helpers,” he said.

Charley Fronapel competed in pentathlon for a second time, earning second place behind Baker City’s Robert Dean Martinez.

Fronapel said the race was good, and he feels ready for the upcoming Summer State Games set for July 11-12 in Newberg.

Sharon added all the athletes had fun.

“We encourage them to do their personal best,” she said.

The oath the athletes take at the events reads: “Let me win, but if I cannot win let me have the joy of competing.”

Regional Summer Games results:

Rodney Brunson: 50-meter walk, 2nd; softball throw, 1st

Jay Colson: 400-meter race walk, 5th; 4x100 relay, 1st; shot put, 3rd

Charley Fronapel: 4x100, 3rd; pentathlon, 2nd

Josiah Hoeffner: 100-meter dash, 4th; 4x100 relay, 3rd, softball throw, 2nd

Katie Latham: 100-meter dash, 5th; 400-meter race walk, 4th

Caleb Madsen: 200-meter dash, 4th; 400-meter dash, 3rd; 4x100, 3rd

Brian McKrola: 100-meter dash, 1st; 4x100, 1st; shot put, 3rd

Bill Pauley: 100-meter dash, 5th; 400-meter race walk, 3rd; 4x100 relay, 3rd

Katie Shockley: 50-meter walk, 2nd; softball throw, 6th

Elizabeth Swarthout: 100-meter dash, 4th; 4x100 relay, 1st; softball throw, 3rd

Crystal Wimberley: 400-meter race walk, 2nd; 4x100 relay, 1st; shot put, 3rd

Monument School celebrates 100 years Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:06:39 -0400 MONUMENT – A centennial anniversary celebration of Monument School, including reunions of all classes, is scheduled for this weekend.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

Registration will be held at the school’s main building 4-7 p.m. Friday; visitors are asked to avoid the gym as the space will be used for an unrelated event that day.

Registration will continue on Saturday at 9 a.m.

Tours will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m Saturday, July 4.

School officials encourage classmates to join together, and pictures will be taken.

On Sunday morning, the American Legion will hold a pancake breakfast at the school cafeteria.

Visitors to the reunion are also encouraged to attend the Monument Jubilee Fourth of July events held all day Saturday, ending with the fireworks display.

For more information, visit the Monument Jubilee Facebook page.

Queen Reitta rides in Union Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:06:34 -0400

Meeting for bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat hunters set for July 18 in The Dalles Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:06:20 -0400 Angel Carpenter SALEM – The 115 hunters who drew a bighorn sheep or Rocky Mountain goat tag are invited to an orientation on July 18 at 9 a.m. in The Dalles. The orientation is required for all 2015 Rocky Mountain goat hunters; sheep hunters are strongly encouraged to attend.

Other interested hunters are also welcome to attend.

The Oregon Chapter of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep (FNAWS) offers the orientation in partnership with ODFW.

Subjects covered include: maps and areas to find sheep, hunting ethics, marksmanship, survival, hiring an outfitter, check-in/check-out requirements and other topics. 

The event will be held at the Readiness Center, Columbia Gorge Community College, 400 E Scenic Drive. Hunters should preregister by contacting FNAWS’ George Houston tel. 503-826-9109 / or Don South, tel. 503-647-5954.

“Bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goat hunts are rare once-in-a-lifetime tags, and the orientation is meant to prepare lucky hunters for this very special experience,” says Jeremey Thompson, ODFW district wildlife biologist in The Dalles. 

Bighorn sheep died off in Oregon in the 1940s due to unregulated hunting and their susceptibility to domestic livestock diseases. The first successful bighorn sheep relocation in Oregon occurred in 1954, when 20 California bighorns were relocated from British Columbia to the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in Lake County. Since then, the population of bighorn sheep has grown to an estimated 3,500-3,700 as a result of ODFW’s aggressive restoration efforts.

Rocky Mountain goats were extirpated from Oregon prior to or during European settlement in the late 19th century. The rarest game animal hunted in the state today, only 20 tags were available for the 2015 season. Oregon’s current Rocky Mountain goat population is the result of reintroduction efforts that began in 1950 when five goats were transported from Chopaka Mountain in northern Washington to the Wallowa Mountains.

Hunters have been instrumental in these species’ restoration to native habitat in Oregon. Hunter purchases of license and tags plus raffles and auctions of these tags each year have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goat reintroductions to native habitat in Oregon.

DEQ continues vapor investigation Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:06:11 -0400 Angel Carpenter JOHN DAY – The Department of Environmental Quality is continuing their investigation of the noxious fumes in southwest John Day.

New manager Norman Read takes over as project leader, replacing Bryn Thoms who is out of the country.

Gasoline vapors have caused discomfort for residents, mainly in the 400 to 600 South Canyon Boulevard area, as fumes infiltrated their homes.

On June 11, the Environmental Protection Agency and DEQ held a public meeting, where they reported finding fresh gasoline in soil and groundwater samples and the information they gathered led them to believe Triangle Oil was the “possible responsible party.”

Read said that information hasn’t changed, but they have yet to determine the exact source.

“We’ve installed, and are now operating, two soil vapor extraction systems, one in the south area and one in the north area,” Read said. “The hope is that we’ll be able to reduce the level of gasoline vapor.”

Read said he is aware of no new problems.

“We’re going to be doing a new round of monitoring well installation starting Wednesday,” he said, “We hope to determine the extent of contamination in the groundwater.”

Read added he was confident they would pinpoint the source of the problem this week.

Two GU softball players honored Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:05:47 -0400 NEWPORT – Two 2015 Grant Union graduates received 3A All-Oregon softball honors.

Babe Nash was named to the First Team as catcher, and Sydney Stearns had an honorable mention as a utility player.

The girls played in the Senior All-Stars Games June 20 in Newport, and junior Natalie Stearns was listed as a fill-in player.

$15 minimum wage campaign qualifies for ballot title Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:47:34 -0400 PETER WONGCapital Bureau SALEM — Disappointed with legislative inaction, labor and other advocates took the first step Tuesday toward a 2016 ballot measure proposing a $15 statewide minimum wage by 2019.

Oregon’s current statewide minimum is $9.25 per hour, second only to Washington’s $9.47 among the states. But several cities — Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles — are gradually raising their minimums to $15.

Advocates filed preliminary paperwork for the measure several weeks ago, but on Tuesday, they filed with state elections officials the 2,000 signatures that will trigger a ballot title from the attorney general. The title is an official summary required before advocates can collect the 88,184 signatures to qualify the measure for the November 2016 ballot.

Those petition signatures are due in about a year.

If voters approve it, Oregon’s minimum wage would go to $11.50 in 2017, $13.25 in 2018 and $15 in 2019. Afterward, annual increases would be linked to the Consumer Price Index, as has been the practice since voters approved it in 2002.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, told reporters that lawmakers are unlikely to pass a minimum-wage increase this session. Lawmakers heard several bills on April 13.

Kotek had offered a compromise plan to raise it in stages to $13 by 2018, coupled with a provision to let cities and counties set it even higher. The House Rules Committee conducted two hearings but has not advanced it.

“Democrats said if we gave them a majority in the Legislature, they would take bold action to ensure that every Oregonian had the opportunity to succeed,” said Kristi Wright, statewide organizing director for 15 Now Oregon.

“Pressure from big business and their allies who profit from poverty wages, and inaction from Democratic Party leaders, killed the bill. Democratic leaders have neglected their promise to the working people of this state. But even though they killed the bill, they cannot kill this movement.”

Diana Pei Wu, executive director of Portland Jobs with Justice, said her coalition is working with employers to raise the minimum pay of as many as 30,000 of the estimated 120,000 metro-area workers who make less than $15 per hour.

Fast-food restaurant workers spearheaded the national movement for a $15 minimum a few years ago.

“Everyone thought $15 was pie in the sky; no one thought we would get to $15,” Wu said. “But over the past two and a half years, tens of thousands of workers and organizations and unions all over the United States have made this a reality — it’s the most reasonable minimum wage we expect.”

But no state has increased the minimum wage to $15, either through legislative action or popular vote — and a ballot measure is likely to attract millions of dollars into an opposition campaign.

“We see our power coming from the people and the broad support this issue has around the state,” Wright said.

Several unions have lent their support to the measure, even though it does not exclude collective bargaining agreements. Among the union speakers were Tim Stoelb, president of the Oregon School Employees Association, and Ramon Ramirez, president of the Oregon farmworkers union PCUN.

“We are the ones who put food on your table,” said Ramirez, who is a chief petitioner of the measure. “I am here to say: No exclusions. Every worker in Oregon needs to make at least the minimum wage. We are going to fight to the end to make sure that happens.”

Cops & Courts Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:24:38 -0400 Arrests and citations in the Blue Mountain Eagle are taken from the logs of law enforcement agencies. Every effort is made to report the court disposition of arrest cases.

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

• Logan Rodney Girrard, 32, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault. He was sentenced to bench probation for 12 months, and ordered to make an acceptable written or verbal apology to the victim.

• Monty Guy Leonard Smith, 40, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. He was sentenced to jail for 11 months and post-prison supervision for 36 months, and ordered to have no contact with the victims. The court dismissed counts for unlawful use of a weapon, menacing and fourth-degree assault.

CANYON CITY – The Grant County Sheriff’s Office reported the following for the week of June 19-25:

• Concealed handgun licenses: 11

• Average inmates: 12

• Bookings: 6

• Releases: 9

• Fingerprints: 6

• Civil papers: 11

• Warrants processed: 3

• Asst./welfare check: 3

• Search and Rescue: 1

John Day dispatch worked 148 calls during the week of June 22-28. Along with the various traffic warnings, trespassing, injured animals, noise complaints and juvenile complaints, these calls included:

• John Day Police:

June 24: Cited a Montana man for speeding.

June 25: Arrested a man for assault in Prairie City.

June 26: Arrested a woman on a Grant County warrant.

• John Day ambulance:

June 22: Responded for a 55-year-old woman.

June 25: Responded for an 88-year-old woman.

June 26: Dispatched for a man with a possible stroke.

June 28: Responded for an elderly woman with difficulty breathing.

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

• Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana: Brandon Lee Stout, 21, John Day, fined $650.

• Violation of the basic rule: Meghann Jesstine Vankomen, 21, Nampa, Idaho, 70/55 zone, fined $160; Timothy Joseph Held, 53, Turlock, Calif., 73/55 zone, fined $160; Alyssa Shae Bruce, 26, Bend, 75/55 zone, fined $160.

• Use of cellphone: Mark W. Witty, 50, John Day, fined $135.

• Open container of alcohol: Lucas Allan Burton, 30, John Day, fined $260.