Blue Mountain Eagle | Blue Mountain Eagle Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:21:44 -0500 en Blue Mountain Eagle | Eat spaghetti, and help pets this Sunday Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:54:21 -0500 JOHN DAY – Animal lovers who also like spaghetti should mark this Sunday, Jan. 25 on their calendar.

A Spay-ghetti Dinner will be offered from 1-5 p.m. at the Squeeze-In Restaurant in John Day

The event is a fund-raiser for the programs of New Hope for Eastern Oregon Animals’ Grant County Chapter, with a focus on spay and neuter assistance and responsible pet ownership. The buffet spaghetti dinner is by donation. There also will be drawings for desserts and gift baskets at 1:45, 2:45 and 3:45 p.m. All are welcome.

County Court minutes 01-14-15 Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:24:59 -0500 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

JANUARY 14, 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, Pastor Marcie Collins, Jim Sproul and Hal Smith. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Marcie Collins.

AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Labhart-- to accept the agenda to include Labhart discussion on tomorrow’s teleconference with AOC counties about SRS and a report from Britton about last week’s Forest Collaborative meet in Pendleton.


Labhart participated in a Blue Mountain Hospital Board work session last Wednesday evening and attended the Health Evidence Review Commission meeting in Wilsonville on Thursday. Monday he participated in an AOC Veterans Committee teleconference, attended Senior Citizen’s lunch in John Day, and donated blood for the Red Cross. Yesterday Labhart participated in an EOCCO teleconference and attended the John Day City Council meeting. Tomorrow he has an AOC teleconference on SRS and a Blue Mountain Hospital board meeting. Saturday he will attend the VA Van Driver’s appreciation dinner in John Day.

Britton attended a Forest Collaborative meeting in Pendleton all day last Thursday. Due to work demands he was unable to attend the Stock Growers and Farm Bureau meetings as he had planned.

Britton asked the court asking their permission to talk seriously with OTEC about their increasing service charges that are negatively impacting ranchers. It was suggested that we take the opportunity of addressing this topic tomorrow at 2 pm during the teleconference with other counties.

Myers reported on his meeting yesterday with Shane Giffin (ODOT) and their travel to Heppner for a tour of ODOT’s animal compost demonstration site. ODOT hopes to develop a similar site some day in Grant County. He will participate in CIS Training at 1 pm today at Keerins Hall and an Airport Commission meeting at 6 pm. Tomorrow morning Myers will meet with staff at the Road Department and participate in the AOC teleconference on SRS at 2 pm.

9:25 am -- Matt Wenick entered

MINUTES. MSP: Labhart/Myers-- to approve the January 7 minutes

AOC. Labhart reported on yesterday’s AOC teleconference with other counties concerning annual dues, SRS and PILT funding, and the Title 2 RAC process.

FOREST COLLABORATIVE. Britton reported on the Forest Plan meeting he attended all day in Pendleton last Thursday. He suggested the Collaborative Group could possibly re-write a portion of the Revised Blue Mountain Forest Plan. Discussion took place about differences between the 3 national forests and among the Collaborative Groups. Britton asked for permission to take his proposal to the Collaborative Group -- which could involve funds to pay individuals in the collaborative. Myers asked if other Malheur NF counties would help share the cost since they would benefit from this work. Britton thought our county should take the lead in this because our Collaborative Group is further along than the other groups. He indicated that he’s already talked with legal counsel about the proposal. Labhart said he had no problem with the concept, but didn’t want to make a commitment today. Labhart asked for and received consensus on taking the proposal to the Collaborative Group.

MONUMENT RURAL FIRE DISTRICT. The court (as Board of Trustees for Monument Rural Fire District) continued reviewing their “Findings of Fact and Plan of Dissolution” per ORS 198.925(1). The document must be filed with the County Clerk by Friday, January 16. Myers explained, since last week, Prairie City contacted him to say they are interested in taking their fire truck back as is. He reported on the contacts he made with Cloverdale Rural Fire District and the City of Monument Fire Department which generated responses of no-interest. The working order of the equipment is still in the process of being evaluated. It was understood that any further findings discovered after today could be filed as “Amended” Findings. MSP: Britton/Myers-- to adopt the Board of Trustees’ Findings of Fact for the Monument Rural Fire District as reviewed today.

9:50 am-- Bob Muenchausen entered

VETERAN SERVICES. Veteran Services Officer Bob Muenchausen requested approval of an Order and Agreement for Meadow Outdoor Advertising for the county’s veteran services program. He said the advertisement is to promote greater awareness among residents about county sponsored veterans outreach available through his office. The project has been approved by the Oregon Veterans Affairs VEOGP grant received for the 2012-2015 biennium. He said a 10.5’ x 24” illuminated advertisement would appear for one year on the billboard across from the Shell Station on the West Highway. The $350 per month / $4,200 total cost will come from available grant funds. Muenchausen said he favors the first example among the four that are available. The court felt this was a good use of grant funds. Muenchausen also requested approval of signage for the entry door to his office created by Eloise Boren of ER Graphics for $149.46. He said a perforated vinyl covering would be applied to the door’s window that allows him to see out, but provides privacy from outside. There are sufficient funds in the VEOGP grant to cover this cost. Muenchausen said the window sign would not be installed until daytime temperatures reach 50 degrees. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to approve Judge Myers signature on the Order and Agreement for Meadow Outdoor Advertising as selected by Muenchausen, as well as the window sign designed by ER Graphics as discussed.

WEED CLASSIFICATION. Grant Soil & Water Conservation District Weed Specialist Matt Wenick requested the Weed District Board (County Court) to approve his revised 2015 Weed Classification List. He noted that we do not currently have an established list of weeds for Grant County. The list classifies all “A” Rated Weeds, “B” Rated Weeds, and “C” Rated Weeds within the county. Wenick explained, according to the MOU with Grant Weed Control and ORS Chapter 569, the designated Weed District Board must approve the updated list. He said this list will allow us to create our own priority list and use separate funding for treatments. At Britton’s request, Wenick talked about the treatment difference between the “A” rated and “B” rated weeds. He said the “C” rated weeds are on the state list and state funding would be used to treat those weeds. The top priority is to focus on eradicating “A” rated weeds, then move on to “B” rated weeds. Wenick pointed out that this is different from the district’s county road weed eradication program. MSP: Labhart/Myers – to approve the 2015 Weed Classification List as presented. The document was circulated for signature by all court members. DISTRICT ATTORNEY. Court members considered District Attorney Jim Carpenter’s request to approve a monthly stipend for his cell phone. The DA is required to be accessible to law enforcement at all times of the day, seven days a week, as well as staff when he is out of the office. It was noted that Mr. Carpenter’s monthly cell phone data package would not change from the $51.00 amount that was budgeted originally. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to approve a $51.00 per month cell phone stipend for Mr. Carpenter as requested. It was noted that a copy of the DA’s monthly cell phone bill would be required to initiate payment of the stipend.

10:25 am – Treasurer Kathy Smith entered

COURTHOUSE ELEVATOR. The court discussed the estimated cost for the Courthouse Elevator

Installation prepared by Kirby Nagelhout Construction Co. at the request of Pinnacle Architecture which totals $396,056.00. It was noted that Circuit Court Administrator Tammy Wheeler previously informed us that the Oregon Judicial Department could be asked for an additional $50,000.00 above the $150,000.00 grant amount the state will provide for this project.

Pinnacle Architecture reported yesterday that bids will be going out next week and are due at the County Court office by the official bid opening at 1:00 pm Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

Britton felt the estimated cost was too high and said he would need to be convinced it is worth that amount before voting for this project. Treasurer Kathy Smith pointed out the true cost of the project won’t be known until bids are received and opened on February 4.

PUBLIC COMMENT. Hal Smith expressed public safety concerns with the recent escape by an individual secured at Juniper Ridge Acute Care Center in John Day. He asked if the court receives a status report from the facility when those incidents occur. Britton said he was notified of the escape immediately. He provided an overview of the incident, the individual’s recovery by law enforcement, and measures taken to mitigate areas of fence that failed.

Jim Sproul remarked that this is a sad day for Grant County with Grant Western Lumber Company equipment being auctioned off.

1050 am -- Adjourned

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary R. Ferrioli

County Court Secretary

Pro teams take down Outlaws Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:37:52 -0500 Angel Carpenter JOHN DAY – The Grant Union girls and boys basketball teams dominated the Enterprise Outlaws at the Prospector court Saturday.

The Grant Union girls won 76-32, and the boys won 77-33.

“We had a great team effort, both offensively and defensively,” said Lady Pros coach Mark Mosley. “We shot the ball extremely well tonight.”

The Grant Union girls led by 15 points in the first quarter, 23-8, and the halftime score was 58-24.

The barrage of Prospector scoring came from seven players, including Mariah Moulton who sank two 3-pointers among other successful shots.

“We worked together, and we had better defense,” Moulton said. “It’s going to help us moving forward in the season.”

Saturday’s win followed a close loss to Union the previous night, 50-54.

Mosley said the team had “chances to win” the game, but added, “It was a great experience against the No. 2 team in state. Now we know that we can compete with just about anybody at our level.”

He added, “We’ve got district as long as we take care of business – we’re starting to play well.”

The Grant Union boys never looked back after taking a 25-point lead over the Outlaws in the first quarter.

One of the Pros’ goals was to slow down 6-foot-6 Outlaw Kaden Lathrop.

“We did that, holding him scoreless in the first half,” said coach Steve Speth.

“I thought we started playing better team basketball, better defense, with better rebounding and better intensity and passing – our tempo improved,” he added.

Prospector Trace Gill, who scored a team-high 18 points, was pleased with the outcome.

“We had great ball movement and worked as a team,” he said. “We need to bring that intensity to away games.”

The team lost 64-77 to Union’s Bobcats last Friday. After a slow start, the Pros rallied to take the halftime lead 32-30, but ran into foul trouble in the second half.

The Pros were within 5 points with less than 2 minutes to go, but the Bobcats scored late for the win.

The teams play Elgin on the road Friday, with the girls starting in at 6 p.m., and host the Burns Hilanders, starting at 4 p.m. Saturday.

“We encourage the community to come and support our home game this week,” Mosley said.

Speth said his team “would love to have the gym packed” for the Burns game.

The stats

Grant Union girls vs. Union

Kori Pentzer: 25 points, 4 rebounds

Heather Mosley: 8 points, 9 rebounds

McKenzie Wilson: 7 points, 6 steal, 4 assists

Emily Mosley: 6 points, 5 rebounds

Riley Sharp: 4 points

Grant Union girls vs. Enterprise

E. Mosley: 18 points, 8 rebounds

Pentzer: 18 points, 4 steals, 4 assists

Mariah Moulton: 14 points

H. Mosley: 10 points, 10 rebounds

Babe Nash: 4 points, 3 rebounds

Samantha Brock: 3 points, 3 rebounds

Wilson: 2 points, 4 steals, 4 assists

Grant Union boys vs. Union


Trace Gill: 18/3/-/2

Mitchell Moulton: 11/1/1/1

Duane Stokes: 9/1/2/1

Nathan Gehley: 7/-/-/1

Wyatt Weaver: 6/5/3/2

Wade Reimers: 4/3/1/-

Blake Stone: 3/-/-/-

Ricky Weickum: 2/1/5/2

Zach Deiter: 2/1/1/-

Clayton Vaughan: 2/1/-/-

Brady Burch: -/-/2/2

Cauy Weaver: -/1/-/-

Grant Union boys vs. Enterprise

Gehley: 18/7/1/2

Moulton: 16/3/2/1

Burch: 10/1/-/1

Weaver: 8/10/6/3

Gill: 8/4/1/3

Reimers: 5/2/-/-

Stokes: 4/2/4/4

Stone: 4/3/3/-

Weickum: 2/3/4/1

Weaver: 2/1/-/-

Vaughan: -/3/2/1

Deiter: -/-/1/-

Grant Union hosts wrestling tournament Jan. 23 Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:36:51 -0500 JOHN DAY – The Grant Union wrestling team is hosting a tournament at 12 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23.

Invited are Elgin, Baker, Enterprise, Imbler, Wallowa, Joseph, Irrigon, Heppner, and Union.

Junior high wrestlers will compete against Imbler, Burns, Heppner and Crane.

Bowling Results Thu, 22 Jan 2015 08:40:36 -0500 Nugget Lanes Jan. 7

Nooners Senior League:

Men High Game:  Duane Daniels 206

Men High Series:  Duane Daniels 529

Women High Game:  Chris Rowe 164

Women High Series:  Chris Rowe 446

Jan. 8

Thursday Mixed League:

Men High Game:  Duane Daniels 223

Men High Series:  Duane Daniels 579

Women High Game:  Jamie Benton 171

Women High Series:  Jamie Benton 420

Jan. 14

Nooners Senior League:

Men High Game:  Doug Kruse 212

Men High Series:  Doug Kruse 501

Women High Game:  Chris Rowe 153

Women High Series:  Chris Rowe 420

Jan. 15

Thursday Mixed League:

Men High Game:  Grant Benton 231

Men High Series:  Grant Benton 606

Women High Game:  Cheryl Leighton 191

Women High Series:  Cheryl Leighton 525

BEO wrestling tourney coming up Wed, 21 Jan 2015 15:03:18 -0500 HEPPNER – Grant Union wrestlers are among the teams invited to compete in the Bank of Eastern Oregon 2015 Invitational Wrestling Tournament, set for Feb. 7 at Heppner High School.

Also on the list are Adrian, Baker, Crane, Culver, Elgin, Enterprise, Heppner, Imbler, Irrigon, Joseph, MacHi, Pine Eagle, Riverside, Union, and Wallowa.

The action will start at 10 a.m. The Bank of Eastern Oregon invites the public to come and watch; tickets can be purchased at the door and concessions will be available.

Mark Lemmon, Bank of Eastern Oregon’s Chief Financial Officer and Heppner High School wrestling coach, has been instrumental in organizing the bank’s sponsorship of the event.

“The bank’s management has been very involved in establishing this annual tournament and looks forward to the 2015 competition. The first six years of the event were outstanding, and we intend the BEO Invitational to be a ‘can’t miss’ tournament on every school’s future schedule,” said Lemmon.

He lauded the bank staff and citizens who help, volunteer and sponsor the event.

To volunteer or for more information, contact Heppner High School Athletic Director Greg Grant at 541-676-9138, or Lemmon at 541-676-0224.

JD ski bus adds 2 more trips Wed, 21 Jan 2015 15:00:58 -0500 JOHN DAY – With a strong turnout earlier this month, organizers are adding two more dates to the schedule of ski bus trips to Anthony Lakes Ski Resort from Grant County.

Greg Whipple said the Saturday, Jan. 10, trip drew 51 students and adults to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and lessons; another busload will head to the mountain this Saturday.

The ski bus is sponsored by John Day/Canyon City Parks and Recreation District and Community Counseling Solutions.

Organizers had set just the two dates, Jan. 10 and 24, for the season but promised to add more if enough skiers turned out.

Noting a significant increase in participation over past years, they announced two new dates this week: Jan. 31 and Feb. 14.

The bus is open to students, their families and interested adults. Students below seventh grade must be accompanied by a guardian.

The bus leaves the Grant Union parking lot at 6:30 a.m. and returns about 8 p.m.

The program includes discount packages for lifts, lessons and rentals. Adults can still take advantage of the discounts, whether they ride the bus or drive on their own.

Registration forms are available at the high schools, Parks and Rec, on

For more information, call Greg Whipple at 541-620-4043 or Kim at Parks and Rec, 541-575-0110.

Vera Hensley Wed, 21 Jan 2015 13:45:19 -0500 Vera Hensley, 91, died Jan. 20 at her Canyon City home. No services are planned at this time.

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

Play bingo in Mt. Vernon Wed, 21 Jan 2015 13:18:11 -0500 MT. VERNON – All are welcome to play bingo and enjoy a potluck meal at 4 p.m. every Saturday at the Mt. Vernon Community Center.

The cost is $10 a person which includes 10 games plus blackout. There will also be door prizes up for grabs.

Upcoming dates are Feb. 21, March 21 and April 18.

The events are organized by the Cinnabar Mountain Rendezvous committee.

Mining summit coming up in Baker Wed, 21 Jan 2015 11:25:41 -0500 BAKER CITY – A summit on mining in Oregon is set for next Tuesday, Jan. 27, in the Events Center, 2600 East St., in Baker City.

Admission is free for the Eastern Oregon Mining & Aggregate Development Summit. People are encouraged to register before the date to help plan adequate seating and refreshments.

Same-day registration starts at 11:30 a.m., and the summit starts at 12 noon. with three panels of experts. There will be discussions touching on the economics of mining, difficulties facing miners in Oregon, and ways to address permitting and access issues, as well as opposition to mining. A reception follows from 5:15 to 6 p.m.

For information, visit

Governor seeks to expand Oregon’s GMO authority Tue, 20 Jan 2015 16:18:29 -0500 Mateusz PerkowskiCapital Bureau SALEM — A bill proposed by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber seeks to expand the authority of state farm regulators over genetically engineered crops.

Until now, the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s power to regulate genetically modified organisms ended when the USDA lifted federal restrictions on them.

Legislation introduced at Kitzhaber’s request — Senate Bill 207 — would allow the department to establish “control areas” to separate biotech crops from organic and conventional crops if the agency determines it’s “necessary to avoid conflicts” from cross-pollination.

Under state law, control areas are intended to protect crops from pests, diseases and noxious weeds.

The ODA can create control areas for biotech crops if the USDA regulates them as potential plant pests, but the state agency loses the authority once they’re determined not to pose that risk.

However, lawmakers have specifically allowed ODA to extend that control area authority to canola. Seed farmers in Oregon’s Willamette Valley fear that canola could cross-pollinate with related crops and ruin their market.

SB 207 would amend that statutory language to include control area authority for genetically engineered crops.

The proposed bill requires the agency to specify the types of crops that are regulated within the boundaries of control areas or excluded from them.

ODA must be “reasonable and just” in how it uses the authority and conduct a “careful investigation” before creating control areas, according to the bill.

Oregonians for Food and Shelter plans to oppose the legislation in its current form, said Paulette Pyle, grass roots director for the agribusiness industry group.

ODA’s control area authority was intended for managing diseases and pests, not biotech crops, she said.

“For now, it’s a no go for us,” Pyle said. “Right now, we don’t see any need for it.”

Kitzhaber likely proposed the bill to assuage GMO critics who opposed legislation he introduced in 2013 that pre-empted most local government from regulating genetically engineered crops, she said.

“He’s trying to make the organic folks feel protected because they feel like they’re not right now,” Pyle said, noting that any bill will be subject to amendments. “We’re all going to be involved.”

Richard Whitman, Kitzhaber’s natural resources policy director, said he’s still consulting with members of the governor’s task force on genetic engineering and other industry stakeholders about GMO legislation.

The final language of the bill hasn’t yet been nailed down, but the basic concept is to create a voluntary process to resolve conflicts between farmers who grow organic, conventional and biotech crops, Whitman said.

The system would not be foisted upon growers without their agreement, he said.

“It’s not really trying to dictate a particular result,” Whitman said. “That should be dictated by the people on the ground.”

Friends of Family Farmers, which supports stronger biotech regulation, believes it would be a good idea to make clear that ODA retains the ability to create control areas for genetically engineered crops after they’re deregulated by USDA.

“That seems like an important clarification of the agency’s authority,” said Ivan Maluski, its policy director.

Maluski said he can’t comment on a possible voluntary coexistence process for growers of biotech, organic and conventional crops because he has not seen the actual legislative language.

Any coexistence measures between farmers are already voluntary, he said. “I’m not sure how it would be different from the current system.”

Lady Tigers hope to showcase potential Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:51:06 -0500 Angel Carpenter MONUMENT – The Dayville/Monument Lady Tigers hit some rough patches early on, but started league play with gusto.

The team went on a three-game win streak earlier this month, toppling High Desert League opponents Harper/Huntington 44-32 in their season opener. They enjoyed continued success against Burnt River, 38-20, and Long Creek/Ukiah, 42-14.

The Tigers experienced tough losses to two talented teams last weekend.

They came up short against their Prairie City rivals in a physical 28-51 loss – each team had a player out due to injury during the game.

The following day Dayville/Monument fell to Crane (5-0 record), the top team in their league, but not without a battle; the Tigers lost 34-49 to the Mustangs.

On the Tiger roster are 13 players, including two freshmen, five sophomores, three juniors, and Treiquella Osborne and Mary Yankee are this year’s seniors.

Osborne said the team is excited to work hard and prepare to meet up with Prairie City again – she scored a game-high 18 points in last Friday’s contest against the Panthers.

Yankee said the team has endured some injuries, “but that hasn’t stopped the overall ability of our team,” she added. “If we keep practicing the way that we do, we’ll show our true potential.”

The team is led by head coach Jay Kenyon who said the team’s continual improvement will help get the wins they’re after.

Rivals get physical in Monument battles Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:21:28 -0500 Angel Carpenter MONUMENT – The bleachers at the Monument gym were filled to capacity Friday with Grant County fans cheering on the Tiger and Panther girls and boys teams.

The hard-fought, physical battles had the Prairie City Panther girls winning the first contest, 51-28, and the Dayville/Monument Tiger boys winning the second game of the night, 55-15.

The home team girls kept the score close in the first quarter of the game, but Prairie City got stingy with the ball in the fourth quarter and pulled away for a 23-point win.

Tiger Treiquella Osborne led in scoring for the night with 18 points.

She gained her team’s 6 points in the first quarter, with two buckets and a 2-0 trip to the free-throw line – the Panthers scored 8 points.

The Panthers built a cushion in the second quarter, leading 24-10.

Injuries for both teams marked the second half, with Tiger Cody Perkins and Panther Lindsey Stewart taken out for the remainder of the game during separate collisions.

The Tigers came within 3 points of the Panthers in the fourth quarter, trailing 28-31, but visitors shut their hosts down, adding 20 points for the win.

“We had a lot of improvements in our rebounding and defense,” said Lady Panther head coach Penny Black. “Leading that effort was Lindsey Stewart – she was bringing down the majority of our rebounds. Our defense turned into offense with most of our points coming in transition.”

She noted the freshmen are beginning to relax, and said the team overall, “has no quit in them.”

“Prairie City is a good basketball team,” said Lady Tiger head coach Jay Kenyon. “We just need to get better.”

Tiger player Osborne said her team underestimated Prairie City’s defense.

“We started coming back, but it was too late,” she said. “We’re definitely excited to play them next weekend, and we’ll better prepare.”

Last week, on Jan. 13, the Lady Tigers beat Long Creek/Ukiah, 42-14, and lost to Crane 34-49 on Saturday.

The Lady Panthers suffered a 25-39 loss to Crane, currently at the top of the league, on Jan. 13, and lost a road game to Jordan Valley, 25-48, on Saturday.

The Dayville/Monument boys were dominant against Prairie City to produce the lopsided 55-15 score.

It was the seventh straight win for the Tigers.

Panther head coach Mark Woodbury said two players were out with injuries, and two of the six boys left played through illness in the game.

“We ran into a better team tonight,” Woodbury said. “They execute really well.”

Tigers Hayden Schafer and Dakota Emerson each landed a 3-point shot to get things off to a fast start, the Tigers leading 18-6 in the first quarter.

By halftime, the Tigers led 30-11.

Prairie City fans cheered as Panther player Dorran Wilson, sidelined earlier in the season due to injury, came into the game momentarily in the third quarter, going 2-0 at the free-throw line on a Tiger technical foul.

The third quarter ended 42-14, and the Tigers held the Panthers to 1 point in the fourth, gaining the 40-point win.

Tiger Jordan Bowlus was happy with his team’s efforts.

“We worked together and had fun,” he said.

“They played well as a team,” Tiger head coach Jeff Schafer said of his group. “Prairie City had some sick kids, but came out and played well and showed some hustle.”

The teams meet again – this time in Prairie City – at 6 p.m. Friday, beginning with the girls game.

The Panther boys lost to Crane, 26-70, on Jan. 13 and forfeited last Saturday’s game to Jordan Valley due to ill players.

On Jan. 13, the Tigers beat Long Creek/Ukiah 66-11 and they lost to Crane 37-46 on Saturday.

Youth wrestlers show competitive edge Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:20:02 -0500 Angel Carpenter REDMOND – The Grant County Youth Wrestling Club has been busy this month competing in area tournaments.

Three wrestlers qualified for the Jan. 17-18 Oregon Kids Classic in Redmond.

Mason Benge placed third, Justin Hodge won two and lost two, and Braden Spencer won one and lost two.

On Jan. 10, Spencer finished second at the Prineville Oregon Kids Classic Qualifier.

On the same day, at the La Grande Oregon Kids Classic Qualifier, Kayden Ballou had a first-place finish, Hodge and Benge earned second in their weight classes, Owen Parsons placed third, and Taylor Parsons took sixth.

The club also attended the Prineville Cowboy Challenge this month.

Head coach Mike Strong said they’re looking forward to their final tournament of the season, the Jan. 24 Burns Buckle Classic.

“We had a lot of fun this year and worked hard and had a lot of success,” he said. “Our motto is ‘Keep wrestling.’”

Jan. 3 Prineville Cowboy Challenge


Jack Strong: 2 wins, 2 losses

Preston Boethin: 2nd

Justin Hodge: 4th

Taylor Parsons: 4th

Kayden Ballou: 1st

Charley Knowles: 4th

Jack Knowles: 1win, 2 losses

Owen Parsons: 1win, 2 losses

Braden Spencer: 3rd

There’s a new barber in town Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:17:41 -0500 Cheryl Hoefler JOHN DAY – Got a shaggy beard or ’stache that needs some attention?

Nick Ballou can take care of that – and more – at his new shop in John Day, aptly named, Nick’s Barber Shop.

Ballou offers beard and mustache trims, haircuts, straight-razor shaves and scalp treatments.

“And good conversation,” he added.

He’ll soon add ear candling, a process to remove ear wax, to his offerings.

Ballou plans mobile services to shut-ins and hospice patients. He’s already been giving haircuts and shaves to a few patients at Blue Mountain Hospital.

He previously managed a Shari’s Restaurant in Caldwell, Idaho, for 12 years. When he and his wife, Wendy, were planning to move to Grant County, she encouraged him to pursue the field of barbering and go into business here.

After completing barber school in Boise, he opened his John Day shop Jan. 6.

The shop is a true “guys’ place,” with decor including a Western, outdoors look, and a collection of vintage straight razors.

After working for others his whole life, he said he’s excited about the venture.

“I’ve always dreamed of being my own boss and making my own money,” Ballou said.

His other interests include fishing, hiking, antler hunting and his children.

The Ballous have five children: Andrew, 21, who lives in Caldwell; Chance, 16, a Grant Union High School sophomore; Tekya, 14, who lives in Arkansas; and Dakota, 10, and Caden, 5, who attend Seneca School.

Nick’s Barbershop is located at 127 S. Canyon Blvd. in John Day. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Walk-ins are welcome, but customers may also make an appointment.

Call 541-620-2672 for more information.

Dayville School Students of the Month – December Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:33:13 -0500

Bentz presses rural perspective in urban arenas Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:29:32 -0500 Scotta Callister JOHN DAY – State Rep. Cliff Bentz admits it’s frustrating to try to convince urban west-siders about the plight of Oregon’s rural counties and the need to make better use of our natural resources.

“They just don’t get it,” he said.

But Bentz said he’s found a theme that seems to get through the haze – “the old ‘what’s in it for me’ approach.”

Bentz (R-Ontario) spoke at the Grant County Farm Bureau annual meeting Jan. 11 in John Day, and also at the recent Oregon Leadership Summit in Portland. The latter, a gathering of leaders from both private and public sectors, touched on ideas to spur economic recovery in the lagging rural areas.

In a recent interview, Bentz reiterated that rural recovery should matter to the more populous west side.

“We have billions of dollars of minerals, timber, grass and water which we are not using to good effect,” he said.

He said it’s in the state’s best interest to make use of those resources, if only for the beneficial ripple effect it could have for our children and their education.

He noted the state struggles to fund schools and universities, but the revenue from resource industries could do a great deal to ease that challenge.

Bentz also cited some other issues that could arise at the Legislature, with impacts for rural Oregon counties. Among them:

• County roads. He noted that Grant County, unlike many rural counties, is fortunate to have “a sizeable savings account” in its road fund. However, he noted that fund will erode over time, and something must be done to help the rural counties fund their roads and services.

Bentz, who serves on the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee, said he’s asking all five of the counties in his district for their ideas on future funding for county roads.

• Possible listing of the sage grouse as an endangered species, a specter that’s been described as agriculture’s version of the spotted-owl issue.

Bentz outlined one possible way to forestall the listing: a proposal to put a tax on birdseed and salt feed for cattle. The tax would raise about $1.5 million on birdseed and another $400,000 on salt, the proceeds going toward habitat improvements for songbirds and non-game birds including the grouse.

It could fund juniper removal, water supply enhancements, and other measures after wildfires.

Bentz said he wants to hear from ranchers and others about this proposal.

• Various employment issues that could affect agriculture and rural economies.

In particular Bentz is worried about proposals to raise the minimum wage to $12 or even higher.

“It would be devastating in my district to see a $12 minimum wage,” he said. The impact would be particularly harsh in the border counties like Malheur, where he resides. It shares a border with Idaho – a state with a minimum wage that’s $2 less than Oregon’s already – and he says businesses would be hard-pressed to locate in a county with a lower-cost option just across the line.

Bentz also expects continuing discussion and debate over energy and climate change issues.

“We need to talk about what we do as our summers become hotter and our snowpacks become less,” he said. However, he wants to see a way to address those challenges without proposals he sees from the Democratic side: higher fuel taxes, restrictions on the type of fuel used, or other rules based on carbon- or CO2 creation.

Bentz will be weighing in on a wide range key issues as a member of the energy/environment and revenue committees and also as policy chair of the Republican caucus.

He said he wants input from constituents such as the Farm Bureau members who met on Sunday.

“I want to know their thinking on these important issues,” he said.

Firewood permits on sale Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:28:39 -0500 JOHN DAY – Personal use firewood permits for this year are on sale now at the Malheur National Forest Supervisor’s Office in John Day and ranger district offices in Prairie City and Hines.

Steve Beverlin, Forest supervisor, urges purchasers to take time to read the permit conditions, as some have been clarified. One update this year is the requirement to complete the product quantity removal record located on the front of the permit.

Permits issued for 2015 will expire Dec. 31, whether or not all firewood has been removed.

The price for personal-use firewood permits remains at $5 per cord, with a four-cord minimum purchase, and a maximum of 16 cords per household per year.

Firewood cutters are asked to not drive off-road if resource damage could occur.

For more information, contact the Malheur National Forest office at 541-575-3000 or visit us the forest website.

What’s Happening Tue, 20 Jan 2015 13:43:22 -0500 The deadline for What’s Happening items is 5 p.m. Friday. Call Cheryl at the Eagle, 541-575-0710.

• 6:30 p.m., St. Thomas Church, Canyon City

Grant County Democrats will meet in the church’s parish house at 139 S. Washington St., Canyon City. Local Democrats and interested community members are welcome to attend. Call 541-542-2633.

• 10 a.m.-3p.m., Monument Senior Center

Topics at this year’s Monument Soil and Water Conservation District seminar include “Timber Stand Health and Fire Resistance,” “Battling Medusahead and Cheatgrass with Bacteria” and “Herd Economics – Decisions Based on Dollars.” The District’s annual meeting will follow. Monument School FFA will offer a barbecue brisket lunch for $8 a plate. To RSVP, call 541-934-2141 or email

• 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Pendleton

The group will meet at the Umatilla National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 72510 Coyote Road, for an update from Kevin Martin and discussion of issues including Kahler Basin next steps, Thomas Creek agreements, riparian habitat conservation areas, and more. For more information, contact Elaine Eisenbraun, North Fork John Day Watershed Council, at 541-421-3018.

• 11:30 a.m., Snaffle-Bit, John Day

A meeting of the Old West Scenic Bikeway Task Group will be held. Anyone interested in discussing business development along the bikeway is welcome to attend.

• 6-8 p.m., Grant Union High School library, John Day

Topics for the forum include State School Fund, Senate Bill 540, Frontier Learning Outpost and more, followed by a question-and-answer period. Guests include State Sen. Ted Ferrioli, and Reps. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario), John Huffman (R-The Dalles) and Greg Barreto (R-Cove). The moderator will be Grant School District No. 3 board member Gordon Larson. The forum is open to the public and designed for everyone interested in education: Eastern Oregon board members, superintendents, school officials, staff and community members. The school is at 911 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day. Call 541-575-1280, ext. 25, for more information.

• 4 p.m., Upstairs at Twisted Treasures, Dayville

Anyone who keeps bees, and all others interested in beekeeping are welcome to come and “talk bees” and plan spring events. Call 541-934-9101 or email

• 5-7 p.m., Mt. Vernon Grange

The grange will hold its annual all-you-can-eat pancake feed featuring both sourdough and regular pancakes, plus scrambled eggs, ham and beverages. The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children 3-12, and free for children under 3. There will also be a cakewalk with several goodies to win.

• 1-5 p.m., Squeeze-In restaurant, John Day

Support local animals at this fund-raiser to benefit New Hope for Eastern Oregon Animals. The menu for the by-donation dinner includes spaghetti, bread, salad and cake. Proceeds go toward the programs of New Hope and its Grant County committee, with a focus on spaying and neutering pets. People can drop in for dinner any time during the event; drawings for gift baskets and desserts will be at 1:45, 2:45 and 3:45 p.m. All are welcome.

• 1 p.m., Golden Dragon restaurant, Canyon City

Members of the Grant County Mad Hatters will hold their monthly luncheon meeting at the Golden Dragon. Anyone interested in joining is welcome. RSVP by Sunday, Jan. 25, by calling 541-575-1872 or 541-820-3597.

Grant County seniors Tue, 20 Jan 2015 13:43:14 -0500 MONUMENT – There are two types of people in this world to me: Those who eat to live, and those who live to eat. I fall in the latter category. I love food – I love to eat! I love eating with people who enjoy their food and make noise while they are eating. I like to eat with people who say things like “Yum,” “Oh my gosh this is so delicious” and “Mmm!” When they do that, it just seems to make the food seem even tastier. I’m the type who, while eating a meal, I’m already thinking about what I will eat for my next one. Yes, food is that important to me.

On that note, we had sweet and sour meatballs, rice, stir-fried vegetables, and pudding with whipped cream for our lunch on Jan. 13. Our cooks, Terri Cade and Carrie Jewell, served us up with that tasty meal.

Our greeters were Bob Blakeslee, Bodean Anderson and Marva Walker. Bob led the flag salute, and Bodean blessed our meal. We had a total of 34 people and five take-outs. Karen Stubblefield won the Chester’s Thriftway card. Dorothy Jordan won the Len’s Drug gift card, and Vonda Stubblefield won a free meal. We thank and appreciate our donors.

On Jan. 9, we had the swearing in of Monument’s newly elected officials: Jamie Shafer, new mayor; Carrie Ussery, president; and council members, Steve Ussery, Pat McCreary, Phil Merricks, Bill Turner and Jim Stubblefield.

The snow has pretty much melted away. Not liking the gooey, slippery and sticky mud. I was a total shoe hoarder before coming to live here. They called me the other Imelda Marcos. Unfortunately, some of those shoes are not very practical up here. I don’t think I am ready to part with them yet though. I shall have to hold on to them just a bit longer. Hee hee. When walking around our property, I am always in my muck boots. When talking to friends who might want to come and visit us, I have to tell them, “Don’t even think of bringing any of your nice shoes here!” They get are surprised and say, “What do you mean?” I have to tell them, there is only dirt or mud here and we don’t have sidewalks. It’s funny how differently people think and wear when living in the city, versus living out here in God’s country! I guess I’ll be shedding more and more of my city ways and become a total country girl soon.

Psalm 108:3 “I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.”

JOHN DAY – On Jan. 12, we had a potato bar with all the trimmings, including chili with beans, focaccia bread, tossed salad and cookies for dessert. Kris Labhart and Marianne Morris greeted us at the desk.

Buz and Bobbie Gilmore, and Veanne Weddle delivered 19 meals plus eight frozen ones to shut-ins. Folks from Redeemer Lutheran Church served us. Buz led the flag salute, and Francis Kocis asked the blessing.

Veanne gave a report on the Jan. 8 bingo – it was a great success. The door prizes won were donated by Dairy Queen, Gardner Enterprises, Prime Time Video, Elkhorn Country Store, Len’s Drug, the Grubsteak, Station 62 and Ed’s Fast Break. We appreciate all you folks for your donations, which helped kick off our Thursday afternoon bingo games. There are still more door prizes, which will be given out at the Jan. 15 games.

Veanne announced that Judi, our cook has turned in her resignation. Her last day is Feb. 25 so we will be expecting a speech from her at that time.

Billie Bullard won the Len’s Drug gift certificate, and Randy Wenneck won the free meal.

On Jan. 15, we had ranch-baked chicken breast, boiled potatoes, gravy, broccoli salad and dinner rolls, and brownies for dessert.

Blue Mountain Hospital Auxiliary furnished the entrée. Ron Dowse and Marianne Morris greeted us at the desk..

Sherry Feiger, Jean Willey and Veanne delivered 29 meals. Members of the United Methodist Church were our servers. Marge Conlee led the flag salute, and the Rev. Marcie Collins asked the blessing. Don Caldwell did the announcing as Veanne had a meeting. Bingo will follow lunch every Thursday. There will be a pancake feed Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Mt. Vernon Grange Hall, with a cake walk and live music.

There will be an AARP drivers safety course from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb 7, at the Senior Center. There is a sign-up sheet at the Center or call Ron Dowse, 541-575-4268. There will be a short break for lunch so you might want to bring a sack lunch.

Alva Conlee won the Chester’s Thriftway gift certificate, and Valerie Luttrell won the lunch for two at Valley View. On Thursday, Jan. 22, we’ll have grilled fish, and Monday, Jan. 26, it will be taco salad.

Bingo on Jan 15 had a good turnout, with nine more door prizes from several businesses: A Flower Shop and More, Russell’s Meats and Deli, Nydams Ace Hardware, Muzzy’s 1-2-3 Dollar Store, John Day Polaris, High Desert Office Supply, and John Day True Value Hardware. We have a great bunch of businesses in town who really back the Senior Center. Those of you who won, be sure and thank the donors.

2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

PRAIRIE CITY – In 1963, the price of a postage stamp increased from 4 to 5 cents. Today the price is 49 cents. What’s the percentage of increase from .05 to .49? I don’t know how to figure that out. Can you help?

Ila has recovered from her little episode and came to dinner. We had 78 names on the book on Jan. 14. Visitors included State Grange Deputy Master Derrell Witty and his wife, and Mt. Vernon Grange members. There was an important Grange meeting afterward, so we’re glad they came early to eat.

Buzz led the flag salute, and Darrell Johnson asked the blessing. Our servers included Dusty Harris with the coffee pot, Julia Davis and Jean Kline. Sandi and Donna helped out in the kitchen.

Sandi Rennels won the $5 in trade from Prairie Hardware and Gifts.

Our meal had grape juice, baked potato, pork loin roast, gravy, apple salad, rolls, and lemon creme cake for dessert.

The Blue Mountain Care Center ladies, Lorna and Patty, brought Dorothy Blasing, Dollina Humphreys, Lois Hill and Floyd Morgan.

If all goes well and the creek don’t rise, the stage should have the carpet on it by next week. I was asked about the color, but it’s been so long since I picked it out, I can’t remember! So it will be a surprise for everyone. The men moved the organ and long table off, so all we need is the man with the rug now.

Trivia: The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases. Hmm.

Derrol finally got back out to the shop where his exercycle is. No pain in the ankle. Praise the Lord. Had to wait until the snow and ice got off the boardwalk so he could get there, though. Things are looking up.

Handed out the Easter ensemble music. The big question was “Is it hard?” Not really, just different. So, should I do something more difficult for next year? There’s a fine line between tackling something over your head and just slopping through a piece that is over-familiar. But each should be done to the best of your ability. You can take a hard piece of music and make it simple. To make a simple piece sound more difficult is the work of the professional. When I discovered all those 16th notes in the bass clef of lots of classical piano music are only broken chords, I could play the piece without all the pain-staking reading of all those notes. Oh, joy!

I Thess. 5:17 “Rejoice always. I Chron. 15 : 16 .....(raise) the voice with resounding joy.”

Olive Catherine (Criger) Morgan Tue, 20 Jan 2015 13:43:11 -0500 LA GRANDE – Olive Catherine (Criger) Morgan, 90, died Dec. 25 at her La Grande home. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Mrs. Morgan was born March 8, 1924, in Alhambra, Calif., to Floyd L. and Jennie F. (Jardee) Criger. She graduated from Willits High School in Willits, Calif. There, she met and married James “Jim” H. Morgan, with whom she had five children.

The family moved to Prairie City and then to Long Creek, where she was a cook at the school for 18 years. After retiring, they moved to a small acreage in Milton-Freewater. After her husband’s death, she moved to La Grande.

Her family was the center of her life. She enjoyed cooking, sewing, crafts, gardening, canning, her flower garden and being “Santa” to the entire family each Christmas.

Survivors include her daughters, Melody (Roger) McKinley of Prairie City and Cathy Wernlund of La Grande; son, Harvey (Marsha) Morgan of Summerville; son-in-law, Gary E. Johns of Baker City; 11 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and 12 nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Jim; daughter, Sonja M. Johns; son, John E. Morgan Sr.; granddaughter, Tammy K. Morgan; and four siblings.

William Eugene Livingston Tue, 20 Jan 2015 13:42:47 -0500 William Eugene Livingston, 83, of Canyon City died Saturday January 10, 2014 at his home. There are no services planned at this time.

William was born to Thomas and Delma (Taylor) Livingston on June 15, 1931 in Lorain, Ohio. He spent two years in the Marines as a Sergeant, and in 1951 he married Dorothy Koenig in Ohio. He spent his career owning his own construction business; first working with family, and then continuing on his own for many years.

William loved his wife and children with unending and immeasurable love, being a faithful husband for 60 years, incomparable father for 62 years, and an unmatchable friend all his life. He was a member of the Victory Baptist Church, and even as he became more physically challenged he did his best to attend. All that knew him remembered him as a kind, loving, generous man. He will be dearly missed by all family and friends.

He is survived by Debrah (Terence) Crabb of Canyon City, OR., grandsons Aaron W.R. Crabb (Amber) of San Diego, CA., Joel T.L. Crabb of Canyon City, OR., Adam D.J. (Rachel) Crabb of Woodland, TX., Philip D.J. (Justina) Crabb of Honolulu, Hawaii., Granddaughters Tabitha (Ben) Crabb of St. Paul, MN., Kerith Crabb of Canyon City, OR., 10 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his wife Dorothy Livingston, son Jon Livingston, and grandson David Crabb.

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

(Paid obituary)

Grant Search and Rescue getting new command rig Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:53:21 -0500 CANYON CITY – Sheriff Glenn Palmer got the green light last week to purchase a new truck for Grant County’s Search and Rescue unit.

The County Court voted unanimously to allow Palmer to spend up to $50,000 on the new vehicle. The total cost will include the 4x4 Ford crew cab truck, plus a utility box and heavy-duty bumper with winch attachment.

Palmer said the vehicle will be bought through state purchasing to ensure a good price. The money will come from capital outlay in the sheriff’s funds.

He said he felt the Search and Rescue members deserve an upgrade from the existing truck, a 1985 Dodge that has been having mechanical problems.

“We’re seeing reliability and dependability issues,” he said.

The new four-door truck will transport more people than the old truck, and that will cut down on Search and Rescue members needing to take private vehicles to situations. It can serve as a command post in the field.

Palmer said the old truck could be sold as surplus at auction, with the money to go into the county general fund.

Loreene Bates Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:03:18 -0500 Loreene Bates, 80, of Prairie City, died Jan. 17 at her daughter’s John Day home. Services are pending.

Memorial contributions may be made to Blue Mountain Hospice or a kidney donation charity, through Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845.

New hearing set for cop-killer Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:23:39 -0500 Scotta Callister SALEM – Sidney Dean Porter, who killed a John Day police officer nearly 23 years ago, will get a new shot at freedom next week in a hearing before members of the Oregon Board of Parole.

Grant County District Attorney Jim Carpenter said he will travel to Salem to testify at the Jan. 27 hearing, and he has already submitted a package of materials about the crime to the board.

“I will ask them not to release him,” Carpenter said, noting he will underscore the depravity of the crime.

“The facts of the crime are unrefuted by anyone, except Porter himself,” he said.

Porter, now 55, was sentenced in 1992 for the bludgeoning death of Officer Frank Ward, who had gone to Porter’s home on a domestic assault call.

This is the second time Porter has come up for release. The board ordered his release in 2012, after a hearing missed by then-DA Ryan Joslin.

The decision to release a convicted killer of a police officer, coming with no local law enforcement input, sparked protests across the state from police officials and prompted a legislative committee hearing. The board reopened the hearing in 2013, this time deferring Porter’s release until at least June 2015.

Next week’s hearing will set the stage for release or up to two more years of incarceration.

The hearing will be held at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, with public attendance only by prior arrangement with the Corrections Department.

Described as an exit interview, the hearing allows the board to review psychological or psychiatric evaluations, discuss the offender’s conduct in prison, and examine his parole plan.

Carpenter said Porter’s most recent psych evaluation – in December – indicates Porter lacks remorse, and that he won’t take responsibility for how the crime actually occurred.

Witnesses at trial said Ward had been bashed on the head with one or more pieces of firewood, and that an intoxicated Porter was found at the scene with large amounts of blood on his hands and clothing. A police officer’s affidavit reported that Porter was belligerent with the responding police and threatened one officer who wasn’t meeting his demands for a glass of water.

Carpenter said Porter continues to maintain he merely pushed Ward, who then fell against a wood stove and hit his head.

Ward was taken to Blue Mountain Hospital, where he died. His injuries included skull fracture, multiple cuts and scrapes, blackened eyes, and swollen lips, forehead and “essentially the whole face,” the affidavit said.

Carpenter said the December evaluation found that Porter claims to have been in a blackout state during much of the crime, while clearly recalling some details that would be in his favor.

Porter’s proposal for his parole is to move to a family-owned ranch in the Monument area and attend AA meetings to maintain sobriety.

Other law enforcement officials and a brother of Ward are expected to testify at the hearing. It may also draw some supporters of Porter, who argued before that he has served his time.