75 years ago

OSC Assigned 17-year-olds

Oregon State College – First assignment of 17-year-old high school graduates to this campus under the revised Army Specialized Training programs indicates a unit of 75 men to be added to the 120 advanced engineering trainees remaining for spring term. These students will receive from one to three terms of college work at army expense before they are inducted for active service. While in this reserve status they will receive some military training and will wear R.O.T.C. uniforms.

50 years ago

19 old cars, 5 shacks to go

Clean-Up Day for Prairie City was an unqualified success, report spokesmen for the Lions Club and the Women’s Club who were among the dozen organizations sponsoring the event Saturday.

Two huge Pettibone log handlers loaned by the Prairie City Timber Company gave a big assist to workers by picking up 19 old cars in their monstrous jaws and carrying them to a pit on the lot of V and C Logging Company’s shop where a large caterpillar tractor will crush them in the coming weeks.

Plans are eventually to have fill dirt hauled in to cover the pit. Two more cars, a hearse and a burnt-out pickup will be moved from the city streets later in the week.

The Pettibones, with the assistance of a D-7 Caterpillar owned and operated by Roy Munsell, pushed over, chewed up and spit out five old buildings that were past useful life. Four of these structures were pushed over and burned. The fifth was loaded on trucks lent by Strawberry Post and Pole Company and Prairie City Timber Company and hauled to the city dump for disposal. The Grace Chapel Methodist Church plans a parking lot on the site of the latter building.

“Well over 100 persons took part Saturday morning either picking up trash, handing out coffee, or supplying cookies,” reports Ron Ketchum who headed up the project for the Lions Club.

“Add to this the 20 Cub Scouts who cleaned their sector of town on Tuesday and the 40 or so members of the fourth and fifth grades who distributed information sheets to every householder and you can see that this really was a project of the whole town.”

Trucks supplied by the Prairie City Wranglers, Hank Goslin Sanitation and the city spent the morning picking up trash gathered by the street crews and at individual homes where assistance was requested.

Roy Zingmark, Lion’s president stated, “We couldn’t have done it without the help of the equipment donated by Prairie City companies and the manpower of the town’s organizations – especially the young people, many of whom not only finished up their assigned sections but voluntarily moved into other areas where they were needed.” Several persons from ranches around Prairie City and from Bates also took part.

The cleanup campaign was not without a casualty or two. A water pipe no longer used broke and necessitated repair by the city. Cub scouter Danny Wilcox was bitten by a dog while helping his group clean in one area of the town. He had to be taken to a doctor where several stitches were required to close the gash.

25 years ago

Drive by shooting reported

In what authorities believe to be the first reported drive-by shooting in Grant County, a family residence approximately two miles west of Mt. Vernon on Highway 26, was riddled with bullets in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 17. There were no injuries but the family’s children were showered with glass fragments from breaking windows.

Gunfire to the residence, which faces Highway 26, is believed to have come from a passing automobile.

Grant County Sheriff’s deputies stated that the home is within a few feet of the house formerly occupied by Jill Magness, 32, and Kathleen Moore-Tillay, 35, who were recently arrested on drug related charges following two separate narcotic searches by the Oregon State Police.

Circuit Judge Milo Pope ordered the conditional release of the pair last week but directed Magness to live in Ontario pending her entry into the A.R.C. inpatient drug treatment program April 20. Moore-Tillay was ordered to reside in the custody of her mother in John Day.

Grant County District Attorney Ed Holpuch said he doubts that many people realized that Magness and Moore-Tillay were not in their Mt. Vernon home and, because of the close proximity; the drive-by shooting may have been intended for the two women. Any such possibility remains just speculation,” Holpuch said.

“We are also obviously considering that the shooting was indeed directed at the neighboring family, which, because they are so close are identified with Magness and Moore-Tillay. We have reason to think that the business associates of the lady drug dealers are not very happy at this point,” Holpuch noted. “These narcotic traders are playing for keeps.”

10 years ago

Local residents join the party

Although it might not be a bad idea on such a chilly day, people attending a gathering in John Day last week weren’t really in the mood for a cup of tea.

Local citizens united at the stoplight in John Day for a “tea party” last Wednesday, April 15, to protest increasing taxes, recent bailouts and, what many see as, reckless government spending.

At its peak, about 40 people gathered for the daylong event.

Similar rallies were held in towns and cities across the United States the same day.

“We’ve just got to quit doing this,” organizer Elaine Smith said of the taxpayer-funded bailouts. “There’s just no money and no transparency in the government right now.”

Smith, a retired rancher from the Prairie City area, organized the “tea party” after no one else seemed to come forward to do it.

She is also the local coordinator for the Campaign for Liberty.

Homeschooled students Kylie Emery, 15, and her sister Bryonie were among the protestors.

Both expressed their concern about maintaining their right to continue being homeschooled.

Kylie also said, “I just don’t want to be taxed for the rest of my life.”

Hot drinks and refreshments were on hand in the Valley Ranch & Home Realty building, “tea party central,” as well as information and petitions on a handful of bills.

The group outside held signs with messages such as “Give me Liberty, Don’t Give me Debt” and “Honk if You are Overtaxed.”

Several drivers passing by did honk or yell out their support.

Smith said, “We’re pretty much out-voted over here (Eastern Oregon).”

“People are just waiting to have their voices heard.”

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