Hooked Up & Fast Trackin'

The second Hooked Up & Fast Truckin’ off-road races and mud bogs will shift into action this Saturday and Sunday at the Grant County Fairgrounds. The event features obstacle faces for 4x4 vehicles, buggies, ATV’s and motorcycles plus a team relay race Sunday and drag races both days. Area drivers may enter at a cost of $10 per event with races starting both days at 9:30 a.m. Admission is $3 per person and concessions and door prizes will be available. The races are sponsored by S.T.D. Construction of Prairie City and Tom Chandler Construction of Baker City.

75 years ago

Little boy hit by car, miraculously escapes serious injury

Little Tommy Wilson, 2 ½ year old son of Mr. and Mrs. L.D. Wilson miraculously escaped fatal or serious injury, when he was hit by a pickup on East Main Street, Tuesday at about 7:30 p.m. He was with his mother walking down the hill towards town, when, quick as a flash he darted from the sidewalk out into the street directly in the path of a pickup driven by Paul Scott and which was headed up the hill. As the little fellow was hidden from view of the driver of the pickup by cars parked along the street, it was only by quick thinking and expert handling of the car by Scott and the fact that the car was moving at a moderate speed that the little boy was not run over and crushed. As it was, he was only struck by the front bumper and fender, but it was quite a jolt, knocking him to the ground. He received a bad cut on the head, but no bones were broken.

The accident occurred directly in front of the T. E. Knox residence. Mr. Wilson had just left his store and had just started to walk up the hill. It is believed that Tommy saw his father coming which accounts for him running out onto the highway. His mother’s frantic screams probably aided in saving him from a more serious accident as it served as a warning to the driver who, upon seeing the little tot right in front of his car, swerved it to the left and stopped it within it’s own length. Dr. Pehr was called and administered emergency treatment at the Knox home. The little boy had a rather restless night, but was much better the following day, suffering no ill effects from the incident. It might have been a different story, however, had there not been a careful driver at the wheel.

50 years ago

Cars stolen; one found

A new car stolen from a John Day car lot Tuesday night was apparently abandoned in Mt. Vernon where another car was taken, reports the Oregon State Police.

A 1969 Plymouth, taken from the Trahern Motors, Inc., and left in Mt. Vernon, was recovered by the State Police Wednesday morning. The keys for the vehicle were taken from the garage.

Stolen in Mt. Vernon was a 1966 Chevrolet Caprice, white with a black vinyl top, belonging to Jesse Cates. Keys had been left in the vehicle.

Investigation of the car thefts is being continued by the Oregon State Police.

Police telephone number given

Grant County citizens are asked to call 575-1131 or 575-0030 for police assistance during after hours and on weekends, according to a joint announcement by the city police of John Day and Prairie City, the Sheriff’s office and the Oregon State Police.

Telephone answering service will be provided at the Sheriff’s office and the John Day police office from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, from 5 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Sunday, and from 10 a.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. Monday.

Calls for any police agency during the above hours can be made through the radio dispatch service in John Day. The Sheriff’s office has an extension line with the police radio dispatcher in John Day.

During daytime hours Monday through Friday, calls should be made to the individual police offices.

25 years ago

Rancher found by searchers

A full scale search was launched Monday to try and locate a rancher who was reported missing late Sunday afternoon after he failed to return home from a horseback trip into the mountains to retrieve some ranch equipment.

The search centered on Pete Rawlins, a rancher who lives up Canyon Creek approximately 15 miles south of John Day.

The search continued all day Monday without success and picked up again Tuesday morning. It was coordinated by the Grant County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit with help from Forest Service personnel and other private citizens.

Rawlins was found early Tuesday afternoon by Mike Cosgrove. He was stabilized and taken by helicopter out of the area.

Rawlins left his ranch about 8 a.m. and was scheduled to return about 2 p.m. When he failed to return his wife, Wendi, notified the sheriff’s office. The response from the community was overwhelming.

10 years ago

Ready for takeoff

The new Grant County Regional Airport terminal project is ready for takeoff.

The project goes out to bid Thursday, July 23, and a pre-bid conference and tour for contractors is set to start at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 30, in the Airbase Conference room at the airport.

The 18,762-square-foot, joint-use terminal will house the general aviation offices for the county’s airport terminal and a Forest Service Fire Airbase. It will be built next to the existing airport terminal, an older, converted one-story residence.

Airport manager Colin English expects strong interest in the project from contractors from across the Northwest.

“These guys have been chomping at the bit for a couple of months,” he said.

The engineer’s base bid estimate for the building is $3.2 million to $3.5 million. Bids are due Aug. 20, with the bid opening set for 2 p.m. at the airport.

English said the project should have a positive ripple effect on the local economy.

Planners included a stipulation that “to the greatest extent possible,” the contractor will use local materials, appliances and labor, he said.

Boise-based architectural firm CSHQA designed the building, which will have a wood frame and metal roof – materials chosen to reflect the styles and resources of the local area.

The building also was designed to be energy efficient, with an aim of meeting the “silver” certification level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

The general aviation portion of the building will feature an administrative office, maintenance shop, support space and a pilot lounge.

The Forest Service portion will replace the agency’s current facility, now located in a collection of trailers. The project entails a regional training academy for helicopter rappellers, helibase administration offices, a ready room, training room and a separate entrance.

There will be a third-level observation deck for both county and Forest Service use. Meeting rooms also will be available for community use, English said.

The Grant County Airport Commission, other county officials and Forest Service staff have been meeting with the architects to discuss the building specs and design since last year.

English lauded the commission for its involvement in the design process.

“They’re going to get the building they want, and the Forest Service is going to get the building they want,” he said.

English said the work is expected to begin as soon as the contractor is selected and can mobilize his crews. Construction must be completed by December 2010.

The overall project – the building, some taxiway improvements, a biomass heating system and furnishings – is expected to cost up to $5.1 million. The Oregon Department of Transportation’s lottery-backed ConnectOregon II program and the Federal Aviation Administration are paying most of the cost, with the Forest Service committed to pay up to $800,000 toward the project.

In a related development, English last week opted not to take a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant for a portion of the cost of developing a biomass boiler at the airport.

He said the reporting requirements set by the federal agency were too burdensome. The grant would have paid about $29,700 of the estimated $197,940 boiler project – but accepting that grant would mean that virtually all of the spending on the $5.1 million airport project would have to be reported to the USDA.

English said he talked to County Judge Mark Webb and they agreed that the USDA requirements would put “the level of bureaucratic oversight right through the roof.”

English said the county is exploring other sources of state and federal money for the boiler project.

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