Eastern Oregon News & Sports

ELGIN, OR: James Brainerd resigns from the Elgin City Council

Ongoing problems with past administrations an issue

Posted September 15, 2014

Councilor James Brainerd submitted his resignation at a special session of the city council tonight.  Here is his letter of resignation:

Dear Elgin City Council,

I James Brainerd am tendering my resignation as of September 15 2014. The continuing frustrations that come with my position are the reason for my resignation.

I would like to clarify the reason for my decision.  I have found myself voting along with council just because it was the consensus rather than following my heart. One example is the city administrator job. I honestly believe you don’t lowball somebody into a $36,000 a year salary considering all the work they are expected to do. However, I don’t agree with Mr. Ecksteins comparison that the wage is comparable to that of a fry cook.

I am also weary of dealing with the negligence of previous Elgin City administration and councils. The prior city iniquities are many, and some of them I just don’t know what do about; it’s as if we have to clean up all the sins of our city’s past.

The other reason for my resignation is I am weary of serving all of the “arm folding, finger pointing naysayers” who usually occupy the front row seats during council session. These individuals do nothing but come to voice their complaints and do not provide any solutions.

Currently we have council seats available that will not be filled this coming November. I don’t recall seeing any of the cynics stepping up to the plate to fill the vacated positions.

It has been a privilege to have been able to work with this city council and to have been able to make all the hard decisions to make this community a better place.

I know there is much more work in the future and past that our council needs to address. I hope the community continues to support you as I know I certainly will.


Councilor James Brainerd

BAKER CITY, OR: 16-month-old found wandering near intersection

Mother taken into custody for Neglect II

Posted on September 15, 2014

A 16-month-old toddler was found walking alone near the intersection of 4th and Broadway in Baker City yesterday morning.  A call came in about 8:40 am of a toddler walking down the road alone.  Once officers arrived they found the toddler in the care of two unrelated citizens who say the boy was near the busy intersections.  It took roughly 45-50 minutes to locate the child’s mother and wake up her to get her to speak with officers.  No one was aware that the child had wandered away and no one was looking for the child.  The mother of the toddler, 27 year old Carissa Endicott was taken into custody for child Neglect II and the child was placed in protective custody in the care of his grandparents by DHS.

PENDLETON, OR: Trial begins today for George West Craigen

Trial has been delayed numerous times

Posted September 15, 2014

The trial of accused Umatilla County murderer George West Craigen finally gets underway today.  After more than a year of delays, jury selection in the case will begin this morning before visiting Union County Circuit Court Judge Russ West.  Craigen is accused of killing Cecil ‘Rob’ Carter of Milton-Freewater in 2011.

BAKER CITY, OR: Baker 5J takes student safety seriously

Schools constantly conduct drills

Posted September 15, 2014

When incidents like the bomb threat which happened last week at Baker Middle School and again a day later at Stella Mayfield Elementary in Elgin, school officials want to ensure everyone that a plan is in place to keep your child safe.  Baker 5J School District Superintendent Walt Wegoner:  "Safety is paramount and will be dealt with immediately.  If necessary students will be evacuated to a safe place, where they can be monitored and if necessary they can be rejoined with their family."

Wagoner says the schools go through evacuation drills regularly to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible in the event of a real emergency: "Pretty confident that we have those drills down pat.  Our city police our county police, state police are all very coordinated, we have had quite a few trainings here."

The state of Oregon requires the periodic drills.

LA GRANDE, OR: Shelter from the Storm faces another court date

County renews their offer of help to the shelter

Posted September 15, 2014

As we told you late Friday, Union County officials and staff from Shelter from the Storm met early Friday to discuss the future of the shelter.   Commissioner Mark Davidson says the county’s message hasn’t wavered: "We are committed to working together to find them a location where they can continue to provide service to the community on an interim basis and to find them a permanent location."

The county has again offered them the Joseph Building and help with rent on an interim location until remodeling can be completed.  Commissioner Davidson says the county is now awaiting the shelter's decision: "We’re waiting for a reply from their board to see if they are going to accept our offers of help."

Meanwhile the shelter will be back in court on Friday after being served with eviction papers last Friday.

BAKER CITY: Initial Pocahontas Road work takes an extra day

Crews find an asphault layer floating free

Posted September 15, 2014

Pocahontas Road is back open to traffic this week after Thursday’s asphalt grindng project extended into Friday.  The public works department brought in a 130,000 pound machine to do the work which originally entailed taking off the top 1 ½ inches of the road.  But crews found a layer of asphalt about two inches deep that hadn’t adhered to other layers above or below, so that had to be taken up as well requiring the extra Friday work.  Now crews will resurface the road starting next Monday- that will require the complete closure of Pocahontas Road for about two days.

BAKER CITY, OR: Watershed remains closed to hunting

Fire danger still too high to allow access

Posted September 15, 2014

With the fire danger still at elevated levels, Baker City officials are once again reminding people that no permits for entry to the Baker City watershed area are being issued at this time.  The area is popular with archery hunters, but officials can’t risk a major fire in the area.  The watershed will remain closed until the fire danger drops due to wetter weather.

ENTERPRISE, OR: Fire crews continue work on West Fork Fire

Investigation into the cause still ongoing

Posted September 15, 2014

94 fire personnel continue to fight the West Fork Fire burning just south of Joseph.  The fire is a week old today, and officials still aren’t sure what sparked the blaze.  It’s grown to 135 acres and fire officials say it is about 35% contained.  The most dangerous fire in the state right now is the 36 Pit Fire near Estacada.  Officials believe that fire was started by people target shooting Saturday.  It has closed Highway 224 due to falling trees and rock, and smoke from the fire has covered Salem.  It has now burned 1,000 acres and is still burning out of control.

LA GRANDE, OR: 14th ranked EOU volleyball team rolls

Mountaineers sweep Northwest University

Posted September 15, 2014

The No. 14 Eastern Oregon University Mountaineers volleyball team continued its winning ways on Saturday evening, as EOU swept past Northwest University Eagles, 25-15, 25-12, 25-21.
Casey Loper recorded a match-high 11 kills on the evening. Rachelle Chamberlain collected 24 assists, while Jessalyn Smith recorded 15 digs for the Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers jumped all over the Eagles in set one, as Isabelle Statkus recorded three kills early. After the first eight points of the match, EOU led 7-1. The Mountaineers continued to build their lead and g­rew the advantage to 16-9.
Northwest started to mount a comeback, after an attack error by Emily Nay, the Eagles trailed by only two points, 16-14. At this point, the Mountaineers scored nine of the last ten points to claim set one, 25-15.
Eastern Oregon started set two out quickly as they lead 8-3 after a Kasundra Tuma kill. It looked as if the Eagles were going to climb back into the set, trimming the lead down to five points, 13-8; however, the Mountaineers had another idea. EOU only allowed four more points the rest of the set and took advantage of Northwest attack errors to win set two, 25-12.
Loper led the Mountaineers to an early 5-1 lead in the third set; however, the Eagles scored the next three points to trail by one, 5-4. Northwest took the lead, 9-8, after a Statkus attack error and they extended the lead to 13-9.
Eastern Oregon battled back and Loper put the Mountaineers back on top, 16-15. Northwest tied the set at 18-18 but EOU did not let them get over the hump. Loper's 11th kill of the game gave EOU the third set victory, 25-21.
EOU returns to action on Friday, Sept. 19th when they host Corban University at 7 p.m. 

LA GRANDE, OR: EOU soccer gets home win this weekend

14th ranked volleyball team continues to roll

Posted September 15, 2014

The Eastern Oregon University women's soccer team defeated Trinity Lutheran College, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon at the EOU Soccer Complex.
The Mountaineers started scoring early, as Eastern Oregon scored six minutes into the contest. Shelby Tucker found Makensie Forsyth, who beat Colby Smits, for her first collegiate goal. This put EOU ahead 1-0. 
Tucker looked as if she would add to the Mountaineers lead, five minutes later, however, Smits recorded the save to keep the Mountaineers ahead by one goal.
Eastern Oregon added to their advantage in the 22nd minute of the match. Maddi Cillay took a pass from Haley Hill, to beat Smits and put EOU ahead 2-0.
Neither team scored for the remainder of the first half, and EOU took the, 2-0, lead into halftime. In the first half, EOU outshot the Hawks, 12-4.
The Mountaineers continued to pressure and build their lead over the Hawks. In the first five minutes of the second half, EOU attempted five shots but could not find the back of the net.
EOU added its third goal of the game, with 24 minutes remaining. Alexis Smith fired a shot on goal and Smits made the save, however Smits could not control the rebound and Danika Pink found the loose ball to kick into the wide open net.
Trinity Lutheran had a good scoring change, with 20 seconds remaining in the contest. Angelina Carrillo put a header on goal, however, Jessica Parker made the diving save to keep the Hawks off the scoreboard.
The Mountaineers continued to pressure offensively, however were not able to score another goal for the remainder of the game.  EOU outshot the Hawks, 16-5, in the second half.  
EOU returns to action next weekend, with their alumni game at home.  EOU will open Cascade Collegiate Conference action on Friday, Sept. 26, at The College of Idaho, 4 p.m. MT.

Photo courtesy of EOU SID Travis Rae

LA GRANDE, OR: EOU football loses to SOU in final two minutes

Southern Oregon scores with 2:11 left to win

Posted September 13, 2014

For almost 58 of the 60 minutes in the game, the Eastern Oregon University football led or were tied with Southern Oregon University.  But the Raiders managed to cap off  sixteen play 85 yard drive with 2:11 left to beat Eastern in La Grande.  The Mountaineers Zach Bartlow threw three touchdown passes in the game going 23 of 38 for 262 yards.  Bartlow also led the Mountaineers on the ground rushing for 58 yards.  Eastern had 373 yards of total offense to 530 for Southern Oregon.  Eastern will be on the road next week at Montana Tech.  Listen to the game live on NewsTalk 103 starting with the pregame show at 11:40.

WALLOWA COUNTY, OR: Fire crews are strengthening fireline

A portion of Wallowa Lake State Park is being utilized as fire camp

Posted on September 13, 2014

Fire crews are strengthening fireline on the West Fork Fire and are working to extinguish hot spots near the perimeter.  Friday afternoon water drops from a helicopter were used in inaccessible areas of the fire where significant heat remained.  As crews work in the steep rugged terrain, they must be cautious of rolling debris as well as falling snags which have burned through at the base.  The firefighter spike camp located near the fire is being utilized to allow the firefighters more rest and eliminate the three mile hike to the fire.  A kitchen and crew from the Snake River Corrections Facility is providing meals to support the fire crews working at the spike camp, helibase, and incident command post.  Firefighters continue to use techniques to ensure suppression activities in this part of the Eagle Cap Wilderness are not readily observed by future visitors.  This includes tactics such as minimizing chainsaw use and constructing fireline only to the size needed to limit fire spread. Development of a rehabilitation plan has been started to ensure wilderness values are protected.  We expect crews to begin working on items from this plan as we transition from securing the fireline and mop-up into the patrol phase.  Fire managers encourage the public to respect the trail and area closures around the fire to ensure public and firefighter safety.  A portion of Wallowa Lake State Park is being utilized as fire camp to support the crews and firefighting resources.  Please use caution in the area.  A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place for the air space surrounding the West Fork Fire. The TFR has a 5 mile radius.  Details for the West Fork Fire TFR, FDC 4/3745 can be found at http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_4_3745.html.  This restriction also prohibits para-gliders and hang gliders in this air space near the fire.

LA GRANDE, OR: Tiger Football Team loses at home

La Grande in 1-1 on young season

Posted on September 12, 2014

The La Grande Tigers scored first on Friday night, but the Pendleton Buckaroos picked up the win. Quarterback Brandon Dall threw 9 of 26 for 174 yards and one interception in the game and Ray Jimenez rushed 11 times for 65 yards in the loss. La Grande will host Weiser next Friday night.

EASTERN OREGON: Regional sports scores

Area high school football and volleyball scores

Posted on September 12, 2014

The Elgin Huskies defeated the Harper Locomotives 50 to 26 Friday afternoon. The Huskies were led by quarterback Gage Little who threw for two touchdowns and Livi Carper who ran a fumble in for a touchdown. Other games around the area:

Vale 33 def Homedale, ID 20

Wilder, ID, 84 def Jordan Valley 46

Wallowa 32  def Condon/Wheeler 0

Union/Cove 35 def Riverside 6

Mac-Hi 30  def Enterprise 6

Nyssa 26 def New Plymouth, ID: 8

Weiser 14 def Ontario 0


Union 3 def Powder Valley 0

Condon/Wheerler 3 def Wallowa 2

EOU Def Evergreen 3 to 0





PAYETTE, ID: Baker Bulldogs even up record at 1-1

Bulldogs sink Pirates

Posted on September 12, 2014

The Baker Bulldogs took a 28 to 14 lead into the locker room and added 10 unanswered points in the second half to beat the Payette Pirates 34 to 14 in football action Friday night. Porter Cline carried the ball 22 times for 161 yards for the Bulldogs, and Keaton Bachman had 5 catches for 67 yards. Baker will host Fruitland next Friday night at 7:00. 

BOARDMAN, OR: Dump trailer loses load of rocks

Spill is effecting eastbound lanes

Posted on September 12, 2014

Interstate 84 eastbound lanes are nearly clear of rock that spilled from a dump trailer traveling near Boardman.  On September 12, 2014 at approximately 2:00 p.m., a truck pulling a belly dump trailer loaded with large rocks was traveling eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 165 when the gate opened and rocks spilled onto the freeway. One vehicle was reported damaged.  ODOT and OSP responded to the scene. ODOT personnel quickly got equipment to the scene and are removing the rocks from the traffic lanes.  Traffic updates available on ODOT's website TripCheck.com.

LA GRANDE, OR: Shelter staff, county staff meet

Commissioner calls meeting 'encouraging'

Posted September 12, 2014

Union County officials sat down with officials from Shelter from the Storm this morning for a discussion on helping the group find a new location.  Commissioner Mark Davidson says he was encouraged by the discussion and hopes the two groups continue working towards a solution that will be beneficial to everyone: "No one is served by more arguing and continuing with legal action.  I think it’s time to put those differences aside."

Commissioner Davidson said the county has made the shelter specific offers to help them find an interim home if they choose to move into the Joseph Building: "I made some specific offers of assistance that included rent support for a minimum of twelve months and a maximum of fifteen or sixteen months."

The county will also help with remodeling costs up to $10,000 plus help with moving and storage if they choose to move into the Joseph Building.  The shelter staff will discuss the offer with their board.

NORTHEAST, OR: Fire danger still high throughout Oregon

Danger expected to increase again this weekend

Posted September 12, 2014

If you’re heading outdoors this weekend, fire officials want you to be aware of the continuing fire danger all over the state of Oregon.  And, with higher temperatures expected this weekend, the danger will climb.  Five fires started last weekend on the Wallowa Whitman National Forest, and officials say the potential still exists for even more fires.  They ask people to check the fire restrictions in place in the area they intend to visit.  The Wallowa Whitman National Forest continues with Phase A restrictions.

BAKER CITY, OR: 20 year old man charged with rape

Taylor could face up to 25 years in prison

Posted on September 12, 2014

Gene Taylor age 20 of Baker City will be arraigned today in Baker County Circuit Court on two counts of Rape in the First Degree and one count of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree.  Taylor is alleged to have sexually assaulted a 10 year old girl who he knew.  The case is being investigated by Baker County Sheriff Sergeant Travis Ash and the victim was evaluated at the Baker County Child Abuse Center at Saint Alphonsus in Baker City.  The case will proceed to the Grand Jury next week.  Pursuant to Oregon law, the Rape and Sodomy charges carry a potential 25 years prison sentence as the alleged victim is under the age of 12.

BAKER CITY, OR: A key safety component is the C.O.P. Program

C.O.P help Baker City be a more healthy and viable place to live

Posted on September 11, 2014

Security companies released some information recently including a list of Oregon’s safest cities, and guess who made the top of that list none other than Baker City.  Local law enforcement could be the reason, so could good citizens…but one key component that the city has is its citizens on patrol program.  Citizen on Patrol Coordinator Lori McNeil says “the Citizen on Patrol Program is a very unique program.  We are all non paid volunteers that work hand in hand with the baker city police department”  Whether it’s helping in the office or being out on foot patrol.  The Baker City Citizens on Patrol Program has helped to create the safe community that Baker City has been known to be.

LA GRANDE, OR: Proposed new marijuana rules deal with location, hours

La Grande's rules differ from state definitions

Posted September 12, 2014

As we told you about yesterday, the La Grande City Council held the first reading Wednesday of an ordinance that would enact rules for marijuana dispensaries.  The biggest portion of the rules deals with location- the La Grande rules would not allow dispensaries within 1,000 feet of any preschool or K-12 school.  La Grande has also added library's, parks and licensed day care facilities to the list, something the state hasn't done.  And several city councilors want to add Eastern Oregon University to the list.  Councilor John Lackey said college students are just as vulnerable to marijuana abuse as are high school aged kids.  That subject will likely come up in October.

LA GRANDE, OR: Families need to set up emergency communication plan

Text messages work best in emergencies

Posted September 12, 2014

September is emergency preparedness month, and the Center for Human Development is working to help people get ready to survive anything from interruptions in power or getting stuck in the snow to wildfires and earthquakes.  Andi Walsh says one of the big things families need to do is to set up a communication plan.  Most of us have come to rely on cell phones to keep track of our kids, but what if cell service went down? "What we’re learning is often the phone lines themselves- not just for cell towers but our land lines- a lot of those phones lines will be used for emergency response."

Emergency responders now say it’s better to send a text message since that doesn’t tie up the phone lines.  Walsh also suggests setting up a family member or family friend outside the area to be a point of contact for the whole family.  For more tips on how to prepare for an emergency, log on to www.chdinc.org

BAKER CITY, OR: Baker volleyball loses at home, other scores

Imbler football wins their first 11 man game

Posted September 12, 2014

They needed overtime to do it, but the Imbler football team won their first game as an 11 man squad last night, beating Weston-McEwen 30-26.  In volleyball action Fruitland swept Baker in straight sets 25-15, 25-12, 25-17, Imbler swept Weston-McEwen, Grant Union shut out Elgin and Joseph beat Enterprise.

BAKER CITY, OR: Baker football team at Payette, La Grande at home

Listen to the action live

Posted September 12, 2014

The Baker Bulldogs travel to Payette tonight.  You can listen to the game starting with the St. Alphonsus pregame show at 5:45 on KCMB.  The La Grande Tigers will host Pendleton tonight.  Listen to the game starting with the Les Schwab Tire pregame show at 6:45 on NewsTalk 103.

In other high school games today, Elgin travels to Harper for a noon game, Union/Cove hosts Riverside and North Powder will host Council, Idaho.  Both games at 7:00.

LA GRANDE, OR: EOU football plays at home, volleyball travels

Football features a battle of top 25 teams

Posted September 12, 2014

The Eastern Oregon University football team will host Southern Oregon University in a battle of top 25 teams tomorrow.  Southern is 2-0 and Eastern is 1-0.  You can listen to the game on NewsTalk 103 starting with the Les Schwab Tire pregame show at 12:40 tomorrow.  The Eastern Oregon University volleyball team will play at The Evergreen State College tonight.

LA GRANDE, OR: Names of suspects in yesterday's high speed chase released

Suspects arrested for illegal drug activity

Posted September 11, 2014

The names of the two people arrested after a high speed chase that started near Riverside Park and ended on top of Mt. Emily have been released.  35-year-old Shane Hoadley was arrested after he drove his car off the road on Mt. Emily.  Officers had attempted to stop Hoadley on Spruce Street for driving offenses and illegal drug activity but he fled, reaching speeds of up to sixty mph on Blackhawk Trail Lane.  Hoadley lost control of his truck near the Maverick grounds and his girlfriend, 25-year-old Tiffany McMillan, either jumped or ejected from the vehicle and arrested.  Hoadley then continued up Fox Hill Road until he lost control of his vehicle and was arrested after a short foot pursuit.  Both Hoadley and McMillan were taken to Grande Ronde Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  They are currently being housed in the Union County Jail on probation/parole violations pending additional charges.

LA GRANDE, OR: Police, Fire Chief's honored for saving a life

Man stopped breathing during city council meeting

Posted September 11, 2014

During the August 20th La Grande City Council meeting one of the members of the audience suddenly slumped over in his seat.  As those around him sat stunned and tried to think of what to do, two other members of the audience, Police Chief Brian Harvey and Fire Chief Bruce Weimer, took control.  Not breathing and with no pulse, the Chief’s started chest compressions until EMT’s could arrive.  The man survived and actually stayed at the meeting.  Mayor Dan Pokorney: "It all seemed to happen so fast, and they just…there were several of us there that…what should we be doing or whatever- and they’re already doing it."

At last night’s city council meeting the pair were honored for saving the man's life.  The Mayor presented them both with certificates thanking them for their service.

ENTERPRISE, OR: West Fork Fire near Wallowa Lake grows

Information meeting planned for tonight

Posted September 11, 2014

The West Fork Fire burning 7 miles south of Joseph continued to grow yesterday despite cooler temperatures in the past few days.  The blaze, which was started on Monday, has now grown to 116 acres.  Members of the public are invited to attend an open house tonight to get the latest information on the fire.  That meeting will be held at 6:30 at the Fire Station at Wallowa Lake.  The fire isn't threatening any structures at this time.  120 firefighters are assigned to the blaze.

LA GRANDE, OR: City council discusses regulations for marijuana stores

Public comment will be taken in October

Posted September 11, 2014

The La Grande City Council held a public hearing on proposed rules governing the operation of marijuana dispensaries last night, and the hearing went off without a lot of the drama that has accompanied the issue in previous meetings.  City Manager Robert Strope says the proposed rules would help the city regulate the marijuana trade: "The regulations that the council’s considering is adding medical marijuana dispensaries to our land development code because we don’t have that as a current use."

Much of the discussion last night centered around rules governing hours of operation.  Some councilors felt they shouldn’t be regulating private business, but strope pointed out there are restrictions on the hours that a regular pharmacy can operate. Strope says the council will hold a second reading of the ordinance and the public will have one last chance to comment: "The city council continued the public hearing, they kept it open so it’s in recess so members of the community can show up and talk about the proposed regulations that the council are considering."

That meeting will be held October 1st at 6:00 in City Hall.  A worksession on marijuana is also being planned for September 22nd.

**UPDATE** Classes resume as normal today in Elgin

Officials now investigating the threat

Posted September 10, 2014

Superintendent Wayne Herron says classes in all Elgin schools will run as normal today after a bomb threat was made against Stella Mayfield Elementary yesterday afternoon.  No problems are expected today and there will be an investigation into the incident.


There were no injuries and no devices found after a message warning of a bomb was found written inside of Stella Mayfield Elementary School in Elgin.  Superintendent Wayne Herron says the school was emptied immediately after the note was found: "Our students have to realize that whenever they make that kind of a threat, it has to be taken extremely seriously and that’s what we did.  We of course cleared the building and called in law enforcement."

Herron says these types of incidents are extremely disruptive to the learning process and says kids need to realize the consequences of making these types of threats: "It’s a little frustrating.  These kids need to understand the seriousness of that.  In this day and age to make a threat like that it’s extremely serious, and it’s going to be taken extremely seriously."

Herron says the district and law enforcement will conduct an investigation to try and determine who was responsible for the threat.

BAKER CITY, OR: Work begins today on Pocahontas Road

Crews will grind the surface of the road today

Posted September 11, 2014

A reminder to motorists in Baker City that the public works department will begin grinding off the surface of Pocahontas Road this morning.  The work will be between 10th Street and the railroad tracks and will take most of the day.  Traffic will be restricted through the area today.  The road will be resurfaced starting September 22nd.

BAKER CITY, OR: Baker volleyball team hosts Fruitland, other 2A games

Baker 2-0 so far this season

Posted September 11, 2014

The Baker volleyball team will host Fruitland tonight at 7:00.  In 2A volleyball action Imbler travels to Weston-McEwen, Enterprise plays in Joseph and Elgin is on the road at Grant Union in their league opener.

LA GRANDE, OR: Local football teams get set for a big weekend

0Three local games can be heard on the air

Posted September 11, 2014

It will be a full weekend of high school and college football.  Tomorrow night Baker will travel to Payette in a game you can hear on KCMB.  La Grande will host Pendleton.  You can listen to the game on NewsTalk 103 tomorrow night.  On Saturday Eastern Oregon University will host Southern Oregon at 1:00.  You can listen to that game on NewsTalk 103.

LA GRANDE, OR: High speed chase ends with suspects arrest

Chase starts in La Grande, ends on Mt. Emily

Posted September 10, 2014

A high speed chase that started on Spruce Street in La Grande ended with the suspects vehicle wrecked on top of Mt. Emily.  Just before 2:00 officers attempted to stop a vehicle on Spruce.  The driver refused to stop and led officers on a chase that hit speeds of more than sixty mph.  The suspect first wrecked near the Maverick grounds on Fox Hill Road where the passenger in the vehicle jumped out.  The driver then led officers on a chase taking the road towards Summit Road before he wrecked his vehicle.  He was taken into custody without incident.  Members of the La Grande Police Department, Oregon State Police and Union County Sheriff's Office were involved in the pursuit.



BAKER CITY, OR: Supermoon causing an increase in police calls

Chief Wyn Lohner says they've been responding to more calls

Posted September 10, 2014

It seems like each time there is a full moon the police departments get busy.  This is true again of the current full moon according to Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner who says yesterday and today have been especially busy.  They expect this type of thing in the summer months in the evenings, but on Monday in September is a little strange: "The full moon is in effect we had six disturbances called in with multiple arrests in a 7 hour period of day shift yesterday between 9am and 2pm."

And, to make matter worse- this month we have a super moon where the moon seems larger than it actually is in the night sky.  No matter what time of year it is, the Baker City Police this week have been hopping.

BAKER CITY, OR: Man tries to hide his identity from the police

Man also arrested for having drugs

Posted September 10, 2014

It’s never a good idea to try and hide your identity from the police.  23-year-old Eric Cavyell learned that lesson the hard way this past weekend after he was arrested for not only providing false information to a police officer to avoid arrest but also on drug related charges.  Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner: "Subsequent consent search of his property located narcotics believed to be methamphetamines."

Cavyell also had a warrant out for his arrest.  The total amount of methamphetamines is unknown but Lohner says it was just a small amount.  

LA GRANDE, OR: Fire danger still high and expected to remain high

Fire crews concerned about increase in outdoor activity

Posted September 10, 2014

Fire officials in Oregon want to again remind people that the fire danger is far from over.  With five new fires in the past four days just on the Wallowa Whitman National Forest, fire crews remain busy.  Like most years, most of the fires are human caused, and the increase in hunting activity on national forest lands is a cause for concern.  Campfires and warming fires left unattended could potentially touch off a major wildfire.  Officials say the fire danger all over the state is still high- and with more warm weather in the forecast, people visiting the outdoors need to be careful with their fire.

LA GRANDE, OR: Baker volleyball wins, La Grande loses

Baker now 2-0, La Grande 0-2

Posted September 10, 2014

The Baker volleyball team is 2-0 after beating Emmett, Idaho 3-1 last night.  The Pendleton volleyball team swept La Grande last night 3-0 in La Grande.

CALDWELL, ID: EOU volleyball knocks off College of Idaho

#14 EOU wins a thrilling 5th set for the match

Posted September 10, 2014

The Eastern Oregon University volleyball team opened up Cascade Collegiate Conference action with a thrilling five set victory over College of Idaho, 3-2 (25-23, 25-20, 22-25, 19-25, 15-11).

Casey Loper led the No. 14 Mountaineers with 19 kills on the evening. Kendra De Hoog followed with 16 kills and Amanda Miller and Emily Nay recorded 11 apiece. Rachelle Chamberlain dished out 56 assists on the night. Jessalyn Smith recorded a match high 40 digs. 

In a highly contested first set the Mountaineers and Yotes stayed locked in a tight match-up. With EOU ahead 10-7 the Mountaineers scored the next two points to take a five point lead at 12-7. After leading by five the Yotes started mounting a comeback and tied the match at 14-14 

The rest of the first set stayed close and Emily Nay tied the set at 18-18 after recording a kill. However, College of Idaho recorded the next two points to take a 20-18 lead. The Mountaineers would not go away quietly as EOU battled back and tied the set at 21-21 after a Casey Loper kill. With the score tied at 23-23, EOU scored the next two points to take the set. Kendra De Hoog recorded the kill that clinched the set for the Mountaineers. EOU took set one, 25-23.

The Mountaineers looked to be pulling away early in set two as EOU pulled to a 7-3, lead after a kill by De Hoog. College of Idaho tried to chip away at the Mountaineers lead as the Yotes cut the lead down to two points, 13-11, after an attack error by De Hoog.

With EOU ahead 20-17, EOU took advantage of attack errors by the Yotes and took a 23-17 lead. College of Idaho continued to chip away and trimmed EOU's lead down to three points, 23-20, but Loper put an end to the Yotes run and gave EOU set point, 24-20. EOU took the second set, 25-20, after an attack error by Kylie Porter and after two sets EOU led 2-0.

Neither team took control of set three and after the first 20 points of the set the Mountaineers and Yotes were tied at 10-10. The set would stay within a point until it was tied at 14-14. With the set tied, College of Idaho scored the next three points to take a 17-14 lead.

EOU continued to battle and tied the set at 18-18 after an attack error by Sierra Porter. After the attack error, the Yotes regained control and scored the next five points to take a 23-18 lead. EOU could not come all the way back and dropped set three, 25-22. After three sets EOU led 2-1.

Set four was a highly contested set as after the first 30 points of the set, it was tied at 15-15. At that point, College of Idaho took control. The Yotes scored 10 of the final 14 points to take set four, 25-19, and forced a fifth set.

In the fifth and final set of the night, the Mountaineers raced out to an 8-4 lead after a Rachelle Chamberlain service ace. The Yotes slowly started to mount a comeback and trimmed EOU's lead down to 12-9 after a service error by Piper Cantrell. The Mountaineers did not let the Yotes get any closer and after a kill by Loper the Mountaineers took set five, 15-11, and the match 3-2.

The Mountaineers return to action on Friday Sept. 12 when they travel to Evergreen State College. Match starts at 7 p.m.


Photo by EOU Sports Information Director Travis Rae

LA GRANDE, OR: First OSAA soccer polls not kind to La Grande

Baker boys and girls ranked higher

Posted September 10, 2014

The OSAA has posted their first soccer RPI rankings of the season, and the Baker girls soccer team is ranked 14th while La Grande is 22nd.  Both teams are 2-0 this season.  Philomath is on top of the rankings. 

On the boys side, Baker is ranked 20th while La Grande is 24th.  The Philomath boys soccer team sits atop the boys poll as well.

LA GRANDE, OR: Suspect arrested for burglarizing downtown store

He was found with items from a previous burglary

Posted on September 9, 2014

Employees of The Archives book store on Fir Street got a surprise this morning when they arrived to open the store- someone was inside burglarizing the business.  The employees left the building and called 9-1-1.  Police Chief Brian Harvey said officers responded quickly: "Our officers arrived and actually spotted the person in the building and he then proceeded to hide in another part of the building."

Those officers called for backup and eventually found Donald Bryant inside and arrested him.  He was found with items from the store taken from a previous burglary of the business as well as other burglaries.  He’s been charged with burglary in the 2nd degree, theft in the 2nd degree, criminal mischief in the 2nd degree, theft in the 1st degree and carrying a concealed weapon.

ENTERPRISE, OR: A new fire starts south of Wallowa Lake

Fire has burned about 150 acres so far

Posted September 9, 2014

Officials with the Wallowa Whitman National Forest report another wildfire in Wallowa County.  The West Fork Fire started yesterday in the Eagle Cap Wilderness eight miles south of Joseph and has burned 150 acres so far.  The fire has caused the closure of the West Fork Trail from its junction with the Chief Joseph Trail to Six Mile Meadow.  A type III fire team is now on the scene of the fire to help two twenty man teams that arrived to fight the fire yesterday.  The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

BAKER CITY, OR: Bomb threat at the Baker Middle School

The suspect has been transported to the Juvenile Detention Facility in The Dalles

Posted on September 9, 2014

On September 9, 2014 at about 6:30 am Baker City Police received a report of a Bomb Threat at the Baker Middle School. BCPD personnel arrived on scene and secured the building at about 6:40 am, with the assistance of Baker City Public Works crews who placed barricades, shutting off street access around the middle school.  While the Baker 5J School District coordinated the diversion of students and staff away from the middle school, law enforcement personnel from the Oregon State Police, Baker County Sheriff’s Office and Baker City Police Department arrived at the Command Post to organize search teams.  At about 7:30 am 5 search teams consisting of law enforcement personnel and school district employees began a search of the building and its grounds. At about 8:15 am all 5 teams reported back to the command post with nothing suspicious located. The building was then released back to the school, while Law Enforcement secured the area where the message was located.  An investigation into that message, combined with the suspicions of Middle School staff who suspected a student based on that student’s behavior the day before, led to an interview of a single student by Lt. Kirk McCormick. At about 8:43 am a Baker Middle School student was arrested for the Bomb Threat and transported to the Baker County Juvenile Department. The student is being charged with Disorderly Conduct 1 and will be transported to the Juvenile Detention Facility in The Dalles.

LA GRANDE, OR: Increase in people looking for PCP's good for overall health

Two new primary care providers start this month

Posted September 9, 2014

Last week we told you about the huge increase in the number of patients at Grande Ronde Hospital on the Oregon Health Plan that are now selecting a primary care provider.  More than 3,000 patients have been added.  Hospital spokesperson Mardi Ford says having those patients with a primary care provider may pay dividends in terms of those patient's overall health: "Studies have shown that people who build a relationship with a primary care provider have better overall health long term, and they actually lower their health care costs."

To help alleviate a shortage of providers the hospital is adding a physician and a nurse practicioner who will begin seeing patients later this month.

BAKER CITY, OR: Work to begin Thursday on Pocahontus Road

Work to be done in two phases

Posted September 8, 2014

The Baker City Public Works Department will begin a road resurfacing project this Thursday on Pocahontus Road between 10th Street and the railroad tracks.  The work will actually be done in two phases- the first phase this Thursday will involve grinding out the road surface to prepare it for a new surface.  Traffic will be restricted Thursday while crews are working between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm.  The actual resurfacing of the road will take place on September 22nd and 23rd.  Pocahontus Road will be closed both days.  Any wet weather could delay the project.

LA GRANDE, OR: Marijuana education tour coming to La Grande

Intent of the forum is to educate, not take sides

Posted September 9, 2014

The marijuana education tour is coming to La Grande.  Several local groups are sponsoring the event which is intended to educate the public on marijuana not take sides on measure 91 which seeks to legalize recreational use of marijuana.  The two hour forum will be held on Friday October 3rd at the Blue Mountain Conference Center.  The time is still to be announced.

LA GRANDE, OR: La Grande Main Street looking for board members

Board members serve for three years

Posted September 9, 2014

The La Grande Main Street Board is looking for three new members.  Director Saira Sidiqui says all three terms run from 2015 to 2018.  Sidiqui says the board of directors is very active in trying to help improve the downtown area in several ways: "W do a lot of work on the downtown.  If you’re passionate about the downtown area of La Grande and the revitalization of downtown then this is a great opportunity."

Board members also sit on one of the downtown committee’s- promotions, design, organization and business development.  Sidiqui says they hope to develop a pool of applicants by September 30th.  If you’re interested in sitting on the board, email Sidiqui at director@lagrandemainstreet.com

ENTERPRISE, OR: NEOEDD wins national award

Program helps raise funds for local businesses

Posted September 9, 2014

The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District has received the 2014 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation for their Northeast Oregon Community Capital Collaberative Project.  The program helps relocate private investment from Wall Street to Main Street making the money available to local businesses.  The Lostine Tavern was the first business they featured on the online program and they raised $28,000, one of the highest totals in the nation.

LA GRANDE, OR: La Grande soccer teams beat Pendleton

Both teams 2-0 this season

Posted September 9, 2014

The La Grande girls soccer team is 2-0 after beating Pendleton 5-1 last night in their home opener.  The La Grande boys traveled to Pendleton where they beat the Buckaroo’s 3-1.

BAKER CITY, OR: Local volleyball teams in action tonight

La Grande and Baker at home, EOU on the road

Posted September 9, 2014

The La Grande volleyball team hosts Pendleton at 6:00 tonight while the Baker volleyball team hosts Emmett, Idaho at 7:00.  The Eastern Oregon University women’s volleyball team travels to the College of Idaho tonight for a 6:00 match.

PENDLETON, OR: Hearing issues in children may not be permanent

Even the common cold can effect your childs hearing

Posted on September 8, 2014

When it comes to early learning in children, one of the most important factors is learning how to make sounds and form words.  And children do this by hearing and learning phonetically.  Roxanne Hanel Audiologist with Intermountain ESD, who regularly tests children from newborns on up through elementary school says that even if a child fails a hearing test does not mean that they have a ferment problem

”Most of them are related to fluid, ear infections, which is the most common issue that children deal with, with their ears and hearing.

If you are concerned that you child may be having an issue with their hearing, first ask yourself if your child is dealing with something as simple as a common cold or if there could be a deeper issue.  For more information you can contact the Intermountain ESD or your local ear nose and throat specialist.

NORTH POWDER, OR: Motion for early production in Miller case postponed

A No-Contact Order remains in place

Posted on September 8, 2014

Joe and Faith Miller, a North Powder couple, that are facing several felonies involving sexual abuse, incent and other related charges were back in the courtroom this afternoon in Union County for a Status Check and a Motion for Early Production.  The Millers were escorted into the courtroom by deputies and seated next to their respected court appointed attorneys to hear as to whether specific medical records for the alleged victim will be released.  The Miller’s attorneys requested the motion for early production be postponed until a later date, as to allow time to review the appropriate documents.  Joe and Faith Miller have been ordered to have no contact with each other while they are being held in the Union County Correctional Facility including in the courtroom.  The judge held up that order today after a request by Mr. Miller was given to dismiss the order.  We will continue coverage of this investigation and will have details as they become available.

LA GRANDE, OR: Two EOU runners honored by conference

Both runners finished first in Walla Walla

Posted September 8, 2014

Senior Lucas Updike and sophomore Rachel Roelle have been named the Red Lion Men's and Women's Cross Country Runners of the Week, the Cascade Collegiate Conference announced on Monday.
Updike won the Whitman Invite as he ran a time of 26:29. Updike led the way for the Mountaineers as he went straight to the front and was in contention for the lead the entire race. Updike was strong over the last fifty meters to claim the victory.
Roelle won the Whitman Invite as she ran a time of 23:36. Her time was ten seconds faster than second place. She stayed with the lead pack the entire race and pulled away from the pack with 400 meters to go.
The Mountaineers return to action on Friday, Sept. 19th when they head to Portland, Ore. to run in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Preview

ENTERPRISE, OR: Wolverine's won't get endangered species status

Photo's of two wolverines taken in Wallowa County

Posted September 8, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday announced their decision to keep the wolverine off the endangered species list for now- and that decision drew praise from officials in most of the states that will feel the impact.  The Governor’s of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming say wolverine populations in their states are already on the rebound without the added protections.  There are an estimated 250 to 300 of the reclusive animals in the Western United States including a few in Oregon.  A trail camera in Wallowa County took photo’s of two wolverines two years ago. 

LA GRANDE, OR: Bond would add classroom space for Kindergarten

District buildings are showing their age

Posted September 8, 2014

We’ve spent a lot of time over the summer talking about the proposed La Grande School District’s need to pass a $31.8 million bond to help make capital improvements to local schools.  One topic that inevitably comes up when discussing the bond is whether the district did enough to maintain buildings in the past.  But Superintendent Larry Glaze says the district did what they could given budget constraints: "We’ve done the very best we can with maintenance for our school buildings.  The truth is, our buildings are aging out- they’re getting old."

The newest building in the district- La Grande Middle School- is now nearly forty years old, Greenwood and Central schools date to the fifties and the other buildings are even older.  One of the most pressing issues facing the district is for more classroom space given the state’s mandate to begin all-day Kindergarten next year.  Jeff Crews is part of a group backing the bond.  He says a tour of the district’s elementary schools shows their current facilities just won’t work for all-day Kindergarten: "We’ve got modulars that have always been intended to be a temporary thing- they’ve been out there way too long and the modulars don’t even have lavatories in them."

Part of the bond would add classroom space at every elementary school to bring Kindergartens back to their neighborhood schools.  The proposed $31.8 million bond will be on the November ballot.

PENDLETON, OR: Intermountain ESD to give hearing tests

Hearing a key element in childhood learning

Posted September 8, 2014

Reading writing and arithmetic…These may be the staples of a child education, but when it comes to learning to the highest potential hearing properly is key.  Roxanne Hanel, an audiologist with Intermountain ESD, says hearing screenings are important to elementary age kids for a variety of reasons: "Most reading programs use a phonetically based approach which is the sound symbol typed hearing approach.  If you have any hearing problems you will probably have struggle or have deficits."

And, thanks to the Intermountain ESD, elementary age child all over Eastern Oregon and beyond will be receiving hearing tests over the next several weeks.  If you have concerns about your child's hearing you are invited to contact Intermountain ESD.

BAKER CITY, OR: Four new fires start on the Wallowa Whitman

Three of the fires less than an acre in size

Posted September 8, 2014

Officials with the Wallowa Whitman National Forest say a total of four fires started over the weekend.  Three of the four are less than an acre in size- one in the Eagle Cap Wilderness and two in the Hells Canyon National Recreation area- one on the Oregon side of the Snake River and one on the Idaho side.  The fourth fire is also burning on the Idaho side of the river near Freezeout Ridge.  It has burned about 48 acres so far.  Officials say it was sparked by lightning and is burning in very rugged country.  Fire conditions continue to remain high throughout Northeast Oregon.

LA GRANDE, OR: EOU soccer splits on the road

EOU back in action next Sunday at home

Posted September 8, 2014

The Eastern Oregon University women's soccer team was defeated by Westminster (Utah), 3-0, on Saturday afternoon.
The Griffins took an early lead over the Mountaineers 13 minutes into the game. Lexi Tucker scored her second goal of the year by beating Jessica Parker to put Westminster ahead, 1-0.
The Mountaineers could not get anything going offensively in the first half as Westminster held Eastern Oregon without a shot for the first 45 minutes of the game. The Griffins had three other scoring opportunities in the first half, but Parker recorded the saves and after the first half of play, Westminster led, 1-0.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, the Griffins extended its lead to 2-0 after Madison Roemer beat Parker for her first goal of the season.
With the Griffins ahead, 2-0, the Mountaineers had its best scoring chance of the day. Haley Hill took a shot but missed wide.
Westminster was not done scoring and extended its lead to 3-0 after a goal by Heidi Lorschider in the 78th minute of the game.
EOU fell to Westminster, 3-0. The Mountaineers were outshot 16-1 in the match.
The Mountaineers return to action on Sunday Sept. 14th when they open up the 2014 regular season home schedule against Trinity Lutheran. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

LA GRANDE, OR; Eastern Oregon Highway construction update

Be prepared for possible delays and traffic impacts

Posted on September 5, 2014

The summer construction season is coming to an end around Eastern Oregon.  But there are still many projects on the horizon according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.  Motorists are encouraged to be prepared for possible delays and traffic impacts by checking trip check before traveling.  This next week there is work that will be done around the Whisky Creek Road Culvert in Wallowa County that will close some county roads but will be open back up by September 19th.  There will also be work done on some sidewalks around John Day.  If you have questions or concerns about any road projects around the area you’re invited to contact the Oregon Department of Transportation

BAKER CITY, OR: Citizens are warned about a possible scam

If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is

Posted on September 5, 2014

Local law enforcement in Baker City has dealt with a scam recently and citizens are reminded to be on the lookout.  This scam takes place a citizen is given a check and instructed to deposit the check into their personal account, taking most of the check in cash to purchase a green dot pre-paid card.  Often times these checks are fraudulent and once returned to the financial institution the account is charged penalties as well as the amount of the check.  If you are faced with something of this nature remember the old adage that if it seems to be too good to be true then it probably is. And if you are concerned that you may be dealing with a scam contact your local law enforcement.

ISLAND CITY, OR: Work to begin on Blue Springs Crossing Apartments

Groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 11:00am Friday September 5th

Posted on September 4, 2014

Work is set to begin tomorrow on the Blue Springs Crossing Apartment Complex on Walton Road.  Dale Inslee with the Northeast Oregon Housing Authority says the thirty-eight units will provide much needed low income housing for the area.  Most of the apartments will be two bedrooms, but there will also be one and three bedroom units- and they will come with amenities according to Inslee:

“They’ll come with washers and dryers, and of course all new appliances in the unit, and the key point which makes it unique for our area now is it’s going to be current weatherized new construction”

            There will be a groundbreaking ceremony at 11:00 am tomorrow and the public is invited to attend.  Construction is supposed to last until June- applications for the new apartments are being accepted now.

BAKER CITY, OR: Open burn ban has ended

Open burning must be in complainace with listed rules and regulations

Posted on September 4, 2014

Due to the recent wet weather and cooler temperatures, the fire danger level has dropped from its recent extreme condition to a more moderate level. With this change in conditions, the ban on open burning in the city of Baker City has been ended.

Open burning with a valid burning permit and in compliance with the rules listed on said permit is now allowed within the city limits of the city of Baker City.

NORTH POWDER, OR: A horse near has tested positive for West Nile virus

Oregonians should remain vigilant in protecting themselves

Posted on August 28, 2014

A horse near North Powder has tested positive for West Nile virus

Union County Vector Control has announced that a positive test for West Nile virus has been confirmed this week on a horse near North Powder.  As the Labor Day weekend approaches, Oregonians should remain vigilant in protecting themselves and their animals from mosquitoes and the diseases, such as West Nile virus (WNv), that they can carry. Four presumptive human cases of WNv have been reported in Malheur and Baker counties. This is in addition to the WNv mosquito activity that has been identified in Jackson, Morrow, Union, Klamath, and Baker counties.    Local vector staff continues to work hard to reduce mosquito numbers through larval and adult mosquito control, but they would like to remind Union County citizens to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

Some steps to reduce mosquitoes include:

Eliminate sources of standing water that are a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This includes watering troughs, bird baths, clogged gutters and old tires.  Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. When engaged in outdoor activities, protect yourself by using mosquito repellants containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus or Picardin, and follow the directions on the container.  Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in mosquito-infested areas.  Make sure screen doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly.

Residents are also encouraged to report high numbers of mosquitoes to Union County Vector control.  Mosquito control is paid for through property taxes and there is no additional charge for any of the services they provide.