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BLM office: $2.1 million lease


By Jayson Jacoby

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About 30 local employees from the BLM are slated to move into their new office in Baker City this September.

The workers had been sharing office space for the past nine years with their counterparts from another federal agency, the Forest Service, in a compound of modular buildings at 3285 11th St.

The new BLM office is close — just across H Street to the north on the former site of the New Tribes Mission.

Don Thompson of North Bend said he and his brother, Dan, who are partners in a development company and construction firm, bought the Baker City property late last year.

The sales price was $300,000, according to the Baker County Assessor’s Office.

Don Thompson said he and his brother bought the former New Tribes site after reading a prospectus from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), a federal agency that helps secure office space for other agencies, including the BLM.

“The focus was to develop office space for the BLM,” Thompson said.

The GSA has signed a 10-year lease for $2.1 million for about 7,000 square feet of office space, said Stephanie Kenitzer, public affairs manager for the agency’s Northwest/Arctic Region.

See more in Friday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 

 

Road over Hells Canyon Dam closed part of the day June 2-5, and June 9-12


The road over Hells Canyon Dam will be closed to all traffic from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PDT June 2, 3, 4 and 5, and again on June 9, 10, 11 and 12.

A traffic flagger will be on the Idaho side of the dam, and a message board will be in place across the Oxbow bridge.

The closure is necessary because heavy equipment will be working on the dam, removing the barriers that kept water from the spill gates while maintenance work was being done earlier this year.

 

Four Baker City Council positions up for election in November

Prospective candidates can file between June 4 and Aug. 26


Four of the seven positions on the Baker City Council will be up for election in the Nov. 4 general election.

The terms for councilors Clair Button, Roger Coles, Dennis Dorrah and Barbara Johnson expire Dec. 31, 2014.

Due to the clause in the city charter that limits councilors to serving no more than two consecutive terms, neither Dorrah nor Button is eligible to run for re-election.

Coles and Johnson are eligible to run. 

The top three vote-getters in November will be elected to four-year terms.

The fourth-place finisher will serve a two-year term. 

All four terms will begin with the Council's first meeting in early January 2015.

More information about filing as a candidate is available at www.bakercity.com/government/elections 

 

Police plan progresses

Proposal to hire lieutenant under one-year contract spurred debate, however


By Pat Caldwell

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The proposal to add a full-time, contract lieutenant’s slot to the Baker City Police Department roster triggered vigorous debate during last week’s budget hearings but the concept will be part of the final fiscal plan submitted to the City Council for ratification in June.

At issue was a proposal by Police Chief Wyn Lohner to drop one of three current sergeant positions and add the new lieutenant slot. The new lieutenant position will be structured under a one-year contract. Also, the position will be non-union and will not be eligible for overtime pay. The blueprint proved controversial because city officials want to move one of the current, active-duty police sergeants into the slot after he retires.

Budget committee chair Beverly Calder made a motion late in the week to jettison the proposal from the proposed budget and keep the third sergeants position.

See more in Wednesday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 

 

Summer lunches served in park


By Chris Collins

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Children visiting Geiser-Pollman Park this summer will not only get the chance to frolic in the new playground, but they’ll also be offered a free lunch.

The park has been added as a third lunch site for the Baker School District’s summer program, which is available free to everyone 18 and younger Monday through Friday. The program will run from June 16 through Aug. 22, said Jessica Wickert, the district’s Food Services director.

Lunch will not be served at Brooklyn Primary School this summer, but instead will be offered at the North Baker Campus at 2725 Seventh St.  Baker City Christian Church will again open its doors at 675 Highway 7 to the summer lunch program.

Lunch at the park will begin at 11:15 a.m., just after the library’s summer reading sessions end each day, Wickert said. The Christian Church meals will be served beginning at 11:45 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon daily at the North Baker site.

See more in Wednesday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 

 

 

City Council cancels meeting tonight


The Baker City Council will not have its regularly scheduled meeting this evening.

The city announced the meeting's cancellation in a press release this morning.

The published agenda had included just a couple of items, and councilors decided they could add those items to the agenda for the next scheduled meeting, on June 10, City Recorder Becky Fitzpatrick said.

 

OSU to name residence hall for Baker City native Bill Tebeau


CORVALLIS — Oregon State University is naming its newest residence hall for the late William "Bill" Tebeau, a Baker City native who made history in Oregon both as a student and as a professional.

Tebeau died July 5, 2013, in Salem, at age 87.

After graduating from Baker High School in 1943, Tebeau, who wanted to be an engineer, was accepted at Oregon State College.

The school, now Oregon State University, was renowned then, as now, for its engineering program.

Tebeau didn’t mention on his application that he was black.

Read more...
 

BHS principal Peacock picked to address graduates


By Chris Collins

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Unlike past commencement speakers, some of  whom have traveled across the country to address Baker High School graduating classes, this year’s speaker will simply drive to work like he’s done every day for most of his working life.

That’s because the man who will pass on sage advice to members of the BHS Class of 2014 when the ceremony begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 8, at Bulldog Memorial Stadium is their principal, Jerry Peacock.

The 58-year-old Peacock, with 22 years at the helm of Baker High School, is the longest tenured — and one of the most highly respected — principals in Oregon, said Doug Dalton, the school district’s chief executive officer and business manager.

See more in Monday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 

 

 

Budget board grades its work

Some, including Mayor Richard Langrell, lament failure to cut personnel costs, but Councilor Barbara Johnson says city should have given raise to non-union staff


By Pat Caldwell

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Four members of the Baker City Budget Committee said that the three-day fiscal sessions held last week proved to be a success, though at least one elected official believes the city needs to do more to cut costs.

Budget Committee Chairman Randy Daugherty, Vice-Chairman Beverly Calder, Mayor Richard Langrell and Councilor Barbara Johnson said the 2014 edition of the budget hearings was an achievement.

The committee consists of the seven city councilors and seven city residents who were appointed by the Council.

Langrell, who established a firm, fiscal-conservative position before the sessions began, said a lot was accomplished last week but it may very well end up appearing to be a triumph without victory.

“I think they (the budget hearings) went pretty well considering we didn’t cut any employee costs. Overall employee costs are still up,” Langrell said. “My No. 1 goal was to get the employee costs under control.”

See more in Monday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 

 

Remembering


S. John Collins/Residents gathered Monday morning at Mount Hope Cemetery for the annual Memorial Day tribute to veterans.
 
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