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City aims to cut spending


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Baker City officials still are looking at ways to pare down next year's spending plan before ratifying it during their meeting on June 26, as scheduled.

The plan covers needs throughout the upcoming Fiscal Year that begins July 1, 2012 and ends June 30, 2013.

A group of city councilors along with a member of the budget board are working with the city manager to cut money from the general fund so the ending fund balance reaches $900,000. That would require decreases to bring up the total from the current budgeted ending fund balance  of roughly $835,000.

Focusing on reducing personnel costs to achieve the savings was discussed during the budget board meetings. The group isn't limited to cutting from other areas to reach the target amount, however.

Invitation surprised BHS commencement speaker

Read more...By KORI RAYBORN

For the Baker City Herald

Two decades have passed since Amy Freeman lived in Baker City, but after all this time away, her view of Baker hasn’t changed a bit. 

“I absolutely wouldn’t trade growing up in Baker for anything,” she said in a telephone interview from Beaverton. “I still have lots of family and friends there. I’m very happy to be coming home, I have fond memories of Baker and my time growing up there.”

Freeman has no children, that is, apart from her dogs Boomer and Belle.  In her free time, Freeman volunteers with the Cascade Beagle Rescue and is on its board of directors. She lives in Beaverton and works as a retail brand manager for Nike.

Knight excluded from meeting


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Baker School Board member Kyle Knight’s conflict with some of his colleagues and Superintendent Walt Wegener continued Wednesday.

Both Wegener and board member Mark Henderson vowed to call police if Knight refused to leave a closed meeting conducted by two other members of the five-member board.

Knight, who was not invited to the meeting, left the meeting before any calls were made.

It's all relative

Bill Ward of Baker City has spent hundreds of hours researching his family’s history.

For the Baker City Herald

Bill Ward’s computer room is now a study in world history, from photographs of United States presidents to the historic Alnwick Castle that became Hogwarts for the Harry Potter films.

And he can trace his connection to it all — 33 presidents, the Royal family, Abraham Lincoln, Judy Garland. He can follow his roots back thousands of years.

“All the way to Christ,” he says.

This all started three years ago when Ward, 65, needed something to do during the long winter.

One dead in Hwy. 7 accident

A Pendleton woman was killed and a Walla Walla woman was critically injured when their two motorcycles were struck by a pickup truck as they were traveling along Highway 7 near Baker City about 12:30 p.m. Monday.

Leta Louise Currey, 46, was pronounced dead at the scene about one mile west of the Highway 245 junction, about nine miles south of Baker City, according to an Oregon State Police press release.

Currey and Joanne Mohrland, 53, were traveling with their husbands in a string of four motorcycles when the crash happened, police said.

Baker a beauty finalist again


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Baker City has a second chance to be recognized as the most beautiful small town in the nation.

For the second time in two years the Rand McNally and USA Today Best of the Road contest organizers will send judges here to help determine whether the city indeed is most beautiful.  

Here’s this year’s lineup of communities vying for the title:

• Baker City

• Bardstown, Ky.

• Danville, Ky.

• Jim Thorpe, Pa.

• Sedona, Ariz.

• Tybee Island, Ga.

Fatal crash closed Highway 7 for several hours Monday

A motorcycle rider was killed in a collision with a vehicle on Highway 7 near Baker City early Monday afternoon.

The highway was closed from about 12:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. near Milepost 40, in the Salisbury Junction area about nine miles south of Baker City, according to a press release from the Oregon State Police.

The press release did not include the name of the crash victim. 

Highway information is available online at www.tripcheck.com

Ready for Memorial Day



Photo by Kathy Orr/Baker City Herald

Holiday weekend packed with events

From special events at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center to the Sumpter Flea Market, there will be lots to do in Baker County this Memorial Day Weekend.  

The Memorial Day Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at Mount Hope Cemetery. 

An opening prayer will be given by Chaplain Jerry Hunter, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 3048. Alan Schmeits of the American Legion will serve as the master of ceremonies and introduce the special speakers. Jane Chandler, Veterans Services coordinator, will present the history of multi-era Baker County veterans, the history of the military fly over and talk about Baker County World War II Honor Flight recipients who have traveled to Washington, D.C.

A dedication of honored veterans casket flags will be given by Sgt. Maj. Wayne Chastain, Chaplain Jerry Hunter, and VFW Commander Gina Reed. Taps will be played by Chastain.  

A National Guard F-15 Fighter Jet from Kingsley Field at Klamath Falls is scheduled to fly over Mount Hope Cemetery at 12:15 p.m., weather permitting. If operational or weather problems do arise, the jet might be forced to change its flight time or cancel the fly over altogether.

Holcomb Park dedicated at Richland


For the Baker City Herald

RICHLAND — The John Holcomb Memorial Park, two miles east of Richland, was officially dedicated Tuesday.

All who came to the park dedication appeared pleased with the development. Laughter and warm smiles continued long after the ceremony had concluded.

 The event got under way at 2 p.m. Despite a light rain during the initial activities of the ceremony, more than 40 people turned out to see the park improvements and afterward took part in refreshments at the comfort center.

Those involved with bringing the park to completion were thrilled to see everything finally coming together. Others who came to see the final product were just as excited as those involved. 

“Everything they’ve done here is wonderful,” said Peg Coffin, one park observer.

“They have really made a lot of improvements to the park,” said Jenny Anderson, of Richland.

The area was dedicated in honor of John Holcomb, son of 91-year-old Wadean Holcomb and the late George Holcomb, who died in 1995.

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