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Adler House to get facelift


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The Adler House Museum is at 2305 Main St.
The museum in the home of Baker City’s longtime philanthropist, the late Leo Adler, has received a pair of grants, totaling $14,775, that will pay to repaint the exterior of the 123-year-old home this spring.

The Adler House Museum was awarded $6,775 from the Kinsman Foundation of Milwaukie, Ore., and $8,000 from the Leo Adler Community Fund, according to a press release from the Baker County Museum Commission.

The Community Fund is part of the $20 million legacy that Adler bequeathed on his death on Nov. 2, 1993, at age 98.

In addition to the Community Fund, which provides grants to a wide variety of local projects, Adler created a scholarship fund that has helped hundreds of local students attend college.

The Museum Commission has hired Scrivner Painting of Baker City to paint the Adler House. Work will start soon, and will be finished before the museum opens for the season on May 26.


Judge agrees on Brocato rulings


By CHRIS COLLINS

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A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed all but one of the issues raised in a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed by Steve Brocato after he was fired from his job as Baker City manager in June 2009.

Brocato filed the lawsuit in May 2010 against the city and four City Council members Dennis Dorrah, Beverly Calder, Aletha Bonebrake and Clair Button, and Baker City resident Gary Dielman.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman wrote in an opinion and order issued Friday that he would adopt the findings and recommendations of Federal Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan as his own.

Sullivan issued her recommendations in January and they were then reviewed by Mosman before he issued his opinion Friday.


5J board chair says Kyle Knight violated oath

By CHRIS COLLINS

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The part of Thursday’s Baker School Board meeting originally advertised as closed to the public was instead conducted in open session, during which board chair Lynne Burroughs gave director Kyle Knight an ultimatum.

Reading a prepared statement, Burroughs said Knight would be censured if he refused to change his ways.

The warning fell on deaf ears because Knight left the meeting in protest before Burroughs spoke.

Burroughs accused Knight of revealing confidential information regarding a district employee alleged to have used a district purchase order to buy personal items.


Forest planning biggest timber sale in many years


By TERRI HARBER

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The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has released detailed plans for Snow Basin, a multi-year endeavor in eastern Baker County that forest officials say would improve forest health and also produce more timber than any project on the forest in the past decade.

The Wallowa-Whitman’s goal in Snow Basin, which encompasses about 28,500 acres north of Richland and west of Halfway, is to return to historic conditions with “open, park-like stands dominated by single-storied forests of large ponderosa pines surrounded by small patches of mixed conifers,” said Monica Schwalbach, forest supervisor.

To accomplish that goal, forest officials are proposing to cut many of the fir trees that have encroached on areas where in the past pines and tamaracks predominated.


With Fred listening, kids have got reading licked


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Kaeli Diamond, a student at Brooklyn Primary School in Baker City, practices her reading skills with Fred, a yellow Lab who visits local schools frequently.
By TERRI HARBER

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The lights were low and the atmosphere relaxed as a group of nearly two dozen children cuddled with quilts, pillows and stuffed animals to enhance their enjoyment of some good books.

Fred the Reading Dog was a special guest at Brooklyn Primary School as children in Grades K-3 enjoyed a Fun Friday event.

He even dressed up for the occasion by donning a special orange jacket emblazoned with the phrase “Reading Changes Lives."


Baker Heritage Museum has wealth of new exhibits

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The new gold display at the Heritage Museum features all the aspects of extracting gold from Baker County. Lynne Proudfoot, right, is nearing completion of her artistic murals and renditions of mining activities. Howard Brooks, retired local geologist, has been the mining consultant for the project.
By LISA BRITTON

For the Baker City Herald

Baker Heritage Museum opened with new exhibits this season, but don’t worry if you missed last year’s — those have just moved to a different, permanent home within the building.

The Central Gallery now features “Baker County Fairs, 4-H and Agriculture.”

This display explores Baker County’s roots, featuring historic photos various crops (hay, rye, wheat, onions, cherries, peaches and strawberries).


Robert Ott, Baker basketball champion, dies at 91


By JAYSON JACOBY

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Robert Ott, the last local link to one of Baker High School’s greatest athletic accomplishments, has died.

Ott, 91, died Saturday at Settler’s Park.

He was one of the two surviving members of Baker’s 1938 state champion basketball team.

The other, Felton “Don” Huntsman, lives in Seattle.

Their teammate, Orville Ragsdale of Baker City, died on May 13, 2009.


Shoot! This is a lot of fun


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Ben Spaugh, 13, of Sumpter, a junior shooter, takes aim at his target under the watch of range officer Evans Kuo.
By CHRIS COLLINS

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It’s not just the shooting that will draw competitors to the Powder River Practical Shooters (PRPS) Match on Sunday, according to organizers.

The contest requires shooters to develop a strategy that capitalizes on safety, speed and accuracy as they move through five different courses.

“As soon as that bell goes off, you forget everything else,” says Ray Merritt, match director and the club’s vice president, who says he’s found the competition highly addicting.

The event combines the elements of movement, a race against the clock and the goal of accuracy on the target, he said.


Land use plans raise locals’ ire


By TERRI HARBER

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Virtually every seat was filled in the Baker County Courthouse meeting room on Wednesday with people concerned about two federal land use plans.

And nearly a dozen members of the audience, including miners, ranchers and recreationists, stood up to tell county commissioners why they’re upset about the BLM’s draft management plan for the Baker Resource Area, and the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest’s Travel Management Plan (see related story below).

Commission Chairman Fred Warner Jr., was absent, so Commissioner Tim Kerns took his place as the presiding official.


Road closures prompt mixed reaction


By JAYSON JACOBY

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The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest’s new Travel Management Plan (TMP) is a forbiddingly dense document.

Fitting, for the largest national forest (almost 2.4 million acres) in the Pacific Northwest.

The TMP doesn’t cover that whole swath.

Motor vehicles are already banned, for instance, inside wilderness areas, which comprise 585,000 acres on the Wallowa-Whitman.

And the 652,000-acre Hells Canyon National Recreation Area has its own rules related to motor vehicles.


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