Army Staff Sgt. Kevin A. Hopson, a North Powder native and 2005 graduate of Powder Valley High School, has been named by the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) as its Noncommissioned Officer of the Year and winner of one of the AMC's "Best Warrior" awards.
Hopson, who enlisted in the Army after graduation and has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, will now compete in the Army-wide Best Warrior competition in October.
The AMC Best Warrior competition included 11 events that tested a variety of military skills and knowledge in a high-pressure atmosphere. A total of eight competitors -- three Soldiers and five NCOs -- competed for AMC’s Best Warrior titles and earned points based on their performance in specific events.
Out of a perfect score of 500 points, Hopson topped all competitors with 339 points.
He serves as the Force Protection NCA at the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois.
Workers from the Baker Valley Vector Control District sprayed a mosquito-killing fog in parts of Baker City Monday night, and district manager Matt Hutchinson said the plan is to cover the rest of the city tonight and Wednesday night.
On Monday night the district's two fogging trucks covered areas north of Campbell Street and east of 10th Street, Hutchinson said.
Tonight the crew hope to cover areas east of the railroad tracks and south of Campbell to about the railroad tracks, and to fog the rest of town Wednesday night.
Hutchinson said the fogging trucks won't start rolling until after 9 p.m.
By Chris Collins
A 76-year-old Baker City man was flown out of the Wallowa Mountains Monday night with injuries he sustained when he rolled his four-wheeler as he traveled down a steep hillside.
Charles Leon Dale lost control of the four-wheeler on O’Brien Creek off Main Eagle Creek near Boulder Park. Sheriff Mitch Southwick said the four-wheeler hit a tree and rolled over Dale in the crash.
Friends Dale was riding with were able to call out for help. Seven volunteers with the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, the sheriff, a deputy and an Eagle Valley Ambulance crew were dispatched about 3 p.m., Southwick said.
A member of the LifeFlight medical team said Dale probably would be stabilized at the La Grande hospital for possible transport elsewhere, the sheriff said. Information about his condition was not available in time for this report.
See more in Wednesday's issue of the Baker City Herald.
The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has re-opened two trails in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, and will re-open a third on Thursday at 8 a.m.
All three trails had been closed since early July due to wildfires.
Cougar Ridge and Bearwallow trails are open now.
The Hurricane Creek trail remains closed between the trailhead and the junction with the Echo Lake trail, but that section will re-open Thursday at 8 a.m.
At that time, however, the area east of the Hurricane Creek trail will be closed to the public.
For trail condition updates go to http://www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman
Eastern Oregon Super Shoot Brings 400 To Anthony Lakes
Coby Hutzler/Baker City Herald Marcus Pratt, 18, of North Powder, takes aim at a buffalo target on Sunday, the second day of the Eastern Oregon Super Shoot at Anthony Lakes ski area.
By Coby Hutzler
This weekend’s Eastern Oregon Super Shoot saw 411 archers hone their skills on the slopes of the Anthony Lakes ski area.
“That’s about 120 more than we usually do,” said Bob Reedy, president of the Elkhorn Archers in Baker City, which organized the event along with the Grande Ronde Bowmen in La Grande.
Archers came from Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington and California for the 12th-annual Super Shoot at Anthony Lakes.
Investigators from the Oregon State Police said today that the driver of a pickup truck that crashed on Interstate 84 near Baker City Saturday night, leading to the death of one passenger, struck an elk, causing the driver to lose control.
Tanda Kay Pratt, 60, of Blackfoot, Idaho, died in the crash that happened about 10:38 p.m. Saturday near Milepost 294, about 10 miles north of Baker City.
The driver, Todd B. Pratt, also of Blackfoot, was injured, as were the two other passengers, Joe L. Pratt, 61, of Blackfoot, and Austin B. Parker 23, of Pocatello, Idaho.
A 60-year-old Idaho woman died Saturday night in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 84 about 10 miles north of Baker City in which three other people were also injured.
Tanda Kay Pratt, of Blackfoot in Eastern Idaho, was pronounced dead at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City Saturday night, according to the Oregon State Police.
The accident happened about 10:38 p.m. A 2010 Ford F350 pickup truck hauling a camp trailer veered into the freeway median, and both vehicles rolled, according to OSP. The driver was Todd B. Pratt, 30, also of Blackfoot.
There were two other passengers in addition to Tanda Pratt -- Joe L. Pratt, 61, of Blackfoot, and Austin B. Parker, 23, of Pocatello, Idaho. Joe Pratt and Todd Pratt were both taken by air ambulance to St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise. Parker was taken by ground ambulance to the Baker City hospital.
OSP is investigating the cause of the accident, which closed the westbound lanes of the freeway temporarily.
The bill for dousing a lightning-caused fire near Rye Valley in southeastern Baker County has reached $911,000, the Oregon Department of Forestry reported Saturday evening.
The fire started late Tuesday and burned 1,434 acres.
No homes were damaged.
The fire is 75 percent contained this evening.
By Jayson Jacoby
Russ Nantz was feeling a lot better this morning about the fire that threatened his Baker County home as well as valuable grazing land and herds of cattle.
Nantz, foreman for the Three Valleys Ranch, one of the county’s biggest cattle outfits, said at 7:30 a.m. that crews fighting the Rye Valley fire near Huntington “had pretty well got it knocked down last night.”
The blaze, sparked by lightning Tuesday night, burned almost 1,400 acres, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry, which took over management of the fire from the BLM on Thursday.
“It’s looking a lot better this morning,” Nantz said.
Although he said he hasn’t inspected the entire section of ranch he oversees — about 30,000 acres, including BLM grazing allotments — Nantz said the fire didn’t burn any buildings or kill any cattle.
See more in Friday's issue of the Baker City Herald.
Building Baker City’s Permanent UV Light Water Treatment Plant
S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Construction continues for the structure that will house the permanent ultraviolet light water treatment system at the Baker City reservoirs.
By Coby Hutzler
On track and under budget.
That’s how Baker City’s public works director, Michelle Owen, described the state of the new UV light water treatment plant being built next to the city’s reservoirs at the southwest corner of town.
“Everybody’s really worked to get this project going, so that’s a good thing,” Owen said.
Not much of the progress has been visible so far, though. Much of the work that’s been done, including installing pipes and wiring, has gone underground.
Now, however, the building that will house the UV reactors has started to take shape. The walls are up, and trusses and roofing are the next components to be installed. A control room for all of the facilities on site is also in the works.
The plant can’t stop running if the power goes out, and Owen said that a new backup generator with higher output is also slated to be installed.
See more in Friday's issue of the Baker City Herald.