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Baker City officials look at slow-growth option

When it comes to planning for Baker City’s future, nobody has visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, but there is hope for a slow-growth option favored by most focus groups.
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Woodland owners looking at alternatives

With logs and other wood products in a depressed trough for both prices and demand, members of the Baker Private Woodlands Association are looking at alternative markets, including some potential lucrative opportunities such as pine- scented essential oils, truffles and Christmas boughs.

“We are talking about forming a marketing association,” said Bob Parker, Oregon State University Extension forester for Baker County.

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Several small fires reported in the area

The combination of rainy, snowy fall weather that warms up in the afternoons made for a busy day and night of firefighting Thursday by forest firefighting crews.

“It was one of those days we were getting ready to do some prescribed burns and it all broke loose about 3 p.m. and we wound up with guys out fighting fires all over the place until 8 or 9 last night,” said Keith Schollenberger of the Oregon Department of Forestry office in Baker City.

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Oregon Cultural Trust distributes dollars

Money may be tight these days, but the Oregon Cultural Trust has distributed $1.45 million in grant money across the state to support art, heritage and humanities projects.

Baker County’s share, to the Cultural Coalition, was $7,665 — $1,200 more than last year — which will be distributed through local grants.

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Draft horse competitors endure all kinds of weather

Read more...Horses and their drivers sloshed through the mud while demonstrating their expertise during Saturday's contest at the Oregon Trail Events Center.

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From the field to your fork

Local fifth-grade students learn how food gets from the ground to their plate


Fifth-graders from area schools attended the Field to Fork Field Day Tuesday and Wednesday at the Baker County Fairgrounds and learned firsthand how crops and livestock are raised, transported, processed and distributed en route to their dinner table.

“I learned a lot about how wheat is processed through these machines, and how they turn it into bread,” said Madi Turner, a fifth-grader from Haines Elementary.

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Nominees sought for stewardship award

County cattlemen are being sought for recognition of environmental stewardship work on their ranches.

The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association encourages area ranchers and residents to submit nominations for the cattle industry’s 20th Annual Environmental Stewardship Awards, which recognize producers at the regional and national level who demonstrate outstanding stewardship practices and wildlife habitat improvement, while maintaining profitable cattle operations.

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Employment benefit extension available for some

People in Baker County and across the Oregon whose unemployment benefits ran out or are about to run out may be eligible for a 13-week extension under the Oregon Emergency Benefits program, which kicks in today.

The unemployment benefits extension passed by the 2009 Oregon Legislature and signed into law this summer by Gov. Ted Kulongoski provides up to 13 weeks of additional benefits, according to Tom Fuller, communications director for the Oregon Employment Department.

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First snowfall of season hits Baker area

The snowflakes were big and provided a disappearing wintery scene around Baker City during the first snowfall of the season Saturday.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service Bourne SnoTel at 5,850 elevation near Sumpter, recorded 0.3 inch of snow so far during the first five days of the new water year, which began Oct. 1.

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BHS to host state FBLA leadership tour


By CHRIS COLLINS

Baker City Herald

Mallory Bailey and Tori Wirth will share their enthusiasm for the Future Business Leaders of America organization with students from throughout the region when they welcome them to a Chapter Leadership Tour at Baker High School Monday.

As the organization’s state president, Bailey will greet about 150 students expected to attend the session and outline the events planned for the day, beginning at 9 a.m.

The first round of training sessions, which will follow one track for experienced FBLA members and a second for newcomers, is scheduled from 9:20 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. There will be a “communication activity for everyone” from 10:20 a.m. to 10:40 am., leading into a second round of trainings that will continue until the lunch break at 11:40 a.m.

The last session, which will begin at 12:40 p.m., will include closing remarks by region vice presidents, including Wirth, the Baker chapter president who also serves on the state leadership team as Blue Mountain regional vice president. Bailey filled that position last year before taking over the top seat at the state level. Bailey also serves the Baker chapter as executive vice president this year.

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