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Ballot return for recall is at 52 percent

After an initial flurry, voting has slowed to a trickle with one day left to cast ballots on whether to recall Mayor Dennis Dorrah and City Councilor Beverly Calder over the June 9 firing of Steve Brocato, former city manager.

  Tami Green, Baker County clerk, reported as of this morning, 3,044 of the 5,841 recall election ballots have been returned to the elections office for 52 percent.


Police searching for shooting suspect


Baker City Police are looking for a 24-year-old man suspected of shooting another man in a Baker City home late Thursday.

The suspect is Zachary Persicke, 24.

According to a press release, Persicke is a white male who “looks Hispanic.”

Persicke is about 5-foot-8 and he weighs approximately 300 pounds. He has very short dark hair and a goatee that encircles his mouth.

He was last seen wearing baggy black jeans, a white short-sleeve T-shirt with a black design, and white tennis shoes.

Persicke is presumed to be carrying a small-caliber handgun, Police Chief Wyn Lohner said.

Persicke, who moved to Baker City about two months ago, is suspected of shooting another man during an argument in a home at 2345 Fifth St. about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Lohner said.

He declined to name the shooting victim, who was taken by Lifeflight to a Boise hospital.

Persicke fled on foot after the shooting, Lohner said.

Anyone with information about the case should call 523-3644.


This taxi really has the drill down

Kindergartner Austen Zemmer of Baker City was one of the patients treated inside the "Tooth Taxi" last week.


Baker City Herald

This dentist knows a thing or two about kids and teeth, and he’s pretty passionate about both — especially preventing tooth decay.

“It’s pure education. Tooth decay’s a disease — it’s preventable,” says Dr. Weston W. Heringer Jr.

Heringer began practicing dentistry in 1971, and he’s been a pediatric dentist since 1977.

And now he spends his days in a 38-foot Winnebago motor home equipped with state-of-the-art dental tools.

Welcome to the Tooth Taxi, a mobile dental office sponsored by the Dental Foundation of Oregon, ODS Companies and OEA Choice Trust.


Flu shots trickling in


Baker City Herald

The vaccine for the H1N1 virus is trickling in to the Baker County Health Department, and the first recipients for inoculations are people with “priority” status.

“We’re getting a very, very limited supply,” said Becky Sanders, nursing supervisor at the health department. “We’re facing the same situation as the rest of the nation.”

Here is a list of the priority groups according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


Following dad’s (frozen) footsteps

Jerry Latham traveled from Arizona to Sumpter to drive the same locomotive where his father was stuck in frigid Alaska 67 years ago

Jerry Latham lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., so even on a day considered balmy by Sumpter Valley standards, he relishes the warmth emanating from the boiler on a SVRR locomotive. (Baker City Herald/S. John Collins)
Jerry Latham warms his hands near the fire raging in the cab of this steam locomotive — the very gesture his dad might have made nearly 67 years ago when stuck in the snow, in this same engine, at Fraser Pass in Alaska.

“My dad was engineer on this engine,” he says.


Complaint filed in recall campaign

Gary Dielman of Baker City contends Steve Brocato and Shannon Regan illegally signed petitions twice

A Baker City man has sent a letter to the Oregon Elections Division alleging that former City Manager Steve Brocato and a current city employee, Shannon Regan, violated state law by twice signing petitions in the City Council recall campaign.

Gary Dielman included with his letter copies of petition signature sheets from the campaign to recall Mayor Dennis Dorrah and Councilor Beverly Calder.


Bentz advocates for Ash Grove

Following Ash Grove Cement Company’s recently announcement that it will temporarily shut down its Durkee plant and lay off more than half its workers in mid-December, state Rep. Cliff Bentz issued a statement Monday inviting residents to write to Gov. Ted Kulongoski and urge him to support an exemption to proposed mercury emissions rules that could save the Durkee factory from permanent closure.

Bentz, a Republican from Ontario, represents Baker and Malheur counties, where many of Ash Grove’s workers live.


School district ‘loans to itself’

In his first official act as the Baker School District’s new chief financial officer and business manager, Doug Dalton told the school board he needed a loan.

Not for himself, but to meet district payroll in the next two months.


Former Unity official sentenced to 90 days

A former Unity city recorder is spending 90 days in jail for using a city debit card and forging city checks for personal benefit.

Cherry Lee Dickson, 59, of Unity was sentenced Oct. 14 in Baker County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to one count each of first-degree theft and first-degree forgery, both Class C felonies, and one count of official misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor. A second count of first-degree forgery was dismissed.


Baker students answer soldier’s plea

When Sean Tomlinson, who’s serving in Afghanistan, told his parents in Baker City that Afghan students need school supplies, their counterparts at South Baker School started a donation drive

South Baker sixth-graders Makenna Bachman, left, Tori Camp and Dani McCauley create a graph to chart the progress of class contributions of school supplies to be shipped to Afghanistan this week. The winning class will celebrate with a movie and popcorn party. (Baker City Herald/Chris Collins)
A chance conversation between principal Betty Palmer and a mother whose son is a soldier serving in Afghanistan launched a school supply drive at South Baker School this fall.

Palmer says she broached the idea with her students, and they eagerly agreed to solicit donations of paper, notebooks, pencils, pens and other supplies to be sent to the Afghan children.

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