Former BHS star set to start for Oregon State on Thursday night as the Beavers and Ducks play for a berth in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1
Grant Johnson is 55 hours from playing in his first Civil War, which is to say he’s preparing to etch his name into a legend.
Baker High School alumnus Grant Johnson, No. 70, leads the way for Oregon State’s star running back Jacquizz Rodgers during the Beavers’ 42-10 win over Washington State in Pullman on Nov. 21. Johnson, a sophomore, is a starting offensive lineman for the Beavers, who play at Oregon Thursday. The winner of this year’s Civil War will play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. (Photo by Johnny Bullock)
They’ve already battled on the football field 112 times, the Oregon State Beavers and the University of Oregon Ducks.
But it happens that this 113th clash, which kicks off at 6 o’clock
Thursday evening in Eugene’s Autzen Stadium, is bigger than any of
those past games.
The fans and the sportswriters say so, anyway.
Johnson, though, has more pressing matters to attend to than picking superlatives for a football rivalry that dates to 1894.
Getting ready to knock some Ducks on their tailfeathers, for instance.
Johnson, a sophomore walk-on from Baker City, is slated to start at
offensive guard for Oregon State when the Beavers and the Ducks play
for a berth in the Rose Bowl.
That first part, at least, is familiar.
Johnson has started at the same position in each of the Beavers’ 11 games this season.
He hasn’t missed many plays, either.
“I tweaked my knee and came out for about five snaps,” Johnson said
in a telephone interview late Tuesday morning from Corvallis. “It was
either the Cincinnati (Sept. 19) or the Arizona (Sept. 26) game.”
Mike Nelson’s car didn’t veer toward the ditch until he saw his name and photograph inside the big white envelope.
And he wasn’t even driving.
His wife, Jane, was.
And both were, well, stunned when they realized that Mike had not
merely received an invitation to the Governors’ Gold Awards annual
He was also a winner.
“We almost ran off the road,” said Mike Nelson, 62, a longtime Baker
County businessman and community leader. “I was just overwhelmed.”
This year the Festival of Trees opening night will have a dual theme — the trees, of course, but also football.
“Don’t let the big Civil War game interfere with your Festival plans,” says Amy Dunkak of St. Elizabeth.
Thursday is the Festival’s “Preview Among the Trees” with live music
and refreshments from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Community Events Center,
2600 East St.
That night, also at 6 p.m., is the annual Civil War football game between the University of Oregon and Oregon State University.
To combine these events, Dunkak said Alpine Alarm is loaning a
large screen TV and Charter Communications and Charter Business
Services will provide video services to broadcast the Civil War.
Tickets to “Preview Among the Trees” are $15 at Betty’s Books, Clark
and Company Home, The Sycamore Tree and St. Elizabeth Health Services.
The Baker School Board took the first step Tuesday night to
implementing policy changes a school consultant says will reduce
dropout rates and inspire low-achieving students to improve their
Directors will work to refine their thoughts on seven proposed
policy changes prior to their Dec. 15 meeting. The proposals will then
go to the district staff for further discussion.
The board was inspired to make the changes by Douglas B. Reeves, a
speaker at the annual Oregon School Boards Association convention in
Portland last month.
Director Lynne Burroughs, a retired Baker High School teacher and
theater adviser, supplied other board members with notes she’d compiled
from Reeves’ presentation.
Committee’s findings help decide how much property owners pay for fire protection
The county committee charged with classifying private property as
either forest or grazing land for purposes of setting fire protection
assessment rates will meet Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Baker County
Library conference room, 2400 Resort St.
The classification process hasn’t been done in Baker County in more than 30 years.
Keith Shollenberger, area supervisor for the Oregon Department of
Forestry, said the Baker County Classification Committee works on
behalf of the ODF, and in cooperation with landowners, to set
assessment rates based on actual firefighting costs as well as
potential future costs.
Ultimately, when all properties have been classified, some
landowners who haven’t been paying fire protection assessments may wind
up being assessed fees, Shollenberger said.
A Middleton, Idaho, private investigation firm has begun background checks on the two finalists for the Baker City manager job.
The city hired Freeman and Associates to do the checks, interim City Manager Tim Collins said this morning.
Collins said he doesn’t expect the work to be finished before the end of this week.
The City Council chose Tim W. Johnson of Portland and Clarence Hulse
of Cocoa, Fla., as the two finalists during a Nov. 16 meeting.
Councilors also decided, by a 5-2 vote, that Johnson is their top
choice, so long as the background check doesn’t reveal any problems.
“He is the majority choice,” Councilor Beverly Calder said this morning.
If Johnson’s background is acceptable, then the Council will decide, during a public meeting, whether to offer him the job.
The Burnt River Soil and Water Conservation District won Oregon’s
2009 outstanding conservation district award, marking the first time a
Baker County group has received that recognition.
“This is a great honor. Baker County soil and water conservation
districts have been active since 1941 and have never received this
award,” said Laurie Owens, manager of the Baker Association of
Conservation Districts, which includes the Burnt River SWCD.
In addition to the Conservation District of the Year Award, Baker
County’s Amber Arritola was honored as the Outstanding District
Employee of the Year for her work with the Burnt River SWCD.
Both awards were presented by the Natural Resource Conservation
Service during the Oregon Association of Conservation District’s Annual
Conference in Pendleton last month.
Federal study shows Americans eating more poultry, less beef
A day after millions of families dined on turkey for Thanksgiving,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a report that found Americans
are eating more poultry, but a little less beef and pork.
The report also concluded that we’re eating more cheese but less ice cream.
Despite the USDA’s release of a new food pyramid in the 1990s
recommending people eat more fruits and vegetables, the study found
people are eating more vegetables but less fruit.
A Haines man died in a woodcutting accident Saturday in a field off Highway 30 between Baker City and Haines.
Sherrill Dayhoff, 72, left home to cut wood in a field owned by Jeff
Phillips about 9 a.m. Saturday, Sheriff Mitch Southwick said today.
Amount raised almost doubled total from the inaugural event in 2008
This year’s Turkey Trot, held Thanksgiving morning, raised more than
$3,000 and 2,000 pounds of food for the Northeast Oregon Compassion
The event brought out 291 paid participants, 70 of whom signed up
the day of the race. Also, donations were received from people visiting
from as far away as Davis, Calif.