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UPDATE: Missing Utah man found safe

A missing Utah man was found safe at a relative's home in Washington state, Oregon State Police said this morning.

Larry W. Hutcherson, 35, of West Jordan, Utah, was reported missing Wednesday by his mother.

Police said Hutcherson had mental health issues and might have been a danger to himself and to others.

On Thursday morning police confirmed that personal property belonging to Hutcherson had been left in a trash can at the Weatherby Rest Area along Interstate 84 about 27 miles southeast of Baker City.

Police ask public's help in finding Utah man


Oregon State Police found evidence at the Weatherby Rest Area in Baker County this morning suggesting a missing Utah man was there recently and that he is traveling west on Interstate 84.

Larry W. Hutcherson, 35, of West Jordan, Utah, was reported missing Wednesday by his mother. The man has mental health issues and could be a danger to himself and to others, according to a press release.
When his mother spoke to Hutcherson by phone Tuesday night, he did not know where he was.
This morning about 7:36 a.m., an OSP trooper and Baker County Sheriff's deputy went to the Weatherby Rest Area, about 27 miles southeast of Baker City, after an employee found personal property in the trash there. Police confirmed the property belonged to Hutcherson.
He is believed to be driving a green 2000 Ford Windstar van displaying Utah license Y420VF.
Hutcherson is a white male, 5-foot-10, 215 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He is also described as having a dark complexion. 
Anyone seeing Hutcherson or his vehicle in Oregon is asked to call Oregon State Police (OSP) Southern Command Center at 1-800-442-2068 or 9-1-1.

Online seminar June 25 for forest plans revision

The Forest Service has scheduled a free online seminar for June 25 to present information about the proposed revision to the forest plans for the Wallowa-Whitman, Umatilla and Malheur national forests.

“Technology provides opportunities to explore new ways of interacting with the public, while the comment period is open,” John Laurence, Wallowa-Whitman supervisor, said in a press release.

The Forest Service unveiled the draft environmental impact statement for the forest plan revisions in March. The public comment period continues through Aug. 15.

The online seminar will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Advance registration is required to participate in the webinar. Register online at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/466254943. Registrants will receive a confirmation email that includes a personalized toll-free number and access code needed to join the webinar on June 25.

 The webinar will feature more detailed information than what was covered during a series of public meetings in March and April.

More information is available at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/BlueMountainsForestPlanRevisionDocuments.

Detour open around Wallowa Loop Road construction

The detour route around construction on the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road east of Halfway is snow-free and open to vehicles.

The 30-mile route, which starts in Halfway and passes Fish Lake, is mainly a one-lane gravel road with turnouts.

The detour is accessible to trailers, but large motor homes are not recommended.

Police arrest suspect in Monday night stabbing

Baker City Police have arrested a 26-year-old Baker City man on charges that he stabbed another Baker City man several times Monday night.

The suspect, Robert Goodwin, was arrested about 8:45 a.m. today at his home, 2690 Seventh St. 

The victim, Ryan Amundson, 26, of Baker City, was stabbed multiple times in the upper body during an altercation at his home at 2270 Place St., according to a press release. 

Amundson was taken by ambulance to St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City where he was treated for his injuries and is in stable condition this morning.

Amundson and Goodwin know each other, District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff said.

Fire season begins Wednesday

The official start of fire season in Northeastern Oregon will be at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, two weeks or so earlier than usual.

“The drying of the larger dead fuel is two to three weeks ahead of schedule, a similar situation to what firefighters are experiencing on the Two Bulls Fire near Bend,” said Dennis Perilli, Pendleton Unit forester for the Oregon Department of Forestry. “This year’s grass crop is tall and abundant and although it is still green in most places, the warm dry weather that we are having will allow that grass to start curing soon."

Baker City Farmers Market has new home

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

The Baker City Farmers Market has a new location this year at the Baker County Fairgrounds, on the grassy area beside the Community Events Center.

The physical address is 2600 East St., just north of Campbell Street.

The market begins June 11 and will be held every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

It continues through Oct. 22.

This year will feature food events once a month, held the last Wednesday when a local chef cooks up specialty foods.

To stay up-to-date, find the market on Facebook.

Bye, Bulldogs

Baker High School Class of 2014 

Kathy Orr/Baker City Herald Leading the pack of 87 senior Bulldogs into the future are, front, Alex Hurst, left, and Raina Smull. Each of these graduates will step into the future with memories and friends with the ability and skills to find their own individual pathway in life.

By Chris Collins

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Jerry Peacock was in his element as he addressed the 87 graduating seniors of the Baker High School Class of 2014 assembled on the football field, and the family and friends who packed the stadium to honor them Sunday afternoon.

“There’s a perfect storm a brewin’,” Peacock joked with his audience. “I’ve got a big audience, I’ve got a mic in my hand and I’ve got something you want — you’re not going anywhere until I’m done.”

As he has done for the past 22 years as the big dawg on campus and the longest tenured high school principal in Oregon, Peacock reached out to the graduates with words of encouragement and high expectations and in the hope that each will find success.

His address followed speeches by salutatorians Ryan Cashen and Brandon Ellwanger, and preceded remarks from valedictorians Samantha Searles and Ian Rasmussen.

See more in Monday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 


ODFW to release salmon in Powder River

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to release about 200 adult chinook salmon this week in the Powder River just below Mason Dam.

Anglers will be able to fish for these salmon through Sept. 1 along the river from the dam downstream to the Hughes Lane bridge in north Baker City. The daily bag limit will be two spring chinook.

The release is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.

ODFW has released adult chinook in the Powder River several years in the past decade. The fish are surplus chinook caught in the trap just below Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River. The dam prevents salmon from migrating farther upstream.

Anglers are reminded that much of the reach of the Powder River between Mason Dam and Baker City is through private land. Anglers should always ask permission before entering private property. The first mile or so downstream from the dam is public land.

To confirm the release date, call ODFW's La Grande office at 541-963-2138.

Book Cutbacks

Baker County Library District Budget

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Mom and son find good stories Thursday at the Baker County Library. Krista Carmiencke says she and Arlo, along with younger son Kai, come regularly to spend time in the children’s section.

By Chris Collins

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The Baker County Library District Board will consider a proposed 2014-15 budget that holds the line on employee raises and cuts $15,000 from the fund allocated to buy new materials when it meets June 16.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the library, 2400 Resort St.

The money-saving plan was introduced by Perry Stokes, library director, in his presentation to the library district’s budget committee during its May 21 meeting.

Stokes said the action is needed because of a 22-percent increase in health-care benefits for library employees, a total increase of $19,764. (Eleven of the 22 workers qualify for health-care benefits, Stokes said.)

Health-care costs had been rising 10 percent annually but did not increase last year, so this year’s double-hit was a catch-up expense, Stokes said.

See more in Friday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 

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