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More Than A Mall

Tribute To BHS Teacher Marla Cavallo 

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

What started out as a closet of clothes has grown into a full-fledged community resource that also gives students work experience.

Marla’s Mall was established in memory of Marla Cavallo, a long-time PE and health teacher at Baker High School who died of breast cancer Jan. 19, 2007, at the age of 45. 

“We started out with just a little corner of the Learning Center classroom,” said Susan Myers, who helps run Marla’s Mall.

It has since relocated to North Baker Elementary, where the clothing alone takes up an entire room.


An award-winning tribute to a dog

By Chris Collins

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Kaylan Mosser’s love and admiration for her pitbull-mix dog, Jasper, has paid cash dividends.

The Baker Middle School eighth-grader’s essay about what she has learned through her relationship with Jasper won first place in her division of the Oregon Humane Society Be Kind to Animals Poster and Story Contest.

Kaylan won a $100 gift card for her story and was invited to attend the “A’Cat’Emy Awards”  banquet in Portland, said teacher Chelsea Hurliman.


Mayor: City owes him $12,800


By Pat Caldwell

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The lingering legal conflict between Baker City Mayor Richard Langrell and the city appears to be on the verge of escalating.

And a court battle might be on the horizon.

An April 1 letter from Langrell’s attorney to the city asks for more than $12,000 in reimbursement in connection to an annexation/water fee dispute. Also included in the reimbursement demand is money that Langrell and his wife, Lynne, assert they’ve paid to be part of a rural fire protection district. 

In their initial request in early January, the Langrells asked the city to reimburse them $14,907.



Council passes pot store limits

By Pat Caldwell

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At first glance the agenda for the Baker City Council Tuesday boasted all the ingredients of a lengthy session, but councilors tackled their work with alacrity and quickly moved through 11 items.

The Council selected five volunteers — Corrine Vegter, Brian Vegter, Ann Mehaffy, Terri Axness and Derek Hosler — to serve on the newly-formed Public Arts Commission, and assigned Councilor Dennis Dorrah and City Manager Mike Kee as city representatives to the new board.

The Council then approved — on its third and final reading — Ordinance 3333. This ordinances is a mandate to create a moratorium — not a ban — on medical marijuana dispensaries. 


Election cash: $16,855

Campaign For Baker County Commission Chairman: Incumbent Fred Warner Jr. has raised $11,315 this year, and Bill Harvey $5,540

By Jayson Jacoby

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The two Republicans vying for a four-year term as chairman of the Baker County Board of Commissioners have raised almost $17,000 in cash contributions for their campaigns this year.

Incumbent Fred Warner Jr. has received $11,315, and Bill Harvey has raised $5,540, according to reports they filed with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office.

Campaign finance information is posted on the Orestar website — http://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Pages/campaignfinance.aspx.

Because no Democrats or unaffiliated candidates filed for the May 20 primary, it’s likely that the winner of the Harvey-Warner race will be elected in November. 


Baker basks in 76-degree weather

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Engineers and crew with the Oregon Department of Transportation connect about 10 electrical sensors at critical areas on the underside of the Bridge Street bridge Tuesday morning. Tests were being done to determine the present load capacity of the bridge. Flaggers directed traffic safely through the area until early afternoon. Sensors would reveal the amount of stress bearing down on concrete and steel from an ODOT truck loaded with about 50,000 pounds of rock, according to John Snyder, an ODOT employee. Wires connected sensors to laptop computers on shore, where engineers accumulated data to be reviewed later at their Salem office.

Tuesday was the sort of day that happens only once a year.

Spring, the genuine article, arrived in Baker County.

Lawnmowers buzzed. 

Short-sleeve shirts emerged from hibernation.

Lilac leaves thrust a little farther from their buds.

The temperature topped out at 76 degrees at the airport, making Tuesday the warmest day in more than half a year.

(79 degrees on Sept. 20, 2013.)


Baker builder, noxious weed fighter, Sid Johnson dies at 89

By Jayson Jacoby

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The homes Sid Johnson built in Baker County will shelter families for decades, but perhaps the greatest legacy of his handiwork is a forest.

Johnson, who started one of the county’s larger construction companies, died Saturday at his home in Baker City.

He was 89.

Besides being a prominent business owner, Johnson served in a variety of public positions, including the Baker County Planning Commission and the Weed Board.

One of his great passions, though, was improving the property he and his wife Nancy, whom he married in 1948, owned along Alder Creek about 15 miles southeast of Baker City.


Protecting Power

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon pushes for tougher security measures for the nation's electricity grid

By Pat Caldwell

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Even now the assailants who conducted a nighttime raid on an electrical substation near San Jose, Calif., last year remain anonymous.

But the assault that nearly produced a massive power outage in the Silicon Valley triggered a number of troubling questions and eventually caught the attention of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon.

The unsolved attack kindled fears regarding the safety of the nation’s power grid.

The assault on the Metcalf substation began under cover of the night in April 2013 when telephone cables were slashed and then individuals began to fire guns into the facility. The saboteurs severely damaged more than 15 transformers that channel power to the Silicon Valley, and then disappeared into the darkness just before police arrived.


An Electric Ride

It Costs $97,000 — But You’ll Never Go To A Gas Station

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Richard Haynes’ Tesla Model S is a fully electric car with a range of almost 300 miles.

By Jayson Jacoby

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The loudest part about driving Richard Haynes’ car is latching the seatbelt.

When Haynes mashes the gas pedal to the floor the vehicle scarcely whispers, yet it accelerates at a rate normally associated with jet fighters 

(And projectile vomiting, if you’re not prepared for the pace.)

Your vision blurs slightly.

And your ears, well, they’re even more confused because your brain insists that no car amasses speed so rapidly without making an awful racket.

Haynes drives a Tesla Model S.


Couple avoids trouble in Peru

By Chris Collins

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A Baker City couple who have traveled the world and thought they’d figured out how to keep themselves safe, are still shaken by a scheme they narrowly escaped when they landed at the Lima, Peru, airport in January.

Wayne and Linda Wall had planned a month-long vacation that included visits to Lima, Peru’s capital and largest city, with a population of nearly 10 million people; Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca empire; the Sacred Valley of the Inca; and Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Inca, which was rediscovered in 1911.

The Walls flew to Lima on Jan. 28, the beginning of a South American tour that also included visits to Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and the Falkland Islands.

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