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Interstate 84 closed again between La Grande and Baker


Interstate 84 is closed again between Baker City and La Grande due to an accident four miles east of La Grande at milepost 265 according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.  In addition, multiple crashes 18 miles east of Pendleton have closed I-84 between La Grande and Pendleton.
 
Updates available at www.tripcheck.com or by calling 511 on a mobile  phone.
 

Third candidate joins race for Baker County Clerk


A third candidate has joined the race to replace Tami Green as Baker County Clerk.

Lara Petitclerc of Baker City has filed as a candidate for the nonpartisan position.

She joins Marcy Osborn and Cindy Carpenter as candidates in the May 20 primary.

Green announced in early February that she won’t seek re-election to a fourth term when her current term expires at the end of 2014.

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Trucks line up in Baker City as westbound freeway closed


The parking lot at Baker Truck Corral is crammed with trucks this morning as drivers wait for the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 to re-open.

The westbound lanes were closed about 8:50 p.m. Monday following a multi-vehicle crash near Meacham that happened about 7:40 p.m. Monday.

There are also several disabled semi-trucks in the Meacham and Cabbage Hill areas, the result of ice and dense fog, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

The westbound lanes were initially closed at La Grande, then the closure was extended to Baker City and to Ontario.

Although the eastbound lanes are open, ODOT officials are recommending drivers postpone travel on the freeway this morning if possible.

"It's treacherous out there with the black ice and fog," said Tom Strandberg, an ODOT spokesman in La Grande. 

Updates are available at www.tripcheck.com, or call 511 on a mobile phone.

 

Cougar killed near Hereford

A federal trapper has set several snares to try to capture other cougars near Bebe Racey’s home 


By Jayson Jacoby

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Oregon wildlife officials on Sunday trapped and killed an adult female cougar near Bebe Racey’s home in southern Baker County, and a federal trapper is still trying to catch as many as three other cougars roaming the area.

One cougar has walked onto Racey’s front porch, said Brian Ratliff, district wildlife biologist at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (ODFW) Baker City office.

 

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City’s first dangerous dog case opened


By Chris Collins

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The first dangerous/vicious dog case is on the docket even before a hearings officer has been appointed to consider the evidence.

Police Chief Wyn Lohner said his officers received a report of allegations of a pit-bull type dog chasing people in an east Baker City neighborhood on Feb. 15.

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ODFW plans wolf meeting Tuesday at Keating


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Jayson Jacoby/Baker City Herald These possible wolf tracks were photographed Saturday morning on BLM land near Ruckles Creek, about 10 miles east of Baker City.

By Jayson Jacoby

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Officials from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will have a public town hall meeting Tuesday evening at the Keating School to give local ranchers ideas about how to protect their herds from possible attacks by a wolf pack that has killed at least one deer and one elk in Baker County this month.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m., said Brian Ratliff, district wildlife biologist at ODFW’s Baker City office.

Space is limited, and Ratliff said priority will be given to livestock owners in the vicinity. All others are welcome to attend, space permitting, he said.

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Brothers consider trying to open medical marijuana dispensary in Baker City


By Pat Caldwell

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Bud Minton said all he and his brother Ted wanted to do was open a business in Baker City.

In fact, Bud Minton said, he and his brother want to be as transparent as possible regarding their effort to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Baker City.

The North Carolina resident and his brother are actively searching for a place to situate a dispensary — what Ted Minton dubbed as a Compassion Center in emails to the city — and they first contacted town officials about the proposal last autumn.

“I’m trying to help my brother. We are trying to be on board and to work with the city. To work within the parameters of the legal boundaries. We are trying not to ruffle any feathers,” Bud Minton said Thursday in a phone interview.

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Wolves kill one deer, one elk in Baker County


 

By Jayson Jacoby

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A pack of wolves has killed at least one deer and one elk in Baker County over the past two weeks.

A biologist from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said a group of four wolves killed a female deer on Feb. 7 near Ruckles Creek, about 10 miles east of Baker City.

Brian Ratliff, district wildlife biologist at the ODFW office in Baker City, also said that a group of three to four wolves ate, and probably killed, an adult cow elk around Feb. 16 near Durkee.

 

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Interpretive Center closed Monday for maintenance


The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center will be closed Monday, Feb. 24 while crews work on the heating system.

The Center, five miles east of Baker City, will re-open as usual at 9 a.m. on Feb. 25.

The current calendar of programs is available on the Center’s website at oregontrail.blm.gov or by calling 541-523-1843.

 

Schyler’s Last Act

Editor’s Note:

Lisa Britton was working this weekend on a feature story about Schyler Miller when she learned that he had become ill and was taken to the hospital.


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Photo by Lisa Britton Schyler Miller, left, performs earlier this month in “Bus Stop,” an Eastern Oregon Regional Theater production.

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

Schyler Miller loved to hear the laughter out beyond those bright stage lights.

Laughter, you see, meant he was doing his job well.

“I personally love acting in comedies,” Miller said Friday as he prepared for the opening night of “Bus Stop.” “There are times the crowd is laughing so hard I start to giggle myself.

“Listening to people laugh — it makes me feel good. To affect people that way is a wonderful feeling.”

His acting seemed seamless, with every line memorized and delivered to elicit a response from the audience.

But it takes a lot of work to act like this — and Miller had to work a bit harder during the last five years as he fought acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

He lost that fight Monday. He was 20.

 

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