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Clinic provides options

Marian Taylor, 71, gets connected to chemotherapy by Riley Hall, RN, during her first treatment at the Bootsma Clinic inside St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City. (S. John Collins/Baker City Herald)

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

As Marian Taylor settles back in the cushy chair, Jennifer Herrman asks a question totally unrelated to cancer treatment.

“What’s your favorite color?”Herrman asks.

Caught off guard, Taylor pauses, then answers “blue.”

Herrman leaves and soon returns bearing a bundle of blue — a handmade quilt donated by local quilters that Taylor can use throughout her chemotherapy treatments, then take home when she’s finished.

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


Guard unit to train in Mojave


By Pat Caldwell

For the Baker City Herald

This summer the men and women who fill out the roster of Eastern Oregon’s largest Army National Guard outfit will once again deploy to a desert location to fulfill their annual training requirement.

This year, though, the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment will not journey to its usual Annual Training location. Instead of the familiar, high desert landscape south of Boise, the battalion will deploy to another kind of desert — The Mojave.

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


County officials discuss vets services


By Joshua Dillen

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Baker County Veterans Services Officer Rick Gloria gave a report to the Baker County commissioners  concerning his department Wednesday.

He spoke about veterans claims management software VetraSpec.

The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) is using the software to expedite claims by veterans. The online system allows veterans service officers to access information easier and more expeditiously for the veterans they serve.

“Right now we have 107 veterans enrolled in VetraSpec,” Gloria said.

His goal is to get the rest of the veterans in Baker County enrolled with the software to help with claims management. Gloria said his office has more than 800 files of active veterans. He said there are approximately 2,000 veterans in the county or about 8 percent of the county’s population.


Talking about marijuana


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S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Oregon Liquor Control Commission Chair, Rob Patridge, explains the role of the OLCC in marijuana regulations Thursday at the Baker City Armory.
By Joshua Dillen

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While stoners across the state look forward to their first legal toke of wacky weed in July, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is gathering information to help formulate rules regarding the recreational sale of marijuana in 2016.

About 100 residents from across Oregon attended an OLCC marijuana “listening session” at the Armory in Baker City Thursday.

The purpose of the meeting was to hear from the public about how marijuana regulation should work in local communities across the state.

The ballot initiative passed in November tasks the OLCC with regulating marijuana and products derived from the  psychoactive herb. It also gives the OLCC the authority to tax and license the drug in all of its forms.

Klamath County District Attorney and OLCC Commission Chair Rob Patridge outlined the details of Measure 91 and OLCC’s role in a PowerPoint presentation. Patridge pointed out he was personally opposed to the measure.

“It’s the OLCC’s job to put in place the measures to implement the rules to allow for licensing and distribution and those kinds of things. I’m not here to relitigate whether recreational marijuana is good policy or bad policy,” Patridge said. “What I’m here to talk to you about is how can we put this thing together in a safe and responsible manner for communities throughout the state of Oregon.”


Two more arrested in drug investigation


Baker City Police added two more names to the list of 11 people picked up earlier this week in a drug sting by the Baker County Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Police served a search warrant at 2036 Grove St. at 9:52 am. today based on information obtained in the earlier investigation, according to a press release issued this afternoon.

Taken into custody were:

• Carmon  Deon Hendriksen, 26, of 2036 Grove St., who was charged with one count of delivering methamphetamine and one count of possessing methamphetamine.

• Anthony Allan Myers, 35, of 2036 Grove St., who was charged with one count of violating his release agreement.

The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are likely, police said.


Rock slide closes road to Hells Canyon Dam


OXBOW — No one was injured by a large rock slide three miles north of Hells Canyon Park Wednesday afternoon that has completely closed the only road to Hells Canyon Dam.

The road could be closed for up to a week, Brad Bowlin, Idaho Power Co. spokesman, stated in a press release. Motorists will not be allowed past Hells Canyon Park until the road is safe, he said.

The slide is about 60 yards long. More unstable material on the cliff above the slide also must be removed before the road is reopened. Crews won’t know the extent of repairs needed for the road surface until the slide is cleared.

Idaho Power crews worked for several hours Wednesday to clear one lane long enough for drivers stranded between the slide and Hells Canyon Dam to exit, Bowlin said. The road was then closed to allow crews to continue working and also because of the threat of additional slides. Some of the boulders on the road are so large they have to be blasted to make them small enough to remove, Bowlin said.


Police arrest 11 people in drug raids


By Chris Collins

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Baker City Police arrested 11 people suspected of drug trafficking Monday, the culmination of a two-month undercover investigation.

Baker City Police initially arrested eight people on multiple drug-related charges in a roundup that began at 7 a.m. Monday. Later that day, three more were taken into custody.

Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner said the Baker County Narcotics Enforcement Team worked with a confidential informant in the investigation. 

District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff said he hopes those who traffic in drugs get the message that they might be selling to confidential informants working when they make their deals in Baker County.

“This sends a message that this isn’t the kind of place you can get away with that,” he said. “And it tends to suppress the activity.”

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


Walden speaks at Town Hall


By Joshua Dillen

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About 40 people attended a Rotary Club meeting Monday to listen to Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) speak.

The meeting was the sixth of seven Town Hall meetings Walden had scheduled over the weekend and Monday to connect with his constituents.

Walden got straight to the point of the town hall meeting.

“What I thought I would do is give you a little snapshot of  what’s happened so far in this Congress and things we’re working on right now,” he said. “And then I’d really rather throw it open to a Q-and-A and hear from you.”

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


Police round up nine on drug charges

Baker City Police arrested nine people on multiple drug-related charges in a roundup that began at 7 a.m. today.

The arrests were made after police served two search warrants and issued seven arrest warrants in the Baker City area.

“The warrants were the culmination of a two-month investigation by members of the Baker County Narcotics Enforcement Team,” Police Chief Wyn Lohner stated in a press release.

The first search warrant was served at 2860 Cedar St. Two residents were arrested there on grand jury indictments. 

• Jodene Inez Layton, 52, was  charged with two counts of delivering methamphetamine and one count of possessing methamphetamine.

• Roger Ray Miller, 39, was charged with one count of delivering methamphetamine and one count of possessing methamphetamine.

The second search warrant was executed at 42534 N. Cedar Road, No. 1. Two residents of that address were arrested on warrants stemming from grand jury indictments, police said.

• Danielle Christine Purkey, 34, was charged with two counts of delivering methamphetamine and on count of possessing methamphetamine.

• Dennis Lee Page, 39, was charged with one count of delivering and one count of possessing methamphetamine.

Others arrested on grand jury indictments were:

• Heather Aimy Mae Winston, 22, of 1209 Court Ave., on one count of delivering methamphetamine.

• Bryson Scott Buchanan, 23, of 1209 Court Ave., served in the 1900 block of Eighth Street, on one count of delivering and one count of possessing methamphetamine.

• Arthur Michael Gentry, 32, of 1440 13th St., served in the 100 block of Bridge Street, on two counts each of delivering and possessing methamphetamine.

Arrested on probable cause was Kristin Rachelle Dejong, 23, of 1440 13th St., served in the 100 block of Bridge Street, on one count of delivering methamphetamine.

Buddy Otnes, 31, of 1908 Chestnut St., was arrested later this afternoon at the police station on a grand jury indictment charging him with two counts of criminal conspiracy, police said.

The investigation is continuing  with the possibility of more arrests.


I-84: A Tangled Mess


Don O’Grady says he thanks the Lord for keeping him and his co-worker, Chris Combs, safe as trucks and autos crashed all around them Saturday morning on Interstate 84 east of Baker City. (S. John Collins/Baker City Herald)
By Chris Collins

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Don O’Grady and Chris Combs walked away unharmed from a scene that found them caught in the middle of a massive pileup that closed the eastbound freeway lanes from Pendleton to Ontario Saturday.

The vehicle they were traveling in was wedged in by the wreckage of twisted trucks, semitrailers and passenger vehicles from about 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Combs drove his 2006 Dodge Durango away without a scratch about 4 p.m., leaving the two men to wonder how they’d been so lucky.

“The good ol’ Lord was looking out for us,” O’Grady said Sunday back at his home in Haines after another day on the job at Ash Grove Cement’s Durkee plant.

See more in today's Baker City Herald. 


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