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Police investigating apparent suicide

Oregon State Police (OSP), with the assistance of the Baker County Medical Examiner, is continuing the investigation into the death of an adult male found deceased Monday evening from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound near his vehicle about 6 miles southeast of Baker City.

On June 16, 2014 at approximately 8:27 p.m., OSP was contacted by Baker County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) after a citizen's report of a found vehicle associated with a missing 36-year old Baker City man. According to BCSO, the man took the family car and hadn't been seen since 7:00 a.m. that morning.

13-year-old Baker City boy accused of stabbing father

Boy's father did not need medical treatment 

A 13-year-old Baker City boy was arraigned today in Baker County Juvenile Court on a charge of second-degree assault, a Class B felony, for allegedly stabbing his father Monday night.

Police were dispatched to the family’s 10th Street home at 6:35 p.m., according to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office press log.

The boy’s father was not seriously injured and did not seek medical attention, District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff said.

The Major Crime Team was activated Monday to continue the investigation, Shirtcliff said. The team includes officers from Baker City Police, Oregon State Police and the Baker County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities transported the boy to The Dalles where he is being held in the juvenile section of the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility (NORCOR).

Former Baker man media liaison for family of Troutdale school shooter

Deon Strommer, a former Baker City resident, is serving as media spokesman for the family of Jared Michael Padgett, the 15-year-old Troutdale boy who fatally shot a classmate at Reynolds High School last week and then killed himself.

The Oregonian quoted Strommer in a story about Padgett's funeral, which took place Monday.

A videotaped interview with Strommer was posted on the newspaper's website, www.oregonlive.com.

Strommer and his wife, Amy, still own property in Baker County, including the Subway restaurant in Baker City. 

Parkway Progress

City Pursues Future Expansion Of Leo Adler Memorial Parkway

Kathy Orr/Baker City Herald Baker City recently installed steps leading to the Powder River just upstream from the Myrtle Street bridge.

By Pat Caldwell

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A proposed expansion of the Leo Adler Memorial Parkway secured a big boost in the wake of the Baker City Budget Committee hearings last month after officials set aside money to try to buy property near Wade Williams Elks Memorial Park.

The budget committee added $36,000 to the 2014-2015 budget to buy the property.

City Manager Mike Kee said the long-term plan for the property is to transform it into a trailhead for the Adler Parkway, a paved pedestrian and bicycle route that starts at the north edge of the city at Hughes Lane and follows the Powder River south to its current terminus at Bridge Street.

That’s several blocks north of Wade Williams.

While the property purchase near the park, a Little League baseball complex that’s just east of the river, will be a leap forward in terms of the future, a lot of work remains, Kee said.

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

Dredge group close to goal

SUMPTER — Friends of the Sumpter Valley Dredge recently received three grants totaling $11,000, bringing the volunteer nonprofit group to within $78,849 of its five-year goal of raising money to finish restoring the historic gold-mining machine.

The group received $5,000 grants from Trust Management Services, and two grants through the Oregon Community Foundation:

• $5,000 from the Robert W. Chandler II Fund

• $1,000 from the Northeast Oregon Heritage Fund

Friends of the Sumpter Valley Dredge has a goal of raising $570,120 for the 2010-14 period. The three latest grants bring the total to $491,271 — 86 percent of the goal.

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

Mosquitoes are a menace

By Jayson Jacoby

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The mosquitoes got the jump on Matt Hutchinson this spring.

Not that mosquitoes jump, exactly.

But they fly.

And in the case of the females, they bite.

“It’s been pretty busy,” said Hutchinson, who’s in his second year as manager of the Baker Valley Vector Control District.

To put it another way, he’s the hired mosquito killer for a 200,000-acre area that includes Baker City and most of the Baker, Bowen and Keating valleys.

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.

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