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In & Out sign gone

Who bought a longtime Baker City burger business and removed its iconic sign? And why?

Answers are elusive.

After being sold last month, the In & Out drive-in at 2990 10th St. is closed and without the familiar red and yellow landmark featuring an ice cream cone and a hamburger.

The sign was removed Tuesday morning by Lytle Signs Inc. of Meridian, Idaho.

Cross Off The List

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service A male sage grouse inflates its air sacs and flares its tail feathers during the speciesí annual spring breeding ritual.

Sage Grouse Won’t Be Deemed A Threatened Or Endangered Species

On the last day of a summer dominated by bad news, most of it related to wildfires, Baker County Commissioner Mark Bennett was ecstatic to get some good news.

The announcement Tuesday that the federal government will not list the sage grouse as a threatened or endangered species is no minor triumph, either, said Bennett, who has led the county’s effort to avoid federal protection for the bird.

“This is exciting,” he said. “This means they listened to us and all the work was not in vain. That really takes a weight off."

County reviews drug cases

As OSP investigates misconduct at crime lab

Baker County District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff said today that his office will be reviewing 250 cases dating back to 2007 that might be affected by an investigation of an Oregon State Police lab analyst working in Bend.

Shirtcliff said he was notified of the impact the investigation could have on Baker County last week by the OSP Forensic Services Division.

Presidentís hug canít heal pain

Sumpter Woman Whose Son Was Killed In Iraq Visits White House

Michelle DeFord got a hug from President Barack Obama, but the tragedy that brought her to the White House on Sept. 10 caused her pain that no embrace could ever relieve.

Even when her audience includes the president, Michelle’s thoughts are with her eldest son.

Army Sgt. David Wayne Johnson DeFord was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, Iraq, on Sept. 25, 2004.

He was 37.

City's burn ban likely to continue until Oct. 1

Baker City Fire Chief Mark John said he expects to lift the city’s ban on outdoor burning on Oct. 1.

Continued elevated temperatures – 75 and higher — that are expected to be around for awhile are contributing to his decision to continue the ban that’s been in effect since early July.

“All it takes is about 72 hours for fuels to dry out to be receptive to fire,” John said this morning. “We just haven’t gotten enough moisture or rain to make a difference. Fire season isn’t over yet. It could still get crazy.”

John said lower nighttime temperatures and higher nighttime humidity levels are a plus, but that it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Tussle Over Towers

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald This property on East Street just north of D Street is one of two proposed sites for a cellphone tower.

Verizon Wants To Build Two 100-Foot Cell Towers In Baker City

To build or not to build. Data is the question.

Verizon Wireless’s request to build two 100-foot-tall cell towers in Baker City was considered by the Planning Commission Wednesday night at City Hall. The Council Chambers were packed with about 40 people.

Most of them were opposed to the construction of the towers.

Driver in fiery crash not cited

The Baker County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t intend to cite the Washington man who was driving the pickup truck that crashed Saturday afternoon on a gravel road north of Richland and caught fire, sparking the 17,800-acre Dry Gulch fire.

Dennis Nash, 40, of Vancouver, was driving his 2012 Ford F-350 on Eagle Creek Road, Sheriff Travis Ash said.

Nash lost control of the truck on a corner at about 3:10 p.m.

Baker scores much like others

Oregon’s First Results From Smarter Balanced Tests

Baker School District students performed much like others throughout the state on a new more rigorous testing system administered last spring.

Results were released Thursday by the  Oregon Department of Education.

Sheriff's report details crash that sparked Dry Gulch fire

At 3:10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, the Baker County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of 44675 Eagle Creek Road regarding a report of a vehicle crash that resulted in a fire.

Deputy Craig Rilee determined that Dennis Nash had been driving the vehicle prior to the crash. Nash had been traveling to meet the rest of his hunting party who were camped in the area. Nash was unable to negotiate a curve in the road, struck an embankment and ended up rolling his 2012 Ford F-350 pickup. Nash was not hurt.

School Board honors summer reading volunteers

Volunteers whose summertime reading efforts have helped Baker School District students improve their skills were honored by the Baker School Board Tuesday night.

The Baker County Literacy Coalition received the district’s Community Partner Award. Jim Tomlinson and RaeAnn Butler are co-chairs of the organization’s 10-member board, which also was represented by Aletha Bonebrake and Dave Coughlin at Tuesday’s meeting.

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