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A ‘crafty’ way to bring smiles to others

S. John Collins/Baker City Herald Juli Romero, left, a Thursday Activity Club leader at the Methodist Church, steadies a pumpkin for Joslyn Collins, 6, while leader Leona Cameron aids the efforts of Leland Starr, 7.

Children's Halloween art project will be given to residents of St. Alphonsus Care Center

By Chris Collins

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Children attending the Methodist Church’s Thursday Activity Club have set their sights on bringing sunshine into the lives of others as Halloween approaches.

The children who gathered for the Oct. 24 club session brought a plentiful supply of creativity for a pumpkin-decorating party. The pumpkins were taken to St. Alphonsus Care Center for the enjoyment of the residents there. 


Taking in the trash

Recycling options in Baker City

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Roy Slater, shop manager, keeps cardboard on the conveyor belt as it moves up and drops into a baler at Baker Sanitary Service’s recycling center in Baker City.

By Mark Bogart

For the Baker City Herald

Where can you recycle metal in Baker City? How about paint? Motor oil? Ink cartridges?

While the city’s one recycling center, operated by Baker Sanitary Service (BSS) at 3048 Campbell St., accepts a variety of items, some materials have more restrictions on how and when they are accepted. Others, including paint, ink cartridges, and cell phones, are not processed through Baker Sanitary, but may be taken to other businesses in the area. 

BSS President David Henry said his company’s disposal and recycling efforts are affected by government regulations and financial considerations. Baker County collects about 375 tons of solid waste in a normal week, and also receives about 500 tons from Union County, which closed its landfill several years ago.


Rachel Center enters 3rd decade in style

Photo by Lisa Britton Alberta Darlington, director of the Rachel Center, in one of the newly decorated rooms at the center, which turns 20 this year.

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

The Rachel Center is celebrating its 20th year in style with newly decorated rooms thanks the generosity of local citizens and churches.

The center is located at 2192 Court Ave. 

An open house is planned for Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The community is invited.

This open house is being held in place of the center’s annual fundraising fall banquet. A donation jar will be out during the Saturday event.


Grapes and Grins

Baker City Couple Starts Vineyard Near Richland 

Submitted photo Lance and Jacki Adams of Baker City own Baker County’s newest vineyard, in the Eagle Valley near Richland.

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

Lance and Jacki Adams own a vineyard.

This wasn’t really their plan — they don’t know much about growing grapes.

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing,” Lance says.

It happened like this: they wanted to buy some property, and a friend said a spot in Richland would be good for planting grapes.

“It was less than 30 days from the initial thought process to this property coming up for sale,” he says.

The deal closed in 14 days.

“It all just worked and fell into place,” he says.



Granite murder suspect had been accused of assault

Officials declined to prosecute Dillan Easley, 14, in cases in Lane and Douglas counties

By Chris Collins

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The 14-year-old Baker County boy charged with fatally shooting his foster father and another man at a hunting cabin near Granite Oct. 3 had been involved with juvenile authorities in Lane and Douglas counties before moving to Baker County.

Dillan Dakota Willford Easley had no juvenile court convictions, however, according to information released by Aric Fromdahl, Douglas County Juvenile Department director.

Allegations of second-degree assault, physical harassment and separate allegations of criminal mischief had been made against Easley in 2012. In each case the state declined to prosecute.

Easley, who accidentally shot himself in the leg the same night he is accused of killing his foster father, Michael Piete, 43, and Piete’s uncle, Kenneth C. Gilliland, 64, was taken to St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise for treatment and later released.


Drivable, again

Resort Street — Yep, It’s Open


S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Reconstruction and paving of Resort Street is complete. The enhancement project continues with crews concentrating on sidewalks, driveway entrances and other concrete sections, plus street lighting and additional striping.

By Jayson Jacoby

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Sure the smooth new blacktop and unmarred sidewalks on rejuvenated Resort Street are nice.

But Michelle Owen is pining for the living aspect of this project which has spanned parts of three seasons.

“I can’t wait to see the trees,” said Owen, Baker City’s public works director.

The trees, all 79 of them, will arrive soon to fill the holes in the sidewalks on both sides of Resort between Auburn Avenue and Campbell Street.

The $3.4 million project has been one of the larger street jobs in the city in the past 20 years.



Grand jury declines to indict pit bull owner

A Baker County grand jury declined to indict Mary Lane, the Baker City woman who owns the pit bull that killed 5-year-old Jordan Michael Ryan last month.

District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff announced the grand jury's decision this morning.

The grand jury "reviewed the case and has determined that there is insufficient evidence to support criminal charges" against Lane, according to a press release from Shirtcliff's office.


Snake River Pack wolves injure calf

Wolves from the Snake River Pack attacked and severely injured a calf Monday near Freezeout Saddle in Wallowa County, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) said Wednesday.

It was the first confirmed case of wolves from that pack attacking livestock.

A rancher who was checking on his cattle on a Forest Service grazing allotment on Monday told ODFW investigators that he saw one cow running down a hill, and a short time later he saw four wolves just uphill from where the cow had been.

The rancher said he scared the wolves away by making loud noises.

On Tuesday morning the rancher returned to the site and found one injured calf.

That evening ODFW officials examined the 250-pound calf and found numerous deep bite wounds to the rear legs.

"Several of the wounds on the hind right leg showed clear evidence of opposing teeth which indicated a large jaw clamping over the leg," according to an ODFW report.

"Multiple, gaping holes in the hide and muscle tissues appeared to be from large canine teeth." 

Data from GPS collars that two Snake River Pack wolves are wearing show that those two wolves were in the area where the calf was found, at the suspected time of the attack, either late Monday or early Tuesday.

There is "adequate evidence to confirm this incident as a wolf depredation," according to ODFW.

ODFW biologists captured and collared the two wolves on March 14, 2013.

The agency estimates that the Snake River Pack, at the end of 2012, consisted of seven wolves, including one breeding pair.

There are seven confirmed wolf packs in Oregon, all in the northeast corner of the state. There are no confirmed packs in Baker County. 



A Show Of Respect

Volunteers Repairing Veterans Graves At Mount Hope Cemetery

Submitted photo Volunteers, including from left, Rotary Club members Brenda Holly, Bill Gast, Jim McElroy, Dotty Miles and Dennis Teskey, have been working to repair veterans gravestones at Mount Hope Cemetery.

By Chris Collins

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Twelve markers over veterans graves at Mount Hope Cemetery were removed last week with the hope that they’ll be repaired and returned to their places by Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

The markers have been sent to Memorial Monuments at Meridian, Idaho, where a new base will be poured and the stone reset.

The volunteer effort to repair the stones marking veterans graves at the city-owned Mount Hope Cemetery has been spearheaded by Dennis Teskey, of Teskey Inc., the parent company of Gray’s West & Co. and Stone Tributes, which he operates with his wife, Darlene.

Dennis Teskey says he became involved after community members expressed their dismay about the leaning headstones and sunken, uneven ground in the veterans section of Mount Hope at a City Council meeting two years ago.


Baker brewers tops in hops

By Jayson Jacoby

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Baker City’s original craft brewers crossed the Rocky Mountains and brought home a bunch of awards that’s pretty monumental in its own right.

Barley Brown’s Brew Pub and Baker City Brewing Co. won five medals, including three golds, at the Great American Beer Festival this weekend in Denver.

The medal tally wasn’t exactly a shock.

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