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Advisory committee mulls first draft of ordinance aimed at dangerous dogs

Group to meet again next week to continue discussion of proposed 14-page plan

 By Terri Harber

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The first draft of a proposal titled “Dangerous & Vicious Dogs” has been sent out to members of an advisory committee being guided by Police Chief Wyn Lohner.

The committee will meet again next week to discuss what Lohner has put together based on their comments.

The dog-mauling death of 5-year-old Jordan Ryan on Sept. 27 prompted city councilors to consider finding ways to decrease the likelihood of similar dog attacks. A pit bull was responsible for the boy’s death. 



City seeking proposals for Main Street management

By Terri Harber

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Baker City has published its Request for Proposals, RFPs, for those interested in managing the Main Street program for downtown property owners.

An Economic Development District, EID, funds the program. City councilors approved Ordinance No. 3324 on Sept. 24, which allows the EID to go on for another five years. 

The EID could stop if enough downtown property owners vote not to continue, however.


Sunday Freeway Stack Up: Chemical spill halts travelers

S. John Collins/Baker City Herald --- Rich Shaver, ODOT employee, keeps order on Campbell Street. The westbound freeway opened about 8 a.m. and eastbound opened at 9:45 a.m.

One eastbound freeway lane near Durkee to be closed intermittently while cleanup effort continues

By Chris Collins

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Interstate 84 was closed for several hours between Baker City and Ontario on Sunday morning after a truck carrying a hazardous chemical crashed near Durkee.

The truck, which was carrying  4,200 gallons of tetramethylammonium hydroxide, was driven by Ronald Hanes, 61, of Sacramento, Calif., according to Oregon State Police Sgt. Ty Duby. The crash happened in the eastbound lanes at 12:45 a.m. at Milepost 324, three miles north of Durkee. The trucking company is Lesaint Chemical Logistics of Portland.



For the love of animals

S. John Collins/Baker City Herald Vikki Church and Mike Garchar examine a few items in reference to Leo Brookshier, who was known around town as the caring and generous man in the red hat, Church said. She was a caregiver and friend to Brookshier and his wife. Church and Garchar are board members for the Leo Brookshier trust.

By Terri Harber

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A large wooden sign adorned with dog and cat paw prints — as well as human footprints — now allows people to see that a building across from the Powder River Correctional Center is the home of New Hope for Eastern Oregon Animals.

Putting up the large sign to let others know about what goes on inside is significant, said Dick Haines, president of New Hope.

“We kept a low profile for a long time,” Haines explained. “But now we’re gearing up to begin fundraising for the shelter.” 

The nonprofit got into the Leo Brookshier Building, located at 3325 K St., a little more than a year ago. It’s where the organization has its offices and offers instruction to dog owners on how to train and care for their pets.


Teen shooting suspect will get new judge

By Chris Collins

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A court hearing scheduled Thursday for the 14-year-old boy charged with killing two Baker County men last month has been postponed until a new judge is assigned to the case.

Dillan Dakota Willford Easley is accused of fatally shooting his foster father, Michael Piete, 43, and Piete’s uncle, Kenneth C. Gilliland, 64, at a Grant County hunting camp near Granite in the early morning hours of Oct. 3.

Easley had been placed in foster care with Piete and his wife, Carlotta, by Douglas County authorities. The Pietes, Easley and Gilliland all lived on Dry Creek Road off Highway 30 southeast of Baker City on property owned by Gilliland.

During a Wednesday court hearing at Canyon City, visiting Malheur County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Sullivan granted the district attorney's motion to disqualify William D. Cramer Jr., Grant County Circuit Court judge, according to the Blue Mountain Eagle newspaper of John Day.


Trick-or-treat downtown Thursday

Kids are invited to visit downtown businesses Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the annual trick-or-treating event. Main Street will be closed to traffic.

There will be a costume party at 3 p.m. at the Library, 2400 Resort St. Children’s librarian Melissa Shafer will read “slightly scary” stories.


Backyard Bucks

Officials say more deer are roaming Baker City streets and yards 

Photo by Joshua Dillen A pair of mule deer bucks in a Baker City back yard this summer.

By Terri Harber

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The appearance of a deer inside the Rite Aid store in August caused a huge sensation around the community and online after a photo showed up on Facebook.

But the continuing proliferation of deer around Baker City concerns officials -- especially as the animals’ annual mating season starts.

Baker County Commission Chairman Fred Warner Jr. lives in the city and has noticed a lot of deer roaming, particularly along the Powder River and the freeway underpass.

He said his wife, Cammy, told him recently about spotting a herd of eight near Main Street. 

“They’re all over,” he said.


Warner will seek fourth term as county commission chairman

By Terri Harber

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Baker County Commission Chairman Fred Warner Jr. filed paperwork on Tuesday with the Baker County Clerk’s office declaring his intention to seek a fourth term in office.

And this time he’ll be running as a Republican.

“I changed parties earlier this year,” said Warner, who had been a Democrat. 

Warner, 59, said he made the switch for some significant reasons.


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.

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