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Bentz: Kitzhaber deserves chance to 'have the facts sorted out'

By Pat Caldwell

For the Baker City Herald

Oregon District 60 Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, said Wednesday night that he did not believe Gov. John Kitzhaber will resign from his post.

Yet in a rapidly shifting political saga, key members of Kitzhaber’s own Democratic party today urged him to step down.

Medical marijuana proponents plan peaceful protest at Baker City Hall Monday, Tuesday

A group of medical marijuana proponents plans a peaceful protest Monday and Tuesday at Baker City Hall to urge city councilors to let voters decide whether to ban commercial sales of marijuana here.

Rod Shaw, who has lived in Baker City for almost eight years, is organizing the protests, which are slated to start about 10 a.m. both days.

Shaw, who has a medical marijuana card, said he knows City Hall, 1655 First St., will be closed Monday due to Presidents Day.

Shaw said he decided to organize a public protest after the City Council on Tuesday discussed Police Chief Wyn Lohner’s proposed ordinance that would ban commercial sales of marijuana for both medicinal purposes, which is legal now, and for recreational purposes.

He wants the city to allow voters to decide whether to ban commercial sales of pot. Measure 91, which voters statewide approved in November, legalizes recreational use of marijuana starting July 1. The measure also allows cities or counties to ban commercial sales so long as voters agree to do so. However, such a citywide vote couldn't happen until November 2016.

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


Council waits on pot sales

Council will discuss issue again Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. at CIty Hall

By Chris Collins

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The Baker City Council agreed Tuesday night to meet in special session next week to continue its discussion of how to deal with the commercial sale of marijuana, both for medicinal and recreational use.

The decision came after a discussion Tuesday that lasted about an hour and a half and included differing opinions from the city attorney and the police chief and 10 members of the public, who spoke alternately on the benefits and the dangers of marijuana.

Mayor Kim Mosier proposed addressing the issue through a business license requirement. Although legal in Oregon starting July 1, marijuana possession and sales remain illegal under federal law.

Making the Move

Thatcher’s Ace Hardware Readies For Move To Remodeled Building

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald The former Del's Feed and Farm Supply on Resort Street is being remodeled to accommodate a move of Thatcher's Ace Hardware from its current location at 2001 Second St.

By Chris Collins

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When Scott and Diana Thatcher pooled all their resources to move to Baker City 16 1/2 years ago they were given little encouragement that their purchase of the Coast to Coast hardware store would succeed.

“People told me ‘you won’t make it six months — you’re buying a dying hardware store,’ ” Scott Thatcher, 53, recalls. “I said ‘Yeah, I am, but that’s all I can afford.’ "

Baker City Police arrest man, seize half-pound of meth

Police Chief Wyn Lohner describes arrest as "step up the ladder" in campaign to curb the local meth-dealing system 

Baker City Police arrested a local man Tuesday night on drug charges, and later officers found about a half-pound of methamphetamine in the man’s home.

Police arrested Jose Daniel Padilla-Albrido, 38, of 3025 D St., about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at his home.

Police Chief Wyn Lohner said Tuesday’s arrest of Padilla-Albrido is a significant achievement in the department’s ongoing, months-long effort to curb meth dealing in Baker City.

Boys/Girls Aid leader a BHS grad

By Chris Collins

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The new head of Boys and Girls Aid, the state’s oldest child welfare agency, grew up in Baker City and brings the perspective of an adopted child to her role.

“I feel like I was born to do this,” Suzan Huntington, a 1989 Baker High School graduate, said in a telephone interview from her Portland office.

Police Chief urges pot sales ban

City Council To Discuss Proposed Ban On Commercial Sales of Recreational Marijuana

By Jayson Jacoby

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Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner recommends the City Council ban commercial marijuana businesses, even though passing such an ordinance could put the city at risk of a lawsuit.

Councilors will consider Lohner’s proposal when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 1655 First St.

“The choice we need to make is whether or not that potential risk of a lawsuit is greater than the overall safety risk that allowing commercial marijuana operations in our city clearly has,” Lohner wrote in a report to the City Council.

The Baby Cradler

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

Leona Cameron cradles the bundle in her arm, her eyes riveted at the tiny, perfect face of a baby only nine hours old.

Her ease with a newborn comes from years of practice — she retired Jan. 29 after 28 years in the obstetrical (OB) department at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City.

Before that she worked in medical/surgery first at Mercy Medical Center in Nampa and then in Baker City starting in 1985.

“I’ve been in nursing for 43 years,” she says.

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

Police post property as 'illegal drug lab site'

By Chris Collins

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As the result of a two-day investigation of suspected drug activity in a south Baker City neighborhood, police have designated property at 301 Second St. an “illegal drug lab site.”

One person has been arrested and more arrests are likely, Police Chief Wyn Lohner said.

In a press release issued Thursday afternoon, Lohner stated that “until state requirements are met by the property owners, anyone found on that property will be arrested for Criminal Trespass I.”

Police began a  search of the south Baker City home Wednesday for evidence of drug crimes after a propane tank filled with anhydrous ammonia ruptured, sending noxious gas through the neighborhood.

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


Police arrest man for meth possession after neighbor smells noxious odor

S. John Collins/Baker City Herald: Baker City Police arrested a man at this home at 301 Second St. this afternoon on a meth possession charge.

Baker City Police responded to 301 Second St. in south Baker City this afternoon after a next-door neighbor called 911 saying he smelled a foul odor and saw two men “running around” and apparently trying to disperse a cloud of gas.

The neighbor, Mike Bork, said he suspected the men were operating a methamphetamine lab.

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