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Baker High School honor roll students

Baker High School has announced its honor roll for the first semester.

Students with an asterisk in front of their name earned a 4.0 GPA.


Kate Averett picked for OTEC's Washington, D.C., tour

Kate Averett of Baker City is one of four high school students picked to represent Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative during a youth tour of Washington, D.C., in June.

Averett, a junior at Baker High School, will join Erin Bodfish of La Grande, Mariah Ribeiro of Burns and Marta Faulkner of Canyon City for the Rural Electric Youth Tour.

Almost 2,000 students from across the U.S. will attend the one-week trip to the nation's capital. Students will visit historical sites, learn leadership skills and meet with congressional leaders.

More information about the tour is available on OTEC's website, www.otecc.com.


Public meetings scheduled on Blue Mountain national forests management plan

The U.S. Forest Service has scheduled a series of public meetings starting in mid-March to unveil a draft environmental impact statement that examines a proposed long-term management plan for the three national forests in the Blue Mountains: Wallowa-Whitman, Umatilla and Malheur.
Two of the meetings will be in Baker County.
• March 25, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Baker City Community Events Center, 2600 East St.
• March 27, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Halfway Lions Hall, 235 Lion St., Halfway
The draft EIS will be released to the public on March 14, the start of a 90-day comment period.
The three national forests have been working on the management plan for several years.
Each of the forests has a separate management plan; the Wallowa-Whitman's dates to 1990. 
Management plans — typically known as "forest plans" — describe broad strategies for managing national forests but don't include specific projects such as timber sales, grazing allotments or road closures.
Although the potential effects for all three forests are being studied under a single EIS, each forest will have a separate management plan.

BMS girl’s essay wins prizes


By Chris Collins and Jayson Jacoby

Baker City Herald

When eighth-grader Kate Jesenko’s teacher announced the assignment in December, Kate didn’t dread the task ahead.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

The assignment from Chelsea Hurliman, who teaches at Baker Middle School, was more than just classwork.

It was also a contest — the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars “Patriots Pen” essay competition.

Hurliman wasn’t surprised that Kate, 13, earned an “A” on the assignment, in which Hurliman instructed Kate and her classmates to complete an essay on the topic of “What Patriotism Means to Me."


Bentz talks about GOP priorities for Legislature

Oregon’s Capitol in Salem. The Legislature begins a five-week session today.

By Pat Caldwell

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An Eastern Oregon Republican legislator said the GOP’s goals will be limited but a number of critical issues will take center stage in the short legislative session that begins today in Salem.

District 60 Representative Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario), whose district includes Baker County, said the five-week session will present the Republican minority with an opportunity to review a number of initiatives set by Democrats.

“We (Republicans) are in the minority so when you are in the minority your goals are modest because you’re not in charge,” Bentz said.


County Clerk decides not to seek re-election

Baker County Clerk Tami Green announced in an email this morning that she has withdrawn from her bid for re-election.

"It is with somewhat of a heavy heart that I announce today that I am withdrawing from candidacy for County Clerk," Green wrote. "Scott (her husband) and I have a business opportunity that we are very excited about. It's something that will take us away from Baker for part of the year so as much as I love the work that I do and all of you, I love my husband more."

Green said she will remain in office until her term ends at the end of 2014, and she also offered to help the new county clerk.

The deadline to register for the office is March 11.

See Wednesday's Baker City Herald for a story, and check back to www.bakercityherald.com and the Herald's Facebook page. 


Sumpter couple charged with cattle theft

A Sumpter couple has been indicted on charges of first-degree theft and unauthorized use of livestock.

Richard Phillip Newman, 75, and Lynette Bullington, 63, of 39554 Sumpter Cemetery Road, were arraigned Thursday in Baker County Circuit Court on the indictments issued by a Baker County grand jury.

According to a press release from Baker County District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff, the pair came into possession of a black Angus calf, owned by Cal and Vicki Foster of Bowen Valley, in the fall of 2010.

Newman and Bullington knew the calf did not belong to them, but they kept the animal and had the animal artificially inseminated, producing another calf, according to Shirtcliff.

The couple is charged with two counts of first-degree theft, a Class C felony, and one count of unauthorized use of a livestock animal, a Class A misdemeanor. 


Paying for Paving

Baker City’s Street Maintenance Needs Increase Faster Than Revenue

S. John Collins/Baker City Herald Helping with Resort Street paving last July are Valley Paving and Asphalt employees, from left, Graig Grimm, David Sutherland, Erick Upton and Bill Stewart.

By Pat Caldwell

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Framed against the excess of data packed into Baker City’s recent audit report, the short paragraph regarding city streets is one easily overlooked by even the most discerning of readers.

Yet the implications of those few short sentences could be long-lasting and, in reality, signal the first tones of a warning bell.

The report — crafted by Guyer & Associates — was reviewed earlier this month by the Baker City Council. In the report, the status of Baker City’s streets was addressed in a short, concise paragraph.

“. . . Street fund resources (mainly state gas tax and 18.47 percent of property taxes) are not sufficient to maintain the City’s street in their current condition. If the city’s streets are not properly maintained (i.e. overlays, chip sealing, fog sealing, crack sealing) they will continue to deteriorate . . ."


Baker City mayor claims city has overcharged his motel for water, sewer fees

By Pat Caldwell

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Baker City Mayor Richard Langrell says the city owes him almost $15,000.

City officials contend they don’t owe Langrell a cent.

That difference in perception and interpretation is the epicenter of a dispute regarding water and sewer fees, zoning, and property taxes.

“The only thing I’ve done wrong is try to get along with them (the city)” Langrell said Thursday.

Langrell wants the city to reimburse him $14,907.71 in water and sewer fees he paid during the past several years for his motel, the Always Welcome Inn.


Baker County soldier's awards to be displayed at Courthouse

John Noble Holcomb

By Jayson Jacoby

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The military honors awarded to Army Sgt. John Noble Holcomb, a Richland man who was killed in Vietnam on Dec. 3, 1968, at age 22, will be displayed at the Baker County Courthouse.

The roster of accolades includes America’s highest — the Medal of Honor — which was bestowed on Holcomb posthumously.

Holcomb is one of just 13 Oregonians, and the only Baker County resident, ever to receive the U.S. military’s highest decoration.

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