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Take Up The Fight

Baker County’s Newest Rural Fire Protection Association Has First Meeting

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald file photo A rangeland firefighter mops up hot spots during the 2012 Sardine Creek fire east of Baker City. The blaze burned in the area that’s part of the newly formed Lookout-Glasgow Rangeland Protection Association.

By Joshua Dillen

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KEATING — Baker County’s newest rural fire protection group had its first meeting Monday night at the Keating Fire Hall.

A group of local ranchers and landowners in the Keating Valley and Little Lookout Mountain area formed the Lookout-Glasgow Rangeland Protection Association (LGRPA) to be a first line of defense against fires on their rangelands in the dry sagebrush country east of Baker City.

Miners talk about future

Eastern Oregon Mining and Aggregate Development summit in Baker City

By Jayson Jacoby

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Mining plays a major role in Baker County’s distant past, and its future might not be as bleak as the industry’s relatively moribund present suggests.

The prospect for a mining revival here and elsewhere in Eastern Oregon was a key theme during a five-hour summit that brought miners, legislators, economists and others to Baker City Tuesday afternoon.

Hells Canyon Road to reopen Friday

OXBOW — Idaho Power Co. plans to reopen Hells Canyon Road at 9 a.m. Friday, after partial removal of a rock slide that blocked the road north of Hells Canyon Park last week.

A single lane will be open, with flaggers on hand to guide vehicles through the slide area, Brad Bowlin, Idaho Power Co. spokesman, stated in a press release. Travelers should expect delays, and are urged to use extreme caution in the canyon, especially in the slide area, he said.

No one was injured in the slide, which happened Jan. 20 about three miles north of Hells Canyon Park on the Idaho side of the Snake River.

The slide was about 60 yards long and included numerous large boulders. Crews worked through the weekend to clear the road. Some of the boulders on the road were so large, they had to be blasted to make them small enough to remove, Bowlin said.

Clinic provides options

Marian Taylor, 71, gets connected to chemotherapy by Riley Hall, RN, during her first treatment at the Bootsma Clinic inside St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City. (S. John Collins/Baker City Herald)

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

As Marian Taylor settles back in the cushy chair, Jennifer Herrman asks a question totally unrelated to cancer treatment.

“What’s your favorite color?”Herrman asks.

Caught off guard, Taylor pauses, then answers “blue.”

Herrman leaves and soon returns bearing a bundle of blue — a handmade quilt donated by local quilters that Taylor can use throughout her chemotherapy treatments, then take home when she’s finished.

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

Guard unit to train in Mojave

By Pat Caldwell

For the Baker City Herald

This summer the men and women who fill out the roster of Eastern Oregon’s largest Army National Guard outfit will once again deploy to a desert location to fulfill their annual training requirement.

This year, though, the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment will not journey to its usual Annual Training location. Instead of the familiar, high desert landscape south of Boise, the battalion will deploy to another kind of desert — The Mojave.

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

County officials discuss vets services

By Joshua Dillen

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Baker County Veterans Services Officer Rick Gloria gave a report to the Baker County commissioners  concerning his department Wednesday.

He spoke about veterans claims management software VetraSpec.

The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) is using the software to expedite claims by veterans. The online system allows veterans service officers to access information easier and more expeditiously for the veterans they serve.

“Right now we have 107 veterans enrolled in VetraSpec,” Gloria said.

His goal is to get the rest of the veterans in Baker County enrolled with the software to help with claims management. Gloria said his office has more than 800 files of active veterans. He said there are approximately 2,000 veterans in the county or about 8 percent of the county’s population.

Talking about marijuana

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Oregon Liquor Control Commission Chair, Rob Patridge, explains the role of the OLCC in marijuana regulations Thursday at the Baker City Armory.
By Joshua Dillen

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While stoners across the state look forward to their first legal toke of wacky weed in July, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is gathering information to help formulate rules regarding the recreational sale of marijuana in 2016.

About 100 residents from across Oregon attended an OLCC marijuana “listening session” at the Armory in Baker City Thursday.

The purpose of the meeting was to hear from the public about how marijuana regulation should work in local communities across the state.

The ballot initiative passed in November tasks the OLCC with regulating marijuana and products derived from the  psychoactive herb. It also gives the OLCC the authority to tax and license the drug in all of its forms.

Klamath County District Attorney and OLCC Commission Chair Rob Patridge outlined the details of Measure 91 and OLCC’s role in a PowerPoint presentation. Patridge pointed out he was personally opposed to the measure.

“It’s the OLCC’s job to put in place the measures to implement the rules to allow for licensing and distribution and those kinds of things. I’m not here to relitigate whether recreational marijuana is good policy or bad policy,” Patridge said. “What I’m here to talk to you about is how can we put this thing together in a safe and responsible manner for communities throughout the state of Oregon.”

Two more arrested in drug investigation

Baker City Police added two more names to the list of 11 people picked up earlier this week in a drug sting by the Baker County Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Police served a search warrant at 2036 Grove St. at 9:52 am. today based on information obtained in the earlier investigation, according to a press release issued this afternoon.

Taken into custody were:

• Carmon  Deon Hendriksen, 26, of 2036 Grove St., who was charged with one count of delivering methamphetamine and one count of possessing methamphetamine.

• Anthony Allan Myers, 35, of 2036 Grove St., who was charged with one count of violating his release agreement.

The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are likely, police said.

Rock slide closes road to Hells Canyon Dam

OXBOW — No one was injured by a large rock slide three miles north of Hells Canyon Park Wednesday afternoon that has completely closed the only road to Hells Canyon Dam.

The road could be closed for up to a week, Brad Bowlin, Idaho Power Co. spokesman, stated in a press release. Motorists will not be allowed past Hells Canyon Park until the road is safe, he said.

The slide is about 60 yards long. More unstable material on the cliff above the slide also must be removed before the road is reopened. Crews won’t know the extent of repairs needed for the road surface until the slide is cleared.

Idaho Power crews worked for several hours Wednesday to clear one lane long enough for drivers stranded between the slide and Hells Canyon Dam to exit, Bowlin said. The road was then closed to allow crews to continue working and also because of the threat of additional slides. Some of the boulders on the road are so large they have to be blasted to make them small enough to remove, Bowlin said.

Police arrest 11 people in drug raids

By Chris Collins

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Baker City Police arrested 11 people suspected of drug trafficking Monday, the culmination of a two-month undercover investigation.

Baker City Police initially arrested eight people on multiple drug-related charges in a roundup that began at 7 a.m. Monday. Later that day, three more were taken into custody.

Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner said the Baker County Narcotics Enforcement Team worked with a confidential informant in the investigation. 

District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff said he hopes those who traffic in drugs get the message that they might be selling to confidential informants working when they make their deals in Baker County.

“This sends a message that this isn’t the kind of place you can get away with that,” he said. “And it tends to suppress the activity.”

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

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