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Cutting A Deal

Private forest owners form cooperative to sell timber to Boise Cascade 


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Baker City Herald File Photo/Ed Merriman A new cooperative formed by private forest owners in Baker County will make it easier, and more profitable, for owners here and in Union and Wallowa counties to sell their timber.

By Chris Collins

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Private woodland owners in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties will receive premium prices for their timber this winter thanks to an agreement forged with Boise Cascade last month.

The agreement came about with the formation of the Blue Mountain Woodland Cooperative, which has been 12 years in the making, said Bob Parker, Extension forester.

The co-op was formed by members of the Baker County Small Woodlands Association. Many of the same people serve in leadership roles in both organizations.


Gas leak leaves Sam-O Swim chilly


By Chris Collins

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Swimmers were forced to take cold showers Tuesday at Sam-O Swim Center and the air temperature was a bit cooler than usual, but no one was in danger as a result of natural gas leaks detected by YMCA staff, Baker City Manager Mike Kee said Wednesday.

Natural gas that fuels the hot water system and the boiler were turned off while the issue was investigated and repairs were made. The city-owned pool remained heated during that period.

Heidi Dalton, the YMCA’s chief executive officer, said the pool did not close and most swimmers showed up as usual. They simply took a quick cold shower as required before entering the pool and then showered at home after swimming, she said.

Swimming lessons, water aerobics, swim team practice and lap swimming are scheduled Monday through Thursday at the pool.


Police arrest Baker man for allegedly having sexually explicit conversations online with teenager


Baker City Police officers on Wednesday arrested a 45-year-old Baker City man who allegedly had sexually explicit conversations online with a 16-year-old Baker City girl.

Arnold Roger Skeels, 3100 H St., is charged with Luring a Minor, a Class C Felony; and with Online Sexual Corruption of a Child II, also a Class C Felony.

Skeels was arrested at the Baker City Police Department following an interview.

This investigation began on Oct. 7 when the parents of the 16-year-old girl discovered sexually explicit conversations their daughter was having on her iPod through a “Whisper” account, with an unknown adult male.

Baker City Police proceeded with the investigation utilizing the assistance of an Oregon Department of Justice Investigator, who is affiliated with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), a national organization. With ICAC’s guidance, a BCPD Police Officer created a Whisper account, portraying a 15-year-girl and carried on numerous conversations with Skeels, which led to his arrest.

The Baker City Police Department would like to remind all parents that there are numerous threats to our children thorough the various social media sites that exist today. For your children’s safety, please remind them of those threats and monitor their activities with social media.


Volunteers repair veterans graves at Mount Hope


A three-year effort to repair veterans graves at Mount Hope Cemetery is entering its final phase, says Dennis Teskey, who spearheaded the volunteer project.

Teskey and his wife are owners of Teskey Inc., the parent company of Gray’s West & Co. and Stone Tributes.

After becoming involved in the project at the request of Joyce Bornstedt, the city’s cemetery manager, Teskey recruited his fellow Rotary  Club members and other community residents to help with the project.


Street of (bad) Dreams

Second Street Neighbors Don’t Skimp On Halloween Decorations 


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S. John Collins/Baker City Herald: Molly McCray continues fine-tuning a clown character that will surprise visitors in the darkness of Halloween. She says her mother, Lori Bertalotto, is the one behind the family's annual haunting on Second Street.

Larry and Claudia Christian delight in every wide-eyed child who walks past their house, and every car that slows down to look at their display of Halloween decorations.

“We just love to do it, and love the kids coming by and looking at it,” Larry said. “We do it for the community.”

The Christians live at the corner of Second and Estes streets in the house that was, many years ago, the Langrell Mortuary.

 


Warner says he would accept another term if he won as write-in

He Won't Actively Campaign, However 


Fred Warner Jr., chairman of the Baker County Board of Commissioners who lost the Republican primary this May to Bill Harvey, said he would accept another term were he re-elected as a write-in candidate in the Nov. 4 election.

Warner said he is not actively campaigning for another four-year term.

But he said several people have asked him about write-in votes. Warner said he told them he would accept the job if he won.

Harvey defeated Warner in the Republican primary by almost 500 votes, 1,752 to 1,256.


Baker Police make drug arrest at middle school Monday, high school Tuesday


Baker City Police have cited a middle school student and a high school student in separate incidents involving drug possession.

Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner said the middle school incident happened at 11:16 a.m. Monday. Officers were responding to another call at the school when a commotion erupted in the hallway between two boys, Lohner said. One of the boys was alleged to have brownies containing marijuana in his possession, Lohner said.

Police were called to the high school at about 11 a.m. Tuesday where a 16-year-old boy was reportedly found in possession of hydrocodone, a prescription pain medicine, and chewing tobacco. He was turned over to juvenile authorities.


Harvey attends American Lands Council conference


Bill Harvey, who will replace Fred Warner Jr. as chairman of the Baker County Board of Commissioners in January, attended last week’s conference of the American Lands Council in Salt Lake City. The topic was transferring public lands to local control.

Attendees also discussed problems that federal management of public lands causes for western states.


Jeremy Barker, 2005 BHS grad, died in industrial accident Oct. 6


Jeremy Barker, who grew up in Baker City and graduated from Baker High School in 2005, died Oct. 6 as the result of an industrial accident at the Pro Saw manufacturing firm in Tualatin where he had worked for the past six years.

A  celebration of Barker’s life is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Baker City Christian Church, 675 Highway 7.

The family asks those attending to dress in camo attire.

Barker is the son of Lori and Leon Barker, a retired Oregon State Police officer.


No Ebola here, but what if. . .


By Chris Collins

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While it’s unlikely that the deadly Ebola virus will reach Idaho or Oregon, St. Alphonsus hospitals in the region would be able to care for a patient at least for a period of time, a hospital spokesman said today.

The immediate needs of anyone coming to the hospital with early symptoms of Ebola, such as a fever and a history of recent travel to West Africa, could be taken care of at the Baker City hospital until symptoms reached a more critical stage, said Josh Schlaich, St. Alphonsus Health Service spokesman in Boise.


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