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Still Spraying

March storms bolstered snowpack in city’s mountain watershed, helped city's water supply defy the drought


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S. John Collins / Baker City Herald A Baker City residential sprinkler system douses both a homeowner's lawn and flower garden in this July photo.

By Jayson Jacoby

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If you want to know why Baker City’s faucets flowed at full capacity during the dry and torrid afternoons of July and August, and continue to chug along this week during summer’s last hot gasp, you have to look back.

Many months back, to the latter days of winter, when nobody was dousing their tomatoes or letting their kids scamper around in the sprinkler.

And you also have to look up, to the peaks of the Elkhorn Mountains that intercept Pacific storms and wring out their moisture.

 


Baker man gets 70 months in prison for stabbing


A Baker City man will spend the next 70 months in prison for stabbing another man in the shoulder multiple times during an argument in early June.

Judge Greg Baxter sentenced Robert Goodwin, 27, of 2690 Seventh St., on Monday after Goodwin pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff stated in a press release.


Mother accused of letting toddler get away

Baker City woman charged with child neglect


By Chris Collins

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Two Baker City women who had stopped to chat were in the right place to keep a 16-month-old boy out of harm’s way Sunday morning.

After police were called and investigated, the boy’s mother, Carissa Mae Endicott, 27, of 2635 Auburn Ave., No. 2, was arrested on a charge of second-degree child neglect. Her son, Adrian Endicott, was placed in the care of his grandparents.

 Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner said the incident started about 8:40 a.m. Sunday when Alison Carpenter, 41, and Margie Gately, 50, both of Baker City, were visiting on the sidewalk in front of the Baker School District Office at 2090 Fourth St.

Lohner said the women noticed a little boy walking alone just across the street from them. He was heading south on Fourth Street and nearing the intersection at Broadway.


A Fruitful Season

Eagle Creek Orchard Recovers From 2013 Frost Damage 


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Photo by Lisa Britton/Peaches aplenty at Eagle Creek Orchard near Richland.

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

The apple trees droop with fruit, the laden branches propped up with boards.

The Asian pears are ready to be picked, but those will have to wait — right now, the garage and cooler are stacked with boxes of peaches and pears with little room to spare.

These sights at Eagle Creek Orchard near Richland are the opposite of last year, when a spring frost killed almost 100 percent of the crops.


Crews corral Eagle Cap fire

Fire crews have mostly tamed a wildfire in the Eagle Cap Wilderness near Wallowa Lake, but officials say the West Fork fire probably will smolder until the first strong storms of autumn arrive.

The fire, which officials believe was started by people although the investigation continues, has burned 135 acres.

The blaze, reported by hikers one week ago, on Sept. 8, is 45 percent contained.


Receding Reservoir

Drought Shrinks Phillips Reservoir For Second Straight Summer


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S. John Collins/Baker City Herald Smoke from regional forest fires lends a fiery glow to a sunset at Phillips Reservoir, southwest of Baker City, earlier this week. The reservoir is about 14 percent full.

By Jayson Jacoby

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Baker County’s Phillips Reservoir is hardly the only body of water in Eastern Oregon that’s looking emaciated on these sunny late summer days.

But this is the first time in nearly a decade that the reservoir, a vital source of irrigation water for Baker Valley farms and ranches, has been so shrunken in consecutive years.

Phillips, a Powder River impoundment about 17 miles southwest of Baker City, has had one lean year in the past 10.


Baker Schools Superintendent discusses state test results


By Chris Collins

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State school test results, released Wednesday by the Oregon Department of Education, are just one gauge of student performance, says Superintendent Walt Wegener.

And not one that particularly guides the Baker School District’s improvement efforts, he added.

“We have our own internal diagnostics that are useful and inform our teaching,” he said.

Wednesday’s test results showed little change in Baker School District student performance.


Wyden bill would help fathers of soldiers killed or severely wounded

Bill, which passed the Senate Wednesday, was prompted by Wyden's conversation with Steve Ellis, former supervisor of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in Baker City 


U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is sponsoring a bill that would ensure any unmarried parent whose child is killed in action while serving in the military or is left permanently disabled would receive a preference when applying for a federal job.

The Senate passed the bill, S.2323, on Wednesday.

Wyden was prompted to draft the bill after a conversation with Steve Ellis, former supervisor of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in Baker City.

Ellis’ daughter, Cpl. Jessica Ellis, was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2008 while she was serving in the U.S. Army.


Scare At School

Student Arrested After Bomb Threat Note Found At Baker Middle School


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S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Officers from Baker City Police, sheriff’s office and Oregon State Police searched Baker Middle School due to a bomb threat Tuesday morning. Students were not in the building at the time, and nothing was found.

By Chris Collins

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A 13-year-old Baker Middle School boy is being held in juvenile detention at The Dalles on a charge of first-degree disorderly conduct, accused of leaving a note that stated there was a bomb in the school.

Baker City Police learned of the threat at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday after a janitor discovered the note in a boys bathroom on the second floor of the Helen M. Stack Building, said Police Chief Wyn Lohner.

Police and public works crews barricaded streets surrounding the school and plans were made to bus students to Baker High School as they arrived at the middle school Tuesday morning. The school served bagged breakfasts to some, while others ate just across the street at the Presbyterian Church’s Open Door free breakfast program, which starts at 7 a.m. each school day.

 


Kee says he received crypto report in late June


By Jayson Jacoby

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Baker City Manager Mike Kee said today that he received a copy of the Oregon Health Authority’s report about the city’s 2013 crypto outbreak in late June of this year.

Kee said recently that he hadn’t seen that report until late August.

Although he acknowledged that a state health official emailed him a link to the report on June 26, Kee said today that he apparently didn’t read the report at that time.

“I don’t know that I looked at that then,” Kee said.


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