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Kee: City is in good shape

By Pat Caldwell

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With just a week left in the fiscal year, Baker City Manager Mike Kee said he believes the city’s ship of state appears to be moving forward into the future on a steady, balanced course.

Kee said Friday his theme is simple: steady as she goes.

Kee’s confidence is based on a couple of factors.

Mountain bike festival planned at Anthony Lakes

Anthony Lakes Mountain Resorrt has scheduled its inaugural Mountain Bike Festival for Saturday, Aug. 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bicyclists are invited to attend the family-friendly event and explore newly built mountain bike trails around the resort, 35 miles northwest of Baker City in the Elkhorn Mountains.

Guided rides will be available for riders of all abilities, starting at 10:30 a.m. A kids bike park will be open throughout the event.

There will be a barbecue and Barley Brown's beer, as well as free handouts from sponsors include Mountain Works and Jamis bikes. Free RV hookups will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Former Baker City man killed in motorcycle crash

A former Baker City man was killed in a motorcycle accident Sunday evening in the southern Wallowa Mountains.

Matthew Charles Button, 38, who lived at San Diego, was pronounced dead at St. Marys Hospital in Walla Walla, Wash., Baker County Sheriff Mitch Southwick said.

The accident happened while Button was riding with a group on Forest Road 7755 near the Boulder Park trailhead along Eagle Creek.

Button's motorcycle went off the road and struck a tree, Southwick said. 

Button wasn't wearing a helmet, Southwick said.

The accident was reported about 6:15 p.m. Sunday. Other riders in Button's group brought him to Sgt. Travis Ash of the Baker County Sheriff's Office, who drove Button to Balm Creek Reservoir where a Lifeflight helicopter picked him up.

Baker High School announces spring honor roll

Baker High School has announced its fourth-quarter honor roll.

Honor students are:

* Denotes 4.00 grade-point average.


*Nathan Baeth,*Dallas Bain, Justin Ball, *Matthew Barnes, Kristi Boman, *Allison Brown, Jesse Burk, *Riley Carter, *Ryan Cashen, Mason Cline, Brandon Ellwanger, Hannah Fast, Allisyn Ferdig, Cody Gyllenberg, *Mikayla Jones, Evan Krohn, Ian Krohn, *Trent Law, Heather Mazzagotte, Kyle McCoy, Zachery Mothershed, Erin Parker, * Ian Rasmussen, Samantha Searles,*Brian Staebler-Siewell, Katarina Vela, *Adam Webb, Alicia Wirth, Nicole Wirth, *Molly Wynn. 


*Kate Averett, *Aria Carpenter, *Rebekah Compos, Grant Ermovick, Tiffani Fisher, Skyler Hack, Aiden Hayes, Michelle Lehman, Levi Mansuetti, Taite Mendenhall, Micah Mespelt, Tanya O’Neal, Mairyn Owen, *Anna Payton, *Madison Richards, Kayla Smith, *Zachary Tomac.


 *Makenna Bachman, Samuel Baxter, Nina Beaudoin, Kendelyn Bone’, *Megan Burk, Megan Chapman, *Dylan Chaves, Porter Cline, Christopher Conant, Elizabeth Coon, Robinita Davis, Emma Deputy, Daniel Drake, *Madison Elms, Melissa Foltz, Jayden Freeman, Rachel Freeman, *Dusty Gyllenberg, *Koby Hansen, Wyatt Knadle, Ashley Knoll, Lindsay Livingston, *Danielle McCauley, Hannah Myers, Brody Powell, Hollis Robb, Emily Sandefur, Morgan Scilacci, Rory Scilacci, *Benton Spaugh, *Braden Staebler-Siewell, Teancum Taylor, Marco Vela, Autumn Weideman, *Hannah Wilson.


James Ah Hee, Kara Bennett, Micah Bradford, Cecylee Bruce, Josephine Bryan, Zechariah Compos, *Mason Dahl, Lisa Daugherty, Thomas Dunn, Logan Dyke, Gracie Huggins, Tyler Joseph, *Kourtney Lehman, Shane McCauley, *Jared Miller, Marcus Plumley, Casey Poe, Kayley Pointer, *Erik Ruby, *Ryan Schwin, Josephine Stearns, Bryson Thomas, Logan Toubeaux-Handy, Kirsten White.

Feeling Frustrated

Veterans Discuss Devolving Situation In Iraq

Pat Caldwell / Baker City Herald Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles assigned to Baker City’s Fox Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry prepare to escort a convoy at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, in this December 2010 photo. The Baker City Guard unit spent a year in Iraq as part of Operation New Dawn.

By Pat Caldwell

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La Grande resident Todd Gorham doesn’t follow the news out of Iraq. 

At least not any more.

When Brian Cole, also a La Grande resident, talks about Iraq, he exudes an indifferent outlook, regarding the situation through a lens of complex geo-politics.

Baker City Councilor and Vietnam War veteran Clair Button doesn’t spend much time reading or viewing TV news about the current situation in Iraq either.

The three men — though separated by age and distance — share a common link: All three participated in two of the more controversial American wars since the end of World War II. Button served as an infantryman in Vietnam, and Cole and Gorham served in Iraq. 

The American ground combat phase in Iraq concluded at the end of 2011 and since then Iraq faced varied levels of instability. Two weeks ago that instability metastasized as a rag-tag, al-Qaida breakaway band of guerillas known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant began a massive onslaught across the northern part of the country.

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

Baker City selling items on eBay

Looking for a phone booth?

To buy, not use. 

Baker City selling about 125 items, including a phone booth as well as playground equipment removed this spring from Geiser-Pollman Park, on eBay.

The city's online auction starts Saturday at 6 p.m. PDT. Items will come on line every two minutes, city spokesman Tom Fisk said.

Other items include soil-testing equipment, a four-way flashing light that used to hang at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Resort Street, several street signs and parking meters.

The eBay auction will end at 10:10 p.m. on July 1.

The easiest way to find the items is to go to www.eBay.com, type in "Baker City Public Works." 

The city is also selling three surplus vehicles on a different online auction site — www.govdeals.com/BakerCityPW.

That auction also will end at 10:10 p.m. on July 1. 

The city has sold several hundred items, and brought in more than $30,000, with eBay auctions in previous years. 

Practical shooting competition Sunday

People of all ages and abilities will converge on the Powder River Sportsmen’s Club’s Virtue Flat Shooting Range this weekend for a regional championship shooting contest.

The Idaho U.S. Practical Shooters Association Section Championship event has drawn a record number of 118 registered competitors, said Ray Merritt, match director.

That number includes 15 women and 15 juniors and several professional shooters, Merritt said.

Police warn about jury duty scam

Baker City Police are warning residents about a recent scam in which at least three local residents received phone calls claiming they have arrest warrants or have missed jury duty.

The caller then asks for money to pay off the warrant or penalty for missing jury duty.

This is in no way legitimate. Law enforcement agencies do not call people and ask them to wire money for any purpose.

Baker City Councilor Barbara Johnson said she received one of the scam calls today. 

The caller, who had a thick Southern accent, told her she had two arrest warrants for failing to show up for jury duty.

Johnson said she did receive a jury summons earlier this spring, but she applied for and received a deferment.

The caller asked her to go to the Rite Aid store and buy two pre-paid cash cards, one for $480 and one for $369, plus a $166 processing fee.

Johnson said she put the caller on hold and used a different phone to call police. 

More information about avoiding this and other scams is available by calling Sgt. Kirk McCormick at the Baker City Police Department, 541-524-2014, Extension 22.

County planners to review windfarm application

The Baker County Planning Commission will meet Thursday, June 26 to consider an application for a wind farm near Huntington.

The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Community Connection Senior Center, 2810 Cedar St. in Baker City.

The application is from Oregon Windfarms LLC of Kirkland, Wash. That company already has the county's approval for a total of 50 megawatts of electricity production from wind farms, said Tara Andrews, a planner with the county Planning Department.

Snow still blocking Elkhorn Drive above Anthony Lakes

Snow continues to block a section of the Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway between Anthony Lakes and the North Fork of the John Day River.

The 106-mile paved route, also known as Forest Road 73, is a popular summer driving tour that circles the Elkhorn Mountains west of Baker City.

Earlier this week snow was about two feet deep near Grande Ronde Lake, said Dan Ermovick, recreation program manager for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

The road is open to Anthony Lakes, and on the west side of the Elkhorns it's open from Granite to the North Fork John Day River bridge.

Ermovick said he expects the entire route will be open by around the first of July. 

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