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Soroptimist Club to give two awards Feb. 19

Soroptimist International of Baker County will present two awards on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at noon at the Sunridge Restaurant in Baker City.

The Violet Richardson Award goes to Jenna Aldrich, a Powder Valley High School senior.

The award honors young women for volunteer action and celebrates the contributions of women to society.  Aldrich will receive a $250 cash award and will be presented with a $250 check awarded to the Powder Valley Club Volleyball.


Apartment fire displaces three families

No people hurt, but one dog died in Tuesday afternoon blaze 

By Chris Collins

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An electrical short in a power cord is blamed for a fire that displaced three households at the Blue Ridge Apartments Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters were dispatched to the seven-unit apartment complex on Highway 30 on the north outskirts of Baker City at 1:34 p.m. Most of the damage was confined to Apartment E, where the fire started, said Don Taggart of the Baker City Fire Department.

Jenny Wilson, who lives in the apartment with her 6-year-old daughter, Traeh Thronson, and her 4-year-old daughter, Maya Wilson, was not home when the fire started.

The family lost their male pug,Teddy, in the fire. A second dog, Lilo, a female pug mix, was taken to the Baker Veterinary Hospital for treatment and was doing well this morning, Wilson said.


To hire, or not to hire

Baker City Councilors Disagree On Need To Hire New Employees

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Baker City Department of Public Works employees, Justin Plumbtree, left, and Jason Melo, fix a resident’s sewer line break Tuesday morning. Blain LeaMaster, not shown, is at work on the line deep in the pit.

By Pat Caldwell

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Baker City Councilors continue to discuss a draft strategic blueprint for the city’s future but one recommendation in the plan — a proposal to hire more public employees — has so far proved to be a non-starter.

The City Council held a public hearing Jan. 14 on the draft strategic plan and delivered comments and guidance to Stan Foster, president of PARC Resources, the Bend-area firm the city hired to do the study.

PARC utilized a community survey, comments collected at local meetings, and suggestions from the City Council to prepare the draft plan.

The draft proposal includes nine goals or “action priorities."


Snowmobiling still big in Baker County despite the drought

Submitted photo The Sumpter Valley Snowmobile Club’s groomer plied 50 miles of trails late last week. Although snow is scarce at lower elevations, riders say conditions are good higher in the mountains.

By Jayson Jacoby

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Weldon Reedy is so confident in the snowmobiling conditions around Sumpter that he put a video camera right outside his motel to show how much snow is falling.

Or, as has been the case most of this winter, how much snow isn’t falling.

Reedy, who with his wife, Kathy, owns the 14-room Depot Inn in downtown Sumpter, doesn’t deny that snow has been relatively scarce this winter.

But it’s equally true that a snowmobile doesn’t much care whether there’s a foot of snow beneath its skis, or 10 feet.


Celebrate Oregon's birthday Feb. 14

The public is invited to celebrate Oregon’s birthday on Friday, Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, with a free event at the Baker Heritage Museum, 2480 Grove St., at 7 p.m.

Oregon became a state on Feb. 14, 1859.

The party in the Museum’s ballroom will include a program called “Ranching in the Past,” featuring emcee Jessie Ritch and speakers Fred Warner Sr., Dick Kirby and Dan Warnock, who will talk about their families’ historic ranches.


Hunter education classes scheduled

The Baker County hunter education instructors have scheduled dates for a pair of hunter ed classes this year.

The first class of 2014 will start Feb. 17 and continue on Feb. 19, 21, 24, 26 and 28. The class will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Powder River Sportsman’s Club, 2690 Broadway St., except for the Feb. 28 class, which will be a field session starting at 10 a.m. at the Virtue Flat Range.


County planners to consider mining permit

The Baker County Planning Commission will meet Thursday evening in Baker City to consider a proposal to allow mining near Bridgeport, south of Dooley Mountain.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the Courthouse, 1995 Third St. 

Auburn Creek Ranch LLC has applied for a conditional use permit to allow mining in the exclusive farm use and timber-grazing zones.

The business owns about 2,730 acres along Bridgeport Lane, according to county assessor's office records.


Kennedy's Eastside Market legacy to continue

By Pat Caldwell

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For Baker City’s Teresa Perkins tradition still matters.

Perkins — who is in the process of purchasing Kennedy’s Eastside Grocery — said while a desire to own her own business played a major role in her decision, the potential to continue a hometown legacy also fueled her choice.

Perkins stepped behind the counter at the venerated Baker City establishment late last week. She said she is purchasing the business from current owners — Kevin Logsdon and Jay Raffety — and is happy about her new role as a small business owner.

“I’m just excited about the opportunity,” Perkins said.

Over the years, Kennedy’s Market secured a special type of veneration for residents and became a traditional fixture in the community.

Known for “the coldest beer and cheapest pop” the small store epitomized the image of the corner market.



Gusty winds blamed for power outages

By Pat Caldwell

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Electricity is one of the definitive elements of modern society.

The electricity that surges through the massive American power grid lights our homes, heats our kitchens and personifies progress.

Until it suddenly goes out.

In a flash, all of our seemingly state-of-the-art pieces of technology are transformed into blocks of plastic and glass. 


Private Woodlands Association's annual meeting Jan. 23

Baker County’s Private Woodlands Association will have its annual meeting Jan. 23 at Brent and Eileen Gyllenberg’s ranch south of Baker City.

In addition to the election of new officers and a discussion of issues such as the Blue Mountain Woodland Owner Cooperative, the annual meeting will be a chance for woodland owners to socialize and enjoy a potluck dinner featuring the Gyllenbergs’ free-range buffalo.

There will be a carpool, with vehicles leaving the OSU Extension Office, 2600 East St. in Baker City, at 5:30 p.m., returning about 8:30 p.m.

If the weather is inclement, the meeting will take place at the Extension Office instead.

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