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Ballot set for May 20 primary


By Jayson Jacoby

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The ballot for Baker County’s primary election on May 20 is set.

Tuesday was the deadline to file as a candidate.


Idaho Power doesn't expect B2H power line to be in service before 2020

Company had earlier projected completion of the transmission line in 2018


Idaho Power Company has pushed back by two years its estimated completion date for the controversial Boardman-to-Hemingway power transmission line.

On the website, www.boardmantohemingway.com, the company says: "Idaho Power’s 2013 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) identified the need for a 2018 in-service date for the project. However, the completion date of the project is subject to siting, permitting, regulatory approvals, in-service date requirements of the parties electing to construct the line, the terms of any resulting joint construction agreements, and other conditions. In light of the permitting delays and siting impediments that have occurred and are expected to continue, Idaho Power estimates that the in-service date for the Boardman-to-Hemingway line would be in 2020 or beyond."

A group of Baker County residents opposes a proposed route for the 500-kilovolt line that would place it near the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.

A draft environmental impact statement for the project is slated to be released to the public later this month.


Collared wolf crosses Brownlee Reservoir to Idaho


A radio-collared wolf from the Snake River pack that spent several days in the Medical Springs area last week has crossed Brownlee Reservoir and entered Idaho.

The four-year-old male wolf, designated OR-18, apparently swam across the reservoir Thursday, said Brian Ratliff, district wildlife biologist at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Baker City office.

Ratliff said signals from the wolf's collar showed the animal was in the Medical Springs area the afternoon of March 4.

Later that week the wolf traveled over Little Lookout and Big Lookout mountains, east of Baker City, then headed east down Connor Creek toward Brownlee, Ratliff said.

Ratliff said he was along the Snake River Road Thursday morning, at the mouth of Connor Creek, when he picked up the signal from the wolf's collar.

He didn't see the wolf, but by Thursday evening the signal showed the animal was in Idaho.

The wolf hadn't returned to Oregon as of this morning, Ratliff said.

Ratliff said he has not heard any reports of sightings or tracks associated with the pack of five wolves that have also been in Baker County over the past month.

None of those wolves has a tracking collar, although state officials hope to fit a collar to at least one of the wolves.


Spay/neuter group seeks city surcharge


By Jayson Jacoby

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A Baker City woman who’s been working for several years to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs in Baker County hopes city residents will contribute financially to the effort.

Suzanne Fouty, who coordinates the nonprofit Mollie Atwater and Friends Spay/Neuter Fund, will talk to the City Council during its meeting Tuesday about a proposal to add a monthly surcharge of 50 cents to residents’ water/sewer bills.

The money — an estimated $24,000 per year — would help pay to spay or neuter animals as well as hire a part-time coordinator who would apply for grants.

The City Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 1655 First St.


Dale Mack pleads guilty to 2 counts

He was released from jail Friday, one month after incident at his home


By Chris Collins

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A Baker City man who spent the past month in jail facing domestic violences charges that brought a SWAT team to his home after shots were fired, pleaded guilty to assault and drug possession Friday in Baker County Circuit Court.

Dale Myron Patrick Mack, 38, of 3660 Cedar St., was released from jail Friday. He received credit for time served on a 30-day jail term imposed at sentencing on the misdemeanor assault charge.

Mack pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a Class C felony, and one count of fourth-degree assault constituting domestic violence in an agreement with the District Attorney’s Office.


Senator Wyden coming to Baker City March 16


U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., will have a town hall meeting in Baker City on Sunday, March 16 at 1 p.m. at the Senior Center, 2810 Cedar St.

Baker City's temporary UV water treatment system arrives

System should be operating later this month


By Pat Caldwell

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The ghost of last summer’s cryptosporidium crisis may finally be banished by the middle of March after the city’s temporary UV water treatment system goes online.

City Manager Mike Kee said Thursday that the Calgon Carbon Sentinel UV System will be here today, and city workers will begin to install the mechanism Monday.

“It will be done the week after next,” Kee said.


City, Resort St. owners meet


By Pat Caldwell

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A meeting Thursday at Baker City Hall between City Manager Mike Kee and members of the Resort Street Project Committee generated debate and questions and, perhaps, a way forward.

Members of the committee — property owners Randy Daugherty and Tabor Clarke — met with Kee, city Finance Director Jeanie Dexter and City Councilor Dennis Dorrah to discuss the issue of property tax assessments connected to the Resort Street Local Improvement District (LID).


Local students earn awards in essay, art and speech contest


By Chris Collins

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Baker City students earned top  honors displaying their writing, speaking and artistic abilities around the theme “Value Life, Beginning to End,” in a recent Oregon Right to Life contest.

Seven of the first-place winners attend Harvest Christian Academy.


Collared wolf from Snake River pack comes to Baker County


By Jayson Jacoby

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A male wolf from the Snake River pack moved into northern Baker County near Medical Springs on Sunday night and was still in that area Tuesday afternoon.

The wolf, designated OR-18, is an adult male, said Brian Ratliff, district wildlife biologist at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Baker City office.


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