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Spreading the word

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Missionaries take their purpose to wherever they are called. While at home for a while in Baker City, Crystal Pierce eagerly shares her mission experiences at Chihuahua, Mexico, before she moves to Baja.

Crystal Pierce of Baker City has worked as a missionary in Mexico for 3 years

By Joshua Dillen

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Prayer and trust in God are a large part of Crystal Pierce’s life.

Pierce, of Baker City, has dedicated her life to bringing the Bible and its teachings to those who don’t have it in their lives. She has been working in Mexico for the last three years as a missionary for New Tribes Mission (NTM).

Pierce is home for the summer and enjoying spending time with family and friends. She has been speaking at area churches about her work abroad and has more presentations planned locally.


Local blazes remain small

Lisa Britton/For the Baker City Herald The Weiser Complex fire in Idaho, just east of Brownlee Reservoir, spewed a huge smoke plume on Saturday.

But a pair of fires just across Brownlee Reservoir in Idaho have scorched 25,000 acres

By Jayson Jacoby

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Northeastern Oregon continues to be spared the brunt of a wildfire season that is among the worst on record in California and other neighboring states.

Two blazes started by lightning on Thursday on the Idaho side of Brownlee Reservoir have combined to burn 25,200 acres.

The Weiser Complex fire spawned a major smoke plume visible from much of eastern Baker County over the weekend.

Two new fires in Oregon, meanwhile, are noteworthy not for their size but because no one is trying to put them out.


Flash flood watch issued for Baker County

The National Weather Service in Boise has issued a flash flood watch for Baker County for Monday at 11 p.m. through Tuesday at 11 p.m.

A watch doesn't mean flash floods are imminent, but rather that the conditions are such that thunderstorms, which could produce flash floods, are possible during the watch period.

If storms begin to form and near the county, the Weather Service might issue a flash flood warning, which means flooding is happening or likely to happen.

For more weather information go to: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/boi.


Water issue at forefront of city hall clash

By Terri Harber

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The work session was billed as a discussion about council-staff relations but Baker City councilors also spent a significant amount of time Thursday evening talking about Elk Creek.

Before hearing the concerns of some councilors that other councilors are alienating staff members, Councilor Dennis Dorrah presented a list of things he thinks must be done to ensure the Elk Creek diversion wouldn’t be a problem next year.

“I’m here to beg you guys to do something about this watershed,” he said. If something isn’t done now, “Elk Creek will be totally unusable next year.”


Veteran advocates for others as part of 48-state mission

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Tim King, right, talks about the importance of his 48-state mission,

By Joshua Dillen

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“Operation Red Dragonfly” has made it to Baker City as a former Marine rides across the country advocating for veterans’ health.

Tim King is on a 48-state mission that aims to inform America about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other hazards of military service.

King, a journalist and news editor of the Salem-News, has been traveling throughout the U.S. on a 1998 Suzuki Bandit to speak with veterans about their issues with PTSD. King is recording footage and interviews for a documentary he said will be aired on Oregon Public Broadcasting. The film will be titled “War and PTSD.”


Kennedy's Eastside Market closed; but will re-open

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Roger Kennedy's Eastside Grocery Baker City is devoid now of the chatter of children looking for their special candy, the familiar noise of ice dropping into soda cups and the endless hum of freezer and cooler systems.

By Chris Collins

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The closed sign has been flipped over for the last time at Kennedy’s Eastside Grocery.

Roger Kennedy shut the doors of his store earlier this month and hasn’t looked back. He’s looking forward to a life without the all-consuming workload of operating a neighborhood market.

For the community, it’s the end of an era when family owned grocery stores could be found in nearly every neighborhood. 

Except for York’s Park Grocery on Campbell Street, which has been transformed into a sporting goods and convenience store in recent years, Kennedy’s Eastside Grocery was Baker City’s last survivor.

“After all these years, I never thought I’d get to this point,” the 72-year-old Kennedy said in an interview at his home just east of the store at 1280 Washington Ave. 

“Right now I’m so happy,” he said.


City to move ahead with UV water treatment

By Terri Harber

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Some Baker City Councilors still have questions, but on Tuesday the council didn’t object to the city continuing to work toward using ultraviolet light to protect drinking water from cryptosporidium and other parasites.

Until a treatment system is constructed and fully operating, residents will be sitting on “pins and needles,” said David Leland, the Oregon Health Authority’s interim director of the Center for Health Protection.  

Leland assured the councilors that a UV treatment system is “still an option” that would comply with a 2006 federal rule requiring cities that don’t filter their water, such as Baker City, to add a treatment method that deals with crypto, which is resistant to the chlorine the city now adds to its water as a disinfectant.

Hundreds of residents, and possibly a thousand or more, likely were infected with crypto in the city’s water in July.

Residents were asked to boil water beginning July 31 until Aug. 20. The boil order ended after several water samples showed no evidence of crypto.


City Council schedules work session Thursday

The Baker City Council, which has its regular meeting this evening at 7 o'clock at City Hall, 1655 First St., has also scheduled a special work session for Thursday with one item on the agenda: "Discussion of Council/Staff Relations."

The work session will start at 6 p.m. at City Hall. 

This is a public meeting. 


More Baker County mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus

Eight pools of mosquitoes trapped in the past two weeks in Baker County tested positive for West Nile virus.

That brings the total of infected mosquito pools this summer to 10.

No cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed in birds, horses or people, however.

A "pool" of mosquitoes consists of 10 to 50 insects.


Schools to treat water with UV

By Chris Collins

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The Baker School District is going the extra mile and paying the extra dollar to ensure that its students have safe drinking water.

The district has decided to install an ultraviolet treatment unit at the source of city water entering each Baker City school building at a cost of $56,332, said Doug Dalton, the district’s chief executive officer and business manager.

The money will come from the district’s capital projects fund, which is set aside to pay for building maintenance and emergency issues, such as failure of a building’s heating system or, in this case, a water quality issue.

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