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Merkley wins re-election


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley was re-elected Tuesday to the U.S. Senate.

He defeated Republican Monica Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon from Portland.

Wehby burst onto the political scene with a compelling resume and strong fundraising. But she couldn’t recover from a series of missteps.

Old police reports showed her ex-husband and a former boyfriend both made harassment complaints against her. She also used health care and economic plans taken from other Republicans.

Wehby polled better than Merkley in Baker County, receiving 4,021 votes to Merkley's 2,198. 


Preliminary election results


Bill Harvey, the only candidate on the ballot for Baker County Commission chairman, has 4,586 votes.

The total for write-in votes is 1,525.

County Clerk Tami Green said she will decide by tomorrow whether to count individual write-in votes.

Based on the number of write-ins, it would appear impossible for any other person, including incumbent chairman Fred Warner Jr., who lost to Harvey in the Republican primary in May, to defeat Harvey.

Warner didn't campaign for the general election but he said he would accept another term were he elected as a write-in candidate. 

 


Two elk poached at Sumpter Fairgrounds


By Chris Collins

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Oregon State Police officers are investigating the Saturday shooting of two cow elk at the Sumpter Fairgrounds.

The elk were found shot and killed Saturday morning, said OSP Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Chris Hawkins.

According to the Baker County Dispatch Center’s press log, a report of an injured animal and the discharge of a weapon in the city of Sumpter came in at 7:33 a.m. Saturday.

Officers were able to salvage meat from both animals, Hawkins said. Deputy Adam Robb assisted in field dressing the elk, said Baker County Sheriff Lt. Travis Ash.

The animals were taken to Baker Custom Meats for processing. The 300 pounds of meat will be donated to charity, Hawkins said.

No arrests have been made, but Hawkins said police have identified “people of interest in the area.” 

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


Baker schools parent-teacher conference schedules


Students will attend a half day of school on Thursday,  as  the first day of parent-teacher conferences gets under way in the Baker School District. 

Students will be released between 11:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. that day. Grab-and-go sack lunches will be served before students board the buses and leave their schools. Kindergartners will not attend classes on Thursday.

Here is the parent-teacher schedule at each building:

• Keating — Thursday, noon to 5 p.m.; Friday, 6 a.m. to noon.

• Brooklyn kindergarten — Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to noon. 

• Brooklyn — Thursday, 12:40 p.m. to 7:40 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to noon.

• South Baker — Thursday, 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to noon.

• Eagle Cap — Parents will receive a letter.

• Baker Middle School — Thursday, 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and then 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to noon.

• Baker High School — Thursday, 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the BHS Commons; Friday, 8 a.m. to noon.

Next week, there will be no school on Tuesday because of the Veterans Day holiday. Classes will be in session, however, on that Friday, Nov. 14, to fill out the four-day week schedule.

Students will be in class as usual Monday through Thursday the week of Nov. 17-20. 

And then teachers and students will be off Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — Nov. 26-28 — for the Thanksgiving holiday.


City's UV treatment plant was off line briefly Friday


Baker City's ultraviolet light water treatment plant, which inactivates any cryptosporidium that might be in the water, was off line briefly on Friday afternoon.

The cause was an electrical problem, the city announced in a press release this morning.

City staff worked with a local electrician to locate needed parts and get the system back on line early Friday evening.


Walden in Baker City: GOP majority in Senate could yield results


By Jayson Jacoby

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Congressman Greg Walden isn’t promising legislative miracles if his fellow Republicans gain a majority in the U.S. Senate Tuesday, but Walden did tell a Baker City audience that he believes GOP control would yield tangible results locally as well as nationally.

Walden, who is seeking his ninth term representing Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District, told about 40 people who gathered Sunday afternoon at the Geiser Grand Hotel that “elections matter.”

He talked in detail about a couple of the 380 bills that the House of Representatives has passed but which the Democrat-controlled Senate has not even considered.

One is a bipartisan bill that Walden co-sponsored and twice has shepherded through the House. The bill is designed to increase logging on public forests in Eastern Oregon.

Walden said he is distressed to see ailing forests that are susceptible to wildfires.

“I think most Oregonians, most Americans, would agree we can do better than we are,” Walden said. “I can’t look at the forests and believe they’re being well-managed.”

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


Baker’s biggest ‘B’ gets brighter


S. John Collins / Baker City Herald The huge ‘B’ on a hillside just west of Baker City has a fresh coat of white paint.

By Chris Collins

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Eleven Baker High School seniors made the long, steep hike up the foothills west of town last Saturday to become part of a long-standing tradition.

The students added a new coat of white paint to the gigantic letter B that represents their school on the hillside. The number 15 sits below and to the left of the B noting that the new paint was applied by members of the BHS Class of 2015.

The project was organized by Maddie Richards, senior class president.

Principal Ben Merrill praised Richards for her leadership skills in organizing the half-day project.

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


At Crypto Control

Baker City’s UV Light Water Treatment Plant Nears Completion


Read more...
S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Baker City's ultraviolet light water treatment facility nears completion. At lower left is one of three UV reactors with each utilizing 40 UV lamps. Doug Schwin, city engineer, said Thursday each reactor can handle 6 million gallons of water per day. During summertime high peak water use — about 7½ million gallons per day — two reactors will operate, he said. The third reactor will alternate its operation with the others. The plant's capacity is 12 million gallons per day, Schwin said.

By Joshua Dillen

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In spite of a lack of cryptosporidium oocysts found in Baker City’s water since August of 2013, there is still a full assault against the gut-wrenching organisms.

The city’s public works department has been using a portable ultraviolet light (UV) purification system in the war against cryptosporidium since March.

A new and permanent UV purification plant is almost completed and will be online next month for an initial startup.


Contractor will start lining sewer lines Monday


Starting Monday, Nov. 3, a contractor will be installing a lining in sewer and stormwater mains in several places in Baker City.

PEC Corporation of Helena, Montana, will be doing the work.

The process is called “cast in place pipe” and it doesn’t require workers to dig up pipes to replace them. Instead, the liner is installed into the existing pipe.

The work will take about two weeks, and there could be minor traffic disruptions in areas where crews are working.


Striking Back

Fundraiser For Domestic Violence Advocacy Organization


Read more...
Kathy Orr / Baker City Herald A MayDay fundraiser to help “Strike Out Abuse” drew people to Elkhorn Lanes in Baker City Saturday to participate in cosmic bowling. In Halloween costumes as two nerds are Shelby Griffith, left, and NovaLee Shoemaker. At right is Kerrie Fast as a snooty teenager. The event offered a silent auction, raffles, door prizes and prizes for best costumes. Proceeds from the event will help support MayDay programs for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse.

A cosmic bowling fundraiser Saturday afternoon and evening at Elkhorn Lanes in Baker City raised $2,055 for MayDay Inc., the nonprofit organization that helps victims of sexual and domestic violence and elder abuse.

The bowling event itself, which pitted teams of six against one another, raised $736 in entry fees, said Mark Bogart, a spokesman for MayDay.

Raffle tickets for a snowblower donated by Sears brought in another $260.

The remainder — $1,059 — was raised by other raffle and silent auction items.


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