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Catch The Wind

Five wind farms are being planned near Huntington and Lime 


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Kathy Orr/Baker City Herald The Elkhorn Valley wind farm near North Powder is the largest wind power development in the area. Five other smaller developments are planned in southeastern Baker County.

By Coby Hutzler

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Wind power in Baker County is lifting off. 

Within the past year, the county has given three conditional-use permits for a total of five wind farm sites, allowing for their construction to begin.

All the projects are situated in the hills surrounding Huntington and Lime, about 45 miles southeast of Baker City.

Bob Guertin of Oregon Windfarms, LLC, which is managing all five projects, said that while there are some intervening steps to take care of — including the installation of a substation — the projects appear to be in good shape going forward.

“We expect that sometime later this fall or early in the spring they’ll be in construction,” Guertin said.


Couple, pets avoid injury in house fire


By Chris Collins

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A south Baker City couple and their pets escaped injury  in a fire accidentally started in a bedroom of the home Tuesday morning.

Firefighter Sara Blair said the alarm was sounded at 11:05 a.m. with an initial report that Jack and Janice Clark were inside the home.


Baker man in critical condition after fire


By Chris Collins

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A Baker City man was in critical condition this morning at the Legacy Oregon Burn Center in Portland after a Monday night fire at his home.

Aaron Proffitt, 31, of 1370 Ninth St., was taken by Baker City ambulance to St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City and later flown to the Portland hospital.


Chalking It Up

Color Dash, sponsored by Baker High School Leadership Class, sponsors fundraiser for local family 


Kathy Orr / Baker City Herald A rainbow of colors drifted over the Baker Sports Complex Saturday morning when about 100 joggers, including Remington Benson, 7, ran a 1½ -mile course to raise money for a family in need. Suzy Cole, left, helped coordinate the event, which was put on by her Baker High School Leadership Class.

The sky was bright blue Saturday morning at the Baker Sports Complex.

Except for the clouds of red, yellow, orange, green, purple and, yes, blue.

The second-annual Color Dash raised an estimated $600 to help a local family, said Suzy Cole, who teaches the Baker High School Leadership Class, the event’s sponsor.

About 100 people ran a 1.5-mile course, during which students festooned runners’ white shirts with bright-colored clouds of chalk.

Cole said a Leadership Class committee, led this year and last year by Makenna Bachman, talked with principals at Baker schools and then chose a family as the beneficiary of the Color Dash.

The event will return next year.

 


Barley Brown’s caps festival with 4 medals


Barley Brown’s Brew Pub of Baker City topped all other Oregon breweries by bringing home four medals from the Great American Beer Festival this weekend in Boulder, Colorado.

No other Oregon brewer won more than three medals.

Barley Brown’s won two gold medals, for its Hand Truck pale ale and its Fresh Hop Pallet Jack IPA.

The brewery also won a silver medal for its Disorder, an American-style stout, and bronze for Turmoil, an American-style black ale.

Barley Brown’s, which operates both a brew pub and a tap house in Baker City, won five medals at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival, including three golds.

Last year the brewery was also named the nation’s top Very Small Brewer, and Eli Dickison and Marks Lanham were named top brewers in that category.


Wegener will retire next June


By Chris Collins

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With his 65th birthday looming in July,  the Baker School District superintendent has decided he’s ready for the next phase of life.

Walt Wegener announced Thursday that he will retire on June 30, 2015. He’ll leave the job with one year remaining on his three-year contract earning $110,989 per year.

Wegener said he began pondering retirement about six months ago.


Honoring Artists

Crossroads Carnegie Art Center Fundraiser Preview


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Kathy Orr/ Baker City Herald The art of Baker City potter Mary Sue Rightmire will be given one of two Honored Artist Awards during the Crossroads Carnegie Art Center fundraising gala Oct. 18.

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

The annual gala fundraiser for Crossroads Carnegie Art Center is set for Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Baker Event Center, 2600 East St.

The social hour and silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the live auction at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $37.50 a person and available until Oct. 10 at Crossroads, 2020 Auburn Ave.


Police arrest three suspects in drug-selling investigation


Members of the Baker County Narcotics Enforcement Team arrested two Huntington men and one woman Tuesday evening in Baker City on a variety of drug charges as part of a three-month, three-county investigation (Grant, Baker and Malheur) that was started by the John Day Police Department.

At 6:57 p.m., a Baker County Sheriff’s deputy and a sergeant from the Baker City Police Department stopped a 1996 Honda Accord at the South Baker City interchange on Interstate 84.

The officers arrested the driver, Jeremy McLean, 45, of Huntington, for criminal conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.


He brought Baker into the computer age

Richard Chaves To Receive Distinguished Alumni Award From Eastern Oregon University


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S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Richard Chaves will receive Eastern Oregon University’s Distinguished Alumni Award this weekend.

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

This weekend, Richard Chaves of Baker City will be honored with the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from Eastern Oregon University.

As part of the award, he will participate in EOU’s homecoming activities, including the parade Friday evening that begins at 5 p.m.

Chaves graduated from EOU in 1973 with a degree in business economics and a minor in math.

But how he got to that point is important to his story of success.

Chaves grew up in Baker City, where his father, Art, worked several jobs to provide for the family.


Idaho police say sex abuse suspect, who lived in Baker City, might have other victims


Lester Eugene Palmer

Idaho police say a man accused of sexually abusing a child younger than 16 might have other victims, and the man lived for a time in Baker City.

Lester Eugene Palmer, 54, was arrested Sept. 7 in Kootenai County, Idaho. He was extradited Sept. 16 to Canyon County, where he is charged with multiple counts and his bail is set at $500,000.

Nampa Police Detectives have information that there may be other victims in various states of where Palmer has had a previous residence. The incidents would likely have happened between 1994 and 2014 in Arizona, Oregon, Missouri, Illinois and South Carolina. Palmer spent time in Kellogg Idaho and Baker City as recently as April of 2014.

Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner said local records show that Palmer lived at 2787 Third St. in Baker City, and that Baker City Police had “contacts with him beginning Feb. 2, 2007, and the last was on Oct. 12, 2010.”

Anyone with information about Palmer or other possible victims is urged to contact Detective Kari Seibel at 208-475-5715 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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