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Law could make sex offender data more accessible

There are 115 sex offenders registered in Baker County but only one will show up in a search of the Oregon State Police’s website.

And he no longer lives in Baker County.


A Clear Path

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S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Sorbenots Coffee employs Jamie McClaughry once a week to handle various jobs around the company’s main office and warehouse in Baker City.

Jobs for People With Disabilities: Second in a Three-Part Series

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are finding success in community employment did not come to that work by accident.

There are people working behind the scenes throughout the state and the county to help them find a job that fits their interests and abilities while meeting the employers’ needs as well.

Faces of people who are moving from sheltered workshops to community employment are featured on billboards and in advertisements as part of the Department of Human Service’s campaign titled “I Work We Succeed." 


Baker man accused of making a bomb

A Baker City man who’s been held at the Baker County Jail since Dec. 1 has been arrested on new charges accusing him of making a bomb.

Police Chief Wyn Lohner said Jonathon Romine, 35, of Baker City, was charged Tuesday with unlawful manufacturing of an explosive device and unlawful possession of an explosive device. Both crimes are Class C felonies.


Chamber of Commerce hires executive director

The Baker County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau has hired Shelly Cutler as executive director.

Cutler will start her new job on Jan. 4, 2016.

A liberal studies graduate of Eastern Oregon University,  Cutler has experience in communications, writing and marketing.

She is the new co-owner of  Tropical Sun Bronzing Spa on Court Avenue between Main and First streets.


Making it work for everyone

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Jobs for People with Disabilities: A Three-Part Series Starts Today

Changes are taking place daily for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Oregon, and for the agencies that serve them.

That change is motivated by the pending settlement of a class-action lawsuit that calls for moving people with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and integrating them into community employment.

The settlement and subsequent governor’s executive order requiring change have set in motion a massive statewide effort to accomplish that goal. 

Oregon’s “Employment First” policy is based on the philosophy that if the state is going to provide assistance for its residents, employment should come first, says Robert Costello, one of two field service managers for Oregon’s Vocational Rehabilitation Department.


Rape suspect served prison time

Robert Lee Witter of Huntington served 2 1/2 years for an attempted sexual abuse conviction in Multnomah County

An 80-year-old Huntington man accused of multiple sex crimes against children served 2 years in prison on a 2004 Multnomah County sex crime conviction.

Robert Lee Witter, who lives at 205 E. Adams St. in Huntington, was convicted for attempted first-degree sexual abuse and interfering with a police report in Multnomah County on Nov. 19, 2004.


Hungry Hordes

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S. John Collins / Baker City Herald file photo, 2014 Elk come down from the mountains to feed each winter at the Elkhorn Wildlife Area west of North Powder. The Wildlife Area consists of 10 feeding sites along the eastern base of the Elkhorn Mountains.

November Cold Snap Drives Elk To State-Owned Feed Sites

The elk showed up early, and they brought their appetites.

But Eddie Miguez was ready.

He would have preferred, though, that Northeastern Oregon’s first bout of wintry weather would have waited for, well, winter.

Miguez manages the Elkhorn Wildlife Area, a network of 10 sites along the eastern base of the Elkhorn Mountains where he and his crew of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) workers feed several hundred elk and deer each year.


Lighting Up Downtown Baker City

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Matt McBride, left, and Blain Leamaster top the community's Christmas tree in downtown Baker City Monday. The public works employees, including Justin Plumbtree, strung lights to prepare the spruce for the holiday season and the tree lighting that follows Saturday's Twilight Parade, which begins at 5 p.m. along Main Street. Other street decorations are being placed along main thoroughfares this week.

•  TWILIGHT PARADE: Starts Saturday at 5 p.m.

•  Awards for best use of lights, theme and music

•  Following the parade, caroling and lighting of community Christmas tree,   Court and Main streets


New charges for rape suspect

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Robert Lee Witter

Robert Lee Witter of Huntington is accused of raping one child and sexually abusing a second child

The Baker County District Attorney’s Office has filed nine additional sexual abuse charges against a Huntington man arrested last month on three sex crimes involving a child.

Robert Lee Witter, 80, of 205 E. Adams St. in Huntington, was arraigned Monday in Baker County Circuit Court on two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct, one count of encouraging second-degree child sexual abuse and felon in possession of a firearm.


Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort opens for the ski season this Saturday

The ski and snowboard season starts Saturday at Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort.

The ski area in the Elkhorn Mountains, 34 miles northwest of Baker City, has a 20-inch snow base, with more snow forecast later this week. 


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