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Against The Grain

Great Salt Lick Contest And Auction Coming Soon


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Photo by Whit Deschner Artist at work: A horse puts the finishing touches on a possible entry in the annual Great Salt Lick Contest.

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

This year’s Great Salt Lick contest and auction — themed “Poor Poor Lickable Me” — happens Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Events Center, 2600 East St. in Baker City.

Viewing and judging starts at 5 p.m., followed by refreshments, beer by Barley Brown’s and wine from Copper Belt. 

The auction begins at 7 p.m. with auctioneer Mib Daily.


Pocahontas Road repaving scheduled


Crews are scheduled to grind away the existing asphalt this Thursday on Pocahontas Road between 10th Street and the railroad tracks.

The section of road is slated to be repaved on Sept. 22 and 23.

Traffic will be restricted from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 11.

During the repaving on Sept. 22, the center and north lanes of Pocahontas will be closed during those hours, and on Sept. 23 the south lane will be closed.

Rain or other inclement weather could delay the work.

A traffic plan will be posted on the city’s website, www.bakercity.com. More information is available by calling 541-524-2063 or 541-524-2046.


Getting Your Goat

Fish And Wildlife Tries To Entice Mountain Goats Away From Campsites 


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Alex Pajunas/Baker City Herald file photo Mountain goats are willing photo subjects, but their lack of fear of humans can also pose a problem when the animals hang around campsites in the Elkhorn Mountains.

By Jayson Jacoby

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The mountain goats that amused and entertained us in the afternoon were a nuisance by dinner, and downright annoying as dusk settled over our camp at Twin Lakes in the Elkhorn Mountains.

It was Aug. 1.

My daughter Olivia, who’s 7, and my father-in-law, Howard Britton, pitched our two tents in a grove of subalpine firs at the northwest corner of the lower, and larger, of this pair of lakes in a glacier-carved basin about 13 miles west of Baker City.

 


4 of 7 councilors turn out to evaluate City Manager Kee


By Jayson Jacoby

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The Baker City Council convened in a special meeting Thursday evening to evaluate City Manager Mike Kee’s performance over the past year, but just four of the seven councilors turned out.

Councilors Roger Coles, Dennis Dorrah and Richard Langrell, each of whom has been critical at times of either Kee or members of his management staff, were absent.

Mayor Clair Button and councilors Kim Mosier, Barbara Johnson and Mike Downing, meanwhile, spent a little over one hour talking about their impressions of Kee’s work.


Baker City burn ban ends at 7 a.m. Friday


The ban on outdoor burning inside the Baker City limits will end at 7 a.m. Friday.

The end to the burn ban is due to recent rains and cooler temperatures, Fire Chief Jim Price said in a press release.

Residents still need a permit for open burning. Permits are available at the Fire Department on Second Street.


Idaho Power to build new power line near Halfway


HALFWAY — Idaho Power Company will be building a new power transmission line near Halfway this fall — and it’s right next to the existing line.

And that existing line will continue to bring power to the area while construction crews are working.

 “We are rebuilding the new line right next to the old line, so our crews will be extremely careful and aware of that energized line,” Project Manager Brett Flynn said in a press release. “It will be important to keep the power on during construction for residents of the Halfway and Richland areas."


More Keating mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus


Mosquitoes trapped Aug. 25 in Keating Valley tested positive for West Nile virus.

It's the eighth "pool" of mosquitoes in Baker County to be infected with the virus since July 21 (a pool of mosquitoes consists of 10 to 50 insects).

All eight pools were trapped in Keating Valley, said Matt Hutchinson, manager of the Baker Valley Vector Control District.

Hutchinson is responsible for controlling mosquitoes in the 200,000-acre district, which includes most of Baker, Bowen and Keating valleys.


Hiker OK after night lost

Searchers found Alice Covey, 65, of Halfway about 8:30 Tuesday morning, the day after she went missing


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Submitted photo Alice Covey, on horseback, arrives at the Summit Point trailhead Tuesday morning.

By Jayson Jacoby

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When Alice Covey realized she was lost in the Wallowa Mountains, she worried more about her family than herself.

“I didn’t want my family to worry,” said Covey, the 65-year-old Halfway woman who endured temperatures in the 30s Monday night before searchers found her about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Covey was hungry and thirsty, but otherwise healthy and happy.

Although ecstatic would better describe her emotion when she saw an Oregon State Police plane flying overhead Tuesday morning.


Back to Brooklyn

New modulars will accommodate larger-than-expected first grade 


Kathy Orr / Baker City Herald Hand in hand and starting a new school year Tuesday morning at Brooklyn Primary are Cameryn, left, and Dylan Conklin, with mom Joy Goodman.

By Coby Hutzler

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For many kids across the country, yesterday marked the first day of the new school year. 

That was certainly true at Baker City’s Brooklyn Primary School, where the atmosphere was both excited and ambitious as little ones became acquainted with new friends and new routines —and their new classrooms. 

Brooklyn is now home to three modular buildings purchased earlier this year, and while the units are ready for teaching, they’re awaiting a few final, behind-the-scenes touches. 

“The water is all connected, and although our land-line phone system is not fully operational, (staff members) are in contact via cell phones,” said Gundula O’Neal, Brooklyn’s principal.

The modulars’ arrival couldn’t have come soon enough.

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


Missing Halfway woman found safe


A Halfway woman who went missing Monday in the Wallowa Mountains was found safe this morning, Sheriff Mitch Southwick said.

Alice Covey, 65,  was camping with her husband and two or three other people in the Little Eagle Meadows area about three miles north of the Summit Point trailhead, Southwick said.

The group started out on a day hike toward Cornucopia on Monday, but Alice Covey turned back when she twisted her ankle, Southwick said.

When the others returned to their camp, Covey was not there. They searched but could not find her.

The Sheriff's Office received a call at 5:25 p.m. Monday, reporting that Covey was missing.

Searchers found Covey about 8:30 a.m. today. She was calling for help and appears to be in good condition, Southwick said.

After having some food and water, Covey will walk with searchers back to the trailhead, the sheriff said.


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