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Woman gets 7 years for trying to hire a hitman

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A Baker City woman who tried to hire someone to kill her ex-boyfriend last year was sentenced Friday to seven years in a state prison.

Emily Alicia Munsell, 24, of 1356 Dewey Ave., pleaded guilty to one count of solicitation to commit murder and one count of criminal conspiracy.


Jordan's Story

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Michelle Ryan recalls Sept. 27, 2013, the day a pit bull fatally mauled her 5-year-old son

By Chris Collins

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Michelle Ryan has the details of her son’s death committed to memory, minute by minute.

At 9:04 the morning of Sept. 27, 2013, her three children were playing on the floor at Mary Lane’s home, where Michelle planned to leave the kids for a “play date” while she went to work.

The times marking the tragedy are clear in Michelle’s head because she was checking her phone to ensure she made it to her out-of-town job as a home care provider on time that morning.


Snow fence failure

ODOT officials say fence installed along I-84 in 2013 isn’t working, so the agency plans to move it farther from the freeway shoulder

By Joshua Dillen

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The state’s two-year, $435,000 experiment with a fence intended to keep snow from blowing across a section of Interstate 84 near Baker City didn’t pan out.

So the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) plans to move the snow fence a bit farther from the freeway’s westbound lanes near the Baker Valley rest area.


Flames Move Fast

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S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Baker City firefighter Jason Jacobs hoses the flames from atop the city’s ladder truck Monday afternoon.

Monday Afternoon Fire Destroys East Baker City Home

By Chris Collins

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A fire that burned hot and fast pushed dark black smoke into the air for several hours as it destroyed an east Baker City home Monday afternoon.

The Baker City Fire Department was called to the fire at 1710 Valley Ave. about 12:15 p.m., said Fire Chief Mark John. The property is owned by Kathleen Mitchell, 85, who had lived in the house since 1966. The four-bedroom, two-bath home was built in 1904, according to Baker County Assessor’s Office records.

Investigators believe the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in a downstairs bedroom, John said today.


City's water use plummets

By Joshua Dillen

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After a record-breaking deluge of rain over the weekend, has Baker City’s water supply situation eased?

Yes.

A city official estimated that water use plummeted by at least 50 percent during the rainy weekend.

“This rain has dropped usage drastically because people aren’t watering their lawns,” said Larry McBroom, the city’s engineering supervisor.


Rain record

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Lisa Britton/For the Baker City Herald Flood debris clogs an irrigation ditch near Keating.

Friday was the second-wettest day on record in Baker City

By Jayson Jacoby

jjacoby@bakercityherald

Frederick Phillips had never in his 63 years seen a rainstorm the likes of the one Friday evening that doused his ranch east of Baker City.

The slow-moving thundershower filled dusty desert gulches with muddy water that flattened fences and alfalfa fields and fouled cattle pastures with debris.

 “I’ve never seen Ritter Creek carry that much water,” Phillips said Sunday.


Bomb squad disposes of grenade

By Chris Collins

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An Oregon State Police bomb squad was called to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office Sunday night to dispose of a live hand grenade.

Sheriff Travis Ash said the grenade was delivered to the office by Heather Matheny, 27, of 3150 Third St. She had been cleaning a house at 2435 17th St. that had belonged to the late Merrill Carter, Ash said. Carter died on Aug. 5, 2014.


Driver reaches 125 mph during chase

By Chris Collins

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A Baker City man who led police on a high-speed chase through the east side of town and onto the freeway is in jail today facing multiple charges.

Michael Ray Schulte, 29, of 1555 Baker St., drove away from police who attempted to pull him over at 4:06 a.m. today at Oak Street and Washington Avenue, said Police Chief Wyn Lohner.

Schulte reached 125 mph on the freeway during the pursuit, Lohner said.


A Towering Task

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S. John Collins / Baker City Herald These mature trees on Second Street are typical of the age of shade trees in some Baker City neighborhoods.

Managing Baker City’s Aging Trees

By La’akea Kaufman

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As summer temperatures stay, well, summery, Baker City residents might seek relief under the branches of the town’s many trees.

Silver maples, black locusts, flowering dogwoods and lots of other species cast their shade throughout the city, which celebrated its 30th year as a “Tree City USA” this April.

Just five Oregon cities have longer runs as Tree Cities — Salem (39 years), Portland (38), Eugene (36), Sunriver (35), Rogue River (32).

Many of Baker City’s trees have been around for a lot longer, however, and are struggling with the standard wear that comes with old age.


No West Nile so far in 2015

By La’akea Kaufman and Jayson Jacoby

Baker City Herald

Baker County remains officially free of West Nile virus.


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