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County reviews drug cases

As OSP investigates misconduct at crime lab

Baker County District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff said today that his office will be reviewing 250 cases dating back to 2007 that might be affected by an investigation of an Oregon State Police lab analyst working in Bend.

Shirtcliff said he was notified of the impact the investigation could have on Baker County last week by the OSP Forensic Services Division.

Presidentís hug canít heal pain

Sumpter Woman Whose Son Was Killed In Iraq Visits White House

Michelle DeFord got a hug from President Barack Obama, but the tragedy that brought her to the White House on Sept. 10 caused her pain that no embrace could ever relieve.

Even when her audience includes the president, Michelle’s thoughts are with her eldest son.

Army Sgt. David Wayne Johnson DeFord was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, Iraq, on Sept. 25, 2004.

He was 37.

City's burn ban likely to continue until Oct. 1

Baker City Fire Chief Mark John said he expects to lift the city’s ban on outdoor burning on Oct. 1.

Continued elevated temperatures – 75 and higher — that are expected to be around for awhile are contributing to his decision to continue the ban that’s been in effect since early July.

“All it takes is about 72 hours for fuels to dry out to be receptive to fire,” John said this morning. “We just haven’t gotten enough moisture or rain to make a difference. Fire season isn’t over yet. It could still get crazy.”

John said lower nighttime temperatures and higher nighttime humidity levels are a plus, but that it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Tussle Over Towers

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald This property on East Street just north of D Street is one of two proposed sites for a cellphone tower.

Verizon Wants To Build Two 100-Foot Cell Towers In Baker City

To build or not to build. Data is the question.

Verizon Wireless’s request to build two 100-foot-tall cell towers in Baker City was considered by the Planning Commission Wednesday night at City Hall. The Council Chambers were packed with about 40 people.

Most of them were opposed to the construction of the towers.

Driver in fiery crash not cited

The Baker County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t intend to cite the Washington man who was driving the pickup truck that crashed Saturday afternoon on a gravel road north of Richland and caught fire, sparking the 17,800-acre Dry Gulch fire.

Dennis Nash, 40, of Vancouver, was driving his 2012 Ford F-350 on Eagle Creek Road, Sheriff Travis Ash said.

Nash lost control of the truck on a corner at about 3:10 p.m.

Baker scores much like others

Oregon’s First Results From Smarter Balanced Tests

Baker School District students performed much like others throughout the state on a new more rigorous testing system administered last spring.

Results were released Thursday by the  Oregon Department of Education.

Sheriff's report details crash that sparked Dry Gulch fire

At 3:10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, the Baker County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of 44675 Eagle Creek Road regarding a report of a vehicle crash that resulted in a fire.

Deputy Craig Rilee determined that Dennis Nash had been driving the vehicle prior to the crash. Nash had been traveling to meet the rest of his hunting party who were camped in the area. Nash was unable to negotiate a curve in the road, struck an embankment and ended up rolling his 2012 Ford F-350 pickup. Nash was not hurt.

School Board honors summer reading volunteers

Volunteers whose summertime reading efforts have helped Baker School District students improve their skills were honored by the Baker School Board Tuesday night.

The Baker County Literacy Coalition received the district’s Community Partner Award. Jim Tomlinson and RaeAnn Butler are co-chairs of the organization’s 10-member board, which also was represented by Aletha Bonebrake and Dave Coughlin at Tuesday’s meeting.

Rates to drop for Cascade Natural Gas customers

Cascade Natural Gas customers, including those in Baker City, will pay less for the fuel starting Nov. 1.

The company has filed a request with the Oregon Public Utility Commission to reduce its rates by about 7.1 percent.

Major change to Cycle Oregon: Riders will return Thursday night, and again Saturday

Cycle Oregon has changed the route plans due to the Dry Gulch fire near Halfway, and the bicyclists will not go to Wallowa Lake State Park as originally planned.

Instead, the bicyclists will return to Huntington/Farewell Bend Wednesday night, then arrive back in Baker City Thursday to again camp at the Sports Complex.

On Friday, the group goes to La Grande to spend the night there, then returns to Baker City Saturday for the finish.

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