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Fugitive Timothy Keefe arrested

Timothy P. Keefe

Timothy Keefe, the fugitive who eluded Baker City Police last month, was arrested about midnight in Ontario. 

On November 24, 2014 at about 1:07 am Baker City Police received information that a man, driving a white pickup, had used blue emergency lights to stop a vehicle in Baker City and claimed to be a police officer. At about 1:20 am Officer Mike Lary of the Baker City Police Department located that vehicle, which was displaying flashing blue lights and attempting to stop another vehicle. Officer Lary attempted to stop the suspect vehicle, however, the vehicle failed to stop. Due to poor road conditions the 4 wheel drive vehicle was able to elude our officer.

Lots of Lights

HBC buys new lights, snowflake ornaments for community Christmas tree

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Justin Plumbtree, right, unrolls a 75-foot string of Christmas lights Tuesday. He and Blain LeaMaster, left, Baker City Department of Public Works employees, trimmed the community Christmas tree with new lights and snowflakes purchased by grants through Historic Baker City.

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

This year the community Christmas tree sports new lights and snowflakes thanks to several grants and donations to Historic Baker City Inc.

The tree, a Colorado blue spruce donated by Ken and Jill Gross, was cut down Nov. 22 and placed in its place of honor at Court and Main streets in downtown Baker City. As happens every year, a crew from Oregon Trail Electric Co-op (Tim Banister, Tony Hellbusch, Gene Nelson, Ned Ratterman and Jeff Anderson) donated their time, Chuck Carey felled the tree and Don Christy of Superior Towing hauled it downtown.

Truck driver killed in freeway crash

A truck driver from Yakima, Washington, died Monday afternoon when his truck crashed on icy Interstate 84 near Lime.

David. W. Herring, 62, was killed in the accident, which happened about 4:50 p.m. on the westbound freeway near Milepost 342, about 38 miles southeast of Baker City.

According to Oregon State Police, Herring, who was driving a truck hauling a 53-foot-long trailer, was rounding a curve when he lost control on the ice-coated freeway. The truck slid off the road into the median then went over an embankment and into a guardrail.

Following the crash, the semi-trailer was struck by two other vehicles, a passenger vehicle and a small box type truck, which were unable to avoid the trailer that was blocking the freeway. The occupants of both of those vehicles were transported to St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City to be examined. No significant injuries were reported. 

The crash blocked the westbound lanes of the freeway for several hours.

Fun for the entire family

Milo Higley, 3, slowly savors every bit of a cookie he and his mother, Melissa, decorated during the Family Fun Day activities at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center Friday. (S. John Collins/Baker City Herald)

By Joshua Dillen

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Happy trails and wagon-loads of fun are what Friday was all about on Flagstaff Hill.

Family Fun Day at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center is exactly what the name implies

Crafty is one way to describe the event.

Cookie creations, bird feeders, family tree handprints and even Christmas Tree decorations were items that children and their families could make.

Kevin and Melissa Higley brought their 3-year-old son, Milo, to the center.

Milo was especially interested in making a cookie in a jar.

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

5J extends superintendent search deadline

By Chris Collins

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The  Baker School Board has revised its schedule for seeking a new superintendent.

The advertising will continue an additional week, through Tuesday, Dec. 9,  for candidates to replace Walt Wegener. 

Wegener has announced that he will step down from his role as Baker School District superintendent on June 30, 2015. He was hired in 2010.

The advertisement also has been revised to specify that the job is a 260-day contract with a salary range of $94,728 to $115,473. Wegener’s 2014-2015 salary is $113,209.

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

Art For Everyone


This painting by Alyssa Peterson is one of three in the artist’s Geiser-Pollman Park series. Two of the paintings, including this one of the slide at the park, are on loan from Peterson and are displayed at City Hall. The city bought one of the three paintings. (S. John Collins/Baker City Herald)

City buys painting, also looking for ideas for old merry-go-round 

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

Baker City is seeking someone to give a new life to the merry-go-round that was removed from Geiser-Pollman Park this spring.

The piece, which is more than 50 years old, was part of the equipment replaced in May with new play structures. The merry-go-round was removed intact and saved.

Now the City’s Public Arts Commission is accepting proposals from artists who have an idea on how to preserve the merry-go-round.

Proposals will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2015.

Citizen Review Board here for children

By Joshua Dillen

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“Every day counts ... in the life of a child in foster care.”

The motto is a driving force behind the Citizen Review Board (CRB) of the  Oregon Judicial Department.

According to the department’s website the CRB, legislated in 1985, is a statewide foster care review program made up of citizen volunteers to help state courts ensure that case plans and services meet the needs of children in foster care.

Hospital program helps protect newborns

Allie and Zeb Scott get ready to take their newborn son, Grayson, home from St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City. (Lisa Britton photo)

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

Newborn Grayson Scott didn’t make a sound as his dad snugged a dark purple hat on his head — he simply yawned, and fell asleep snuggled in the arms of his mom.

Grayson’s parents, Allie and Zeb Scott, received the purple hat on Friday as part of the “CLICK for Babies” campaign at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City that raises awareness about the “Period of PURPLE Crying.”

PURPLE is an educational program offered in hospitals that explains normal crying patterns in infants, how to cope with a baby that can’t be soothed, and the importance of never shaking a baby.

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

Police search continues

By Chris Collins

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Police are continuing to search for a man who eluded an officer in a Monday morning chase and is suspected of impersonating a police officer by using flashing blue lights on his white pickup truck to pull cars over at night.

Police Chief Wyn Lohner has asked Baker City residents and area agencies for help in locating Timothy P. Keefe, 52, of 2018 Eighth St. Lohner said Keefe moved to Baker City recently from Ontario.

Officers followed up on leads and searched the Atwood Road area at the northeast corner of Baker City Monday afternoon without success.

“We had quite an extensive afternoon of searching Monday in high probability areas and are continuing today,” Lohner said Tuesday.

The chief advises anyone with information about Keefe to use caution and to call 9-1-1 if they see him.

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


South Baker student suspended for bringing pellet gun to school

By Chris Collins

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A South Baker student is at home today as discipline for bringing a pellet gun to school Monday.

The gun was not loaded and no students were hurt, said Betty Palmer, principal of the school of about 320 students in Grades 4-6.

Palmer said she became aware of the gun about noon Monday.

“We responded and the child is not at school,” she said. “We are meeting to decide long-term consequences."

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