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Dale Mack charged with pointing firearm at another person, but D.A. says no evidence he fired shots

District Attorney said woman Mack is accused of assaulting allegedly fired two shots from handgun

By Jayson Jacoby

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A Baker City man is charged with several crimes after a domestic assault Thursday morning that prompted police to call in a SWAT team and close a section of North Cedar Street for several hours.

Dale Mack, 38, of 3660 Cedar St., who was arrested behind his home about 10 a.m. Thursday, was scheduled to be arraigned at 1:15 p.m. today in Baker County Circuit Court on six misdemeanor counts.

His bail was set at $52,500.

The Northeastern Oregon SWAT team, which is based in La Grande and includes members from Baker and Union counties, was summoned after it was reported that shots were fired during the incident.

District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff said there is no evidence that Mack fired the gun.

Rather, it appears that the woman Mack is accused of assaulting at his home grabbed a handgun and fired two shots, neither of which hit anyone, Shirtcliff said.



Baker schools were on "limited code yellow" during incident this morning

That's the lowest precaution level, meaning exterior doors were locked and monitored, but students could walk between classrooms inside the buildings

All Baker Schools inside the Baker City limits were on a "limited code yellow" status for a few hours this morning while police investigated a shooting on North Cedar Street.

In a "limited code yellow," schools' exterior doors were locked and monitored, Superintendent Walt Wegener said.

Teachers continued to teach, and students were allowed to move about inside the school as needed, he said.

The next highest level, "strong code yellow," requires students to remain in their classrooms, but teaching would continue, Wegener said.


Prison employee dies of apparent self-inflicted gunshot

Incident not related to shooting in north Baker City

An employee of the Powder River Correctional Facility in Baker City has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot, Baker City Police reported.

The incident is not related to the situation this morning in north Baker City in which at least two shots were fired but no one was injured, police said. 


No one injured in shooting in north Baker City this morning

Baker City Police and a SWAT team responded to an apparent shooting in north Baker City this morning.

No one was injured in the incident at a home on Cedar Street north of H Street, according to Baker City Police. 

Multiple sources have told the Baker City Herald that Dale Mack, a 1994 graduate of Baker High School, was involved in the incident.

However, it's not clear that Mack, who was arrested about 10 a.m., is being accused of firing a gun in what Baker City Police described as a "domestic violence incident."

"Two shots have been fired but at this time no injuries have been reported," according to a press release from Baker City Police.

Mack was still being processed at the Baker County Jail at 12:15 p.m. today, so the criminal charges he faces were not available. 

James and Betty Lissman, who live on the west side of Cedar Street north of H Street, said that about 9:45 a.m. they heard police on the east side of Cedar Street yelling through loudspeakers for "a person to come out of the house with his hands up."

Police were removing barricades and re-opening Cedar Street about 11 a.m. The street had been closed between H Street and Hughes Lane for several hours.

According to the Baker County Consolidated Dispatch Center, police were called at 1:06 a.m. to respond to a "suspicious situation" report at 3660 Cedar St. That property is owned by Daniel J. and Donna L. Mack, according to the Baker County Assessor's Office.

The Dispatch Center report says "city officers responded and cleared."

The Dispatch Center's website does not include any reports from the address later in the day. 

Check back to www.bakercityherald.com.


Baker County voters could decide whether to make commission positions non-partisan

Initiative petition won't affect this year's two county commission races; they'll remain partisan races

By Jayson Jacoby

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Baker County voters might get the chance in this November’s general election to make Baker County Commissioner positions non-partisan starting in 2015.

Randy Joseph, who lives near Sumpter, has submitted an initiative petition to make that change.



Steve Ellis promoted to top post in BLM

Steve Ellis, former supervisor of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, has been appointed to the senior career post in the BLM.

Ellis is the agency's new deputy director for operations.

Ellis has served in that role, on an interim basis, since July 2013.

He worked as Wallowa-Whitman supervisor from October 2004 until October 2010, when he was hired as Idaho state director for the BLM. 

Ellis and his wife, Linda, still own a home in Baker Valley. Linda Ellis is a family nurse practitioner at St. Luke's Clinic Eastern Oregon Medical Associates in Baker City.


City Council schedules special meeting to award Sam-O bid

The Baker City Council will have a special meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1655 First St., to award a bid for repairs at Sam-O Swim Center.


Waiting For White

Snowpack Makes Modest Gains

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Phillips Reservoir, in Sumpter Valley southwest of Baker City, is at about 15 percent of its capacity.

By Jayson Jacoby

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Jeff Colton is in the water supply business which ought to mean, in these days of drought, that he’s a worried man.

He’s not exactly bubbling with enthusiasm.

But he refuses to give in to, as he puts it, “doom and gloom.”

“I want to be optimistic, positive,” said Colton, who manages the Baker Valley Irrigation District.

His perspective is not without logic.

Yes, the snowpack in Northeastern Oregon is below average — in some areas well below.

But it’s equally true that, statistically speaking, the peak period for amassing snow won’t start for a couple of weeks.


Langrell claim hinges on 2005 record

By Pat Caldwell

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When is a deal a deal?

A good question under certain circumstances and especially relevant, it appears, when one considers the dispute between Baker City Mayor Richard Langrell and the city.

Langrell asserts the city owes him $14,907.71 in water and sewer fees he paid over the past nine years for his motel, the Always Welcome Inn.

The city contends it doesn’t owe Langrell a cent.

City officials maintain that in 2005 Langrell agreed to continue paying double water and sewer fees in exchange for a 10-year property tax waiver on his property after it was annexed into the city.


Wolf tracks found in northern Baker County

By Jayson Jacoby

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For the first time in almost five years, state officials have confirmed that multiple wolves have been roaming in Baker County.

Russ Morgan, the wolf coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said this morning he believes five wolves have spent at least the past month or so in the Medical Springs area, near the border between Baker and Union counties about 22 miles northeast of Baker City.

It’s possible the pack consists of four wolves — gauging numbers based solely on tracks in the snow isn’t precise — but Morgan said he believes there are five wolves in the group.

What’s not clear, since ODFW hasn’t actually seen the wolves themselves, is whether the pack includes a breeding pair, Morgan said.

Nor do biologists know the ages of the wolves, he said.

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