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Parents object to 5J math curriculum

Parents concerned about the Baker School District’s new math curriculum will take their grievances to the Baker School Board Tuesday night.

The board will meet in regular session at 6 p.m. at the Baker School District Office at 2090 Fourth St.

A post on the Facebook page of the group “Parents for a Math Curriculum Change” calls for those who are concerned to attend Tuesday’s meeting.

City planners deny Verizon's requests for two 100-foot-tall cell towers

The Baker City Planning Commission has denied both of Verizon Wireless' applications for conditional-use permits to build 100-foot-tall cell towers, one at 2960 East St., the other at 2431 11th St..

The Commissioners, meeting tonight at Baker City Hall, determined that, based on the city's zoning ordinance, the proposed 100-foot towers' "negative impacts on adjacent properties and on the public" could not be mitigated.

The vote to deny the conditional-use permit application for the East Street property was unanimous. The company can build a tower up to 38 feet tall on that property without a conditional-use permit.

The vote to deny the permit for the 11th Street site was 4-3. Verizon could build a tower up to 50 feet high on that property.

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

Council OKs Kee’s retire plan

The Baker City Council approved a new contract with City Manager Mike Kee on Tuesday.

Kee, 57, who has been city manager since September 2010, will officially retire Nov. 1.

But the new contract will allow him to continue as manager another six months, through April 29.

Council appoints Sandy Lewis to fill vacancy

Sandy Lewis

The Baker City Council needed less than 10 minutes Tuesday night to appoint a councilor to fill the vacancy left when Ben Merrill resigned last month.

The Council appointed Margaret D. “Sandy” Lewis to replace Merrill.

Lewis, one of four residents who applied, will serve a term that ends Dec. 31, 2016.

Three of the six councilors voted to appoint Lewis: Rosemary Abell, Michael Downing and Mayor Kim Mosier.

Randy Daugherty, who served a four-year term as a councilor from 2003-06, received two votes, from Councilors Richard Langrell and Jim Thomas. 

City Council to talk annexation contracts, utility fees during closed session

The Baker City Council is scheduled to discuss during a closed meeting Tuesday evening the city’s annexation contracts, and whether the city owes refunds on water and sewer bills to any other landowners whose property was annexed into the city over the past decade or so.

The executive session, which is closed to the public, is slated for 6 p.m. at City Hall, 1655 First St.

The Council’s regular meeting will start at 7 p.m.

The Heat Of Battle

Lisa Britton / For The Baker City Herald Katrina Fast, left, and Grace Mothershed, along with their sister, Hannah Fast, not shown, participate as the team Fast and Furious for the first-ever Cast Iron Chef Dutch oven cook-off Saturday at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. The team ended up with Spam as a surprise ingredient that had to be incorporated into their meal.

Dutch Oven Cooking Competition At The Interpretive Center

For the inaugural Cast Iron Chef Dutch oven cook-off, six teams entered the competition Saturday to try their hand at creating a meal in a Dutch oven at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.

Only half had prior experience using the cast iron cookware.

Each team received the same base ingredients — roast, potatoes, carrots and onions donated by local producers — and then could choose anything from the table full of optional additions (bacon, spices, vegetables and much more).

City Manager Mike Kee planning to retire

Baker City Manager Mike Kee plans to retire, but not immediately.

Kee, 57, who has been city manager since September 2010, has proposed to retire in a legal sense on Oct. 31, then be re-hired, on a six-month contract, starting Nov. 1.

Forest In Focus

Jayson Jacoby/Baker City Herald file photo This view from the Lakes Lookout takes in Anthony Lake, right middle, and in the background much of the publicly owned forest included in the East Face project.

East Face Project In The Elkhorn Mountains: Forest Service proposes major timber sale, forest restoration work

By Jayson Jacoby

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The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is proposing one of its bigger timber sales in the past 25 years.

The East Face project is on the east slopes of the northern Elkhorn Mountains, mainly from the Anthony Lakes Highway north toward Ladd Canyon and the Grande Ronde Valley.

It includes about 48,000 acres of public land, mostly national forest, with about 1,200 acres of BLM ground.

County transfers land to Sumpter Valley Railroad

By Joshua Dillen

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Baker County commissioners on Wednesday approved the transfer of 54 acres of land to Sumpter Valley Railroad Restoration Inc. (SVRR). 

The company, which operates the steam-powered historic railroad in Sumpter Valley, requested the transfer of land at its McEwen Depot, about five miles southeast of Sumpter, in March.

At that time, public comments indicated positive support for the request, Baker County Parks Director Karen Spencer said.

Salvage logging possible

S. John Collins/Baker City Herald

Forest Service officials are asking the public for ideas about salvaging trees burned in this summer’s unprecedented wildfires in Baker County, as well as removing roadside trees that pose a danger.

The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is looking at options following the Cornet/Windy Ridge, Eldorado, Eagle Complex and Dry Gulch fires.

Combined those blazes burned more than 150,000 acres in Baker County, including about 48,725 acres on the Wallowa-Whitman. 


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