Union County Farm Bureau announces inaugural scholarship

LA GRANDE — In its inaugural year, the Union County Farm Bureau scholarship is offering up to $1,500 in funds to Union County high school graduates and returning college students.

The scholarships are open to students who plan to further their education or a college or university to attain an agriculture, forestry, environmental, natural resource science or vocational degree. To be eligible, the applicant must have been a resident of Union County during high school years or attended high school in Union County, or the applicant or his/her parents must be a member of the Union County Farm Bureau.

Applications must be postmarked by April 1. Applications are available through the county’s school guidance counselors or from the Union County Farm Bureau.

NEOEDD Seeks civic projects

ENTERPRISE — The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District is seeking project submissions for its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

March 16 is the deadline for city and county governments and nonprofit organizations in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties to submit economic and community development projects. Transportation projects should only be included if there is a strong link to economic development. Private projects are not eligible.

The economic development district, which is updating its five-year plan, seeks information about projects that will have a positive effect on economic and community development and that are likely to be implemented in the next three years. The district’s board will consider adding new projects at its March 26 meeting.

The 2018-2023 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and 2019 update are available at www.neoedd.org/ceds. To submit project information, go to https://bit.ly/39b0yvj.

Bank of Eastern Oregon celebrates local anniversary

HEPPNER — This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of Bank of Eastern Oregon, based in Heppner. The bank in a news release announced it will celebrate the anniversary with open houses throughout the year at each of its 20 branches. The week of March 16-20 the celebration comes to the La Grande Branch, 2514 Cove Ave., La Grande. The week-long open house will feature an historical video, and cake will be served on Friday.

According to the announcement, a group of farmers and ranchers in 1945 saw a need for a bank in Eastern Oregon and founded the Gilliam County Bank in Arlington. The bank expanded in the 1950s, changing its name to Bank of Eastern Oregon, and moved its headquarters to Heppner. BEO now operates 18 branches, six loan production offices, and a mortgage division.

“Our current mission hasn’t changed from what our founders established in 1945,” CEO Jeff Bailey said in a written statement. “We still serve the needs of our rural communities, our local markets, by providing them financial services. In some areas, we’re the only bank in the county. And we take pride in that.”

Hot Top presentation focuses on customer service

LA GRANDE — La Grande Main Street Downtown is hosting a Hot Top gathering Wednesday at Le Bebe Cakes Bakery Coffee House, 1101 Washington Ave., La Grande. The interactive presentation, “Providing Excellent Customer Service,” begins at 8 a.m.

Hot Topics are short, pertinent topics on downtown-related themes. This week’s speakers will be Hailey Durrant of Community Bank, Jason Isaacson of Carpet One and Justin Rock of Rock and Sons.

Liberty Theatre Foundation elects new officers

LA GRANDE — Following the resignation of longtime chairman Michael Jaeger, the board of directors of the Liberty Theatre Foundation elected Ashley O’Toole, real estate agent and property manager at John J. Howard and Associates Real Estate. Jeff Clark, real estate agent at Blue Summit Realty Group, was elected vice chairman.

Construction work on the theater is moving ahead, according to the foundation, which set a goal having the theater in a usable condition by this fall.

O’Toole said he is hoping to expand the board this spring. Anyone who has an interest in serving on the foundation board is encouraged to send a letter of interest to O’Toole at Liberty Theatre Foundation, P.O. Box 3057, La Grande 97850, or email him at asotoole1985@gmail.com.

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