Governor Brown on Sage Grouse

Governor Brown: ‘I call on the Secretary of the Interior to Reconsider Undermining Protection for Sage Grouse’ (Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today released the following statement regarding the Department of Interior’s actions to remove protections for sage grouse across the West: “Oregon’s sage-grouse plan protects jobs in some of Oregon’s least populated counties…

Cattlemen’s Ball Goes “Old Hollywood” for PAC Fundraising Event

Cattlemen and ranching advocates convened on the beautiful property of Sunriver Resort on a Saturday night, dressed in their finest to support the political actions of the Oregon cattle industry. To a theme of “Old Hollywood,” the stars of the show were the table sponsors and the keynote speaker; Gubernatorial Candidate Dr. Knute Buehler.  …

Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Las Vegas, Nevada

Presidential Proclamation Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Las Vegas, Nevada HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE TRAGEDY IN LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – – – – – – – BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION Our Nation is heartbroken. We mourn with all whose loved ones were murdered and injured…

Senior Projects Enrich Rural Communities

By Trish Yerges Every year like clockwork, small rural communities become the recipients of generous gifts created by or facilitated by high school seniors and their senior projects.   The majority of public high schools of Union, Wallowa and Baker counties include a senior project requirement for graduation in their curriculum.   “Imbler School District…

Small Town Limousine – Big Town Class

  By Trish Yerges When it comes to class, nothing beats arriving at an event in a luxury stretch limousine driven by a professional chauffeur. That’s what Justice Clark, owner of Small Town Limousine of La Grande offers his customers.   “Before I bought this limousine, I had never been in a limousine in my…

Oregon House Approves Rep. Barreto’s ATV Highway Access Bill

The Oregon House of Representatives approved HB 2910 A, legislation that seeks to make it easier for Oregonians in rural communities to access rural roadways with all-terrain vehicles in authorized areas. Under current law ATVs are not permitted on state highways, which can prevent Oregonians from accessing their own property if it is separated by…

Oregon Unemployment Rate Dropped to 4.6 Percent in December

  Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent in December, from 5.0 percent in November. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in December, down from 5.3 percent in December 2015.   Oregon’s unemployment rate and its decline over the year are comparable with the U.S.   In December, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 5,000,…

Community Bank’s Charity Drive Produces Over $24,000

The annual Charity Drive was conducted in Community Bank’s full-service branch locations during November, through December 20th. The program is an effort to collect donations in branches to benefit charities in that same area. The bank matches donations at $0.50 on each dollar, with a max match amount of $500 per branch location. This season…

Columbia Bank Launches the 2016 Warm Hearts Winter Drive

Wintertime Campaign Benefits Homeless Shelters Across The Northwest   Tacoma, Wash. – Nov. 21, 2016 – Today Columbia Bank launches the annual Warm Hearts Winter Drive to benefit homeless shelters in communities across the Northwest. Now through December 31, 2016, Columbia Bank will be accepting cash donations and new winter wear attire as it aims…

Governor Brown Appoints Eloisa Miller as Economic and Business Equity Manager

(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today named Eloisa Miller as her Economic and Business Equity Manager. Miller will focus on addressing issues of equity and advancing priorities for Minority-owned, Woman-owned, Emerging Small Businesses, and Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (Certified Firms).   “Eloisa has a strong commitment to equity and ensuring that businesses have a…

BMCC Awarded Grant for Project to Improve Transition From High School to College

Blue Mountain Community College was this week awarded a $5,000 grant to help bring high school and BMCC students together to improve the transition from high school to higher education. Campus Compact of Oregon awarded the mini-grant to BMCC, and the funds stem from a larger $50,000 grant Campus Compact was selected to receive from…

Travel Oregon Awards More Than $500,000 for Local Tourism Projects

An artisan food trail, wayfinding signage and non-stop air service will now be available for visitors and locals, thanks in part to $560,000 of matching grant funding awarded by the Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon. Travel Oregon administers a competitive program that makes grant awards to eligible applicants for projects that contribute to the…

Travel Oregon Wins National Tourism Industry Award

Recognized for Best Broadcast Advertising for 7 Wonders of Oregon Television Spots   Winners of the National Council of State Tourism Directors (NCSTD) 2016 Mercury awards were announced this week during U.S. Travel Association’s annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference held this year in Boca Raton, Fla. The NCSTD honored Travel Oregon with…

New Network Aims to Strengthen Oregon’s Food Future

40 Nonprofits See Common Cause in Local and Regional Food Systems   The Oregon Community Food Systems Network (OCFSN) is a newly launched collaborative involving 40 nonprofit organizations and partners dedicated to strengthening local and regional food systems in order to deliver strong economic, social, health and environmental outcomes across the state.   OCFSN has…

PARKING FEE WAIVED FOR ‘GREEN FRIDAY’ AT OREGON STATE PARKS

November 15th, 2016 5:00 PM Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) invites the public to visit state parks for free on Nov. 25. For the second successive year, the department will wave day-use parking fees at the 26 state parks the charge them.   “We invite you to join a new tradition: Green Friday,” said…

My View

There is never a lack of stories when it comes to writing about Northeast Oregon, but there is the lack of time to write them all. With 2016 quickly coming to a close I guess it is time to think about the future and what it may hold.   The amount of support I continue…

Joe Wiegand Amazes Crowd as the Virtual Teddy Roosevelt

by Betty Jane Holt   A mesmerizing performance was given by Joe Wiegand at the financial event sponsored by Marc Robins of the Robins Equity Roundup. I was tired and just wanting to go back to the Hampton Inn and get in the hot tub until the introductions were made for the 32nd president of…

LG Gains New Second-Hand Store – Patty Cake’s Corner

By Trish Yerges   Patti Cake’s Corner, 2701 Bearco Loop in La Grande opened for business Sept. 1 as a sole proprietorship by Patsy Hoadley, who has five years of experience in retail, second-hand merchandising.   “I’ve had a retail second hand shop years ago called Island City Trading Post,” Hoadley said. “I took a…

Holiday Inn Express and to Open in November in Hermiston

By Lori Kimbel   November 15 is the target date for the opening of Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Hermiston, located at 245 North 1st Street.   There are 93 rooms at the Hermiston Holiday Inn Express, which include 17 suites. A pool, guest laundry, fitness center, and 374 sq. ft. of flexible meeting…

Andrew Muse and His Tiny Home Adventure

By Lori Kimbel   Twenty six year old Andrew Muse is living a life full of adventure and excitement. A life many would love to have just a taste of. Traveling the country with his golden lab, canine companion, Kicker, Muse is seen grinning from ear to ear with each new-found, adrenaline-charged quest and Kicker…

Oregon to Convert Messages into Video Instructions for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Residents

Oregon state government is launching a new effort to support deaf and hard of hearing Oregonians. Held quarterly, New American Sign Language (ASL) video workshops tap native-speaking ASL interpreters to convert agency messages into video instructions that improve access to online services for these traditionally underserved residents.   In recent years Oregon has increased accessibility…

Life Flight Network Named the #1 Large Nonprofit to Work for in Oregon

Life Flight Network was recognized last week by Oregon Business as the best large nonprofit to work for in Oregon. For the seventh year in a row, Life Flight Network has been ranked in the top 15 best large nonprofit employers to work for in Oregon. This is the second time Life Flight Network has…

Things Are Hopping for Oregon Dept of Ag. Inspectors

While you quietly sip a beer this month, it’s more than likely that Judy Parent and Erin Harding are painstakingly picking out leaves and stems from the Oregon hops that might be an ingredient of that brew. The two women aren’t necessarily cleaning up the hops but, in fact, inspecting samples of this year’s harvest…

New Hydropower Facility at Spaur Ranch Produces Clean Energy While Promoting Rural Resiliency

New hydropower facility at Spaur Ranch produces clean energy, promotes rural resiliency Local officials celebrate the second project at Northeastern Oregon ranch   Spaur Ranch celebrated its second small hydropower facility today. Oregon State Senator Bill Hansell, local landowners, government officials, and tribal, nonprofit and utility representatives attended the event in recognition of the efforts…

Oregon receives $1.7 million in specialty crop funds

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and US Department of Agriculture have announced this year’s recipients of Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds. In Oregon, nearly $1.7 million will fund 15 projects to help boost the competitiveness of the state’s fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery crops, and other specialty crops.   “These funds go a long…

SeaPort Airlines, Inc. Ceases Operations and Converts to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

September 20th, 2016   SeaPort Airlines, Inc. Ceases Operations and Converts to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy PORTLAND, ORE. (September 20, 2016) – Portland, Oregon-based SeaPort Airlines, Inc. announced that it is ceasing all operations at the close of business on September 20, 2016. The airline made a motion today to convert is bankruptcy proceedings from Chapter…

SeaPort Airlines Provides Non-Stop Service to Pendlton Round-Up

SeaPort Airlines gives small communities access to National Transportation Network.   The Pendleton Round-Up Queen and Court and Happy Canyon Princesses recently gathered at Portland Airport’s Pendleton Woolen Mills Store to celebrate Pendleton Round-Up’s trail-blazing partnership with SeaPort Airlines connecting Portland and historic Pendleton.   In addition to providing visitors easy and inexpensive transportation to…

Retirement Savings Plan Set to Launch in July 2017

Flexible and simple: Employer feedback helps design key elements of retirement savings plan, set to launch in July 2017.   Retirement Savings Board approves framework that includes a phase-in for smaller employers.   The voices of employers statewide are influencing the design of the landmark Oregon Retirement Savings Plan, which will provide potentially 1 million…

Oregon Timber Harvest Decreases in 2015

After two years at slightly above four billion board feet, Oregon’s timber harvest dropped below that in 2015 to a number on par with the 2012 harvest, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry’s annual timber harvest report, issued this week. From 2014 to 2015 there was an approximate decrease in harvest of eight percent…

Oregon Launches Initiative to Spur Rural Entrepreneurship

While participating in the Coastal Caucus Summit in North Bend, Business Oregon announced the launch of its new Rural Entrepreneurship Development Initiative (REDI), a public-private partnership to increase entrepreneurship in rural areas of the state.   “Oregon small businesses are the backbone of a thriving Oregon economy,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “The Rural Entrepreneurship…

Cocktails for Two Many

by Marc Robins CFA   Nearly two decades ago, I was the CEO of Moonstruck Chocolate for about a year. The Robins Group had been associated with the upstart Chocolatier helping to raise money, give guidance and on a more personal note sponsor and co-finance the “new” Chocolate Café that opened on 23rd Avenue in…

Students Advocate for Healthy Snacks

By Kym Pokorny Six Union County grocery stores in Oregon have removed some chips, candy and other high-fat, high-sugar foods this year to create healthy “snack zones.”   The shelves and cases filled with nutritious food were promoted by elementary and middle school students in Cove, Elgin, Imbler, North Powder and Union. They approached the…

RDO Equipment Co. Employee Celebrates 40-Year Milestone

Customer Service Representative at RDO Equipment Co. in Hermiston honored for years of service.   Reinie Fischer, Customer Service Representative at RDO Equipment Co. in Hermiston, recently celebrated his 40-year anniversary with the company. RDO Equipment Co. employees throughout the region’s stores, along with customers and family members gathered at the store to honor Fischer…

Oregon Army National Guard Celebrates Solar Energy Milestone

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden toured the solar electric system at Pendleton Army Air Support Facility #2, which is a key component to Oregon Army National Guard’s effort to achieve net-zero energy use by 2020. Net-zero energy occurs when a building or facility’s annual energy consumption is equal to the amount of renewable energy created on-site….

EOU earns national recognition as “College of Distinction”

Innovative application of high impact educational practices has earned Eastern Oregon University recognition among the nation’s “Colleges of Distinction.”   The listing appears in the new 2016-17 Colleges of Distinction Guidebook. Innovative learning opportunities at EOU and other top schools across the country are highlighted in the publication, available September 6 in digital and print…

“Base to Bachelor’s” Creates Clear Path to Applied Science Degree

By Laura Hancock   Students enlisting in the U.S. Air Force can take their careers to a higher altitude with a bachelor’s of applied science in business administration from Eastern Oregon University.   EOU is partnering with Klamath Community College’s (KCC) “Base to Bachelor’s” program to create a smooth ascent for students who have already…

My View – What a Summer!

Wow! What a summer!     I hope your summer has been every bit as fun as mine has. This past Saturday I attended the annual Timber Tiger Lodge party, which takes place on the side of the Elkhorn Mountains, overlooking the entire Baker Valley. The food was fabulous, the band was amazing, the dancing,…

Not Your Grandfather’s Rodeo

By Art Hill   Daring young men and women and their flying machines were out in force to kick off the first-ever Ag Drone Rodeo at Ron Linn’s airfield west of Pendleton during the third week of August.     On day one, surrounded by wheat and potato growing operations, Linn was among the folks…

The Little Mermaid at the Historic Elgin Opera House

By Lori Kimbel Without a doubt the Elgin Opera House is the place to be on Fridays and Saturdays throughout September as the Little Mermaid graces the stage. Opening night jitters seemed to be non-existent as these well versed actors and actresses took to the stage time and again after each and every set change….

Energy Trust of Oregon Founding Executive Director Honored with National Award

  Margie Harris receives the 2016 Champion of Energy Efficiency in Buildings Award from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy   PORTLAND, Ore. — August 24, 2016 — Margie Harris, founding executive director of Energy Trust of Oregon, received an award yesterday from the American Council for an EnergyEfficient Economy (ACEEE). She has been…

Massive Monkees Bring Seattle Street Style to Wildhorse

Pendleton, OR – July 30th will be a full day of entertainment at Wildhorse and not just at the concert featuring Vanilla Ice and Morris Day & the Time but throughout the property.   Massive Monkees, a top hip hop/break dancing group from Seattle, WA will also perform at Wildhorse. A specialized and skilled art…

John Kueber Creates Jrrny.com for Travel Blogger Enthusiasts

By Lori Kimbel John Kueber’s first attempt at public office, a bid for president of the junior high he had just started attending where he was known mostly as ‘the new kid’, taught him a lot about failure. Kueber lost the election by a landslide. “I didn’t really let it bug me,” he said. “It…

Pendleton’s Future Farm Project Serves Global Ag Producers

Farming used to be among the lowest-tech industries on the planet. Not anymore.   Seed and soil, moisture and muscle are still important components. But now there’s a new one – technology.   Technology is everywhere in agriculture from the largest to the smallest operation. GPS helps position equipment so not a row is wasted….

Hobby or Recreational Use of UAS on National Forest System Lands

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (link is external) has regulatory authority over all airspace, including recreational use of airspace by model aircraft (See FAA Advisory Circular 91-57) (link is external). The U.S. Forest Service does not have the authority to establish any additional regulations regarding where UAS can or can’t be flown. Individuals and organizations…

Oregon’s UAS Test Ranges embrace new Part 107 Rules

The announcement of the Part 107 rules for UAS (Drones) has been a long time coming. Part 107 will essentially replace the need for the vast majority of Section 333 Exemptions – the way commercial operators were able to legally fly up until now. The 333 exemption was initially (a year ago) viewed as a…

First Draft Writers’ Series Brings Authors to Life

The Pendleton Center for the Arts has a winner on its hands with its First Draft Writers’ Series. Every third Thursday at 7pm, published and aspiring authors and poets from all over the region come together to share their work. Some read from their books, others from printed or handwritten manuscripts, and some from the…

New Owners at Timberlake Campground and RV Park

By Lori Kimbel Kyle and Marissa Vaner Borght knew they wanted something more than the life they were living in Burbank, California. Their day to day lives lead them down the black pavement to work then home again. Their kids played on pavement at the school they attended and played basketball on pavement in front…

Pacific Ag Acquires Calagri

Acquisition Further Expands Harvest and Supply Footprint, Strengthens Year-Round Availability and Streamlines Delivery of Agricultural Residue and Forage to Customers Throughout the Pacific Northwest Pacific Ag, which operates the nation’s largest crop residue supply chain, has acquired Calagri, a leading regional agricultural residue and hay harvesting company. The transaction further solidifies Pacific Ag’s ability to…

BMCC, CTUIR renew agreement for Native American Advisory Board

Officials from Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC) and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) recently renewed an agreement to continue the join Native American Advisory Board to enhance the education of Native American students and educate BMCC students about the CTUIR. The Memorandum of Agreement was signed during BMCC’s regular Board of…

Jackson Sundown Centennial Edition 1916 – 2016

Jackson Sundown was an iconic western figure. He was a nephew of the famous, Chief Joseph, and his life spanned from the Indian wars to frontier settlement. Jackson Sundown was a warrior on the Nez Perce retreat and was wounded at the Battle of Bear Paw. Rather than surrender, he escaped into Canada, and for…

22nd Annual Wildhorse Resort & Casino Pow Wow

More than $80,000 in cash and prizes was up for grabs at the 22nd Annual event. Wildhorse expected 25 drum groups to be on hand and more than 300 native dancers in the competition. The colorful dance performances, as well as the Native American food and craft booths were free to the public. The grand…

Chart-Topping Country Star Lee Brice to Kickoff Happy Canyon’s Centennial Week

Country music sensation and winner of the 2015 Academy of Country Music Awards’ Single Record of the Year, Lee Brice will headline the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon kick-off concert on Saturday, Sept. 10. Singer, songwriter, and producer, Brice is known for his award-winning hits “I Don’t Dance” and “I Drive Your Truck,” which won…

‘Cause That’s Where the Money Is’

by Marc Robins CFA I’ve been to LasVegas, Reno and Tahoe countless times, and I hold the distinction of losing just 75¢. How did this miserly figure come about? I was sent to interview management way back in the late 1970s and as I was leaving Las Vegas to fly home, I plugged a slot…

Author Publishes “Venture Finance” for Business Owners, Funders, Advisors

Author, Art Hill has published the 2016 Edition of Venture Finance and it is now available at bookstores, and Amazon.   Venture Finance is a book designed for entrepreneurs and business owners to guide them as they manage their business finances regardless of business type, size, or stage of growth.   “Venture Finance covers all…

Groundbreaking at Elgin Health District Rural Health Clinic

What started out as just a ‘shot in the dark’ dream, is one step closer to reality as the Elgin Health District Rural Health Clinic holds a ground breaking ceremony before the actual construction begins on the $2.25 million building.   With $257,120 already in the bank the Elgin Health District capital campaign committee is…

Merkley Announces $52 Million in Energy Loans for Rural Communities

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make $52 million in loans available to rural electric co-ops through the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP). RESP is a program designed by Senator Merkley to allow rural electric co-ops to offer their customers low-interest loans from USDA to provide affordable…

Cinnamon Cottage Expands to La Grande Main Street

by Trish Yerges   Cinnamon Cottage gift and accessories shop has made its debut to the La Grande downtown district at 1112 Adams Avenue. It is co-owned by long-time friends and business collaborators Sandy Rysdam and Myra Britschgi.   Their business was founded in 1993, and for 22 years the two women worked out of…

My View – June/July 2016

Here we go, summer is in full swing. It’s time for camping, fishing, bike riding, kayaking, hiking and all other types of outdoor activities.   I was lucky enough to start my summer off at Barton Park in Boring, Oregon where a portion of my family got together to camp, tell tall tales around the…

Eastern Oregon Business Innovation Network and Accelerated Learning Channel Closer to Launch

The Eastern Oregon Business Innovation Network (EOBIN) and it’s Accelerated Learning Channel (ALC) moved closer to launch with two key benchmarks recently cleared by its start-up team.   The first was delivery of architectural renderings of the EOBIN facility planned for Milton-Freewater to Mike Watkins, Economic Development Director for the City of Milton-Freewater.   Designed…

Love’s Opens In Boardman

Drivers in northeast Oregon have a new option to purchase fuel, snacks and more, as Love’s Travel Stops opened its doors for business today in Boardman, Oregon, along Interstate 84, Exit 159. Boardman marks Love’s third location to open in Oregon. “We are excited to bring new restaurant offerings, services and a safe place for…

Eastern Oregon State Highway Construction Underway

LA GRANDE, Ore. – Highway construction season has begun and several projects are currently underway. Eastern Oregon travelers can expect to see orange traffic cones and construction workers at several dozen work sites throughout the year along Interstate 84 and secondary state highways. ODOT reminds motorists to slow down, pay extra attention and be prepared…

Dengue, Ebola and Zika…..Oh My!

by Marc Robins CFA Nothing confounds me more than the fact that our collective society (and government) is (are) more worried about “Climate Change”, “global warming”, or “Climate Disruption” that may occur some 25 to 50 years out in the future (and the operative word is “may”), while zoonotic viral diseases are killing mankind right…

Barn at Tamarack Springs – A Venue with a View

by Trish Yerges If you have ever dreamed of a picturesque wedding day surrounded by green pastures and a forested mountain backdrop, the red Barn at Tamarack Springs in Summerville would be the venue to book.   Co-owners Deana Coppinger and her daughter Tara Kunz are event and wedding planners at the Barn at Tamarack…

Senate Passes Bipartisan Energy Bill with Big Benefits for Fish and Wildlife

Sportsmen have been fighting for years to move these conservation priorities across the finish line. The Senate has just passed a comprehensive energy reform bill that includes key conservation provisions to benefit fish, wildlife, and sportsmen’s access. This is a true bipartisan achievement that highlights our uniquely American conservation values. “Sportsmen’s groups, including the Theodore…

Wholly Guacamole That Was Good – El Sirloin

By Lori Kimbel Milton-Freewater is home to one of the best Mexican food buffet’s one could hope for; El Sirloin located downtown Old Town MiltonFreewater.   With a huge variety of tasty dishes you will want to be sure and bring a hearty appetite.   Choices include enchiladas, chili relleno, chicken, beef, and shrimp fajitas,…

Be Pleasantly Surprised at Fringe Salon and Boutique

By Lori Kimbel   Cosmetologist, Emily Hendricks stepped into a former beauty salon at 612 N. Main Street in downtown Milton-Freewater and her imagination took over. For decades the building had welcomed clients to come, sit, get beautified and rejuvenated under the name Vera’s Beauty Salon; Hendricks decided she would make that happen once again….

Fraud – What Does the Business Owner Need to Know?

By Scott Wallace Accounting Instructor, Blue Mountain Community College, Staff Accountant, Read & Bose PC Pendleton, OR   Twenty three years ago I had a job interview with the owner of a small business in Seattle. The question she asked me was what could she do to protect her business from fraud? She really had…

Solar Carport Dedication at Tamastslikt Cultural Institute

A dedication ceremony inaugurating the new solar panel carports at Tamástslikt Cultural Institute will took place on Friday, April 22 Speakers from thevarious funders as well as the Umatilla Confederated Tribes and the Tamástslikt Trust Board were present and a blessing took place. Tamástslikt’s solar energy project is called “Híisemtuks” in Nez Perce, meaning the…

EOU Millennial Community Sends Loupe, Attila to New York City

By Seth Dahle   People come and go as they please, patiently strolling along Adams Avenue as the sunlight shrivels behind Morgan Lake. The Liberty Theater sign pops on, shimmering with its showy glow on the relatively quiet street. Travel a bit further down the avenue, and one shall find the radiance of the Granada…

My View – May/June 2016

Have you ever had on of those weeks where everything just came together? I had the good fortune of spending five days in Pendleton, Oregon, home of Eastern Oregon’s signature event, the Pendleton Round-Up. The Round-Up wasn’t happening at the time, but good old fashioned Pendleton hospitality was alive and well at the Oregon Governor’s…

Spring Brings Mushrooms to the Blue Mountains

It’s about that time again when fungi begin pushing their way up through the soil. Avid mushroom hunters, both recreational and commercial, await their arrival every spring. A permit is not required to harvest, possess, or transport less than one gallon in Oregon or less than five gallons in Washington. These free-use mushrooms are for…

Statement from Senator Wyden on the End of the Harney County Standoff

“Oregonians across our state are grateful to the Harney County Sheriff’s Department, federal law enforcement, and local and state officials for ending this standoff without additional loss of life. The steady resolve of the Burns community and Harney County leaders like County Judge Steve Grasty and Sheriff Dave Ward has kept this sad episode from…

My Fair Lady — A Loverly Experience

My Fair Lady — A Loverly Experience By Trish Yerges   The Elgin Opera House is presenting “My Fair Lady” each weekend through March 12, and if opening night is any indication of its perfection, audiences will be delightfully entertained with the music by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner. This show is…

Greenwood Resources Earns Forest Stewardship Award

GreenWood Resources, Inc., a Portland-based global investment and timber management company, has received a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Leadership Award, which recognizes excellence in the use of FSC-certified products and a commitment to responsible forest management.   Thirteen companies from across the country earned awards from FSC, an independent nonprofit organization that promotes environmentally sound,…

US Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council Releases 10-year Action Plan

A federal council today released a plan that identifies specific goals, actions, and recommendations for improving the status of urban and community forestry for the U.S. and its territories. The plan serves as a framework for awarding nearly $1 million in U.S. Forest Service grants to organizations, including grassroots nonprofits, academic researchers, private practitioners and…

State of the City, From the Desk of Mayor Allen Duffy

To the residents of Elgin, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your mayor this year. I have enjoyed working with the City Council, the Administrator and the hard-working and dedicated employees of the city of Elgin. I have also enjoyed the wise council of many of our Elgin residents. This…

Maintaining Good Bridges Is Critical To a Strong Economy

Bridge condition report identifies need for stable strategic investment to protect Oregon’s economy and lifestyle.   Oregon’s bridge system needs continual investment to avoid falling into a state of disrepair.   The latest bridge condition report from the Oregon Department of Transportation puts a dollar figure to the cost to Oregon’s economy if the state’s…

Wildhorse Foundation Launches New Website

The Wildhorse Foundation, a community benefit fund established by the Consfederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) as a result of its gaming operation, launched a new website for those interested in submitting a grant application; http://www.thewildhorsefoundation.com/.   Until now, the Foundation information has been located on the Wildhorse Resort & Casino website. “As…

Willow Creek Horse Bed ‘n Breakfast Welcomes Trail Riders

by Trish Yerges Scenic Summerville is known for its horses, fertile fields, and nearby trail heads, but now it can also claim its first bed and breakfast business that caters to travelers with horses.   Lyndall Shick, owner of Willow Creek Horse Bed ‘n Breakfast, 65159 Courtney Road, Summerville, opened her home and gambrel barn…

Rising Firefighting Costs Raises Alarms for Forest Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2015 — For the first time in its 110-year history, the Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is spending more than 50 percent of its budget to suppress the nation’s wildfires. A new report released today by the Forest Service estimates that within a decade, the agency will spend…

Grizzly Complex Firefighters Says Today Was a Good Day “to be mopping up”

UPDATE August 30, 2015 –  9 p.m.  Grizzly Complex firefighter says today ​ was a good day “to be mopping up”            Elgin, Ore. – On the north end of the fire, crews engaged in constructing  and improving containment lines around the 74,070-acre Grizzly Bear Complex  and 732-acre Bear Ridge Fires today.  Both still include significant heat and  abundant fire.    Working under cloudy skies and in chilly winds didn’t seem to dampen the  spirits of firefighters whose high morale was observed and reported by a safety  officer from the Australian Tactical Team.  According to one of the firefighters  working on the Grizzly Bear Complex Fire, “Today was a good day to be  mopping up.”     Nearly a quarter-inch of rain fell on the northern part of the fire today.  Less  was reported elsewhere, dampening the grass and fine fuels and making mop  up much easier for the nearly 750 firefighters who continue to improve and mop  up fire lines around the fire perimeter.    Mop up standards have been set for the fire crews, dictating how much of the  fire must be completely extinguished. For example, firefighters must completely  mop up inside the fire perimeter along containment lines and around structures  to a distance adequate to secure the fire from escaping or spotting across the  lines based upon adjacent fuels and predicted weather.    ​ One hundred and fifty five members of the Oregon National Guard have been  assigned to work on the Grizzly Bear Complex.  They are the 1249th  Engineering Battalion with the A and C Companies of the 141st Brigade  Support Battalion.  These members will be deployed to continue mop up  around homes and fire lines in the Troy, Grouse Flats and Eden Bench areas.    The Umatilla National Forest has added a portion of the Bluewood area to its  current closure order today.  This will increase separation and protect forest  visitors and local residents from potentially hazardous firefighting activity and  heavy equipment traffic now occurring on the northwest flank of the fire.      Due to expected cool weather and containment accomplishments, additional  reductions in the Evacuation Levels on state and private lands south and east  of the Fire will be issued tomorrow at noon.  A new map and description of  these changes will be released at that time. UPDATE August 30, 2015 10 a.m. Evacuation levels reduced for Grizzly Bear Complex Fire        Elgin, Ore. – The evacuation levels issued for the Grizzly Bear Complex Fire on …

Sean Peterson – Living the Dream of a Professional Bullfighter

Not everyone can decipher what their destiny is at a young age, or any age for that matter, but every once in a while someone comes along that realizes there is no other option, “I am going to become a__________”. A million different descriptions could fill in the blank. For Sean Peterson the blank is…

Falls Creek Fire

August 23, 2015 1:10 p.m. Joseph, OR: The Falls Creek Fire, last reported size of 200 acres, is located four miles southwest of Joseph, Oregon. The cause is undetermined. A red flag waring is in effect noon today through Monday for hot, dry and unstable air conditions. The fire is currently zero percent contained. A…

Cornet/Windy Ridge Fire

August 22, 2015 Current Situation: Firefighters will continue to mop up around the perimeter of the fire and will be removing fire weakened trees on highway 245 to provide for public safety. Although highway 245 is open, crews will be working in the area and travelers should drive with caution or consider using an alternate…

Canyon Creek Complex

UPDATE: Sunday, August 23, 9:30 p.m. The Grant County Sheriff’s Department is evacuating the Upper Pine Creek and Upper Dog Creek areas, moving them from a Level 2 to a Level 3 evacuation status. This change in status is due to the fire being pushed by southwest winds and advancing into the Norton Fork of…

Eagle Complex Update

August 24, 2015 11:00 a.m. On Sunday, firefighters on the ground were aided by four Oregon Army National Guard helicopters assigned to the Eagle Complex. Air support provided about 30,000 gallons of retardant to assist with structure protection efforts and further secure the southern edge of the Eagle Complex. Firefighters increased structure protection efforts in…

More than 100 Community Members Attend Meeting on Phillips Creek Fire

More than 100 people attended the Phillips Creek Fire community meeting in Elgin Wednesday night and were able to walk away well informed as representatives from the different organizations spoke about the key aspects of the Phillips Creek Fire that continues to burn seven miles outside of Elgin.   The fire is now at about…

Community Information Meeting on Phillips Creek Fire

The Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2 will hold a community meeting on 8/5/2015 Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Elgin Community Center. Fire managers will be on hand to talk about the Phillips Creek Fire. Break out sessions will follow the meeting for those that want to ask more questions. The US Forest…

Phillips Creek Fire Update as of 1:54 p.m. on August 4, 2015

Courtesy of Blue Mountain Fire Information Photo Courtesy of La Grande Weather Service from Monday Night Phillips Creek Fire Update Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, 12:00 p.m. Fire Information:(541) 975-4271 ELGIN, OR – Firefighters have completed the fire line around the southern portion of the fire on private land.   Dozers have completed contingency lines along the…

BATES STATE PARK HOSTS STAR PARTY AUG. 14

New moon and Perseids meteor shower pair for perfect night sky watching Prairie City, OR – The night sky over Bates State Park will set the scene for a Star Party Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Local amateur astronomers and volunteers from Redmond will join the party with telescopes for visitors to view summer constellations,…