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About The Observer. (La Grande, Or.) 1968-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 20, 2020)
2A — THE OBSERVER
Today is Thursday, Feb.
20, the 51st day of 2020.
There are 315 days left in
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2020
■ Oregon State Police Sgt. Kyle
Hove to retire at end of March
By Dick Mason
On Feb. 20, 1962, astro-
naut John Glenn became
the fi rst American to orbit
the Earth as he fl ew aboard
Project Mercury’s Friendship
7 spacecraft, which circled
the globe three times in a
fl ight lasting 4 hours, 55
minutes and 23 seconds
before splashing down
safely in the Atlantic Ocean
800 miles southeast of
ON THIS DATE
In 1792, President George
Washington signed an act
creating the United States
Post Offi ce Department.
In 1809, the Supreme
Court ruled that no state
legislature could annul the
judgments or determine the
jurisdictions of federal courts.
In 1862, William Wallace
Lincoln, the 11-year-old
son of President Abraham
Lincoln and fi rst lady Mary
Todd Lincoln, died at the
White House, apparently of
In 1942, Lt. Edward
“Butch” O’Hare became the
U.S. Navy’s fi rst fl ying ace
of World War II by shooting
down fi ve Japanese bomb-
ers while defending the
aircraft carrier USS Lexing-
ton in the South Pacifi c.
In 1965, America’s Ranger
8 spacecraft crashed on the
moon, as planned, after
sending back thousands of
pictures of the lunar surface.
In 1971, the National
Emergency Warning Center
in Colorado erroneously
ordered U.S. radio and TV
stations off the air; some
stations heeded the alert,
which was not lifted for
about 40 minutes.
In 1987, a bomb left by
Unabomber Ted Kaczynski
exploded behind a com-
puter store in Salt Lake
City, seriously injuring store
owner Gary Wright.
In 2003, a fi re sparked by
pyrotechnics broke out dur-
ing a concert by the group
Great White at The Station
nightclub in West Warwick,
Rhode Island, killing 100
In 2007, in a victory for
President George W. Bush,
a divided federal appeals
court ruled that Guantana-
mo Bay detainees could not
use the U.S. court system
to challenge their indefi nite
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COVE — Oregon State Police Sgt. Kyle Hove
knew early in his career that anything could happen
while he was on patrol.
One night it did.
Hove was on patrol with another trooper in
Wallowa County about two decades ago when they
received a call about gun shots in an area north of
The two troopers were rushing to the address
when they saw an unrecognizable object in the
middle of its long driveway, one which piqued their
curiosity but did not immediately alarm them.
“We almost drove past it,” Hove said.
Stopping to take a closer look, the troopers were
stunned to discover it was a man in his early 20s
wrapped in duct tape almost like a mummy. The
individual was unharmed, but Hove and his partner
soon learned the man was the one responsible for the
disturbance they were responding to. He had been
involved in raucous behavior that had so angered
the people he was with, some who were relatives,
they wrapped him in duct tape and put him in the
roadway. The police later arrested him.
“That was one of the stranger things that has hap-
pened,” Hove said of his career.
Such moments stand out from less bizarre but
nevertheless fulfi lling experiences in a line of work
rapidly nearing its end. Hove is set to retire at the
end of March after 20 years with the Oregon State
Police. The agency based Hove in Wallowa County
his fi rst two years and in Union County the next 18.
“It has been a great career. I have been so blessed
to have had the opportunity to work with so many
wonderful people. I would not do anything any differ-
ently,” Hove said.
Hove started in law enforcement 30 years ago
when he joined the U.S. Army and served for about
10 years as a member of its Military Police. His
responsibilities included checking areas for explosive
devices, including sites where U.S. presidents were
set to visit. Much of his work was done with bomb-
sniffi ng dogs.
He worked with a total of three bomb-sniffi ng
Staff photo by Dick Mason
Oregon State Police Sgt. Kyle Hove is about to end his days patrolling the local stretches of
Interstate 84 and other roads. He plans to retire in March after 20 years with the state police.
dogs and cared for each. He said one of his favorite
duties was brushing his dog each day, something the
“That was a bonding experience,” Hove said.
He said his stint of military service was arduous
but forged meaningful personal ties.
“I couldn’t wait to get out, but once I did I really
missed it. I missed the camaraderie, the sense of
family,” Hove said.
He joined the Oregon State Police about six
months after leaving the military after attending a
job fair in Fort Lewis, Washington, where OSP had
a booth. A lot has changed at the agency since Hove
joined, especially in terms of technology.
“At fi rst all we had (in patrol cars) were radios,”
Today, all patrol cars have speed detection equip-
ment, computers and camera systems.
“It is a mobile offi ce,” Hove said. “It has made us
more effi cient.”
All local OSP troopers and offi cers spend much
of their time patrolling Interstate 84 looking for
speeding drivers and aiding motorists who have
been in crashes or are stranded due to mechanical
breakdowns. Hove said in recent years the number
of crashes in the winter on I-84 has declined signifi -
cantly. He credited the drop to the Oregon Depart-
ment of Transportation’s use of salt to reduce the
formation of ice.
“ODOT is doing a terrifi c job,” Hove said.
Whether on Interstate 84 or other roadways in the
region, Hove said the life of a trooper on patrol is re-
warding because of the opportunity to assist others.
“You are fi nding people in crisis,” Hove said.
Still, the challenges of the job leave troopers tightly
“You are hyper vigilant, you are always aware of
your surroundings,” he said.
Dramatic shifts in emotional tenor also can add to
“There is a lot of boredom and extreme chaos,”
Life will be on a more even keel for Hove after
he retires but will remain fast-paced. He plans to
spend much of his time helping his wife, Angela, run
a growing business at their home in Cove. The busi-
ness, Hove Industries, sells an array of test kits for
hydrology and other fi elds.
Hove said he feels good about the direction OSP is
moving locally because of the leadership Lt. Daniel
Conner provides out of the La Grande offi ce and
the quality of the young troopers the agency has
hired in recent years. He said they are bright, have
outstanding work ethics and care deeply about their
The OSP sergeant mentored a number of troopers,
including Robert Routt, now a senior trooper. He said
his career got off to a good start because of the wealth
of knowledge Hove shared and his patience.
“I could not have had a better coach,” Routt said.
County holds off
funding film festival
By Dick Mason
LA GRANDE — The East-
ern Oregon Film Festival
likely will not receive fund-
ing from the Union County
Board of Commissioners this
fi scal year.
The board of commission-
ers voted 3-0 against a mo-
tion Wednesday to provide
$6,000 to the fi lm festival in
the fi scal year that runs until
The EOFF received
$3,500 from the county
in 2018-19. Film festival
organizers asked the county
to provide $7,800 this year.
The board in December
considered providing the
annual event with $6,000 in
The board delayed
voting on that motion
until Wednesday because
commissioners wanted to
discuss the proposal at a
Feb. 12 work session.
Commissioner Matt Scarfo
said the festival would have
spent the $6,000 on opera-
tional expenses, including
staff. The money would
have come from the county’s
motel tax fund. Commis-
sioner Donna Beverage said
county policy prohibits it
from spending money from
this fund for the operation of
The $3,500 the East-
ern Oregon Film Festival
received earlier from Union
County was for advertising,
Scarfo said he is a sup-
porter of the fi lm festival
and he would like to see it
seek other sources for money,
including the Union County
Chamber of Commerce.
Chris Jennings, director
of the Eastern Oregon Film
Festival, wrote in an email
he was disappointed in the
“EOFF is disheartened by
the actions of the commis-
sioners,” Jennings said.
He said the festival will be
diligent in creating partner-
ships “to support the growth
of our nationally acclaimed
fi lm festival.”
The 2020 Eastern Oregon
Film Festival runs Oct. 22-24
in La Grande.
T H E N E X T S TO P O N O U R
A DV E N T U R E I S I S L A N D C I T Y
Who are we?
We are a credit union that has been
rooted in Northern Idaho since our
organization in April of 1938. We have
proven our strength and stability
through the years as we have grown
and expanded our footprint to a larger
population of folks all over the Pacific
Northwest. That includes right here in
We are searching for the right candidates for:
Branch Manager &
Member Service Representatives
Island City, OR Located within Walmart
If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit our
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Life begets life.
Energy creates energy. It is
by spending oneself that
one becomes rich.”
— Sarah Bernhardt,
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