The Observer. (La Grande, Or.) 1968-current, August 20, 2022, WEEKEND EDITION, Image 1

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August 20, 2022 | $1.50
EOU Board of Trustees name interim co-presidents
Board considered
several options for
interim leadership
The Observer
LA GRANDE — Richard
Chaves and Lara Moore will take
over as interim co-presidents of
Eastern Oregon University on
Sept. 1, the university announced
in a release Friday,
Aug. 19.
The Eastern
Oregon University
Board of Trustees
made the decision
after convening for
a special session on
Aug. 19. The move was made nec-
essary by the announcement ear-
lier this month that current presi-
dent, Tom Insko, would be leaving
his post at the end of September.
Elijah Ward
arrested in
with fatal
Arrest documents reveal more
information about deadly
weekend crash in La Grande
Insko has been
named president
and chief executive
offi cer at Collins,
a wood products
company based in
“We don’t make
this choice lightly,” said Cheryl
Martin, vice chair of the board of
trustees. “We want to provide the
university, and most important,
our students, with stability, con-
tinuity and momentum as they
come into the new year.”
After discussing the options
for interim president, the board
voted to adopt resolution 22-07
appointing Moore, the vice pres-
ident for fi nance and adminis-
tration, and Chaves, the current
board chair, as interim co-presi-
dents. Chaves will resign from the
board to assume his new duties.
The resolution also encourages
the extension of interim provost
Matt Seimears’ appointment until
June 30, 2024.
The board began discussions
of interim leadership at its retreat
earlier this month. During its
special session, the board held a
lengthy review about its options
for appointing interim leadership
following President Insko’s resig-
nation in early August.
The board discussed the
See, EOU/Page A3
If these walls
North Powder Community
United Methodist Church
approaching 140 years of
operation in same building
The Observer
The Observer
LA GRANDE — Court documents sub-
mitted by La Grande police stated that
Elijah Ward knew he hit something with
his car the night of Friday, Aug. 12, but he
didn’t know he struck a person.
Law enforcement arrested Ward, 26, of
La Grande, on Aug. 16 in connection with
the hit-and-run death of Maison Andrew,
24, according to a press release from the La
Grande Police Department.
The investigation began after La Grande
police responded to a report at 5:30 a.m.
Aug. 13 of a dead male on the side of 16th
Street. Sgt. Dusty Perry and Offi cer Ryan
Herbel responded to the scene and imme-
diately confi rmed the individual had died.
When Detective Sgt. Ryan Miller arrived
on scene, he noted there was a large pool of
blood on Andrew’s face and he appeared to
have road rash on his right abdomen.
There were broken car parts from head-
lights, a refl ector lens and turn signal indi-
cators near Andrew’s body that spread
south down the street, according to the
probable cause declaration. A large black
plastic piece of debris recovered from the
scene contained a visible part number,
belonging to a Mitsubishi Galant produced
between the years 2001 and 2012.
On Aug. 16, Senior Offi cer Ryan Ber-
nards located a white 2009 Mitsubishi
Galant with damage to the driver-side
headlight and front fender parked outside
609 Y Ave., according to police documents.
Bernards noted there was a large circular
“spiderweb” crack in the windshield, which
appeared to start from one impact point.
It may be the most
memorable dollar
ever spent in North Powder’s
long history.
In 1882, Sarah and James W. Welch
sold a block of property in North
Powder for $1 to the United Methodist
and Episcopal churches, according to
records. The Methodists and Episco-
palians built a church on the block in
1883, which they shared for four years
before the Methodists assumed full
Today, the North Powder Commu-
nity United Methodist Church is on
the verge of joining a select circle —
a limited number of other churches in
Oregon to have operated in the same
building for at least 140 years.
It is not hard to imagine what
the church looked like in 1883. The
building is fi lled with links to its past,
including a few wooden pews believed
to be the same ones the church fi rst had
in the 1880s and a bell in a tower that
congregants still ring with the pull of a
rope before Sunday services.
These vestiges to the past are in a
well-maintained building that looks
Dick Mason/The Observer
See, Milestone/Page A3
The North Powder Community United Methodist Church, shown here on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022,
was built in 1883. The building has been used as a church continuously since then.
See, Arrest/Page A3
Local school districts to control COVID protocols
ODE will not require
statewide COVID-19
safety measures
Oregon Public Broadcasting
SALEM — Later this month,
thousands of Oregon students
will begin to head back to schools
across the state, the third school
year aff ected by COVID-19.
But how each school han-
dles the coronavirus and its risks
will be up to individual decision
makers and local public health
authorities, a con-
tinuation of how
Oregon schools oper-
ated last year.
“This year, nearly
all health and safety
protocols will be
locally determined,
with district leaders
partnering with local public health
authorities to make decisions
about how to implement health and
safety protocols to keep schools
open by keeping staff and students
healthy,” said Oregon Department
of Education director Colt Gill at a
press conference Wednesday, Aug.
Some statewide rules are still in
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Dear Abby ....B6
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eff ect, including the
vaccination require-
ment for teachers and
other school staff .
But decisions
around whether to
require masks, venti-
lation protocols and
testing procedures
remain in local hands. State offi -
cials point out that individuals may
choose to wear face masks, even if
they’re not required.
The question of how much the
state should require versus how
much it should advise districts and
allow local decision-making has
been a source of tension practically
since the pandemic began. Some
Full forecast on the back of B section
58 LOW
Mainly clear
Hot with
school leaders are welcoming the
state’s approach for this fall.
“We are very appreciative
as local school districts to be
provided with a little bit more
authority in an eff ort to meet the
needs of each of our unique com-
munities that we all serve and rep-
resent,” said Estacada superinten-
dent Ryan Carpenter on OPB’s
Think Out Loud.
Carpenter said the district
remains focused on keeping
schools open while also supporting
students and families no matter
what choice they make around
See, Safety/Page A3
Issue 100
2 sections, 12 pages
La Grande, Oregon
Email story ideas
to news@lagrande
More contact info
on Page A4.