The Observer. (La Grande, Or.) 1968-current, August 23, 2022, TUESDAY EDITION, Page 2, Image 2

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In 1305, Scottish rebel leader Sir
William Wallace was executed by
the English for treason.
In 1775, Britain’s King George
III proclaimed the American colo-
nies to be in a state of “open and
avowed rebellion.”
In 1914, Japan declared war
against Germany in World War I.
In 1927, amid worldwide pro-
tests, Italian-born anarchists Nicola
Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti
were executed in Boston for the
murders of two men during a 1920
robbery. (On the 50th anniversary
of their executions, then-Massa-
chusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis
issued a proclamation that Sacco
and Vanzetti had been unfairly
tried and convicted.)
In 1939, Nazi Germany and the
Soviet Union agreed to a non-ag-
gression treaty, the Molotov-Rib-
bentrop Pact, in Moscow.
In 1973, a bank robbery-turned-
hostage-taking began in Stock-
holm, Sweden; the four hostages
ended up empathizing with their
captors, a psychological condi-
tion now referred to as “Stockholm
In 2000, A Gulf Air Airbus
crashed into the Persian Gulf near
Bahrain, killing all 143 people
In 2003, former priest John
Geoghan, the convicted child
molester whose prosecution
sparked the sex abuse scandal that
shook the Roman Catholic Church
nationwide, died after another
inmate attacked him in a Massa-
chusetts prison.
In 2004, President George W.
Bush criticized a political commer-
cial accusing Democratic nom-
inee John Kerry of inflating his
own Vietnam War record, and
said broadcast attacks by outside
groups had no place in the race for
the White House.
In 2008, Democratic presiden-
tial candidate Barack Obama intro-
duced his choice of running mate,
Sen. Joe Biden, of Delaware, before
a crowd outside the Old State Cap-
itol in Springfield, Illinois.
In 2011, a magnitude 5.8 earth-
quake centered near Mineral, Vir-
ginia, the strongest on the East
Coast since 1944, caused cracks in
the Washington Monument and
damaged Washington National
In 2013, a military jury con-
victed Maj. Nidal Hasan in the
deadly 2009 shooting rampage
at Fort Hood, Texas, that claimed
13 lives; the Army psychiatrist was
later sentenced to death. Staff Sgt.
Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier who’d
massacred 16 Afghan civilians, was
sentenced at Joint Base Lewis-Mc-
Chord, Washington, to life in prison
with no chance of parole.
In 2020, a white police officer in
Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot a Black
man, Jacob Blake, seven times as
officers tried to arrest Blake on an
outstanding warrant; the shooting
left Blake partially paralyzed and
triggered several nights of violent
protests. (Blake, who was shot as
he was about to get into an SUV
with a pocketknife that had fallen
from his pants, later said he’d been
prepared to surrender after put-
ting the knife in the vehicle. Officer
Rusten Sheskey was not charged.)
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Vera
Miles is 92. Actor Barbara Eden is
91. Political satirist Mark Russell
is 90. Pro Football Hall of Famer
Sonny Jurgensen is 88. Actor
Shelley Long is 73. Actor-singer
Rick Springfield is 73. Queen Noor
of Jordan is 71. Actor-producer
Mark Hudson is 71. Actor Jay Mohr
is 52. Actor Scott Caan is 46. Figure
skater Nicole Bobek is 45. Basket-
ball player Jeremy Lin is 34.
The Observer works hard to be
accurate and sincerely regrets
any errors. If you notice a
mistake in the paper, please call
Friday, Aug. 19, 2022
Megaball: 3
Megaplier: 4
Jackpot: $116 million
Lucky Lines
Jackpot: $17,000
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Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022
Powerball: 7
Power Play: 2
Jackpot: $90 million
Jackpot: $5 million
Lucky Lines
Jackpot: $18,000
Pick 4
1 p.m.: 7-9-4-6
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Win for Life
Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022
Lucky Lines
Estimated jackpot: $19,000
Pick 4
1 p.m.: 3-6-3-0
4 p.m.: 8-6-7-0
7 p.m.: 9-6-4-9
10 p.m.: 9-5-2-5
TuESday, auguST 23, 2022
Significant upgrades
La Grande schools to add vaping
sensors at high school, middle school
The Observer
La Grande School District
is preparing to use elec-
tronics to prevent students
from vaping.
The school district
has purchased sensors
that will detect vaping
and will be installed in
restrooms at La Grande
High School and La
Grande Middle School.
The sensors, which have
been ordered from the
HALO Smart Sensor
company in Bay Shore,
New York, can detect
vaping because they mon-
itor air quality.
When the sensors
detect vaping, smart-
phone messages will alert
administrators at the high
school and middle school,
said Joseph Waite, the La
Grande School District’s
facilities manager. Vaping
is illegal in Oregon for
those younger than 21
and it is prohibited on La
Grande School District
LHS Assistant Prin-
cipal Eric Freeman said
the sensors will be a plus.
“We want restrooms
to be safe places for kids,
free from vaping or any-
thing that makes students
feel uncomfortable,” he
Vaping concerns him
because people who do it
can develop cravings for
“It is a way to get
addicted to tobacco and
a gateway to bad habits
or even drugs,” Freeman
The assistant principal
said it is not known how
many LHS students vape,
but he believes many
have been in contact with
others who vape and have
been offered the chance
to do it.
Freeman said it is hard
to detect students who
vape because the devices
are not large.
“Some are are as small
as a pen and are easily
hidden,” he said, adding
the smell of vaping is hard
to detect.
La Grande Middle
School Principal Chris
Wagner also will welcome
the sensors. He believes
they will help prevent
students from vaping in
school and from starting
to vape.
New Timber Ridge
Apartments will
provide the space
The Observer
Isabella Crowley/The Observer, File
The La Grande School District plans to install sensors to detect
vaping in restrooms at La Grande High School and La Grande
Middle School before the start of the school year, Aug. 29, 2022.
“The best intervention
is prevention,” he said.
Wagner said there were
several times in the past
school year that students
were found to be vaping.
He said that because
vaping is addictive, he
wants to make sure any
students found vaping
receive the help they
might need to stop.
Vaping is done with
electronic devices
known as e-cigarettes,
which simulate tobacco
smoking. The electronic
device consists of a power
source such as a battery
and a container-like car-
tridge. Instead of smoke
the user inhales vapor.
Many vaping products
contain nicotine.
The new sensors are
relatively small.
“They look like smoke
detectors,” Waite said.
The sensors will do
more than alert admin-
istrators of vaping in
restrooms — they will
also notify administrators
of loud noises and pos-
sible fights, Waite said.
The sensors are
expected to arrive early
next week. Installation
will start shortly after
they arrive.
“Our goal is to have
them in before school
starts,” Waite said.
Classes start in the La
Grande School District on
Monday, Aug. 29.
Improvements occupied school district’s summer
The Observer
LA GRANDE — Summer is a
window of opportunity for school
district grounds and maintenance
crews as they race the clock to com-
plete work that can only be done
when buildings are vacant.
Beneficiaries of this summer’s
work include Island City Elemen-
tary School, where the aging con-
crete in its main entry area has been
“It has created a more even sur-
face,” said Joseph Waite, La Grande
School District’s facilities manager.
Waite noted the smoother sur-
face will be much easier to remove
snow from during the winter
months, with no crevices to trap
snow and ice. The repaving work
was needed because the top layer of
concrete had crumbled and exposed
rock underneath, Waite said.
Restoration work of a different
kind has been done at La Grande
High School. Its six-year-old track
has been repaired. Cracks have
been sealed and the entire 400-
meter oval has been recoated with a
synthetic material.
Indoors, the high school’s hor-
ticulture classroom has been con-
verted into a lab where plants can
be grown using hydroponics. A
form of hydroculture, hydroponics
involves growing plants, usually
crops, without soil by using water-
based mineral nutrient solutions.
Renovation work in the horticul-
ture classroom included moving old
manholes covered by metal grates
and covering them with epoxy
flooring. The manholes were a ves-
tige of the school’s former auto shop
that operated in the large classroom.
Waite said the classroom is safer
now. The manhole covers were a
hazard to students because the legs
of chairs and tables could get caught
in the grates. Fortunately, the grates
caused no injuries, Waite said.
Carpeting has been installed at
the high school in the office area near
the main entrance, replacing car-
peting that was at least 20 years old.
“I think it was the same car-
peting the high school had when
I was a student there,” said Waite,
who graduated from the high school
in 2002.
At La Grande Middle School, a
larger freezer was installed, which
also necessitated electrical wiring
work. The kitchen’s refrigerator
and old freezer were moved into an
adjacent hallway. Shelves have also
been rearranged in the kitchen this
summer, creating more work space
for staff, Waite said.
Also at the middle school, stair-
wells have been repaired and
repainted, and additional security
cameras have been installed.
Start of school to be delayed in Wallowa
The Observer
Wallowa School District is
delaying the start of classes
due to extensive damage
caused by the hailstorm on
Thursday, Aug. 11.
School will start on
Monday, Aug. 29, said Wal-
lowa School District Super-
intendent Tamera Jones.
“We want to give fami-
lies and staff more time to
get things cleaned up,” she
said. “This is a community
Within the Wallowa
community almost every
roof was seriously dam-
aged, cars were destroyed,
windows were shattered,
people sustained concus-
sions and large trees were
uprooted, Jones said.
Jones said it has been
remarkable how people in
the community have rallied
to help one another out in
the midst of the disaster.
“The response to the
storm has really shown the
strength of the Wallowa
community and the sur-
rounding area,” she said.
“Neighbors are helping
neighbors and people are
banding together. Support
has come from everywhere.”
On the Wallowa School
District’s campus, the roofs
of all buildings were dam-
aged so severely they will
have to be replaced, Jones
said. Tarps have been
placed over the roofs of the
high school gym and the
building housing the school
district’s vocation-agricul-
ture and music programs.
Sealing work has been done
dick Mason/The Observer
Trees are down in front of Wallowa High School on Thursday, Aug. 11,
2022, following a severe weather storm.
on the roofs of the other
buildings as a temporary
repair measure.
Water has leaked
through a number of the
roofs, causing damage to
classrooms, the superinten-
dent said.
The storm also
destroyed the school dis-
trict’s greenhouse, the
scoreboard and its football
field lights. She said the
glass from the lights will
have to be vacuumed from
the football field.
Jones said that amaz-
ingly, only one window of a
school district building was
cracked during the storm.
Nobody hurt in early morning house fire
The Observer
LA GRANDE — No people or
animals were injured in a house fire
at 61825 Riddle Road, early in the
morning of Saturday, Aug. 20, but the
blaze did do extensive damage.
The fire, which was reported
at 4:26 a.m., destroyed the home’s
garage, which was connected to the
house. The fire also did damage to the
one-story home and destroyed a shed
just east of its garage, a 2013 Key-
stone Energy trailer and a 2013 Ford
Explorer, according to Jim Voelz, of
the La Grande Rural Fire Department,
who provides the department with
investigative and support services.
A man and a woman, both of
Head Start
coming to
La Grande
Jim Voelz/Contributed Photo
A house fire on Riddle Road, La Grande,
in the early morning of Saturday, Aug. 20,
2022, caused extensive damage.
whom quickly escaped, were inside
the house when the fire started, Voelz
said. The woman discovered the fire
after she heard a sound in the garage.
She then opened a door to the garage
and found it fully engulfed in flames.
The woman next alerted the man
inside the home and opened a gate on
the east side of the garage to let two
dogs escape safely.
Crews from the La Grande Rural
Fire Department, the La Grande Fire
Department and the Imbler Rural Fire
Department responded to the blaze.
The fire was listed as contained at
5:06 a.m.
Firefighters remained at the scene
of the fire until about 8:30 a.m.
The cause of the fire has not yet
been determined, Voelz said.
The house fire was near the border
of La Grande and Island City, about
300 yards north of Island Avenue
and within the jurisdiction of the La
Grande Rural Fire Department, which
was in charge of extinguishing the fire.
statistic is eye popping and
Robert Kleng, the director
of Eastern Oregon Univer-
sity Head Start, speaks of it
with a sense of urgency.
Research, Kleng said,
indicates that 80% of the
development of our brains
takes place during the first
three years of life, a big
reason why the educator
is elated about the recent
start of construction on the
Timber Ridge Apartments
complex, which is expected
be finished by the summer
of 2023.
The 82-unit apartment
complex is being built on
a lot on East Q Avenue
between 26th and 27th
streets in northeast La
Plans for the apartment
complex, which will pro-
vide housing for lower-in-
come families and individ-
uals and cost $38.2 million,
call for it to have a class-
room for Early Head Start, a
program that provides edu-
cation services to infants
and toddlers through age 3.
“I am over the moon
excited,” Kleng said of the
opportunity to provide edu-
cation services to infants
and toddlers during such a
critical time in their brain
Kleng is glad more
people are beginning to
appreciate just how exten-
sive cerebral development is
from birth to age 3.
“This has long been
overlooked,” he said.
Kleng is grateful for
the support the builders of
Timber Ridge Apartments
have provided EOU Head
“They built it in and did
not charge us a dime,” he
The classroom will be in
an 8,000-square-foot com-
munity center at Timber
Ridge Apartments.
Kleng said that without
it, EOU Head Start would
not have been able to offer
Early Head Start in a class-
room setting. He explained
that it is possible to get
grants for the operation of
programs like Early Head
Start but almost impossible
to get grants for building of
classroom structures.
EOU Head Start has an
Early Head Start program,
but it is a home-based pro-
gram rather than operating
in a central location. EOU
Head Start staff make reg-
ular visits to families of
children age 3 and younger.
The program teaches par-
ents how to best help with
their child’s development
and shows parents they
are a “child’s first and
important teacher,” Kleng
The educator noted
that one great thing about
having an Early Head Start
at Timber Ridge is that fam-
ilies participating in the
program who live in the
apartment complex “will be
neighbors. This will create
such a network of support,”
Kleng said.
The Early Head Start
classroom at Timber Ridge
will add to the network of
EOU Head Start centers in
La Grande, Elgin, Union
and Baker City for 4- and
5-year-olds. The organi-
zation’s services are avail-
able at no cost to qualifying
Timber Ridge Apartments in
La Grande is being built by Hunt
Capital Partners, of Encino,
California, in collaboration with
the Northeast Oregon Housing
Authority and Community
Development Partners Oregon,
of Portland.