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About The Baker County press. (Baker City, Ore.) 2014-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 26, 2016)
BUSINESS: Baker City business owners
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LOCAL: Heart ‘n Home Hospice Director
gets Patriotic Employer award. PAGE 9
Baker County Press
All local. All relevant. Every Friday.
Friday, February 26, 2016 • Volume 3, Issue 9
‘Gold Rush’ to film
in Baker County
Rally hot topic
at City Council
• ORGANIZERS FEAR SOME IN
COMMUNITY ARE AGAINST EVENT, BMCC
GIVES INFORMATION, MARIJUANA
BY GINA K. SWARTZ
Photo courtesy of The Water Hole.
Last September, some of the Gold Rush cast stopped by The Water Hole in Unity during one of their treks
across Baker County to the Wirth family’s mining claims. L-R: Andy Spinks, Freddy Dodge, Jack Hoffman,
Tim Hoskins, Kimala Parret Hoskins (The Water Hole), unknown patrons in back row, Todd Hoffman.
BY KERRY McQUISTEN
After a year of rumors
and speculation, it’s of-
ﬁ cial—the Discovery
Channel’s mega-hit “Gold
Rush” has ﬁ nally “panned
out” for Baker County.
The show’s star, Todd
Hoffman, said in an in-
terview Tuesday evening,
“This is the answer to a
prayer for us, coming back
After last Friday’s epi-
sode, which highlighted a
successful test run of the
soil—and one rattlesnake
relocation—on a claim
owned by the Wirth family
in “eastern Oregon,” the
word was out. And local
began to ignite.
Future episodes will walk
viewers through the deci-
sion to formally select that
claim as the focus for the
next “Gold Rush” season.
How it happened.
Hoffman chalks the op-
portunity to ﬁ lm in Baker
County up to an act of
“So, Jim Thurber, who
you know has been a long
time with the show—”
Hoffman began. “Jim was
hunting out there (on Three
Valley’s land) and Phillip
Wirth just happened to
drive by. He said it felt to
him like God told him to
turn the truck around go
back to Jim.”
“I just had this strong
feeling I needed to go
back,” Wirth said.
So that’s exactly what
Wirth did, and eventually
his business card passed
from Thurber to Hoff-
man, and communications
meetings were later seen
happening at the Truck
Corral in Baker City.)
Hoffman says he thinks
Photo courtesy of The Depot Inn
L-R: Members of the ‘Gold Rush’ cast Jim Thurber, Jack Hoffman, Kathy Reedy
(The Depot Inn), and Todd Hoffman stayed in Sumpter in January 2015, prior to
A large crowd gathered in Council chambers as Tuesday
evening’s meeting commenced, including several who
waited in anticipation of joining in on the Hells Canyon
Motorcycle Rally discussion, which had been well-publi-
cized prior to the meeting via Facebook and other outlets.
But ﬁ rst, Mayor Mosier called the meeting to order.
Councilwoman Lewis led the Pledge of Allegiance and
asked for a moment of silence and for each person to ask
for guidance for the evening. City Recorder Luke Yeaton
called roll with each councilor present.
Mosier turned her attention to the consent agenda, con-
sisting of the minutes from the regular Council meeting
from February 9, 2016. Councilor Downing moved that
they approve with a second by Councilor Lewis, the vote
following was unanimous.
Mosier then called for citizen participation for anything
that was not on the agenda. Rodney Shaw came forward
and spoke with concerns about fencing ordinances per-
taining to the medical marijuana community.
“We are approaching growing season,” he explained.
“One of the new laws states our plants have to be out of
In an effort to be proactive, foreseeing future issues
that may become of concern. He noted he had a strong
six-foot cedar fence but still had had issues with youth
climbing his fencing to get to his marijuana last year and
was aware others did not have the same type of secure
He suggested council look into an ordinance that may
possibly protect growers as well as youth from issues
concerning the growing of legal marijuana that council
had made clear they did not feel should be highly visible
in town. Councilor Lewis suggested Shaw ﬁ nd some such
ordinances and bring back to them to look at. He agreed.
Council then moved forward with the agenda.
Mosier read and signed a proclamation declaring Febru-
ary 7-13, 2016 FBLA-PBL Week.
The Council was asked to appoint Eric Owen to the
Airport Board and Anthony Constantine to the Tree
SEE CITY COUNCIL PAGE 8
to Baker City
• BUD PIERCE HOLDS FUNDRAISER AT
QUAIL RIDGE GOLF COURSE
Photo Courtesy of Suzan Ellis Jones
it took a little over a year
to get the deal in place, the
details of which are highly
conﬁ dential. In fact, most
of the cast and crew are
limited by a contractual
nondisclosure clause to
preserve proprietary pro-
Over that year, Hoff-
man passed through Baker
City, Unity, Hereford, and
Bridgeport a time or two—
even meeting with Baker
Mostly sunny and warm, highs in the lower 50s.
Low near 35. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Mostly cloudy with showers likely. High near 50.
Chance of precipitation is 60%. Low near 30.
Mostly cloudy with a risk of showers. Highs in
the lower 50s. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Lows near 30.
Mark Bennett with a cam-
era crew down Burnt River
Canyon at one point.
Bennett said, “I think
that the project is an
outstanding opportunity to
highlight mining opera-
tions in Baker County and
the whole of eastern Or-
egon. The activities should
draw an increased level of
interest in tourism to the
“My camera crew is
British,” Hoffman joked.
“Just be good to them and
keep the beer fl owing, and
A native Oregonian,
Hoffman also spoke to his
eastern Oregon ties.
“I grew up in and out
of Sumpter,” he said. “I
used to ride dirt bikes with
Kevin Logsdon. The ﬁ rst
time I ever panned gold
was in Sumpter. I played as
a kid on the Doodlebug!”
SEE GOLD RUSH
Your weekend weather forecast for Baker County.
Our forecast made possible by this
Ofﬁ cial weather provider for
The Baker County Press.
BY GINA K. SWARTZ
This bench near Bridgeport is the area for which a conditional use permit has
been submitted, tentatively asking for housing for up to 30 people.
Last week at the Quail Ridge Golf Course Clubhouse,
a dozen or so Baker County citizens, including Baker
County Commissioner Mark Bennett and physicians
Charles Hoffman, Neal Jacobson and Nancy Hutnak,
gathered to meet and listen to William C. “Bud” Pierce.
Pierce is an unassuming man, friendly yet somewhat
reserved. Pierce is running for Governor in Oregon on the
Republican ticket. He has been an Oncology/Hematology
doctor for some 20 years helping patients with cancer and
blood disorders. He comes from a tight-knit family, his
father a school janitor worked hard to provide for them.
Unfortunately, Pierce lost his father at age 14.
Pierce spent time working at a nearby Air Force base
commissary as a bag boy working only for tips before
beginning on a path at UCLA pursuing his MD and PhD.
SEE BUD PIERCE PAGE 5
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
Senate candidate Carpenter visits
Huntington’s birthday kickoff
Merrill outlines plans for new job
Natural Resources Advisory Comm.
5J School Board meets
Ofﬁ cer Sells graduates