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Baker County Press
All local. All relevant. Every Friday.
Friday, October 28, 2016 • Volume 3, Issue 44
Drug lab site shows off-the-charts contamination
• HOUSE AT
301 2ND STREET
BY KERRY McQUISTEN
A site assessment of a
former local drug lab at
301 Second Street in Baker
City has shown extremely
high levels of metham-
according to a report by A
Best Environmental LLC.
In fact, all samples were
at least ﬁ ve times higher
than the State of Oregon
Baker City Police Chief
Wyn Lohner said this
Tuesday that the case
involving the Baggerly
house, which was termed
a “Drug Lab Site” after an
anhydrous leak and sub-
sequent investigation that
started early last year, has
“ﬁ nally worked through
On February 4, 2015,
Baker City Police, Oregon
State Police and the Baker
City Fire Department
descended on the Second
Street house just before 1
p.m. on what was a previ-
ously peaceful Wednesday
Kenneth Roy Street, age
45 at the time, of Baker
City, was arrested there
for Unlawful Possession
of a Controlled Substance
Next-door neighbor Mike
Bork had called police
earlier at 12:50 p.m. after
going out his back door
and taking a whiff.
“The smell was just hor-
rendous,” he said. “Then
I could hear these guys
coughing. I walked over
and could see them run-
ning around like chickens
with their heads cut off,
That smell was con-
ﬁ rmed as a ruptured
anhydrous ammonia tank
Kerry McQuisten /
The Baker County Press
Chief Wyn Lohner.
that had released a cloud of
gas, and the odor was de-
tectable all the way down
SEE DRUG LAB PAGE 10
Kerry McQuisten / The Baker County Press
The drug lab site at 301 2nd Street shows ﬁ ve times
the level of meth contamination as the Oregon
on full duty
Baker City’s ‘Quilting Grannies’
sew up to four quilts per week
BY KERRY McQUISTEN
Samantha O’Conner / The Baker County Press
Left to right: Kathy Hopkins, Claire Duncan, Judy Schroeder, Myrna Evans, and Colleen Brooks.
• GROUP OF LOCAL GRANDMOTHERS
MAKE 160-170 QUILTS PER YEAR
BY SAMANTHA O’CONNER
Returning from summer vacation, the Grannies in
Baker City are hard at work again.
Led by Colleen Brooks, the group of ladies is working
together making and donating baby quilts for newborns in
Baker County through Building Healthy Families.
Brooks explained that Florastine Landreth started the
Grannies around 1984.
Landreth began working with a group of ladies from
the Catholic Church, making and sending quilts to Cov-
enant House in New York and they were given to unwed
mothers who lived on the streets.
According to Judy Schroeder, Landreth’s son was in
New York, and he had seen the need at Covenant House
and told his mother that the ladies needed help.
Brooks had heard of the Grannies and thought they
were through the Catholic Church, but Landreth invited
her saying she didn’t need to be Catholic to join.
When Landreth passed away, Brooks continued with
the Grannies, but sending the quilts to New York became
More clouds than sun with a few showers.
Chance of precipitation is 60%. Highs in the
upper 50s. Friday Night: Mostly cloudy with
scattered showers. Lows near 40.
More clouds than sun with a few showers.
Chance of precipitation is 60%. Highs in the mid
50s. Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy with scat-
tered showers. Lows near 40.
Mostly cloudy with showers. Chance of precipi-
tation is 70%. Highs in the mid 50s. Sunday
Night: Mostly cloudy with a few lingering show-
ers. Lows in the mid 30s.
too expensive and they decided to give quilts locally.
“We work on donations,” said Duncan. “We’re awfully
lucky to have some people that have given us money and
it’s helped us immensely.”
The current members are Claire Duncan, Judy Schro-
eder, Kathy Hopkins, and Myrna Evans.
They meet once a week and continue to give quilts to
the nurses at the hospital.
The Grannies are one of the many groups that make
Some groups knit hats for newborns and sew lap robes
for people in nursing homes.
“Baker has a lot of people that are behind the scenes
that do this kind of thing,” Duncan explained. “There’s
a group of Nazarene women that make quilts, not baby
quilts, but quilts.”
On their quilts, the Grannies put: “This quilt was made
for you with love by some grannies in Baker City.”
“We get four quilts a week done,” Duncan said. “We
don’t work in the summer, so some of us take them home
and make them at home.”
“When school starts, we usually start,” explained
The Grannies make around 160 to 170 quilts a year,
taking Christmas off—but they still get their quilts made
Your weekend weather forecast for Baker County.
Our forecast made possible by this
Ofﬁ cial weather provider for
The Baker County Press.
Deputy John Hoopes, went
back to work at the Baker
County Sheriff’s Ofﬁ ce this
week after a lengthy heal-
ing process associated with
an on-the-job injury to his
Hoopes is challenging
incumbent Sheriff, Travis
Ash, who was appointed
John Hoopes at a
by Baker County Com-
Halfway gathering last
missioners when elected
Sheriff Mitch Southwick
Hoopes’ absence from the Sheriff’s Ofﬁ ce has raised
speculation, which he says has contributed to misinforma-
tion—especially regarding his physical abilities during
the election season.
“Last week I was given a full release to return to duty.
I’m looking forward to it. I think I caught everyone off
guard. I really worked at it in the gym—I initially thought
I would be back in December but managed to move that
In March of 2014, Hoopes attempted to subdue an in-
toxicated individual when he injured his left shoulder. He
notiﬁ ed SAIF (the worker’s compensation insurance pro-
vider) thinking it would heal, and took no further action.
Later that same year in November of 2014, Hoopes
was making a DUII arrest when that left arm, which had
been injured previously, “gave out.” Hoopes said that the
suspect “kicked back,” and when he did, all the man’s
weight landed on Hoopes’ right arm, creating a tear in the
Again, the injury was reported within a work day to
SAIF while Hoopes continued to work. He went through
an assessment with his own surgeon, Dr. Eric Sandefur,
and followed SAIF protocol, seeing two of that organi-
zation’s doctors as well for approval. This process took
weeks, then eventually months.
Hoopes took time off with his wife in September of
2015 prior to surgery, which he then had in October of
Hoopes entered into physical therapy, but when he
showed no improvement, he and surgeons came to realize
the original tear had retorn.
His second surgery was in April of 2016. Ten weeks
later with his arm in a sling, Hoopes received his ﬁ rst
physician-authorized permission to return to light duty at
the Sheriff’s Ofﬁ ce. He spoke directly to Ash and was de-
nied light duty. Past protocol has typically been to have
employees work light duty whenever possible.
He was given a second permission to work light duty,
modiﬁ ed this time to allow for “less and less restriction,”
said Hoopes. Again, there was no light work available.
SEE HOOPES PAGE 9
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
Halfway: Proposed dispensary
Sumpter: Write-in mayor candidate
Sumpter: 3rd marijuana workshop
Rep. Bentz speaks to City Council
Fire Chief resigns
NRAC: Miner frustrations