The Baker County press. (Baker City, Ore.) 2014-current, November 25, 2016, Image 1

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    LOCAL: Sex offender sentenced to 14 years.
OUTDOOR REC: Ducks Unlimited holds
successful banquet. PAGE 7
Baker County Press
All local. All relevant. Every Friday.
Friday, November 25, 2016 • Volume 3, Issue 48
ODOT meets with LEOs
over variable speed limit
By now, anyone who has
travelled I-84 between
Baker City and La Grande
has noticed the new over-
head electronic speed signs
that were installed over the
The signs are part of
a Variable Speed Limit
(VSL) project ODOT
embarked on in an effort
to reduce traffi c crashes,
the fi rst of its kind in the
State of Oregon. The signs
went live October 1, 2016,
in test mode and the mild
conditions the area has
experienced have yet to
trigger the signs to reduce
On Thursday November
17, 2016 ODOT facili-
tated a meeting bringing
together Oregon State
Police from both Baker
and Union Counties, the
Baker County Sheriff’s
Department, the Baker
City Police Department,
Baker County Emergency
Management and from
Salem; Kristen Twenge,
ODOT’s Safety Division
Law Enforcement and Ju-
dicial Programs Manager.
The meeting began with
an explanation of the proj-
ect by Ace Clark, ODOT
District 13 manager. He
began by explaining the
area chosen.
There have been some
questions by the public as
to why an area that is rela-
tively fl at and understated
was chosen over areas such
as Cabbage Hill, Meacham
or Ladd Canyon as those
areas experience adverse
weather often.
The answer is relatively
simple. The area of I-84
where the VSL project is
in place, from mile post
227 (Clover Creek) to mile
post 304 (Baker City), was
designated as a “trouble”
Gina K. Swartz / The Baker County Press
Billie Jo Deal, Region 5 Traffi c Safety Coordinator
for ODOT with Kristin Twenge, also of ODOT.
VFW holds 5th Youth Shoot Reason for
dog deaths
Todd Arriola/ The Baker County Press
This year’s winners lined up for one fi nal photo after the fi fth annual VFW Youth Shoot, which boasts a
number of volunteers and sponsors each year.
The fi fth annual VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Youth
Shoot was held at the Veterans Memorial Club in Baker
City on Saturday, November 19, 2016, bringing together
46 competitors and $3,500 in total donations.
Bailee Griggs was crowned Top Shot, with six bulls-
eyes, and the highest score of the group, 100, receiving
the award of a Savage .17 HMR bolt-action rifl e.
Registration for the shoot, at $10 per competitor, was
opened at 7 a.m. and closed at 11 a.m., followed by a pre-
shoot safety meeting at 11:30 a.m. with retired Army First
Sergeant Duncan Pierce reprising his role as instructor.
Throughout the .22 caliber rifl e-themed event, safety
was constantly emphasized, including the requirement of
ear and eye protection, while in the area of the shooting
range, located in the basement.
As in past years, shooters, ages 10-15, could use either
their own, or one of the club’s .22 rifl es, with open sights,
and a bolt, lever, or pump action (no semi-automatics).
Despite the decline in shooters—down from 70 last
year, due to various factors, notably, other events in the
area—many of the same volunteers united once again to
make the event a successful one (43 competed two years
ago, indicating a cyclical participation pattern).
The shoot took about three hours to complete.
Volunteer Alita Arendel once again helped organize
and provide food for the event, including chili dogs and
other goodies, and other food and cash donators included
the Haines Sell-Rite General Store, Safeway, D&J Tacos,
Big Chiefs BBQ, El Erradero, Teresa’s Treasures, Trader
Ray’s, Bi-Mart, and D&B.
Other volunteers included Danny Sword, of Sword’s
Lawn Care, Memorial Club bartender Karen Wilson, who
emceed with Alan Elsberry, Corky Lien, Phil Erickson,
Joe Brooks, Adam Brooks, Dave and Bev White, Wayne
and Marilyn Bloom, Bill Hanley, Chad and Tracy Wil-
liams, Butch Boucher, Paul Russell, Phil Marton, Ray
Berryman, Brian and Tiffany Jennings, and Bret Combs.
Many of these volunteers acted as range coaches, one for
each competitor.
With the competition fi nished, Elsberry and Wilson
teamed up to announce and to award the winners. Wilson
said, “I’d like to thank all of our sponsors, donators, and
volunteers...We had a great crowd this year. Thank you
so much...”
She introduced Elsberry, who said, “I want to thank
all the volunteers tonight; they put in a lot of hours...”
Elsberry announced the winners.
For age group 10-11, Maggie Stanbro placed fi rst, with
99, and seven bullseyes; Connor Chaves placed second,
with 99, and fi ve bullseyes; Michael Gentry placed third,
with 97, and four bullseyes; and Talon Hayden placed
forth, with 97, and four bullseyes (Gentry and Hayden
competed in a shoot-off for positions).
Rumors have been fl ying around Baker City recently
regarding a string of dog deaths within the City Limits.
However, thus far it has been impossible to determine if
the theory that the dogs were poisoned is correct—or in
fact unfounded.
Barbara Sherman, whose four-year-old dog died recently
under what she believes are mysterious circumstances,
says she has heard of eight or nine such incidents around
town. Her dog, she said, was healthy when she put him
outside in her yard, but he died suddenly that evening.
Veterinarian Matt Kerns of the Animal Clinic on 10th
Street said Monday that it is “really tough” to determine
if an animal has been poisoned, particularly if the specifi c
toxin is unknown. “There are so many it could be, that
if we don’t know what to test for, it’s very diffi cult,” he
said. The amount of time passed before a veterinarian
sees a potentially poisoned animal also affects the ability
to determine the cause of death.
Lt. Dustin Newman of the Baker City Police Depart-
ment said last Friday that to date, only one suspicious dog
death case had been offi cially fi led with that department.
Hand, foot
and mouth
virus hits
Pine Eagle Charter School in Halfway sent an email to
parents on Monday, November 21, warning that there is
currently an outbreak of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.
School Secretary Angie Chetwood stated on Monday
that three of the total 200 student body (Kindergarten
through 12th Grade) were offi cially absent due to the
According to the Mayo Clinic, “The most common
cause of hand-foot-and-mouth disease is infection with
the coxsackievirus A16. The coxsackievirus belongs to
a group of viruses called nonpolio enteroviruses. Other
types of enteroviruses sometimes cause hand-foot-and-
mouth disease.”
Cloudy with a 30% chance of rain/snow show-
ers. Highs around 40. Lows below freezing at
Cloudy with a 30% chance of rain/snow show-
ers. Highs around 40. Lows below freezing at
night. Chance of precipitation 60% at night.
Cloudy with a 30% chance of rain/snow show-
ers. Highs in the mid-30s. Lows below freezing
at night, down to about 20 degrees.
Your weekend weather forecast for Baker County.
Our forecast made possible by this
generous sponsor:
Offi cial weather provider for
The Baker County Press.
Blue Mtn. Design Works sold
Sunfi re Realty under new mgmt.
Local theater holding auditions
B2H EIS date announced
5J student of the month and more
Fire destroys building, car