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About The Baker County press. (Baker City, Ore.) 2014-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 30, 2016)
2016 in Review.
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Baker County Press
All local. All relevant. Every Friday.
Friday, December 30, 2016 • Volume 3, Issue 53
Storms bring powder galore
Chief Operations Officer,
La Grande Ride, Inc.
Winter has only been
here for ten days, yet it
seems like ages since
began in late November.
That’s because this win-
ter has been fairly atypi-
cal compared to those of
recent years past.
Baker County, and other
neighboring counties, have
seen moderate snow in the
“What seems different
is that we’ve been below
freezing at most eleva-
tions for quite a long time,
which has left a pretty light
and preserved snowpack
without many layers. It
went from warm to winter
very quickly in Novem-
ber,” says Brian Sather
also of La Grande Ride,
Inc.—a leader in recreation
The Paciﬁ c Northwest
has been getting hit with
troughs, or surface low
weather systems. These
impulses of energy and
moisture are responsible
for the consistent series of
The cold temperatures
can be attributed to a per-
sistent cold, Canadian air
mass dipping down over
Most storms had a west
to northwesterly fl ow aloft,
instead of a southwest or
southerly fl ow.
This type of fl ow aloft
has been bringing constant
snow to the Blue Moun-
tains, while the Wallowa
Mountains have seen com-
parably less snowfall.
Blowing and drifting
snow has been reeking
havoc on local roads and
their travelers, with “the
daily closure” of Interstate
84 and countless motor
Local road crews have
been doing their best to
On the up side, the snow
has set forth a great start
to the snowmobile and ski
Snow has been falling
across all the local moun-
tain ranges, but the Blues
have become the predomi-
nant, premier recreation
spot as of now.
Photo by Brian Sather.
SEE POWDER PAGE 5
Hurd, after setting off a soft slab storm avalanche.
A village in miniature
Samantha O’Conner/ The Baker County Press
Photo by Audrey Beam.
Broken ice remains a testament to the deaths of 41
elk Tuesday morning.
One of Wilma Edwards’ many displays showing 751 pieces total, for viewing over the holidays.
BY SAMANTHA O’CONNER
Every Christmas, Wilma Edwards invites friends
and family to see her collection of miniature Christmas
houses and towns.
Edwards dedicates a month to setting up the seven
hundred and ﬁ fty-one piece towns for friends and family
Edwards began assembling the display on November
1 and ﬁ nished the towns at the end of the month. She
often leaves them on display until around the beginning
This year is the twenty-ﬁ rst year Edwards has set up the
displays in her house. She started her collection with the
ﬁ rst ﬁ ve pieces her mother gave her and her collection
has grown over the years. Her collection includes houses,
trees, animals, and miniature people. She now has two
hundred houses; some play music and many light up.
“I have several friends who bring them to me,” Ed-
wards explained. “They ﬁ nd them at yard sales and stuff.
Some family sends them quite often and once in a while I
buy a new one but not very often. Ace used to have them
and they weren’t that expensive and so I bought quite a
few at ﬁ rst.”
Edwards began her annual display when a friend com-
mented that she should have more people over to see the
miniature houses and displays.
Edwards and her husband Dave have lived in Baker for
45 years, having moved here in 1971. Edwards was born
in Pomeroy, Washington, and met her husband in college.
They moved to Klamath Falls in 1956, then to Lakeview
Oregon, then Bend, and ﬁ nally Baker City.
As well as collecting houses for her miniature towns,
she works on wall hangings, sewing them and giving
them to her family.
Edwards explained that she enjoys crafts and she also
Burglary reported in Richland
On the 21st, around 8:53
a.m., deputies responded
to a burglary complaint at
42539 Old Foothill Road
seeing a male subject
wearing dark clothing with
a sleeveless shirt enter an
outbuilding at the resi-
A vehicle description
was also provided to the
Around 10:53 a.m., depu-
ties located the reported
Partly sunny with a chance for snow showers.
Little to no snow accumulations are expected.
Highs in the mid 20s. Lows in the single digits.
Mostly sunny and cold. Highs in the upper
teens. Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy with a
chance for snow showers. Little to no accumula-
tion expected. Lows in the low single digits.
Mostly cloudy skies with a chance for snow.
Highs near 20. Light accumulations expected.
Chance of precipitation is 60%. Lows near 10.
suspect vehicle and the
suspect, identiﬁ ed as Dock
Miles, age 39, near the
Miles was taken into
custody and charged with
Burglary in the Second
Degree, Criminal Mischief
in the Third Degree, Theft
in the First Degree and a
Parole Detainer. Miles was
transported and lodged in
the Baker County Jail. The
investigation is continuing.
Your weekend weather forecast for Baker County.
Our forecast made possible by this
Ofﬁ cial weather provider for
The Baker County Press.
BY KERRY McQUISTEN
On Wednesday morning, roughly 150 elk safely crossed
the ice near the Powder River arm of Brownlee Reservoir
near Richland—but such was not the fate of the 41 elk
that attempted to cross just the morning before.
On Tuesday at roughly 9:30 a.m., Nick Myatt, Grande
Ronde Watershed Manager for the Oregon Department
of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), said a call came in from a
Richland resident to report that she had witnessed a large
number of elk having broken through thin ice, falling into
the frigid waters. The hope at the time was that at least
some of the animals might be salvaged for their meat, or
Word quickly came back from ODFW District Biolo-
gist Brian Ratliff and fellow employee Phillip Perrine,
said Myatt, that “the majority of the elk were already
deceased” when the pair arrived on site.
From there, Myatt’s fears were validated—the situation
would simply have to play itself out as nature intended.
And sometimes nature can be cruel.
Ratliff conﬁ rmed that when he arrived on scene, all
but a handful of the elk had already drowned. Four elk
remained alive, struggling to swim and survive. One lone
calf had made it out, standing by itself on the ice and left
to an uncertain fate.
“The closest elk were 300 yards out into the water,”
said Ratliff. “The condition of the ice was incredibly
SEE ELK PERISH PAGE 5
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
Community Bank raises $24K
Cattle, hay, metals market reports
Sky lanterns now illegal
Flu cases on the rise
Vale building added to Nat’l Reg.
New Years messages