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About The Baker County press. (Baker City, Ore.) 2014-current | View Entire Issue (March 31, 2017)
BUSINESS: New fitness club coming to
Baker City. PAGE 3
SPORTS: Special Olympics athletes
compete in Austria. PAGE 10
Baker County Press
All local. All relevant. Every Friday.
Friday, March 31, 2017 • Volume 4, Issue 13
Grants available for
property owner sidewalks
• BAKER CITY
BY GINA K. SWARTZ
Tuesday evening’s City
Council meeting began
with Mayor Downing call-
ing the meeting to order
and Councilor Thomas
leading the Pledge of Al-
legiance and giving the
Recorder Julie Smith
called role noting that
Councilors Loran Joseph
and Adam Nilsson were
absent. Also absent from
the meeting was City Man-
ager Fred Warner.
The ﬁ rst matter Mayor
Downing addressed was
the approval of the consent
agenda which included
minutes from regular
Council meetings held
February 14, 2017, Febru-
ary 28, 2017 and March
The Consent agenda
also included a liquor
license application from
Quail Ridge Golf Course.
Councilor Thomas made
a motion to accept the
consent agenda that was
seconded by Councilor
Abell. Council passed
the motion unanimously.
Mayor Downing then
called for citizen participa-
tion, seeing none he moved
forward with the evening’s
2017 Capital Plan and
2017 Pavement Manage-
Public Works Director
Michelle Owen presented
to Council detailed Capital
Plan and Pavement Man-
agement Plan for the City
of Baker City.
SEE CITY PAGE 3
Gina K. Swartz / The Baker County Press
Baker City Council met, as usual, on Tuesday this
week. Meetings are held twice monthly.
Beta Sigma Phi ladies Another
keep a tradition going meth arrest
On March 27 at about
2 p.m., Baker City Police
Ofﬁ cers and Baker County
Parole and Probation Of-
ﬁ cers contacted Donald
Earl Counts and several
other people at Counts’
residence, located at 2433
1st Street, Apartment #1 in
According to Baker City
Police Chief Wyn Lohner,
Photo Courtesy of the
this contact was subsequent
Baker County Sheriff’s Ofﬁ ce.
to observations of high ac- Donald Counts.
tivity level at that residence.
Counts was found to be in possession of approximately
17 ½ grams of methamphetamine and subsequently taken
to the Baker County Jail where he was lodged for Posses-
sion of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine).
Drug Canine Capa was deployed in the residence and
at about 6:15 p.m. BCPD Ofﬁ cers conducted a search
warrant at that location. During the search ofﬁ cers seized
small amounts of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia,
and other drug related items.
Samantha O’Conner / The Baker County Press
Left to Right top: Judy Schroeder, Alice Ward, Wilma Edwards, Carol Guthrie. Left to Right bottom: Eleanor
Dopp, Charlene Mofﬁ t, and Shirley Adamson.
• LOCAL GROUP MEETS TWICE A MONTH
BY SAMANTHA O’CONNER
Beta Sigma Phi is a sorority that has been active for 86
years and was founded by Walter Ross in 1931. Accord-
ing to local member Charlene Mofﬁ t, Beta Sigma Phi is
an international sorority based in Kansas.
The current members of the Baker City group are Mof-
ﬁ t, Shirley Adamson, Eleanor Dopp, Wilma Edwards,
Carol Guthrie, Alice Ward, and Judy Schroeder. Dopp,
Mofﬁ t, and Ward have all been in the sorority longest,
each near or over 60 years. They still meet twice a month
to discuss their programs and upcoming events.
“The purpose of our group was to embellish a group
of women so they would know one another, and they
could have conversations back and forth and this was
founded during the depression years,” explained Mof-
ﬁ t. “And we have tried to maintain the principles of our
sorority, and we have programs where we interact with
one another about all kinds of various topics. We are also
philanthropic in that we sponsor a meal every year at the
senior center, which we just ﬁ nished doing in the middle
Beta Sigma Phi began with ﬁ ve groups in Baker City—
they are the last remaining group. According to Mofﬁ t,
they represent over 500 years of membership.
They have programs and have never shirked from them.
Sunny and mild, highs in the mid 50s.
Friday Night: Mostly clear and cool. Lows near
Partly sunny with continued mild conditions.
high near 60. Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy with
scattered showers possible. Chance of precipi-
tation is 30%. Lows near 40.
Partly sunny and not as mild with scattered rain
showers. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Highs
in the mid 50s. Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy with
a few rain/snow showers. Lows in the mid 30s.
The dinner they hold at the Senior Center is their main
“We used to, years ago, buy mittens and scarves and
caps to give to school children,” explained Dopp. “We
did that for a long time.”
They also did a food drive at Christmas and donated the
goods they received, and they sponsored the art show at
the Community Center.
Each member has an achievement badge that has a pin
for programs they had been involved in, pins for how
long they had been a part of the sorority, the ofﬁ ces they
had held, special recognitions, and a yellow sose is on the
badge as the yellow rose is the symbol for Beta Sigma
“In the Portland area, there are still many groups and
they’re still active,” explained Adamson. “Unfortunately
we have gone from ﬁ ve down to our small group because,
like everything else, as times change, people change and
a lot more younger women are working. We all worked,
but we enjoyed sororities so we could have the time
to ourselves. We were very active socially. We did art
shows. We had dances. We had our Valentine’s ball. We
had queen, and we had princesses. It gave the mother
with children a night out and that, I think, was basically
what started the group from the very beginning and gave
the young mothers the time to leave the children with
father and get out one night a week and enjoy each other
and the culture and plan and do things that they would not
Your weekend weather forecast for Baker County.
Our forecast made possible by this
BY TODD ARRIOLA
The Baker County Planning Commission held a public
hearing on Thursday, March 23, 2017, 6 p.m., in the
Commission Chambers of the Baker County Courthouse,
a process that highlighted issues and delays in the ap-
proval of Plan Amendment PA-16-002, a request for a
zone change from Rural Residential (RR-5) to Mineral
Extraction (ME), from Janesville, Wisconsin-based Helge
Brothers, LLC, for a roughly nine-acre parcel located in
the Cracker Creek Road area, north of Sumpter.
The Commission voted, four-to-two, to deny the
request, based on lack of evidence to determine signiﬁ -
cance (whether it is a signiﬁ cant resource), as required by
the Baker County Comprehensive Land Use Plan, during
the Commission’s ﬁ ve-hour public hearing, on Thursday,
January 26, 2017.
SEE SUMPTER MINING PAGE 4
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
Charges added to meth arrest
State questions local wolf depredation
Ofﬁ cial weather provider for
The Baker County Press.
Prescribed burns scheduled
Eclipse updates given
NRAC: Watershed concerns
Spring orchestra concert ahead