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About The Baker County press. (Baker City, Ore.) 2014-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 24, 2017)
LOCAL: School Board coverage—Promise
Students and Friday Academy. PAGE 5
BUSINESS: Benchmark Land Surveying
relocates to Dewey Ave. PAGE 3
Baker County Press
All local. All relevant. Every Friday.
Friday, November 24, 2017 • Volume 4, Issue 47
Wells Fargo branch to
close in the spring
BY TODD ARRIOLA
After decades of serv-
ing the community, the
Baker City Wells Fargo
Bank branch, located in the
Safeway building at 1205
Campbell Street, will close
in May 2018, according
to Boise, Idaho-based
Julie Fogerson, Regional
Assistant Vice President.
Fogerson said that ear-
lier this year, Wells Fargo
announced the closures of
200 branches across the
country in 2017, includ-
ing Baker City, with more
closures planned for 2018.
The Baker City clo-
sure—the only one in the
region Fogerson is aware
of—coincides with the
termination of the branch’s
lease, in May.
“We continually evalu-
ate our branch network,
and make adjustments
based on customer use,
market factors, economic
trends, and competitor
actions; this process leads
to both expansion, and
closures. Our long-term
strategic approach hasn’t
changed, while the way
customers are doing busi-
ness has shifted, “she said.
“This is not an easy deci-
sion, or one that we take
lightly. We continually
look to service our custom-
ers in the way that they
choose to do business with
us, offering many ways to
bank, including phone con-
tact 24 hours a day, mail,
online, and by mobile app
She said that Wells
Fargo is exploring options
to leave an ATM behind,
and the company will be
notifying branch custom-
ers by mail in the coming
months of the closure, as
well as posting signage at
Todd Arriola / The Baker County Press
The branch, located inside the local Safeway, will
close next May.
SEE WELLS FARGO
Cougar spotted near Pine
Creek, Hunt Mountain
Photos courtesy of Shelly Shively.
These photos were captured on the trail cam positioned in the driveway of the Mellott family up Pine Creek
outside Baker City.
BY TODD ARRIOLA
Some recent complaints of cougar sightings in the
Pine Creek and Hunt Mountain areas southwest of Haines
prompted Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
(ODFW) District Biologist Brian Ratliff to pass on the
suggestion that the sooner a problem cougar is discovered
and reported, the easier the solution will be.
Earlier this month, Ratliff, of the Baker District Oregon
Department of Fish and Wildlife ofﬁ ce, said that ODFW
received information “...in kind of a roundabout way...”
of sightings of a cougar in the Pine Creek area, that had
killed a deer on private property. There was signiﬁ cant
chatter about cougar activity on social media, but Ratliff
said there was a delay in advising ODFW of the situation.
“While that’s a good way to get information out, it’s
not a good way to inform us,” he said, noting that he isn’t
the biggest fan. “I don’t keep track of social media, I’ll be
honest. I don’t like the negativity, so, I stay away from
Jerry Boyd was joined by others online in getting the
word out via Facebook posts.
He said that a neighbor in the Pine Creek/Hunt Moun-
tain area was told by ODFW that a cougar was living
in a gravel pit area that borders several properties (this
was news to Ratliff, who said that’s an odd area for a
cougar to be living in), and that another neighbor on the
north side of Hunt Mountain Lake saw cougar scat in his
Mostly sunny and mild. High near 50.
Friday Night: Increasing clouds. Lows near
Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Highs
near 50. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy with scattered
rain showers. Lows in the upper 30s.
Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Highs in
the mid 50s. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy with scattered rain
showers. Lows in the mid 30s.
domestic cat’s feed bowls, among other posts.
Social media comments on the subject predictably
ranged from leaving cougars alone, to shooting them, and
there were many concerns voiced online back and forth,
but by the time ODFW was contacted to lend assistance,
which involved removing the attractant—what was left of
the deer carcass, in this case—there wasn’t much else to
do from the agency’s point of view.
Citing human safety as one of the reasons for ODFW
to remove a cougar, Ratliff said, for example, “If some-
one had reported, ‘Hey, I’ve got a dead deer, not very far
away from the houses,’” at the time, killed by a cougar,
“...we would go ahead and remove it. That cougar came
back and set on that deer multiple times—it moved it.” If
it had been reported earlier, he said, “We could have very
easily removed that cat. We could have found it, and
removed it...But, since it wasn’t reported to us until well
after the fact, at that point, that cat’s not even there.”
Ratliff noted issues in the past with cougars in the Pine
Creek area. “We’ve had to put cougars down before there.
We’ve had multiple cats in that area. It’s simply because
of the fact that you have this great habitat there—you
have whitetail deer and turkeys, and all these food
sources. Three’s plenty of cover for animals to move
about freely, and not be seen,” he said.
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On November 20, 2017, Baker City Council Member
Adam Nilsson (dob 4/13/1971) of 307 Hillcrest Dr. Baker
City, Oregon pled guilty to one count of Criminal Mis-
chief in the Third Degree.
As part of a plea agreement with the Baker County
District Attorney’s Ofﬁ ce one count of Criminal Trespass
while in Possession of a Firearm was dismissed.
Nilsson was sentenced to one-year bench probation.
He was ordered to pay a $150 ﬁ ne and complete 50 hours
of community service.
As part of his probation, Nilsson is prohibited from
entering the lime plant area and is not allowed to apply
grafﬁ ti to any property that is not his own.
Nilsson admitted during the hearing that he should
have inquired further into the status of the no trespassing
signs at the lime plant and that he should not have applied
paint to the lime plant property.
“The County will continue to pursue charges for
individuals who apply grafﬁ ti to property unlawfully.
We have also started stricter enforcement for people
who enter the lime plant area. This area is not safe and
the County Commissioners do not want people at the
lime plant for that reason,” said District Attorney Matt
At around 8:40 p.m. on August 1, Nilsson was cited
for criminal trespass while in possession of a ﬁ rearm, and
second degree criminal mischief at the old Lime plant
near Huntington. Nilsson’s companion, Ashley Schroder
(30) of Portland, was also cited with trespass.
Sheriff Travis Ash said the citation happened while
Deputy Gabe Maldonado was on patrol through the area,
which lies just off I-84. Nilsson, who has a concealed
carry permit was in possession of a ﬁ rearm and spray
cans of paint.
mph in town
On November 19, 2017 at about 3:31 a.m., Baker
City Police attempted to stop a 1997 Chevrolet pickup
driven by Samuel Madison for excessive speed as it was
travelling south on Cherry Street, near the Church Street
Madison refused to stop and drove at varying speeds
up to an estimated 60 miles per hour for approximately
10 blocks, before ﬁ nally coming to a stop on Balm Street
near Auburn Avenue.
At the conclusion of the pursuit, Samuel surrendered
to pursuing ofﬁ cers and was taking into custody without
Arrested at Balm near Auburn was Samuel Madison,
07/07/1981, for Attempt to Elude and DUII.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
Make it and Take it event
“Why we Stand” by Wyn Lohner
“So I was Thinking...” by Jimmy Ingram
Ofﬁ cial weather provider for
The Baker County Press.
Public Arts Commission: grafﬁ ti
B2H route approved
Classiﬁ eds / Help Wanted