Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About The Baker County press. volume (Baker City, Ore.) 2014-current | View This Issue
LOCAL: City Planning discusses zoning
issues. PAGE 5
BUSINESS: New bakery to open in Halfway
in two weeks. PAGE 3
Baker County Press
All local. All relevant. Every Friday.
Friday, December 29, 2017 • Volume 4, Issue 52
Special: 2017 in Review
New year, new offi cials.
Family and friends were in
attendance as the Oath of
Ofﬁ ce was administered
to ﬁ ve individuals at the
Baker County Courthouse,
on Friday, December
30, 2016: Baker County
District Attorney Matt
Shirtcliff, Baker County
Commissioner Bruce Nich-
ols, Baker County Sheriff
Travis Ash, Baker County
Assessor Kerry Savage,
and Baker County Sur-
veyor Tom Hanley.
Theft reported at local
mine. The Baker County
Sheriff’s Ofﬁ ce received
a report of a break-in and
robbery at the mining
claim up Clark’s Creek in
the Bridgeport area, owned
by Marvin and Phillip
Wirth and family. The
claim has been featured on
this season of “Gold Rush”
on the Discovery Channel.
Crossroads gets a tou-
chup. Crossroads Carnegie
Art Center’s interior is
being repainted and all the
lights will be LED light
retroﬁ tted, except for the
lights in the gallery which
were already retroﬁ tted in
Burnt River forms new
Initial Attack organiza-
tion. A newly formed
resource in the ﬁ ght to
combat range ﬁ res early on
is Burnt River Initial At-
tack (BRIA), an expanding
group of volunteers with
a mission that includes a
communications and re-
sponse coverage area that
spans the 30J School Dis-
trict, in an effort to assist
state and federal agencies
during the wildﬁ re season.
Rare Pine-Eagle School
Closure. For the ﬁ rst time
in recent memory, Half-
way’s Pine Eagle Schools
closed Wednesday and
planned for closure Thurs-
day due to snow.
Local travels to Trump
Former Baker 5J School
Board member Kyle
Knight traveled quite liter-
ally through snow, ice and
dark of night in order to
make it from Idaho back
through Oregon to Port-
land to catch his ﬂ ight to
Feeding deer creates
traffi c hazard. ODFW
says feeding hay to deer
along Hwy. 86 by mem-
bers of the public, as
well-intentioned as it is,
may be doing more harm
Photo courtesy of Joelle Crowther.
On everyone’s minds—how much more snow was
on the ground all over Baker County by January
2017, shown above, compared to this winter.
SEE 2017 IN REVIEW
Cathedral needs roof repair
On December 23, 2017
at about 11:21 p.m., in
Baker City Police Ofﬁ cer
Coleton Smith initiated
his emergency lights in
an attempt to stop a 1983
Oldsmobile Cutlass with
an obscured plate on Best
Frontage Road, near H
Street in Baker City.
The vehicle failed to
Photo courtesy of the BCSO.
stop for the emergency
lighting and continued
east on H Street and then
turned north into the
Elkhorn Biomass (Northwest Forest Products) property,
located at 41921 Best Frontage Road, and stopped near
While Ofﬁ cer Smith waited for a backup ofﬁ cer, the
passenger failed to obey commands to show his hands
and stay near the car. This passenger, identiﬁ ed as Mi-
chael Allen Payne (06/17/83) continued to move away
from the vehicle and behind Ofﬁ cer Smith. Payne was
close enough that Ofﬁ cer Smith was able to tell him he
was under arrest for Failing to Obey the Lawful Order of
a Police Ofﬁ cer.
Meghan Andersch/ The Baker County Press
Roof damage, visible from the street below (at right)
is in need of repair to protect the gorgeous
cathedral (above) from the weather by next year.
• $130K REMAINS NEEDED FOR PROJECT
SEE ARRESTS PAGE 5
BY MEGHAN ANDERSCH
Due to cumulative damage, including from last year’s
hard winter, the Saint Frances de Sales Cathedral in
Baker City will be getting a new roof soon, hopefully
in the spring. Water damage from leaks will be ﬁ xed
later. Due to the complexity of the job and the steepness
of the Gothic architecture, the cost of a new roof will be
$250,000. The roof was last replaced in the ‘80s.
The diocese gave a generous donation and the ofﬁ ce
has also written several grants, so the amount left to raise
is about $130,000, explained Ann Kniesel in the parish
ofﬁ ce. Donation letters have been sent out to all parish
members. Any additional fundraising activities will be
determined after the holiday season has passed.
Kniesel said they would like to preserve the historical
building, and to do that, the roof must be replaced.
Construction of the cathedral began in May 1905 and it
was dedicated in 1908. The cathedral is built with tuffs-
tone from Pleasant Valley; its two towers stand 112 feet
above the ground.
Eight stained glass windows were installed in 1923,
at a cost of $1,000 for the large windows and $500 for
the small ones. Additional stained glass windows were
installed in the 1960s. The most recent renovation was
completed in 2007 and featured new tiles, carpeting, and
stands for the statues along with much restoration work.
The cathedral in Baker City is considered the bishop’s
Cloudy with a high around 36. Chance of freez-
ing rain and rain. Southeast winds around 5-10
mph. A low near 24 and rain and snow showers.
Partly cloudy with a high around 35 and a
chance of rain and snow showers. Northwest
winds around 5-10 mph. Saturday Night: Partly
cloudy with a low near 22.
Mostly sunny with a high around 32. South to
southeast winds around 5-10 mph. Sunday
Night: Partly cloudy with a low near 22.
church, and he presides at major feasts and celebrations,
including Christmas, Easter, and Holy Week. The Catho-
lic Diocese of Baker includes all of Oregon east of the
Cascades. The bishop resided in Baker City until 1985
when the Chancery ofﬁ ces were moved to a more central
location in Redmond.
The cathedral provides religious education for youth and
adults, including daily Mass and a Spanish Mass the 2nd
and 4th Sunday of the month.
They also have a food bank, open Monday, Wednesday,
and Friday from 10 a.m. till noon. A family may access
this service four times per year. Kniesel explains the aid
is meant to get families “over a hump.”
The church also assists with gas and motel vouchers.
Kniesel explained they have had to cut back on some
services due to limited funds. Around $30,000 in aid was
given last year, funded through donations.
Donations for the roof or to support community ser-
vices can be dropped by the ofﬁ ce at 2235 1st Street in
Baker City Monday through Friday between 9:30 a.m.
and 3:30 p.m.
The Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center forecast:
Our forecast made possible by
this generous sponsor:
Ofﬁ cial weather provider for
The Baker County Press.
BY KERRY McQUISTEN
Around 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Baker City Police
opened an information case report regarding a minor ac-
cident involving Baker City’s iconic Ron Colton Carriage
Colton, who has been providing sleigh and carriage
rides to the community and tourists for years, was loading
up passengers at the historic Geiser Grand Hotel on Main
Street, when something spooked one of the horses, ac-
cording to Sgt. Wayne Chastain.
Witnesses stated they believed a drunk individual was
responsible for frightening the horse. Police were unable
to conﬁ rm that detail.
SEE COLTON PAGE 5
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
Events Calendar, News of Record
Agriculture market reports
Opinion / Politics
PRCF helps foster kids at holidays
Special: New Years messages