Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current, November 25, 2015, Image 1

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Enterprise, Oregon
Issue No. 32
November 25, 2015
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Sudden firing of police chief in Illinois has direct impact on local search
By Kathleen Ellyn
Wallowa County Chieftain
Enterprise City Council announced
Friday that its top pick for police chief
has withdrawn his application.
-ames Episcopo of %rook¿ eld Vil-
lage, Ill., has opted to remain in Illi-
nois following the ¿ ring of %rook¿ eld
Police Chief Steven Stelter on Oct.
30. Episcopo, a lieutenant, has been
serving as acting chief since then. He
is Patrol Commander in charge of 21
of¿ cers and has served as acting chief
several times in the past.
“We were very
sorry to hear he was
staying, but he was
reluctant to leave
his men in an un-
settled situation and
it was exactly this
integrity that made
him such an attrac-
said Michele Young, Enterprise city
Enterprise City Council voted
unanimously to make a conditional
offer to Episcopo in early October
after he and his wife Suzanne toured
Wallowa County, met members of the
public, spent time with Enterprise po-
lice of¿ cers and con¿ rmed their desire
to be part of the community.
At the time of the conditional offer,
Young warned that the process could
take several months to complete and
revealed the council’s decision to de-
velop another pool of candidates in
case Episcopo declined the offer.
Wallowa County Sheriff Steve
Rogers has always maintained that
he did not want to consider extend-
ing county services to cover the city.
However, Rogers met Episcopo and
assisted the city in developing an ef-
fective interview process for candi-
“If Enterprise asks for my help I’ll
give it, but it’s none of my business
(otherwise),” Rogers said. “I keep my
nose out of it. I know that in these
high-level professional positions like
this it Must takes a long time to ¿ nd the
right person. I think James (Episco-
po) had all the good intentions in the
world going in.”
See SEARCH, Page A6
Schedule Page A3
“Wallowa Lake — The Real Story”
(Mt. Emily Press, 2015) by Joan
book tells
lake’s story
Book the byproduct
of student art project
By 6FRt +eLVel
Wallowa County Chieftain
What did two ambitious and in-
quisitive deer and one very annoyed
pine tree have to do with the forma-
tion of a local gem of nature, Wallowa
The answer lies in a new chil-
dren’s book that is the culmination of
a sixth-grade art project that started in
“Wallowa Lake — The Real Story”
(Mt. Emily Press, 2015) by Joan Gil-
bert offers a whimsical legend of how
the lake came to be, followed by a few
science lessons that provide an actual,
geological explanation of the forces
that carved it into our landscape.
Gilbert wrote the book’s storyline,
but the illustrations were pulled from
a short claymation ¿ lm by the same
name that was produced four years
ago with her guidance by Colby Kni-
fong’s sixth-grade class at Enterprise
“My son was in sixth grade,” Gil-
bert said. “I knew it probably was my
last art project with them, so I want-
ed to do something really big. Before
that, I had been teaching animation to
kids at Chief Joseph Summer Camp.”
Gilbert, who is a graphic designer
as well as an author, had been involved
with her kids’ school art projects for
years before the Wallowa Lake ¿ lm.
See BOOK, Page A9
Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftan
Team-teachers Kyle Crawford and Jordan Alford surrounded by their sixth-grade students.
Faced with
sixth grade,
employs unique
By Kathleen Ellyn
Wallowa County Chieftain
hirty-seven kids is just too
many for one sixth-grade
That’s the problem that faced
Enterprise Schools Superintendent
Brad Royse this year. Splitting the
class in half was the logical step,
but not the kind one, Royse said.
“School had already started
and I didn’t want to make the kids
decide which teacher they wanted,”
he said.
Instead, he played to the
strengths of two new ¿ rst-year
teachers, Kyle Crawford and Jor-
dan Alford, and divided the class
only by subject matter.
The teachers are in adjacent
rooms and the kids cycle between
them, 18 students at a time.
“It’s much like junior high,”
said Crawford. “The students just
switch classes.”
Crawford teaches math, science
and social studies, while Alford
teaches English, reading and
So far, the parents and students
love this arrangement, Royse said.
It’s the best of both worlds:
small class sizes means more
teacher interaction, and sixth grade
is still a single class, socially.
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Washington ranchers blame state, federal agencies
By Dan Wheat
Capital Press
CLE ELUM, Wash. — A panel of ranchers
at the Washington Cattlemen’s Association an-
nual meeting unloaded frustration and anger
at state and federal agencies, saying their land
management practices and inept ¿ re ¿ ghting
are to blame for massive losses of rangeland,
cattle and fencing in the last two years.
The losses threaten the cattle industry, par-
ticularly in Okanogan County where more than
1 million acres burned in the last two summers.
That totals one third of the entire acreage
of the county which, at 5,315 square miles, is
larger than some states. Millions of dollars of
public and private timber have been lost. About
1,000 head of cattle died in the Carlton ¿ re last
year in Okanogan County while the tally so far
this year is under 300. Hundreds of miles of
fencing were lost both years but probably the
biggest impact is loss of grazing on thousands
of acres for several years causing ranchers to
buy more hay and sell off cattle.
“There’s got to be some change or this will
ruin our industry,” said Vic Stokes, a Twisp
rancher, who lost 250 head of cattle and 90
percent of his grazing in the Carlton ¿ re.
The convention panel, Nov. 12 at Sunca-
dia Resort, faulted the U.S. Forest Service and
state agencies for not thinning forests and not
allowing grazing which would reduce ¿ re fuel
The ranchers said local ¿ re¿ ghters do good
work but are restrained when state and federal
agencies take over.
See FIRES, Page A9
Dan Wheat/Capital Press
Vic Stokes, Twisp, Wash., rancher, speaks on wildfire panel
at the Washington Cattlemen’s Association annual meeting
near Cle Elum, Wash., Nov. 12. To his right is Okanogan
County Commissioner Jim DeTro, Curlew rancher Doug
Grumbach and Centerville rancher Neil Kayser.