Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current, March 29, 2017, Image 1

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    inside today:
Enterprise, Oregon
Issue No. 50
March 29, 2017
Fergi Fest this weekend
By Kathleen Ellyn
Wallowa County Chieftain
Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain
Non-competitors admire the insanity of the competitors as
they eye the lineup of lawn chair ski-dos.
A most appropriate date has been set
for Fergi Fest at the Ferguson Ridge Ski
Area outside of Joseph this year – April
Fools Day.
You can expect to see all of your fa-
vorite events at Eagle Cap Ski Club-op-
erated/Lions Club-owned family ski area
from the Tucker Downhill races to ski
golf to the world-famous lawn chair races.
It’s been a great year for the Fergu-
son Ridge Ski Area this year, with loads
of snow and lots of skiers, but the snow
is gone down at the bottom of the hill al-
ready. It’s been trying to snow, however.
Snow or no snow it’s always a go at Fergi
Fest as most folks know. So, plan on fun
even if there is no new snow.
See FERGI, Page A16
Support your local Lions Club. The
Lions Club owns Ferguson Ridge Ski
Area and provides liability insurance
for the Ski Area, Wallowa Valley Com-
munity Ice Rink, and local youth foot-
ball team. To become a member, call
Jerry Hustafa, president at (541) 432-
Courtesy ODFW
A collared Oregon wolf is
shown in this file photo from
the Oregon Department of
Fish and Wildlife. Wolves
from the Shamrock pack are
suspected of raiding a hen
house last week in Wallowa
County near Flora.
pack hits
hen house
By Steve Tool
Wallowa County Chieftain
In a new twist in Wallowa
County wolf management, the
Shamrock wolf pack struck
in the Flora area in northern
Wallowa County, raiding a hen
house and killing at least eight
chickens and a goose early
Friday morning. The property
owners told Mike Hansen, the
assistant district biologist for
the Oregon Department of Fish
and Wildlife’s Enterprise offi ce,
that wolf howls awakened them
at 4 a.m. They later found the re-
mains of a number of fowl near
the entrance to the coop.
The coop is located only
about 50 yards from the prop-
erty owner’s home. According
to Hansen, the ODFW has re-
ceived a number of calls from
area people regarding the pres-
ence of wolves in their yards,
although no depredations had
been reported.
“They’ve been living near
humans for several years now.
They haven’t had negative
events happen to them, and
for the most part they haven’t
caused any problems. This is
the fi rst time they’ve caused
problems so close to some-
body’s house,” Hansen said.
The biologist said that he
found hundreds of wolf tracks
at the site as well as remains
from a number of chickens and
one goose. The coop previous-
ly contained 16 chickens and
eight geese.
See WOLVES, Page A16
Steve Tool/Chieftain
What’s left of a Chevy S-10 pickup driven by Aaron Thompson of La Grande after it skidded head-on into an embankment and flipped over on its
top on the morning of March 28. Thompson was taken by ambulance to Wallowa Memorial Hospital with a head injury and possible chest injury.
By Steve Tool
Wallowa County Chieftain
ne man was injured and hospitalized in
a single-vehicle crash and rollover ac-
cident at about 8:30 Tuesday morning
near Wallowa Lake.
Aaron Thompson, 44, La Grande, was driv-
ing a Chevy S-10 pickup southbound on Wal-
lowa Lake Highway when he hit an icy patch
near mile marker 5, throwing his vehicle across
the opposite lane and head-on into the embank-
ment before it fl ipped over and skidded onk its
top, coming to rest just inches from the guardrail
and the frigid waters of Wallowa Lake.
Thompson managed to extract himself from
the smashed vehicle despite a bleeding wound
on his head as well as a possible chest injury.
Joseph Fire Department was fi rst on the scene
and arrived within minutes of the accident
said fi refi ghter Justin Doherty. The fi refi ghters
immediately sealed off the area as gallons of
gasoline from the overturned truck covered a
considerable portion of the highway in the crash
area. Units from the Wallowa County Sheriff’s
Offi ce, Oregon State Police and an ambulance
from Wallowa Memorial Hospital also respond-
ed to the crash.
Doherty noted some blood on the highway
centerline and said the pickup also had a large
amount of blood on the inside.
All emergency services on the scene gingerly
made their way over the very slick road while
avoiding large amounts of broken glass and
being extra careful not to create a spark. JFD
fi refi ghter Tom Clevenger said the crew would
stay on the scene until the vehicle was removed
because of the extreme fi re danger.
“It’s a miracle that didn’t catch fi re, skidding
on its top with all that gasoline on the highway,”
he said.
Steve Tool/Chieftain
Wallowa County emergency services personnel treat Aaron Thompson of La Grande after a
single vehicle rollover crash near Wallowa Lake on the morning of March 28.
Wallowa County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark
Christman surveyed broken pieces of the truck
in the ditch where the truck hit the embankment
before climbing up and retrieving numerous
other items thrown from the truck on impact,
including a gas can thrown about 40 feet up the
hill. On the other side of the highway, a bedlin-
er from the truck was thrown over the guardrail
and halfway down to the lake.
“It’s amazing that truck didn’t go through the
guardrail and into lake,” Christman said. “He’s
lucky to be alive.”