Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current, January 31, 2018, Image 1

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    HOPE FOR JOSEPH’S POTHOLES
See editorial on Page 4
Enterprise, Oregon
Wallowa.com
Issue No. 42
January 31, 2018
2017 Citizens Award Banquet
AND THE WINNER IS . . .
Dan Gover of Enterprise was astonished when he re-
ceived the Agriculture Award. Gover, 80, was recog-
nized for his exemplary resource management, both
as a farmer and a timberman.
Penny Arentsen, pictured with husband Paul, accepted the
Nonprofit Award. Arentsen is so involved in the community
that it was hard to choose just one project to honor her for,
but presenter Marla Dotson narrowed it down to the Joseph
Playground project.
Jennifer Gibbs of Wallowa Elementary poses with pre-
senter Ann Bloom. Gibbs, a teacher for 30 years, was
awarded the 2017 Educational Leader Award.
Amid cheers and tears, chamber
honors best of the best
You taught me to
be patient, hungry
and humble.…You
lit a flame so bright
and hot that today it
continues to burn as
if it was the first day
I raced.”
By Kathleen Ellyn
Wallowa County Chieftain
W
allowa County has not begun to run out of outstand-
ing citizens to honor each year at the Chamber of Com-
merce Citizen Awards. Another seven were feted Jan.
28 and as usual, astonished winners, standing ovations and tears
from presenters and recipients were the rule.
Marc Stauffer
The capacity crowd at Cloverleaf Hall saw the first award of the eve-
ning go to Enterprise resident Marc Stauffer, who was honored with the
award of Excellence in Community Service.
See AWARDS, Page A8
Photos Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain
— David Ribich
Enterprise Track and Field Coach Dan Moody was sur-
rounded by supporters as he was surprised with the Un-
sung Hero Award.
in a letter praising
Coach Dan Moody
Hospital seeks new management
company for assisted living
Drugs drain
resources
New contract
should be signed
before June
Law enforcement
battling worst epidemic
in county’s history
By Steve Tool
Wallowa County Chieftain
Wallowa Memorial Hospi-
tal is seeking a new manage-
ment company for the Wal-
lowa Valley Senior Living
Center. The center provides
assisted living services as well
as memory care for two dozen
residents.
Artegan, the current man-
agement group, elected not
to renew its five-year con-
tract with the hospital in late
December.
Crystal meth is just one form of
the drug methamphetamine.
Chieftain file photo
Wallowa Valley Senior Living Center will have a new manage-
ment company is place by this summer.
Carfentanyl found in
recent case
By Steve Tool
Artegan did not give a rea-
son for nonrenewal.
The hospital’s CEO Larry
Davy and board chair Nick
Lunde said the hospital has
begun the search.
“Under the terms of the
2013 contract, we would need
to do a renewal before June,”
Lunde said. “They were
required under the contract to
give at least 90 days notice.”
When the center opened
in 2013, a company called
Marathon served in the man-
agement capacity for nine
months before it was bought
by Artegan.
“We didn’t have to do a
new contract with Artegan;
they just took over Mara-
thon,” Lunde said. Both men
said that Artegan did not give
a reason for nonrenewal.
Artegan will remain until
June 27. It’s possible that
a new company might take
over the contract before June.
“You want to look at
who’s adept at running them
already,” Davy said. “Artegan
gave Nick (Lunde) a refer-
ence of an organization that’s
considered strong.”
Lunde added that the new
company is a leader in the
field and pioneered the con-
cept of assisted living, which
had its origins in Oregon.
“Quality and customer
service is huge, but they also
need to be fiscally responsi-
ble,” Davy said
Alpine House, an assisted
living facility in Joseph, has
also been contacted. Their
selection would mean local
rather than remote manage-
ment. Davy added that the
talks are at a stage of feasi-
bility assessment for both
parties.
Both men are confident of
finding a replacement com-
pany before the deadline.
“I don’t want to consider
the alternative,” Lunde said
with a laugh. “Seriously,
we have a couple of strong
leads.”
“Failure is not an option,”
a smiling Davy added.
“Assisted living and senior
care is very important. It’s
See HOSPITAL, Page A9
Wallowa County Chieftain
Wallowa County has a drug prob-
lem. Law enforcement and the dis-
trict attorney’s office are aware of
it, as are circuit court and those who
read the dispatch log.
Law enforcement, including dis-
trict attorney Mona Williams, Enter-
prise Police Chief Joel Fish and Wal-
lowa County Sheriff Steve Rogers
are drawing battle plans.
They sat down in Williams’ office
recently for an hour-long interview
with the Chieftain to discuss their
challenges.
The three have around 80 years of
law enforcement experience between
them.
“It’s not new, it just kind of
changes – ebbs and flows,” Williams
said of the illicit drug trade in the
county.
Street drugs such as those found
in large urban areas of the state have
turned up.
“We’re one of only three counties
in the state that has actually found
Carfentanyl,” Rogers said.
The drug is 10,000 times more
powerful than an equivalent unit
of morphine and can be absorbed
through latex gloves. It’s so danger-
ous that the sheriff’s office won’t
field test it; the drug is bagged and
sent to an Oregon State Police Crime
lab.
So is the situation worse than it
was 15 years ago?
Today, marijuana products are
legal to ingest. Williams said she still
considers marijuana a drug, and if it is
counted, drug use is more prevalent.
“I’m seeing more of it than I did
when I took office 11 years ago,”
Williams said.
Crystal Methamphetamine has
also become more prevalent.
“We weren’t seeing a lot of meth
when I first started,” Williams said.
“I would say a high percentage of
cases that come through have a PCS
meth along with whatever else there
is,” she said. The others agreed.
They believe meth presents the
biggest problems.
The county appears to have a
higher than expected percentage of
middle-aged meth addicts.
“It’s that addictive,” Williams
said.
Rogers said that kids are always
going to push boundaries, but with
the high potency of today’s drugs,
they don’t get many chances for
error.
See DRUGS, Page A9
$1