Baker City herald. (Baker City, Or.) 1990-current, May 22, 2021, Page 5, Image 5

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SATURDAY, MAY 22, 2021
Prineville resolution opposing state
COVID mandates passes legal review
Kaylene Chamberlain/Contributed Photo
Baker’s wrestling team had its fi rst competitive match-
es in more than 15 months on Thursday, May 20.
Baker wrestlers
back on the mat
■ More than 14 months after
finishing fifth in the Class 4A state
tournament, the Bulldogs travel to
Ontario for a wrestling competition
By Corey Kirk
For the fi rst time in more than 14 months, Baker
High School wrestlers donned their singlets, snapped
on their head gear and entered the circle.
The Bulldogs traveled to Ontario on Thursday, May
20 for a tournament including Ontario, Nyssa, Vale and
“I was impressed with how we looked. We have a
really young team, a lot of freshmen and a few people
that have never wrestled before,” Baker coach Brandon
Young said. “The way things worked out, not having a
senior class because we got pushed back so late in the
year, we looked pretty good.”
The last time Baker was on the mats, the Bulldogs
fi nished fi fth in the Class 4A state tournament in late
February 2020, the second best fi nish in school history
following a fourth-place performance in 2019.
Baker’s Hon Rushton and Sydney Keller each won
individual state titles in 2020.
On Thursday at Ontario, junior Gavin Stone won all
three of his matches at 145 pounds.
“He wrestled three of the top wrestlers from the 3A
division and hindered them all pretty good,” Young said
of Stone.
Sophomore Kaci Anderson, the lone girl wrestling for
Baker, won two of three matches, including going toe-
to-toe with two-time state champion Tyler Richardson
of Vale.
Freshman Cole Hester also performed well in the
132-pound weight class during yesterday’s meet.
“Cole Hester, a freshman, went 2-0 and pinned both
of his opponents,” Young said.
Through this condensed season, coaches around the
region share the same goal of having as many meets
as possible, so team scoring will be limited, with more
emphasis on individual performance.
Because the Oregon School Activities Association
(OSAA) won’t sanction any regional or state tourna-
ments, those will be organized through USA Wrestling,
Young said.
“We are still planning on having a state champion-
ship, even though OSAA isn’t going to have it sanc-
tioned,” Young said.
Now that they’ve had their fi rst meet under their
belt, Young is hopeful that all of his wrestlers will never
take a single day on the mat for granted after surviving
a 14-month hiatus.
“Fifteen months ago we were talking about how we
were going to make a run at a state championship, and
it can be taken away just like that,” Young said.
Baker will host a tournament on Wednesday, May 26,
with matches starting at 4 p.m.
judicial review, a step needed
in order for the resolution to be
position to Gov. Kate Brown’s
Prineville Mayor Jason
COVID-19-related mandates Beebe thinks the effort to draft
grew throughout 2020, city
the opinion was worth it.
leaders in Oregon — espe-
“It can potentially help the
cially rural Oregon — drafted businesses who have been un-
resolutions declaring them
fairly fi ned by OSHA,” Beebe
said, referring to Oregon Oc-
While those resolutions
cupational Safety and Health.
were largely symbolic, leaders “I told all of our business com-
in Prineville hope their ver-
munity that I would continue
sion, passed in January, can
to fi ght for them and this was
have a legal impact for their
one way we were actually
The anti-lockdown resolu-
In early January, members
tion approved by the Prineville of the Prineville council tried a
City Council was written to
move made by numerous other
help business owners who
local governments and busi-
chose to argue fi nes for ignor- ness associations who opposed
ing Brown’s mandates. The
Brown’s orders, by writing her a
resolution recently survived a strongly worded open letter.
By Garrett Andrews
The (Bend) Bulletin
But conservative councilors
in Prineville wanted to go a step
further than a symbolic letter.
They tasked City Attorney
Jered Reid with finding a legal
mechanism the city could enact
that would protect businesses
regarding executive orders and
state regulations.
What he found was the city
was quite limited with what it
legally could do, Reid said.
The solution Reid devised,
Resolution 1474, passed the
council later that month with a
5-2 vote. The resolution states
several specifi c fi ndings, like
that Crook County represented
a minute portion of Oregon’s
total coronavirus cases and
that residents were making
good-faith efforts to stop the
spread of the disease. Those
fi ndings could then be used
to argue against a fi ne in an
administrative hearing, such
as one called by the Oregon
OSHA for violating COVID-
19-related business regula-
Resolution 1474 also in-
cluded a request for a judicial
hearing to validate the resolu-
tion. In late March, Reid met
one-on-one over video with cir-
cuit Judge Michael R. McLane
in a judicial review hearing.
McLane issued his opinion
upholding the resolution last
week. That judicial approval is
key to the resolution, Reid said.
“In order for the resolution
to have real validity in those
administrative hearings I felt it
was critical to have the circuit
court validate it,” Reid said.
La Grande Police, when a person in the
1700 block of East Glacier Street re-
Continued from Page 3A
ported they had just been shot at while
Hatch said Sprague wanted the keys standing in front of their residence.
to the car in his vehicle port. But that
While offi cers were responding, an
car belongs to a neighbor, Hatch said, so additional 911 call came from a separate
he didn’t have any keys to give.
residence in the same block on Glacier.
“It was bad, yeah,” he said.
The second caller reported the suspect
Hatch said he saw Sprague’s hand
entered their residence and held them
tremble as he held the pis-
at gunpoint while demanding keys to
tol grip of the shotgun, and
their vehicle.
he feared one shaky fi nger
La Grande police offi cers arrived
could end everything for
within moments and contacted the
him. So he talked to the
callers. Police named Sprague as the
man holding his life in the
suspect and said neither 911 caller
Sprague knew him.
“I don’t know how I did
“A multi-agency, comprehensive
it,” Hatch said, “but I talked him down.” search commenced immediately,” the
Sprague took off, Hatch said, hustled press release stated. “La Grande police
to the house next door and dumped the offi cers and detectives received assis-
shotgun in a trash container.
tance from Union County sheriff’s depu-
Local police began looking for Sprague ties and K-9 Molly and from Oregon
in the wake of a 911 call May 19 at 8:56 State Police troopers.”
p.m., according to a press release from
No one was injured at either resi-
dence on Glacier, according to police,
and the suspect did not make off with
the vehicle because it was inside a ga-
rage. Police found the keys to the vehicle
and “the illegally altered shotgun that
had been fi red at the fi rst caller” within
a short distance, along with other items
of evidence.
La Grande police then reported a
Union County sheriff’s deputy a little
after noon May 20 saw Sprague walk-
ing on 22nd Street near East L Avenue,
contacted him and told him he was
under arrest.
“He attempted to fl ee, but was quickly
subdued and taken into custody without
further incident,” police reported.
On Tuesday, May 18, the Baker City
Police Department issued a public no-
tice alerting residents that Sprague was
wanted on multiple charges and was
“armed and dangerous.” He is accused
of threatening someone in a Baker City
home on May 14.
Gov. Kate Brown proposed $25.6 bil-
lion in spending from the tax-supported
general fund and lottery proceeds, the
state’s two most fl exible sources, back on
Dec. 1. Legislative budget writers, bol-
stered by $2.6 billion in federal aid from
President Joe Biden’s pandemic recovery
plan, unveiled a framework for almost
$28 billion in spending on March 24.
Brown said in a statement that the
latest forecast, coupled with projections
for the following two budget cycles, sets
the stage for a better Oregon.
terly forecast on Wednesday, May 19.
“There are a whole lot more resources
Continued from Page 3A
available than when we last reported in
For the average taxpayer with a
March, and even more than we reported
household income of $67,400, the
at the beginning of the session, when the
credit will be $636. For the median with budget was drafted. It’s quite a remark-
household income between $35,000 and able turnaround from a few months ago.
$40,000 — half are above and half below
“When the pandemic hit, we saw
that range — the credit will be $312.
these massive job losses that blew a $2
“I have never seen such a strong out- billion hole in the budget. That hole was
look,” State Economist Mark McMullen fi lled by the March forecast (on Feb. 24),
told members of the House and Senate and now we are past where we thought
revenue committees during his quar-
we would be even pre-pandemic.”
Continued from Page 1A
The board didn’t make any
changes to the budget for the
fi scal year that starts July 1.
The City Council will adopt
the fi nal version of the budget
in June.
The budget is similar to the
spending plan for the current
fi scal year, with a general
fund totaling a little more
than $7.8 million, up $26,000.
During Monday’s initial
meeting, the board elected
Randy Daugherty, a former
city councilor, as board chair-
man, and Jerry Shaw as vice
Daugherty raised concerns
about the beginning working
capital in the general fund —
cash the city has on hand at
the start of the fi scal year —
rising to almost $1.63 million,
up from $1.36 million last
year and almost $1.2 million
the year before.
Daugherty met with
City Manager Jon Cannon,
and Cannon discussed the
proposed beginning working
capital amount with Kent
Bailey, formerly the city’s
Cannon said he and Bailey
were both comfortable with
the fi gure, and Daugherty
did not propose to change the
amount when the board met
Details from the proposed
budget include:
• Police department budget
increases by about 7.5%, from
$2.38 million to $2.56 million.
The department’s staffi ng
level won’t change, at 17.68
full-time equivalents. Most of
the increase is in personnel
costs, which increase by about
$103,000, to $2,178,000. This
includes a $33,000 rise in
the city’s share of retirement
costs for police employees
through Oregon’s Public Em-
ployees Retirement System
• Fire department budget
increases by 3.6%, from $1.95
million to slightly more than
$2 million.
The biggest increases are
in PERS ($25,000) and health
insurance ($23,000).
Staffi ng increases by one-
quarter of a position, from 16
full-time equivalents to 16.25.
In his budget message to
the board, Cannon wrote that
the proposed budget includes
$30,000 to begin what he
anticipates will be a two-year
process to upgrade the city’s
software used for fi nancial ac-
counting and utility billing.
“The City currently uses out-
dated, customized, and heavily
modifi ed software to manage
its fi nances and utility billing,”
Cannon wrote.
Cannon also addressed
effects of the COVID-19
pandemic, as well as economic
“It is expected tourism will
continue and provide positive
opportunities for investment
and growth within the city,” he
wrote. “The state government
is projecting to ease execu-
tive orders at the beginning
of the Fiscal Year allowing for
increased economic activ-
ity throughout the city. The
housing market remains as
a strong sellers’ market with
residential pricing elevated
compared to previous years.
Despite property tax compres-
sion, increased property values
improve tax revenue opportu-
nities for the city.”
In other business, the budget
board heard a proposal from
Beverly Calder, representing
the effort to create a train
quiet zone in the city, meaning
freight trains wouldn’t sound
their horns at public crossings
except in emergencies.
Calder asked the city to
Continued from Page 1A
The state teacher of the year will be an-
nounced this fall.
Eskew received a $500 cash prize.
Regional teachers of the year are nominat-
ed by students, colleagues, friends, adminis-
trators or family.
include $10,000 in the budget
for the project, which would
require the city to modify fi ve
crossings to ensure vehicles
couldn’t reach the tracks when
a train is passing.
Calder said the group
promoting the quiet zone will
continue trying to raise money
for the work.
“Twenty years ago when we
looked at it, the price tag was
really astounding,” said Calder,
who is a former city councilor.
“I don’t remember the num-
bers but it was pretty much
out of our league. There was a
great amount of public discus-
sion, there was really great
feedback from the community,
it was put to a vote, it was not
passed at that time.”
Calder said changing the
crossings would make them
“Every crossing ends up be-
ing safer; safer for drivers, safer
for pedestrians, safer for all
public street users,” she said.
“The bonus is that the trains
don’t blow their horns anymore
at 4:30 in the morning and
throughout the school day at
South Baker.”
In November 2019 the City
Council voted to consider
submitting a notice of intent
to seek a quiet zone, which
doesn’t obligate the city to
take further action or to
spend any money.
The budget board declined
to add money in next year’s
budget for the project.
Eskew’s students at South Baker helped
her celebrate her award on Thursday, May
Three fi nalists for Oregon teacher of the
year will receive $2,000, with an additional
$2,000 for their school.
The teacher of the year will receive $5,000,
with the same amount awarded to the
teacher’s school.