The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, January 21, 2015, Image 1

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rivals clash
on the courts
Grant County’s newspaper since 1868
• N O . 3
• 14 P AGES
• $1.00
New hearing set for convicted cop-killer
ing before members
of the Oregon Board
of Parole.
District Attorney Jim
Carpenter said he
By Scotta Callister
will travel to Salem
Blue Mountain Eagle
to testify at the Jan.
Dean Porter 27 hearing, and he
SALEM – Sidney Dean Porter,
has already submit-
ZKRNLOOHGD-RKQ'D\SROLFHRI¿FHU ted a package of materials about the
nearly 23 years ago, will get a new crime to the board.
shot at freedom next week in a hear-
“I will ask them not to release
Porter could be
freed – or face
2 more years
him,” Carpenter said, noting he will
underscore the depravity of the crime.
“The facts of the crime are unre-
futed by anyone, except Porter him-
self,” he said.
Porter, now 55, was sentenced in
1992 for the bludgeoning death of
Porter’s home on a domestic assault
This is the second time Porter has
come up for release. The board or-
dered his release in 2012, after a hear-
ing missed by then-DA Ryan Joslin.
The decision to release a con-
with no local law enforcement input,
sparked protests across the state from
lative committee hearing. The board
reopened the hearing in 2013, this
time deferring Porter’s release until at
least June 2015.
Next week’s hearing will set the
stage for release or up to two more
years of incarceration.
The hearing will be held at the Or-
egon State Correctional Institution in
Salem, with public attendance only
by prior arrangement with the Cor-
rections Department.
Described as an exit interview, the
hearing allows the board to review
psychological or psychiatric evalua-
tions, discuss the offender’s conduct
in prison, and examine his parole
See HEARING, Page A5
New MV
mayor at
the helm
Anderson looks
to future city
By Angel Carpenter
Blue Mountain Eagle
MT. VERNON – New Mt.
Vernon Mayor Andy Ander-
son is picking up where former
Mayor Sue Horn left off.
A longtime Mt. Vernon resi-
dent, Anderson
was sworn in
at the Jan. 13
city council
Wayne Saul
Anderson and Jan Lowry,
and appoin-
tee Mike Cearns Sr. also were
sworn in, joining Eva Doughar-
ity on the council.
Anderson volunteered to
move from his position as coun-
cilor – which he held for several
years – to mayor due to Horn’s
Horn was diagnosed with
brain cancer last summer.
“We sure didn’t want to see
that change because she’s a
great gal,” Anderson said. “She
served the city for a long time as
a council member and mayor.”
See MAYOR, Page A5
Kayden Mumpfield
Teacher: Becky Sharp
Prairie City School
Team suits up for space
Project designed
by GU students is
picked for orbit
By Scotta Callister
Blue Mountain Eagle
OHN DAY – A team of stu-
dents from Oregon’s frontier is
nal frontier” – space.
Grant Union ninth-graders
Zack Dieter, Elijah Humbird, Duane
Stokes, Dante Valentine, and Cauy
Weaver recently were named winners
of a countywide competition to design
a science experiment that will be tested
in low Earth orbit.
In all, 33 teams from Grant County
entered the contest, conducted as part
The Eagle/Scotta Callister
Experiments Program. The program Above: One of the challenges facing students proposing
encourages real-world science and en- experiments to send into space was the tight fit – the project had
gineering education and is a national to fit in a small tube. Here, teacher Sonna Smith holds one of the
model for STEM – science, technolo- tubes in the lab at Grant Union. Top photo: Serious science can
gy, engineering and math – education be fun, as these Grant Union ninth-graders demonstrate for the
camera. The team – Dante Valentine, Cauy Weaver, Duane Stokes,
for grade 5 through college.
7KH VSDFHÀLJKW FRPSHWLWLRQ FKDO Elijah Humbird, and Zack Dieter – designed a project that won a
lenges student teams to come up with countywide contest and will be tested in space. Contributed photo
experiments that can be tested in a
“weightless” environment by astro-
The Space Station astronauts are orbit this spring.
nauts on the International Space Sta- scheduled to conduct the Grant Union
Sonna Smith, who teaches chemis-
team’s experiment during a six-week try and science at Grant Union, is the
local coordinator for the program. She
was impressed with all of the local en-
tries, and the creative approaches stu-
dents took toward solving problems in
“I was amazed at the variety of ideas
the kids came up with,” she said. The
topics ranged from how to culture yo-
gurt in space to a test of Henry’s law,
a chemistry principle applying to the
solubility of gases.
The local effort began in the fall with
students learning about forces and mo-
tion in science classes at their schools.
Then they formed teams to research and
design their experiments.
The experiments had to be
space-worthy, include a maximum of
And here’s the big catch – the experi-
ment’s components had to be compact
port into space.
As the students honed their entries,
Smith pulled together a review board
made up of local professionals in sci-
ence and engineering. The board mem-
bers and their areas of expertise were
Jeff Campbell, microbiology; Ryne
restoration and engineering; Al Den-
man, science educator; and Kyle Sulli-
van, soil science and chemistry.
See TEAM, Page A5
Bentz takes rural case to urban audience
Rep sees key issues
coming up for agriculture
By Scotta Callister
Blue Mountain Eagle
JOHN DAY – State Rep. Cliff Bentz
admits it’s frustrating to try to convince
urban west-siders about the plight of
Oregon’s rural counties and the need to
make better use of our natural resourc-
“They just don’t get it,” he said.
But Bentz said he’s found a theme that
seems to get through the haze – “the old
‘what’s in it for me’ approach.”
Bentz (R-Ontario) spoke at the Grant
County Farm Bureau annual meeting
Jan. 11 in John Day, and
also at the recent Ore-
gon Leadership Summit
in Portland. The latter,
a gathering of leaders
from both private and
public sectors, touched
Rep. Cliff on ideas to spur eco-
nomic recovery in the
lagging rural areas.
In a recent interview, Bentz reiterated
that rural recovery should matter to the
more populous west side.
“We have billions of dollars of miner-
als, timber, grass and water which we are
not using to good effect,” he said.
He said it’s in the state’s best interest
to make use of those resources, if only for
for our children and their education.
He noted the state struggles to fund
schools and universities, but the revenue
from resource industries could do a great
deal to ease that challenge.
Bentz also cited some other issues that
could arise at the Legislature, with im-
pacts for rural Oregon counties. Among
• County roads. He noted that Grant
County, unlike many rural counties, is
fortunate to have “a sizeable savings
account” in its road fund. However, he
noted that fund will erode over time, and
something must be done to help the rural
counties fund their roads and services.
Bentz, who serves on the House
Transportation and Economic Devel-
opment Committee, said he’s asking all
ideas on future funding for county roads.
• Possible listing of the sage grouse
as an endangered species, a specter that’s
been described as agriculture’s version of
the spotted-owl issue.
Bentz outlined one possible way to
forestall the listing: a proposal to put a
tax on birdseed and salt feed for cattle.
The tax would raise about $1.5 million
on birdseed and another $400,000 on salt,
the proceeds going toward habitat im-
provements for songbirds and non-game
birds including the grouse.
It could fund juniper removal, water
supply enhancements, and other mea-
Bentz said he wants to hear from
See BENTZ, Page A5