The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, November 18, 2015, Image 1

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    Highway 395 reopens
Wo WraIÀ F
The
Blue Mountain
EAGLE
– PAGE 3
Grant County’s newspaper since 1868
W EDNESDAY , N OVEMBER 18, 2015
N O . 46
20 P AGES
$1.00
www.MyEagleNews.com
GRANT COUNTY MIRACLE
OUT OF THE ASHES
Random acts of kindness
rise from ZiOd¿ re disaster
By Carl Sampson
Blue Mountain Eagle
J
OHN DAY — The Grant County Fair had just
ended, and manager Mary Weaver, secretary
Mindy Winegar and groundskeeper Dusty
Williams were taking a deep breath.
Fair week is always busy, and this year was no dif-
ferent. Plenty was left for them to do — clean up, re-
organize and button up the fairgrounds for the season.
Then, three days later, disaster struck.
It was Aug. 12, and lightning exploded into the tin-
der-dry hillsides south of town, setting off wild¿ res
that would incinerate more than 110,000 acres of for-
estland, including 17,081 privately owned acres and
93,000 acres managed by the U.S. Forest Service and
the Bureau of Land Management.
Even worse, in four weeks the ¿ re marched up the
canyon and into the Strawberry Mountain wilderness,
leveling 43 homes and damaging or destroying many
outbuildings, trucks, cars and equipment, leaving
scores of people homeless, and worse, hopeless.
Carl Sampson/The Eagle
Jason and Amanda Wright lost their home and all of their belongings
to the Canyon Creek Complex fire last summer, but their fortunes
changed because of the generosity of the community. Kathy Stewart of
Redmond offered the Wrights the use of a fully furnished home, which
they hope to purchase.
“
See ASHES, Page A7
People began bringing clothes, tools and
supplies. People I didn’t even know.”
Jason Wright
Hunter charged
in wolf shooting
Christmas on the
Prairie arrives
Building
gingerbread
houses – and
fun – featured
at PC festival
If you go
What: Christmas on
the Prairie
When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 21
Where: Prairie City
Theme: “Candyland”
Man had notified
authorities;
both charges
misdemeanors
%\&KHU\O+RHÀHU
Blue Mountain Eagle
PRAIRIE CITY –
Anna Smith’s oven is
working overtime this
week.
She’s baking ginger-
bread house walls and
roofs – enough for 150
houses.
It’s all in preparation
for the children’s ginger-
bread house-building ac-
tivity Smith will head up
Ore. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
at this year’s Christmas
on the Prairie starting at 9
a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at
the Teen Center on Front
Street in Prairie City.
This is the third year
she has organized the free
activity, which has grown
each year, from 100 houses
in 2013 and 125 last year.
Smith has also learned
a few things along the way.
See FUN, Page A5
By Eric Mortenson
EO Media Group
Cheryl Hoefler/Eagle photos
Eddie Maltass of John
Day builds gingerbread
houses during the 2014
Christmas on the Prairie.
The free activity for
children will again be at
the Teen Center in Prairie
City during this year’s
holiday event on Saturday,
Nov. 21.
An Eastern Oregon man
who told state police and wild-
life of¿ cials that he’d shot a
wolf while hunting coyotes
on private property has been
charged with killing an endan-
gered species.
Brennon D. Witty, 25, also
was charged with hunting with
a center¿ re riÀ e without a big
game tag, Harney County Dis-
OR 22, a male wolf is
pictured walking through
a Northeast Oregon forest
on Jan. 26. It was shot
south of Prairie City by a
man hunting coyotes.
trict Attorney Tim Colahan said
Monday. Both charges are Class
A misdemeanors, each punish-
able by up to a year in jail and
a ,250 ¿ ne. Witty will be
See WOLF, Page A5