The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, January 02, 2019, Image 1

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Blue Mountain
Grant County’s newspaper since 1868
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
15st Year • No. 1 • 18 Pages • $1.00
Proposals take aim at new gun restrictions
By Paris Achen
Oregon Capital Bureau
EO Media Group/Kathy Aney/ Content Exchange
A participant at the April 21, 2018 Second Amendment rally rests
his hand on his gun as he listens to a speaker at Til Taylor Park in
A few days after Liam Mankins
was born in September 2016, his
father posted a photo on Face-
book of his son wearing oversized
“Future’s so bright gotta wear
sunglasses,” a friend commented.
“Yes, yes, it is,” Liam’s father
replied. “He’s going to … make
something of himself.”
Then, two years later, on Nov.
4, Liam was killed by a shot from
an unsecured gun.
The toddler “got control of
a loaded handgun” at the fami-
ly’s Baker City home and “caused
the handgun to discharge,” Baker
County District Attorney Matt
Shirtcliff wrote in a news release.
“The gun had not been secured
in a safe place,” Shirtcliff said.
Such cases are motivating two
state legislators and gun safety
advocates to legally require gun
owners to secure their fi rearms
with a lock or in a locked container.
The proposal is among several
gun safety measures that state law-
makers want to consider during
the 2019 legislative session open-
ing Jan. 22.
Some lawmakers also want to
raise the age for buying assault
weapons, give police more time
to conduct background checks on
gun buyers and regulate handguns
in schools and universities.
Under the gun storage legis-
lation, owners would face a fi ne
of up to $2,000. The average fi ne
would be about $165 — about the
same as fi nes for driving 11 to 20
mph over the speed limit.
The fi ne could increase to
$2,000 if the gun owner knew that
a child could reach the fi rearm,
proponents said.
The law also makes the gun
owner civilly liable if some-
See Guns, Page A18
Dayville school board
considering bond election
of pot tax
Public input sought Jan. 8
DOR: Tax must be
referred for voter
By Richard Hanners
Blue Mountain Eagle
The Dayville School Board of Directors
will take public input Jan. 8 on whether or not
to move forward with a facilities improve-
ment bond measure in the May election.
Superintendent Kathryn Hedrick told the
Eagle a needs assessment was completed by
Straightline Architects of Boise, Idaho, and a
school facilities committee composed of local
volunteers has met to discuss the company’s
recommendations to the board.
The district learned in September that it
had qualifi ed for a state school facilities one-
to-one matching grant up to $2 million. The
school board canceled its December meeting,
so no hard number has been reached on what
the district might request in the bond measure,
Hedrick said.
The school campus includes seven build-
ings on 4.6 acres on a hill overlooking town.
The high school building, visible from High-
way 26, was built in 1924. The elementary
The stage in the gym building at Dayville
School doubles as the weight room. A wing
on the gym building’s northwest corner
for a new weight room could relieve the
impacts on the 65-year-old stage.
By Richard Hanners
Blue Mountain Eagle
other broadband analysis to
improve its chances for a
grant award.
Green outlined the coali-
tion’s strengths and oppor-
tunities for success at the
meeting. The countywide
agency is forging rela-
tionships with community
broadband partners and is
well fi nanced, he said. At
the same time, federal fund-
ing for rural broadband has
never been higher, and the
state is organizing assets to
assist rural communities, he
But there were weak-
nesses and constraints. The
coalition is a new organi-
zation with no track record
of success in a small fron-
The Grant County Court
tried to make good on pub-
lic assurances that a 3 per-
cent tax on recreational
marijuana would be imple-
mented if voters over-
turned a ban on marijuana
But the tax ordinance
approved by the court fol-
lowing a Dec. 19 public
hearing may not be legally
binding. The ordinance was
unanimously passed as an
emergency ordinance, with
the intent that it would be in
effect that same day.
State law, however, states
that a local tax on recre-
ational marijuana must go to
the voters, according to Joy
Krawczyk, a spokesperson
at the Oregon Department
of Revenue.
“Under Oregon Revised
Statute 475B.491(3), city
or county governing bod-
ies that adopt ordinances
related to recreational mar-
ijuana taxes or fees ‘shall
refer the measure of the
ordinance to electors of the
city or county for approval
at the next statewide gen-
eral election,’” she told the
“I’m not sure how it
works with an ‘emergency
The Grant County Court
used a 2016 ordinance from
Columbia County as the
model for its recreational
marijuana tax ordinance, but
the Grant County ordinance
didn’t include a section
from the Columbia County
ordinance on the referral
and effective date.
That section states, “This
ordinance shall be referred
to the voters of Columbia
County for approval at the
statewide general election
on Nov. 8, 2016. If passed,
this ordinance shall become
effective on Jan. 1, 2017.”
The Grant County ordi-
nance instead ends with an
emergency clause that states
“this ordinance and the pro-
vision herein are deemed
necessary to facilitate land
use actions” and “an emer-
gency is hereby declared
to exist and this ordinance
shall be in full force and
See Funding, Page A18
See Pot, Page A18
The Eagle/Richard Hanners/
The main building at Dayville School was built in 1924 and is used for the high school,
administration offi ce and the cafeteria.
school and gymnasium were built in 1953.
“While the district and its community has
always been conscientious about maintaining
safe classrooms and work spaces, simply the
age of the buildings make it necessary to con-
sider these substantial improvements,” Hed-
rick said.
Dayville School currently has 46 students,
6.5 full-time equivalent teachers, one admin-
istrator, two confi dential employees and 11
classifi ed workers, Hedrick said.
According to Straightline Architects,
enrollment reached a high of 92 students in
1995 and 1996. They forecast 10- to 16-percent
See Dayville, Page A18
The Eagle/Richard Hanners
Eagle photos/Richard Hanners
Installing a new main entrance at the
Dayville School to the right of the
cafeteria would address access and
security concerns, according to School
Superintendent Kathryn Hedrick.
The Tiger mascot painted on the side of
the gym building at Dayville School.
Broadband opportunities presented at town hall meeting
By Richard Hanners
Blue Mountain Eagle
The Grant County Dig-
ital Network Coalition is
forging ahead with plans to
improve internet access in
the county despite a recent
grant-funding setback.
That was the upbeat mes-
sage expressed by John Day
City Manager Nick Green
and the coalition’s board
during a Dec. 18 town hall
The coalition learned
in December that it had
not been awarded a much-
needed $3 million federal
Community Connect grant,
but federal grant funding to
address the digital divide
impacting rural commu-
nities across the U.S. will
The Eagle/Richard Hanners
The Grant County Digital Network Coalition board
hosted a town hall in the John Day Fire Hall on Dec. 18.
increase in 2019.
The U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s ReConnect
Program will offer $200
million for rural broad-
band projects, with a max-
imum of $25 million per
project. A 25 percent match
is required, and the appli-
cation deadline is April
29. Additional grant and
loan combos and low-in-
terest loan offers add up to
another $400 million.
The coalition hopes
to leverage the $1.8 mil-
lion state appropriation it
received in 2017 by using
it as a match for grants and
to pay for engineering and