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About The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current | View Entire Issue (July 10, 2019)
Blue Mountain Eagle
Monte Lee Gibson
Monte Lee Gibson, 59, of John Day passed away on May
16. There will be a potluck to celebrate Monte Gibson’s life at
Clyde Holliday State Park at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 20.
Jim ‘Mike’ Stovall
Jim “Mike” Stovall, 66, of John Day, Oregon, passed
away on May 6. A celebration of life will be held on Satur-
day, July 13, at the John Day Golf Club beginning at noon.
Lola Theta Chapman
Lola Theta Chapman, 87, of La Grande, formerly of Long
Creek, died June 15 at her home. A celebration of life will be
held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at Daniels~Knopp Funeral,
Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh St., La
Grande. An interment will be held at 2 p.m. July 14 at the Ham-
ilton, Oregon, Cemetery.
Peter William Ryder
Peter William Ryder, 88, of John Day passed away June
23 at Blue Mountain Care Center. A
funeral service was held on Saturday,
June 29, at Driskill Memorial Chapel
in John Day with Pastor Terence
Crabb of the Victory Baptist Church
in Canyon City officiating.
Peter was born on April 28, 1931,
in Granite, Oregon, to William and
Nancy (Walker) Ryder. He attended
Sumpter Elementary and Grant Union
High School. Peter worked as a mill-
worker and security guard for Huds-
peth for 31 years.
On July 2, 1955, he married Gayle Darleen McCall in Eugene,
Oregon, and together they had four children. He enjoyed fishing,
hunting, gold panning, going to church, CB Club, Sportsman
Club, woodcutting and pickling cucumbers. He was a member
of the Victory Baptist Church and senior center.
He is survived by his sons, Eric Ryder of Spring Creek,
Nevada, Mitchell Ryder of Nampa, Idaho, and Corbett Ryder
of Terrebonne, Oregon. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren
and eight great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Nancy and William
Ryder; his wife, Gayle Ryder; and his daughter, Loretta Ryder.
To offer online condolences to his family, visit driskillmemo-
Philip Michael ‘Mike’ Murphy
March 17, 1955 — Oct. 8, 2018
Philip Michael “Mike” Murphy was born March 17, 1955,
at Blue Mountain Hospital in Prairie City, Oregon.
He attended Bates and Monument schools. After graduat-
ing from high school, Mike went to work in Milton-Freewater
for Carroll Adams Tractor Company where he helped design
and build equipment. He received a degree in mechanics from
OIT in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Mike spent most of his life man-
aging and working on forms and ranches, selling real estate and
operating heavy equipment.
Mike married Shelley Whale March 15, 1980. They were
married for 30 years. Mike adored his children, daughter
Amanda and son Shane, and his granddaughter Ashton. He
was passionate about gold mining and cars, especially his ‘55
Chevy pickup that he entered in every car show he was able to
attend. He enjoyed collecting and shooting guns, and he loved
Philip Michael Murphy is survived by his ex-wife Shelley,
daughter Amanda (Walker), son Shane, brother Monte Mur-
phy (Cheryl), sister Peggy Murphy (Glen Johnston), sister
Trish Montgomery (Mike), nieces and nephews Keith Brown,
Michael Crothers, Brianna Murphy-Johnston, Caleb and Emma
Montgomery and granddaughter Ashton.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Philip and Jean
A celebration of Mike’s life will be announced at a later date.
Barbara Ann Cox
Barbara Ann Cox, 78, of John Day passed away July
9 at her residence with her family by her side. A rosary
will be recited at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at Drisk-
ill Memorial Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be
held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 19, at St. Elizabeth Catholic
Church in John Day with interment following at Canyon
City Cemetery. A reception will follow at the St. Elizabeth
Catholic Church Parish Hall. To offer online condolences,
Vance Creek cold case victim identified
for sex crimes
By Richard Hanners
Blue Mountain Eagle
The mummified body of a
man found in Vance Creek
22 years ago has been
identified, thanks to DNA
and genealogical evidence
and assistance from a pop-
ular TV show.
Long believed to be
a homicide victim, the
man’s identity remained a
mystery ever since Sheriff
Glenn Palmer was a John
Day police officer.
After he was elected
sheriff in 2000, Palmer
turned to media announce-
ments and contacted agen-
An inquiry into the
Oregon Law Enforce-
ment Data System and the
National Crime Informa-
tion Center turned up a
valid Washington County
warrant for David Larry
Stroh, 51, Sheridan.
indicted by a grand jury
for first-degree sodomy,
first-degree sex abuse and
second-degree sex abuse.
The FBI office in Portland
issued a warrant against
Stroh in April 1997 for
unlawful flight to avoid
Human remains were
initially found in the Vance
Creek drainage about a
mile and a half west of
Highway 395 and south of
John Day by Chad Holli-
day in 1997.
Interest in the case was
renewed seven months
later when Ted Ferri-
oli discovered a corpse in
the cold rushing waters of
An autopsy determined
that the deceased white
man was 49-73 years old,
about 5 feet 7 inches tall
and weighed about 225
pounds. The forensic lab
determined the man was
killed between May and
November 1997. No per-
sonal items, teeth or hair
were found in the area, but
the autopsy determined
the man had severe athero-
sclerotic coronary artery
Palmer took over the
case in 2000. After gather-
ing all available informa-
tion and reaching a stand-
still, he went to the public
in 2011 seeking assistance.
Read more about this
story in next week’s Eagle.
June colder than normal
Blue Mountain Eagle
Temperatures in John Day averaged
colder than normal during the month
of June, according to preliminary data
received by NOAA’s National Weather
Service in Pendleton.
The average temperature was 59
degrees, which was 2.5 degrees below
normal. High temperatures averaged
75.3 degrees, which was 2.3 degrees
below normal. The highest was 89
degrees on June 13. Low temperatures
averaged 42.7 degrees, which was 2.7
degrees below normal. The lowest was
35 degrees, on June 9.
Precipitation totaled 0.57 inches
during June, which was 0.86 inches
below normal. Measurable precipita-
tion was received on six days with the
heaviest, 0.27 inches reported on June
Precipitation this year has reached
7.20 inches, which is 0.52 inches
below normal. Since October, the
water year precipitation at John Day
has been 10.27 inches, which is 1.03
inches below normal.
The outlook for July from NOAA’s
Climate Prediction Center calls for
below-normal precipitation. Normal
highs for John Day during July are
88.2 degrees, and normal lows are 49.6
degrees. The 30-year normal precipita-
tion is 0.60 inches.
Grant County students make OSU honor roll
Blue Mountain Eagle
Two Grant County students were
named to the Oregon State University
honor roll for spring term 2019.
Jennifer McCloskey of John Day,
a senior studying applied visual
arts, and Jessica Carter, a junior
studying animal sciences, were
both honored with a 3.5 GPA or
A total of 1,327 students earned
straight-A (4.0 GPA). Another 4,352
earned a B-plus (3.5 GPA) or better
to make the listing.
To be on the honor roll, students
must carry at least 12 graded hours of
Road work planned on Silvies-Hopper Lane through July 31
Blue Mountain Eagle
Tidewater Contractors will be work-
ing on a road construction project on
County Road 73, Silvies-Hopper Lane,
during the month of July.
Grant Soil and Water Conservation (District) has a job opening for the full time
position of Noxious Weed Control Program Conservation Technician. Minimum
qualiﬁ cations: must be 18 years of age; possess or obtain within 45 days of hire
an Oregon Public Pesticide Applicators License; possess a valid driver’s license;
and be physically capable of lifting 50 pounds and performing backpack herbicide
applications with 3 gallon sprayer. Position primarily performs tasks associated with
coordinating and conducting ﬁ eld herbicide applications using ATV’s and other spray
equipment to control noxious weed populations, along with other related natural
resource conservation technical and ofﬁ ce work. Salary range $2,666.67 - $3,500.00
per month DOE, plus beneﬁ ts. Application Deadline: 3:00 pm, July
18, 2019 for initial review and position will remain open until ﬁ lled.
Application and full job description are available from the District at
721 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR. For more information contact
Matt Wenick at 541-575-0135 ext. 112. The Grant Soil and Water
Conservation District is an equal opportunity employer.
Last Week’s Temps
24/7 F ORECAST
A UTOMATED : 541-575-1122
R OAD CONDITIONS : 511; TRIPCHECK . COM
NOAA W EATHER R ADIO FOR J OHN D AY
cies with DNA databases
in an attempt to track
down the story behind the
Vance Creek corpse.
Palmer began work-
ing with former Las Vegas
Metro Police crime scene
McClary and the produc-
tion team of “Cold Jus-
tice” in November 2018.
Using new DNA evi-
dence and assistance from
a genealogist hired through
McClary, a full name and
date of birth came forward
in May, Palmer announced
in a July 9 press release.
An out-of-state fam-
ily was contacted and per-
mission was obtained for a
DNA sample from a poten-
tial family member. A pos-
itive match to DNA from
the Vance Creek body was
made on July 8, Palmer
Temperatures in John Day were colder than normal during June. Above-normal temperatures, and below-normal
precipitation expected in July.
NOXIOUS WEED CONTROL PROGRAM
John Day ...........................................................HI/LO
Tuesday ........................................................... 74/49
Wednesday ..................................................... 71/49
Thursday .......................................................... 79/46
Friday ............................................................... 88/51
Saturday .......................................................... 86/55
Sunday ............................................................. 77/49
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
The work, including grinding, base
rock and paving, is scheduled to begin
July 8, according to Tidewater.
The project is expected to be com-
pleted by July 31.
The project begins at the junc-
tion of U.S. Highway 395 and con-
tinues 3 miles onto Silvies-Hopper
Travelers should expect traffic con-
trol closures and delays of about 20
www .M y E aglE N Ews . coM
HOME SCHOOL PARENTS
Home school students are required by law to be tested by a qualified neutral person following
grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. [OAR581-021-0026 (5) (a) (A)] However, students who participate
in interscholastic activities are required by OSAA rules to be tested every year and
must score in the 23rd percentile to be eligible to participate in interscholastic activities.
Grant ESD will offer assessment testing for home school students finishing grades 3, 5, 8, and
10. Cost $20.00 per student. Payment is due at the time of testing. Register your student for
assessment testing by calling Grant ESD, 541-575-1349 on or before, July 24, 2019. Testing
begins promptly at 8:30 Thursday and Friday morning.
July 25, 2018 – 8:30am to 2:00pm
July 26, 2018 – 8:30am to 2:00pm
If you have any questions you may contact:
Robert Waltenburg or Jo Sproul
Grant County ESD | 541-575-1349
W EATHER F ORECAST FOR THE WEEK OF J ULY 10-16