Wildfire scorches almost 400,000 acres

Mitch Siegner looks on at the blaze from the Buzzard Complex. (Photo by BROOKE NYMAN)

Mitch Siegner looks on at the blaze from the Buzzard Complex. (Photo by BROOKE NYMAN)

As of 6 p.m. Saturday, July 19, the Buzzard Complex was divided into east and west zones. The Northern Rockies National Incident Management Team, Incident Commander Greg Poncin, took command of the east side (Juntura Riverside Road south to Cob Creek Reservoir, south to Dowell Reservoir), and the west side remained under command of Oregon Incident Management Team 4, Incident Commander Brian J. Watts.

The reason for zoning the Buzzard Complex was because of the size of the incident, which has more than 380 miles of perimeter, creating logistical and safety concerns for long-distance travel of firefighters. Zoning of the incident will reduce exposure to driving hazards to incident personnel.

The east zone Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Juntura School. The west zone ICP remains at the Crane School.

As of Tuesday, July 22, the fire was estimated at 395,747 acres, and was 85 percent contained.

At a fire information meeting held Thursday, July 17, Incident Commander Watts stated the blaze began as six separate lightning-sparked fires on Monday, July 14, and the fires spread fast and merged, growing into the  Buzzard Complex.

Fire Behavior Analyst Todd Gregory told those in attendance that there were three factors enabling the fire to grow at a rapid pace: a large/dry fuel load, the topography where the fires started and high winds.

Gregory added that at times, the fire was spreading about 850 feet per minute, driven by the winds.

Watts thanked the rural fire protection associations, and noted their response to the fires helped quite a bit.

A transfer of command will occur on Wednesday at 6 a.m. when the Northern Rockies National Incident Management Team (Greg Poncin) leaves and Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 4 (Brian J. Watts) resumes management of the entire fire perimeter in both zones.

Night shift operations have been discontinued on the east zone and the spike camp set at Stray Dog Reservoir has closed.

The firefighters temporarily camped at Crowley returned to the Incident Command Post at Juntura Monday evening.

East zone crews continued to mop-up the 50-100 acre spot fire that occurred after strong winds pushed embers across containment lines yesterday afternoon. On the remainder of the fire, crews continued to mop-up and patrol the fire perimeter.

It rained over a majority of the fire on Monday, especially in the southeast corner. Some areas received up to 2 inches of precipitation.

Scattered thunderstorms will bring potential for small areas of intense rain and gusty outflow wind.Potential fires in conjunction with the severe drought in Eastern Oregon are expected to continue to create hazardous conditions for property owners throughout the fire season.

As of July 22, there were 960 people assigned to the Buzzard Complex, down from 1,434.

Court to continue accepting public comments

by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

The Harney County Court held its regularly-scheduled meeting July 16. During the meeting, the court held a public hearing to discuss a map of roads within the county.

Harney County Judge Steve Grasty explained that the map project was started at the request of the Harney County Stockgrowers Association.

The association’s president, Travis Williams, said the Stockgrowers brought the idea to the court more than two years ago.

Williams added that input was sought from as many of the county’s landowners as possible. The landowners were asked to add their roads to the map and explain how they are being used.

However, because of the size of the county, Williams admitted that some landowners were missed.

“We still have a lot of work to do with the south west part of the county,” he said. But he added that, “We’ve got to get this moving,” explaining that additions can be made to the map after it’s recognized.

Grasty said the purpose of the map is to affirm what roads exist within the county.

Harney County Commissioner Dan Nichols explained that identifying roads can help prevent wilderness designations, as these designations require 5,000-acre blocks of roadless areas.

Williams said groups like the Oregon Natural Desert Association are trying to lump together 5,000-acre areas, and putting roads on the map could curtail these efforts.

However, Barbara Kull said she recently attended a meeting regarding forest roads, during which some asserted that identifying roads could lead to their closure.

But Stacy Davies asserted that unmapped roads cannot be defended in the future.

Randell Drake, Oregon executive director of Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association, wrote a letter that advocated for motorized access to public lands and against wilderness designations.

Mike Weil, Gary Marshall, Scott Franklin and Paul Bradley said they support efforts to maintain access to public ground.

Marshall added that landowners should communicate with each other and be good neighbors. He said motorists are welcome to use his roads as long as they respect his property.

Franklin said private land owners need to “ante up” and prove they have the right to deny access to roads on their property. He added that practices, such as creating illegal fences that have to be removed at the expense of the taxpayers, need to stop “right here and now.”

Bradley suggested calling the map an inventory. He also suggested that a transportation plan be developed to coordinate access to public lands.

Amy Woodruff and Javier Goirigolzarri submitted letters in support of the map project.

But Susan Bush said the map is not very “friendly,” explaining that it doesn’t distinguish between public and private roads.

She said the map is also incomplete, and Meadowlands roads should be added to it.

However, Grasty said the court was advised by its legal counsel that ongoing issues concerning Meadowlands roads would have to be resolved by area landowners.

Bush also said that she thinks the court should take more time on the map project.

“I don’t think you guys should vote on this map right now,” she said, adding that more input is needed from taxpayers.

Eddie Brown agreed that more time should be taken. He added that some roads have been identified on other maps that have yet to be recognized on this one. He said those roads should be added, and work on the map should continue until it is complete.

Patrick and Rose Marie McPurdy requested in writing that their road be added to the map.

Martin Davies said he is OK with motorists finding a legal access to public land, but expressed concern regarding trespassing on his property.

Grasty provided copies of a draft disclaimer that could be included with the map to explain its purpose. He emphasized that the county is not claiming ownership of roads listed on the map, allowing access to or across any private ground, or taking responsibility for the maintenance of non-county roads.

But Barbara Cannady disagreed.

In a letter written to the court, Cannady stated that the map is “inherently flawed.”

She wrote, “There is no distinction between private and public lands. Such a blurring of the lines can lead to common regulation at the expense of landowners. I believe that this tactic is to create confusion…The effect is a tool whereby the county can callously seize lands for public use without compensation.”

Cannady added that:

• applied to private property, this map creates a record that would remove the ability of the landowner to change [road] use;

• the legal process for establishing roads is being ignored;

• the map shows utility easements that are not roads and never have been roads;

• the map shows roads that have already been vacated;

• members of the Stockgrowers Association identified roads on others’ property, while exempting their own;

• all landowners should have the right to opt out;

• the map should include Meadowlands residents who want their roads identified;

• lines [on the map] that are incorrectly identified need to be removed;

• right-of-ways granted by federal agencies should be considered;

• road identification should have a legal foundation; and

• roads should be labeled in order to identify who is responsible for maintaining them.

In her verbal testimony, Cannady added that the thought of a neighbor having more control over her property than she does makes her angry.

Grasty replied, in part, that, “This court’s effort is a result of a request from our community members, and for you to attempt to turn it into some personal agenda on my part, or any other member of this court, is simply wrong. I have strongly encouraged you to tell us what it is you want, and we would attempt to address it. I still have no idea what it is you would like, short of not completing the request of our residents.”

Nichols said members of the court thought they were doing the will of the people, and the court does not have a hidden agenda.

He added, “Quite frankly, all the concern and paranoia blows me away.”

Grasty reiterated that the purpose of the map was to take an inventory of county roads — not open, close, change access to, remove, gain, or take over any road.

He added that the court intentionally omitted road designations (state, county, forest, private, etc.) because it didn’t want to enter into a debate regarding their proper designations. However, he said the lack of labeling may have been a mistake.

Stacy Davies said, “This is a huge issue. “I applaud the effort on one hand, and I am concerned on the other.”

He said there are laws in place to protect access to private property, and he does not think it is the court’s agenda to change those laws.

He added, “We need these public land roads inventoried so we can fight to keep them open.”

However, he expressed concern regarding the map’s lack of clarification concerning road designations, and suggested developing a color-coding system.

He explained that, without this clarification, someone might assume that all of the map’s roads are paved or improved, which could impact the development cap that was proposed for sage grouse management.

Davies also suggested that the court take its time and explore all of the angles and implications.

Harney County Commissioner Pete Runnels said he liked the color-coding suggestion and doesn’t have a problem with taking more time.

Grasty said he likes the idea of keeping the map flexible, and the court doesn’t need to hurry the process. However, he said he’d regret the delay if access to public roads is lost.

After some additional discussion, the court agreed to continue accepting public comments concerning the map’s disclaimer, as well as requests to add or remove roads.

Discussion concerning the map will resume during the next regularly-scheduled meeting of the Harney County Court (to be held Aug. 6).


Harney County Economic Development (HCED) Director Randy Fulton attended the meeting to provide an update concerning economic development within the county.

Fulton reported that HCED assisted a variety of individuals and businesses with business development, as well as loan and grant applications.

He thanked the court, especially Nichols, for assisting with the establishment of a thriving juniper processing business. Fulton explained that the business grew from two to 10 employees in three years. And thanks to the Western Juniper Utilization Act, the number of employees is expected to more than double in the next five to seven years.

Fulton also reported that the Economic Development Strategic Plan was recently updated, adopted by the Community Response Team (CRT), and approved by various governing agencies in Harney County.

He added that the Harney County Enterprise Zone was recently re-designated, explaining that the designation is important for recruiting new businesses.

A destination resort is currently under construction in the Silvies Valley, located just 35 miles north of Burns. The project is scheduled for a “soft” opening in 2017 or 2018, and it is expected to create between 50 and 75 new jobs in the hospitality field for residents of Harney and Grant counties.

Fulton said HCED has been working with Pacific Natural Foods to open a meat-processing facility in the area for four years, and these efforts are ongoing.

He added that, with help from HCED, a local machine shop was able to hire three new employees in the past six months. This company could be an asset to the Pacific Natural Foods project.

Grasty and Fulton also discussed possible uses for the Eugene D. Timms and Jeannette K. Hamby Computer Archive Center.

Fulton invited anyone who is interested in the county’s economic development to attend CRT meetings, which are held the first Wednesday of every month from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Harney County Community Center.


In other business, the court:

• received an update from Grasty concerning sage grouse;

• discussed the Buzzard Complex fire with Bureau of Land Management Public Information Officer Tara Martinak, Sgt. Brian Needham of the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, and Harney County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Tom Sharp;

• was addressed during the public comment period by Herb Vloedman concerning veterans’ recognition signs;

• reviewed Resolution 2014-08 in the matter of supporting the designation of a new Local Workforce Investment Area to include Harney, Malheur, Grant, Wallowa, Union, Baker, Umatilla and Morrow counties.

Nichols moved to adopt the motion, and Grasty seconded it. Runnels stated that, since there is really no other option, the court would agree to the concept under duress.

The motion carried unanimously;

• reviewed the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department County Parks Assistance Program Application, which allows the county to receive $10,008 toward the county park fund;

• recognized the Harney County 2014 Assessor’s Certified Ratio Study Acceptance and Recommendations;

• discussed the Blue Mountains Coalition of Collaboratives mid-year meeting, which will be held July 29-31 in John Day.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the county court will be held Wednesday, Aug. 6, at 10 a.m. in Judge Grasty’s office at the courthouse.

by Steve Howe
Burns Times-Herald

Onyx (laying down) was impounded in 2012 and has since found a new home in Central Oregon. Harney County Save A Stray has saved hundreds of pets over the past six years by transporting them to no-kill shelters in Oregon and Washington. (Submitted photo)

Onyx (laying down) was impounded in 2012 and has since found a new home in Central Oregon. Harney County Save A Stray has saved hundreds of pets over the past six years by transporting them to no-kill shelters in Oregon and Washington. (Submitted photo)

It all started with two black Labrador retrievers.

Melanie Epping was visiting family in the area when she and her sister, Angie Tiller, had to make a trip to Harney County Veterinary Clinic (HCVC). While there, they noticed two dogs that had been impounded. Upon inquiring about them, they discovered that the clinic was only able to hold impounded dogs for a certain amount of time before it was forced to euthanize them.

“It’s always hard once you look at them,” said Epping. She ended up taking the dogs to a shelter in Bend. But it didn’t stop there.

“I thought, ‘How can I not save the others?’” she said.

A native of Harney County, Epping currently resides in Long Beach, Wash. But the distance didn’t deter her from tackling the problem of stray dogs and cats in Harney County.

Harney County Save A Stray (HCSAS), a 501(c)3, all volunteer-run nonprofit, was founded in the fall of 2008. Its mission is “to re-home pets in need and reduce pet over-population through the promotion of humane spay/neuter practices.”

HCSAS has a system in place for rescuing unwanted animals in the area. In cooperation with HCVC, impounded dogs  are held for five to seven days at the clinic, at which point volunteer Michele Hamilton “bails” them out and takes them to a holding facility at her private residence outside of Burns, where they stay for about a month, on average. Cats, which HCVC is not able to impound, are taken to Tiller’s home, or another foster home. Both dogs and cats are held until they are able to be transported to a no-kill shelter.

Although HCSAS has held some adoption events, Epping says about 95 percent of the animals they rescue are transported out of the area. Epping and Tiller coordinate the relocation of these animals to either Redmond (Brightside Animal Shelter), Portland (Oregon Humane Society), or Epping’s local shelter, South Pacific County Humane Society (SPCHS) in Long Beach. Where the animals are taken depends on availability of space at each shelter. Tiller or Hamilton often meet Epping in Detroit, (the halfway point for them) and transfer the animals to her to take to Portland or Long Beach.

Because of the many miles of travel, fuel is a major cost for the organization. HCSAS funds go toward this, pet food, and veterinary services.

A major veterinary service that is vital to the mission of the organization is spaying and neutering. HCSAS has held several spay and neuter events. In the beginning, carloads of dogs and cats were taken to Bend for the procedure. In recent years, veterinarians from Bend have traveled to Harney County to help, and now Dr. Katy Wallace of Sage Country Veterinary Service does all of the spay/neuter clinics.

“She [Dr. Wallace] has been so good to us,” said Epping.

A portion of the cost is paid by the owner, and a portion comes from HCSAS. In a one-day event in 2012, 70 cats were spayed and neutered. An event is usually held in the spring when there is an abundance of kittens and puppies being born. It wasn’t held this year due to a lack of funds, but HCSAS is hoping to put on an event in the fall, pending receipt of grant or donated funds.

Hundreds of dogs and cats have been rescued through HCSAS. In fact, no adoptable dog has been euthanized in more than five years. Epping says that, even when the going gets tough, it’s worth it, knowing that so many pets are finding good homes.

“I get to see the happy tails when they get adopted,” said Epping.

She stresses that it’s not the animals’ fault – they have been abandoned or neglected, and deserve to find a “forever home.”

In its first year of existence, HCSAS assisted with three pet hoarding cases in the county. More than 200 dogs were rescued in those incidents.

“We learned a lot in a hurry,” explained Epping.

When asked why there is not a Humane Society or similar shelter facility in the county, Epping explains that because of the remote location and the high expense associated with such a shelter, it’s not a practical option at this point. Working with her local shelter, Epping knows well the level of commitment and endless fundraising that is required to maintain it.

Epping would, however, like to see more foster homes for cats. Currently, there are only two. This would strengthen the system already in place, allowing HCSAS more flexibility to hold animals longer when shelters are full.

If you need to report stray pets, have kittens or puppies that you cannot keep, or if you need help with getting your pet spayed or neutered, you can contact HCSAS. Urgent calls can be difficult to handle, so when possible, advance notice is appreciated.

There are many ways to help. Monetary donations can be made to the HCSAS account at US Bank, or checks can be sent to: Save A Stray, P.O. Box 403, Burns, OR 97720. Additionally, pet food may be dropped off at 132 S. Buena Vista in Burns.

For more information, contact Epping at 541-589-1104, or visit www.harneycountysaveastray.com for more contact information.


OBIT SwisherbwDolores “Dee” Swisher passed away July 7 in La Grande. She was 80 years old.

Dee was born Aug. 22, 1933, in Ogden, Utah  to Condido and Cecilia (Alzola) Acurio. The family moved to Winnemucca, Nev., when Dee was 5 years old.

Her father died when she was 7 years old. Her mother later married her stepfather, Joe Churruca, who purchased a cattle ranch in Paradise Valley, Nev., where Dee spent the remainder of her childhood.

Many of her favorite stories were from her days in Paradise Valley and the lifelong friendships she made there.

It was at the “fish pond” in Paradise Valley that she met her future husband, Bill Swisher.

After high school in Winnemucca, Nev.,  Dee attended St. Alphonsus Nursing School in Boise, Idaho. During this time, Bill was drafted into the Korean War and sent to Fort Smith, Ark. They married in 1952, and Dee joined Bill in Arkansas.

Bill was discharged from the army in 1954, and the couple returned to Nevada and a job on the Lucky Seven Ranch in McDermitt. They moved to Harney County in 1956 to work for Walt McEwen.

For many years, they were hired as a couple. Bill managing the buckaroos and cattle operations and Dee cooking for the ranch and hay crews.

Their last 10 years in the ranch management business was spent in the Riley area with Silver Creek Ranches.

When Silver Creek sold in 1978, Dee went to work for the Harney County Clerk’s office. She worked as deputy clerk for 10 years, and then became clerk in 1989. She held that office for two terms until she retired in 1999. During this time, the office saw many changes, including implementing elections by mail and automatic ballot counters.

Dee was known for her ready smile and fun attitude. She was a joy to be around and expressed an uncanny interest in many things. She loved family gatherings, having company over, sharing something good to eat and a good story. She had many, many friends and was always eager to meet new people and make more!

She was an author, self-publishing a book, The Good Old Days?, a collection of true stories from her life of pioneer cattlemen, buckaroos and cowboys she had known.

Dee was quick to volunteer and involved with the community serving on school boards, Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Business and Professional Women’s Club and Harney County Democratic Society to name a few.

She was also an artist, illustrating her book with drawings. She was a gifted painter and seamstress. She enjoyed gardening, antiques and needlework.

Dee was especially proud of her grandchildren and often boasted of their obvious (to her) superior looks and intelligence, often saying, “There isn’t a bad one in the bunch!”

Dee is survived by her son, Cam Swisher (wife Kathy) of Burns; daughters, Martha Rogers (husband Ross) of Bend, and Cecelia Gerlach (husband Mike) of La Grande; grandchildren, Savannah and Garrett Swisher and  Mathew Tiller.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill, in 2007.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to Riverside Adult Foster Home in La Grande where owner Bob Kennon helped make Dee’s last two years happy and comfortable.

At Dee’s request, there will be no formal service. Contributions in her memory may be made to Harney County Library in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 4th Street, La Grande, OR 97850.

Online condolences to the family may be made at www.lovelandfuneralchapel.com.


OBIT MeditzbwRoberta Joyce Meditz passed away at her home Tuesday, July 8.

She was born Dec. 31, 1940, in San Diego, Calif., two years after the fall of Wall Street, and began a lifetime of traveling.

Her parents, Bob Cooper and Bertha (Mosier) Whittier, bought a house on the side of a canyon, which was later rented out as they finally bought a trailer to chase jobs. Her father, an iron worker/welder, found work in Washington on a dam being built there, and so, after visiting her mother’s relatives in Portland and Seattle, the trailer became one of a caravan of other ironworkers. Roberta talked of nights around a bonfire where she learned to play a violin as the families sang and talked. Her father would later brag,“his girls (Roberta had a younger sibling by then) had been in every state west of the Mississippi, with the exception of three.”

Every Sunday, Roberta’s mother would take the girls to whatever Christian church was near, and when they got to Sandy, Utah, she bought another house. The ironworkers had found jobs in Provo, and each day and night, would drive back and forth in a 1940 Hudson. Roberta talked about their coal stove in Sandy, and the milk frozen on the doorstep after delivery.

After the family left Utah, they returned to San Diego when Roberta was in the fifth grade, by way of Brawley, Calif. Living in their San Diego home, Roberta and her sister graduated from high school. Roberta started junior college there, working at a child care facility in the afternoons and going to nurse’s aide classes at night.

She soon got a job at Scrips Memorial Hospital as a nurse’s aide when an RN class was advertised in Modesto, where her parents were living. At her mother’s urging, she applied and was accepted for the first class of the school. She now had two children, but lived close enough to the school to go home for lunch and return for afternoon classes. Her mother now had foster children and at one time, there were seven children under the age of 7, with five cribs set up in the house. Lunch time could be very busy.

After graduation from nursing school, Roberta got a job in Martinez, Calif., at the VA hospital. There, she met and married Jeanie Lewis, and had her daughter. They bought a home in Pittsburg, Calif., where the older boys started school. Three years later they moved to Southern California, and divorcing Jeanie, bought a home in Compton. Later, they moved to Torrence, then Long Beach, and then returned to Compton while working at Kaiser in bellflower.

Roberta worked at the Kaiser emergency room in Oakland, and living in San Leandro, when she met and married Dave Meditz. Dave owned some land in Harney County and wanted to “make a go of it,” so he started on the 40 acres in a pickup with a cabover camper. Meanwhile, Roberta would drive back and forth every two weeks until she finally quit Kaiser in Oakland and moved to the land in Harney County.

It didn’t take long before Roberta was taking traveling jobs under contract for six weeks to nine months, traveling home at one to two week intervals. Finally, Roberta retired at the age of 72.

She is survived by her husband, David; sister, Bonnie Sue; and sons, Nick and Phillip.

She was preceded in passing by her parents and daughter.

Donations in her memory may be made to Harney County Hospice.

A private service will be held.


OBIT EckleybwJoseph Ray Eckley, 61, passed away July 10 at his home in the Keating Valley area of Baker City.  No services are planned at this time.

Joe was born in Silverton Nov. 24, 1952, to Ben and Gloria Eckley.

He married Lois Patchin on Jan. 26, 1974. In 1979, they moved to Harney County where Joe worked for Turner Brangus Ranch for several years until buying property south of Burns. Together, they built an alfalfa hay and cattle ranch. In 2008, they sold the ranch and bought a small farm in Keating Valley.

Joe served in the Army National Guard for six years, earning the rank of staff sergeant. He was a past president of the Harney County Farm Bureau and a member of the Lower Powder River Irrigation District.

Joe loved farming and took special joy in the challenges of working the land.  He could fix anything and was endlessly creative when it came to making things work. He was quick to help a neighbor and was much respected by those who knew him. He enjoyed hunting, reading and gunsmithing. He loved life and lived it to the fullest.

Joe is survived by his beloved wife of 40 years, Lois; daughter, Jennifer Schick, and her husband, Mark, of Aloha; grandson, Joseph Schick, of Aloha;  mother, Gloria Eckley, of Woodburn; brothers, Stan Eckley and his wife, Mary Pat of Tillamook, and Keith Eckley and his wife, Corinne of Keizer; and sister, Diana (Kingsley) Kelley of Central Point; along with several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by father, Ben Eckley; brother, Jim Eckley; and grandson, Tyler Schick.

Contributions in Joseph Eckley’s name may be made to the Burns or Crane chapters of FFA through Gray’s West & Company Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.


Britt Lay 1942-2013

Posted on July 23rd in Obituaries

OBIT LayWORKEDAs longtime cowboss at the White Horse Ranch near Fields, Britt Lay made an impression on many local residents and aspiring buckaroos during his 71 years before his passing last December. At his request, no services were held, but a celebration of life is planned for July 26 in Denio, Nev. There will be a potluck at 1 p.m. at the Denio Community Hall, and an engraved bench will be placed at the Denio Cemetery in memory of Britt.

Britton “Britt” Lay was born Sept. 9, 1942, in Elizabeth, N.J. After leaving home at age 12, his adventures began. He started hitchhiking and hopping trains headed West, doing odd jobs and meeting all sorts of folks. He returned back home at times until he joined the U.S. Army at age 17. After boot camp, he was stationed in England, and then Germany, where he drove truck clearing wreckage in East Germany. He was later shipped across the globe where he did tours in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

After his tour was over, he returned home in 1961, and married his first wife, Sandy. After a short-lived marriage, they divorced and he married Diane. They had a son, Tommy. Britt then took to the deserts of Nevada, Montana and Wyoming to learn the cowboy ways. He worked many ranches, camps, feed lots and sale yards doing all sorts of jobs from buckarooing to hauling cattle. He and Diane separated in 1971.

Britt met Alice, whom he married in 1972, and had two sons with, Winston and Wilson. He was with her till the day he died. The family lived and worked at various ranches until moving to the White Horse Ranch in 1982, where Britt was the manager for 24 years. Many buckaroos in this area worked for Lay and tell stories about how much he taught them.

After leaving the White Horse, Britt and Alice moved to Missouri, where he enjoyed being part of hot rod car clubs. After seven years, they moved to Phoenix, Ariz. to be closer to family.

Britt is survived by his wife, Alice Lay; sons, Winston Lay and wife Gloria and their sons Erik and Joseph; Wilson Lay and his wife Terra and their son Gage Wall; sister, Elizabeth Lay of Phoenix, Ariz.; and brother, Richard Lay of Albuquerque, N.M.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and F.T. Britton Lay.


Hilda Marie Smith, 75, of Burns passed away July 7. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at Faith Baptist Church in Hines


Wednesday July 23

Posted on July 23rd in Community Calendar

Harney County Library holds its Summer Reading Program, “Fizz-Boom-Read,” every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. On Wednesday, July 23, the activity is Whiz, Bang, Boom! Penny’s Puppets.

Harney County Health District board of directors meets the fourth Wednesday of each month in the board conference room of the hospital, in the entrance off N. Grand, at 6 p.m.

Burns City Council meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at Burns City Hall, 242 S. Broadway, at 6 p.m.

Burns Butte Sportsmen’s Club invites the public to their summer “Twilight” trap practice  to be held from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. every Wednesday, running through the month of September. The practices will be held at the trap range on Radar Hill. It is a great time to get started or improve your skills. There are instructors for beginners.

Free cardio-kick classes are offered Wednesday evenings, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at Faith Baptist Church. The classes are good for beginning to moderate workouts, and everyone is welcome. For more information call 541-573-7777.

Bring babies to Lapsit Storytime at Harney County Library, 80 W. D St., each Wednesday at 10 a.m. Enjoy music, stories, rhymes and fingerplays especially for babies and toddlers.

Storytime for preschoolers is scheduled at the Harney County Library, 80 W. D St., each Wednesday at 10:30  a.m. Contact the Harney County Library for more information, 541-573 6670.

A Women’s AA meeting is held every Wednesday at noon at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord, Burns.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets each Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord, Burns.


Thursday July 24

Posted on July 23rd in Community Calendar

Harney County Soil and Water Conservation District board of directors meets the fourth Thursday of each month at the USDA Service Center in Hines at 4:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

A Walking Class is held each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from  10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. indoors at the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center.

Kiwanis Club of Burns-Hines meets for a no-host luncheon at noon each Thursday at Bella Java, 314 N. Broadway in Burns.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly meets at noon each Thursday at Hines City Hall, 101 E. Barnes. Call 541-573-2896.

Tai Chi for Better Balance with Diane Rapaport is held each Tuesday and Thursday at Harney County Senior and Community Services Center from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. — free.

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