Sports participation for charter school students discussed

by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

Harney County School District (HCSD) No. 3 held a work session prior to its regularly-scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 12 to discuss educational options for Eastern Oregon Academy (EOA) youth.

EOA is a 24-hour residential youth facility for males ages 13 and older.

During the work session, HCSD No. 3 Superintendent Dr. Marilyn McBride said the Oregon Department of Education had been pushing the district to have a service agreement signed and negotiated with EOA management with a “tight time line.” She added that the department has since pulled back, but a management team is continuing its efforts to determine what can be done.

EOA youth currently attend classes in the district office building (former Lincoln Junior High School), and McBride said some of their behaviors have caused concern for the security and safety of staff and other students who use the building. She said examples include using inappropriate language, making threats, throwing objects (including desks), damaging property, and exhibiting inappropriate sexual behavior.

Ron Wassom (principal of EOA Alternative School, Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility’s Monroe Alternative School, and Burns High Alternative School) said these behaviors are much more extreme than those exhibited by Burns High School (BHS) students. He added that law enforcement had to be called four times in two days.

Board vice chair Doug Gunderson said students would be expelled if they acted that way at BHS, but the district “can’t really do that with these kids.”

McBride said EOA youth need to be stabilized before education can begin, adding that behavior plans need to be developed and students’ reading and math levels need to be assessed. She explained that many youth enter EOA without any records concerning their educational history.

Wassom agreed, stating that it can take weeks for the records to come in, and some aren’t up-to-date when they arrive.

Board member Tara McLain asked how long the youth are at EOA before they begin classes, and Wassom replied that they start school the next day.

“These kids need somebody to look at the whole picture,” board chair Lori Cheek said. “They have to be able to sit for a while and be comfortable with where they are sleeping,” she added. “We’ve got to put more focus on what they need.”

McBride said EOA and district staff need to provide consistent rewards and consequences for students, and she suggested using Google Docs to record and share information concerning students’ behavior. She also encouraged the development of short and long-term goals for EOA students, suggested adding a quiet room/ “cool down space,” and encouraged EOA to provide an on-site counselor.

Wassom said funding was made available for an EOA employee to remain in the classroom full time and that the presence of this employee has made a difference in the students’ attitude, language, and work.

“We really appreciate that they’ve stepped up,” Wassom said regarding EOA staff.

McLain asked why students are no longer taught at the EOA facility.

Cheek replied that, “This was the only thing that the school district could come up with, and they did like having the gym.”

McLain also asked whether the district has to provide education for EOA youth.

“They are residents of our district,” McBride replied. “We do have an obligation to provide for them, just like any student that is in our district.”

However, she added that EOA can be thought of as a parent who can choose to enroll its students in online, private, or homeschool programs.

McBride added that the district and EOA have been touring facilities, including Washington School, to determine the advantages and disadvantages of holding classes at those sites. However, she said neither the district nor EOA can fund the overhead cost of operating the Washington School building, and board member Ralph Dickenson expressed concern about the school’s proximity to Washington Park.

McBride asked the board whether funding should be increased to address some of the safety concerns. McLain, Cheek and Gunderson replied that they don’t want to provide any additional funding.

Monica McCanna, who attended on behalf of classified employees, urged the board to do anything it can to protect staff.

Gunderson said he agreed with protecting staff, but he felt the money would be better spent serving other students.

McLain said she felt the funding should remain the same, and these students should be educated at the EOA facility.

Board member Lisa King commented that, “Having to call the cops is not bettering the students’ outlook on anything. It just flames the fire.”


During the public comment portion of the regular meeting, Jen Keady addressed the board concerning charter school students’ ability to play sports at Hines Middle School (HMS).

“I would appreciate a true conversation about how to make it happen,” she said.

Gunderson and Dickenson said they weren’t opposed to the idea. However, it requires a policy change. Gunderson and McLain both expressed that they would not like to change policy for high school students.

Regarding the middle school, Gunderson said he thought it should be up to the principal, and possibly the team, to decide.

HMS Principal Jerry Mayes said he’d like to meet as a group and discuss the ramifications.

“I’m fearful of adults abusing the policy,” he said. “I want our kids to be as successful as possible, but I don’t want to throw in loopholes where students jump ship and go into charter school after their sports season.”

Keady suggested that requirements for students’ grades apply regardless of whether they attended HMS or a charter school.

Mayes suggested that a group meet to write the policy, which can be presented to the board during its next meeting. He added that he’d like to engage Athletic Director Paula Toney in this effort.

Keady thanked the board for its consideration.


In other business:

• Slater Elementary School Principal Chandra Ferguson reported that Tears of Joy Theatre performed 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for Slater students.

She added that Dr. Kevin Feldman and Dean Richards from Oregon Response to Instruction and Intervention, an organization that provides technical assistance to Oregon school districts, conducted learning walks at the end of April. She said both commented that they were very impressed with teachers’ increased use of engagement and instructional strategies.

Ferguson concluded by informing the board that Preschool Visitation Day is scheduled for May 21.

• Mayes reported that Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) assessment testing and schedules went as anticipated, but Smarter Balanced tests are taking longer than expected.

He thanked the BHS leadership class for hosting the Ronald McDonald fundraiser dance and Austin Feist for putting on a “fantastic career day” for HMS students.

Mayes also informed the board about a school-wide challenge to increase students’ attendance.


BHS Principal Brandon Yant reported that 18 new members were inducted into the Robert Burns Chapter of the National Honor Society, and the Burns FFA Chapter has 57 members.

He said Garrett Blackburn and Baylee Hanner each received Ron Mackenzie scholarships in the amount of $8,500, and Diana Camacho was awarded $3,000.

Yant also reported that Sam Ellibee placed first in the State Solo Competition, and Jon Caponetto placed second.

He said BHS completed its five-year accreditation review in mid-April, and the external review reinforced findings that the school was already aware of. He added that a Site Council Committee was formed to work on a school improvement plan.

• Wassom reported that a new ventilation system was installed in the vocational shops at Monroe Alternative School. He added that the school’s graduation ceremony is scheduled for Friday, June 12 at 10 a.m., and teacher Terry Graham will provide the commencement address.

• During the public comment period, McCanna encouraged board members to spend a day job shadowing a classified employee next year.

• The board accepted a $100 donation from TopLoc Asphalt Maintenance LLC for the senior prom; an $800 donation from Xi Delta Gamma for BHS softball; and a $2,000 donation from Golden Four Inc. for BHS football uniforms.

• The board approved personnel hires for Gordon Black (Monroe, mechanics); Erin Jenks (Slater, teaching); Amber Kohler (Slater, teaching); Taci Weil (Slater, special education); Nancy Moon (Slater, principal); Garr Van Orden (HMS, drama and electives); and Kathy Wassom (BHS, health, physical education, and senior project).

• The board accepted policies “Disposal of District Property,” “Emergency Drills,” and “Emergency Closures” with the changes that King read during the previous meeting. Upon recommendation from Dickenson, the board agreed to table “Staff Complaints” until it has more time for discussion.

• Cheek provided an update on the biomass heating project. She reported that the cooperative has been formed, and a project manager has been hired. Cheek and King volunteered to serve on the cooperative’s board.

The next regularly-scheduled school board meeting will be held Tuesday, June 9, at 7 p.m. in the district office building.

Automated sprinkler system considered

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

Following a months-long hiring process, the Burns City Council voted to remove the “interim” tag from Dauna Wensenk’s title and appointed her city manager.

Mayor Craig LaFollette stated the search committee had received 16 applications for the position that had become vacant last November when the council voted to terminate the contract of Kraig Cutsforth.

The committee reviewed the applications and narrowed the search down to six applicants, two of whom accepted other employment before the interview process.

The final four candidates were then interviewed, using a standard set of questions, and then scored on their responses. The council then met in executive session to confirm the process with legal counsel, and based on the scoring system, the council appointed Wensenk to the position at their regular meeting Wednesday, May 13.

LaFollette explained that even though Wensenk didn’t meet the requirement of a four-year degree asked for in the initial job description, her knowledge and experience gained from having worked for the city for more than 30 years far outweighed that point.

LaFollette also thanked Councilor Terri Presley for having chaired the selection committee.

The council voted unanimously to appoint Wensenk to the city manager position, with Councilor Dennis Davis abstaining from voting because he had also put in for the position.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, former city manager Cutsforth said he was highly disappointed in the council’s decision.

He referred to correspondence he had sent to the council before the interview process, claiming 73 percent of the county’s population and 70 percent of the state’s population were locked out from applying because of the four-year degree requirement. “Then you made an exception to hire Dauna,” he said. “That doesn’t make it very fair.”


LaFollette asked Public Works Director Dave Cullens if he had any more information regarding a proposal to hire a seasonal employee to help with maintenance at the city parks.

Cullens stated it would cost more than what was budgeted for, and suggested, as an alternative, that the council consider installing automated sprinkler systems at the parks, noting that would save the public works crew a lot of time.

The council agreed by consensus to allow Cullens to put the sprinkler systems out for bid, and they would see it was a viable solution.

In a related matter, the council also agreed to begin a search for the public works director position, as Cullens will be retiring in the near future.


A public hearing was held at 6:15 p.m. to receive public input on the proposed text amendments to the Burns Comprehensive Plan/Zoning Ordinance and the updates to the regulations in the flood damage prevention ordinance.

Grant Young of the Department of Land Conservation and Development was in attendance to answer questions from the council. Young said the updates in the flood damage prevention ordinance were necessary to continue to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements to receive benefits in the event of a flood.

Young noted that the flood plain map had already been digitized, and all they needed were the ordinance updates.

Stuart Yekel expressed concern about a ditch that runs behind his business. He said the last time it flooded in town, the ditch backed up with water and flooded in the area of his business because the ditch was filled with debris. He has cleaned out the ditch near his business, but he wanted to know if the city had been cleaning out the ditch in other places.

LaFollette said he would check into it.

Presley reviewed the changes in the comp plan which included higher fences being allowed on the street side of a residence as long as visibility was not impaired by the fence, various fees, off-street parking and parking spaces.

The hearing was closed at 6:28 p.m.


Jackie Clements approached the council about her shared driveway on North Diamond.

She stated her residence shares a driveway with a neighboring residence, and the renters now in the adjacent house are blocking the driveway with their vehicles. The first two times it happened, the Clements asked them to move their vehicle and they complied, but since then, they have parked a vehicle in the driveway and left it.

Clements said city employees have spoken with the renters but nothing has happened, and she was asking the council to amend a city ordinance to keep the driveway open. “There are no laws to keep them from blocking the driveway, so they are. They have ample parking elsewhere. It just boils down to common courtesy,” Clements said.

The council directed Wensenk to do some more research on the situation.


In other business, the council:

• approved a $50 donation to the Kiwanis Club of Burns-Hines for the Fourth of July fireworks, and a $50 donation to the Burns High School Class of 2015 for the senior all-night party;

• approved drainage easement agreements with six residents;

• congratulated Fire Chief Scott Williamson on his completion of training that allows him to provide plan review input on water supply and access, and certifies him to perform inspections on Group B and Group M occupancies.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at city hall.

GW Clark of the Harney County Rodeo Team displays his prowess in mud wrestling. Sloppy conditions on Saturday, May 16, added to the fun. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

GW Clark of the Harney County Rodeo Team displays his prowess in mud wrestling. Sloppy conditions on Saturday, May 16, added to the fun. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

The Harney County High School Rodeo Team hosted a two-day rodeo Friday and Saturday, May 15-16, at the Harney County Fairgrounds.

Those competing for the Harney County team were Taylor Crafts, Hunter Davis, Jake Clark and GW Clark.

J. Clark placed second in the team roping at the first rodeo, and GW Clark placed eighth in the steer wrestling at the first rodeo.

Average winners and scores for each event are as follows:

Bareback riding — Colton Dougherty, 126.

Saddle bronc riding — Trenton Robnett, 64.

Team roping (headers) — Jack Graham, 23.47.

Team roping (heelers) — Calgary Smith, 23.47.

Bull riding — Colton Dougherty, 153.

Tie down roping — Preston Pederson, 28.88.

Steer wrestling — Lane Potter, 12.37.

Breakaway roping — Jessica Tye, 7.01.

Barrel racing — Maria Millard, 33.729.

Pole bending — Leandra Millard.

Goat tying — KayLee Aldrich, 18.36.

Boys All-Around — Colton Dougherty.

Girls All-Around — Maria Millard.

The next rodeo will be the Oregon High School State Finals rodeo June 11-13 in Prineville. Based on points earned from the preliminary rodeos, the top 20 contestants in each event complete in three separate rounds of competition.


The results for the Harney County competitors in the Oregon Junior High Doubleheader Rodeo held in Burns Friday and Saturday, May 15-16, are as follows:

First rodeo:

John Barry Rose, first in saddle bronc steer riding, 10th in ribbon roping, second in boys breakaway roping;

TC Hammack, third in ribbon roping, third in boys breakaway roping;

Brady White, fourth in breakaway roping;

Tea Recanzone, first in ribbon roping, first in girls breakaway roping, second in goat tying, seventh in barrel racing, and 10th in pole bending.

Second rodeo:

Rose, first in boys goat tying, sixth in ribbon roping, first in boys breakaway roping, second in team roping;

Hammack, fifth in ribbon roping, second in boys breakaway roping, third in team roping;

White, ninth in boys goat tying, fourth in team roping;

Recanzone, third in girls breakaway roping, fifth in barrel racing, seventh in pole bending.

The next junior high rodeo will be the state finals rodeo held in Prineville May 29-31.


OBIT McVay WEBKenneth Lee McVay, 73, long-time Hines resident, passed away peacefully Saturday, May 16, surrounded by his family.

Ken was born Feb. 3, 1942, in Hines to Bert and Verna McVay. His father passed away when he was 8 years old. He and his brother, Lonny McVay, were raised by their stepfather, Elvin Pederson. On July 15, 1972, Ken married the love of his life, Sandy (Smith) McVay. They had an amazing 42 years together. During this time, they raised five children who blessed them with 15 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

His children are Todd (Dee) McVay of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Lisa (John) Hindman of Redmond, Tory (Yvonne) McVay of Milwaukie, Casey (Amber) Gaines of Roseburg, and Sam (Missy) McVay of Terrebonne.

He was preceded in death by his infant son, Christopher McVay, his son-in-law, Mike Robinson, and his parents.

Ken was an avid outdoorsman. He loved hunting, fishing, camping, sports and spending time with friends and family.  He was well known for his sense of humor, story telling, compassion and big heart.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Ken from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, May 23, at the city of Hines Pavilion. Family friends, Eric and Tara Woodworth and Derrin and Rachael Robinson, have graciously offered to provide food services.

The family requests donations in Ken’s name be made to the Woodfin/Robinson Memorial Wrestling Tournament, in care of Paula Toney, Burns High School, 1100 Oregon Ave., Burns, OR 97720, or to the Jay Winn Memorial Buckle Classic wrestling tournament, in care of Stacy Puckett, P.O. Box 1425, Hines, OR 97738.

Michael (Mike) Bentz, 51, passed away Thursday, May 14, as a result of a single occupant airplane crash near Juntura.

Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Burns. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 22, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Burns. A luncheon will follow immediately after Mass at the Harney County Fairgrounds. A private family interment will be held in Juntura.

You can go to and sign the online guest book for the family.

Contributions in Mike Bentz’s memory may be made to Young Ranchers Land and Livestock Fund and mailed to LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.

OBIT Means WEBAlberta  Thane “Buddy” Means, 78, a resident of the Hillsboro community, passed away May 8 at Empres Healthcare in Hillsboro.

Alberta was born July 22, 1936, (her dad’s 50th birthday) in Juneau, Alaska, the daughter of Albert Tucker and Alice Mae (Brannin) Tucker. She graduated from Juneau High School in 1954.  She attended Boise State University and received a bachelor’s degree in education.

She was united in marriage to Leaborn Edgar Means on May 29, 1958, in Boise, Idaho. Following their marriage, they made their home in Mountain Home, Idaho, where four of their girls where born, and Buddy taught second grade until the Means family moved to Burns in 1966. Their fifth baby girl was born in Burns, and Buddy taught first grade.  She went to summer school at Boise State until 1971 when she finished her BS degree. She was an active Member in Eastern Star, serving as Worthy Matron, District Deputy, and Mother Advisor for the Rainbow Girls.

In 1987, Buddy and Lee moved to Depoe Bay where she taught kindergarten in Newport. They later moved to Newport where she retired from teaching in 1997. She was a member of Atonement Lutheran Church, and she enjoyed spending time with family and friends. She also spent time crafting, tole painting, scrap booking, traveling, and singing her special songs. She moved to Joseph, where she lived for several years before moving to the Portland area, where she resided until her death.

Survivors include stepson, Jerry Means (Kay), of Nampa, Idaho; daughters, Lezlea Means (Nilda Weeks), of Portland, AlonaLea Benson of Newport, Leaberta “Bitty” Dent (Mike) of Burns, Shellea VanWinkle (Bob) of Joseph, and Marylea  Brooks (Shawn) of Bend; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Buddy was preceded in death by her parents; husband; stepson, Larry Means; brother, Shelby Tucker; and three sisters, Luella Kaston, Elizabeth Solosabal, and Frances Fresonke.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 21, at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 12405 S.W. Butner Road in Beaverton, with the Rev. Christine Core officiating. Concluding rites and interment will follow at 3 p.m. at the Willamette National Cemetery, 1800 S.E. Mt. Scott Blvd. in Portland. Family and friends are invited to attend a reception immediately following the church ceremony, to be held in the fellowship room of the church.

The family suggests that remembrances may be contributions to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Michael or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1650 NW Naito Parkway, No. 190, Portland, Oregon 97209, in her memory. Tualatin Valley Funeral Alternatives in Hillsboro is entrusted with the arrangements.


OBIT Baugh WEBBessie Beatrice Baugh, 94, passed away May 16 in Orangevale, Calif.

Bessie was born in Eureka, Calif., on July 26, 1920, to Amiel B. and A. Beatrice (McCune) Iversen. The family moved frequently to various places in Northern California, Oregon and Washington. Bessie graduated from Toledo (Wash.) High School in 1938.

In October 1939, Bessie married John C. Baugh in Kelso, Wash. John and Bessie subsequently moved to Harney County, where they lived on isolated cattle ranches for more than 50 years, and where their daughter, Edna Catherine, was born.

Bessie worked for 17 years at Harney County Hospital in Burns.

Following the death of her husband in 1995, Bessie moved to Medford, and then on to Rainier. After becoming increasingly disabled, she came to live with her daughter in Antelope, Calif.

Bessie loved Jesus and attended the Apostolic Faith Church.

Music and rhythm were of great delight and comfort to her. Although she never claimed expertise, Bessie enjoyed playing several instruments. She loved animals and birds, open spaces, the scents of early morning in the outdoors, and sunshine after rain or snow. She especially liked smiles and dedicated people.

Survivors include daughter, Catherine Eldred of Antelope, Calif.; sister, Grace Sprague of Rainier; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bessie was preceded in death by husband, John Baugh; parents, Amiel and Beatrice Iversen; sisters, Juanita Martha Iversen and Marjory Helen Bowen; and granddaughter, Laurel Elizabeth Eldred.

A graveside service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at Mount Shasta Memorial Park, 830 Lassen Lane, Mount Shasta, Calif.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Bessie’s memory to Jews for Jesus ( or American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (

Carita Dawson, 84, passed away May 14. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 21, at the Harney County Church of the Nazarene in Hines, with interment to follow at Burns Cemetery.

A full obituary will follow at a later date.

Wednesday May 20

Posted on May 20th in Community Calendar

Take the best care of yourself with Health Screening Day on Wednesday, May 20, at Harney District Hospital. Don’t miss this great opportunity to receive discounted screening exams in the lab! For more information, please contact Harney District Hospital’s Toni Siegner, 541-573-8310.

Harney County Court meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Harney County Courthouse, 450 N. Buena Vista, at 10 a.m.

The Hilander Booster Club meets the third Wednesday of each month at noon at Glory Days Pizza.

Harney Grant Babe Ruth board meets the third Wednesday of each month in the courthouse basement meeting room, 450 N. Buena Vista, at 7 p.m.

Burns Elks Lodge, 118 N. Broadway, meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m.

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.

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

ALANON, a support group for friends and families of alcoholics, meets each Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord, Burns. Please use the back door on the south side of the building. All interested are welcome.

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

Thursday May 21

Posted on May 20th in Community Calendar

Burns Planning Commission meets the third Thursday of each month at Burns City Hall, 242 S. Broadway, at 7 p.m.

Harney County Historical Society meets the third Thursday of each month at the Elks Lodge, 118 N. Broadway, at 11:45 a.m.

Join the ‘Walk With Ease’ walking group for this great program. Group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at the BHS Library; sessions include brief education, warm-up & stretching, walking, then cool down & stretching. Group suitable for those with arthritis or those who just want to make walking a part of their life. For details, please contact Harney District Hospital’s Amy Dobson, 541-573-8318 or Kristen Gregg, 541-573-8614.

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.

Whaddya Think?

What do you do when you see a spider?
  • Squash it (67%)
  • Ignore it (14%)
  • Take it outside (8%)
  • Scream (6%)
  • Feed it (2%)
  • Flush it down the toilet (3%)

49 total vote(s)

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Destination Harney County

Destination Harney County 2012


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