Meeting to discuss dispensary moved to Wednesday, Dec. 10

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

At its regular meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 19, the Burns City Council voted to terminate the employment of City Manager Kraig Cutsforth.

The vote came after two executive sessions that were held earlier in the evening.

During the regular meeting, Jeremy Green, legal counsel for the city, said the council had come to a consensus to make a decision on Cutsforth’s employment, and he proposed making a motion to terminate Cutsforth as city manager, according to section 4.2 of the employment agreement between the city and the city manager.

The vote to terminate Cutsforth was unanimous, with Councilor Dennis Davis abstaining from voting, as he stated at an earlier meeting that he would be interested in filling the city manager position should it open up.

Green then asked the council to authorize himself, Mayor Craig LaFollette and Cutsforth to work together to establish a severance agreement, as discussed in the executive session. The council voted to authorize the meeting.

Mayor LaFollette then informed the council and those in the audience that the meeting scheduled for Dec. 3 to discuss possible local restrictions for a medical marijuana dispensary had been moved to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, at city hall. The reason for moving the date was to allow Green to attend the meeting.

Green said the meeting would be a work session, with a question and answer process.

“I will be here on Dec. 10 to discuss time, place and manner restrictions on the dispensary,” Green said. “It will be an interactive process to come up with a product that is compatible with the community. The council does value your concerns.”

Other items on the agenda were tabled until the next council meeting that will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17 at city hall. The council will be meeting only once in December because of the Christmas holiday.


The Seven Wonders of Harney County

Posted on November 19th in News

Idea aims to promote tourism

by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

Diamond Craters

Diamond Craters

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Harney County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chelsea Harrison said Harney County doesn’t need roller coasters and amusement parks. With more than 10,000 square miles of land, she said the county’s wide-open spaces and abundance of natural beauty are enough to attract visitors, especially those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city.

“The option of having the wide-open spaces is very intriguing,” Harrison said, adding that many travel to this area in search of an opportunity to explore nature without running into their next-door neighbor. “This is that utopia that they’ve been looking for.”

In an effort to draw visitors to Harney County, Harrison collaborated with the Harney County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Harney County Community Response Team to develop The Seven Wonders of Harney County.

Travel Oregon recently launched a similar tourism-promotion campaign called The Seven Wonders of Oregon, which highlights Mount Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon Coast, the Painted Hills, Smith Rock, the Wallowa Mountains, and Crater Lake.

When she saw Travel Oregon’s list, Harrison said she thought, “Wait a minute. How did Steens Mountain not make it?”

Steens Mountain

Steens Mountain

She admitted that Oregon is a beautiful and diverse state, and it’d be difficult to select only seven natural features to emphasize. However,

Malheur National Forest

Malheur National Forest

she said she could think of six wonders that are located in Harney County “off the top of her head.” And to discover the seventh, she was advised to look up at the brilliant myriad of celestial bodies above her head.

The Seven Wonders of Harney County include the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Diamond Craters, Malheur National Forest, Steens Mountain, hot springs, Alvord Desert, and star gazing.

Harrison said she hopes to introduce the idea to tourists this spring.

The chamber’s website will feature photos of each “wonder” on its main page. Anyone who views the site will be able to click on the photos for more information and to find travel itineraries, which will include suggestions for accommodations (such as meals and lodging) that will promote local businesses.

For example, travelers who want to experience the Diamond Craters will be informed about the Round Barn Visitor Center, Hotel Diamond and Steens Mountain Guest Ranch.

Harrison said the selected wonders represent all areas of Harney County. She explained that travelers can access Malheur National Forest

Hot springs

Hot springs

through Burns, Hines, Drewsey and Buchanan. The Alvord Desert can be accessed through Fields, Steens Mountain can be accessed through Frenchglen and The Narrows, Diamond Craters through Diamond, and the county’s various hot springs through areas like Crane and the Alvord Ranch.

Additionally, star gazing opportunities exist throughout the entire county. In fact, Harrison said Harney County has one of the lowest levels of artificial light in the United States, making it a great place to get an extraordinary glimpse of the night sky.

She added that many recreational opportunities exist in the Malheur National Forest, including “gravel grinding,” or bicycling on a mix of asphalt, gravel, dirt and single-track roads and trails. Harrison said she’s working with local U.S. Forest Service staff to recommend activities that won’t interfere with the agency’s forest-management efforts. She added that the forest’s roads are wide

enough to safely accommodate both bicycles and automobiles.

In addition to promoting Harney County’s wonders on the chamber’s website, Harrison plans to add the information to the Eastern Oregon Visitor Guide, explaining that Harney County has its own section in the guide. Harrison said Travel Oregon may also publish an article about Harney County’s wonders, which could bring national and international attention to the area.

Alvord Desert

Alvord Desert

She said the idea is intended to bring tourists to Harney County, which could help create economic growth, as tourism dollars “trickle down” to benefit the community as a whole. She added that some visitors may even decide to set up shop in the area.

“What I hope is that, as The Seven Wonders draw in people, they will see the opportunity that is available in Harney County,” Harrison said.

She said she also plans to promote agriculturally-based tourism, explaining that people around the world have expressed interest in learning more about ranching and the rural way of life.

In addition to its rugged allure, Harrison said Harney County offers a strong sense of community.

“This community embraces people,” she said. “It’s amazing how it embraces people. People come in and say, ‘This is such a nice town, and

there are very nice people here.’”

She added that visitors have reported receiving a level of customer service from local merchants that is unmatched in other areas.

Star gazing

Star gazing

But locals need not worry about a population influx, as Harrison said most of the travelers who will be brought in by the tourism promotion will not opt to move here.

Instead, The Seven Wonders of Harney County will offer residents an opportunity to show off their people and places and remember why they choose to live here.


Folk group released sophomore album

by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

As part of its Snowshoes and Union Dues tour, Canadian folk group West My Friend is returning to Burns this month.

Hosted by Janet Braymen, the quirky quartet rocked the Braymen family ranch with an engaging  outdoor performance on Aug. 5, 2013.

Since then, the group has been busy recording its sophomore album When the Ink Dries.

The album’s first note is reminiscent of a chamber music performance, but the title track takes a folk-inspired turn with the introduction of traditional instrumentation and vocals. This ominous opener poetically portrays the possible repercussions of building the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline across British Columbia.

On the contrary, the lyrics of the following song, The Tattoo that Loved Her Anyway, are quite comical. The accordion that accompanies this silly (yet slightly sad) story about a lonely woman who falls in love with her French-speaking tattoo makes the song sound like a sea shanty from the days of yore.

Though it’s lyrics speak of longing, Missing You is undeniably upbeat. The catchy hand claps in the background almost beg for audience participation. And the exuberant trumpet creates an interesting contrast with woeful lyrics like, “There isn’t room for romance,” and, “Singing my heart out but never getting through.”

The band brings it down a notch with Thin Hope — a simple, yet emotionally-gripping song that showcases both the tenderness and power of Eden Oliver’s vocals.

The following song, My Lover, is charming and cheerful. With a distinct Americana influence, the song sounds like it could’ve been written yesterday or many decades ago.

Oliver’s voice soars above the melodic harmonies and soft instrumentation featured in Troubles. With lyrics like, “Callus won’t form on broken skin,” the song’s sage lyrics offer the same sort of insight that you might obtain from a grandparent. Yet the next song, Lady Doubt, is all about insecurity and uncertainty.

Featuring an array of instruments — including flute, pump organ, piano, clarinet, recorder, percussion, strings, trumpet, flugelhorn, French horn, trombone, and bass trombone — The Cat Lady Song is a theatrical show-stopper referencing “feline ferocity.”

The highly-literate Ode to Silvia Plath is optimistic and hopeful, while Baleen Whale is stuffed to the gills with playful pirate puns.

Dark and Deep brings back the hearty hand claps featured earlier in the album with an added element of jazz-scat-style vocals.

Appropriately, Last Call is featured at the end of the album. The slow and mournful tune, which  tells a tale of longing for lost love, ends with the promise of more music to come.

Released internationally on April 6, When the Ink Dries was recently nominated in the Canadian Folk Music Awards for the “Oliver Schroer ‘Pushing The Boundaries’ Award.” The band’s first full-length album, Place (released in 2012), received multiple award nominations, including “Roots Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year” at the Vancouver Island Music Awards.

The Chamber Music Society (CMS) of Harney County will host a concert featuring the four-piece folk band on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at the Harney County Community Center (located at 484 N. Broadway in Burns).

Presale tickets can be purchased at Gourmet and Gadgets and the chamber of commerce. Admission is $15 for an individual or $40 for a family. Tickets will also be available at the door until they’re sold out.

The doors will open at 6:30, and the show will start at 7 p.m. Snacks will be sold during the performance to benefit the CMS scholarship fund.

If you’re hoping to enjoy an evening with some quirky Canadians, just look to the West, my friend!


Award presented by Public Lands Foundation

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

(L-R): Berry Anderson, William Andersen, Louie Molt, Roxane Bailey, SWCD chairman Carol Dunten receiving the award from Public Lands board member Dick Prather, Marty Suter-Goold, Andrew Shields, and Jeff Rose. Not pictured: board member Pat Sharp and Robert Greisen. (Submitted photo)

(L-R): Berry Anderson, William Andersen, Louie Molt, Roxane Bailey, SWCD chairman Carol Dunten receiving the award from Public Lands board member Dick Prather, Marty Suter-Goold, Andrew Shields, and Jeff Rose. Not pictured: board member Pat Sharp and Robert Greisen. (Submitted photo)

On Nov. 3, the Harney County Soil and Water District received an award and public citation from the Public Lands Foundation, commending its work in helping to form the first Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the greater sage grouse in Oregon.

The citation reads as follows:

The Public Lands Foundation presents the Harney County Soil and Water Conservation District with its 2014 Landscape Stewardship Award and this Citation. The Foundation grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Harney County Soil and Water Conservation District led a diverse group of partners to help create the first Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) for the Greater sage-grouse in Oregon. This was a multi-year project spanning close to three years that required the Conservation District to seek out new and innovative ways to achieve this goal.

Working closely with private landowners and other partners, the Conservation District was able to develop a model process and document that is vital for the protection of sage-grouse in Harney County and southeastern Oregon.

The Conservation District forged ahead on this project in spite of the current uncertainty in the final listing decision to show commitment to the process and to ensure that private landowners have the flexibility needed if the sage-grouse is listed. The Harney County sage-grouse CCAA provides a model for ranches to use and provides a suite of management actions that have been identified to benefit sage-grouse. If the sage-grouse is listed and a ranch has an approved CCAA, there will be little impact to ranch activities.

After completion of the Harney County CCAA, the next step was to assist ranches with the development of area- or ranch-specific CCAAs. This effort has led to the successful completion of the first ranch-specific CCAA (Home Ranch CCAA). The Conservation District is continuing to work with ranches to support the completion of additional ranch-specific CCAAs. Currently, the Conservation District has requests for assistance on over 25 CCAAs.

Completion of the Harney County CCAA has also helped the Burns District BLM develop the first Sage-grouse specific candidate conservation agreement (CCA). This is similar to the CCAA, but only addresses management within a BLM allotment. Establishment of the CCA for a BLM allotment will allow approved management actions to continue if the sage-grouse is listed. This foresight and leadership exhibited by the Conservation District will help prepare private and public land managers develop strategies to protect sage-grouse habitat while meeting other objectives.

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present the Harney County Soil and Water Conservation District with its 2014 Landscape Stewardship Award and this Citation for invaluable contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.

Edward W. Shepard, President


Sheriff resigns

Posted on November 12th in News

Midterm elections discussed

by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

Harney County Sheriff Dave Glerup attended the regularly-scheduled meeting of the Harney County Court (held Nov. 5) to present a letter announcing his retirement effective Jan. 1, 2015.

“I think you’ve done an amazing job,” Harney County Judge Steve Grasty told Glerup.

Glerup replied that he really appreciated the court’s efforts in working with the sheriff’s department.

He added, “I think we have a very good working relationship.”

Glerup requested that the court decide who will be appointed to fill the vacancy before he retires, so he can help show him/her the ropes.

“I’d like to make it a pretty simple transition from my authority to whoever you name,” he explained.

Grasty said efforts to recruit a replacement sheriff would begin immediately. He added that, because there cannot be two sheriffs, official appointment will not occur until after Glerup retires.

Regretfully, the court agreed to accept Glerup’s resignation, effective Jan. 1.

“If you need anything, I’m out there,” Glerup said.

•••

The court discussed the results of the 2014 Midterm Elections with Harney County Clerk Derrin (Dag) Robinson who reported that Harney County voted “no” on all ballot measures.

“There were no big surprises,” Robinson said. “If you follow registration numbers, we tend to vote Republican, and we voted Republican.”

The court then engaged in a conversation concerning Ballot Measure 91.

“Without getting too much on my high horse, I think that vote is a strong message to the elected officials in this county about marijuana,” Grasty said, explaining that he won’t break the law, but he’ll take the county’s “no” vote as a directive for where to stand on issues concerning marijuana.

However, Mary Ausmus said she thought the vote was “pretty close,” as 1,033 people in Harney County voted “yes” on the measure, while 1,985 voted “no.”

“I worry about our kids and nothing else,” Grasty said.

Harney County Commissioner Pete Runnels said he was concerned about how the legalization of marijuana for recreational use will impact the workforce, and Harney County Commissioner Dan Nichols expressed concern about the impact on drivers.

Grasty said he’ll ask county counsel to provide more information concerning the issue.

•••

Runnels provided an update regarding the Beatys Butte Working Group.

During its previous meeting (held Oct. 15), the court agreed that it didn’t support a proposal to combine the Hart Mountain and Sheldon national wildlife refuges into a National Conservation Area (NCA).

Runnels said he relayed that message to the group during a meeting held Oct. 16-17 and was told that the map outlining the NCA proposal was in draft form and is expected to change.

Runnels said he expressed concern about the private landowners who would be impacted by the proposal. He said he also told group members that the proposal was not one of the five key issues that the group was formed to address.

Runnels reported that his comments were not accepted favorably by the group, and he is not sure whether another meeting will be held.

“I think you did a good job, from what I understand, of delivering the message of where Harney County stands,” Grasty told Runnels.

Grasty suggested that the court contact the group to learn more about the direction that it’s headed.

“If there’s another meeting, maybe we’ll all show up,” he said.

•••

Wayne Baron attended the meeting to discuss his request to rent County Industrial Building No. 1 for $500 a month.

Grasty said the county industrial buildings are intended to serve as incubators for business expansion and job growth. Because Baron’s plans for the building do not meet this criterion, Grasty suggested charging him the market rate. However, he admitted that he wasn’t sure what that rate would be.

Grasty also asked whether Baron’s business would compete with Rimrock Recycling.

Baron replied that he planned to use the building for equipment repair and manufacturing, not recycling.

Runnels asked whether Baron was planning to use the building on a temporary basis, and Baron replied that he was.

Grasty said others have expressed interest in the building, but they haven’t indicated whether they’ll make a move.

Runnels asked Baron whether he’d agree to move out if another business makes an offer. Baron said he would if he were given at least 30 days notice, but he’d prefer 60.

Nichols said he’d like to see Baron’s business and revenue plans, but Baron was reluctant to provide that information. However, he said he will if it’s possible to rent the building.

Grasty said he’ll contact Harney County Economic Development Director Randy Fulton to determine whether the other people who’ve expressed interest in the building intend to make an offer. He said he’ll also determine the building’s market rate.

Baron agreed to allow the court to wait until its next meeting to make a decision.

•••

Harney County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Tom Sharp attended the meeting to discuss Harney County Emergency Management’s Ebola preparation efforts.

Sharp said health care providers throughout Harney County receive daily updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning the virus. However, he added that Ebola is not expected to occur in the state of Oregon.

Sharp explained that people who recently traveled to an Ebola-affected nation in West Africa (or people who have come into contact with these travelers) are the primary candidates for contracting the virus. He added that travelers from Ebola-affected nations only enter the United States through five U.S. airports.

When they arrive, these travelers are health screened, provided a Check and Report Ebola (CARE) Kit, and instructed to contact their local health department when they reach their final destination for 21 days of health monitoring. (Their travel information is also forwarded to state and local health authorities by customs and immigration.) If travelers don’t show symptoms of the virus after 21 days, they’re considered Ebola-free.

Sharp said it’s important to remember that a person is only contagious with Ebola if he/she is showing symptoms, which include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea, weakness, stomach pain, and unexplained bleeding or bruising.

He also provided a handout, explaining the differences between flu and Ebola and encouraged everyone to get a flu shot.

Sharp also informed the court about state homeland security grant projects for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

•••

In other business, the court:

• agreed to wait until its next meeting to formally accept a map of roads within Harney County. Grasty explained that he wanted to assemble all the information concerning the map into a package, but he wasn’t able to get the package together in time;

• received an update concerning Symmetry Care Inc. from Director Chris Siegner and staff member Cathy Stauffer;

• met with Mike Kennedy, a member of the Oregon Technical Assistance Team, to discuss transition activities associated with the formation of the Eastern Workforce Area;

• learned from Harney County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chelsea Harrison that Harney County was one of only seven Oregon counties to have a booth at the Oregon State Fair. The court agreed to issue a “fair booth challenge” to the other counties;

• held a supplemental budget hearing. There being no public comment, the court agreed to accept the budget as prepared as the adopted budget.

• approved Resolution 2014-17 in the matter of appropriating funds due to unexpected occurrence or condition. The Oregon Department of State Lands provided $92,000 to Harney County for a Medusahead project;

• approved an application by Stacy Davies for boring underneath the asphalt on Canyon Road in Hines;

• approved an application by James Gilmour for an approach off of Lava Bed Road;

• signed a warranty deed for the lot that George Glerup of Geo Investments LLC donated to the county. The county will pay any filing fees for the deed.

Due to scheduling conflicts, the next meeting of the county court will be held Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 10 a.m. in Judge Grasty’s office at the courthouse.


by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

The Nov. 4 election is now in the books and a number of incumbents retained their seats in state and federal governments.

John Kitzhaber (D) was re-elected Oregon governor for an unprecedented fourth term, defeating his main challenger Dennis Richardson (R) 50 percent to 44 percent.

In the race for U.S senator, Jeff Merkley (D) was re-elected to the position. Merkley received 56 percent of the vote, while Monica Wehby (R) received 37 percent.

Greg Walden (R) soundly defeated his main opponent, Aelea Christofferson (D), for the U.S. House of Representatives District 2 position. Walden garnered 70.6 percent of the vote to 25.5 percent for Christofferson.

Also winning seats in the U.S. House were Suzanne Bonamici (D), District 1; Earl Blumenauer (D), District 3; Peter DeFazio (D), District 4; Kurt Schrader (D), District 5.

In the Oregon House District 60 race, Cliff Bentz (R) was re-elected, beating Peter W. Hall (D) 82.1 percent to 17.7 percent.

Of the seven measures on the ballot, three passed, while four were voted down.

Voters approved Measure 91, which allows adults in Oregon to grow, possess, and sell marijuana under state regulation (Yes-55 percent, No-45 percent); Measure 89, which amends the Oregon Constitution to prohibit discrimination based on sex (Yes-64 percent, No-36 percent); and Measure 87, which allows state judges to serve with the Oregon National Guard or teach at state universities (Yes-57 percent, No-43 percent).

The measures that failed were Measure 86, which would have allowed the state to borrow money for a scholarship fund for Oregon students pursuing college or career training (Yes-42 percent, No-58 percent); Measure 88, a referendum on the state law that would have allowed driver cards for Oregonians who can’t prove they’re in the country legally (Yes-33 percent, No-67 percent); Measure 90, which would have created a nonpartisan primary for all candidates, with the top two advancing to the general election, regardless of party (Yes-32 percent, No-68 percent); Measure 92, requiring food manufacturers and retailers to label  genetically engineered foods (Yes-49 percent, No- 51 percent).

•••

Harney County had a 74 percent turnout for the election, and the county votes are as follows:

U.S. Senator
Candidate                            Votes
Mike Montchalin (LBT)           105
Jeff Merkley (DEM)                 911
Christina Jean Lugo (PAC)       39
James E. Leuenberger (CON)  68
Monica Wehby (REP)           1,782
Write-in                                      16

U.S. Rep. 2nd District
Candidate                            Votes
Aelea Christofferson (DEM)    364
Sharon L. Durbin  (LBT)          108
Greg Walden (REP)              2,459
Write-in                                      10

Governor
Candidate                            Votes
Dennis Richardson (REP)    2,082
Chris Henry (PRO)                    26
Aaron Auer (CON)                     53
John Kitzhaber (DEM)             724
Paul Grad (LBT)                        39
Jason Levin (PAC)                     27
Write-in                                        3

State Rep. Dist. 60
Candidate                            Votes
Peter W. Hall (DEM)                412
Cliff Bentz (REP)                   2,510
Write-in                                        6

County Treasurer
Candidate                            Votes
Ellen (Nellie) Franklin            2,416
Write-in                                       27

Burns City Council Pos. 4
Candidate                            Votes
No candidate filed
Dennis Davis (write-in)               26
Misc. other write-in                     91

Burns City Council Pos. 5
Candidate                            Votes
Jerry Woodfin                           654
Write-in                                       28

Burns City Council Pos. 6
Candidate                            Votes
No candidate filed
Charity Robey (write-in)             53
Misc. other write-in                     65

Hines Council Pos. 4
Candidate                            Votes
Raymond V. Breshears Sr.       158
Dick Baird                                 351
Write-in                                         7

Hines Council Pos. 5
Candidate                            Votes
Loren O. Emang                       353
Write-in                                       13

Hines Council Pos. 6
Candidate                            Votes
Cathy Jory                                161
Roderick L. Bennett                  268
Write-in                                       10

Harney Soil and Water
Director, At Large 2
Candidate                            Votes
Roxane Bailey                       2,105
Write-in                                       32

Harney Soil and Water
Director, Zone 3
Candidate                            Votes
Carol Dunten                         2,130
Write-in                                       13

Harney Soil and Water
Director, Zone 4
Candidate                            Votes
No candidate filed
Write-in                                       72

Harney Soil and Water
Director, Zone 5
Candidate                            Votes
No candidate filed

Ballot Measure 86
Yes                                            650
No                                          2,268

Ballot Measure 87
Yes                                         1,212
No                                          1,685

Ballot Measure 88
Yes                                            392
No                                          2,603

Ballot Measure 89
Yes                                        1,247
No                                          1,643

Ballot Measure 90
Yes                                            746
No                                          2,188

Ballot Measure 91
Yes                                         1,033
No                                          1,985

Ballot Measure 92
Yes                                            791
No                                          2,211

 

 


Hospice Wine & Food Festival

Posted on November 12th in News

 

Harney County Hospice’s annual Wine & Food Festival was held Saturday, Nov. 8 at the Burns Elks Lodge. The purpose of the event was to raise funds for local hospice patients and end-of-life care. The theme was 'Old Hollywood Glam.' A selection of wines from around the Pacific Northwest was on hand, and a chicken and prime rib dinner was served, catered by Wendy Reid. Funds were also raised through a silent auction, and a few items were sold in a live auction toward the end of the evening. (Photo by STEVE HOWE)

Harney County Hospice’s annual Wine & Food Festival was held Saturday, Nov. 8 at the Burns Elks Lodge. The purpose of the event was to raise funds for local hospice patients and end-of-life care. The theme was ‘Old Hollywood Glam.’ A selection of wines from around the Pacific Northwest was on hand, and a chicken and prime rib dinner was served, catered by Wendy Reid. Funds were also raised through a silent auction, and a few items were sold in a live auction toward the end of the evening. (Photo by STEVE HOWE)

 


Award recognizes good citizens

by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

Garrett Goss was one of the first six students who were selected for the Scotty Legends award. As part of the honor, students have the opportunity to paint their handprints on the wall near the entrance of the Hines Middle School gym. (Photo by SAMANTHA WHITE)

Garrett Goss was one of the first six students who were selected for the Scotty Legends award. As part of the honor, students have the opportunity to paint their handprints on the wall near the entrance of the Hines Middle School gym. (Photo by SAMANTHA WHITE)

Hines Middle School (HMS), home of the Scotties, is on a mission to celebrate students who exemplify citizenship, honor, ethics, and morals with a new award called, “Scotty Legends.”

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines a “legend” as both “a notable person whose deeds or exploits are much talked about in his or her own time” and “a story handed down for generations among a people and popularly believed to have a historical basis…”

Both of these definitions seem to fit HMS Principal Jerry Mayes’ expectations for the lasting significance of the honor.

About the award

Mayes said students already earn awards for their achievements in athletics, academics and attendance, but HMS staff also wanted to recognize students for being “good all-around citizens.”

Mayes said the staff thought there should be an award for students who display honesty, honor, integrity, and “common manners” every day, “from the time they come in, to the time they leave,” not because it’s expected of them, but because “it’s part of their nature.” Mayes said these are the students who will grow up to be “the untold heroes who keep pretty much the rest of the populous in check” because they’re “natural leaders” who aren’t influenced by “the group mentality.”

During an assembly held Monday, Oct. 27, Garrett Goss, Lizet Camacho, Lily Taylor, Mick Winn, Jessy York and Madison Caldwell were introduced as the first group of Scotty Legends.

 

The selection process

Scotty Legends are selected and agreed upon by all HMS staff, including teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators.

“It has to be unanimously decided upon,” Mayes explained.

He said staff evaluate how students treat each other, act when they think no one is watching, and behave when “everyone else is griping.” Student behavior is not only observed during class, but also between classes, during lunch and recess, and before school starts in the morning.

Mayes said new nominations will be considered  monthly, but staff will not be required to select a specific number of students.

“It depends on what we agree upon that month,” Mayes said, explaining that the award must be earned “across the board.”

Mayes said six Scotty Legends were selected this month, but next month there may be 10, or there may only be 1, or there may not be any. He said he doesn’t want staff members to feel like they have to fill a quota.

 

A lasting legacy

Scotty Legends are recognized during an assembly with a certificate and a wooden plaque, which is made by the HMS woodshop teacher. The Legends also get their picture taken, and the photos are displayed in the trophy case for the remainder of the month. However, the most enduring element of the award is the opportunity for students to add their handprints to the wall near the gym entrance.

“The plaques and certificates go home, the pictures come down, but the handprints stay,” Mayes said, adding that they’re painted in an area that’s visible to the public, and they’ll remain there for years to come.

Ann Choate, “the staff calligrapher,” will label the handprints with the corresponding students’ names.

Mayes, who joined the HMS staff at the start of the school year, said a similar program was implemented at the school where he worked before. At one point, Mayes’ previous school considered painting over the older prints to make room for new nominees, but the former students’ parents and grandparents prevented the painting because they wanted the younger siblings and cousins to be inspired by their older relatives’ accomplishments.

“We want students to look up at those handprints and for them to mean something,” Mayes said, explaining that he wants the Scotty Legends to be recognized as leaders and for the award to be something that students strive to attain.

 

An exceptional school

Mayes, who’s been in the education field for almost 35 years, said he’s very pleased with the students at HMS.

He said they have a very caring attitude, demonstrate positive relationships, and are polite to the teaching staff and each other.

“I haven’t seen nearly as much of that in other schools,” he said.


Council considers cameras

Posted on November 5th in News

Hines police, fire respond to rollover

by Steve Howe
Burns Times-Herald

The Hines Common Council met for its regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 28. During the meeting, the council discussed the potential installation of security cameras on city buildings.

Hines Police Chief Ryan DeLange said most businesses have cameras, and that he thinks it would be a “great tool” for law enforcement in preventing and solving crimes.

“We should have cameras. There’s no doubt,” said DeLange.

City Administrator Joan Davies asked if DeLange thought the presence of the cameras would be a deterrent to crimes.

“If they (criminals) see that camera, a lot of times, they’re going to change their minds about stealing,” DeLange responded.

He suggested that one camera be placed just outside the front door of city hall, and one over the counter inside. Other sites were also discussed, and various camera systems were considered.

•••

In his department report, DeLange told the council that things have slowed down, but that there continue to be a lot of thefts, including gas drive-offs. He said that the department responded to the fatal rollover accident on 47 Road that occurred Oct. 28.

DeLange also said he has been holding classes at Harney District Hospital to teach employees how to recognize signs of drug use.

•••

Superintendent of Public Works Pedro Zabala said that his department has been busy picking up leaves and pine needles for the past two weeks.

He said that a water usage report for the city indicated that the level of use has not changed greatly in the past few years.

•••

Hines Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD) Chief Bob Spence was not present at the meeting, but Davies gave his report.

Spence reported that HVFD responded to a flue fire on Oct. 20 on North Roanoke, and to the fatal rollover accident on 47 Road Oct. 28.

He said that the department helped maintain safety at the bonfire for Red Ribbon Week at the fairgrounds, and would be assisting in blocking off Broadway Avenue in Burns for the Halloween parade.

Six HVFD members recently participated in a 16-hour training for responding to hazardous material situations, or terrorism attacks. A full-scale exercise was scheduled for the weekend with the Burns Fire Department, law enforcement, the Oregon Department of Transportation, public works, and Oregon Hazmat Team 14.

•••

In her report, Davies told the council that the cans and bottles fund for park beautification was up to $2,565.37.

Davies said that the council members had been invited by Chris Siegner, director of Symmetry Care, to a Community Action Team meeting to discuss medical marijuana concerns Nov. 18 at noon. Other local officials and law enforcement were also invited.

Davies reported that the city has been working with Ferguson Engineering to develop a plan for laying a drainage pipe in the vicinity of the southern end of Saginaw Avenue. She said that landowners will need to be contacted regarding easements before moving forward with the project.

•••

The council was given a brief update on the project to “bring home to Harney County” a train engine from the historic Oregon & Northwestern Railroad, along with a flat car, to be displayed in Hines Park. Davies said that the group is working on applying for grants and organizing a fundraising dinner.

Councilor Dick Baird suggested that there be a donation box placed in the park with the engine and car to help cover any future maintenance expenses.

•••

In other business, the council:

• approved business applications for Griller’s Choice and My Shipping Marketplace;

• voted to donate $100 to the Kids Club of Harney County, and $150 to the Harney County Senior Center meal program;

• approved sending Officer Casey Held to a free “close quarters” training offered by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training;

• approved accounts payable for Oct. 14 and Oct. 28 in the amounts of $83,425.80 and $74,756.56, respectively.

The last two meetings of the year for the Hines Common Council will be held Nov. 18 and Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Hines City Hall.


Rollover claims life

Posted on October 29th in News

One air lifted to St. Charles in Bend with head injuries

The Harney County Sheriff’s Office reported a single-vehicle accident early Tuesday morning (Oct. 28) on the 47 Road approximately 10 miles north of Burns at Willow Flat. The vehicle was southbound when the operator, 28-year-old Jeffrey Graves, failed to negotiate a corner and drove off the east shoulder of the highway. The vehicle rolled several times before coming to a stop on its wheels.

Michael Aaron Webb, 18, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. Chance Victor Masson, 18, was transported to Harney District Hospital (HDH) and then air lifted to St. Charles Hospital in Bend with head injuries. Graves and Marissa Sade Belcher, 29, were transported to HDH and admitted.

All occupants of the vehicle are from the Burns-Hines area. Alcohol was involved in the accident.

The continuing investigation is being conducted by the Oregon State Police and the Harney County Sheriff’s Office.


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