Candidates file for re-election

Posted on January 8th in News

 

Last day to file is March 11

 
Harney County Commissioner Pete Runnels and Harney County Assessor Ted Tiller have filed petitions seeking re-election in the 2014 primary election.

 
Ellen (Nellie) Franklin, Harney County treasurer, and William Cramer Jr., judge of the Circuit Court, 24th District (Harney and Grant counties), have also filed for re-election.

 
Voters approved Harney County Ordinance 2012-71, making county commissioner a nonpartisan position, beginning January 2014.
The last day to file for candidacy is March 11, 2014.

 
Candidates for precinct committeepersons may file beginning Feb. 1 through March 6.

 
The 2014 primary election will be May 20, 2014. For any further information, contact the county clerk’s office at 541-573-6641.


2014 New Year’s baby!

Posted on January 8th in News

 

Julez Three-Featherz Kelly with parents Jolene Purcella and Kelsey Kelly. (Photo by Ruthie's In His Image Photography)

Julez Three-Featherz Kelly with parents Jolene Purcella and Kelsey Kelly. (Photo by Ruthie’s In His Image Photography)

Julez Three-Featherz Kelly, 9 pounds, 9 ounces, was born Jan. 5, the first Harney County baby of 2014, to Jolene Purcella and Kelsey Kelly. Julez joins sisters, Laila Kelly, Kimara Kelly, Yolanda Snapp, Analicia Snapp, Victoria Purcella and Lae Vona Purcella, and brothers, Michael Purcella, Del Snapp, Damien Kelly and Anthony Purcella. The family received a gift basket from local merchants which featured an 8×10 photo from Ruthie’s In His Image Photography, $50 gift certificate from NAPA, $25 gift certificate from Gourmet and Gadgets, $25 gift certificate from Ericksons Thriftway, $5 gift certificate from Broadway Deli, $20 gift certificate from Studio 20, $25 gift certificate from Glory Days, soaps and lotions from Sage Country Inn, hamburger and sausage from Buermann’s Ranch Meats, toothbrush kit from Burns Dental Group, baby supplies from Safeway, blanket from King’s Variety, roadside kit from Les Schwab, stuffed animal from Ribbons and Roses, three gallons of milk from Reid’s Country Store, blanket from Country Lane Quilts, gift certificate from Balloon Express, lotions and supplies from Bank of Eastern Oregon, and a gift to be monogrammed from Eastern Oregon Stitch and Print.


A ‘Desert Dream’ come true

Posted on January 3rd in News

 

Store offers rare opportunities for young adults

by Samantha White Burns Times-Herald

(L-R): Sheila Cunningham (Burns High School life skills), Sandy Volle (Hines Middle School life skills), and Heather Sell (Slater Grade School life skills) each received a $600 donation from Lisa Tiller of Desert Dream Thrift Store. (Photo by SAMANTHA WHITE )

(L-R): Sheila Cunningham (Burns High School life skills), Sandy Volle (Hines Middle School life skills), and Heather Sell (Slater Grade School life skills) each received a $600 donation from Lisa Tiller of Desert Dream Thrift Store. (Photo by SAMANTHA WHITE )

Lisa Tiller had a dream. And that dream was to provide more opportunities for her son, Nicholas, and other people in Harney County who have developmental disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome, and other learning disabilities.

Tiller said students who have developmental disabilities may remain enrolled in high school until they are 21, but there aren’t a lot of opportunities for them to stay involved in this community after they graduate. As a result, some local parents of children with developmental disabilities have been forced to choose whether or not to move to areas where more resources are available.

But Tiller didn’t want to make that choice. She said Nicholas, who was diagnosed with autism when he was 2, has developed relationships with people in Harney County.

“There are a lot of special things in this community,” she said, adding that Nicholas’ family lives here, and a lot of people have gotten to know him.

These relationships are especially important considering that social interaction can be difficult for people who have autism. According to the website, autismspeaks.org, autism is a general term for a group of complex disorders of brain development, characterized (in varying degrees) by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. Autism can also be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention, and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some people who have autism excel in visual skills, music, art and math. And statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that around one in 88 American children have been identified as being on the autism spectrum.

Tiller said she wanted her son (and people like him) to be able to get a job and be a productive member of society, without having to move away from his family and the community he was raised in.

She said she enjoys shopping at thrift stores and thought opening a thrift store was something that she could do to help her son.

Tiller opened Desert Dream Thrift Store July 12, 2012. Now located at 362 N. Broadway Ave. in Burns, the nonprofit, donation-based store provides both support and opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.

Students from the Burns High School (BHS) life skills class learn job and social skills through their work at the store. For example, in addition to learning about money, the students work with volunteers from the community and life skills classroom to price, shelf, sort and tag donated merchandise. They also prepare materials for recycling and complete basic store maintenance tasks, such as sweeping, dusting and cleaning windows. The students also use BHS’ washers and dryers to launder some of the clothing items that are donated to the store. In exchange, the store donates laundry supplies to the school.

As a reward for their hard work, the life skills students earn vouchers that can be exchanged for store merchandise. Tiller said clothing, jewelry and video games are some of the most popular items among the student workers.

In an effort to add opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities, Tiller, who is the program director, said she would like to expand the program to include adults who are 21 and older.

Tiller said the overall mission of the thrift store is to “try to support anyone in Harney County with a developmental disability.”

Her long-term goal is to open a group home for developmentally-disabled adults. But in the meantime, she continues to donate to local community organizations that help people who have developmental disabilities.

In fact, on Monday, Dec. 16, Tiller donated $600 apiece to the BHS, Hines Middle School and Slater Grade School life skills classrooms. She also donated $600 to The Committee for Harney County Special Needs, and another $600 to the BHS Youth Transition Program.

Because Desert Dream Thrift Store is all volunteer-based and depends entirely on community donations, Tiller said it is hard for her to know how much she will be able to donate each year, but she plans to make annual contributions to these types of local programs. Tiller said she has also donated store merchandise for silent auctions to support other local organizations, such as Harney County Home Health and Hospice.

Tiller said Desert Dream Thrift Store is doing better than she anticipated, and she is “really excited about it.” She added that she would really like to express her gratitude toward the community and everyone who has graciously volutnteered to help support the thrift store.

Tiller said community members can continue to support the store by volunteering, spreading the word, and donating items.

“Come and volunteer,” she said. “We always need that support. And keep bringing donations. That’s how we operate.”

Desert Dream Thrift Store is only able to accept donations during store hours. Winter hours are Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. But Tiller said additional hours may be added in the future. The store does not accept donations of toys, stuffed animals, cribs, highchairs, potty chairs, infant tubs, car seats, gasoline cans, sharp tools, or any dirty or broken items.

In addition to operating the thrift store, Tiller strives to help promote autism awareness. In fact, she recently gave a presentation about autism and the store’s mission to her youngest son, Jaden’s, fourth-grade class. Tiller said increasing autism awareness helps change the way people perceive the developmental disability.

“Perceptions of autism have improved, even since [Nicholas] was born,” she said.

Tiller has a background in working with children who have special needs, but she said opening a store “is a new adventure.” She invites anyone who has questions about Desert Dream Thrift Store to “stop by and learn more about it.”


 

Meeting to be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 7 in Burns

by Randy Parks Burns Times-Herald 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is holding public meetings throughout Eastern Oregon on the draft Oregon Sub-Regional Greater Sage Grouse Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is under a 90-day public comment period until Feb. 20, 2014.

These public meetings will allow attendees the opportunity to review the draft EIS, maps, and other informational materials, talk with project team members, and submit written comments on the project.

The meeting in Burns will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7, at the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center.

The draft RMP Amendment/EIS considers six possible management alternatives for maintaining and increasing habitat for Greater Sage Grouse on BLM-administered lands in Oregon. Approximately 10 million acres of Oregon’s Greater Sage Grouse habitat is on BLM-administered lands. The decisions in this RMP Amendment apply only to BLM-administered lands in Oregon. They do not apply to private land. However, Harney County Judge Steve Grasty encourages people to attend the meeting because of the impact that the decision can make on a large number of residents.

“If you’re wondering who should attend the meeting, the answer is lots of folks,” Grasty said. “Hunters, and anyone who recreates on BLM land. Anyone who makes a living off the land, including miners and permit holders. Anyone with kids who would like them to have access to public lands. And anyone interested in economics in conjunction with the environment.”

Grasty added that the public’s input is needed to select an alternative to manage lands for sage grouse habitat.

“The social impact needs to be taken into consideration,” Grasty said. “Look what happened with the spotted owl decsion. Small towns all over the state were affected by that decision. People need to ask themselves, ‘How will this decision impact me, my family, and the long-term future?’ Then they need to offer solutions, if they have them.”

The meeting on Jan. 7 will be the only local opportunity for residents to comment in person on the draft RMP Amendment/EIS.

Written comments will be accepted until Feb. 20.


 

Grandma’s Cedar Chest claimed the top spot in the Hines contest. (Photo by Randy Parks)

Grandma’s Cedar Chest claimed the top spot in the Hines contest. (Photo by Randy Parks)

The city of Hines held their annual Christmas Lighting Contest on Wednesday, Dec. 18. The top three places receive a check from the city and an equivalent award from Oregon Trail Electric Co-op (OTEC).

 
The winners are as follows:
1st place — Grandma’s Cedar Chest, 525 N. Hwy 20, $100.

 
2nd place — Kevin and Cheryl Radinovich, 104 N. Hilltop, $50.

 
3rd place — Norma Hill, 342 N. Quincy, $25.

 
Honorable Mention —Dave and Betty Evertt, 304 E. Pettibone.

 
•••

The Jason Hill residence won the Burns lighting contest. (Photo by Randy Parks)

The Jason Hill residence won the Burns lighting contest. (Photo by Randy Parks)

The city of Burns judged the contestants of their Christmas Lighting Contest, sponsored by the city, OTEC and C&B Sanitary, Thursday, Dec. 19. The top three places receive $100, $50 and $25, respectively, and an equivalent award from OTEC.

 
The winners are as follows:
1st place — Jason Hill, 885 S. Egan.

 
2nd place — Roger and Sherry Kirkpatrick, 337 W. Lincoln.

 
3rd place — Max and Tina Mello, 845 S. Egan.

 
Honorable Mention —Patrick and Nova Wright, 168 E. D St.; Jeff and Kristi Cotton, 315 S. Diamond.


Grant funds for generator received

Posted on December 27th in News

 

Generator to power health department in emergency

 
by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

 
Harney County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Tom Sharp attended the regular meeting of the Harney County Court (held Dec. 18) to provide an update.

 
Sharp reported that the Harney County Public Health Department received a $10,000 special project grant, which will be combined with $13,000 of the county’s federal Emergency Management Performance Grant funds for a $23,000 electrical power backup generator upgrade project at the public health department.

 
Sharp explained that the health department currently relies on a portable generator to supply the facility with power during an outage. In addition to being more than 10 years old, Sharp said the department’s current generator has had some maintenance problems, and it is unable to provide power to the entire building, making it impossible to keep the  facility open during a power outage.

 
The new, 50 kilowatt, propane-fueled, electrical generator will automatically start up when it senses a loss of power, and it will be permanently installed at the health department.

 
Other county emergency management and public health department grant awards received in fiscal year 2013 total $189,631, and many of these grants require no local match funds. In fact, fiscal year 2013 grant awards represent a return to the county of $7.29 for each $1 of county match funds.

 
“Tom [Sharp] has done a great job of finding money,” Harney County Judge Steve Grasty said.

 
“So far, we have been 100 percent successful in [obtaining the grants that] we have gone for in Harney County,” Sharp said. “The state sees the county doing good things, and they are supporting us,” he added.

 
Sharp said he wanted to recognize Ron Copeland for his assistance, as well as, the volunteer groups that have helped with emergency management in Harney County.

 
•••
Eastern Oregon Regional Solutions Coordinator Scott Fairley also attended the meeting to provide an update.

 
Fairley explained that the goal of Eastern Oregon Regional Solutions is to develop regional priorities by identifying similarities among local issues occurring in communities throughout the region. He said once regional priorities are identified, they are refined and presented to an advisory committee for review.

 
Commissioner Dan Nichols expressed frustration with this process.

 
“The whole process is wrong from the get-go,” he said, explaining, in part, that he does not think regionalization works in Eastern Oregon because the region is too large.

 
Nichols also expressed his belief that private business should dictate the direction that the state moves.

 
“It’s not a perfect system, but the intent is to move closer to perfection,” Fairley replied.

 
•••
Grasty provided an update regarding his review of the sage grouse Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

 
“I’ve got a couple dozen hours into reviewing this EIS, and I know I’m not unique,” Grasty said.

 
Grasty told the court that a professional writer is needed to help draft comments in response to the EIS. He said he inquired about the cost of these services, and received an estimate of “not to exceed $17,500.”

 
Grasty said he has asked multiple counties with sage grouse populations to help with funding, but he has only received a commitment for financial assistance from Lake County. He said he hopes Malheur County will also assist, as Malheur, Lake and Harney counties are “ground zero” for sage grouse.

 
Grasty said he wants to start the hiring process as soon as possible, but he warned the court  that, “We [Harney County] might get stuck with the bill.”

 
He added that he would like to have the Eastern Oregon Counties Association hire someone, and asked for court approval to appropriate funding to cover this cost up-front.

 
However he said, “I will do everything in my power to find other funding for this,” adding that he believed Rep. Cliff Bentz had some funding set aside to work on sage grouse, and he will find out whether any of that funding is available.

 
“If we have to do it, we’ll do it,” Nichols said, regarding covering the cost of the professional writer up-front. “At least we can hold our heads up to our constituents.”

 
The court agreed by consensus to fund hiring a consultant to draft the county’s response to the EIS.

 
Grasty also stated that public meetings regarding the EIS are coming up, and he would like to encourage the public to participate in them.

 
•••
During the public comment period, retiring Burns City Manager Don Munkers thanked the court for its cooperation and partnership during his tenure. He also introduced Kraig Cutsforth as his successor.

 
“I’ll tell you from the little bit that I have known Kraig [Cutsforth] that he’s going to do a great job. He’s going to be perfect for the city of Burns,” Munkers said.

 
The court welcomed Cutsforth and thanked Munkers for his years of service.

 
•••
Ron Copeland attended the meeting on behalf of the American Legion in order to propose transferring funds from the insurance payout that was received when a van that was donated by Teague Motor Company and an anonymous donor crashed. Grasty explained that the van accident resulted in a total loss, and the insurance settlement has been kept in a trust for use by veterans. The American Legion has proposed accepting those funds, and the county has received approval from Teague Motor Company and the anonymous donor to transfer the funds to the Legion. The Legion will bring a final, approved proposal to the next court meeting. Grasty thanked Copeland and Joe Oltman for their work on the proposal.

 
“I really want to say thanks to you, and I absolutely want to acknowledge Joe [Oltman] because I know he put a lot of time into this,” Grasty said.

 
•••
In other business, the court:

 
• received a letter from Tom Davis Livestock Inc. requesting that several county-right-of-way easements be vacated. Grasty suggested that Harney County Roads Supervisor Eric Drushella review the records and make a recommendation during the next court meeting;

 

• reviewed the 2012-2013 Workers’ Compensation audit, which reports that Harney County will receive a $22,727.66 credit. It will be a credit on the account for the fourth-quarter invoice;

 

• acknowledged a letter that was submitted by William Burstow, which announced his resignation from the Training and Employment Consortium Budget Committee. The court agreed to accept Burstow’s resignation and send him a thank you card;

 
• discussed recent changes made to the Brothers Oasis rest area. Grasty acknowledged that the changes were unfavorable to the public, and he said this is “a priority issue for our citizens;”

 
• recognized a letter received from Harney  Health District Board Chair Dan Brown regarding the hospital board’s desire to realign with the Central Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) and disconnect from the Eastern Oregon CCO. Grasty said the court will organize a meeting with interested parties to discuss the matter further.

 
Due to the New Year’s Day holiday, the next regularly-scheduled meeting of the county court will be held Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 10 a.m. in Judge Grasty’s office at the courthouse.


Smith named 2014 Grand Marshal

Posted on December 18th in News

 

Randi Johnson introduced as rodeo queen

 

Darrel Smith and his wife, Linda, with the bench crafted in his honor. (Submitted photo)

Darrel Smith and his wife, Linda, with the bench crafted in his honor. (Submitted photo)

Darrel Smith was introduced as the Grand Marshal for the 2014 Harney County Fair, Rodeo and Race Meet Sunday, Dec. 15, during the Volunteer Appreciation Christmas Party.

 
Smith served as vice-president of the fair association in 1977 and 1978, and president in 1979 and 1980. He was fair association director from 1974-1982, and again in 1986 and 1988.

 
Smith was appointed to the fair board by the county court in 1983 and 1984.

 
Smith was working for Les Schwab when he moved to Burns in 1969. His boss at the time, Orville Cheek, was on the fair board, and Cheek persuaded Smith to help out with the very first demolition derby, which at the time was held Friday night of fair week. Smith continued to stay involved with the derby for many years.

 
In introducing Smith, Harney County Fair Manager Don Slone noted that Smith gave many hours of his time, energy and experience to the fair, along with his wife, Linda.

 
Randi Johnson was introduced as the 2014 Harney County Rodeo Queen, and the fair theme for 2014 is “How the West Was Fun!”

 
Slone presented the 2013 fair report that cotained the following information:
Exhibits — 201 adults entered 1,198 open class exhibits; 160 youth entered 528 open class exhibits; 186 4-H and FFA youth entered 919 exhibits.

 
Fairgrounds events — There were 135 youth events, with 6,317 people attending. That is 24 more youth events, but 426 less people than in 2012.

 
There were 175 public events, with 24,236 people attending. This is three less events, but 1,956 more people attending than in 2012.

 
There were 80 private events, with 3,641 people attending. This is 25 more events and 1,325 more people attending than in 2012.

 
There was a total of 390 events, with 34,194 people attending. That is 46 more events and 2,855 more people.

 
Volunteers — There were 558 volunteers and sponsors working directly for the fair board in 2013. That is one more volunteer than in 2012.

 
Estimated hours by those volunteers were 8,242, or the equivalent of 3.96 full time employees.

 
At minimum wage, those volunteer hours would cost $84,668.

 
Financial statistics — The expense of the 2013 fair was $180,000. The income was $187,000.

 
The estimated gross dollars earned by 35 community organizations during the fair is $449,942, or $119,892 more than in 2012.

 
The 4-H and FFA auction alone grossed $239,724, or $56,294 more than in 2012.

 
The estimated gross dollars generated by community organizations at the fairgrounds during the off season was $110,432, or $6,821 more than in 2012.

 
The economic impact of the 2013 fair to Harney County is $5.5 million. Economists say, on average, money rolls over 7.5 times.


 

Former Burns resident makes move from Olympia

 
by Lindy Steeves
Burns Times-Herald

 

Kraig Cutsforth

Kraig Cutsforth

Kraig Cutsforth has been appointed the new city manager (CM) of Burns. Cutsforth will work with former CM Don Munkers until Friday, Dec. 20, to learn the ropes and acquaint himself with the position.

 
Cutsforth, who, until recently lived in Olympia, Wash. and worked for the state, said he is excited to get away from the city and return to Harney County.

 
“I was here in the ‘70s for five or six years,” Cutsforth said. “I went to grade school, junior high, and part of high school here. So I have an idea of what Burns is, and I think that will help me out.”

 
Cutsforth graduated high school in Pendleton, then eventually found his way to Washington. He stated that he is especially excited for his house to sell, so that his wife can join him in Burns.

 
“When I worked for the state up in Washington, I did a lot of HR and things like that for the state for different agencies,” Cutsforth said.
He also commented that in the 12 years he lived and worked in Olympia, he had also worked in the state unemployment department, but wanted a change of pace and scenery.

 
“I applied for this job because I have a daughter that just turned 18, and it’s time for me to be able to take back my life,” Cutsforth said with a laugh. “A lot of the reason I was up in Washington was because of her, to give her a place to be and a place to grow up. Now I think it’s my turn to come back and help some of the communities I’ve been at. And I really wanted to get out of the traffic and out of the people. That’s a lot of the reason I came back.”

 
With CM Munkers stepping down and three newly elected city councilors, Cutsforth admitted that it would be a learning process for the whole group, but said he was excited to get to know the council and the community so that they could best serve the needs of Harney County.

 
“The one thing you have about Burns, or any other small community, is you can’t come in and never make huge changes. I think that’s a fallacy in many people’s minds. My goal is to make the day-to-day operations as efficient as I can, not to say they’re not efficient right now, because this is my first week, and I just don’t know yet. But, this first year, my goal is to look at what Don [Munkers] has done, and bring some of the things up to the 21st century, like personnel policies, computer systems, some operations, etc. I’ll probably take a lot of ideas from the city council. It looks like they’ve got a good one now that it’s all full. And then I want to slowly put changes in as they occur. I imagine that they’re going to be pretty minor at first. And many changes will depend on the opportunities that come around,” Cutsforth said.

 
He did state that he wished he had a little more time with Munkers before he took the reins, just to learn as much as possible, but that he was looking forward with what he’d learned already.

 
“I have a very short period of time to work with Don to learn what he’s doing, what he’s done, what he forsees, and where I’ll find my challenges and opportunities,” Cutsforth said.

 
Cutsforth said that he didn’t expect or plan on any large changes, and  he didn’t feel that was what the city of Burns was looking for.

 
“Being on a city council is not something new to me; I was on the Hermiston City Council for seven years during the ‘90s, in a very robust environment. So it will be interesting to take it a little bit slower here. But that’s what I like,” Cutsforth said.

 
Cutsforth said that he  mainly planned to concentrate on policy and operations.

 
“The main areas you have here are your airport, the fire crews, the police, and the relationship with the city, county, and Hines. I assume that’s where I’m going to spend a lot of my time.”

 
He also stated that one of his main goals was to make minutes, budgets and meetings more transparent to the public. “We have nothing to hide,” he said. Cutsforth hopes to do this by working with the council and upgrading the council’s website by posting the information online. Cutsforth also said that he was excited to learn and “figure things out” with the new council members.

 
“It’s going to be a learning process for all of us, but I think that this will wind up being a good time to start because I get to develop with them,” he said.

 
Cutsforth commented that he was looking forward to input from the community and hoped that there would be more from Harney County than areas he had experienced in the past.

 
“I think you’ll see me at quite a few of the other meetings that are occuring at first. At least to introduce myself with the county commisioners, Hines and the chamber. And I plan to understand what’s happening at the planning commision and be as accessible as possible. I’m not going anywhere,” Cutsforth said.


A ‘hole’ bunch of goodness

Posted on December 11th in News

 

Tod and VeAnn Gahley take on a new venture

 
by Lindy Steeves
Burns Times-Herald

 

The Doughnut Hole, at 408 West Monroe in Burns, opens at 4 a.m. so customers can get their day off to an early start with fresh baked pastries and hot coffee. (Photo by Lindy Steeves)

The Doughnut Hole, at 408 West Monroe in Burns, opens at 4 a.m. so customers can get their day off to an early start with fresh baked pastries and hot coffee. (Photo by Lindy Steeves)

The Doughnut Hole is open and ready to meet all of Harney County’s bakery needs, thanks to new owners, Tod and VeAnn Gahley.

 

The Doughnut Hole opened on Dec. 2, and the store has already seen several renovations, including new display cases, tables, chairs, and decorations; all in an attempt to “open up” the room.

 
The Gahley’s also own NAPA Auto Parts Store and have lived in Harney County since 2008, when they moved from Kuna, Idaho.

 
“We’ve been here at A Parts for five years now, and we had the opportunity to buy the building. When the old owners of the building closed the business that used to be there, my husband said, ‘this town needs to have a bakery.’ We really just didn’t want to see it close and go empty,” VeAnn said.

 
The Gahleys took their combined passion for food and family, and The Doughnut Hole was born.

 
“The idea came because we love cooking for our family, and I’ve worked with food before. I was in the school system for three years. So, I’m not going into this blind, but there is still a lot to learn,” VeAnn said. “And now we get to learn how to make doughnuts. I’ve baked for my family and friends, and my cinnamon rolls are what most people ask for me to make. We haven’t made them at The Doughnut Hole yet, but we will start selling them sometime soon. They probably won’t be available every day, but they’ll be our specialty.”

 
VeAnn is hoping that the popularity of the famous cinnamon rolls will help around the holiday season. The menu of The Doughnut Hole, while much like a traditional bakery, isn’t just reserved for sweets, though.

 
“We’ve kept the kolaches, and we’re doing breads and rolls again, and, of course, we still have the doughnuts.”

 
Kolaches are very similar to “pigs in a blanket” and consist of a spicy hot dog wrapped in dough. The Doughnut Hole has five different different varieties of kolaches available, including sausage, bacon, cheese, jalapeño, and other fillings.

 
Another new sight for visitors is the brand-new sign hanging above the door of the bakery, complete with bright colors, and doughnuts.

 
“My husband thought up the name. I wanted to call it ‘That Doughnut Place,’ but we settled on ‘The Doughnut Hole,’” VeAnn said with a laugh.

 
She remarked that her husband, Tod, was not only part of the naming, but is also involved in running The Doughnut Hole and making decisions. He even had to try making doughnuts at home so that he could experience the difficulties of baking them without the proper equipment.

 
Luckily, The Doughnut Hole came stocked with the equipment and machinery to make the goodies they sell.

 
“The Doughnut Hole is kind of like a new baby,” VeAnn said. “It likes to get us up in the middle of the night, and it really hates this cold weather.”

 
VeAnn remarked that the dough for all of the goods needs heat to rise. But, because of that, they “were learning lots” about what needed to be done.

 
“It’s a little bit different than the parts store,” VeAnn said with a smile. “But, I was surprised at how many people came the first week because we didn’t advertise much. It was more of a word-of-mouth thing. But we had a great week! We’ve been so happy with the turnout so far, and the people who have come back to the spot.”

 
VeAnn and Tod want to encourage everyone to drop by and try a doughnut and milk or coffee; or maybe the kolaches, another popular item on the menu.

 
VeAnn also said that they might add cakes and pies into the lineup of goods that The Doughnut Hole carries.

 
The Doughnut Hole, located at 408 W. Monroe, is open Monday-Saturday from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Gahleys urge anyone with special orders to call ahead at 541-573-2253.


A gift of history for the holidays

Posted on December 11th in News

 

Gifts available at Christmas Jamboree

 
by Karen Nitz
for the Burns Times-Herald

 

One of the watercolor house paintings that will be featured on Claudette Pruitt’s calendars and notecards. (Submitted photo)

One of the watercolor house paintings that will be featured on Claudette Pruitt’s calendars and notecards. (Submitted photo)

With the Christmas holidays fast approaching and the New Year just around the corner, Harney County is preparing to celebrate its 125th anniversary.  From Drewsey to Denio, Wagontire to Andrews, and all points in between, Harney County boasts of a colorful history full of hardy pioneers and rugged settlements. What better way to acquaint yourself, a family member, or a friend with the rich history of Harney County than with a holiday gift. To that end, there will be several venues this holiday season to purchase the perfect gift for the history lover on your list.

 
At the Community Christmas Jamboree to be held Saturday, Dec. 14, there will be several opportunities to find the perfect gift for the history lover on your list.

 
Claudette Pruitt, a local author and historian, has commissioned local artist, Mary Lou Wilhelm, to paint a dozen historic pioneer homes located on the hill in Burns. These paintings will be featured in the form of a 12-month calendar and hand-made notecards. A short history of the homes and the homeowners, which Claudette has been researching for the past several years, is detailed on the back of each card. These items will be available for sale at the Burns Ford Garage showroom from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Pruitt has partnered with the Claire McGill Luce Western History Room at the Harney County Library and will have samples of the notecards, calendars and the original watercolor artwork on display in the research room throughout the winter.  Also on hand at Burns Garage will be members from the Harney County Living History Players portraying some of the owners of the historic homes and other early residents of Burns.  Stop by and learn more about the Living History program and find out how you can become involved in a future Living History event.

 
The Harney County Historical Society will have a table set up on Broadway Ave. in front of the former quilt shop.  Local historical books, including the newly published “The Meek Cutoff; Tracing the Oregon Trail’s Lost Wagon Train of 1845” by Brooks Ragen, “Harney County and its Range Lands” by George Brimlow, “Harney County, An Historical Inventory” by Jackson and Lee, and guide books to Harney County cemeteries will be offered for sale. Do you have one of those hard-to-buy-for, already-has-everything people on your holiday shopping list? Consider purchasing a yearly or lifetime gift membership to the Harney County Historical Society. Membership entitles the holder to free admission to the Harney County Historical Museum and quarterly Historical Society newsletters. The Historical Society will also have a sign-up sheet available for anyone interested in volunteering at the museum next season.

 
Finally, last minute shoppers can purchase copies of “Images of America: Harney County” at the Harney County Library anytime during regular library business hours. This book features nearly 200 vintage photographs from across Harney County. All proceeds from the book sales benefit the Harney County Library Foundation.


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