Britt Lay 1942-2013

Posted on July 23rd in Obituaries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Wednesday July 23

Posted on July 23rd in Community Calendar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday July 24

Posted on July 23rd in Community Calendar

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

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

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

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

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

Friday July 25

Posted on July 23rd in Community Calendar

Teen Summer Reading Program, for grades 6-12, will have Teen Movie Night at the Desert Historic Theatre Friday, July 25, from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. This is a free event.

Oregon Old Time Fiddlers, District 9, meets the first, third and fourth Friday of each month. Call Micky, 541-573-2515, for time and place.

A recovery group, “Celebrate Recovery,” meets each Friday at the Harney County Church of the Nazarene, 311 Roe Davis Ave. in Hines. Dinner is served at 5:30 p.m. The main meeting is held at 6 p.m. and small group sessions are at 7 p.m. For more information, call 541-573-7100.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets each Friday at Symmetry Care at 5 p.m.

Saturday July 26

Posted on July 23rd in Community Calendar

The High Desert Cutters will be having a cutting on Saturday, July 26, starting at 9 a.m. at Roaring Springs. Please sign up by Thursday, July 24, with Sallianne Kelly. Call or text 541-413-0788 or email 

Harney County Safe Communities will be holding a bike rodeo Saturday, July 26, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Burns High School parking lot. Kids of all ages are encouraged to bring their bikes and ride through an obstacle course to enhance their safety skills while riding. Medals will be given out for completion of the course, as well as a chance to win two Huffy mountain bikes. If you have any questions, contact Kari Nelson at 541-285-6004.

Harney County Farmers Market from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Hines City Park.


Sunday July 27

Posted on July 23rd in Community Calendar

A free community dinner, eat in or take out (no strings attached), will be held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at Burns Elks Lodge. Call 541-573-6170.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets every Sunday at 7 p.m. at Foursquare Church for 12×12 study.

Monday July 28

Posted on July 23rd in Community Calendar

The Burns Lions Club meets every Monday at noon at the Burns Elks Lodge. Those interested in serving the community are welcome.

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.

Burns Fire Dept. meets each Monday at the Burns Fire Hall at 7 p.m.

The Hines Volunteer Fire Department meets at the Hines Fire Hall each Monday at 7 p.m. (except the last Monday of the month). Prospective members may contact Fire Chief Bob Spence at 541-573-7477 or 541-573-2251.

Narcotics Anonymous meets each Monday at 10 a.m. in the community room at Saginaw Village, 605 N. Saginaw. For more information call 541-589-4405.

Tuesday July 29

Posted on July 23rd in Community Calendar

Harney County Library Advisory Board meets the last Tuesday of each month in the library, 80 West D St., at 5:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend. Use the back door to the left. For more information, call 541-573-7339.

Harney Basin Writers meets each Tuesday from noon until 4 p.m. in room 302 of the former Lincoln School, corner of A Street and Court Ave. in Burns. Elevator on the south side. Quiet writing time until 2 p.m., then readings begin. Adults of any writing style are welcome to attend.

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

Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Program (SHIBA) trained volunteers will be at the Harney County Senior Center each Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call the senior center at 541-573-6024.

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.

Boy Scouts meet each Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the LDS Church in Hines. All boys age 11 and above are welcome to participate.

Alcoholics Anonymous holds an open meeting each Tuesday at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord in Burns at 7 p.m.


Resident has concerns about unlicensed vehicles on streets

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

The Burns City Council once again has a vacancy.

At the council meeting Wednesday, July 9, Mayor Craig LaFollette acknowledged a letter of resignation from Councilor Boyce LaForest. LaForest’s letter cited time restraints and work load as reasons for stepping down from the council seat.

LaForest said he would continue to serve for a limited time until a replacement can be appointed to the council.

During the citizens concerns portion of the meeting, Steve Ruzicka approached the council regarding unlicensed vehicles on the streets. He stated that driving is a privilege, and requirements include an operator license, license plate and insurance.

Ruzicka told the council he recently completed a defensive driving class where he was told one in five drivers are under the influence of drugs, alcohol or prescription medicine, another 20 percent of drivers are distracted by talking on cell phones, texting, laptops, pets, eating, etc., and another 20 percent of those behind the wheel are sleep-deprived.

He explained that he drives for the local Dial-A-Ride program, and that he is responsible for his passengers. Along with having to deal with drivers under the influence, distracted and/or sleep-deprived drivers, there are a number of vehicles on the streets that create a hazard, such as riding lawn mowers, golf carts, off-road vehicles and an unlicensed scooter. Ruzicka stated the vehicles are not licensed to be on the streets, and the operators don’t follow the laws of the roads. He said he had come to the council previously with the same concerns, yet nothing has been done.

“People say, ‘It’s Burns.’ I don’t know what that means,” Ruzicka said. “We’re an orderly society. And some people ask, ‘What harm does it do?’ Ask the kid who was killed on the bicycle last year. Those vehicles are hazards.”

He also questioned why bicyclists aren’t required to follow the rules of the road.

Burns resident Ron Carroll told the council that he has a concern about vehicles speeding in his neighborhood. “I think kids want to see how fast they can go down the street,” he said.

Councilor Terri Presley agreed that unlicensed vehicles and speeding are valid concerns, and added that the police are already busy every day. She suggested that maybe citizens could help out by reporting incidents to the police when they see them.


Becky Cunningham told the council that Wayne Baron of 4R Recycling had recycling bins out on the street once again, and she gave the council a copy of a contract that she said Baron was providing to businesses.

Cunningham reminded the council that it had told Baron he was not allowed to place bins on the street to collect recycling material, yet he seemed to be operating without any regard to the council’s direction.

City Manager (CM) Kraig Cutsforth said he would check into the matter.


CM Cutsforth reported the well for the fire suppression system at Burns airport had been dug and was producing clean water at 85 gallons per minute. The water tank had also been filled for testing, and the outside shell of the tank was to be installed over the next week’s time. “The entire thing should work out well.” Cutsforth said.

The cleaning up of nuisance properties is continuing, and Cutsforth said he had two residents come by city hall to express their appreciation of the clean-up efforts.

Fire Chief Scott Williamson stated that about 35 letters had been sent out to property owners asking them to clean up hazardous vegetation, and the process seems to be working.

Cutsforth met with the Department of Environmental Quality on several subjects, and is continuing to work on the issue of particulate matter exceeding allowable levels in the Burns/Hines area.


In other business:

• the council approved a $100 donation to the Harney County Arts & Crafts  Association in support of the annual Quilt and Art Show;

• Cheryl Hancock asked for permission to close West D Street between North Broadway and Alvord from 4 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 7 for a block party in front of the Harney County Library. The council approved the request;

• Councilor Presley asked the council for permission to bring in an outside contractor to look at the roof on city hall to see what could be done to stop the leaks. She stated that if the city could do some of the repairs, it would save some money, and the council agreed.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, at city hall.

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