Tuesday December 16

Posted on December 10th in Community Calendar

The Hines Common Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16, at Hines City Hall. This is the only regular meeting for the council in the month of December.

The American Legion Harney County Post #63 meets at 63 W. “C” Street the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Harney County Watershed Council meets the third Tuesday of each month at the EOARC (Section 5) on Hwy. 205 in the conference room at 5:30 p.m.

Sylvia Rebekah Lodge meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at the I.O.O.F. Hall, 348 N. Broadway, at 6:30 p.m.

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.

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.

by Steve Howe
Burns Times-Herald

The staff of Accelerated Transport & Logistics celebrate the season with an ‘ugly sweater’ party. Shana (front right) and George (front center) Monroe are the owners of the freight brokerage firm. (Submitted photo)

The staff of Accelerated Transport & Logistics celebrate the season with an ‘ugly sweater’ party. Shana (front right) and George (front center) Monroe are the owners of the freight brokerage firm. (Submitted photo)

One might be surprised to learn that Burns is home to an independent freight broker agent for one of the largest freight brokerage firms in the United States.

Accelerated Transport & Logistics (AT&L) is an independent agent of Sunteck Transport Inc. AT&L has been owned and operated by locals, George and Shana Monroe, for nine years. The Monroes built the firm from the ground up, transforming it into a company grossing annual sales of more than $11 million. It was recently ranked the fifth largest agent out of 108 Sunteck agents across the country. Sunteck is ranked as the 13th largest transportation company in the United States.

Shana said she and George had a strong entrepreneurial spirit and desire to open a business. They took a risk, quitting full-time jobs with benefits, in order to get into the industry. She said they had one goal in mind when they opened the business: to provide the best quality service the industry had to offer, at the most competitive rates, and to do business with honesty and integrity.

Shana explained that they saw a need in the industry with manufacturers who were experiencing transportation cost overruns and unfavorable shipping practices due to rapid growth, as well as acquisitions and logistics managers who were not experienced and didn’t have the tools or resources they needed to make good decisions.


Freight brokerage

So, just what is a freight brokerage firm, anyway, and what services does AT&L (doing business as Sunteck Transport) have to offer?

Shana explained that they are a full-service, multi-mode transportation solutions provider. She said they are a single-source solution to a broad range of shipper customers. In addition to truckload operations, they specialize in a niche market providing chilled and frozen less-than-truckload (LTL) operations nationwide, as well as dry LTL.

Shana added that they strive to exceed their customers’ expectations, while adding strategic value.

AT&L has some big customers, like Sysco Foods. A few customers have been with them since day one, said Shana.

“They stick with us, because we do what we say we’re going to do,” she added.


A Harney County success story

The Monroes moved to Harney County in 1997 from California, seeking a small-town environment for their family. George worked for Burns Electric, which, coincidentally, was located in the same building that AT&L now owns and inhabits. Shana worked as a receptionist for Harney County Veterinary.

In the mid-2000s, the couple decided they were ready for a new venture. Shana said she ran into someone who was in the freight brokerage business, and she worked with him for about five weeks before deciding to venture out on her own. AT&L was formed in June of 2005.

“It was kind of scary, jumping into an industry I had no previous experience in,” said Shana.

She started out with one computer and was based out of her home. After three months, it got so busy that George joined Shana to help with the new business. That first year, they grossed $2.5 million in sales. Two years later, they purchased the building where they are currently located, at 111 E. Railroad Ave., in Burns. AT&L just ended its fiscal year for 2014 with $11.2 million in gross sales.

During the economic downturn, thousands of freight brokerage firms went out of business across the country, said Shana. But AT&L survived, and thrived, despite the economy. Shana said she thinks it actually helped them, because it provided an opportunity to prove the strength of their business. She credits their success to a high level of customer service, and treating customers and carriers well.

George added that their niche market, chilled and frozen food freight, weathers economic fluctuations well because, “Everybody has to eat.”


Dedicated employees

“We’re only as good as the talent we hire,” Shana said.

She expressed great pride in, and gratitude for, AT&L’s 12 employees.

“Everyone is really dedicated to the company, and everyone works together as a team,” she said.

The Monroes have worked hard to make sure their employees are well-compensated, with full benefits, generous paid time-off and bonuses. Shana said she has worked to create a positive office culture.

“Happy employees equal happy customers,” she said.

Shana said they recently invested in personality and aptitude testing services to ensure they find the right employees for the job. She explained that prior experience in the field is not necessary if they find the right person.

“Sometimes it’s actually easier to train somebody who doesn’t have the experience,” said Shana. It can sometimes be difficult if someone is coming in with preconceptions and habits that don’t fit with AT&L’s work culture, she explained.

Positions at the company include administrative workers, freight coordinators, and pickup and delivery dispatchers.


Technology edge

In addition to its employee assets, AT&L has invested in top-of-the-line technology to increase the efficiency of shipping operations.

Each employee monitors four screens at once, and are always multitasking, Shana said. The computer programs in use at AT&L make certain tasks much easier than they were in the past. Costs, including tariffs and fuel surcharges, are automatically calculated. Customers are able to log into portals that allow them to see where their freight is, get rates and quotes, and access invoices. Emails are also automatically generated and sent to clients when their freight has arrived at its destination.

“Technology puts us ahead of our competition,” Shana said.


Looking forward

AT&L is continuing to grow steadily. So steadily, in fact, that the company is in search of a new building, as it is currently out of desk space. Shana said they’re finding that they need to hire people every few months.

She said that their goals include expanding to 30 employees and increasing gross annual sales to $50 million.

Although AT&L continues its steady growth, Shana said the core values of the company are always at the forefront.

“We do believe in honesty and integrity, and I think that sets us apart from a lot of our competition,” she said.

For more information, visit www.sunteckinc.net.

Court discusses sheriff position

Posted on December 3rd in News

Due to scheduling conflicts, the Harney County Court held its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 25. A summary of the unapproved minutes is as follows:

During the public comment period, Barbara Kull asked about the process to replace the Harney County sheriff, who is retiring as of Jan. 1, 2015.

Harney County Judge Steve Grasty and Harney County Clerk Derrin (Dag) Robinson explained that the court will interview candidates and appoint a sheriff to fill the vacancy. Then, a new sheriff will be elected in the 2016 general election.

The court later discussed the applications that it received for the sheriff position, and the county commissioners received copies of them.

Applicants include Stacey Johnson, David Ward, Brian Needham, and Kerry Boggs.

Interviews will be scheduled in the afternoon on Dec. 3, and the court will establish standard interview questions.


Wayne Baron attended the meeting to discuss his request to rent a county building.

After further investigation, the court determined a competitive rental rate of $1,850 per month, plus taxes and utilities for rent.

Baron left the meeting, and no action was taken.


District Attorney Tim Colahan attended to discuss Measure 91.

He provided the court with two informational documents, which included League of Oregon Cities Measure 91: What it Means for Local Governments, November 2014 and the Association of Oregon Counties’ (AOC) draft summary of Measure 91.

A lengthy discussion ensued regarding the impact of the measure on Harney County and the cities of Burns and Hines.

Colahan will continue to keep the court apprised of any new developments.


During the public comment period, Kull also asked about a surveyor who was seen in the area.

Grasty said these are flights performed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to measure elevation in the flood plain areas.

Kull also asked about mineral rights research that’s being done in the county.

Robinson replied that the Bureau of Land Management is compiling a database of Harney County mineral rights records.

Barbara Cannady said people called into 9-1-1 dispatch regarding low-flying planes.

Grasty said planes conducting aerial surveying don’t normally fly low, but he’ll investigate this issue.


In other business, the court:

• reported that sage grouse was discussed at the AOC Conference. Discussion has progressed, but no decisions have been made. However, it appears that there will be limited development allowed in the core areas;

• watched Robinson give a demonstration of the Laserfiche software program, which has search capabilities to track all documents related to the road inventory map. The planning/GIS, accounts payable, county clerk, and county judge offices are currently implementing the program;

• accepted the land donation from GEO Investments Inc. The deed was signed by the court and given to the county clerk for recording;

• discussed the Harney County Policies Public Grievance Procedure, which was previously accepted, but never signed by the court.

The court agreed to accept the procedure and sign it as of Nov. 25, 2014;

• discussed the formation of a regional workforce investment board with eight Oregon counties (including Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa) and the intergovernmental agreement to create the Eastern Oregon Jobs Council (EOJC). The board will consist of about 20 members, with a minimum of two members per county.

After reviewing Ordinance 2014-74 in the matter of creating the EOJC, the court agreed to read the ordinance by title only and adopt it.

The court will need to make board member recommendations at a later date. Grasty will ask Sharon Johnson to publicize the board member vacancies;

• announced that Harney County received the Citycounty Insurance Services Silver Award for the reduction in worker’s compensation claims during fiscal year 2013-2014;

• discussed the AOC Conference; and

• reviewed water use requests.

The next regularly-scheduled meeting of the county court will be held Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. in Judge Grasty’s office at the courthouse.

‘West My Friend’ in concert

Posted on December 3rd in News
Canadian folk band 'West My Friend’ performed Tuesday, Nov. 25 at the Harney County Community Center. (Photo by SAMANTHA WHITE)

Canadian folk band ‘West My Friend’ performed Tuesday, Nov. 25 at the Harney County Community Center. (Photo by SAMANTHA WHITE)

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

Trace Tiller dives into the end zone for the Hilanders’ first score. (Photos by RANDY PARKS)

Trace Tiller dives into the end zone for the Hilanders’ first score. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

On paper, it looked like a super match-up: Two 12-0 teams that had dominated their opponents throughout the regular season meeting in the OSAA Class 2A football championship game.

On the field, however, it was a different story, as the Burns Hilanders shut out the Heppner Mustangs 49-0 to win their first state football title.

The Hilanders’ offense piled up 516 total yards, while the defense held the Mustangs to just 102 yards, came up with two interceptions, and blocked a punt for a safety.

Despite moderate snowfall throughout the contest, the Hilanders’ Austin Feist was on target, completing nine of 15 passes for 235 yards and four touchdowns. Jeff Davies led Burns’ running attack, gaining 190 yards on 20 carries.

Burns scored on the game’s opening possession, putting together a nine-play, 60-yard drive, and getting the touchdown on a 10-yard run by Trace Tiller.

Heppner had to punt on their first possession, and pinned the Hilanders back at their own 1-yard line. Facing a third-and four, Feist threw to Ty Hueckman for a 15-yard gain, and two plays later, hit Jack Van Tassel for a 69-yard touchdown, and a 14-0 lead.

Burns defense forced another punt, and Feist returned the kick back to the Heppner 29. With 20 seconds left in the first quarter, Feist threw his second touchdown pass of the game, a 19-yarder to Tiller, to grab a 20-0 lead.

On the first play of the second quarter, Feist picked off a pass by the Mustangs’ Kaden Clark, giving the Hilanders a first down at the Heppner 42.

Burns then made it 28-0 on a 26-yard scoring run by Davies, and a two-point conversion pass from Bryce Goss to Davies.

The Hilanders’ next possession ended with a 51-yard scoring pass from Feist to Tiller down the middle of the field.

Heppner started their next drive at their own 14, and gained just two yards on three running plays. With the Heppner punter standing in his own end zone, the Hilanders’ Taylor Klus broke through the line and blocked the punt, sending it through the back of the end zone for a safety.

With 1:41 left in the first half, Feist slipped through the defense and raced 50 yards for the score and a 42-0 lead at halftime.

The eight seniors on the team raised the trophy after the presentation on the field. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

The eight seniors on the team raised the trophy after the presentation on the field. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Midway through the third quarter, Trey Recanzone caught a 31-yard scoring pass from Feist, sending the game into the “running clock” mode.

As the final seconds of the contest ticked away, those clad in purple and gold, both on the sidelines and in the bleachers, began the celebration.

Burns had reached the championship twice before, losing in 1979 and 1999, but this year they were not to be denied, finishing the season 13-0 with the trophy in hand.

“It was all fun,” Burns coach Terry Graham said. “It was all kind of surreal, as well. I’m just happy that the kids and the coaches got what they wanted. And all the people who were in the parking lot after the game, all the people who have done things for the team, now and before, this is the only thing I could ever give back to them —  a state championship that wasn’t attainable before.”

Looking back on the season, Graham said it all started in July at football camp. “That’s where we set the goal, and we got it,” he said. “The kids were telling me all year long, ‘Coach, we’re going to get you that state championship.’ That’s been the goal all year long.

“I didn’t think we’d win like that, but I didn’t think we’d  beat Cascade Christian like that, or Nyssa like that. I didn’t think we’d lose, but I thought those games would have been closer.

“And we knew we’d go as far as our linemen would take us, and they took us all the way. Not to take anything away from the skilled positions, but the line really did a great job. It really was a total team effort, the players and coaches, and we were fortunate to not have any season-ending injuries.”

Hepp     0      0     0     0      0

Bur       20    22    7     0     49

First quarter

Bur — Trace Tiller 10 run (James Obradovich kick) 2:52

Bur — Jack Van Tassel 69 pass from Austin Feist (Obradovich kick) 8:30

Bur — Tiller 19 pass from Feist (run failed) 11:40

Second quarter

Bur —Jeff Davies 26 run (Davies pass from Bryce Goss) 1:15

Bur — Tiller 51 pass from Feist (kick failed) 4:38

Bur — Taylor Klus blocked a punt for a safety 7:06

Bur — Feist 50 run (pass failed) 10:29

Third quarter

Bur — Trey Recanzone 31 pass from Feist (Obradovich kick) 4:49

Individual statistics

Rushing — Burns, J. Davies 20-190, Feist 8-49, Recanzone 2-17, Blackburn 1-9, Tiller 1-10, Goss 2-4, Gunderson 2-2. Heppner, Kindle 6-10, Clark 8-(-15), Putman 4-13, Corbin 1-4, Rill 2-23, Lindsay 1-0, Dougherty 1-0.

Passing — Burns, Feist 9-15-0 0 235, Recanzone 0-1-0 0. Heppner, Clark 7-18-2 67.

Receiving — Burns, Recanzone 1-31, Tiller 3-87, Blackburn 2-28, Hueckman 1-15, Van Tassel 1-69, Lewellen 1-5. Heppner, Putman 2-8, Corbin 1-1, Collins 2-27, Rill 2-31.

Jerry Ray Needham 1946-2014

Posted on December 3rd in Obituaries

OBIT Needham webJerry Ray Needham, 67, passed away Dec. 1.

Jerry was born Dec. 15, 1946, in La Grande to Clifford (Bill) and Bettie Needham of Cove. He grew up and attended all 12 years of school in Cove.

Jerry married Marsha Carly in Union, and had two sons, Brian James and Bradley (Brad) Ray.

He married the love of his life, Darlene Ann Lissman, after a planned date set up by his sister, Joyce, and they married after dating for four months on July 3, 1976, in Burns. He had a logging accident 10 days before they were to get married, and so Darlene had to do all the driving during their honeymoon. He tried to talk Darlene out of marrying him after the accident, but was told he wasn’t getting out of it so easy. Jerry was unable to work after the logging accident.

Jerry and Darlene had two children, Kimberly Dawn Needham/Jones/Male and Bill Earl Needham. That same year, the two older boys came to Burns to live with them, and that was a great joy for Jerry to have his family together.

He always enjoyed all the sporting games, teaching hunter safety, and coaching baseball. He also enjoyed going hunting, fishing and camping with his family. He never knew a stranger, and always had family, nephews, and anybody else that wanted to go was always welcome to go along with him or his family. His favorite place to go camping and hunting was the Cove and Ladd Canyon area. He enjoyed the great outdoors. He always said he had nine lives and that he had used up 13 of them.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 37 years, Darlene A. Needham of Burns; sons, Brian, and wife, Kim, of Hines, Brad, and wife, Becky, of Mill City, Bill, and ex-wife, Becky; daughter, Kim Jones/Male, and significant other, Matt; grandchildren, Brianna, Jake, R.J., Sarah and J.J.; great-grandson, Maddox; sisters, Joyce Olsen, and husband, Ron, Judy Foster, and husband, Kevin; many nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and many friends, including Darlene’s family: father, Ray; sisters, Nila Rae, Carolyn, Sylvia; brothers-in-law, Bill Gubser and Jerry Wilcox; and brother, Dan Lissman.

He was preceded in death by his father, Bill; mother, Bettie, brother-in-law, Kris Lissman; mother-in-law, Nadine Lissman; a set of twin grandchildren, and many uncles and aunts.

There will be no service at his request.

Contributions in his memory may be made at LaFollette’s Chapel to help with cremation and other expenses.

Wednesday December 3

Posted on December 3rd in Community Calendar

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

The Harney County Community Response Team (CRT) meets the first Wednesday of every month from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Community Center, 484 N. Broadway. The CRT consists of anyone interested in what is going on in the county as it relates to business and industry. County, city and tribal leaders provide general information to the public regarding xisting programs and recruitment efforts.

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

Christmas Cookie Prevention, a women’s fitness group will be held Wednesdays, through Dec 17 at Faith Baptist Church, 777 Saginaw in Hines. A beginners fitness class will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and a moderate intensity class from 6:05 p.m. to 6:25 p.m. The classes are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, contact Kara Nelson 541-589-3773.

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.

Thursday December 4

Posted on December 3rd in Community Calendar

Burns Butte Sportsmen’s Club meets the first Thursday of each month at the State Office Building, 809 W. Jackson, at 7 p.m.

Fall open enrollment for Medicare Drug plans and Advantage Healthplans. Trained SHIBA (Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program) will be at the Senior Center, 17 S. Alder, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to help you compare your plans. Call 541-573-6024 for appointments.

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.

A Women’s AA meeting is held every Thursday at noon at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord, 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 December 5

Posted on December 3rd in Community Calendar

Local merchants and the Thunderriders are sponsoring the third annual toy run and spaghetti dinner at Burns Elks Lodge Friday, Dec. 5. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. for early toy drop-off. Donations will help support the local “Tree of Joy” program.

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.

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