Saturday February 14

Posted on February 11th in Community Calendar

The Friskey Fleas 4-H Dog Club will be holding a fundraising Valentine bake sale from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at Big R.

The Harney County Radio Association meets every second Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. in the basement meeting room of the Harney County Courthouse. All amateur radio operators and interested parties are welcome.

Sunday February 15

Posted on February 11th in Community Calendar

Overeaters Anonymous meets each Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Harney District Hospital Annex (downstairs in cafeteria area).Enter through the cafeteria door on North Grand. For more information, call Susie at 541-589-1522.

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

Monday February 16

Posted on February 11th in Community Calendar

Harney County Library will be closed for Presidents’ Day.

The Burns Lions Club meets every Monday, except holidays, at noon at the Burns Elks Lodge. Those interested in serving the community and visitors are welcome. For more information call 541-573-4000.

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 February 17

Posted on February 11th in Community Calendar

The Burns Union High School Class of 1965 will hold a class reunion meeting at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Glory Days.

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.

The Chamber Orchestra meets the first and third Tuesday of each month in the Burns High School Band Room, 1100 Oregon Avenue, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with Ken Peckham directing, September through November and January through March.

Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Program (SHIBA) trained volunteers will be at the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center, 17 S. Alder, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. each Tuesday to help with Medicare insurance needs or medications you cannot afford.

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.

Resident brings issues to council

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

The city of Burns should have a new city manager in place by this summer.

At their regular meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 28, the Burns City Council approved the hiring procedures and job announcement as prepared by the city’s legal counsel, Jeremy Green.

The tentative schedule for the hiring process is to begin the hiring process Feb. 1, start the screening process March 31, begin background checks and committee interviews April 15, begin sending letters of rejection and schedule an interview with the finalists May 1, select the preferred candidate June 1, and have the new city manager begin work in July or August.

There was some concern by the council on the amount of time the process takes, and Green explained that the time line can always be shortened if the council deems it necessary.

The council also expressed interest in having someone from the community on the screening committee, and Green concurred with the suggestion.


The council approved Ordinance No. 15-832, establishing time, place and manner regulations concerning medical marijuana dispensaries.

Green stated the ordinance is a “living document” because new legislation may be passed regarding the dispensaries and that would precipitate changes in the ordinance.

The council discussed a pending resolution to establish fees for medical marijuana dispensaries. Green said he had checked the fees of other cities, and felt the city of Burns should establish comparable fees.


John Chambers was in attendance to discuss several issues with the council. Chambers said that he, and others, have a problem with the “urban deer herds,” and the risks they pose to the community. He cited safety risks to people, domestic animals and vehicles, and said some form of action needs to be taken by the city to mitigate the risks for the benefit of the residents.

Mayor Craig LaFollette stated he didn’t want it to seem like he was “passing the buck,” but he recommended Chambers speak with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), as the city has no jurisdiction over the deer.

Chambers said he had talked with ODFW and was told they can’t capture and transplant the deer because the urban deer may spread disease  to the wild  herds, and because of the in-breeding occurring in town.

Chambers said he has spent a lot of money on landscaping, and the deer have destroyed about half of the plants.

“I can’t shoot them. Well, I could, but that would be illegal,” Chambers said. “There are a lot of people that are fed up with the deer problem.”

He suggested the council set up a committee to formulate solutions.

Chambers then questioned why the owner of a home or business is responsible for the sewer line from the structure to the main line? He suggested it be changed from the structure to the right-of-way, as most problems occur at the connection between the service line and the main line.

“Why would we do that?” asked LaFollette. “Why would we take on that financial responsibility?”

“Because I’m asking you to,” replied Chambers.

Public Works Director Dave Cullens said if the city took over that responsibility, there would have to be a sewer rate increase to cover the cost.

Chambers then stated his concerns about truck traffic through the city on Broadway and Monroe streets. He suggested trucks be re-routed around town because of safety concerns.

“Take the truck traffic off those roads,” he said.

Chambers also said there is problem with CenturyLink in the community, but he would address that issue at a later date.


Nick Collins, president of Harney County Little League, told the council the organization is working on a project to expand the baseball facilities on West Pierce, with the goal of hosting a Little League Tournament.

Collins said the event would bring in anywhere from 30-35 teams for a week, and other towns that hosted the event brought in about $100,000 revenue.

Collins said he is trying to raise funds for the project, and wasn’t asking the city for a donation, but rather a sponsorship and support.

“It’s a community thing,” Collins said. “The kids use the fields, and we’d like to have one facility where boys and girls of all ages could be playing at the same time.”

He said the organization needs fencing for the project, and asked about the city helping with that.

City Clerk Dauna Wensenk stated there is fencing at the airport, and the city needs some of it for a project, but not necessarily all of it.

“I don’t know how much fencing you need, but let’s say we had 250 feet of it. Could you use that?” LaFollette asked.

“We’ll take anything you can give us,” Collins said, and added they would probably need about 2,500 for the entire project.

Councilor Dan Hoke said he’d like the city to help out “in-kind.” He suggested maybe the public works crew could help the volunteers on a schedule type basis.

Cullens said the city has, in the past, donated the red cinders and bladed the area. The city also donates the water.


In other business:

• the council approved Resolution No. 15-594, authorizing C&B Sanitary Service to increase its service rates under the solid waste franchise agreement;

• the council scheduled a workshop for 6 p.m. Monday Feb. 16, to discuss several topics, including the ordinance that governs  the council for the benefit of new councilors, the current condition of city streets and solutions to the deterioration, and the water and sewer fund;

• Mayor LaFollette appointed Ted Marshall, Curt Blackburn, councilors Lou Ann Deiter and Terri Presley, and the three city office staff members to the Flood Ordinance Prevention committee;

• LaFollette said at a previous meeting, a resident made reference to the ethics of the council. He stated if someone has an issue with ethics, the state has a government ethics commission that residents can write to or call.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, at city hall.

Steering committee to meet in March

The Burns Paiute Tribe is in the process of creating a comprehensive economic development strategic plan.

The Tribe will participate in an intensive, locally-driven strategic planning process. Tribal leaders will be guided through “Plan Week,” about a 14-hour process resulting in a comprehensive strategic plan for the Tribe. This process will also guide tribal leaders as they implement strategies identified during “Plan Week.”  The Tribe’s plan week is scheduled for March 3-5, 2015.

“This is an important opportunity for the Tribe,” said Michelle Bradach, interim general manager. “Plan Week will help us identify key economic opportunities and quality-of-life issues.”

A steering committee, comprised of a cross-section of community leaders (city, county, regional, and tribal) will participate in seven key planning sessions to be held locally on Tuesday, March 3, and Thursday, March 5.

The Voice of the Community session is designed for the community to provide ideas, and will be held on Wednesday, March 4, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. This session will give members of the tribal community a chance to help select priorities for development. It will be held at the Gathering Center.

Bradach said, “This planning process supports local community planning efforts that integrate community and economic development with quality-of-life. This process will assist our community in addressing challenges that are interrelated, but are often not addressed comprehensively, including community competitiveness and revitalization; access to jobs; education; health care services; energy and other resource conservation; infrastructure; and environmental impacts.”

For more information about the strategic planning process, contact Michelle Bradach or Margaret Swoboda, 541-573-2088.

Burns tops Ontario, Elgin

Posted on February 4th in Sports

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

Austin Feist of Burns goes airborne on his way to the basket in the Hilanders’ win over Ontario. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Austin Feist of Burns goes airborne on his way to the basket in the Hilanders’ win over Ontario. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

The Burns boys basketball team defeated Ontario 58-37 in non-conference play on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at Burns High School.

Down by eight late in the first quarter, the Hilanders’ Austin Feist sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close the gap to 14-9.

Midway through the second period, Burns was down by one when Trace Tiller hit a 3-pointer to put the Hilanders up by two, and followed with another basket to make it a four-point advantage, and Burns went into the break with a 27-22 lead.

The Hilanders broke the game open in the third quarter as Austin Feist scored 11 of his game-high 21 points to help Burns take a 47-30 lead headed into the fourth quarter.

Burns outscored the Tigers 11-7 over the final eight minutes and got the victory.

Tiller finished with 15 points, and Ty Reid added 10 for the Hilanders.


The Hilanders upped their league record to 7-1 with a 62-32 win over Elgin on Saturday, Jan. 31.

Union is 8-1 in the league, and the Hilanders will host the Bobcats on Friday, Feb. 6, in a showdown for first place.

On Saturday, Feb. 7, Burns travels to Enterprise.

Michael Schnitker 1956 – 2015

Posted on February 4th in Obituaries

OBIT SchnitkerWORKEDMichael Lynn Schnitker was born March 15, 1956, in Seattle, Wash. He was the first born of Darrell and Billee (Jacoby), and was the life of the party from that point on. As a young boy, Mike moved a bit because his dad was in the military, but eventually, the family settled in Gooding, Idaho. Mike became a big brother and fulfilled the role with gusto. Holly and Julie took equal parts of love and torment.

Mike was an animal lover from the start. He would recount numerous stories of being on his grandfather’s ranch in Twin Falls, Idaho. Great Grandpa Schnitker took Mike under his wing and fostered a love of cattle, horses, and anything else cowboy. Mike excelled in FFA, and soon learned he had a knack for dogs, especially Australian Shepherds.

Mike met and married Donna (Morris) in 1975 on Dec. 27. The two had only been dating for three months, but he knew he found the one. Soon after, they welcomed Katy and Justin. Not long after becoming a family of four, Mike got a call to manage a ranch in Burns and the family relocated.

Burns quickly burrowed deep in Mike’s blood. He put his heart and soul into ministry at the Nazarene Church and many were blessed by his guitar playing and his big laughter.   As his roots grew deeper, Mike expanded his ministry and found himself pastoring the Crane Fellowship. In fact, the building of the church was one of Mike’s greatest joys. His kids often recount that every conversation included a report on church happenings from Pastor Mike.

If you knew Mike, you knew he also loved dogs and cows. His small herd of Charolais was something that he was very proud of, and he loved to watch the babies being born each year. He also never traveled anywhere without one of his Aussies.  The dogs were his constant companions and it was not uncommon to see his favorite curled up at his feet at night.

Mike loved people and he loved his family. His tough exterior instantly melted as soon as he was around any of his grandchildren. He was “Noosh” to Gracie and Finnley Turpen and “Pappy” to Ayden and Jaxstin Schnitker. Regardless of who was calling him, he adored the role of grandpa and loved taking the kids for ranger and tractor rides.

Mike was known for being bigger than life, and he will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his mother, Billee Schnitker; sister, Holly (Mark) Sabala; wife, Donna Schnitker; children, Katy (Kyle) Turpen and Justin (Kierra) Schnitker; and his grandchildren, Ayden, Jaxstin, Gracie and Finnley.

He was preceded in death by his father, Darrell Schnitker; and sister, Julie Coates.

To honor Mike, donations may be made to Crane Fellowship or Adventure in Life Ministries:

Curtis E. Denny

Posted on February 4th in Obituaries

OBIT C. DennyWORKEDCurtis E. Denny, 57, passed away Jan. 16 in Salem.

He was a legendary Hilander, called to make the last touchdown, the final field goal.

Curt graduated from Burns Union High School in 1975, where he was a stand-out athlete in football, basketball and track. In 1975, he set a new state record in the shot put, 64’ 9”, breaking his own record form the previous year. That record stood for more than 20 years.

He was a good brother and even better son, and after often wondering where to lay him to rest, it always came back to Burns. He never married, had no children, though he coached many to victory on the field, for the love of football and track. He had a rough way about him, but on the inside, a soft and gentle heart.

He is survived by sisters, Ruthanne B., Alexis C., Grace L., and Shirley; numerous nieces and nephews; and last, but not least, Janene P. and Chelle T .

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service will be held Feb. 24 in Burns at the old football field off of Foley Drive.

Leonard E. Oster 1937-2014

Posted on February 4th in Obituaries

Leonard E. Oster, 77, passed away Jan. 8, at Park Forest Care Center in Portland.

Leonard was the youngest son of L.E. “Red” and Fannie Oster, born May 16, 1937, in Madras.

He attended school at the one-room school in Frenchglen. He spent his younger years in the Burns area before the family relocated to the Dayville area, where he graduated from Dayville High School. It is there he met and married his high school sweetheart, Kathleen Cant.

Leonard and Kathy lived in the John Day area for many years, during which time they had two daughters. The young family relocated to Baker City and raised their family. Leonard was proud of his family, and especially so of the professional careers both daughters achieved.

Leonard retired from Ellingson Timber Co. after supervising the construction of miles of logging roads. He also had a saddle shop for more than 35 years, catering to the working cowboy with saddles in many states and Australia.

Leonard is survived by his wife, Kathleen; daughters, Luann (Ed) Cook, and Linda (Brian) Oster-Bainnson; granddaughters, Brynne and Elyah Oster-Bainnson, all of Portland; brother, Clarence Oster of Richland, Wash.; and is also survived by many brothers- and sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Arlie and Jess.

No services will be held, and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Grant County Ranch and Rodeo Museum, 241 E. Main Street., John Day, OR 97845.

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