Thursday March 26

Posted on March 25th in Community Calendar

The Harney County Extension Office is sponsoring “Xeriscaping in Harney County,” a class presented by Master Gardener Chris Bates, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in the basement meeting room of the Harney County Courthouse.

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.

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 March 27

Posted on March 25th in Community Calendar

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 March 28

Posted on March 25th in Community Calendar

All women artists are invited to celebrate SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day, Saturday, March 28, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center. Share your art with the community! Register by March 26 if you would like to display, sell, or demonstrate your art. Forms are available at the Harney County Library. For more information, contact Kate Marsh, 541-573-7204 or e-mail her at This event is open to the public.

Sunday March 29

Posted on March 25th 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 March 30

Posted on March 25th in Community Calendar

A free estate planning presentation for veterans and the public will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, March 30, at the Burns Elks Lodge.

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 March 31

Posted on March 25th in Community Calendar

Join the ‘Walk With Ease’ walking group for this nine-week program beginning Tuesday, March 31. Group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at the BHS Library; sessions include brief education, warm-up & stretching, walking, then cool down & stretching. Group suitable for those with arthritis or who just want to make walking a part of their life. For details, please contact Harney District Hospital’s Amy Dobson, 541-573-8318 or Kristen Gregg, 541-573-8614. 

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.

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.

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 Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

An explosion totaled a camp trailer on North Broadway March 11, and sent a local man to a Portland hospital for burn treatment. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

An explosion totaled a camp trailer on North Broadway March 11, and sent a local man to a Portland hospital for burn treatment. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

On Wednesday, March 11, a propane leak caused an explosion inside a camp trailer in the North Broadway area, and sent Duane Harold Barklow, 50, to a Portland hospital with burns on his arms and hands.

At about 8:30 p.m. on March 11, a resident in the North Broadway area contacted the dispatch office and reported hearing a loud, “sonic boom that rattled his trailer” about an hour earlier, and wanted to know whether there had been any similar reports.

The following morning, there was a report that there was an explosion inside a trailer in the North Broadway area, and the authorities began an investigation.

Burns Fire Chief Scott Williamson said he went to investigate the report,  along with the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, and Burns and Hines police departments, and found a trailer that had obviously been damaged at 1222 North Broadway. He spoke with a woman in the driveway, Sharon Pulley, who told him there was an explosion the previous night, caused by propane, and that she had transported Barklow to Harney District Hospital. From there, he was flown to Portland to be treated for burns.

Williamson contacted the Oregon State Fire Marshal and the Oregon State Police arson division to conduct an investigation.

Williamson said that, after the investigation, it was determined that Barlow had been working in the yard, using a propane wand for lighting. He then carried the 5-pound propane tank and wand inside the trailer, and put a pizza in the oven, which was also fueled by propane. About 15 minutes later, Barklow opened the oven door to check on the pizza, and the open flame ignited the propane that had been leaking from the wand connection, causing the explosion.

Williamson said Pulley was also inside the trailer when the blast happened, but she was laying on the bed with a heavy blanket over her that helped prevent any injuries.

The explosion totaled the trailer, as well as blowing out windows on the house next to the trailer.

The couple was living in the camp trailer while remodeling the house.

Pulley was arrested on a charge of felon in possession of a firearm and cited for possession of less than an ounce of a controlled substance.

Need for master water plan emphasized

by Steve Howe
Burns Times-Herald

At the regular meeting of the Hines Common Council Tuesday, March 10, discussion continued on the need for increased water base rates to fund necessary improvements to the city’s water and sewer system. No votes were held on the issue.

At the previous meeting on Feb. 24, it was reported that water base rates would need to be increased in order for the city to qualify for loans and grants through the Infrastructure Finance Authority (IFA) to fund the needed improvements.

Mayor Nikki Morgan told a crowded room Tuesday evening that the original figure of $46 per month (water base rate) quoted in the city newsletter and the Burns Times-Herald had actually decreased to around $34, after being recalculated with new information received in the past week. It was clarified that this would be the eventual rate the city would need to charge in order to be eligible for financing. Morgan said the first step toward determining appropriate water and sewer rates and identifying all the needed improvements was to pursue a “current and accurate” master water plan.

Doug Ferguson of Ferguson Surveying and Engineering (the city engineer) and Tawni Bean, regional coordinator for the Oregon Business Development Department, IFA, were present to help answer questions.

City Administrator Joan Davies began the discussion by guiding the audience through a packet of information that had been compiled and distributed to everyone present.

The packet included:

• Evaluations and recommendations from 2001 and 2002 regarding the state of the elevated water tank. Davies said the recommended repairs were never done;

• A 2002 engineer’s report detailing options and costs for the repair or replacement of the elevated water tank and construction of a new on-grade tank. Davies said this was never done;

• Historic ordinances pertaining to the setting of water and sewer rates. Davies said water base rates had not increased in 12 years. She said a 2006 resolution set multi-family unit rates, but a 2010 resolution deleted those. She could not find reference to why that was done;

• Hines Common Council meeting agendas and minutes highlighting water and sewer discussions and votes from Sept. 24, 2013 to the present;

• Copies of emails between Davies and Bean, showing the discussion on the necessity of increasing rates in order to qualify for loans and grants;

• The 2014 inspection report for the 250,000 gallon steel elevated water tank, and the 2015 repair report for the 600,000 gallon steel on-grade tank. The 2014 report said that the interior of the elevated tank needed sandblasting and that the concrete footings were crumbling. The 2015 report detailed the 27 leaks that were repaired in the on-grade tank, and indicated that it will have to be checked again in six months;

• An explanation from Ferguson Surveying & Engineering detailing why Hines needs a master water plan, as well as a 2014 memo regarding water issues in the city. In the explanation, Ferguson wrote:

“We need a master plan in order to identify all the problems in the system, determine a viable fix to those problems in a timely and orderly manner, and to identify a means to fund the fix to those problems;”

• Highlights of water and sewer-related actions and discussions dating back to 1931; and

• Superintendent of Public Works Pedro Zabala’s 2013-14 city water usage reports.

The discussion then opened to public comment, which included:

• A concern about using finances to improve infrastructure in the industrial area when there is no guarantee of a company coming in to use it. This is not part of any plan at this time, and Zabala commented that the industrial area’s water lines were in good condition and that the major issues were with residential areas;

• A recommendation that the city look to other, “non-governmental” places for loans, so rates are not “dictated.” Davies said the city is in regular contact with various funding sources, and the IFA is the only one that has responded with a chance to apply for a grant;

• A question about why easements are now needed on properties that water lines run under, when the city hasn’t had them all these years. It was explained that water lines run under unrelated properties, and the city has no legal rights to them;

• A comment that “most people in Hines have fixed incomes and/or are retired,” and would be adversely affected by the rate increase;

• A comment that vacant, bank-owned houses, although they don’t have water turned on, are not contributing toward funding maintenance and improvements on the overall system. Davies said there is no city authority to collect for not using water;

• A question about why residents couldn’t all “pitch in” and do the work  (water and sewer improvements) to save money. Morgan responded that there is too much liability and the city doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance for volunteers. Ferguson agreed, saying it just wasn’t possible these days.

Councilor Rod Bennett asked whether the price estimate for the master plan was still $50,000. He was told, yes, and that the estimate was based on similar plans in similar cities.

“And we don’t have the funds for that right now,” added Councilor Hilda Allison.

“However, we can get a loan to do the master plan, is that correct?” Bennett asked, addressing Bean.

“You can get a $20,000 grant, as well as you can come in for a $30,000 loan,” Bean said.

“And all we have to do is raise the water rates enough to cover the loan?” asked Bennett.

Bean responded “Yes.”

Following a comment from the audience about the city of Burns’ water and sewer enterprise fund, discussion ensued on whether an enterprise fee should be established to cover the potential loan to complete the master plan.

“Basically, with 600 meters, if we are looking at $30,000, we would need a $5 a month increase to cover the loan…and pay it off in a year,” said Bennett.

Davies mentioned she had already applied for the $20,000 grant, and asked Bean if an added enterprise fee would count toward the eventual rate needed to apply for future project financing.

Bean responded, “Yes, that will be a part of your rate already.”

The discussion extended into specifics of what improvements would need to be made, and whether multi-family rates needed to be raised.

Morgan concluded the discussion by reiterating that the master plan would  address these subjects and determine what specifically needed to be charged:

“We’re not going to make any [of those] decisions tonight. Ultimately, we need the master plan.”


Davies reported on a special meeting of the Hines Planning Commission held March 3. At the meeting, the commission:

• Reviewed a land use permit given to the owners of the Hines Mobile Home Park, allowing them to add a mobile home. Davies said that they had wanted to put a double-wide on the south end of the park, but she advised them that it would be in the flood zone. Instead, they will place it on the northeast end;

• Reviewed and discussed requests for commercial zone changes. Davies said that there have been several inquiries from property owners regarding why their property is zoned commercial. There are also issues with properties that are multi-family zoned and have only single-family residences on them. Davies said she would start contacting property owners in affected areas to see what their preferences are, and once that is determined, begin the hearings process.

• Reviewed and recommended a flood prevention ordinance. Davies explained that all cities are mandated by law to have a flood prevention ordinance in place – without one, Hines would be ineligible for coverage by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which would prevent both the sale and purchase of properties that have to be financed. The commission unanimously voted to forward the ordinance to the council with a recommendation to approve. The council decided to hold off on a vote until the next meeting, in order to have more time to read and review the ordinance.


In her regular report, Davies said she and other members of the local air quality task force are continuing to work with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to find ways to manage the particulate levels in both cities.

She said she received news about a bill in the Oregon House of Representatives, HB 3399, that would require all municipal court judges to be members of the Oregon Bar or complete an expensive, multi-week judicial academy on-site in Reno, Nev.

“That would be devastating for the small cities,” said Davies. She added that she would write a letter to legislators describing how the bill would adversely affect Hines, and urge them to vote no.

Davies said that she, Hines Chief of Police Ryan DeLange and Hines Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD) Chief Bob Spence attended a “9-1-1 meeting” regarding dispatch service rates, which are set to double in the coming year.

“We have several meetings set up with the county judge, the sheriff, and all the other agencies affected by that,” said Davies.

Davies told councilors that a letter had been received from the Natural Resources Conversation Service (NRCS) inviting them to participate in a local work group meeting on March 12. The purpose of the meeting was to gather input for the development  of the Natural Resources Long Range Strategy for fiscal years 2016-2020.


DeLange delivered his regular report. He said he was called away before the last council meeting to a stabbing. He added that the suspect is in custody and that the victim survived.

DeLange reported that during last month’s seatbelt blitz, there were 31 traffic stops and 11 citations.

Illegal drug use is out of control in both cities, especially methamphetamine, DeLange said. He added that law enforcement agencies are teaming up with Symmetry Care to fight the problem. DeLange and other officers have also started doing “walk-throughs” at schools to interact with students and teach them about the danger of drugs.


Zabala reported that his department has been busy checking manholes and cleaning sewers. He also thanked the city of Burns for sweeping streets in Hines recently.


Spence reported that there had been no 9-1-1 calls since the last council meeting. He said HVFD is continuing to do joint training with Burns Fire Department.


In other business, the council:

• approved per diem for DeLange to attend the annual Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Bend, April 14-16;

• approved per diem for councilors to attend “Elected Essentials 2015” training offered by the League of Oregon Cities March 19 in Ontario.

The next meeting of the Hines Common Council will be held Tuesday, March 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Hines City Hall.

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

Boys basketball award winners (L-R): Zach McDonald, Bryce Goss, Austin Feist, Boyd Vinson. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Boys basketball award winners (L-R): Zach McDonald, Bryce Goss, Austin Feist, Boyd Vinson. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Girls basketball award winners (L-R): Oakley West, Sydnee Shelman, Carli Feist, Catherine Clemens. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Girls basketball award winners (L-R): Oakley West, Sydnee Shelman, Carli Feist, Catherine Clemens. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Burns High School capped off the winter sports season with an awards ceremony on Monday, March 16.

Athletic Director Paula Toney welcomed everyone to the event, and then, filling in for the dance coach, Debbie Titus, presented awards to the dance team. Amelia Hamerlynck received the Most Improved Dancer award, and the Tiny Dancer award for most valuable dancer was presented to Taylor Draper.

Cheer coach Julie Burri presented the awards to the basketball cheer squad. Burri noted at the state competition, the cheer team placed second in their division, and Lizz Duhn came in third in the individual competition.

Recipients of the special cheer awards are as follows: Most Improved — Cassidy Reid; Stunting award — Jason Stoker; Flyer award — Cailyn Wilber; Most Outstanding award — Duhn.

Cheer squad award winners (L-R): Cassidy Reid, Jason Stoker, Lizz Duhn, Cailyn Wilber. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

(L-R): Cassidy Reid, Jason Stoker, Lizz Duhn, and Cailyn Wilber were the cheer squad award winners. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Wrestling award winners (L-R): Jonathan Schmeck, Garrett Blackburn, Dallon Higgins. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

(L-R): Jonathan Schmeck, Garrett Blackburn, and Dallon Higgins were the wrestling award winners. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Head wrestling coach Mark Hofman introduced this year’s wrestling team and presented the special awards. Garrett Blackburn, who won the state title at 170 pounds, received the Outstanding Upperclassman award and the Jeremy Johnson Most Heart award. Jonathan Schmeck was named Most Improved, and Dallon Higgins took home the Outstanding Underclassman award.

Mick Miller, head coach for the boys basketball program, and assistant coaches Jed Patterson and Rob Paramore, recognized this year’s players and handed out the special awards. Bryce Goss was named the Most Promising Freshman, Boyd Vinson received the Most Inspirational award, the Most Improved award was given to Zach McDonald, and Austin Feist was named the Most Valuable Player.

Miller added that Feist was named the Player of the Year for the Wapiti League and named to the All-Tournament First Team at the 2A state basketball tournament. Ty Hueckman was named to the All-League first team, Trace Tiller received All-League second team honors, and Ty Reid received All-League honorable mention.

Dance team award winner Taylor Draper. Not pictured: Amelia Hamerlynck. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Dance team award winner Taylor Draper. Not pictured: Amelia Hamerlynck. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Head coach for the girls basketball program Brandon McMullen and assistant coach Kevin Feist introduced their teams and presented the special awards. The Most Promising Freshman award went to Oakley West. Sydnee Shelman was named the Most Improved, Carli Feist was presented with the Most Inspirational award, and Catherine Clemens received the Most Valuable Player award.

McMullen said Clemens was named the Co-Player of the Year for the Wapiti League, Feist was named to All-League first team, and Madison Carson and Baylee Hanner received All-League second team honors.

Clemens was also named to the All-Tournament first team at the 2A state basketball tournament, and Carson was selected for the All-Tournament second team.

Clemens also set a new single-game scoring record this season, hitting for 35 points in the Hilanders’ win over Enterprise.

Ruth Miles 1926-2015

Posted on March 18th in Obituaries

OBITMilesWEBRuth Potter Miles, 88, passed away March 11 in Vale, surrounded by family.

Born in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, on Aug. 1, 1926, Ruth was one of five daughters born to Glen and Josephine Potter. She married Junior R. Miles June 25, 1944, in Lava Hot Springs. Their early married life took them from Lava Hot Springs to Salmon, Homedale, Vale, Juntura, Burns and back to Vale, where they lived for the past 40 years. They just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this past summer.

Ruth loved raising her children and was very involved with their activities. She gave generously of her time for the benefit of all children. She was a room mother at school, Cub Scout Leader, Girl Scout Leader, and 4-H Leader for 25 years. She loved her grandchildren and created many memories by spending time together with them.

She was an accomplished seamstress, making clothes for her family and many others. She loved oil painting, crafts, dancing, family camping trips, and exploring new country.

Ruth will long be remembered for her kindness and sweet smile that made you instantly feel welcome and loved.

Ruth is survived by her husband, Junior Miles, of Vale; daughters,  Jeanette and Al Sillonis of Weiser, Idaho, Cindy and Bill Romans of Westfall, and Penny and Steve McFetridge of Vale; daughter-in-law, Mary Miles of John Day; son-in-law, Dave and Debbie Enright of Vale; 15 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren; sisters, Lorene Bowman of Quincy, Wash., and Jolene Tillotson of Pocatello, Idaho.

She was preceded by an infant son, Kenneth Don Miles; son, Robert Miles of John Day; and daughter, Betty Enright of Vale; sisters, Kathleen Potter and Dorothy Potter of Lava Hot Springs; and great-granddaughter, Hallie Romans of Westfall.

A funeral service was held March 16 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel in Vale. Interment was at Valley View Cemetery in Vale. Memorial donations may be made to Malheur County Fairgrounds, 795 NW 9th St., Ontario, OR 97914.

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