Oregon’s population growth this decade will likely top 10 percent, but Northeast Oregon continues to grow at a much slower rate. Since 2010, Oregon’s population has grown by 351,105 people, a 9.13 percent increase. Northeast Oregon’s growth however, has been slower. Since 2010, Union County has grown by 5.45 percent. Wallowa County’s population decreased by 0.3 percent over this past year and has grown by only 1.27 percent since 2010. Baker County grew by 0.1 percent in the past year, and over the past eight years the county’s population has grown by 1.98 percent.
Archives for December 2018
Oregon’s unemployment rate… like that of most of the nation now… is holding steady at its lowest rate in the past decade. Another benefit of lower unemployment, is that Oregon’s supplemental nutrition assistance program, known as SNAP, is also seeing a reduction in those who depend upon it. The number of recipients in Oregon receiving SNAP benefits, was down more than 100,000 this year from last year.
Keep Oregon Green, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the Oregon Department of Forestry, has launched the sale of a brand-new Oregon license plate design. The plate features the image of Smokey Bear set against a green forested backdrop and the words “Keep Oregon Green” as a reminder of the need to protect Oregon’s scenic landscapes from careless human-caused wildfires. Vouchers are now on sale for the new plates which will be promoted on social media until 3,000 vouchers are sold.
In Oregon, more than 24-thousand grandparents are responsible for the grandchildren that live with them, according to data from 2017. Derenda Schubert is head of Bridge Meadows, an Oregon based endeavor that brings youth formerly in foster care together with older folks. Schubert says families come in many different shapes….
More than 11-thousand kids in Oregon enter the foster-care system each year.
A La Grande School District educator will soon retire. Island City Elementary School Principal John Tolan has announced he plans to step down on June 30 after 39-years with the La Grande School District. Tolan joined the school district in June 1980, has been Island City’s principal since 2002. He says the decision to retire was a difficult one, but now seems like the right time.
The Blue Mountain Translator District Board of Directors will hold a regular meeting at noon tomorrow/Wednesday in the Meeting Room of Umpqua Bank in La Grande. Find out more at www.bmtd.org
The Union County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with La Grande’s new bowling alley, Brickyard Lanes. Doors are set to open before the spring thaw,. The Chamber encourages local businesses to build a legacy by sponsoring the bowling alley. Through investing in the Buy-a-Brick program, businesses will have their names added to the Founders Wall and will receive free bowling games and other incentives. For more information, stop by the Chamber, call 541-963-8588, or email email@example.com
The U.S. Forest Service is taking a hard look at doing whatever is necessary to protect the wildland/urban interface… that after many large wildfires have caused devastation across much of the west. Now, they say more than 50 percent of the Forest Service budget goes to fire suppression, a new normal for the 113-year-old agency, and large wildland fire management is becoming less about protecting just public land. Funding through the Natural Resource Conservation Service created 50/50 cost-share opportunities for private landowners to reduce the number of standing trees per acre on their property. The Forest Service is doing the same on its side of the line as well.
At this week’s meeting, Island City’s city council voted to spend $1,150 for the purchase of a power inverter aimed at preventing Island City’s water system from shutting down during a power outage by adjusting the electrical current from a generator. The city had the option of replacing its generator with one that would fix a communication issue with the Walton Road well or purchasing a power inverter. The council decided against buying a new generator because the expense would be prohibitive.
Santa will arrive in La Grande on a train at 4 tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon. Children and their families are invited to welcome St. Nick to town at the La Grande Depot. Come early… Goodies will be distributed to children. The event is put on by the Union Pacific Railroad Employees Club #17.