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A Year In Review

December 31, 2013 by

January

Lake County’s Board of Commissioners initiated discussions of going nonpartisan with the commissioner positions late in December 2012.  The goals of this move were to open up the vote for citizens to participate in primaries and reduce partisanship.

The county hired Charlie Pike to serve as its new veteran’s services officer, a retired 30-year veteran of military duty that will assist veterans with information and assistance in navigating their way for available benefits.

Lake County Medical Clinic welcomed Rosanne Fitzgerald as its newest family nurse practitioner this month.  Fitzgerald is a board certified nurse practitioner seeing patients twice a week at the clinic, possessing 25 years of nursing experience with Lake District Hospital.

Lakeview High School graduate Lydia McGarva, a member of the Texas Christian University rifle team, competed in the air rifle qualifying competitions for Junior Olympics this month.

The first baby of the new year was born to Josiah and Joanna Sanders of Alturas, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, at 3:10 a.m.  Katie Grace Sanders, as the couple’s first child, weighed in at 7 lbs, 6 oz., and measured 20 inches in length.

Local public officials formally sworn into their new terms early this month.  These officials included Lake County District Attorney Ulys Stapleton, Town of Lakeview Mayor Mike Patrick, Town Councilors Sandra Wenzel and Michael Hughes, Lake County Assessor Larry Reeder, Lake County Commissioner Brad Winters, lake County Clerk Stacey Geaney and Lake County Treasurer Ann Crumrine.

Amanda McAdams arrived in Lakeview as the Fremont-Winema National Forest’s new district ranger for both Lakeview and Bly this month.

The Safeway Foundation donated $5,000 to the Lake County Public Library’s building fund, presented by the store Mgr. Casey Cleland, and Asst. Mgr. Jania Ausmus.

Lake Health District received a $10,000 donation from the family of Sam Farr, assigned with a stipulation that Dr. Timothy Gallagher oversee its use. The donation was discussed during the Jan. 10 meeting of the district’s board of directors.

Local teens Karina Lee and Erica McCallister recounted their experiences on an exotic wildlife hunt in Texas as a 16th birthday gift.  Lee harvested a trophy scimitar Oryx while McCallister shot a trophy fallow deer and full-curl Corsican ram over the course of two days.

A memorandum of understanding officially linked the Town of Lakeview to the MC Chuckwagon exhibit as per discussion during a Jan. 8 meeting of the Town Council.

Local sanitation service providers and road department officials reflected on the importance of proper fireplace ash disposal, in light of the risks for fire damage to waste receptacles and garbage trucks.

Honorees at the 67th annual Winter Gala Awards Banquet included Senior First Citizen Dan Michaelson, Merchant of the Year Mike and Terry Beeson, Presidential Award recipient Lakeview Rotary (accepted by Don Liddycoat),  Beautification Award winner Prescott Rice, Educator of the Year Mary O’Leary, Special Citizen Award June Leavitt, Presidential Award recipient Lakeview Lions and Soroptimists (accepted by Doug Dollarhide and Carol Parker, respectively), and Junior First Citizen Barb Stephens.

Sufficient signatures were collected for a recall effort petition initiated against North Lake School Board members Leah Harris, Clayton Sharp, Buck Church, Jr., Dwight Roth and Shane Forman.  The recall effort ultimately failed against the board members by a wide margin.

Darryl Bender of Lakeview oversaw the construction of the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade sweepstakes winner, an entry sponsored by the globally known food company Dole.

Lake County Commissioners Ken Kestner and Brad Winters joined commissioners from Harney and Klamath counties as well as state Senators Ted Ferrioli and Doug Whitsett on a briefing and demonstration from the Oregon Air National Guard on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Lake County Commissioners devoted a session of their Feb. 5 work session to developing a response to a Barry Point Fire stakeholder meeting hosted by Regional Forester Ken Connaughton. The discussion primarily dealt with the Forest Service’s handling on their reviewing the fire’s effect for the citizens of Lake County.

A retirement party held Feb. 16 recognized the career of retired physician Dr. Robert “Bob” Bomengen at the Lakeview Elks Lodge.

March

The cost associated with refurbishing the town’s public swimming pool swelled to $375,000, necessitating a match of $95,000 as per a grant program’s requirements.  The project’s cost was discussed during a Feb. 26 meeting of Lakeview’s Town Council.

Lake County’s Board of Commissioners reviewed resolutions to their year end budget, approving one that improved the Veterans Services budget from $4,139 to $20,694.

Lake County Historical Society’s gift of its 2008 book, “Lake County: The First 100 Years,” to the White House garnered a personal letter of gratitude from First Lady Michelle Obama to the local organization.

A NASA contracted weather balloon landed in the North Lake area as part of a project in which varied components were tested for future space applications.

Lake County Watershed Council made a considerable impact locally in 2012, as project coordinator Anna Kerr discussed various projects completed with Lake County’s Board of Commissioners.

Siobhan Cremin and Heidi Collins received the honor of Grand and Wee Leprechaun for the 2013 Irish Days festivities, held March 15 and 16 in Lakeview.

The county appointed landowners to the railroad advisory committee during their March 6 regular session.  Approved to the committee were Jack Vernon and Bry Jasper as members to represent private property owners along the Lake County railroad.

Gov. John Kitzhaber appointed Robert F. Nichols, Jr., to fill the vacancy on the Lake County Circuit Court left by former Judge Lane Simpson’s retirement.

April

Forest Service officials updated Lake County’s Board of Commissioners on plans related to salvage efforts in the wake of the Barry Point Fire of 2012.  Three action alternatives were developed for salvage work.

Lakeview’s Town Council approved a resolution that served as the final step in the lengthy financing process for its large-scale geothermal development project that will heat Lake District Hospital and local schools.

Town of Lakeview Mgr. Ray Simms recently approached the Lake County of Commissioners with a request for funding for the Town’s swimming pool restoration project. The county ultimately approved a donation in the amount of $5,000 toward the pool’s renovation.

Construction started this month on the MC Chuckwagon exhibit site, a monument memorializing the historic former MC Ranch near the junction of highways 140 and 395.

Lake County’s Board of Commissioners discussed security upgrades to the courthouse facility. Later in the year, the county would approve a plan encompassing card-lock access points and upgraded security cameras.

North Lake County’s Stage Rat Players community theatre group performed a spring production of “Desperate Ambrose” on April 12, 19 and 20 in the North Lake School gymnasium.

May

The Town of Lakeview’s geothermal project hit a snag in the form of a delay, awaiting an agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Klamath Tribes.  Cultural resource issues were cited as the reason for this lack of agreement.

A subcommittee met to discuss a projected $120,000 shortfall in the Lake County School District No. 7’s cafeteria budget.  The shortfall resulted from increased stringent guidelines through the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

The Fort Rock Care Center board donated the 5.65 acres of land upon which the former Rock View Apartments sat to the Fort Rock Historical Society. The apartments previously burned to the ground following an electrical fire.

A large-scale gathering collected varied parties concerned with ongoing air quality issues in Lakeview on April 25.  Representatives included town and county officials, the state Department of Environmental Quality and Environmental Protection Agency.

Lake County’s Board of Commissioners granted an appeal on a conditional use permit on a North Lake solar development project. Todd Gregory, vice president of Lake Oswego-based Obsidian Renewables, LLC, requested the appeal on a condition in the CUP that required dismantling and removal of the project following five years of consecutive non-use and production.

Retired Lake County Circuit Court Judge Lane Simpson officially swore in Robert Nichols, Jr., as the court’s newest judge during a May 1 ceremony.  Nichols was appointed to the position in March by Gov. John Kitzhaber.

Potential closure of Lakeview’s Alger Theater saw discussion earlier this year, due to high costs associated with upgrading to digital projection technology.  The theater’s owners, Kevin and Susan Samples, are currently showing movies two weeks a month at the historic movie house.

 

June

Ford Family Foundation named 106 Oregon students are new Ford Scholars, including Lakeview High School student Sandra Castro.  Castro plans to attend the University of Oregon to study human physiology.

Town of Lakeview Police Officer Leroy Hite was placed on administrative leave by the Town of Lakeview Police Department.  Oregon State Police served as the investigating agency for the case.

Hall Motor Company was named as a 2012 President’s Award recipient, which recognizes dealerships nationwide for quality business practices, including overall customer satisfaction.

Winners of the annual Lakeview Soil and Water Conservation District speech contest, held on Thursday, May 9, included Lizzy Ramsey, Natalia Villagrana, Kyle Deiter, Tara Stanton, Alex Decker, Iris Herrera, Bryce Crumrine and Jessica Lee.

Following a pair of public hearings, Lake County’s Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance that would effectively make the County Commissioner positions non-partisan.  The ordinance was approved by Lake County voters in the fall election.

A paint recycling program held on Saturday, June 8, collected more than 8,200 pounds of old paint dropped off by Lake County citizens. Paint was either recycled, used and blended for resale at half price in larger retail stores or else sent to cement factories and not redistributed to the public.

Andy Parker, under the name of his company Oregon Desert Farms, Inc., has filed a claim against the Town of Lakeview as of May 23, asking the court to declare legal property rights as per state statutes.  The case pertained to land access sought by the Town of Lakeview, inclusive of a geothermal well, and marked the first implementation of legal recourse by either party following an ongoing dispute between Parker and the Town.

Kimmer Severence and Tucker Hill emerged as the all-around winners of the 2013 Lake County Junior Rodeo.  Other winners included intermediate all-round winners Cate Hepper and Tristin Severance, while junior winners included Gwineth Cheyney and Kyle Stewart.

Lake County’s 4-H archery club qualified six archers for a state tournament held June 19 in Albany.  Ethan Albertson, Amber Lucas and Steven Lucas will be representing Lake County in the senior division.  Junior division contestants include Brody McLain and Rebecca Lucas.

Lakeview youths Stephen Giblin and Crystal Moontz participated in a Modoc Motorsports motocross event in cedarvilel, Calif., on June 1.  Koontz won the 7-to-8-year-old 50cc division, while Giblin placed third in the 9-to-11-year-old 65cc race.

Lake District Hospital launched a new pulmonary rehabilitation department as of June 3.  The department is led by respiratory therapist Theresa Conklin.

Construction on the Town of Lakeview’s geothermal project commenced as of Monday, June 10, with the pipeline’s routing marked by contractor Diversified Contractors Inc., of Klamath Falls along the town’s streets.

Former Lakeview High School Principal Bob Nash was named as the new Lake County Education Services District superintendent, replacing Alice Hunsaker. Nash resigned as the LHS principal as of June 13, after 29 years with the Lake County School District No. 7.

Lake County’s Board of Commissioners approved a request for short-term pasturing near the Lake County Airport.  Holiday Ranch’s foreman, Craig Mills, submitted a permission request for grazing east of the airport.  The approval would be utilized for future consideration of re-instituting pasturing in the area.

———— The complete 1st half of the year in review is available in the Jan.1 Examiner. Watch for a summary of the 2nd half of the year online next week, or pick up the Jan. 8th Examiner.

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