Emergency Notification Service Available

Union County enlisted the emergency notification service, AlertSense in 2015 in order to alert the public in the event of a natural disaster, public health threats, need for evacuation, events that pose a danger to the citizens of the county as well as any other urgent issues. The notification service allows emergency personnel to simultaneously alert the public of an emergency through multiple communication channels, including geo-targeted calls to residents, Wireless Emergency Alerts to all cell phone users including unregistered visitors in the impacted area, alerts to public subscribers through preferred contact paths and posts to Union County Emergency Services social media facebook page.

Notifications can be received by cell phone, land-line phone, email and/or text message. The opt-in notification system is free to all Union County residents and will allow community members to choose how they receive timely emergency notifications.  Citizens are also able to sign up through a newly developed free mobile application called AlertSense My Alertsdisplayed with a red icon in your smart phone app store.

When registering, a selection can be made for severe weather related alerts that may be of concern such as air quality, winter storm warnings, floods and high winds. Other alerts may include Amber Alerts, hazardous materials, local area emergencies and evacuations.  These alerts help with public safety and can warn citizens to be more aware of their surroundings if needed.

Registering your contact information will ensure accurate information is delivered in the manner you choose. All information provided is kept strictly confidential and will only be utilized for emergency notification purposes.  To register, please visit the Union County website at www.union-county.org, Emergency Services department, and look for the link “Sign-up for Emergency Notifications”, or utilize the red AlertSense application in your smart phone app store.

For more information about AlertSense, contact the Union County Emergency Services Department at (541) 963-1009 or email apowers@union-county.org.

Matched Savings Program Welcomes Young Savers

ENTERPRISE, Ore. (Sept. 14, 2017) – More than 125 people in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties have helped finance their higher education or small business using the Individual Development Account (IDA) program, offered by Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD). IDAs provide a 3-to-1 savings match—someone who saves $1,000 and completes the program will receive an additional $3,000. Up to $12,000 total! Most savers are adults, but children 12 years or older who live in households with low-to-moderate incomes are also eligible to enroll.


For example, a 15-year-old saving for college could enroll in the program, save money for three years and graduate high school with a funds for tuition and fees at any accredited education program. Youth can also save to start or improve a business.


“The IDA program is not a grant, it’s an earned incentive coupled with goal-setting, education and practical experience saving over a period of 6 to 36 months,” says NEOEDD’s executive director, Lisa Dawson. “It’s essentially a financial-responsibility program. The matched funds can put a good dent into a northeast Oregonian’s higher education bill, or pay for the equipment, signage, computer, or other investments needed to launch or improve a business.”


NEOEDD has leveraged more than a half-million dollars that have circulated into our region via the IDA program. Once accepted, program participants receive free education or business-planning and money-management classes, helping them build fiscal responsibility and saving habits that can last a lifetime.


The 2017 income limits for eligibility are as follows; households must be under the limit listed to qualify. There are also limits on net worth.


Persons in Household Yearly Income for Oregon IDA Eligibility
1 $36,200
2 $41,350
3 $46,500
4 $51,700
5 $57,560
6 $65,920
7 $74,280
8 $82,640


Anyone who is interested in learning more about this program and how to apply can visit NEOEDD’s website (http://neoedd.org/content/individual-development-accounts), or call the office at 541-426-3598.


The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District’s mission is to provide resources and facilitate quality decision-making for the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses and communities in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties. Learn more about our programs and business support at www.neoedd.org.


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Campers and hunters reminded of fire restrictions

Oregon Department of Forestry-Northeast Oregon District fire officials would like to remind people heading out to enjoy all the recreational activities the region has to offer, that there are still fire restrictions in effect for lands protected by the ODF. Fire conditions remain extreme across the district.
The fire season restrictions and Regulated Use Closure will still be in effect. The Regulated Use Closure affects private, state, county, municipal, and tribal lands in seven counties: Union, Baker, Wallowa, Umatilla, and small portions of Malheur, Morrow, and Grant Counties. Effective August 24, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. the following regulations apply to lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Northeast Oregon District:
The Regulated Use Closure includes the following fire prevention measures:

  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Designated locations within the Regulated Use Closure area includes, but is not limited to, the following Oregon State Parks: Emigrant Springs, Ukiah Dale, Catherine Creek, Hilgard Junction, Red Bridge, Wallowa Lake, Minam and Unity Lake. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
  • Debris burning is prohibited, including the use of burn barrels.
  • Chain saw use is prohibited, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chain saw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, or at a cleared area.
  • Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), is prohibited except on improved roads, except in the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  • Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present, unless specifically waived by the State Forester.
  • Mowing of dried and cured grass with power driven equipment is prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Use of fireworks is prohibited.
  • Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) Listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified
    by the Department of Consumer Business Services; and 2) Operated in compliance with manufacturer’s

Also prohibited during fire season is the use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition. Sky lanterns are illegal in Oregon.
Citizens are asked to continue to use caution and adhere to regulations. Possession of the following firefighting equipment is strongly encouraged (except on state highway, county roads and driveways): one shovel and one gallon of water, or one 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.
The public is also reminded that the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests, as well as the BLM are currently under public use restrictions. Current fire restrictions for forestlands in Northeast Oregon can be found at www.bmidc.org.
http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/ is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains.
Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/oregondeptofforestryNEO/
To report a fire, call Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch at (541)963-7171 or dial 9-1-1.

Public Notice: NEOEDD Board Meeting

Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) is holding a board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. at the Prairie Creek Center Meeting Room, 104 Litch St. in Enterprise. All NEOEDD board meetings are open to the public. Please contact the office for a meeting agenda.

The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District’s mission is to provide resources and facilitate quality decision-making for the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses and communities in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties. Learn more about our programs and business support at www.neoedd.org.

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Come to our old-fashioned rural fair with pigs, cows, chickens, goats, bunnies and horses. We encourage 4-H competition with sewing, crafting, jams & jellies and much more. Festivities include a parade, live entertainment, a carnival, animal judging, exhibit barns, quilts, home goods, art, and local produce. Bring your friends and family from toddlers to seniors. See the map for Union County Fair directions.


For more information call 541-963-1011
.. or ..


Buffalo Peak Golf Course Advisory Committee

The Buffalo Peak Golf Course Advisory Committee will meet Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in the golf course club house located at 1224 E. Fulton Street, Union. The meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. All meetings of this committee are open to the public.

Union County Wide Burn Ban

Effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, August 11, 2017


Union County Board of Commissioners voted in an emergency session today to implement the County Wide Burn Ban/Regulated Use restrictions at the recommendation of the Union County Fire Defense Board. As specified in County Ordinance 2016-01, the commissioners may ban all fires outside incorporated cities within Union County. No fires of any kind are allowed except regulated agricultural field burning and gas barbeques. Fire Defense Board Chief Larry Wooldridge stated that the region is in a prolonged period of hot and dry conditions that have brought burning conditions to an extreme level in the county. Weather forecasts are indicating the possibility of lightning storms later this week increasing the potential for large fires in the area. Recent warm dry weather has cured lower elevation fine fuels and larger fuels. Chief Wooldridge indicated that the Fire Defense Board will continue to monitor the conditions.


In addition to Union County fire restrictions, forest officials will implement Phase C public use restrictions at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 11, 2017 on the Umatilla and Wallowa Whitman National Forests and all Oregon Department of Forestry lands due to high fire danger, the potential for human caused fires, and concern for public safety. The increased restrictions pertain to the use of campfires, smoking, chainsaws, internal combustion engines, all-terrain vehicles and generators. Additional information regarding forest restrictions and fire danger in Northeast Oregon can be found at www.bmidc.org/restrictions/shtml.


The Forest Service and Oregon Department of Forestry are currently engaged on fires in the region including Indian Lake, Clarks Creek, Bear Butte and the Tupper Corral. Concern over forecasted hot and dry weather, availability of dry fuels and a concern for a potential lack of available firefighting resources necessitated the implementation of the Burn Ban/Regulated Use of the Burn Ordinance which will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 11, 2017.


The ordinance may be read in its entirety on the county website at www.union-county.org/emergency-services.


Paving and sidewalk upgrades along OR 82 near La Grande

LA GRANDE, Ore. – High Desert Aggregate and Paving, Inc., has begun work on the Oregon Department of Transportation’s project along Island Avenue (OR82/Wallowa Lake Highway) in the La Grande area. The project includes upgrading sidewalk ramps to meet current American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and repaving the section of highway between Adams Avenue in La Grande to Riddle Road, near Starbuck’s Coffee. The freeway ramps at Interstate 84 Exit 261 will also be resurfaced and some traffic signal upgrades will be performed. Sidewalk work will be performed during the daytime hours, while paving occur at night between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. to minimize impacts to businesses. Pedestrian can expect sidewalk detours along coned off sections of the highway shoulder area. Motorists can expect lane closures with a minimum of one eastbound, one westbound and the middle turn lane open for traffic most of the time during the evening construction work. Some lane restrictions will remain in place during daytime to accommodate ADA sidewalk ramp work and pedestrian detours. Sidewalk ramp upgrades have begun near the west end (Adams Avenue) of the project. Paving activities will begin later this month.


Motorists are cautioned to drive with extra care through this work zone and watch for pedestrians along the shoulder area and bicycles in the travel lane. Business accesses may be blocked for short periods during night time paving activities. Construction crews will work to minimize impacts to businesses as much as possible.


Traffic signal upgrades will be occurring during the day at the Monroe, Portland Street, and Riddle Road intersections. During signal upgrade work the signals will be activated by timers, rather than triggered by existing traffic. Motorists are advised to be patient as wait times may be longer than usual.


Paving work is scheduled to be completed by late September, followed by roadway striping (painted lines). Sidewalk and signal work may continue next spring if not completed before winter weather sets in.


“We ask that all pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists respect the traffic control cones, signs and other devices as they move through this work zone,” said ODOT Project Manager Mike Remily. “Business accesses will be marked with blue ‘Business Access’ signs to identify that the accesses are open. We will also be providing regular construction updates to business owners to help keep them informed as to when construction activities might impact them.”



  • Paving work will occur in late August/early September and take about 2 to 3 weeks to complete.
  • Sidewalk and ADA ramp work has begun and is expected to continue through mid-November.
  • Some sidewalk work may continue next spring.
  • No lane closures at any time will be allowed for construction activities from August 18 thru
    August 22 due to the anticipated increased volumes of traffic for the eclipse.


For more information or to receive regular project updates via email, please contact Mike Remily at phone: (541)963-1349, cell: (541)786-0952, email: Michael.D.REMILY@odot.state.or.us

Update from Rep. Greg Walden


We owe our profound respect to the men and women who’ve served our country. On Friday, 25 World War II veterans arrived in Washington, D.C. to see their memorial on the National Mall. They came from across Oregon, representing every branch of our country’s military. We can never truly repay the debt of gratitude owed to these heroes. It was a privilege to fly American flags over the Capitol in their honor and pay tribute to each of them and their service in the Congressional Record. Thank you to the trip organizers, families, friends, and loved ones for making this Honor Flight possible. Thank you, most of all, to the veterans for making this day so special and for your service to our country.

On Friday, 25 World War II veterans from across Oregon visited their memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Please continue reading to learn more about recent legislation we’ve passed to improve the care for Oregon veterans, and meetings I held with Oregonians who were visiting Washington, D.C.

Increasing access to quality, timely care for Oregon veterans

Click here or on the image above to view my remarks on recent legislation to support our veterans

Improving the care Oregon veterans receive at the VA is certainly a priority of mine and I know that it is for all Oregonians. The House recently passed seven pieces of legislation to take on some of the biggest issues facing our veterans and improve their access to timely care. Legislation the House passed will help the VA move through the backlog of appeals and increase flexibility in the appeals process. This will answer many of the concerns I’ve heard from veterans in the district — some of whom have waited two years just to get through the first step in the appeals process.

We also took concrete steps to improve the mental health care our veterans receive and to tackle the opioid epidemic — which has affected veterans and non-veterans alike across our country. The bills we passed will create a pilot program to explore new, innovative treatment options for veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and allow for better monitoring of VA prescription drug use.

There is still much work to be done to get veterans access to the care they have earned and deserve in a timely manner. We won’t give up until that is done. These bills are an important first step in making progress on that front. To read more about these bills, please click here.

Meeting with Oregonians in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to Alison Moss of Bend, Oregon on being commissioned into the United States Navy. It was a privilege to present her with a flag flown over the Capitol and spend a few minutes with her proud mother and grandmother.  

Marisa Remington of Oregon Network of Child Abuse Intervention Centers and Kim McDonald of the Mt. Emily Safe Center in La Grande discussed their work with me while in Washington, D.C. for the National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference.

Members of the Oregon Nurses Association gave me an update on their policy issues last week as part of their national conference in Washington, D.C.

Winner of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition

Liberty Rossel’s artwork, “We Have Seen Too Much”, was selected by a panel of judges as the winner of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition for our district.

Congratulations to Josephine County resident and Grants Pass High School senior Liberty Rossel for winning the Congressional Art Competition for Oregon’s Second District. Liberty’s painting “We Have Seen Too Much” was selected by a panel of local art professors and artists out of 87 entries from students around southern, central, and eastern Oregon. Her powerful painting will be showcased in the U.S. Capitol among the best student artwork in the nation, where it will be seen by members of Congress and visitors from around the world. Special thanks to all the art teachers from high schools around the state for encouraging their students to participate, and to this year’s outstanding judges for doing the difficult work of choosing our winner out of so many great entries. For more information on this year’s competition and how to participate in future competitions, please click here: https://walden.house.gov/artcompetition

That’s all for this update. Remember, you can always keep in touch with me via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District

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