The Local News of Newberry Country


Genealogy Club Float Triumphs Again

By Newberry Eagle News Staff

Proving that its members have decorative as well as DNA talents, the La Pine Genealogy Club took first place in the Frontier Days float competition – for the second consecutive year. A compelling Lady Liberty (aka Denise Meese) was dressed in green from torch to toe in emulation of her 305-foot counterpart in New York Harbor. Her companion, Betsy Ross (aka Marilyn Russell), bore a sterner countenance as befits the seamstress created with making the first American flag in 1776.

Wickiup Overpass Project Suspended Until Further Notice

By Staff Writer

Work on the Wickiup Overpass Crossing project, which has been suspended since mid-May, won’t resume until further notice, according to ODOT spokesman Peter Murphy. “What we discovered is that the ramps leading up to where the bridge would be are sinking more than is acceptable on a project like this.”

ODOT has been working with the contractor to stabilize the ramps from further settlement. In addition, it has added a multi-disciplinary geotechnical group to help determine the next steps. The group, including ODOT engineers, will review the project, gather additional subsurface data (such as groundwater pressure and settlement measurements), and perform more testing and analysis. This analysis includes digging six test wells (each 250 feet deep), and monitoring the ground for the next several months.

Explained Murphy: “We have to figure out the ‘why,’ which will then lead us to a lot of other places such as ‘when,’ ‘where,’ ‘what else’ and ‘how much’ is going to happen.”

Dennis Scott, La Pine’s mayor, sought to put rumors to rest. “The main thing to know is that the project is not being dismantled – it will be moving ahead in some form once ODOT has completed its investigations.” He promised to provide further information as it is released.

Chamber Hears It First: Wrestlers from Russia & South Africa Coming to La Pine

By Staff Writer

“Nothing of this magnitude has happened in my 35 years of living in La Pine,” prefaced Dave Kerr in addressing the Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting.

“Teams of high school wrestlers from 14–18 years old from Russia and South Africa will visit Central Oregon at the end of October,” he announced. “It’s an unparalleled opportunity – not only for our area wrestlers, but for the community.”

Although he’s too modest to admit it, those who know him insist that no one but Kerr could have pulled off this coup. A wrestling coach at both the middle and high school levels since 1990, he also heads the La Pine USA Wrestling mat club.

“USA Wrestling, which governs freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling in the U.S., competes internationally in countries such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Russia,” he explained to the attentive audience. “La Pine wrestlers who have qualified to be part of this country’s teams include Tommy Gallamore and Alex Dudley, both of whom went to Japan.”

Kerr, who has coached the national team seven times, “developed close relationships with other coaches through the international meets. It’s a good-will mentality – both the coaches and the competitors have wrestling in common.”

While the upcoming visit will involve competitions with local teams in addition to La Pine (such as Redmond, which has already been invited), “it’s also a guarantee of a cultural experience,” said Kerr. “We’ll need to provide food and lodging, arrange for transportation, and plan one to two days of sightseeing. That’s where community engagement is critical.

“I welcome ideas from people who would like to become involved,” Kerr emphasized. “Whether it’s offering to drive our visitors around, to contributing financially to help purchase gear packages, there are numerous ways to participate.”

Those interested in learning more should contact Kerr at 541-408-6112 or

Planning the 2017 La Pine Veterans Day

By Ed Davis, Contributing Writer

The La Pine Veterans groups begin planning for the third annual La Pine Veterans Day Parade and Chili Feed. It is planned for Veterans Day November 11, 2017. The Event this year proudly Honors Women Military Veterans.

The Event is sponsored by the:

Vietnam Veterans of America, La Pine Band of Brothers, La Pine Band of Sisters, American Legion Post 45 and Auxiliary, VFW Post 7242, and La Pine Parks and Recreation.

To be part of this year’s Veterans Day parade and for further information please contact Ed Davis, La Pine Band of Brothers (503) 930-8624.

BBQ Highlights La Pine Community Health Center Open House on August 9

By Newberry News Staff

The La Pine Community Health Center (LCHC), celebrating a 58 percent expansion of existing space (which brings the total to about 15,000 square feet), invites the public to tour the newly enlarged facilities on August 9, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Attendees will also enjoy a complimentary catered BBQ dinner.

The LCHC has been providing primary medical care since 2012 to patients of all ages from prenatal through geriatric. It has grown from 20 to 60+ employees, and from 4,000 to more than 9,000 patients. The new space should accommodate 3,000 additional new patients, based on consistent growth projections.