Articles written by Stephen Allen

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  • Cris Patnode wins Gilliam Co. Judge election by landslide

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 22, 2024

    Cris Patnode has emerged victorious in the Primary Election for Gilliam County Judge and will be the county's next executive officer, capturing more than 61% of the vote. Patnode defeated Commissioner Leah Watkins and Condon Mayor Jim Hassing to win outright, with no need to hold a general election in the fall. Patnode, who was raised outside of Condon and now lives in Arlington, has served as the Gilliam Co. Justice of the Peace for 24 years. The Gilliam County Court is curre...

  • Senator Jeff Merkley holds townhall in Arlington

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 22, 2024

    Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley swept through Eastern Oregon on a three-day tour, holding townhalls in nine counties. Starting on Friday, May 17, Oregon's junior Senator started his townhall tour in Malheur County, and then went to Harney, and Grant County. On Saturday, Merkley held townhalls in Baker County, Union County, and Wallowa County. On Sunday, he met with constituents in Umatilla County, Morrow County, and in Gilliam County. At the Gronquist Building in Arlington,...

  • Condon wins first District Track and Field Championship in 53 years

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 22, 2024

    The Condon Blue Devils made history last week, as the boys Track and Field Team won the 1A - District 3 Championships held in Maupin. It marked the first District Championship for the Condon Men's Track and Field Team since 1971. The Blue Devils didn't look back and dominated the competition in Maupin and are well positioned going into the State Track Championships in Eugene this week. With a score of 84.5, the Blue Devils boys team easily bested South Wasco (68), Trout Lake...

  • Your Vote: Primary Elections May 21

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 22, 2024

    It's election season and people in the tri-county area must finalize their primary ballots and have them mailed or submitted by May 21. County Clerks in Wheeler, Gilliam, and Sherman are preparing for the primary elections and several pivotal races will determine the future of each county. In Gilliam County, voters will cast ballots for County Judge and Commissioner #2. This comes on the heels of the recall election that was held on April 30, which ousted Judge Elizbeth...

  • Mike Beck brings old time storytelling to Liberty Theatre

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 22, 2024

    Montana based cowboy, horse trainer, songwriter, and storyteller Mike Beck performed at the Liberty Theatre in Condon last Saturday. More than 120 people attended the concert, and rave reviews were heard in the days that followed. The concert is the latest event for the Condon Arts Council, which purchased the Liberty Theatre in 2022 and has worked to bring more music and entertainment to Condon. Beck grew up in California and was influenced by the old California lifestyle of...


    Stephen Allen|Updated May 22, 2024

    Old Condon Grade School approved for Brownfield grant The Old Condon Grade School has moved one step closer to getting federal funding for environmental remediation – as the Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization selected the site for negotiations with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Port of Arlington's non-profit wing – the Environmental Sentry Corp, took ownership of the old school building last year. It is working to remediate the building of asb...

  • Generational talent: Condon's Grady Greenwood

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 22, 2024

    Natalie Wilkins knows a good runner when she sees one. Having coached Cross-Country and Track for nine years at Condon Middle School and High School, Natalie can immediately spot talent. But talent only takes an athlete so far. Development, training, and mental fortitude separates the talented from champions. Natalie's daughter Kallyn Wilkins had "it." The gifts and athleticism, but also the work ethic and desire to win. Kallyn shattered school records and was a Cross-Country...

  • Northern Lights thrill locals

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 15, 2024

    Considered to be a bucket list event in the lower-48, Aurora Borealis has dazzled people since the dawn of humanity. Each year, more than 300,000 people travel to Alaska to see Aurora Borealis, which is known more commonly as the Northern Lights. While the light show it produces is common in Alaska and Canada, rarely is there an opportunity to see Aurora Borealis outside of the Arctic. But last weekend, locals in Gilliam, Wheeler, and Sherman County got a very rare treat – a...

  • RECALL ELECTION: Gilliam County Judge and Commissioner voted out

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 8, 2024

    Although the results are still unofficial, Gilliam County voters have resoundingly voted to recall Judge Elizabeth Farrar Campbell and Commissioner Pat Shannon from office. The special election was held on April 30 and will take several weeks to finalize. Gilliam County Clerk Ellen Wagenaar is working to verify contested ballots and those that were unsigned. Wagenaar says that it will likely take until May 21 to finalize this process, and to certify the election by May 22...

  • BLM looks to reshape leases for conservation

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 8, 2024

    In a move aimed at enhancing conservation efforts on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Biden administration introduced a new rule in April that seeks to protect approximately 245 million acres of public land across the United States. The new Public Lands Rule introduces two innovative leases designed to facilitate the restoration of degraded lands and mitigate environmental damage on BLM-managed properties, representing a significant portion of... Full story

  • Fossil Library to host award winning Oregon author

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 7, 2024

    FOSSIL, OR — The Fossil Public Library is pleased to announce that the Oregon Book Award Author Tour will bring Oregon Book Award winner Josephine Woolington to Fossil for a book reading and discussion on Wednesday, May 8, at 4:00 pm at the Jean E. Burch building located at 401 Fourth St. in Fossil. This event is presented in partnership with Literary Arts, is free to the public, and appropriate for all ages. Woolington is the 2024 winner of the Frances Fuller Victor Award in... Full story

  • Arlington's 76th Jackpot Rodeo set for this weekend

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 7, 2024

    The Arlington Jackpot Rodeo is set for this weekend, and rain or shine it is one of the best rodeos in the northwest. The Arlington Saddle Club has been active in Arlington for more than 80 years. The Saddle Club put on the first Arlington Jackpot Rodeo in 1948. The Jackpot is not just a rodeo for Gilliam County or the Columbia River Gorge – it is one of the first rodeos of the season and draws talented athletes from across the country. Last year, the Jackpot Rodeo c...

  • Arlington's Calli Troutman signs with Umpqua Comm. College

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 1, 2024

    Arlington senior Calli Troutman has signed a letter-of-intent with Umpqua Community College and will play volleyball for the Riverhawks. Troutman is coming off of a phenomenal season, in which she led the Arlington/Ione Cardinals to a district championship. She was selected as the Big Sky Conference First-Team. But despite these achievements, Troutman said that she didn't get much attention from colleges – that is until recently. "I was late to get footage up for coaches to vi...

  • Arlington School hosts Polynesian Cooking and Culture Seminar

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 1, 2024

    A group of Arlington High School and Middle School students were given an opportunity unlike anything that had been done before. Last week, the school brought in Arlington resident Peka Tutuvanu to lead a seminar on Polynesian cooking and culture. The seminar is the latest in a series of out-of-classroom career and technical education classes designed to broaden horizons and learn new skills. Arlington Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher Alan Cunningham - with the...

  • GIlliam Co. Recall Election: Judge and Commissioner voted out

    Stephen Allen|Updated May 1, 2024

    The results are still unofficial, but Gilliam County voters have resoundingly voted to recall Judge Elizabeth Farrar Campbell and Commissioner Pat Shannon from office. A recall campaign was started against both officials after the Gilliam County Court removed judicial functions from the County Judge position - transferring juvenile and probate court to the Gilliam County Circuit Court. Judge Farrar Campbell, Commissioner Pat Shannon and Commissioner Leah Watkins also explored... Full story

  • Mike Beck to play Condon's Historic Liberty Theatre May 18

    Stephen Allen|Updated Apr 24, 2024

    CONDON, OR — The Condon Arts Council is proud to welcome the dynamic Mike Beck to Condon's Historic Liberty Theatre on Saturday, May 18. The show is free and for all ages. Mike Beck lives in Montana and performs extensively throughout the United States and Europe. He is known as an engaging acoustic solo artist who has played with some of the greatest cowboy country musicians of all time. Many consider him to be a protégé of his old friend Ian Tyson. He is a regularly fea... Full story

  • Q & A with candidates for Wheeler Co. Commissioner #2

    Stephen Allen|Updated Apr 24, 2024

    Wheeler County will hold primary elections on May 21 and ballots will be mailed out next week. The race for Wheeler County Commissioner is one of the best in the region. Three candidates with diverse experiences and who are deeply invested in Wheeler County are vying to become the next county commissioner. The three candidates are Matt Davis, Candy Humphreys, and Zach Bruce. We asked each of them five questions – here are their responses. MATT DAVIS TJ: Please tell us about y...

  • ODFW releases annual Wolf Report

    Stephen Allen|Updated Apr 21, 2024

    The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has released its Annual Wolf Report. With details of packs and known wolf-zones, the ODFW report shares findings from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. ODFW reports that for the first time in eight years, the population of gray wolves did not increase in 2023. ODFW claims that illegal poisonings and shootings killed 12 wolves last year, while the state sanctioned the killings of an additional 16 wolves for chronic depredation of... Full story

  • Editorial: Workin' on a building

    Stephen Allen|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    We’ve been chipping away at our restoration and renovation project at The Times-Journal building. It’s been a lot of work and there is a long way to go but the end is in sight. Built in 1903 as The Bank Saloon by Fred Wilson, the building is a real gem. The story goes that Wilson hoped to build a bank on the property, but he was beaten to it and opted to instead open a saloon. Known as “A Gentlemen’s Resort,” the Bank Saloon was no doubt a beauty in its day. With tin-press...

  • Northwest Power Council grapples with data center impact

    Stephen Allen|Updated Apr 17, 2024

    Data centers owned by global giants such as Amazon and Google have boosted coffers in Morrow and Wasco County in recent years. This has brought a boom in construction that boosts local companies and also provides some long-term jobs. Counties and cities have received tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue. Gilliam and Sherman County have been looking on in envy. With rumors of a possible Amazon data center being built in Arlington, hopes have grown for additional...

  • Condon Arts Council holds all analog camp for kids

    Stephen Allen|Updated Apr 11, 2024

    Getting kids away from screens is no easy feat. But the Condon Arts Council did just that at a special camp over spring break. Twenty-two kids from Condon and Fossil took part in the class. Called "Ana Con" – short for Analog Convention – the camp had a no-electronics focus. Kids instead learned how to immerse themselves in role-playing games and character creation, while using their imaginations and improvisational skills to complete tasks. Wendell Seitz, the son of Wheeler C... Full story

  • Editorial: Stephen's Sidebar

    Stephen Allen|Updated Apr 10, 2024

    Last week we wrote about the upcoming recall election and listed the reasons for why we are voting “No.” In doing so, we said that the group that is pushing the recall has been disingenuous. But we also said that the spouses and friends of current candidates are involved in the recall, to which Cris Patnode, who is running for Gilliam Co. Judge, pushed back and said that her husband Joe Patnode has taken all efforts to avoid the recall effort. I apologized to Joe and Cris for...

  • Representative Bentz looks to end protective status of gray wolves

    Stephen Allen|Updated Apr 10, 2024

    U.S. Representative Cliff Bentz assembled a panel of county commissioners, state representatives and federal employees at a public hearing on the gray wolf on Thursday, April 4 at the Pendleton Convention Center. It was the third hearing that Rep. Bentz (R-Ontario) has held on the gray wolf, which was reintroduced to parts of Canada and the Yellowstone National Park in the late 90s. The gray wolf has expanded its range and territory over the past two decades. Joining Rep....

  • EDITORIAL: Why We're Voting "NO" on Gilliam Co. Recall Elections

    Stephen Allen|Updated Apr 5, 2024

    Gilliam County voters will receive ballots for the special recall election of Judge Elizabeth Farrar Campbell and Commissioner Pat Shannon on April 10. We will be voting “No” on both. There is no doubt that the Gilliam County Court unleashed discord when it passed resolution 2023-01 in December. That order stripped the county court of its judicial functions. The court then held listening sessions and discussed the potential of changing the county’s governing structure to a... Full story

  • US Rep. Cliff Bentz to hold listening session on wolves this Thursday

    Stephen Allen|Updated Apr 4, 2024

    In late February, a two-day old calf was killed by a wolf or wolves in Lost Valley in Wheeler County. Last week, wolves killed a calf in Morrow County and wolf sightings have been on the rise in north-central Oregon. Wolf depredation of livestock has become a part of life for ranchers in Wallowa, Baker, and Umatilla County over the past decade. But wolves are now moving further west through the Blue Mountains and into the sparsely populated and livestock rich ranches in...

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