Cases up, outbreaks down
Nov. 30, 2020
There is good news on the workplace outbreak list, however, the total number of active
outbreaks in Umatilla and Morrow counties down to seven
Work sites must employ at least 30 people and have at least five active cases to appear on
the list of active outbreaks.
The bad news is four of those seven active local outbreaks are in the top 10 largest for
the state. Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution's outbreak has now grown to 518 cases,
still the state's second largest, behind only Snake River Correctional Institution in
Ontario. For EOCI, thats an increase of 13 over the previous week. Of those cases,
450 are in inmates, 68 in staff. Lamb Weston East is the state's 8th largest active
outbreak with 86 cases up seven from last week. The Walmart Distribution Center up one
case to 79 cases in the 9th spot, and now in the top 10: Good Shepherd with 71 cases.
That's an increase of three over last week.
Also showing active outbreaks: Lamb Weston Boardman PAC Center with 54 cases, three more
than last week, the Hermiston Home Depot with 17, and a new outbreak reported at Smith
Frozen Foods in Weston, the facilities second outbreak in the COVID 19 pandemic. There are
7 cases associated with that facility.
Senior and care facilities
Again two active outbreaks at care and senior facilities: Avamere at Hermiston still
showing 43 cases and three deaths in the outbreak first reported Oct. 26. Regency
Hermiston showing an outbreak of 5 cases first reported Nov. 7. Thats two new cases
over last week.
Hermiston's zip code is pushing close to 2,000 cases as of last week: 19-62, an increase
of 99 over the previous report. The Pendleton zip code one case short of 1,000 in the
weekly report: 9-hundred-99. Thats an increase of 86. Umatilla reporting 579 cases
last week, Boardman's case count at 416. 301 in Milton-Freewater, 175 in Irrigon, 162 in
Stanfield, Echo at 32 cases and 19 in Heppner
Christmas Express canned food drive begins
Nov. 30, 2020
Today, the start of a canned food drive for Christmas Express. Police Chief Jason Edmiston
saying finding food was one of the first hurdles the annual event faced this year with the
closure of schools.
"The overwhelming majority of canned foods that are part of that program come from
the kids, come from the students," Edmiston said. "We're having a community call
for assistance for a drive-through, drop-off canned food drive."
Starting today and through Dec. 11, they will be taking donations of nonperishable food
items at the Hermiston Community Center. Theyll have someone available to take
donations from 9 to 5, and Edmiston says all you have to do is drive up, and theyll
help take the items from your vehicle.
Christmas Express is now in its 52nd year. The program provides food and gifts for 500
needy families in the Hermiston area. In addition to the food drive, they are also taking
monetary donations and donations of toys at the Hermiston Police Department.
State COVID-19 cases up
Nov. 23, 2020
Two days of record-breaking coronavirus cases in Oregon over the weekend. High case counts
in Umatilla County but far from record breaking compared to our peak this summer. On
Saturday, 40 and on Sunday, another 47 cases in Umatilla County. For Morrow County, 10 and
7 on Sunday. The totals now 4,099 in Umatilla County and 619 in Morrow County.
Hermiston City Council meets tonight, Boardman changes date
Nov. 23, 2020
The financial audit report on the agenda tonight for the Hermiston City Council.
Theyll also discuss an ordinance about the sewer section of the city code, a
resolution about the greater Hermiston enterprise zone, and committee vacancies. That
meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Hermiston Community Center. It will be
livestreamed over YouTube.
Find the livestream link and the full
On the topic of city councils, The Boardman City Council has changed their December
meeting to Tuesday, December 8, 2020, due to their regularly scheduled meeting falling so
closely after the Thanksgiving holiday. This meeting will be held via the
video-conferencing service ZOOM at 7:00pm. The meeting link is posted at the citys
website at www.cityofboardman.com .
Cases increase, governor "pause"
Nov. 9, 2020
COVID-19 numbers up in both Umatilla and Morrow counties on Friday and over the weekend.
Friday the highest total of last week: 37 cases in Umatilla County. Over the weekend, 27
cases on Saturday and 25 on Sunday in Umatilla County. That pushes the total to 3,642.
Morrow County showing 2 new cases on Saturday and 8 cases on Sunday for a total of 579.
Because of the increase, Umatilla County one of the counties the governor putting on a
pause and increasing covid restrictions, including limits on restaurants,
gyms, and private gatherings.
In light of the governors order, the Hermiston School District pause all in-person
student activities, effective Monday, November 9, until further notice, including limited
in-person instruction and onsite athletic and activity programs. District staff will
continue to offer evening support to families at the district office, providing help with
obtaining a Chromebook or hotspot, accessing Google applications and other class programs,
checking student email and teacher communications, and homework help. Hermiston High
School will also not be able to offer training, conditioning, or practices to students
participating in athletics and activities
The Umatilla School District on Friday announcing they will continue limited in person
instruction and hybrid options as the metrics allow.
School board meets tonight
Nov. 9, 2020
The Hermiston pause likely to be discussed during the school board meeting tonight.
Tonight, the Hermiston School Board talking Student Success Act. Theyll have a
presentation on community input and a plan update
That board also expected to approve the Hermiston School district Student Success Act Plan
and Grant agreement.
Updates also expected tonight on enrollment and finances.
The Hermiston School Board meeting begins at 6:30 tonight at the District offices. Find
the full agenda
Power rate increase on agenda
Nov. 9, 2020
Rate increases for Hermiston Energy Services again on the agenda for the Hermiston City
Council tonight. In October, HES asked to make adjustments to retail rates after increases
of about 18 percent in wholesale electricity prices. The proposal tonight would increase
rates just under 7 percent effective Jan. 1, and then again just under 7 percent Oct. 1 of
2021. City staff is recommending adopting the change.
Also on the agenda, a public hearing about amending a parcel on theater lane from
residential to commercial and votes on adoption of the updated version of the Umatilla
County Deadly Physical Force plan and a proclamation on small business Saturday. The
council will also consider appointments to fill the vacant seat on the city council and
will announce committee vacancies.
agenda available here.
Nov. 4, 2020
The 2020 general election last night, and in Umatilla County, a new County commissioner.
Dan Dorran beating HollyJo Beers to take the position open as Bill Elfering retires.
Dorran brought in 14-thousand 8 hundred 82 votes compared to 110thousand 5-94 for Beers.
There were 897 write-in votes, but Dorran taking 45 pecent of the total votes to become
the presumptive commissioner.
In Morrow County, Jim Doherty retains his spot as County commissioner over challenger Joel
Peterson. Doherty receiving almost 61 percent of the vote. Morrow County Sheriff Ken
Matlack beats challenger Mark Pratt to retain his position as well on a 60/40 vote split,
and Glen Diehl takes the race for Morrow County justice of the peace. Morrow County voters
chose Jaylene Papineau for treasurerer with 61 percent of the vote.
Other incumbents remaining in their positions, Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan, U.S.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, Bill Hansell, and State Rep for District 57 GREG Smith elected for an
11th term. Bobby Levy takes the race for District 58 with 68 percent of Umatilla
Countys votes, and Cliff Bentz will fill the spot in U.S. Representative of the 2nd
District opened by Greg Walden's retirement.
Five candidates ran for for four at large positions on the Hermiston City Council, and
with the votes tallied in the close race, the city council members are incumbents Doug
Primmer and Rod Hardin and newcomers Maria Duron and Nancy Peterson. Unfortunately for the
person who wrote in "dan the man," for city council, he didn't win and does not
appear to have been running for anything.
In Echo, Chad Ray takes 54 percent of the vote in the mayoral race, and Tammie Williams,
Jessica Holben, Richard Thew elected to the city council.
Running unopposed, Tom McCann is re-elected as Stanfield mayor, an Susan Whelan, Don
Tyrrell, and Ralph Parrish Jr take the three spots on the Echo City Council.
In the race for Umatilla City Council, contested races for all three open positions. At
the end of the night, those going to : Daren Dufloth, Ashley Wheeler, Roak TenEyck
Irrigons City Council positions going to Ken Matlack, Marlina Serratos, Daren
Strong, and Wesley Alan Carnahan.
In Boardman, Paul Beagle, Katy Norton, and Brenda Profitt taking the thre eat large
positions, and Paul Keefers 56 percent of the vote is enough to put him as Boardman
Although Umatilla and Morrow county voters favored No votes in most statewide measures,
all four appear to have passed the statewide vote.
The one Umatilla County measure, the 2nd amendment sanctuary ordiance, passing 18,736 to
Results in all races are unofficial until theyre certified.
Find more here
School board, council meet tonight
Oct. 12, 2020
The Hermiston School Board meeting tonight at 6:30. On the agenda, Division 22 standards,
an enrollment report as well as meeting in a closed-door executive session.
for that agenda.
Hermiston City Council also meeting tonight. Theres a work session at 6 p.m. to talk
about Hermiston emergency services rates, followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m.
Council to vote on an ordinance correcting a previous ordinance because of numerical
errors and discussion of potential emergency shelter distance requirements.
You can find that agenda here.
Candidates, councils meet tonight
Oct. 6, 2020
Its a bit of a busy night around out area with multiple city council meetings and a
In Hermiston, tonight is the night for the candidate forum. Candidates for County
Commissioner and Hermiston City Council participating in the forum tonight. That will be
live broadcast online, and there is limited seating available at the Hermiston Community
Center. The event begins at 6 p.m.
Stanfield City Council
Also at 6 tonight, a meeting of the Stanfield City Council. Theyll be recognizing
councilor Delwin Manley and discussing a vacant council position, a potential disc courts,
an alternative location for the civic block, and upcoming events and activities. That
meeting at 6 tonight in the Council Chambers on Coe avenue.
Find the agenda here.
Umatilla City Council
Tonight at 7, a meeting of the Umatilla City Council at Umatilla City Hall.
Changes to water and sewer fees on the agenda in two spots theres a public
hearing about the proposed changes and charges, then a resolution to approve those
Also on the agenda, adopting an excessive force polity, and an inter-governmental
agreement between the city and the school district. The city will also hear a presentation
on the 8 Cant Wait program.
here for the agenda.
Boardman City Council
Coronavirus Relief Funds on the agenda tonight for the Boardman City Council. A resolution
establishing to receive and use those funds is on the agenda, as it s a resolution about
building permits and a September building department permit report. The meeting
also scheduled to have a bond consultant presentation. That meeting begins at 7 p.m.
tonight you can find the full agenda and Zoom meeting attendance here
Council talks projects
Sept. 28, 2020
Updates on three city projects on the agenda for tonight's Hermiston City Council meeting.
First up is the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center tonight for the Hermiston City
Council. That facility recently receiving a large grant from the state, and theres
an update presentation on the agenda for the tonights council meeting.
Another update later in that agenda design for the new city hall. The City Council
has made various decisions related to moving the City Hall project forward, and city staff
expected to present the current design for council feedback.
A financial report, supplemental budget and the creation of the Local Improvement District
for the South Hermiston Industrial Park also on the agenda.
That meeting begins at 7 tonight at the Hermiston Community Center. Limited seating will
be available, and the meeting will be livestreamed on the citys YouTube channel.
here for the full agenda.
School Board meets tonight
Sept. 28, 2020
The Hermiston School Board also meeting tonight with two presentations on their agenda:
one on athletics and activities, the other a communication presentation with a start of
school slideshow and a school logo update. Theyll also have a proclamation about
college application week and will meet in an executive session about litigation.
Find the full
Air quality 'hazardous'
Sept. 14, 2020
More than 1 million acres have burned in Oregon, and more than 30 fires continue to burn
statewide as of yesterday's update from the state office of Emergency Management.
Air quality alerts continuing today with hazardous smoke levels over the weekend - and
continuing. The air quality index as of 5 this morning at 339 on DEQs scale
anything above 300 is hazardous. Above 200 is very unhealthy
UCo Health saying Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current
conditions by visiting the DEQs Air Quality Index or the Oregon Smoke Information
blog, downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone, or going to on the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agencys Air Now. Smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs
and worsen some medical conditions. Young children, adults over 65, pregnant women and
people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions are most at risk.
They're advising to still avoid outdoor activities and stay inside if possible, keeping
windows and doors closed and using High efficiency particulate air filters as long as the
air quality remains at hazardous levels.
They say cloth, dust, and surgical masks don't protect from the harmful particles in
School board talks softball, school, enrollment
Sept. 14, 2020
Tonight, the Hermiston School Board could move forward on two construction projects.
First, a vote tonight on the high school softball facility project. The board has a
recommendation to enter a contract with Nelson Construction Corp for the project on a bid
of 2.4 million. Also on the agenda, a vote to select the name of the new school on theater
lane. The name isn't listed in the agenda, but a vote is scheduled on the new name
tonight. The three finalists previously announced were Artemisa, Loma Vista, and La Senda
the board will also review the enrollment report. The district is down 214 students over
the same month last year.
That meeting begins at 6:30 tonight.
Find the full agenda and remote access options here.
City council meets tonight
Sept. 14, 2020
At the Hermiston community center tonight, the Hermiston City Council is meeting. That
begins at 7. Theres a public hearing tonight about a temporary emergency shelter
ordinance and then a vote on that ordinance later in the meeting. The changes are
at the request of Stepping Stones, a group working to bring a hut-based homeless shelter
in Hermiston. The council also expected to consider an ordinance updating part of the
municipal cord on how to obtain a warrant and theyll accept the resignation
of council member Doug smith. Find the
full agenda here.
New COVID-19 deaths in Umatilla, Morrow county
Sept. 10, 2020
A COVID-19 death announced yesterday in each Umatilla and Morrow counties.
In Umatilla County, the 41-st covid death is a 97-year0old woman who died Sept. 8 at
Regency Hermiston. In Morrow County, OHA reporting an 88-year-old man from Morrow County
died Sept. 4 at Good Shepherd.
UCo Health also reporting six new confirmed cases yesterday. The total case count now
28-hundred and 2 since the start of the pandemic with five people hospitalized. Two new
cases in Morrow County yesterday. The total case count now 463 with 2 people hospitalized.
No weekly report data from the Oregon Health Authority yet
wildfires causing a delay
in the release of that report.
Boardman has Zoom council meeting tonight
Sept. 10, 2020
Budget, cornavirus relief and an animal shelter on the agenda for tonights Boardman
City Council meeting.
The Zoom meeting begins at 7 p. m. tonight and includes time for public comment and two
presentations one on an animal shelter and one from the CEO of Umatilla Electric
Co-op. The council will vote on two resolutions and ordnance tonight, and theres an
executive session on the agenda involving real estate.
here for the full agenda. You can also click this link to attend the
Wind, powerlines caused Umatilla fire
Sept. 9, 2020
High winds and downed power lines cuasing a fast-moving brush fire that moved through
Umatilla on Labor Day.
Umatilla Rural Fire Protection District saying the fire began north of Highway 730 from
power lines that went down and contacted the ground during, starting the fire.
Umatilla firefighters dispatched to the fire at about 5 p.m. for a fast moving grass fire
in the area of Devore Road and Highway 395. The first priority was saving the structure of
the Encore Wellness clinic. Fire Chief Steve Potts saying winds at that time
were gusting more than 50 miles per hour, and they immediately requested mutual aid from
other local departments. Potts saying he has never experienced anything like the insity
and rate of speed from that fire in 32 years. The fire contained at 10:30, but but areas
of the fire continued to burn for hours. The fire threatened homes on River Road, South
Hill, the Powerline road area, and level 2 and level 3 evacuation orders were given.
The total area burned has not yet been determined however a very rough estimate is more
than 200 acres.
Shooting investigation ongoing
Aug. 24, 2020
Umatilla County Fire District #1 tending to a 27-year-old local man who had been shot in
the stomach area he was taken to Good Shepherd then airlifted out of the area.
HPD is investigating. Police chief Jason Edmiston saying the man is well-known to officers
but was less than cooperative about what happened. Initial reports from
witnesses are that the man was in an altercation with two men in a vehicle directly in
front of the west entrance of the store. At some point, a shot or shots were fired from
inside the vehicle, striking the man.
Anyone with information can contact HPD.
UCSO searching for missing man
Aug. 24, 2020
Umatilla Sheriffs Office meanwhile searching for a missing Hermiston man.
37-year-old Daniel S. Lincoln
was reported missing on August 20th and was last seen driving a 2010 black Jeep with
Oregon plates 509GQN. Umatilla County Sheriffs Office was requested to assist on
August 21st when a ping on his cell phone showed a location southwest of Ukiah, Oregon
near Soap Hill Rd and Bridge Rd. This morning a fixed wind plane was called in to assist
with the search effort. Members of the SAR team along with Umatilla County Deputies
continue the search on the ground as well.
Anyone with information please contact our 24-hour dispatch center at 541-966-3651.
Multiple wildfires burning
Aug. 24, 2020
Fire updates from over the weekend multiple fires burning in Eastern Oregon and
The Meacham Complex of fires between Pendleton and La Grande at 272 acres and 15
percent contained. The Meacham complex includes the Hagar ridge fire, the Horse Fire, and
other fires in the area, burning in rugged terrain with grass, timber and dead and down
trees. The Northern Rocks incident Management Team took command of the Meacham Complex
early Friday morning.
Another large fire in our area now The Rattlesnake Fire on the Pomeroy Ranger District at
220 acres. Thats about 20 miles south of Pomeroy. The Putnam Springs Fire at 130
acres. Numerous smaller fires burning as well, Hot and dry conditions are expected to
persist throughout the week. Fire officials want to remind everyone that the current fire
danger rating remains at HIGH and Public Use Restrictions involving chainsaw use are in
Hermiston school board, council meetings tonight
Aug. 24, 2020
A special meeting tonight of the Hermiston School Board. That begins at 6:30 in the
boardroom at the Hermiston School district offices. It will be livestreamed on the
districts youtube channel.
The agenda includes an update on the comprehensive distance learning model,
Click here for the full agenda.
On the Hermiston City Council side, tonight's agenda includes annexation of property and
potential development of a new 31-unit subdivision. Theres a public hearing on the
proposal tonight. Public hearings also on the agenda for the South Hermiston Local
Improvement District and an amendment to the accessory dwelling unit ordinance. The
council also expected to discuss the workforce taxi incentive program.
That meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Hermiston Community Center. Some limited
public attendance will be allowed, but anyone attending in person must wear a facemask.
The city also live streaming the meeting and taking public comment via phone as well.
here for the agenda and remote connection information.
Hermiston childcare partnership
Aug. 18, 2020
A partnership announced yesterday focused on providing childcare this fall.
The partnership between The Hermiston School District, the City of Hermiston, and
Champions to provide childcare during comprehensive distance learning. The district
launching a survey to determine the community need for childcare. Click here for the survey.
Champions weekly rate is $190 per student. There are opportunities for discounts and
waivers and theyre asking interested families to mark yes on the survey if
theyd like more information. The school district plans to off-set a portion of the
costs for all families.
Hermiston opens school name survey
Aug. 13, 2020
A survey released
yesterday for the Hermiston School District about the three potential names for the new
elementary school on Theater Lane: Artemisa Elementary, Loma Vista Elementary and La Senda
Schools Superintendent Tricia Mooney says the three name translate to
Sagebrush, Hill View and The pathway.
In previous surveys, the community suggested names and voted for a guideline category.
Survey results pointed to using geographic name, similar to other elementary schools, and
board member Karen Sherman says the school board also wanted to reflect the changing
demographics of the Hermiston School District.
"We are now seeing a very large Hispanic population," she said. "At this
point in time, we wanted to look at a Spanish name."
Sherman says theyre looking forward to having a name for the school and encourage
people to complete the survey and give input before the board selects a final name.
Click here for the survey
Largest state outbreaks in Umatilla County
Aug. 13, 2020
The larges active outbreaks in the state are in Umatilla County - both in work places and
care facilities. The Oregon Health Authority releasing this weeks list of active
With 92 cases, Regency Hermiston remains the largest active care facility outbreak in the
state.The center also associated with 10 deaths - also the second highest highest death
toll at a care facility in the state since the pandemic began. Sun Terrace also remains an
active care facility outbreak with eight cases and two deaths connected to the site.
Pendleton's Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution now the largest active workplace
outbreak int he state with 199 total cases - the most recent onset on Aug. 7 - and data
was collected on Aug. 9. Three other Umatilla County worksites in the top 10: Lamb
Weston's Hermsiton location with 170 cases, Shearer's Foods with 42 and the Walmart
Distribution Center with 40 cases. One Morrow County site, Lamb Weston East, also in the
top 10, with 42 cases tying with Shearer's Foods as the 8th largest outbreak. .
The outbreak at the Hermiston Walmart now 39 cases, Atkinson Staffing reporting 31, Smith
Frozen Foods at 30. Good Shepherd at 29, TRCI in Umatilla at 27 cases, and Lamb Weston
West in Boardman at 25.
The Hermiston McDonalds outbreak at 24 and the Lamb Weston Boardman Pac Center is at 22.
The Oregon Health Authority reports outbreaks at workplaces with 30 or more employees and
5 or more total cases associated with the site, inlcuding employees or their family
members and close contacts.
Total, there are Twenty-nine workplace outbreaks in Umatilla and Morrow counties.
Also on the list this week: Columbia Basin Onion, Oregon Potato Company , Threemile Canyon
Farms, Hill Meat Company, MJ's Labor Servcies, Independt Transport LLC, Home Dpot,
Marlette Homes, Boardman Foods, River Point Farms, Port of Morrow Warehousing, Keystone
RV, the Stanfield McDonalds, Pacific Ag, the Hermiston Taco Bell, and J & J Snack
Foods in Weston.
City Council considers city hall, property
Aug. 10, 2020
A credit agreement on the agenda tonight to for the $9.6 million city hall replacement
City Council tonight voting on a full faith and credit financing agreement to build a
build new city hall and renovate the basement of the Hermiston library to host a
temporary city hall during the construction. The council tonight voting on a
full faith and credit bond obligation for the funding.
Also on the agenda, a vote on adopting a parks, recreation, and open space plan and a
discussion on a green property strategic surplus plan, potentially opening eight acres of
land for development.
The meeting begins at 7 at the Hermiston Community Center.
The city will have a limited number of chairs available at the meeting, and it will also
be livestreamed and available for public comment. You can find the contact link and
information, as well as the full agenda, at
School names, re-entry for school board tonight
Aug. 10, 2020
The Operational Blueprint for Re-entry, the enrollment report , and financial forecasts
all on the agenda tonight for the Hermiston School Board. They'll also have an
introduction to a new online agenda system, and ... The Hermiston School Board tonight
also receiving a report on the name finalists for the new elementary school on theater
lane. The finalists are: Artemisa Valley Elementary, Loma Vista Elementary, and La Senda
The meeting at 6:30 tonight, and remote access options are available. Anyone interested in
providing public comment can do so by emailing email@example.com by noon
Umatilla to talk bridge replacement
Aug. 4, 2020
A year and a half later, progress on replacing the Umatilla pedestrian bridge damaged in
flooding on the Umatilla river. The city working with J-U-B Engineers to replace the
195-foot-long bridge at Nugent Park that was damaged in flooding in 2019 and 2020.The
company has presented several design concepts to city staff, and the council will be
discussing goals and costs for the design. Also related to the bridge, a resolution
authorizing city staff to work with Oregon Emergency Management to repair and replace
flood-damaged facilities including the pedestrian bridge, the boat launch and fishing pier
at Nugent Park.
That meeting is at 7 tonight. It will be available via Zoom. Any questions or public
comments should be sent in to firstname.lastname@example.org before 5 p.m. today.
During the meeting, council members also to vote on a $370,000 loan to complete a
feasibility study for hydraulically connected well.s The city receiving a grant from the
Oregon Water Resources Department and has applied for the loan to cover the rest of the
cost. Resolutions also on the agenda tonight about amending and expanding the Greater
Umatilla Enterprise Zone.
To join via Zoom:
Dial 1 (253) 215-8782 US, Meeting ID is 819 7142 9093 the password is 97882.
here for the full agenda
Stanfield council agenda
Aug. 4, 2020
Streamlining the citys fire prevention ordinances on the agenda tonight for the
Stanfield City Council. The first reading of that ordinance and the second reading of one
on keeping livestock without a permit both on the agenda for tonights council
meeting. Theyll also have a civic block update, a volunteer resolutions, and
discussion about a city server replacement and website prospect review. That meeting
begins at 6 tonight in the council chambers on Coe Avenue.
Study: 17 percent of Hermiston infected, 80 percent without symptoms
July 31, 2020
Results are in from last weeks TRACE door-to-door testing in Hermiston. The OSU
study estimating 17 percent of Hermiston residents were positive for COVID-19 on Saturday
and Sunday and 80 percent do not have symptoms.
Hermiston Assistant City manager Mark Morgan says the results are about what he expected.
"We've known that there's a lot of asymptomatic cases out there that are prevalent in
the community and people are going about their business without taking that into
consideration," he said. "I think these results really hammer home the need for
people to maintain distance, even if they are asymptomatic."
80 percent of those who tested positive had no symptoms at the time of the test, although
we do not yet know if they were asymptomatic or presymptomatic.
The door-to-door, randomized study visited 30 neighborhoods in Hermiston, and 44 percent
of homes agreed to participate in the test. 471 people were tested and 41 people tested
positive. Thats 8.7 percent. Using modeling, the TRACE study estimates the
prevalence of the virus last weekend was about 170 for every 1,000 people in Hermiston or
17 percent of the population.
Joe Fiumara, director of UCo Health saying it is the highest testing the TRACE team has
seen in any survey.
"The big item, I think, is that 80 percent of people who were asymptomatic, which is
a really, really high number," he said.
The study also analyzed wastewater samples from both Hermiston and Boardman and found
strong viral signals suggesting the virus is widespread in both cities.
On Friday, UCo Health reporting 32 new cases of COVID-19 in the county. At that time,
there were 19-hundred and 61 cases, and 314 were active. 13 people were hospitalized.
Governor returns Umatilla County to baseline
July 31, 2020
Baseline restrictions as of noon today.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown announcing last night that Umatilla County would roll back to
baseline COVID-19 restrictions, Morrow County back to phase 1, as of noon today.
The baseline Stay Home, Save Lives order closes gyms, salons, barbers, dance studios,
bowling alleys, campgrounds and skate parks. None of which has been connected with a
The governor saying the county should expect to stay in the baseline phase for 21 days.
Weekend COVID-19 update
July 27, 2020
On Friday, UCo Health announcing a sixteenth COVID-19 death: an 85-year-old man who tested
positive July16 and died July 24th at Regency Hermiston Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
At that time, there were 16-hundred and 24 cases in Umatilla County. 322 were active and
10 people hospitalized. 12-hundred and 86 people had recovered.
Then over the weekend, the Oregon Health Authority reporting 43 cases in Umatilla County
on Sunday, the total yesterday 16-hundred and 78. The most recent update from Morrow
County Emergency Management adding 13 cases for a total of 247 with no hospitalizations.
School Board talks what school will look like
July 27, 2020
A special meeting of the Hermiston School Board tonight about updates to the 2020-2021
school year. Last Thursday, the district a announced it would be beginning the school year
with a comprehensive online model because of climbing corona virus cases in the Hermiston
area with an intent to move to face-to-face instruction options when it was safe to do so.
In addition to the student item, the board also voting on updates to the school calendar
and meeting in To conduct deliberations with persons designated by the governing body to
negotiate real property transactions
To join the meeting, dial 253-215-8782. The meeting ID is 994 6226 6100, and the passcode
for a link to the full agenda
$3 million agreement for city hall
July 27, 2020
A $3 million contract between the city of Hermiston and Umatilla County about Hermiston
City Hall on the agenda for tonights council meeting. The City has proposed building
a new three-story city hall on the site of the current facility, damaged by a fire last
year. In the agreement theyll discuss tonight, the county would lease the ground
floor of the building for 15 years in exchange for contributing $3 million toward the $9
million estimated cost o the building.
Also up for discussion tonight, the Hermiston City Council could decide how to spend
federal CARES act funding tonight. The city is expected to receive $540,000 that must be
spent in areas related to COVID-19. City staff saying the citys direct expenses
through the end of the year are only about $100,000, and theyre proposing allocating
extra money for business assistance, rent/mortgage assistance, and water/sewer bill
Council tonight also looking at installing stop signs at W Joseph Avenue and East Oregon
Avenue and awarding the contract for the library basement contract.
here for a link to the full agenda and remote access options.
Stanfield, Umatilla councils meet
July 21, 2020
Fire, Roads, Livestock all on the agenda for the Stanfield City Council this week.
The council has the first reading of an ordinance prohibiting keeping livestock without a
permit; a resolution on ODOT temporary easement and a discussion on the city fire code and
a veterans memorial. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, if the council
chambers on Coe Avenue.
Click here for the agenda.
Umatilla City Council also meeting in a work session tonight. That starts at 6 p.m. at
Umatilla City Hall. The council to discuss potentially amending the Greater Umatilla
Enterprise Zone boundary and an intergovernmental agreement about the National Hazards
Find the full
Cases top 1,000 in Umatilla County
July 13, 2020
Cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County now above 1 thousand.
UCo Health on Friday reporting 40 new confirmed cases in Umatilla County. The total of
confirmed and presumptive cases now at 985. 554 are active, and 17 people are
At that time, 423 people were listed as recovered.
The Oregon Health Authority over the weekend reporting 50 cases in Umatilla County on
Saturday that likely has some overlap with the 40 UCo Health reported on Friday
followed by another 27 cases on Sunday bringing the Umatilla County total to
One-thousand and 13. OHA listing 7 new cases in Morrow County yesterday, which pushes the
total to 145 cases. The state total now at 12-thousand, 170.
School survey: More than half comfortable with student return
July 13, 2020
Most parents and staff are comfortable with students returning to school in Hermiston.
That's according to the results of a survey the Hermiston School District will present
during its regular school board meeting tonight.
In the survey, 32 percent were very comfortable with students returning to school, and 24
percent were somewhat comfortable - a total of 56 percent. 12 percent were neutral, 21
percent somewhat uncomfortable and 11 percent very uncomfortable.
The primary concern was that classrooms and other areas would not be properly disinfected,
followed by having in-person interactions with others, and then readjustment to classroom
or school life.
The survey also asked about reliable internet, and although the vast majority - 87 percent
- said they have reliable home internet, 117 respondents - 11 percent - had either no home
access or unreliable internet. 1 percent of homes have access to the internet through
The school board will discuss the survey tonight after a presentation from superintendent
Also on the agenda, personnel appointments and resignations, and a number of annual school
year business items, such as designating a budget officer, legal counsel, and the
Click here for a
link to the full agenda.
As in recent months, the board will meet virtually via Zoom. You may dial into the meeting
by calling 253-215-8782..
The meeting ID is 943 3818 6976 and the password is 072571.
Hermiston Council meets tonight
July 13, 2020
The Hermiston City Council also meeting tonight. A work session at 6 to focus on the parks
plan, followed by the regular meeting at 7. On the agenda, a permanent food pod location,
an update to the employee handbook, and a miscellaneous engineering services contract to
n order to follow public gathering and social distancing guidelines set forth by state and
federal authorities, a limited number of chairs will be available for citizens to attend
the meeting in person; those attending must also wear a face mask. The City will
livestream the meeting at https://bit.ly/HermistonYouTube
and it will also be available following the meeting as well. Click
here for the full agenda.
UCSO asks for help in shootings
July 8, 2020
The Umatilla County Sheriffs Office asking for help after two separate shooting
incidents in the past week near Hermiston.
The first report of shots fired on Sunday, July 5, 2020 near SW 23 rd St. and West
Highland Ave. just outside the City of Hermiston, where deputies responded to a report of
shots fired. The Sheriffs Office says at least three vehicles are believed to have
been involved. There were no known injuries. The shooters were described as Hispanic
males, 20 and 30 years of age. Vehicles involved were described as a newer pearl white
a Mitsubishi Galant; a newer silver SUV, possibly a Nissan Pathfinder; and A black 2-door
Honda Civic with a broken passenger side window
The second shots fired report after 9 at night on Tuesday, on Gillespie Lane, again just
outside the City of Hermiston. One
vehicle was involved., described as a light colored smaller size 4-door, no further
description. A house was hit several times, there were no known injuries.
It is believed the shootings were specific to the individuals involved and not random.
Anyone who has information regarding these incidents is asked to please contact
Umatilla County Dispatch, 541-966-3651.
Greg Smith hosts townhall Thursday
July 8, 2020
Coming up this week, a virtual town hall with Rep. Greg Smith, over Zoom. The townhall
from 5:30-6:30 on Thursday, July 9.
Questions can be addressed to email@example.com to have them addressed during
the House District 57 Virtual Town Hall.
Click here for more information.
UCo Health releases weekend numbers
July 7, 2020
After the long holiday weekend, Umatilla County Public Health reporting 125 new cases of
COVID-19 in Umatilla County. The numbers between Thursday afternoon and yesterday morning.
The total cases, including confirmed and presumptive, now at 783. Of those, 13 people are
hospitalized, 451 cases are active, and 326 people are considered recovered.
Police: Jonathan Lopez wrote letter to himself
July 7, 2020
Outrage yesterday on social media after news Jonathan Lopez, candidate for Umatilla County
Commissioner, had written a racist, hate-filled letter, to himself.
In late June, Lopez sharing a photo of social media of a letter he allegedly received in
his mailbox that included racist and homophobic language . Hermiston Police investigating,
and the end result an admission that Lopez wrote the letter himself and made false
statements to the police and on social media. Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmison staying
the matter will be referred this week to the Umatilla County district attorneys
office for initiating a false report. Theyre also investigating potential election
fraud as it pertains to false credentials presented by Lopez during his run for county
commissioner, including his service in the Coast Guard.
Lopez campaign social media pages have been removed.
Umatilla has long agenda
July 7, 2020
Tonight, applications for grants both awarding and receiving for the city of
The Umatilla City Council tonight voting on an agreement with the Umatilla Chamber of
Commerce to provide support to local businesses, tourism, and visitor services. The city
recently opening small business grants.
The council also has a series of resolutions about updates to the citys water Master
and Wastewater Facilities plans. The city plans to apply for a $234,000 loan from a state
fund and two $20,000 technical assistance grant to fund updates to the two plans.
Also during the meeting, discussion sabout a hydraulically connected wells feasibility
projec tloan modification and an intergovernmental agreement with the icyt of echo to
provide planning and building assistance.
The meeting expected to also include multiple topics in a closed-door executive session
from real estate transactions to trade negotiations to meeting with council about
The meeting begins at 7 tonight and will be available over Zoom. Find the zoom connection
information and the full agenda by following this link.
Boardman Council agenda
July 7, 2020
The Boardman City Council also meeting tonight and also having executive session on the
agenda theirs for personnel and real estate. Also on the agenda, a rural broadband
COVID grant with the state of Oregon, a summary fo system development charges, and the
Morrow County Unified Recreation District. That meeting also starts at 7 tonight.
here for the agenda.
City council talks food pod tonight
June 22, 2020
Food Pods, wayfinding on the agenda for Hermiston City Council tonight.
The council has a work session at 6 to discuss options for the city food pod. There is an
action item on the agenda for tonights regular meeting that amends the charter for
mobile food vendors as well. That regular meeting begins at 7 p.m.. A wayfinding sign
presentation on the agenda as well as accepting the primary election results, adopting a
volunteer handbook and various reports.
here for the agenda and remote viewing options.
School board votes on union contact, policies
June 22, 2020
A special work session tonight for the Hermiston School District. That will be available
over Zoom. The meeting at 6:30.
The board will also vote on ratifying the collective bargaining agreement with the Oregon
School Employees Association, a union that represents the districts classified
employees and have a first reading on eight district policies.
Virtual Location via Zoom Dial +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID: 956 0742 3050
link for the full agenda.
Morrow County death, Umatilla County increase
June 19, 2020
A death in Morrow County from COVID-19. The Morrow County Health Department today
reporting a 53-year-old man from North Morrow County tested positive for COVID-19 on June
12 and died yesterday at his home. He is said to have had underlying health conditions.
Theyre asking people to respectful as the family grieves.
Morrow County also announcing five new positive cases today, all appear to be from the
Irrigon area. The total cases in Morrow County now at 27; fifteen are active.
UCo Health on Friday reporting 21 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and continuing to ask
people to stay home if they're sick - including staying home from work.
In today's update, 153 people have recovered from the disease and 86 cases are active.
Round-Up cancels tickets for 2020
June 19, 2020
A major announcement today from the Pendleton Round Up:
"We are disappointed to announce that current restrictions preclude us from hosting
the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Indian Pageant & Wild West Show in our
traditional manner this September. For 110 years the Pendleton Round-Up and for 104 years
the Happy Canyon has been a celebration of community and a catalyst to support education,
local not for profits, service organizations, and provides a direct benefit to the
regional economy. It is disheartening the events will not take place in 2020 for all
The Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Boards of Directors also announcing the creation
of donation fund, LetEr Buck Cares that will provide assistance to
community organizations that rely on the round up as a main source of income.
Tax-deductible Donations to the fund will go to local civic, non-profit, youth
organizations, contract personnel and others Round-Up organizers also saying
theyre working with the Pendleton Chamber to provide stimulus funds to community
business that will be impacted by the lack of visitors to Pendleton this year.
for more information.
New COVID-19 cases in Umatilla, Morrow, Union counties
June 16, 2020
Based on the weekend reports from the Oregon Health Authority, we knew to expect more
COVID-19 cases yesterday, but the numbers from both Umatilla and Morrow counties were even
higher than expected.
We knew thered be at least 13 because of the OHA update, but UCo Health announcing
23 new confirmed positive cases in Umatilla County yesterday and a total of 183
total cases of both confirmed and presumptive patients. The county now has 47 active cases
with three people hospitalized. There was also an increase in the number of people said to
have recovered. Of the 183 cases, 132 people are considered recovered from COVID-19.
As to why theres a large increase, UCo Health saying they continue to discover
instances where people continue to work while sick and that now it is
imperative that anyone with any symptoms of respiratory illness stay home,
including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Yesterday, Morrow County Public Health announcing four newly confirmed cases, bringing the
total to 18. One case is from the Heppner/Lexington/Ione area and three were from Irrigon.
Morrow County has six cases considered active, and all six are said to be in home
In slightly regional news, Union County had the highest number of cases in the state
yesterday 99. That jumped the number of cases for Union County to 123.
The cases stemming from a suspected case and testing at the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church
in Island City.
Boardman Council meets tonight
June 16, 2020
Tonight, a special meeting of the The Boardman City Council to vote on the resolution to
form an Enterprise Zone for the city of Boardman. That meeting will be hosted over ZOOM
and is available to the public. Click here to
Guidelines for schools released
June 11, 2020
The Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority yesterday releasing initial
guidelines for the 2020-2021 school year, and Hermiston Schools Superintendent Tricia
Mooney says their goal is to start the school year, with the new guidelines and children
in school facilities, Aug. 24.
"We know that the best place for our kids to be is in schools," she said.
"In Hermiston, we're moving toward 'how can we get our kids back in school in the
Called "Ready Schools, Safe Learners," the states 47-page document does
allow for local school districts to craft plans for their schools. The blueprint instructs
districts to develop a back-to-school plan that utilizes a mix of on-site and distance
learning options to protect the safety of students, staff, and families. Districts are
also to develop communicable disease management plans and contingency plans in the event
of COVID-19 outbreaksincluding returns to fully distance learning and modified
school year calendars as necessary.
Mark Mulvihill, superintendent of the Intermountain ESD, says hes encouraged that
many of the decisions are up to the local districts.
"There's a clear understanding at the state level that one size does not fit
all," he said. "It's going to look different in Hermiston than in Burnt River,
Portland Public, and Hillsboro. Districts will have the autonomy to develop their own
plans on a local basis."
Mulvihill says people should expect changes when school resumes and not expect a return to
the way things were last year.
Colt Gill, the Director of the Oregon Department of Education, saying some schools will
operate in a hybrid:
"Each day, some students will be on site and some students will served be off-site
through a distance learning model and then they'll switch. All students will have some
opportunity o interact directly with their teachers," he said.
BMCC has parade of graduates tonight
June 11, 2020
Tonight, Blue Mountain Community College will celebrate the Class of 2020 Thursday (June
11) evening with a special Parade of Graduates in lieu of its traditional
commencement ceremony, which
wasnt possible due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
The Parade of Graduates will begin at 7 p.m. on the BMCC Pendleton campus. Graduates may
have their immediate family members inside their vehicles during the parade, and
graduates families and friends, as well as faculty, staff and other community
members are invited to park in designated areas around campus to cheer on the graduates as
they drive by. Guests should plan to arrive on campus by 6:45 p.m.
BMCC will broadcast a live stream of the event from its YouTube
channel. The College will also record the event, as well as capture the parade via aerial
drone footage courtesy of BMCC agriculture instructor and certified Unmanned Aerial
Systems pilot Drew Leggett.
June 11, 2020
Hermiston Parks and Recreation reopening playgrounds yesterday. They do have restrictions:
· Playground visitors are encouraged to wash hands before and after
visiting a playground.
· Visitors should maintain physical distancing of at least six feet.
· Visitors should bring hand sanitizer and/or sanitizing wipes for
personal use on any surfaces touched.
· Any individuals who are sick or may have contacted someone with
COVID-19 should stay home.
Weekly update on COVID-19 numbers
June 11, 2020
In yesterdays update from UCo Health, one increase in the total number of cases
thats up from 149 to 150 and multiple cases move from presumptive into
the confirmed category. Yesterdays report shows 145 confirmed cases, 5 presumptive.
119 people have recovered, 28 cases are active, and four people are hospitalized.
The weekly update from the Oregon Health Authority released yesterday, including workplace
outbreaks and cases by Zip code. No new workplace outbreaks in Umatilla County (none in
morrow County), and OHA now reporting 82 cases of COVID-19 in the Hermiston Zip Code, 28
in Umatilla, and 15 in Milton-Freewater. Those three zip codes making up 125 of the
countys 145 confirmed cases.
COVID-19 cases up by 13
June 9, 2020
A dozen new COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in Umatilla County; one new in Morrow
Yesterdays update from UCo Health reporting 12 new confirmed positive cases. All of
the new cases said to be self-isolating and recovering. The total now 136 confirmed cases
and 10 presumptive for a total of 146. 27 cases are active and 119 have recovered.
UCo Health saying as the Governor starts slowly lifting restrictions on activities and
businesses, its important to remember that health and hygiene advice that slows the
spread of COVID-19 still applies.
Morrow County Public Health confirming yesterday one more individual has tested positive
for COVID-19 in Boardman, bringing the Morrow County total to 14. The individual was
notified by another county that they had been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case. .
In Morrow county, 12 people have recovered and 2 remain in home isolation.
Boardman council, tax district meet
June 9, 2020
Two meetings tonight in Boardman: theres a hearing and meeting of the council and
special taxing district about a new enterprise zone at 6 p.m. and then a city council
meeting tonight at 7:15. On the agenda, the budget resolution, workers comp for
volunteers and a contingency transfer.
here for the agenda.
Those meetings are available to the public through Zoom:
In accordance with ORS 192.640
Using the web-based conferencing service ZOOM on any mobile device.
This meeting is available to the public using:
City council meets tonight
June 8, 2020
Tonight, the Hermiston City Council has a work session about temporary emergency shelter
zoning. Thats at 6 tonight. Its driven by the request for the Stepping Stones
homeless shelter. City documents saying the worksession is to gather feedback about adding
temporary emergency shelter to the light industrial zoning. The regular council meeting
following the work session. That starts at 7.
On the agenda, a public hearing about the South Hermiston LID and resolutions approving
the 2020-2021 budget. They also have a presentation by the League of Oregon Cities.
here for the full agenda.
To participate remotely:
The livestream will be broadcast at https://bit.ly/HermistonYouTube and will also be
available following the meeting. Thanks to a partnership with Amazon Web Services, and the
Amazon Chime platform, citizens can listen to the meeting by phone or offer comment
remotely by dialing 1-855-552-4463 and using Meeting ID: 775-468-5399.
School District to vote on budget
June 8, 2020
The Hermiston School District talks budget, hiring and reports. They do have the budget
hearing in tonights meeting as well as a vote on adopting the $214 million
budget. The proposed budget includes $71 million in the general fund and a little over $90
million in construction bond funds. Click here for the
To attend via Zoom virtual location, you can dial the number, ID, and password list at the
top of the agenda. Virtual Location via Zoom Dial +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID:
997 9005 3106 Password: 072571
COVID-19 case update, reopening request
June 2, 2020
Four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported yesterday by UCo health. Three of the
individuals are self-isolating and recovering at home; one of the new cases is currently
hospitalized, making a total of two county residents hospitalized with the disease
that could be locally or in an out-of-state hospital. The total cases for the county now
at 121 with 117 confirmed and 4 presumptive. 104 patients have recovered, and four cases
Morrow Countys number of cases remains at a dozen until yesterday, and the Morrow
County Commissioners yesterday submitting a letter of request to the governor to move into
Phase II reopening on June 5 thats Friday. The letter saying Morrow County
has successfully followed up on 100 percent of all new cases and contact tracing within 24
hours and tied all cases from the past 14 days to previous cases.
Yesterday, Morrow County Public Health confirming its 13th case. They say that individual
was working out of state and had already returned to Morrow County when they were notified
they had been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case in the other state. The new case is
the only one considered active in the county
Umatilla, Stanfield talk budgets
June 2, 2020
Today, Umatilla City Council talking budget, revenue sharing and Powerline Road.
The Umatilla City Council meeting at 7 p.m. today in the council chambers. The council
meeting will be live streamed via Zoom and anyone who would like to be included in the
public comment portion is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org before 5 p.m. tonight.
The council will vote on approving the $39.4 million budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Theyll also have a vote and public hearing on state revenue sharing, and
theyll accept the resignation of Jodi Hinsley from the Planning Commission.
Theres also a resolution about the city taking over a portion of Powerline Road and
all of Dean Place from Umatilla County. The city saying there continues to be significant
residential development along powerline road and taking over ownership would streamline
the permitting process. The county offering $200,000 to the city to help bring the road up
to city standards.
Find the full agenda here. To
participate: Dial 1 (253) 215-8782 US, Meeting ID is 832 0762 6766, the password is 97882.
Click here to join the video conference
Speaking of Umatilla, graduation rescheduled for Thursday. There ceremony at 6:30 p.m.,
parade at 7:30 and fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
Stanfield City Council also meeting tonight, and theyll also be looking at the city
budget and associated resolutions. Also on the agenda, the ODOT lane diet
agreement for Highway 395and an executive session for the city manager evaluation. That
meeting begins at 6 tonight in the council chambers on Coe Avenue. You can find the full
agenda on the citys Facebook page.
Hermiston council talks essential operations, council resignation
May 26, 2020
Tonight the Hermiston City Council meeting at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center.
The meeting begins at 7 tonight and will be livestreamed and broadcast on the citys
YouTube channel as well as through the Amazon Chime platform.
On the agenda, a resolution establishing that the city of Hermiston is essential in
support of federal support to reopen and rebuild local American economies. The council
will also vote on support Hermiston grant applications and on a US EDA grant, and
theyll accept the resignation of council member John Kirwan and consider
appointments to fill the council vacancy. The city received one applicant to fill the
position that expires in December: David McCarthy
They also have two liquor license applications for off-premises sales thats
for Shiki Hibachi Sushi and Ixtapa Mexican restaurant. The council will meet in a
closed-door executive session to talk preliminary negotiations in matters of trade
here for the agenda.
To attend remotely:
Thanks to a partnership with Amazon Web Services, and the Amazon Chime platform, citizens
can listen to the meeting by phone or offer comment remotely by dialing 1-855-552-4463 and
using Meeting ID: 248-308-6837
HSD announced graduate walk details
May 21, 2020
The Hermiston School District announcing a senior walk and fireworks to honor the Class of
in cooperation with the City of Hermiston, the district and high school will host an Honor
Walk to recognize the seniors and all their hard work.
On May 29, a week from tomorrow, beginning at 7:30 p.m., HHS seniors will don their cap
and gown and walk in parade starting from the south side of HHS. The route will go west on
Highland Avenue to 7th Street,
where it will turn north. Students will walk around West Park Elementary, and down
Orchard, returning to HHS by 8:30 p.m.
The Hermiston Police Department will shut down traffic on the route, at 7:15 p.m.
Community members, friends, and family who would like to view and cheer from the
neighboring sidewalks are welcome to do so. The district just asks that individuals do so
safely, respecting social distancing guidelines.
Hermiston High School will culminate the event with a fireworks show from the Hermiston
Butte, beginning at 9:30 p.m., for the greater Hermiston community to enjoy from the
safety of their
homes, car, sidewalk.
Studnets will receive diplomas on June 4.
Hermiston budget committee meets tonight
May 21, 2020
The Hermiston Budget Committee is meeting tonight at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event
Center. to review the 2020-2021 proposed budget. The meeting will be accessible through
the citys YouTube channel and through the Amazon Chime phone platform.
The $57.3 million proposed budget includes funding for city departments and projects,
including antinicpated impacts on the Transient Room Tax because of COVID-19 as well as
cthe impacts of PERS and a 2.75 percent cost of living adjustment for city employees. and
the budget committee will review the proposed budget and make recommendations to the city
council. The council is expected to vote on the document during its meeting on June 8 and
adopt the budget before the new fiscal year begins July 1.
To participate in the meeting:
To view: Visit the citys YouTube channel at bit.ly/HermistonYouTube
To listen: Call 206-462-5569, Meeting ID: 1539-33-0915
Click here for more.
Primary election results
May 20, 2020
16,194 voters cast ballots in Umatilla County by yesterdays deadline a voter
turnout of 35.8 percent; 47 percent in Morrow County before last nights deadline.
Statewide, turnout at about 42 percent.
At the end of the night, voters selected two candidates for Umatilla County Commissioner
to go on the November ballot: Dan Dorran and HollyJo Beers. Dorran receiving 5,482 votes,
landing him solidly on the ballot in November. HollyJo Beers had just under 4,000,
followed by Pat Maier, Jonathan Lopez, and Mark Gomolski.
Dorran and Beers will be on the November ballot for the county position that will replace
Commissioner Bill Elfering in 2021.
In Morrow County, Jim Doherty leading the race to retain his commissioner seat. The
12-hundred and 19 votes were 42 percent of the total ballots cast. Joel Peterson following
with 38 percent of the vote.
A close race for Morrow County Treasurer with Sabrina Bailey Cave coming out on top last
night, following by Jaylene Papineau.
Boardmans water and wastewater General Obligation bonds appear to have passed with
63 percent of the ballots saying yes.
Many local races were uncontested, handing wins to Hermiston mayor Dave Drotzmann,
municipal judge Tom Creasing and Pendleton mayor John Turner.
Speaking of Pendleton, the controversial gas tax failed 65 to 35 percent, and a narrow
loss for the Pendleton School Districts request to continue its local option tax
that failed 52 percent to 48 percent.
One more bond: Echo Fire Districts 10 year bond request passed with about 60 percent
of the votes in favor.
Voters approved dissolving the Helix Fire District and the East Umatilla County Rural Fire
Protection District, and also approved the formation of the larger East Umatilla Fire
& Rescue District.
In Umatilla county, About 300 ballots were received but have not yet been accepted
those will need additional verification because of things like the voter forgot to sign
the envelope or two voters signed each others ballot envelopes by mistake.
here for Umatilla County's final unofficial results as of 11:47 p.m.
HSD budget committee meets tonight
May 18, 2020
Hermiston School Districts budget committee is meeting tonight in what they expect
to be the final meeting. They have budget parameters set by the school board and will have
up-to-date figures from the county on tax rates, but its still a challenge.
Mark Mulvihill, with the intermountain ESD, says districts are facing a challenge because
of the whiplash after expecting record revenue in January and cuts now as well as the
uncertainty of what those numbers will be from the state.
"It's difficult to develop a budget this year because what are you budgeting for?
what is school going to look like next year?" he said.
As for Hermiston, that budget committee meeting is at 6:30 tonight and will be live
streamed through Zoom.
Here is the Zoom information:
Virtual Location via Zoom Dial +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID: 924 5666 6253
The budget committee is taking public comments. Anyone wishing to provide public comments
is asked to submit those through email before noon today. You can email those to
New school name submissions being accepted
May 12, 2020
The Hermiston School District is accepting name submissions this month for the new
elementary school to be constructed beginning in 2021 on Theater Lane.
The elementary school is one of several construction projects funded through the bond
approved by voters in November. It will be the sixth Hermiston elementary school, joining
Desert View, Highland Hills, Rocky Heights, Sunset, and West Park.
An online survey conducted through May will collect potential names for the Board of
Education to review before selecting finalists. The public will then have an opportunity
to vote on the final name for the school.
Hermiston School District board policy requires that the school be named for:
· its location or community
· a famous American
· a local resident who has not been active with the community or
schools for at least five years
Other names may be recommended along with supporting justification.
Click here for the survey.
Music in the Parks cancelled
May 12, 2020
The Boardman and Irrigon Music in the Parks Summer Concert Series has been cancelled due
to Covid-19 concerns. The concert series, held each summer alternating between the
Boardman and Irrigon Marina Parks, was set to run from June 8 through August 10.
They say it was not an easy decision We acknowledge that large gatherings are not in the
best interest of public health and we want to do our part to help our communities through
School Board virtual meeting tonight
May 11, 2020
A virtual meeting for the Hermiston School Board tonight. That is being broadcast over
The agenda includes an enrollment report, financial report, and a collection of hires and
resignations for the district. That meeting begins at 6:30 tonight.
here for the full agenda.
To access the Virtual Location via Zoom Dial +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID: 988
1751 1773 Password: 578162
UCo Health reports 2nd coronavirus death
May 11, 2020
A second Umatilla County resident dies with COVID-19.
Umatilla Countys second COVID-19 death is a 64 year-old male who tested positive
April 29th and died May 9th at Providence St Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, WA. This
individual had underlying health conditions. UCo Health saying yesterday Counseling and
crisis support services can be accessed by calling Lifeways at 866-343-4473.
Interpretation services are available.
As of Friday, UCo Health was reporting 83 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County
residents 51 people were listed as recovering, 31 cases active.
Morrow County reporting its 12th case of COVID-19 on Friday.
Union Pacific closes Wallula facility
May 11, 2020
News of a closure at Union Pacifics Cold Connect facility in Wallula because of
COVID-19. A Union Pacific spokesperson told the Malheur Enterprise on Saturday that
COVID-19 was impacting volume and truck prices so it was no longer sustainable to continue
operations at Wallula. She said employees were notified Friday that the closure is
Although Union Pacific is not releasing information about how many employees are losing
their jobs, In 2018, Union Pacific said an expansion on the Cold Connect facility in
Wallula would have more than 100 employees, a monthly payroll of more than $300,000, and
annual shipments of 750 million pounds of produce, including onions, apples, wine, and
Largest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in Umatilla County
April 29, 2020
The largest daily update for locally confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County. Eight
new positive cases announced yesterday, bringing the countys total to 45. UCo Health
saying seven of the cases are close contacts of another confirmed case and all eight are
self-isolating and recovering at home. Twenty-one people confirmed to have COVID-19 are
now recovered. There are 24 active cases in the county, and three people hospitalized.
UCo Health also updating its county map of confirmed covid cases.
The Greater Hermiston Area now colored between 16 and 25 cases. Umatilla and the river at
10-15 cases and multiple regions, including Pendleton now shaded to indicate 5-9 cases. Click here to find the map,
which is updated each Tuesday.
County Commissioners to vote on reopen plan
April 29, 2020
The Umatilla County Commissioners to vote today on a plan to reopen the economy after
COVID-19 closures. The plan includes a phase one opening, including restaurants and
personal service businesses like hair salons open May 15. The three-step plan must be
approved by the governor before it can take effect and it does require social distancing
measures. Phase 2 would likely begin sometime in June and would increase gathering sizes
to 50 and allowing schools, gyms and playgrounds to open, and phase three, which would
begin in late June or early July, the size of mass gatherings could be increased to 250.
Wallace selected for state office
April 28, 2020
Hermiston High School senior Jenna Wallace named a state officer for Oregon FFA. Wallace
will serve as vice-president for the 2020-2021 year. Grace Adams, of Dayton, selected as
Oregon FFA President , and the other officers are from Baker, Grant Union, Burns, and
HHS band nominated for Washington, DC
April 28, 2020
The Hermiston High School Marching Band nominated by Gov. Kate Brown to represent Oregon
in the 2021 National Independence Day Parade in Washington, DC on July 4, 2021.
The governors recommendation has been sent to Oregon Congressman Greg Walden for
official nomination and final selection.
The nomination helps with representation from across the country The national
selection committee strives to have at least one band or unit represent each of the 50
Hermiston High School Principal Tom Spoo says, it is a unique opportunity and terrific
distinction for Hermiston High Schools marching band. Following the parade,
participants join the audience of the PBS Concert at the Capitol Building, which features
the National Symphony Orchestra and one of the nations largest fireworks displays.
Council considers property, homeless
April 27, 2020
The Hermiston City Council looking at spending $95,000 on property during its regularly
scheduled meeting tonight.
The two parcels of land will be for the re-alignment of Geer and Harper roads and had been
assessed at $65,000, and the city offered to pay $85,000 for the property, but the
property owner asked for $200,000. The city and the property owner agreed to $95,000 and
waiver of attorney fees. Tonight, the council will vote on acquiring that property.
Also on the agenda, resolutions for a FAA Apron Design Grant and authorizing the city
manager to apply for grants for the skateboard and teen adventure park, off-premise liquor
licenses applications for The Pheasant and 7-Eleven, committee and commission
appointments, and updates to the citys charter.
The regular meeting begins at 7 tonight at at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center on
Airport Road. The council is The work session at 6 p.m. focusing on Stepping Stones, a
homeless shelter project.
Both the meeting and the work session will be livestreamed and a recording will be
available after the meeting. There will be a limited amount of seating at EOTEC during the
meeting, and the community is encouraged to call in to provide public comment.
External phone lines will be muted except during public comment periods.
here for the full agenda.
What: Hermiston City Council Meeting
When: Monday, April 27, 7 p.m. (work session at 6 p.m.)
Where: Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center, 1705 E. Airport Road
Phone: 1-206-462-5569, Meeting ID 322-962-8667
Umatilla County awards small business grants
April 27, 2020
Grants have been awarded from the Umatilla County Economic Development Small Business
Emergency Grant Program. The $1,000 grants were available to small businesses that
employed 25 or fewer employees, and all applicants were included in a lottery drawing on
Twenty-two businesses in Hermiston received grants, 7 in Umatilla, 19 in Pendleton, and 10
in Milton-Freewater as well as seven for the smaller communities in the county.
Sixty-five grants were awarded there were 137 applicants.
A press release from the county saying The City of Hermiston contributed additional funds
to the grant program which allowed for an additional 16 grants to be awarded in Hermiston.
Online forecasting opens for HHS
April 24, 2020
Online forecasting for classes open Monday for Hermiston High School students.
Thatll run through Friday, May 15. Students in grades 8-11 may begin making their
course selections for the 2020-21 school year. The online site provides forecasting
directions, videos, and a copy of the course catalog. Students can make changes to their
requests any time during the forecasting window.
Most often, the students get the courses they request when forecasting. However,
scheduling conflicts do arise, and an alternate
course chosen by the student may be substituted. High school counselors will review the
student requests and will reach out to students and parents with any questions or
Morrow County forum is tonight - online
April 20, 2020
A reminder that the Morrow County chamber forum is tonight.
Hosted by the Boardman and Heppner chambers of commerce, the online candidates forum will
include candidates for: Morrow County Commissioner, Position 1; Justice of the Peace and
Morrow County Treasurer. That begins at 6 p.m. tonight over Zoom and Boardman Chamber
here for the links and more information.
There will be a City of Boardman GO Bond, immediately following the
candidates forum. Questions will not be taken the night of the event.
BMCC plans Parade of Graduates
April 17, 2020
Blue Mountain Community College announcing its plans for a re-imagined commencement for
the class of 2020. Rather than cancel, postpone or conduct a virtual ceremony, BMCC polled
students and will be having a "Parade of Graduates" during the regularly
scheduled commencement day of Thursday, June 11, at 7 p.m. There will be opportunities for
faculty and staff to participate using safe social distancing measures.
Students interested in ordering Caps and gowns for the parade should contact the bookstore
by April 27, and all students wishing to participate must RSVP by Friday, May 1.
You can find more information as it develops at www.bluecc.edu/graduation
UCo Health updates, survey
April 17, 2020
Four new COVID-19 cases reported by UCo Health yesterday, bringing the countys total
to 22. Theyre saying one case was a close contact of a previously confirmed case and
two of the individuals reside in the same home. Three of the cases are self-isolating at
home and one is currently hospitalized.
On the other side, the individual reported hospitalized earlier this week has been
released and is recovering well. A total of 9 people who tested positive are now
considered recovered in the county and there are 13 active cases.
UCo Health is also working on a community health assessment that will ultimately lead to a
new Community Health Improvement Plan. Theyre asking county residents to take a
survey about the direction the community should take. The survey should only take 3
minutes and your responses are completely anonymous. Respondents who submit an email have
the choice of entering a random drawing for a chance to receive a $20 gift card (5 chances
Find the survey at this
OES hosts free, online concert
April 17, 2020
Tomorrow night, Oregon East Symphony is presenting its Spring Chamber Music Concert
online - and free. JD Kindle says each performance has been recorded, and the concert will
begin at 6:30 tomorrow. Refreshments are typically provided around Oregon East Symphony
performances, so theyve also released a recipe cookbook of hors d'ouerves through
the website That includes wine and beer pairings as well.
Visit www.OregonEastSymphony.org for the recipe
book, concert program, and performance link.
Morrow County online forum
April 17, 2020
On Monday, the Boardman and Heppner Chambers of Commerce hosting an online candidates
forum, and anyone with questions for the candidates is asked to submit those through
Sunday. The forum
Candidates Forum Monday, April 20th 6 p.m. - via Zoom and Boardman
Chamber Live: Boardman and Heppner Chambers are working together to
organize a candidates forum for the Morrow county positions: Morrow County
Commissioner, Position 1; Justice of the Peace and Morrow County Treasurer. There will be
a City of Boardman GO Bond, immediately following the candidates forum.
Questions will not be taken the night of the event. You can submit questions through
Sunday, April 19th.
If you are interested in submitting a question, please put candidates
forum in the subject line and email to: email@example.com; or :
firstname.lastname@example.org; You can also submit questions by phone, calling either
UCo Health reports 2 new cases, 2 recoveries
April 16, 2020
Two newly confirmed positive COVID-19 cases for Umatilla County and two more people
recovered. Uco Health saying the two newly identified cases have no connection to
previously reported cases. One person is hospitalized, the other is self-isolating and
recovering at home.
The total for Umatilla County as of yesterday afternoon, 18 total cases with 10 active and
8 people recovered.
The most recent COVID-19 update for the state of Oregon reporting 3 deaths, and 33 new
COVID-19 cases yesterday. That includes one new case in Umatilla County. We can expect
Umatilla County to be listed again today as Uco Health is listing two new cases. The
totals for the state now at 16-hundred and sixty-three.
The total cases for the Benton-Franklin Health District in the Tri-Cities now 543, up 13
from yesterday. The includes both confirmed and probable cases. The district saying 32
people are currently hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 illness.
School board meets tonight
April 13, 2020
The Hermiston School Board meeting tonight in the commons at Armand Larive Middle School.
The school board will be taking action on its financial planning parameters to draft the
budget for next eyar, as well as the enrollment report and personnel changes. Theyll
also be meeting in a closed door executive session to negotiate property transactions.
Click here for
the full agenda.
Coronavirus confirmed cases jump
April 10, 2020
Jumps in COVID-19 confirmed cases in both Umatilla and Morrow counties yesterday. Uco
Health announcing four new cases yesterday; Morrow County Public Health has confirmed two
more individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the Morrow County total to
Five. During the Public Health Investigation both new cases had been identified and
notified as being a contact from a previously reported, positive Morrow County COVID-19
case. Both individuals are self-isolating at home, and emergency management stressing
Morrow County has reported positive cases in both North and South county.
The four new Umatilla County cases bring the total for the county to 13. Nine of those
cases are active and self-isolating at home and four people have recovered. Statewide, six
deaths and 86 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, including the two cases in Morrow County
and three in Umatilla County.