Good Shepherd, county focuses on tobacco
Nov. 17, 2017
Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States and that
statistic makes the foundation of the annual Great American Smoke Out, which
happened across the country yesterday.
"Stopping tobacco use is the No. 1 thing we can do to improve our health - at any
age," Community Health Educator Catie Brenaman says.
Good Shepherd Medical Center and two other Umatilla County locations participated in the
Great American Smoke Out yesterday, but tobacco use in a year-round concern.
Smoking has been listed as a priority in the community health assessment for Umatilla
County. Umatilla County current tobacco user numbers decreased from 18 percent to 15
percent between 2011 and 2015, and Brenaman says they have continued working to decrease
that even further, and there are seven trained tobacco cessation counselors in Umatilla
County the highest number in Eastern Oregon. Brenaman says one of the great things
about the smoke out is it encourages people to quit for one day.
"If you're a current tobacco smoker, even cutting back for one day or trying not to
use tobacco for one day can be very successful in improving your belief in yourself that
you're going to be able to complete this," Brenaman said.
In the most recent health assessment, 70 percent of current smokers said they had tried to
quit within the past year. For more information on tobacco cessation services and options,
you can contact either Good Shepherd Health Education Department or the
countys public health department.
Fire tower dedication slated
Nov. 15, 2017
Coming up in less than a week, the dedication of the new fire training tower in Hermiston.
Its a combination of work between Umatilla County Fire District No. 1 and Blue
Mountain Community College that will support BMCCs fire science program, as well as
regional training opportunities for firefighters.
About half of the funding comes from Fire District 1 and BMCC.
The grand opening takes place from noon to 1 on Monday and will include a ribbon-cutting
ceremony, lunch, and a tour of the new tower. Fire Station 23 is 78-7-6-0 Westland Road in
Fire District 1 says they plan to eventually dedicate the whole training center in honor
of longtime volunteer Harold Snyder, and in other BMCC news, Hermiston resident Don Rice
sworn in as a member of the community colleges board of education. He fills the
space left when Eddie De La Cruz resigned from the board last year, and Rices
appointed term will run through June 30 of 2019. Rice will have the option to run for
Woman charged in poisoning of daughter
Nov. 15, 2017
An Athena woman arrested and charged with attempting to poison her daughter. 36-year-old
Roxy Brook Pridgen arrested and charged with attempted murder for putting a prescription
drug into a beverage that she gave to her juvenile daughter, intending to cause her death
because they were arguing. The girl became ill after drinking. Pridgen was lodged
at the Umatilla County Jail. The case is still under investigation.
Wonderland hits Sandstone
Nov. 14, 2017
This Thursday and Friday, a modern Alice in Wonderland coming to Sandstone Middle School.
Its a student performance open to the community.
"It's exciting. It's not the traditional take on Alice in Wonderland - it's a new
take on it," said eighth-grader Halle Thomas. "If you've seen Alice in
Wonderland, you're expecting this to be traditional, but it's not."
Thomas plays the white rabbit and says the show combines the story of Alice with modern
technology including a smart phone and Starbucks. Its a show that could be
entertaining for the community and its all been put on and produced by students, on
stage and back. Eighth-grader Samuel is the stage manager of six member backstage crew.
Theyve painted trees and doors and other prop pieces, and theyre responsible
for making sure things run as smoothly as possible.
The students are putting on two performances this week, and Language arts teacher Chelsea
Geer, whos directing the production, says its a continuation of a growing
"This was completely funded by the proceeds last year, so it's really awesome to see
us building this program that all started with one show," she said. "I'm really
excited to see where this will go."
Alice @ Wonderland begins at 7 this Thursday and Friday in the commons at Sandstone.
Tickets are $3.
Toddler shot by sibling
Nov. 14, 2017
A Hermiston toddler in critical condition after being shot in the head by a
The Hermiston Police Department saying a 2-year-old accidentally shot in the head by his
7-year-old sibling. The 7-year-old reportedly accessed a gun belonging to a parent. The
2-year-old taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center, and hospital staff notified police. The
boy was transported to Tri-Cities, and remains in critical condition, according to the
most recent report from HPD. Names being withheld. Both Child Protective Services and the
Umatilla County District Attorneys office involved in the case to determine if
charges will be filed. The Hermiston Police Department saying it was a preventable
incident and reminding the public gun locks are available from HPD for free. Call
567-5519 for more information.
Umatilla water reuse project moves ahead
Nov. 13, 2017
The City of Umatilla receiving a permit and moving forward with its water reuse project.
City Manager Russ Pelleburg says they received the permit from DEQ and are adjusting the
schedule on the project, which would add 3 miles of pipeline to separate and reuse
industrial wastewater to benefit crops through the West Extension Irrigation District.
"We've had this project in the works for some time," Pelleburg says. "We're
going go break ground sometime in February or early March, then have it operational in
Thats a $3 million project. Umatilla also continuing preparations for the downtown
sixth street project as well as applying for grants - this week - for funding sources to
add water through the Highway 395 corridor south of Umatilla. The city applying for grants
to add water, sewer, and other services to the area
City Council considers $750,000 investment
Nov. 13, 2017
The City of Hermiston also moving ahead on projects. During tonights city council
meeting, the council to consider awarding a construction contract for almost $750,000 in
water system improvements to C&E Construction. The improvements will provide city
water to VaData. The company, an Amazon subsidiary, building data centers in the area near
the Interstate 84 and Interstate 82 interchange. Council document says the bid is higher
than the engineers original estimate that was a half million because
of high vendor prices for equipment, high subcontractor bids due to high demand for
contractors, and work in winter conditions.
The council to also consider taking over a portion of W. Highland Avenue from Umatilla
County and adjusting the transient room tax. That proposal gives the Hermiston chamber of
Commerce 3 percent of tax revenue for operation of a visitors center in the
chambers new location.
The council will have a work session to discuss legislative drug law changes that
begins at 6 and The council meeting begins at 7. Find the full agenda here.
The Hermiston School Board also meeting tonight. Thatll be at 6:30 tonight at the
district offices. The action items include adopting the OSBA bylaws
An executive session also planned, its a hearing about a minor student. The full
Three serious wrecks on Thursday
Nov. 10, 2017
Oregon State Police reporting a multi-vehicle, multi-injury crash at 12:06 yesterday
afternoon near milepost 156 in Morrow County.
Preliminary investigation showing traffic had slowed or come to a stop due to construction
work in the area. The crash involved one commercial motor vehicle, one passenger car, one
pickup and one pickup towing a trailer. Six patients were transported to various regional
hospitals via ground ambulance and Life Flight with injuries ranging from critical to
The accident remains under investigation by Troopers from the Pendleton Area Command with
assistance from the Oregon State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit. Additional information
regarding the cause of the crash, the vehicles involved, and occupants will be sent out in
a future release.
The Interstate remained closed for approximately 3.5 hours to allow for investigation and
removal of crashed vehicles.
The eastbound lanes were closed following the crash and then diverted onto the Westbound
Lanes during the response and investigation, which included a sand truck deployed to help
clean up fuel and vehicle fluids spilled on the roadway. Ambulances from Boardman, Irrigon
and Arlington responding, as well as Umatilla County Fire District 1, Boardman Fire,
Morrow county Sheriff and Oregon State Police.
OSP has the lead in the investigation.
Interstate 84, milepost 159
That wreck the second OSP investigation for Morrow County Interstate 84 yesterday.
Oregon State Police asking for help in the first incident that ended in a death. Dispatch
just after 3 in the morning yesterday on Interstate 84 eastbound near milepost 159
in Morrow County. OSP says a minor motor vehicle collision happened in the off ramp
between a gold Ford Ranger and a commercial (semi) vehicle. The driver of the pickup left
the scene and ran toward the Tower Road overpass. During a search of the area, troopers
found the body of driver of the pickup, a 28-year-old man from Portland, on the shoulder
of I-84. A release from OSP says evidence suggests the man scaled the fence on the tower
road overpass and jumped. He was then struck by an unknown vehicle that did not stop.
Troopers says they believe it was a dark, metallic gray vehicle. Anyone with information
asked to contact Oregon State Police Dispatch. Trooper Mitch Pace from the Pendleton Area
Command is the lead investigator.
The Oregon State Police were assisted at the scene by the Morrow County Sheriff's Office,
Boardman Fire, and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Feedville and Edwards
Later that morning, a t-bone car crash at Edwards and Feedville yesterday morning. Both
teenage drivers injured and the crash still under investigation.
The crash yesterday morning around 8. Umatilla County Sheriffs Office and Umatilla
Fire District 1 responding. The crash involved a 19-year-old female driver, the only
occupant of a red Oldsmobile Alera, traveling south on S. Edwards Road, and a 16-year-old
male, the only occupant of a silver, 1993 Chevy pickup traveling west on Feedville. The
female driver was extricated from her vehicle. Both drivers transported to Good Shepherd
Medical Center. One driver receiving minor injuries, the other for injuries that were
severe. No citations were issued, investigation is ongoing.
Warming Station opens extra training
Nov. 10, 2017
The Hermiston Warming Station has already opened on an emergency
Basic six nights this fall and the season doesnt even start until Nov. 20.
Coordinator Trish Rosell says the warming station opens when the temperature is below 32
degrees. This year, that means theyve opened six nights and have been used 26 times.
This year, the Hermiston Warming Station hopes to open every night from Nov. 20 through
February, but theyre still struggling to find volunteers. Rosell says they have
about half the volunteers they need.
To help fill the shortage, theyre offering training almost every day for a week
starting on Saturday. The training is two hours and is offered this Saturday
morning, Sunday afternoon as well as on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of next
week. You can find times and contact information on the facebook page for the Hermiston
Festival of Trees tickets on sale
Nov. 9, 2017
Last week, tickets went on sale for this years Hermiston Festival of Trees
and theyre already getting close to sold out. Festival of Trees co-chair Liz Marvin
says more than half the tickets were sold in the first three days, in part because
its becoming a tradition that benefits the community and marks the beginning of
"It's a great way to kick off the Christmas season," she said. "It's a lot
Festival of Trees is the 2nd and 3rd of December. It begins with the auction on Saturday,
which benefits both Hermiston Kiwanis and the Good Shepherd Community Health Foundation.
Bob Green, executive director of the Good Shepherd Community Health Foundation, says funds
will go toward health scholarships and community grants for health related programs. A
portion of money raised by Kiwanis this year through the Raffle tree will go
toward revitalizing Greenwood Park.
Tickets are $40 for the Dec. 2 dinner and auction. Those are only available from the
Hermiston Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to the dinner auction, Festival of Trees family day will return again this
year on Dec. 3. For a suggested donation of $5 per family, theyll have crafts,
cookie decorating, photos with Santa and more.
Find more information by contacting the Good Shepherd Community Health Foundation or
Hermiston Kiwanis. Tickets again available from the Hermiston Chamber
HHS marks college and career week
Nov. 8, 2017
Its college application week at Hermiston High School and across the state of
Oregon. At the high school, that means extra time with counselors and help filling out
financial aid and understanding how to apply. Its also a week guest speakers, skills
like learning how to shake hands and conduct yourself in a job interview. Counselor Melody
Bustillos says its about what students do after high school.
"We want all of our students to be looking beyond high school, 'What are my next
steps,' and that's why we think it's important to weave in that college and career
component," Bustillos said.
Tomorrow, theyll have the Bulldog Career Discovery fair. Its from 3:30 to 7
during parent-teacher conferences. College Bound Coordinator Liz Marvin says they have 38
different career booths covering a wide variety of job fields.
For more information, contact Hermiston High School .
Delays on Highway 730 on Thursday
Nov. 8, 2017
Drivers can also expect 20 minute delays in Umatilla on Thursday as road crews perform
pavement patching along Highway 730. Thatll be from 9 until 4 tomorrow between the
Port of Umatilla and the junction with Highway 395. Flaggers will be in the area.
Construction on Highway 730 was scheduled to be completed before winter but is now delayed
until next year. A release from ODOT says the pavement patching will help protect the
unfinished work and create a smoother surface during the winter months.
Chamber, Girl Scouts honor veterans
Nov. 8, 2017
Later this week, the Hermiston Chamber of Commcere hosting its annual veterans day
breakfast this Friday. Chamber director Debbie Pedro says itll have presentations,
musical performances, and special speakers.
"It's like a USO show from back in that day," Pedro said. "That's something
really neat about it. It brings back a lot of memories for our veterans."
The event is free for veterans and their families. You can RSVP by contacting the
Hermiston Chamber of Commerce. If you have photos of a veteran to submit for the breakfast
slideshow, those photos should be received at the chamber as soon as possible.
While the chamber and local girl scouts are hosting veterans events, The Hermiston Elks
Lodge will not be hosting a Veteran's Dinner this year. A releasing saying Due to the
rough winter last year, the building is in need of repairs which are currently being
scheduled. The Elks continue to support Veterans throughout the year and thank veterans
for their service.
The Girl Scouts of Oregon & SW Washington will be holding a dinner on Friday at 5 at
New Hope. Its open to all veterans and one guest of their choice. Space is limited
for the girl scouts veterans day dinner. Reservations required at 541-579-0768.
Update on I-84 closure from Nov. 6
Nov. 7, 2017
Interstate 84 closed for most of the day yesterday after a tanker crashed and spilled
ammonia solution over the highway near Meacham. Donna Carlson, of Prescott, Arkansas,
driving the semi-truck and trailer and losing control on the vehicle on the icy road. The
rollover ruptured the trailer. Carlson and her passenger were not injured, but OSP and the
Oregon Department of Transportation set up an isolation distance of ½ mile. I-84 was
closed from Pendleton to Baker City before opening late yesterday afternoon. Current
reports on Meacham, spots of ice and carry chains or traction tires.
OSP Bomb Squad donates robot to Umatilla
Nov. 7, 2017
Yesterday afternoon, a surprise for students at Clara Brownell Middle School in Umatilla.
After hearing about the districts thriving robotics program, Oregon State Police
Bomb Squad presenting the district its old explosion robot. Dubbed Pickles,
the district says the robot will help students learn robotics on a new level.
Umatilla reconsiders OSU Extention
Nov. 7, 2017
In other Umatilla news, the Umatilla City Council has a meeting tonight at 7 at City Hall.
The agenda includes a second look at the OSU Extention Service District. Umatilla is the
only city in Umatilla County to turn down creating a ballot measure to create a new taxing
district. The issue being reheard at the request of Mayor Daren Dufloth. Also on the
agenda, a resolution updating the Umatilla Community Accountability Board and a
intergovernmental agreement with the City of Hermiston for Building Services.
That meeting begins at 7 at Umatilla City Hall. The Boardman and Stanfield City Councils
also meeting at 7 this evening.
Nov. 6, 2017
I-84 is closed EASTBOUND and WESTBOUND this morning due to crash involving hazardous
materials at MP 233 near Meacham. The EASTBOUND freeway is closed at Exit 216 six miles
east of Pendleton. The WESTBOUND freeway is closed at Exit 302 in Baker City due to no
room left for trucks to park in La Grande. Icy conditions are present along the freeway
between La Grande and Pendleton resulting in additional crashes in the area. The Hazardous
material spill occurred along the EASTBOUND lanes, but the WESTBOUND lanes are also
impacted due to material spill. Haz-mat response crews will advise when freeway can be
open. More information will be release as it becomes available
Firefighter killed by tree
Nov. 6, 2017
A Hillsboro man died in the mountains near Heppner on Friday morning. Morrow County
Sheriffs Office reporting the man was hunting when a tree fell. The person who
called 911 hiked up to a ridge to get cell service and reporting the man was unresponsive.
The man died before emergency responders arrived on scene. Although Morrow County has not
released the identity of the man, Hillsboro Fire & Rescue reporting the man is a
Hillsboro firefighter and paramedic. A memorial is planned for Saturday.
UCFD#1 responds to 4 fires in 24 hours
Nov. 3, 2017
Umatilla County Fire District 1 responding to four structure fires in 24 hours from a
chicken coup to a shop as a total loss. The first fire at Lam Weston Wednesday mid-morning
that was contained to air handling equipment and likely mechanical the
second started by a heating lamp and burning a chicken coup. An apartment fire started
when food was left on the stove, setting off smoke alarms but causing no damage. The
fourth fire burning a 30 by 30 shop that was a total loss. Umatilla County Fire District 1
saying that fire still under investigation but it may have been started by improper use of
extension cords. No injuries reported in the four fires, but the total estimated damages
at about $80,000.
City traffic light project back on
Nov. 3, 2017
Good news for the city of Hermiston. After unsuccessfully bidding a construction project
in May, the Oregon Department of Transportation is accepting a bid to build two new
traffic signals in Hermiston. Mark Morgan, assistant city manager says bidding the project
in May meant they had a lot of competition and received no bids, but last week, they
re-opened bids for a project to put in traffic lights at the 11th and Elm and 11th and
Orchard. Morgan says the low bid came in below the engineers estimate at $2.3
"If they can get all the contract docs signed, they'll start construction and you'll
see things moving early spring," he said.
The projects should be completed by the end of October next year at the latest. In
addition to the traffic signals, the the elm project will also include having turn lanes
going into good shepherd medical center and crosswalks connecting the end of the Oxbow
trail into the walking trails at Good Shepherd Medical Center.
Morrow County police chase ends in 2 wrecks
Nov. 1, 2017
A police chase ending in rollover accidents in Morrow County.
Morrow County Sheriffs Office responding just after 1:30 in the afternoon to a
report of two dark colored pickup trucks trespassing on a farm. When deputies located the
vehicles just north of Heppner on Highway 74, the pickups did not stop, speeding through
Heppners Main Street and onto Highway 207 before splitting and going in different
directions. Vehicle one turned off on a gravel road, continuing at high speeds
including over 100 mph - for about 10 miles before losing control on a curve, driving off
a hillside and crashing.
42-year-old Buddy James Buoy, from Portland, arrested and charged with attempt to elude,
criminal mischief, trespassing, reckless driving and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Meanwhile, the second vehicle began a slow-speed pursuit on Highway 207, not allowing
deputies to pass, then attempted to drive down a steep canyon hillside, rolling the
vehicle and becoming trapped inside. The driver, whose name has not been released, was
extricated and had to be transported by Life-Flight.
Both suspects are believed to have been involved in a theft of several vehicles from a car
dealership in Pasco, according to a press release from Morrow County Sheriffs
The investigation is ongoing.
Echo, Stanfield FFA banquet this weekend
Nov. 1, 2017
This Saturday, its the Echo and Stanfield FFA Chapters annual fundraising dinner and
auction. Stanfield FFA President Lydia Herty says money raised goes toward the chapters to
help in covering expenses year round.
"Proceeds benefit both our chapters directly, and this really is our one major
fundraiser. It brings in enough for us to compete in everything and do all the projects
throughout the whole year," she said.
Doors open at 5 Saturday evening in the Stanfield High School Gymnasium. Dinner begins at
6, and the live auction starts at 7. Tickets $10 per person or $25 per family of four.
You can buy tickets at the door or from any FFA member in the two chapters. Contact either
school for more information.
Treats on Main tonight
Oct. 31, 2017
It is Halloween, and in Hermiston, that means the return of "It's our big Halloween
event that we put on," Brandon Artz, Recreation supervisor for Hermiston Parks and
Recreation said. "It's going to be a great time. We have a lot of volunteers and a
lot of businesses taking part in this, and we thank each one of them."
Main Street will be closed off tomorrow for Trick-or-Treating. The treats on
Main go from 3 to 5 with downtown businesses handing out candy or other times, then the
fun moves to the Hermiston Conference Center from 4 to 7 for the beyond Main
Street celebration, including childrens games, snacks, a haunted house, a maze and
more all for free.
Artz says they dont have a set way to measure participation but they think about
4,000 people participated in Treats on Main last year. For more information, you can
contact Hermiston Parks and Rec or downtown businesses.
Fellowship Dinner seeks volunteers
Oct. 31, 2017
Changes on the way for this years Community Fellowship Dinners, and theyre
really looking for volunteers. The biggest change is the location. Both Community
Fellowship Dinners thats Thanksgiving and Christmas this year will be
in the Hermiston High School commons.
Theyre preparing for between 750 and 800 people.
"The only way that happens is we have almost 200 volunteers that come in and do
everything from welcoming people in at the door to helping at the table and serving as
people come in. It's all volunteer," said Community Fellowship Dinner board chairman
They are looking for volunteers to help with prep work on Wednesday as well as Thursday
morning and helping serve and green guests as well as for drivers. Meals are delivered
during the event, and they do offer rides.
Humphries says theyll take volunteer signups any time from now until Thanksgiving
but the earlier the better.
You can find more information on their facebook page or by calling 541-371-9772
Forest Plan work continues
Oct. 30, 2017
The Umatilla County Commissioners continuing to work on the Blue Mountain Forest Plan.
Commissioner Larry Givens says they're making progress, "but it's at a critical point
now where we have got to have our voices heard and talk about some of these changes,"
The Forest Service is reviewing a plan put forth last week by representatives from
Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Baker, Harney and Grant counties. Givens says it outlines what
the counties need to accept the next revision of the Blue Mountain Forest plan, a document
thats been in negotiations for years. Givens says No. 1 on the list is grazing in
the forest lands, as well as forest management practices like logging, and forest access,
which includes for recreation and for hunting.
"They are going to come back some time in the first, middle of November and tell us
what has to be tweaked in it, what they just can't accept," he said. "We're
getting a little farther. It was sometimes tense, but we've made progress."
In addition to waiting for feedback on the forest management plan progress, Givens says
theyre watching the Resilient Forest Act, which changes funding and streamlines
Hansell, Barreto to stop in Echo, Pendleton
Oct. 30, 2017
If you want to talk forest plan or any other state issues, two area representatives have
scheduled town hall meetings with local chambers of commerce next weekend. State Sen. Bill
Hansell and state Rep. Greg Barreto will be meet with multiple chambers next month in
Umatilla, Union, and Wallowa counties.
On Nov. 8, theyll present to the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce at Hamleys Cafe
in Pendleton, starting at 8 in the morning. That same day, theyll visit the
Milton-Freewater Community Building Rotary Room at noon, and then on November 9,
theyll visit with the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce at the Mercantile in Echo, 201
W. Main Street. That starts at 8 in the morning. That same evening, the duo will head to
Rocky Heights parking changes
Oct. 30, 2017
This morning, changes for parents dropping off and picking up students at Rocky heights
Elementary. The district has redesigned the flow of the parking lot that faces Standard
Avenue and it tentatively begins today. New lines painted over the weekend to
separate two lanes one for student pick-up and drop-off and the other allowing
vehicles to drive through.
To assist students and parents with the new traffic flow, the first several days there
will be extra staff in the parking lot before and after school to assist with a successful
Halloween celebrations begin today
Oct. 27, 2017
Halloween is Tuesday, but Umatilla is kicking off its celebration tonight with Trick
or Treat on Sixth Street. Families encouraged to go trick-or-treating at Umatilla
businesses from 3 to 6 this afternoon, and the Umatilla Chambers Lori Kimbal says
its easy to know which businesses are handing out treats by the large, pumpkin
The event also includes games and activities at Village Square Park, which is across the
street from city hall and the library.
Tomorrow, its a Trunk-or-Treat event at the Hermiston Walmart from 6-9, and, of
course, costumes are encouraged at Stanfields Fall Festival and Haunted Library from
6 to 8 tomorrow night as well.
On Halloween, a Trunk-or-Treat at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church and Treats on Main
& Beyond in Hermiston planned for 3-7 on Tuesday, more on that next week,
Drug take-back day
Oct. 27, 2017
As youre on your way to an from an event this Saturday, the Drug Enforcement
Administration and Local Law Enforcement Agencies want you to drop off unused medications.
Regularly cleaning out leftover painkillers or other addictive medicines in your home is
one of the best ways to prevent theft and drug abuse. This Saturday, DEA and local law
enforcement are again teaming up to take unused, unwanted prescription medications off
your hands. There are 172 collection sites in the Northwest, including the Hermiston and
Milton-Freewater police departments. Collection times from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Man shot on dare
Oct. 26, 2017
A dare ended with a man shot near the Frasier Campground on Tuesday night. At about 9:20
p.m., Umatilla County Sheriffs Deputies and a Union County Sheriffs Deputy
responded to a report of a man who was shot at or near the Frasier Campground, about 2
miles west of the Union/Umatilla County border.
A 29 year old man from Reno, Nevada received a gunshot wound
in the leg after another man shot him. The two men were at a camp near Frasier along with
a group of about 12 other
campers who were drinking and celebrating. Initial reports are that two men agreed to
shoot each other with bean bag rounds from a shotgun on a dare. The first shot injured the
victim with a serious wound to his thigh. Fortunately, an EMT was near the scene at the
time of the shooting and began treating the victim. A private party transported the
injured man to Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande.
UCSO will continue to investigate and then forward reports to the Umatilla County District
Attorney for consideration. There does not appear to be any threat to the public regarding
UmCo Health looks at "Year of Wellness"
Oct. 26, 2017
Umatilla County Public Health is looking at starting a Year of Wellness
countywide next year. Meghan Field is spearheading the event and says theyd like to
have an event every month an event already going on or something new that
ties with the theme.
Right now, theyre looking for partners and organizations willing to both help plan
the Year of Wellness and those who already offer events that could be listed in a common
event calendar or website. Jim Setzer, Umatilla County Public Health director. says they
hope to encourage groups from across the county to participate.
"We really want to expand from the usual health suspects and get more of the
community involved," said Setzer.
For more information, contact Umatilla County Public health.
HEF Fun Run this weekend
Halloween is less a week away, and local cities are preparing for the holiday with events
going on Friday through the end of the month. For one weekend event, however, the focus is
on the future and funding projects for Hermiston schools. Its the 11th Hermiston
Education Foundation Fun Run.
The fun run has three events this year: a 5K run, a 5K walk, and a one-mile run. The cost
is $30 for the 5K and $15 for the mile run. A t-shirt is included with pre-registration,
and they will provide shirts as long as they are available for day-of registration but
cannot guarantee size availability.
The foundation raises money through two primary fundraisers: The beach and beef crab feed
in the winter and the fun run in the fall. The money funds scholarships for Hermiston
students and grants for Hermiston educators.
On-site registration on Saturday begins at 7:45 at Sandstone Middle School. The run starts
at 9. You can pre-register, find the link and more information through the HEF website.
911 texting coming to Umatilla County
Oct. 24, 2017
By the end of the year, Umatilla County residents could be able to text 911.
Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan says theyve been working on texting capability
for the past year. Once Umatilla County is live, Rowan says youll be able to hit 911
and type out the message
"If someone can't communicate or if by communicating verbally would agitate the
aggressor, this gives them the opportunity to send that text, describe what's going on and
then get resources rolling," Rowan said.
The Text-to-911 system is already operating on the west end of the state, including in the
city of Portland, where its focused on people who may be in an emergency like a home
invasion or abusive partner where silence is part of safety and for those who are deaf or
have another disability that limits speaking capability.
"It's just another very good tool we have in our toolbox to provide that public
safety services to the public that we serve," he said.
The program is currently being tested in Umatilla County and could be live in the county
Pumpkin decorating tonight
Oct. 24, 2017
Tonight, pumpkin decorating at the Hermiston Public Library. Library director Mark Rose
says its a new event theyre excited about. Through donations from Bellinger
Farms, the first 50 families will receive a free pumpkin to decorate.
Families are welcome to bring their own pumpkins as well, and all decorating materials
will be supplied free from the library.
Pumpkin decorating is from 4 to 6 at the Hermiston Public Library library on Gladys
Avenue. For more information or details, you can call the library at 567-2882.
City Council to talk Ranch & Home
Oct. 23, 2017
At 7 tonight, a meeting of the Hermiston City Council. Theyll be considering
amendments to the development agreement with Ranch and Home, the walls and roof of the
store now visible at the construction site off South Highway 395. Theyll also
consider directing staff to monitor the intersection at 3rd and locust. The action after
concerns from an area resident and business operator. Theyll be analyzing traffic
including commercial and delivery trucks, public transportation users and the potential
impact of the new parking lot for Hermiston High School being constructed on the former
Umatilla County Fairgrounds. In addition, the council will recognize Kellie Zepeda for
completing her Gold Award, the highest honor a girl scout can receive.
Find the full
2 home fires over weekend
Oct. 23, 2017
Two home fires this weekend, one in Stanfield and one in Irrigon.
The Stanfield fire at about 1:30 on Saturday claiming a home on Willow drive and about
$170,000 in damages but no injuries reported. The cause is still under investigation.
A fire also reported on Fourth Street in Irrigon. That one affected one adult. Red Cross
is providing resources.
Local fire officials saying structure fires primarily homes increase this
time of year due to home heating. Have furnaces, chimneys, and heaters serviced before
using and make sure heaters and vents are clear from all items, debris, curtains and
Sheriff plans jail changes
Oct. 23, 2017
This is also the time of year planning is going on for next year, including for the
Umatilla County Sheriffs Office. sheriff terry rowan says this is also the time he
starts meeting with division commanders to do strategic planning and goal setting for the
next fiscal year.
One of those big projects involves the Umatilla County Jail.
The jail was designed for 169 inmates but has been modified to hold 252, which leads to
what Rowan calls bottle necks: when someone is arrested, they must be medically
cleared, mentally stable and detoxed.
"At times, 10 out of 10 arrestees come in either they're under the influence of some
kind of controlled substance or there's some kind of medical issue, and until they're
cleared, we can't put them in general population," Rowan says.
As part of the strategic planning, they're looking at options to expand holding and solve
that bottleneck. Rowan says that could mean remodeling or retrofitting in the current
In other sheriffs office news, we will have information about a pilot program to
text 9-1-1 later this week.
Engineering begins on Airport Road
Oct. 20, 2017
Slow but steady work moving ahead to improve Airport and Ott roads. The traffic congestion
the top complaint about this years Umatilla County Fair and Farm-City Pro Rodeo.
County Commissioner Larry Givens says engineering now beginning on that project and it
will likely include widening Airport Road, adding turn lanes, and paving work on both
The county has a little over 1 million in state funding earmarked for the project, and
Givens says they hope to have it completed late summer of 2018.
In other county news, Umatilla county public works director Tom Fellows selected to serve
on the national association of counties, surveyors and engineers.
Echo Oktoberfest Oct. 21
Oct. 20, 2017
From tonight to this weekend. Theres a now annual charity fundraiser happening in
Echo. Its the Echo Kiwanis Oktoberfest, and
Co-founder Phyllis Shovelski says itll happen rain, shine or wind.
"We've got tents and heaters and fire pits and 16 varieties of beer," she said.
"It's going to be a great time in Echo."
As a charity event, all the money goes back to the community. This year, the funds raised
will go toward repair efforts at historic St. Peter's Church and to scholarships.
Oktoberfest begins at 4, and live music begins at 6:30.
The Echo Open Air Market and Corn Maze will take place that same afternoon, they'll have
polka musicians to set the atmosphere, and Kiwanis president Michael Duffy says a
mule-drawn covered wagon from Equine Excellence will provide transportation between For
children, an inflatable obstacle course and kids activities. Tickets are $15 and include
three tokens for use at the event and local restaurants. If you purchase tickets before
Saturday, you get an extra token for use at the event. You can also purchase tokens at the
day. Tickets are available at businesses in Echo, Stanfield, Hermiston and Pendleton. You
can visit the facebook page for Echo Kiwanis Oktoberfest
School Board work session
Oct. 20, 2017
Monday, the Hermiston School Board has a work session. Theyll be talking facilities
planning for their study items. The meeting also includes a school presentation and a look
at the coming events calendars. That meeting and work session begins at 6:30 Monday at
Highland Hills Elementary.
Linkage Fair tonight
Oct. 19, 2017
A reminder that today is the Great Oregon Shakout and shakeouts taking place across
the country, so be prepared for earthquake and emergency drills today. Also happening at a
local school today
its the third annual Linkage Fair for the Hermiston School
District. The fair helps provide a bridge between agencies with families, from counseling
services to basic needs like food and shelter.
Maria Duron with the Hermiston School District says The Linkage Fair will take place from
5 to 7 tonight in the commons at Sunset Elementary School. This is the third annual event,
and its the first time its being held in the fall.
Booths will be set up for families to drop in and pick and choose what organizations to
talk with. Childcare will be provided, and food will be available. Theyll also have
translation services. The whole event is at no cost to families thanks to donations.
Its open to community members and families from surrounding areas as well.
You can contact the Hermiston School District for more information.
Schools, businesses mark Great Oregon Shake Out
Oct. 18, 2017
Tomorrow is the Great Oregon Shake Out, and local schools are participating. In the
Hermiston School district, schools will hold drills and practice the drop, cover,
and hold on procedure in the case of an earthquake. Theyll also start
conversations students can continue at home.
"We would like to encourage families to sit down and talk about what is it they would
do in the event of an emergency - not just an earthquake but any kind of event," said
Maria Duron, communications officer for the district.
School officials and educators are encouraging families to talk about different scenarios,
from how would you react to an earthquake if you were in a vehicle, what do you do at
Across the district, theyll be doing the drills on Thursday, and across the state,
about 600,000 people expected to join the Oregon Shake Out.
Althea Rizzo, with Oregon Emergency Management, says just like people dealing with
hurricanes, you need to have enough supplies to make it on your own for two weeks if a
major earthquake occurs.
"It's simply going to take time to get any kind of response effort up and
running," she said.
Rizzo says after a major earthquake, driving will be difficult due to damaged roads and
bridges, and communications may be out. Families should have response plans for how to
travel, reunite, and communicate.
Its not too late to register your organization and participate in the Great Oregon
Shakeout: visit shakeout.org/Oregon for more information, including recommended earthquake
safety and an earthquake guide for people with disabilities.
Fire strike team heads to Santa Cruz
Oct. 18, 2017
The fire strike team from Union and Umatilla counties moving location but still helping
fight wildfires. The local team, along with teams from Washington County and Linn/Benton
counties, being reassigned to assist with the Bear Fire in Santa Cruz. The team includes
firefighters and equipment from Umatilla County Fire District 1 and Pendleton Fire and
headed out on Friday with three other strike teams from across the state.
Two of the Oregon strike teams Mario County and Jackson/Josephine counties
already being demobilized to head back to their home stations. Oregon strike teams in
southern California will remain as long as that area is under a red flag warning
officials expect at least through the coming weekend.
Umatilla County fire crews head to California
Oct. 16, 2017
Fire crews from Eastern Oregon headed to California. The strike crew made up of
firefighters from Umatilla and Union counties. fight fires burning near Chino in Southern
California. The teams leaving around 11 Friday night and including brush fire engines from
Hermiston, Pendleton, and Union County. The crews responding to Californias request
for five strike teams from Oregon. They join 10 other teams in California, working on
24-hour work cycles to protect home sand other structures.
CDC campaign still seeking participants
Oct. 16, 2017
If youve had the CDC come by your house in the past few weeks but havent
participated in The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey theyre
probably be back.
Study Manager Janis Eklund says theyre still looking for another 100 participants
from Umatilla County only, they cant take volunteers. A research and data
collection service for the CDC, NHANES selected Umatilla County as one o its 15 counties
this year. A random, scientific sampling picked out about 460 people in the county as
potential participants, and Eklund says their goal is to have 320 participate in the
survey because each one of those represents thousands of others of a similar age across
The NHANES survey Mobile Examination Unit is currently at the Umatilla County Fairgrounds
here in Hermiston, where it will be for about another month. For more information, you can
visit the website cdc.gov/nhanes or contact the Umatilla County Health Department.
Fairgrounds parking lot work
Oct. 16, 2017
Speaking of the former fairgrounds, work continuing on the demolition and parking lot
construction for the Hermiston School District.
"We are actually running a little ahead of schedule there," Interim
Superintendent Tricia Mooney says. "The timeline has that completed at the end of
April, but we're actually running ahead of that."
The project being funded through a spring correction in funding from the
state. Hoeft Hall and Thompson Hall will remain one building for storage warehouse
and one for the transition program. The combination paved and gravel parking lot will
serve Hermiston High School.
School District report cards released
Oct. 13, 2017
Final school district report cards sent home to schools and districts and released to the
Jon Wiens, with the Oregon Department of Education, says the report cards give you a lot
of information about local schools, from attendance ratings to score performance. They are
not, however, doing a specific score for each school this year - because they're in the
process of changing to a new system that will be in place next year.
In Hermiston, good news in English Language Arts, and not quite as good news in
mathematics. Overall, 52 percent of students in the Hermiston district met proficiency for
their grade level in English, and 42 percent for math. At the high school level 73
percent of HHS juniors met standards in English, a 10 percent increase from last year, but
. Only 28 percent of students scored proficient and thats an 11
percent increase since last year. In Umatilla, superintendent Heidi Sipe says We have seen
tremendous student growth at the elementary and high schools and are reviewing data to
replicate that same success in student growth at the middle school. The Morrow County
School District coming in above the state average across the board.
To find report cards for any specific school, follow this link,
select the school district from the drop down menu, then download the report card for the
Heating fires on the rise
Oct. 13, 2017
This is fire prevention week, and with both a chimney fire and a brush fire reported this
week, Fire Marshal Tom Bohm says its a good time for a reminder.
"This time of year, it seems to pick up," Bohm said. "Structure fires seem
to pick up, and it's mainly due to heating."
The fire last night reported in the flue of a chimney that hadnt been cleaned before
use as we get into the colder months. Scott Goff, Eastern Oregons deputy fire
marshal, says that fire is an important reminder of the risks and prevention efforts.
"It emphasizes the point that folks needs to get out there, inspect their heating
sources and get those cleaned out," he said.
Bohm recommends following a home safety checklist to make sure your home is ready for
winter heating before turning on the furnace including making sure your filter is
clean and you have at least six inches of space between the baseboard and any furniture
including beds and couches.
The main focus for this years National Fire Prevention Week is Every Second
Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out! Goff says that means taking a look around the house and
have a plan in case an exit is blocked, such as having a door and an operable window.
And, during fire prevention week, Bohm announcing he will retire in February. Goff will
take over Bohms position. Bohm began his career in the fire service in 1977.
Hes served as Hermistons fire marshal since 2004.
For now, however, Bohm is continuing as fire marshal and cautioning all local residents to
get a burn permit before burning and run through the home safety checklist to prevent
fires this season.
HHS hosts FAFSA workshop
Oct. 13, 2017
On Saturday, Hermiston High School is hosting a FAFSA Day on Saturday, October 14,
8:30-2:00. Experienced individuals will be on hand to assist students and their parents
with this application. Students from surrounding schools are welcome to come as well.
HHS seniors have received a post card with their appointment on it, items listed on the
post card must be in hand to fill out the FAFSA, if HHS students have completed their
FAFSA, they may disregard the appointment.
Pedestrian struck by vehicle on 395
Oct. 12, 2017
A man struck by a vehicle yesterday afternoon. Police have not released the name of the
man struck just before 2 yesterday afternoon on highway 395 north of Hermiston. The man
had been crossing at or near Bensel Road, and the highway was closed during the emergency
response, which included Life Flight. The man suffering serious injuries in the low-speed
crash, and the driver of the vehicle has been cooperating with police. Oregon State Police
is in charge of the investigation.
The accident coming less than a week after Hermiston Police Department announced it was
beginning a zero tolerance policy for pedestrians jaywalking across Highway 395.
Flu season begins
Oct. 12, 2017
Umatilla County Public Health and the Oregon Health Authority both speaking out today
about the start of flu season and that this year might be worse than it has been
the last few years.
Jim Setzer, Umatilla County Public Health Director, says this year theyre looking at
a virulent strain of the influenza virus with severe symptoms, so theyre encouraging
people to get the flu vaccine.
At the peak of the flu season, 3 percent of patients in emergency rooms have flu symptoms,
and right now that number is at 1 percent.Doctor Ann Thomas, with the Oregon Health
Authority, says that means flue season is arriving and you should look at getting a flu
shot. It takes two weeks after you get the shot for the vaccine to take effect.
The Oregon Health Authority saying they have already had 22 positive flu tests from
hospitals across the state they begin tracking the flu the first week of October
To help prevent influenza, you can stay home and limit contact with others if you are
sick, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and wash hands with
soap and water.
CDC, School testing on Odds & Ends
Oct. 11, 2017
Have you been visited by the CDC in the past few weeks? Do you want to know more about the
trailers on the old fairgrounds or what NHANES is all about? Want to know more about the
most recent standardized tests Smarter Balanced in our schools in the
region? Jennifer talks with InterMountain ESD Superintedent Mark Mulvihill, Umatilla
County Health Director Jim Setzer and NHANES Study Manager Janis Eklund in todays
Odds and Ends program. Listen here.
Warming station needs volunteers
Oct. 11, 2017
It feels like fall outside, the weather is getting colder, and the Hermiston warming
station only has six more volunteer training sessions before the emergency shelter opens.
Coordinator Trish Rossell says theyre looking for any adults willing to give time to
help those in need.
"If you're an adult and thinking about maybe giving back to the community, donate
your time," Rossell says. "That is what we most need: More than socks, more than
a check, I need willing, capable, compassionate people."
The warming station provides emergency, overnight shelter for people to sleep during the
winter months, and they need seven volunteers per night. The volunteers work in shifts of
either two or three people, and for this season, theyll run every night from Nov. 20
to February 28
"We find that being open every night during those months, the consistency allows our
people to become more stable,and find a permanent arrangement," she said.
Rose-ell says the people who use the warming station come from the community and may not
fit the typical homeless mold.
"These are not necessarily people who are unwilling to work," she said. "We
have sometimes served entire families who have just fallen on hard times, so we're happy
to help them for a couple of nights until they can get back on their feet."
The volunteer trainings remaining are this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and then Oct. 22,
Monday, Oct. 23, and Thursday, Oct. 26. The training is two hours long and volunteers must
complete one training session. Morning, afternoon, and evening trainings are available.
You can call 541-289-2150 to register.
Fundraiser for Echo student tonight
Oct. 10, 2017
A fundraiser in Echo to help a fifth-grade student diagnosed with a brain tumor. The
family has been traveling back and forth to Seattle for treatment.
"Maddy's really been a trooper through all this - she hasn't wanted to miss a single
day of school," says Echo Schools Superintendent Raymon Smith. "We want to try
and step up as a community to help."
Smith says theyre hosting a spaghetti feed tonight at the school to raise money for
the family. It goes along with a double home volleyball match with Helix and Nixyawaii,
and both local schools have agreed to partner with the feed so all the money raised will
go to the Thomas family for medical and transportation bills. All materials have been
donated, and itll start at 5:30.
It is also homecoming week in Echo. You can contact the Echo School District for more
Burglary and Pursuit in Irrigon
Oct. 10, 2017
Two people arrested in last weeks police chase and burglary. On Thursday afternoon,
Morrow County Sheriffs Officer responding to a possible burglary in Irrigon that
resulted in a police pursuit. The Sheriffs office terminating the chase due to
danger to the public but the Umatilla Police Department was called out on pursuit
of the same vehicle seven minutes later. The two suspects eventually arrested by
Washington State Patrol and the vehicle reported on fire. 26-year-old Amber Cravens and
34-year-old Brandon Ulrey, both of Yakima, lodged in Benton County jail in Washington. The
Morrow County Sheriffs Office has filed charges of first-degree burglary,
second-degree theft, and felony elude on the duo. The case is pending additional charges
from the sheriffs office, Umatilla Police and Washington State Patrol.
HHS marks testing day
Oct. 10, 2017
This is homecoming week at Hermiston High School. They have spirit weeks, a day off on
Friday its a statewide in-service day and on Wednesday, its high
school testing day: all sophomores will take the PSAT, juniors will take the ASVAB, and
the seniors will take the SAT. Freshmen will have a career opportunity day.
Hermistons interim superintendent, Tricia Mooney, says testing day is offered at no
cost to the students. The district pays for the SAT, the military pays for the ASVAB and
the Oregon Department of Education pays for the PSAT. Its designed to help students
pursuing higher education.
Because this week is homecoming week, the high school also tailoring spirit days to make
sure it wasnt a distraction Wednesdays dress-up theme is flannel
day. The district is asking that all high school students have a nutritious
breakfast tomorrow morning.
City Council votes on Police Union contact
Oct. 9, 2017
The Hermiston City Council meeting tonight. On the agenda, the police union contract. That
is expected for a vote tonight. Although negotiations on the contract started at the end
of 2016, they werent completed until Sept. 26th of this year. The current union
contact expired on June 30.
Changes to the contract include allowing 12-hour shifts, expanding the definition of sick
leave and changes to health insurance premiums. It also includes a 2.75% mandated for this
year and next year. The union has already approved the agreement, and the council has
their chance tonight.
The regular meeting begins at 7 tonight at Hermiston City Hall. The council will also tour
the Harkenrider Center tonight in lieu of a work session.
HPD starts jaywalking campaign
Oct. 6, 2017
Distracted Driving changes starting this month, but now, an additional warning from the
Hermiston Police Department: Police Chief Jason Edmiston says theyre taking an
additional step from the distracted driving campaign and also this month starting a zero
tolerance for pedestrians jaywalking on Highway 395.
The chief says the department has received several complaints of pedestrians obstructing
traffic on highway 395 which can be a disorderly conduct violation. Edmiston says
the department is dedicating resources to assist with the obvious problem people are
Oct. 6, 2017
A 911 outage affecting US Cellular customers in Umatilla County, as well as other counties
in Eastern Oregon, yesterday. Service out much of the day and all of the afternoon before
being restored just after 5 yesterday. The cause of the outage is unknown.
Oct. 6, 2017
70 percent of Americans have not written a plan saying what will happen to their
belongings after they die, and, of the 30 percent who do many have out-dated
materials that need to be reviewed.
"Whenever they go back and actually read what the plan says, 70 percent of them don't
like the contents," financial expert Chuck Knox says. "Circumstances have
changed, life has changed, people have changed... and when they really go back and read
it, they want to make some changes."
Knox is leading a Free Will and Estate Planning workshop this Sunday at
Hermiston Assembly of God. The session begins at 6 and will cover why you should think
about estate planning and how you get started. Knox says you dont have to do a lot
of homework before the workshop, and they will have worksheets and workbooks available.
"The program's not designed to be a legal program. It's designed to be motivational,
educational, help you understand the options you have and the choices you have," he
Knox will also be making appointments for one-on-one counseling on Monday and Tuesday.
Knox is the vice president of Salem-based Church Extension Plan. He travels across the
country presenting about will and estate planning. For more times and information, you can
contact Hermiston Assembly of God.
That event is this Sunday. A reminder of other events coming up, this afternoon is the
women veterans event at Holiday Inn Express here in Hermiston, tomorrow in Boardman,
the Morrow County Harvest Festival at the SAGE Center, in Lexington, the Red Barn Fun Run
all proceeds go to the Heppner/Ione Cross Country Team - and, in Pendleton, Project
Community Connect and the Umatilla and Morrow county Veterans Stand Down
Umatilla County talks housing
Oct. 5, 2017 -- The cities of Hermiston and Pendleton aren't
the only local entities talking housing this year.Umatilla County and the state of
Oregon - working to bring people together to figure out some solutions.
"We have a housing problem," Umatilla County Commissioner Bill Elfering said.
"We need to get the housing puzzle solved."
Elfering says the Hermiston area runs about 98 percent occupancy, which means only 2
percent of homes are open for sale or rent at a time. Elfering says its a good
problem to have because its based in economic development, but it is still an issue.
Next week actually one week from today Umatilla County hosting Kim Travis
with Oregon Housing and Community Services to talk about the statewide housing plan.
Umatilla County Planner Bob Walder says theyre looking for input from leaders
affiliated with housing to review housing data and look for strategies to improve housing
in Oregon. That session will be Oct. 12 at Stafford Hansel Governance center in Hermiston.
You can Contact Kim Travis for more info
Harvest Festival returns Saturday
Oct. 5, 2017
This Saturday, an annual event bringing games, vendors, activities and more to the SAGE
Center in Boardman. Its the Morrow County Harvest Festival, and SAGE Center Director
Heather Cannell says theres a lot going on from pumpkin painting to mule-drawn
carriage rides. Theyll also include a photo booth and beer and wine tasting, and
admission to the SAGE Center is free.
For more information, you can call the SAGE Center thats 481-7243 or
visit the website or facebook pages for the SAGE Center.
Housing changes coming to Hermiston
Oct. 4, 2017
The City of Hermiston is working to entice developers. Hermiston Assistant City Manager
Mark Morgan says theyre changing zoning to stimulate housing development.
"People are building houses currently, but we hope that these changes will help
developers realize more profit when developing in Hermiston, so, hopefully, we'll attract
additional housing developers to come to the area," he said.
Morgan says in the mid-2000s, the city consistently had 100 housing permits or more a
year. That fell during the recession, and it hasnt picked up as much as the city
would like and theyre seeing an increase in average housing costs.
To stimulate housing, the city changing zoning to allow for smaller lot sizes
meaning more houses in a subdivision and changing what percentage of a lot can be
developed, as well as easing some development standards.
Morgan says theyre hoping more houses and lower housing costs will attract commuters
from Benton and Franklin counties in Washington to purchase homes in Hermiston. You can
see the new standards at the citys website. The changes take effect on Oct. 25.
Student-built home sells
Oct. 4, 2017
Speaking of new homes, the Hermiston School District announcing yesterday the sale of
Fieldstone Crossing #3, the third of eleven student-built homes in the Fieldstone Crossing
subdivision. The home going to Taylor and Brittany Smith, and Brittany Smith is an
elementary teacher for the Hermiston School District. Theyll turn over the key in a
brief ceremony this afternoon. That starts at 4 at Fieldstone Crossing #3, 875 Angus Court
in Hermiston, adjacent to Armand Larive Middle School.
Veterans Stand Down, Project Community Connect this weekend
Oct. 4, 2017
From new homes to the homeless.
Coming up this weekend Project Community Connect and the Umatilla and Morrow County
Veteran Stand Down. The event running from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Pendleton
Convention Center and open to anyone from Umatilla and Morrow counties. Its a
combination of two events, both designed to connect community members with services. Glen
Scott, Veterans' Service Officer for Umatilla County, says The Veterans Stand Down is a
big benefit for connecting veterans with resources and information.
"Sometimes veterans may not be aware of different benefits that are available or may
not have time to make it to a veterans services office during the weak," Scott said.
"A weekend event like this might be advantageous to them, find out what is available
The veteran Stand Down focusing on health care, benefits applications, employment
services, basin needs items, and mental health counseling, including PTSD and MST.
Its being held at the same time as Project Community Connect. That event reaches out
specifically to those in the community homeless or at risk of being homeless. Theyre
providing employment and education services, haircuts, legal help vision care, pet care,
and health screenings and insurance application help. Clothing and hygiene supplies and a
free meal also available. You can contact CAPECO for more information about project
community connect - That number is 1-800-752-1139 and for the veterans stand down
information, call 541-276-1926. They are also looking for more volunteers
Theres also an open house celebrating women veterans. Thats from 3 to 6 this
Friday at the Holiday Inn Express in Hermiston. Snacks, beverages, gifts, and networking,
as well as an opportunity to have questions answered by the Oregon Women Veterans
Coordinator and see the I Am Not Invisible photo exhibit. Its open to
all women who have served in the military, sponsored by the morrow and Umatilla county
veterans services offices and the Oregon Department of Veterans affairs. You can contact
the veterans services office for Umatilla or Morrow counties for more information.
HHS grad moving to Tri-Cities
Oct. 3, 2017
Hermiston High School graduation heading to the Toyota Center in June.
Last night, the Hermiston School Board of Education voting almost unanimously to host
graduation on Thursday, June 7, at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
Board Chair Karen Sherman saying the voices that carried the most weight were the
graduating seniors, their parents, and school staff. In the most recent round of surveys,
the district only considered continuing at Hermiston High School and limiting seats or
moving to the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
Nate Rivera, the interim manager of the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center, says
theyre making plans to have the district re-consider the rodeo arena at EOTEC for
"The goal is to have Hermiston High School graduation hosted in Hermiston,"
Rivera said. "We're going to do everything we can to have a realistic operations plan
and budget for them to consider for the following year's graduation."
Rivera, who is serving as the interim manager until December, says they would have been
able to have the arena ready for graduation this year, but they did not have enough time
to put together full cost estimates before the district deadline last month.
The district has said hosting graduation at an outdoor arena would increase costs because
they would have to prep the high school gym as a backup - costing thousands in employee
Umatilla Chamber wins grant
Oct. 3, 2017
Good news for the Umatilla Chamber of Commerce and development in that city.
Chamber director Lori Kimbel says the chamber received at 16-hundred-dollar grant from
"We will be able to hire a consultant to create a destination development plan, find
out what direction we'd like to go to bring tourists into the Umatilla area," Kimbel
Umatillas grant is for creation of a destination development plan to
identity travel markets, map assets and prioritize product development. KImbel says they
already have a consultant and could see work happening this month.
Travel Oregon awarded $400-thousand dollars in 29 grants across the state, all for local
tourism projects that must be completed before October of 2018. Only two directly impact
northeast Oregon: Umatillas grant and one to the Eastern Oregon Visitors
Well have more with Lori Kimbel on Fridays Odds & Ends program.
In Her Shoes tomorrow
Oct. 2, 2017
October is domestic violence awareness month, and it comes at a time when A woman is
battered every 15 seconds in the United States. Thats from the FBI, and Kathryn
Chaney, with Domestic Violence Services, says its an issue in Umatilla and Morrow
counties, and they're raising awareness through In Her Shoes, and its
happening all day tomorrow at Good Shepherd Medical Center. Its a simulation for
what its like to be in a domestic violence situation and what the options
Good Shepherd health educator Kathy Thomas says the scenarios are all based on real
situations. The scenarios are drop-in and you should give yourself at least 30 minutes, if
not an hour, to complete it if you will be going by. Theyll also have classes going
on throughout the day on what is domestic violence, why does she state, children and teen
dating violence, sexual assault 101 and elder abuse 101. Trained advocates will be
available to answer questions, and they will have food available for participants in the
scenarios or the classes as well. All are free of charge. In Her shoes runs from 7 in the
morning until 4 in the afternoon tomorrow.
You can contact Domestic Violence Services or Good Shepherd Health Education for more
3 Councils have meetings Tuesday
Oct. 2, 2017
Also, tomorrow, three council meetings in three area communities.
The Umatilla City Council meeting focuses on a resolution in recognition of Boyd Sharp, an
active and educated community leader in the city of Umatilla. Council will also vote on
declaring surplus city property theyre selling an older police vehicle
and on a gambling license application for Russs Place. That begins at 7 at Umatilla
Tomorrow, a meeting of the Stanfield City Council. That begins at 7 in the evening in the
City Council Chambers at 150 West Coe Avenue. On the agenda, an ordinance regulating
mobile food units and vendors. Theyll also consider changing the time of Stanfield
municipal court and have an update on the Odor issues from hoosier lane,.
The Boardman City Council meeting also begins at 7, that one at Boardman City Hall. On the
agenda, the Columbia Avenue Pathways Project.
Help needed to ID Morrow County poachers
Sept. 27, 2017
Oregon State Police meanwhile asking for help identifying two people caught on camera
trespassing on private property in Morrow County.
After the photo was taken, at least three elk were illegally killed between Sept. 16
and Sept. 23 and much of the meat was left to waste. Troopers saying the two people
in the photo are believed to be involved, as well as a third person. The suspects were
camped in the area of Martin Prairie in the Heppner district. If anyone has any
information, theyre asked to contact Oregon State Police Trooper Michael Mayer at
541-561-7581. You can also notify the TIP hotline at 800-452-7888 or TIP@state.or.us,
NHANES gets ready
Sept. 26, 2017
Trailers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have arrived at the former
Umatilla County Fairgrounds and theyre almost open for business. The trailers
make up the Mobile Exam Center, and its where health professionals are conducting the
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or NHANES.
Janice Eklund, NHANES Study Manager, says the biggest issue theyve run into is
"In this day and age there are scams and those things happen, but we are
legitimate," Eklund said.
Umatilla County one of only a handful selected from across the country to participate in
NHANES this year. Eklund says will open to participants on Thursday for a variety of
Participants selected by random scientific sampling. You should have received a post card
and a magnet in the mail if your home has been selected. Although theyll open to
selected participants on Thursday, crews are still out interviewing potential participants
in the community.
Find out more at www.cdc.gov/NHANES
HPD charges 2 with theft
Sept. 26, 2017
Two thieves arrested by Hermiston Police Department thanks to an alert resident.
Forty minutes before midnight on Sunday, a Hermiston resident called 911 and reported he
was following a vehicle where a suspect had stolen a $17-hundred chain saw from his porch.
Hermiston officers responded to Jack in the Box, where the vehicle was in the drive-thru
and discovered the suspects driving a vehicle reported stolen out of Umatilla. 33-year-old
Jesus Vidales and 35-year-old Edilberto Ramirez, both of Hermiston, arrested and lodged at
the Umatilla County Jail on charges of first-degree theft and unauthorized use of a motor
vehicle. Police chief Jason Edmiston says the Hermiston resident who called 911 did the
right thing by reporting the crime and allowing officers to engage the suspects.
Man identified in officer-involved shooting
Sept. 25, 2017
Oregon State Police and Morrow County District Attorneys Office continuing the
investigation into an officer-involved shooting on Friday just outside of Boardman.
At about 1:50 Friday morning, the deputy stopped for a disabled vehicle on Interstate 84
westbound near exit 164 thats the Boardman exit. The deputy encountered a
26-year-old adult male armed with a firearm, later identified as Efren Hurtado, of
Boardman. Shots were fired, although the release does not state the exact series of
The deputy was uninjured, and the adult male was transported to the hospital suffering
from an apparent gunshot wound. At the request of the Morrow County Sheriffs Office,
the Umatilla/Morrow County Major Crime Team was activated. The deputy is not being
identified during the investigation. More information will be released as appropriate.
Additional wolf funding for Umatilla County
Sept. 25, 2017
More than $60,000 in additional grant coming to Umatilla Countys wolf committee this
fall that will go toward non-lethal wolf control, to help out local farmers and
ranchers affected by thriving wolf packs. This summer, four livestock kills confirmed by
wolves in Umatilla County alone. County Commissioner Larry Givens says the grant is
earmarked for non-lethal tactics only and will go to specific producers the farmers
and ranchers impacted by the wolf attacks.
"It will go to the producers...their cost for transportation and fuel and salaries
for someone to go up and check on the animals," Givens said. "It's a lot of work
to keep those animals safe."
The money can be used as reimbursement for some of those costs or for things like
additional fencing and increased patrols. Givens says it will go out around December, once
they have reports from the producers on the impacts of the wolves this year.
Producers will submit reports on how many hours theyve had to put in patrolling
areas to keep wolves away and how many losses theyve experienced.
School Board talks grad venue - again
Sept. 25, 2017
The Hermiston School District is talking graduation venue survey results on Monday during
meeting and work session. That will be at West Park Elementary School. The meeting
also expected to include the establishment of a Farm to School grant fund, a presentation
from staff at west park, and a motion to change the October meeting from Oct 9 to Oct 2.
The work session begins at 6:30 Monday at West Park Elementary.
City Council considers EOTEC
Sept. 25, 2017
The Hermiston City Council also meeting tonight in a work session and regular meeting.
They kick off discussions with a comparison of the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center
and the Hermiston Conference Center. Off The city has opted to take over management of the
Hermiston Conference Center at the end of this year, and theyll be discussing how
the two event centers can work together. That work session begins at 6 at Hermiston City
Hall . The regular meeting begins at 7 and includes a proclamation for first responders
appreciation week, committee vacancy announcements, and multiple ordinances and
resolutions regarding zoning changes designed to increase housing construction. Find the
Hermiston man arrested after vehicle assault
Sept. 22, 2017
A Hermiston man arrested after attempting to run two men over with a vehicle. 57-year-old
Michael Alan Park, from Hermiston, assaulted two men at a marijuana growing operations
then allegedly tried to run them over with his vehicle. A release from the Umatilla County
Sheriffs office says Parker was asked multiple times to leave but refused. Parker
began fighting with the men then tried to run over one of the victims, hit a fence and
became stuck. The victims left the property to call police and returned to find several
windows broken and marijuana plants damaged. Earlier in the day, police escorted Parker
from a marijuana store in Pendleton after he caused a disturbance.
Parker arrested and charged with multiple counts of assault, criminal mischief, and
menacing. The case is still under investigation.
Umatilla County promotes planning director
Sept. 22, 2017
Umatilla County has a new planning director and theyve opened a new position
for a new department.
Umatilla County Commissioner Larry Givens says theyve promoted Bob Walder as the new
Umatilla County Planning Director. Hes the former assistant planning director and
now moves into the spot replacing Tamra Mabbott, who left the county to take a new role in
the city of Umatilla.
"Bob is well known with the staff, he's well liked with the staff, he's an excellent
planner," Givens said. "He's done a great job, and we look forward to having him
in that position."
Along with the new planning director, theyre also making some changes: and splitting
up planning and economic development. To match the new department, theyre hiring for
a new department head: an economic development tourism coordinator.
The county is also hiring for another planner to take Walders position. Information
on county employment available at the countys website.
Family Health and Fitness Day: TOMORROW
Sept. 22, 2017
Coming up, tomorrow at Hermiston High School, the annual Family Health & Fitness Day.
Sponsored by the Healthy Communities Coalition, Good Shepherd medical center, and numerous
community partners, its a day of free screenings, free information, and free
"I think we're excited about the variety of things that are going on," said
Angie Treadwell, SNAP-Ed coordinator for OSU Extension. "There's something for every
age group - if you have young children, teens, if you're in the senior age category - I
think we've got something for you."
says they will again have cooking classes and snacks available, alongside free health,
dental, and vision screenings, wellness exams and childrens games and activities,
including the Teddy Bear clinic. Treadwell and Catie Brennamon, with Good Shepherd Health
Education say one of the exhibits more than 10-foot-tall-and12-foot-wide will be
hard to miss: Nolan the Colon.
Family Health and Fitness Day begins at 9 tomorrow morning at Hermiston High School. That
runs until 2.
Alvarez takes 8 years settlement
Sept. 21, 2017
A settlement in a Morrow County homicide case.
18-year-old David Alvarez facing homicide charges in the shooting of Evencio Salas
Birrueta of Irrigon on Sept. 11, 2016. A settlement conference ending with a charge of
second-degree manslaughter and a sentencing of 100 months in department of corrections.
Morrow County District Attorney Justin Nelson says the settlement took into account
strengths and weaknesses of the case especially a primary witness changing his
story multiple times - as well as feedback from the victims family. The press
release says the shooting was related to a debt the victim owed Alvarez. Alvarez did flee
the state after the shooting only to turn himself in in Longview, Washington, days later.
Nelson says while the crime took place in the City of Boardman, it took the effort of the
Morrow/Umatilla County Major Crime team and all staff at the morrow county district
attorneys office to prosecute.
Burn ban lifted in Umatilla County
Sept. 21, 2017
Umatilla County today lifting the non-agricultural burn ban in the unincorporated areas of
the county. Burn day protocol is still in effect, and does require a permit. You can find
daily burn day determinations on the Facebook page f or Umatilla County Smoke Management,
and you can contact the Umatilla County Planning Department for more information and
permit applications. In Umatilla County Fire District 1, no burning allowed June 1st to
Sept 30. The burn season for Fire District 1 is Oct. 1 to 31.
Cason's Place open house Saturday
Sept. 21, 2017
This weekend, the open house and grand opening of Casons Place, a nonprofit grief
support center. John Nitz, vice president of Casons place, says the program serves
all of Eastern Oregon and focuses on children and families suffering loss.
"What we're trying to do is bring a system of support that naturalizes or makes the
loss of a parent, a child, into a more normal realm," Nitz says. "We're trying
to give the support they need to work through this time in their life."
Nitz says the program has been in planning for a number of years but his work with
children in the Hermiston School District helped prompt the final push for Caseins
place over the past year as Hermiston students coped with multiple tragedies.
The center will provide group and individual support as well as coordinated trained
volunteers to help families handle grief. Nitz, who works for the Hermiston School
District, says schools do a great job with immediate crisis response, but some children
may need support after the crisis team leaves.
"The thing about grief is it can last weeks to years," Nitz says. "We want
to be there in the second half, for the long-term for these kids."
Caseins Place focuses on children but does have programs for entire families as well
as for adults. The new facility, a former hospice building, has rooms with different
themes to help children express grief, whether through anger or art or anything in
between. The open House is Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the new facility, 1416 SE Court
Avenue, in Pendleton. Visit casonsplace.org for
BMCC prepares for ribbon cutting, Ag-Ed banquet ready to go
Sept. 20, 107
Blue Mountain Community College preparing for a grand opening this month, this one next
week for the Facility for Agricultural Resource Management thats the FARM
building. FARM is the third and final of the bond-funded projects, joining the Precision
Irrigated Ag facility here in Hermiston and the Workforce Training Center in Boardman.
FARM is set for a grand opening from 4:30 to 6:30 on Thursday, Sept. 28. Along with the
grand opening, theyre hosting an Art about Ag exhibit in the Betty Feves Memorial
Art Gallery, to coincide. That exhibit will run Monday through Thursday and by appointment
from Sept. 25 through October 26. They have scheduled an opening reception at the gallery
in Pioneer Hall for 4:30 to 6:30 on Sept. 28, so anyone interested in attending both the
FARM and the Art about Agriculture events can attend both. You can contact BMCC for more
information about either event.
Speaking of the irrigated ag facility, its one of the beneficiaries of a fundraiser this
weekend: The Lions Ag-Ed Banquet and Auction. Preston Winn says the event will help fill
in the gaps left in the bond funding.
The event also benefits the Hermiston Lions Club, which supports community programs and
organizations. Doors open at 6 this Saturday for the Ag-Ed banquet and auction. That will
be at the Hermiston Conference Center, including both live and silent auctions and a
catered dinner by Sundance Grill. Tickets are $40You can purchase tickets at Good
Shepherd, Kuhn Law Offices, the Hermiston Chamber or Commerce, or the BMCC Foundation
That same day, theyre also sponsoring the Don Horneck Memorial Fun Run and Walk.
That 5K run/walk begins and ends at Hermiston High School. Registration begins at 7;30,
and the run kicks off at 9
Semi strikes bus in Kennewick
Sept. 20, 107
Several people injured in Kennewick yesterday when a potato truck smashed into a Ben
Franklin transit bus yesterday afternoon. Washington State Police release showing the
driver of the potato truck was from Umatilla thats Zurisaday Moya-Jimenez,
age 33. Reports saying Moya-Jimenez failed to stop at a red light on Washington State
Route 395 and struck the bus. His 1994 Freightliner Potato Truck totaled and impounded. At
least six people injured and transported to hospitals in the tri-cities. Reports saying
the injuries are serious but non life-threatening. Moya-Jimenez has said the brakes failed
on the truck, which is why it would not stop. The highway closed during emergency response
and potato clean up. The case is still under investigation.
Men arrested for burglary, warrants
Sept. 19, 2017
Three men arrested in Irrigon yesterday two were suspects in a burglary; the third
had warrants from other counties.
It started with a call of suspicious activity in Irrigon around 5:40 in the morning
yesterday, Morrow County deputies and an officer from the Boardman Police Department
responded. They picked up Jesus Concepcion Llamas and Brandon Linn Wilson, both 35 and
both from Irrigon, on charges of first-degree theft and second-degree burglary. Wilson
also facing charges for providing false information to police and warrants out of Lane and
Douglas counties. A third man, 53-year-old Larry Bush, also arrested on warrants from
Oregon Parole and Probation Board as well as a warrant from Washington for
escape/community custody. All three lodged at the Umatilla County Jail.
Depot negotiations move forward
Sept. 19, 2017
Negotiations continuing to move forward on the transfer of the Umatilla Chemical Depot
property to the Columbia Development Authority. In addition to national guard training,
the depot property is slated for a combination of nature preserve and economic
development, both commercial and industrial. Umatilla County Commissioner Bill Elfering,
who sits on the CDA, says theyve had a few hiccups and are now looking
at cultural preservation, including sites from the Oregon Trail and a prehistoric fire
Elfering says the cultural survey also turned up some materials from arrowhead carving,
and additional cultural surveys will be done.
All negotiations must be completed before that date. Elfering says the big one for the
Columbia Development Authority was the water issue, which has been set. Now theyre
still working on a final cost for the property: the army says $1 million, and the offer
from the CDA is free because it removes the government from maintenance obligations
while allowing for economic development on the depot property.
Elephant's Trunk auction looms
Sept. 19, 2017
Coming up this weekend, one of Stanfields most well known buildings heads to the
auction block. The Watts Building at 105 S. Main Street better known by its last
tenant, The Elephants Truck, has been on the market. Now, this Sunday, its slated to
be sold at auction. City Manager Blair Larsen says its an important part of the
"It's a beautiful building," Larsen said. "It does need work, but but as
that building goes, I really think the downtown of Stanfield goes. We need to do whatever
we can to make sure it gets restored."
The Elephants Trunk ran for 15 years in Stanfield before its owner retired and
closed it down almost three years ago. The large building remains one of the most visible
in Stanfield, right on the corner of Coe and Main Streets Highway 395. Before
Sundays auction, From noon to 2, there is a preview for any interested bidders.
Larsen says hell ask the city council during tonights meeting if - depending
on how the auction goes the bidder list could include the city.
The city council could decide not to authorize a price during the meeting tonight. That
meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the citys council chambers on Coe Avenue.
The Elephants Trunk auction on Sunday will take place inside the building. Also on
the auction list, a vacant lot adjacent to Elephants Trunk and the property at 165
Coe. The auction itself begins at 2 p.m. You can contact Stuart Realty Group,
503-263-7253, for more information.
CDC trailers arrive in Hermiston
Sept. 18, 2017
Trailers from the Centers for Disease Control arriving at the former Umatilla County
Fairgrounds over the weekend. Its part of the National Health and Nutrition
Examination Survey or NHANES that will be taking place over the next few
weeks. Umatilla County one of only a handful counties in the country participating in the
health surveys. Results will go into tracking national health trends and dictating health
Many selected participants should already have been contacted.
Pendleton police standoff ends in shooting
Sept. 18, 2017
A police standoff in Pendleton that ended in a gunshot on Sunday. A 42-year-old Pendleton
man taken by Life Flight after a reported self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He had
been engaged in a police standoff for several hours inside his home on the North Hill in
Pendleton. It started with a domestic assault call from the man's wife on Sunday morning.
She escaped, and police attempted to communicate with the man through the door. They did
eventually obtain a search warrant and SWAT members entered the home, finding him with a
gunshot wound to the head.
Hermiston narrows graduation venue search
Sept. 15, 2017
The Hermiston School District has narrowed the decision on the venue for graduation in
June of 2018: to keeping it at Hermiston High School or move to the Toyota Center in
Kennewick. Original surveys included options to host graduation at Kennison Field or at
the rodeo arena at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center, but the one opened yesterday
only has the two options.
The choice also changes the date for graduation. If the district stays at the high school,
graduation will be Saturday, June 9. If they go with the Toyota Center, it will be
Thursday June 7.
You can take the four-question survey by
Children's rodeo brings cheers
Sept. 15, 2017
Yesterday, almost 50 students from across Eastern Oregon participated in the
childrens rodeo, an event designed for special education students and put on by the
InterMountain ESD and a whole team of volunteers.
"It's one of the most moving events that we do," ESD Superintendent Mark
Mulvihill said. "It's kind of emotional because you see the happiness of these kids,
and they're cheered on by everybody."
Mulvihill says participants this year came from all four counties within the ESDs
region. Maria Sanchez, of Boardman, attended with her son for the second year and says
more parents and families should participate.
"My son is really proud and happy to come," she said. "It's exciting, and
it's different. It's fun."
Three kids from Echo participated in the childrens rodeo, but the stands were full
of cheering classmates: Echo took its kindergarten through fifth grade classes.
"It's a really special event that we can rally around all of our students,"
Second-grade teacher Billie Parker said. "Other schools don't get to do this, so it's
fun for us to cheer for everyone."
Parker says its an annual tradition.
The children's rodeo has taken place for three decades.
Schools up across the region
Sept 14, 2017
Area school districts have passed the 10-day mark where enrollment numbers typically
stabilize and kids who havent showed up whether from moves or transfers or
other issues are removed from the rosters. After the dust has settled, most local
districts are up.
"There's obviously hot spots where enrollment is booming and there are hot spots
where enrollment is static," said Mark Mulvihill, superintendent for the
InterMountain ESD. Mulvihill says numbers are good overall for the region. The Morrow
County School District is up 22 students from last year, coming in just more than 2,260
students while Umatilla, although a smaller district, also increased 22 students, up to
As the largest district in our area, Hermiston has seen the largest increase: 119.
"We're up - that's good to see," said Interim Superintendent Tricia Mooney.
"It's exciting to be part of a growing district: It gives us a lot of opportunities,
definitely, but it also gives us a lot of growing pains."
Mooney says the growth is across the board. The smallest is the sophomore class at
Hermiston High School at 386. Thats the only class less than 400 students. The
fourth-grade class has 492 students.
Hermiston reporting 5,770 students as of Monday, just before the 10-day drop off. The
Stanfield School District did see a decrease of 19 students this year, from 493 students
last year to 474 this year, but its more stable than it has been in the past, and
Mulvihill says even Pendleton is showing a large kindergarten class after years of
"It's a sign of economic vitality in communities," Mulvihill said. "It's
not great, and I'd like to see more, but it's a good, solid, good."
The growing enrollment trend continues at Blue Mountain Community College as well, and
Mulvihill says its a good sign for the region.
Forest use restrictions drop
Sept 14, 2017
Public use restrictions on the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National forests dropping to
phase B today. That allows use of campfires in designated recreation sties. Restrictions
on chainsaws, internal combustion engines, generators and smoking remain in effect.
Firewood cutting not allowed, and travel restrictions still prohibiting motor vehicles
traveling off designated roads and trails. You can visit the website for the Blue Mountain
Interagency Dispatch for more information.
Board next steps in grad venue
Sept. 13, 2017
This morning, members of the Hermiston School Board meeting with district administration
to begin the process of discussions again on this school years
Hermiston High School Graduation.
"At this point in time, we're divided in the community as to what would be the best
venue," Board member Karen Sherman says, adding she expected the Hermiston School
Board to approve the districts recommendation of hosting this school years
graduation at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. Instead, the board voted 5-2 to again table
t he decision after hearing pushback from the community about moving graduation out of
Hermiston. Multiple community members spoke during last nights meeting, and the
majority supported working to keep graduation local.
Interim Superintendent Tricia Mooney says the 7-member board cares greatly about the
community and its students.
"This is an emotional decision for our community, and the board members hear that and
want to make the best decision for our community, for the district going forward,"
Mooney said. "No matter what decision is made, we're going to have people that are
unhappy, and that's unfortunate."
Sherman says board members will meet with Mooney and other district officials and decide
what the next steps will be.
"We need a little bit of think time," Sherman said. "We need to take some
deep breaths, and we should be able to move forward with what information we think people
need to know."
The board will revisit the issue with the community and are expected to vote again in
You can hear the full interview with Sherman and Mooney here.
Two jailed for hospital theft
Sept. 12, 2017
Two area residents are in jail after an attempted theft at Good Shepherd yesterday.
35-year-old Jonathan Price of Hermiston and 34-year-old Maria Martinez of Irrigon arrested
and charged with first-degree theft. A release from the Hermiston Police Department says
the duo attempted to steal two spools of copper wire valued at $2,000 from a
storage building at Good Shepherd. A security employee found them, but they fled the scene
before officers arrived. They were picked up just before 7 in the evening on Sunday and
taken into custody. Price and Martinez are also suspects in a theft from a heating and
cooling company north of Hermiston on the same day, and HPD says additional charges may
come from the Umatilla County Sheriffs Office in that theft.
Riverside goes on lock out
Sept. 12, 2017
Boardmans Riverside Junior/Senior High School went into lock-out for about 30
minutes yesterday morning because of an incident with police activity in the area.
Some reports saying the lock out was caused by a parent who threatened to
shoot the school, but the parent telling police he said sue the
school. During the lock out, all exterior doors were locked. Students and staff were able
to go about business as usual. The lock out lifted just before noon.
School Board to vote on grad venue
Sept. 11, 2017
The Hermiston School District could decide the location of the 2018 graduation tonight,
and administration is recommending
moving it to Kennewick. Last month, the board
discussed results from a community survey and admins cost estimates and tabled the
discussion. Its listed as an action item on tonights agenda, and the
recommendation district administration is presenting calls for changing the location of
graduation to the Toyota Center in Kennewick for one year. It asks the district reassess
after June of 2018 for potential option in Hermiston for graduation in 2019.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. instead of the usual 6:30. Find
the full agenda here.
City Council increases franchise fees
The Hermiston City Council also meeting tonight. Theyll be considering increasing
franchise fees in eight different utility areas from Cascade Natural Gas to Charter
Communications. The increase in franchise fees will help pay for improvements to the
street network. That meeting begins at 7 at Hermiston City Hall, and you can click here for
the full agenda.
Dedication postponed at Sunset
Sept. 7, 2017
The dedication for the new playground at Sunset Park scheduled for today has been
postponed because of smoke and the closure of Interstate 84. A new date has not yet been
set, but more information expected from Hermiston Parks and Recreation when that is
Fire at Tillicum Inn
Sept. 7, 2017
Firefighters still at the top of the news today, but this time closer to home.
Firefighters from multiple regional departments responding to the Tillicum Inn in Umatilla
just before noon yesterday after a fire threatened the building on Sixth Street. All
residents of the hotel evacuated around 11:40 in the morning, and firefighters battled the
fire for about three hours through multiple rooms and attic space. Six rooms were damaged
in the fire with smoke and water damage throughout the rest of the building, and two
firefighters treated for heat exhaustion. No injuries reported in guests or employees of
the hotel. Preliminary investigation suggesting the fire may have started because of
maintenance work. Damage estimated at about $300,000.
Arrest made in student assault
Sept. 7, 2017
Last week, a student athlete reported a man accosted her while she was running, and
yesterday, Hermiston police arresting 35-year-old Joel Cardenas, of Hermiston, in
connection to the incident. Hes charged with first-degree sex abuse. Hermiston
Police Chief Jason Edmiston says the incident was unfortunate for the victim, witnesses
and members of the entire community, but it was through community information they were
able to locate Cardenas and his vehicle. A release from the Hermiston Police Department
saying the request for information was shared 540 times with more than 32,000 people
viewing the information online. Edmiston says even though social media can be distracting
with misinformation, it made a difference in this case.
Stanfield talks smell... again
Sept. 6, 2017
The Stanfield City Council last night talking again about a certain
over the city this year. Odor issues from the 3D Idapro Solutions plant on Hoosier Lane
the subject of many odor complaints since fires took out the scrubbers at the plant in
Stanfield City Manager Blair Larsen says the company is on track to fix it, but the city
isnt satisfied with the current reductions. They are still gathering information
about where the smell is the biggest problem. Theyre encouraging residents to
contact city hall with constructive criticism.
"if you call and leave a message and say, 'It smells bad, I'm at this address and
this is the time,' then that's far more helpful," Larsen said. "We're doing what
we can to collect that information and get it to the company."
The council discussing the odor issues last night, and Larson says theyve also
outlined the steps the city and company are taking to reduce the smell. Those are in this
months newsletter, which you can find at city hall or at the Stanfield Public
Library. Among other steps, the plant will not be running during Stanfield events
including home football games.
The city council still moving forward on modifications to the citys nuisance
ordinance. The council tabled the new ordinance last night for legal review, If approved,
among other things, it would add teeth to the citys case if 3D IdaPro does not
resolve the odor issue.
HSD statement on DACA
Sept. 6, 2017
The Hermiston School District responding to the news the Trump Administration will
dismantle the DACA program thats Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
a program offering protection for children brought into the country illegally.
The districts statement, from interim superintendent Tricia Mooney, says
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Dreamer students and families that might be
affected by todays federal decision. We will monitor the well-being of our students
while they are under our care and will provide support if necessary to make sure that all
our students are able to maintain focus on their learning
Umatilla forming mural committee
Sept. 1, 2017
The city of Umatilla could be more colorful in the near future.
Mark Ribich, city councilman and chamber board member, is spearheading a mural initiative
for downtown Umatilla. He says the idea came from feedback during Umatillas mid-week
"Through the summer, our goal was to get people out of their houses and downtown, and
one of the things we heard complaints about over and over was that it's drab, there's no
color," Ribich said. "People want to see something new, and they've commented on
it all year."
Owners of two buildings in Umatillas downtown are already onboard with the idea, and
Ribich says hes working with the city to create a mural society
organization to help the initiative.
The group will then work on finding funding sources, selecting topics and working with
artists. You can contact Mark Ribich at 253-204-5979 for more information.