by News Director Jennifer Colton
541.567.6500 or 541.289.NEWS or KOHUnews@gmail.com
Hermiston council considers
replacing City Hall Jan. 15, 2019
The Hermiston City Council is considering replacing Hermiston City Hall.
Council members setting a self-imposed deadline of one month to make the decision on
whether they will repair damages to city hall after a December fire or replace the
building on the same site.
Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan saying the city has some repairs it must make
including cleaning records but could leverage some insurance money into a new
building instead of making repairs to the current facility.
Morgan says in question is about $100,000 that would be needed to replace of the HVAC
system, carpets and equipment that was flooded or could be put toward a new building.
The current city hall building was built as a bank in 1965 and expanded when it became
city hall in the mid 1980s.
Morgan saying replacing City Hall would allow to city to correct the city hall issues with
mobility and ADA accessibility. They are looking for feedback from the community and
Hermiston residents can contact city council members to provide input. The council will
likely discuss the city hall issue during its next meeting on Jan 27 and could make a
decision at that meeting or the first meeting in February.
Christianson wins Dancing with the Stars Jan. 13, 2019
A cha cha, a tango, a bit of fundraising, and a mirror ball trophy was awarded Saturday
night in Hermiston.
At the end of the night, a combination of judge scores, audience votes, and fundraising
dollars crowned Bennett Christianson as the champion.
The event raising more than $10,000. Christiansons portion of the fundraising for
Campus Life. He says he did not expect to win and that some of the other dancers
deserved it more.
"I'm shocked. I'm literally shocked. I had no idea. My expectations were pretty low,
and there are some awesome, awesome dancers," he said.
Christianson line danced a country two-step. Five points separating Christianson and the
runner up for the event, Shawn Lockwood. Lockwood brought in the highest amount of
fundraising for her charity, Made to Thrive. The event was organized by the Hermiston
Garbage rates, food pod on tonight's agenda Jan. 13, 2019
A proposed garbage rate increase on the agena tonight for the Hermiston City Council along
with a work session covering the food pod review and a final decision on the Eastern
Oregon Development Rezone Request. The city council will be voting on accepting the
findings of fact.
Tonights meeting is in the Lanham room at the Hermiston Public Library because of
ongoing clean up and repair work at Hermiston City Hall, the site of a fire late last
month. Also on the agenda, update and possible action on City Hall Status.
The work session begins at 6 tonight, followed by the regular council meeting at 7. Click
here for the full agenda.
School board hosts award reception Jan. 13, 2019
The Hermiston School Board is meeting tonight at 6:30 at the Hermiston School district
During the meeting, recognition of the educators of the year, the administrator of the
year, and the board of education. As part of the recognition, the board will have a
reception that lasts until 7:30. The board meeting will resume at 7:35 with time for
public comment, reports, and discussion on Division 22 Assurances.
The school board will meet in a closed-door, exectuve session over property transactions
Find the full agenda here.
Umatilla annexes, Boardman council plans Jan. 7, 2020
The City of Umatilla council could grow by another eight properties tonight. The Umatilla
City Council voting on an ordinance to annex Union Street and 44 acres at the south east
intersection of Highway 730 and Highway 394, west of Bud Draper Road. That ordinance one
of only two on the agenda for tonights meeting.
The second ordinance is the second reading of an ordinance update the citys sewer
and water code. Also on the agenda, a closed-door executive session to consult with
counsel on legal matters. Click
here for the Umatilla Council agenda.
The Boardman City Council meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at Boardman City Hall.
On the agenda, the broadband strategic plan, temporary suspension of water and sewer
system development charges, and amending the city fee schedule.
The full agenda available at
the city's website.
Stanfield City Council will not be meeting tonight. Their next meeting is Jan. 21.
2020 Fair Court announced Jan. 7, 2020
Yesterday, the 2020 Umatilla County Fair Court announced.
The princesses are juniors Keeva Hoston, and Kyleigh Supulveda, of Hermiston, sophomore
Brielle Youncs, of Pendleton, and junior Baylee Marshall, also of Pendleton.
The new fair court chaperone is Rebecca Manning, of Pendleton.
Read more about the court here.
HHS student killed in crash Jan. 6, 2019
Still limited details released in a fatal car crash New Years day.
A crisis support team will be at Hermiston High School today, the first day after the
winter break, providing support for students and staff after the announcement over the
weekend that 16-year-old Brett Jewett, a sophomore, was killed in a two-car crash on New
Years Day on Buttercreek Highway.
The Umatilla County Sheriffs Office saying the motor vehicle crash happened on
Highway 207 near milepost 21, south of Hermiston, at 4 p.m. on New Years Day. The
crash involved two vehicles, traveling in opposite directions.
Jewett was a passenger.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Port of Morrow gets $1.6 million Jan. 6, 2019
On Friday, news the Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded $1,623,000 in federal
funding to the Port of Morrow to assist with improving equipment and infrastructure in
order to meet the needs of the Ports marine terminals. The funding will help extend
the Ports barge service and lead to reduced transportation costs and decreased road
and rail traffic.
The Port was able to apply for the grant due to DOTs Maritime Administration (MARAD)
designating the Port of Morrow for Marine Highway Project Designation and thus expand
additional funding opportunities for the Port and simultaneously increase economic
opportunity for the region.
Ryan Neal, Port of Morrow Executive Director thanking Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden,
and Rep.Greg Walden for going above and beyond with their support at every step of the
process. Neal says, the expanded barge service under this project will help create family
wage jobs in the region, reduce transportation costs, and alleviate highway and rail
Deadline this week for Boardman nominations Jan. 6, 2019
The deadline this week for nominations for the Boardman Distinguished Citizen Awards
Banquet. The Boardman Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for citizen of the
year, educator of the year, business person of the year, first responder, youth citizen,
and Boardman Pioneer. The deadline for nominations is 2 p.m. on Friday. for The nomination
form is available online. For more information, call the chamber at 541-481-3014 or email
The banquet is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 14.
Fire District launches survey Jan. 2, 2019
Umatilla County Fire District No. 1 is asking for feedback from the community. Fire chief
Scott Stanton says its for people who live or work in the district boundary:
"It's going to ask questions: Do they have smoke alarms in their home? Do they have
an escape plan? Demographic questions. Stuff like that to help us guide our future,"
That survey is live now and will be open for the next few weeks. The survey link posted on
the fire districts website and facebook pages. Stanton saying the stakeholder group
and district board will meet at the end of this month to talk about strengths, weaknesses,
and set goals for the next five years.
Speaking of the past year, Umatilla county Fire District 1 saying yesterday in their
non-certified numbers, they responded to 4,868 calls for service in 2019
thats 115 more than in 2018.
Take the survey here.
City Hall closure extended Dec. 24, 2019
Hermiston City Hall will NOT be re-opening on January 6.
Damaged by a fire on Dec. 17, Hermiston City Hall has been closed for clean-up and repair,
and now city staff expects the closure to last through the end of January.
Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan saying it has become clear the cleanup and repairs will
not be as simple as originally planned.
The fire is believed to have started in the gas-fired furnace. Although the fire itself
was contained, extensive smoke damage caused to the entire building. The city says
consultants are determining how much of the HVAC system can be salvaged or if it
must e replaced entirely.
Extra patrols on the road this holiday Dec. 24, 2019
Law enforcement have extra patrols out this holiday season watching for dangerous,
distracted and under the influence drivers.
Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan saying they will have extra deputies on duty through
Jan. 2 as part of a grant-funded DUI/High Visibility patrol for the holidays. Its
funded through grants from Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State
Theyre also asking people to report suspected intoxicated drivers by calling
541-966-3651, or 911 if it appears to be an emergency.
HHS team wins app challenge Dec. 17, 2019
A team from Hermiston High School selected as winners of the 2019 Congressional App
Challenge for Oregons District 2. Students
Rogelio Lemus, JJ Fitzgerald, Laine Whelan and Adamaryz Lopez Navarrete created an
application called FINANA (Finances Incorporated Nationally Allowing Non-profit
The app was created to assist non-profit organizations in managing their fundraising
activities. The team created a video to explain their application:
This is the fourth year that Hermiston High School participated in the
Congressional App Challenge competition and the second time a team has won.
The winning team has been invited to attend the House of Code in Washington, D.C., next
spring, to show and explain their app to members of Congress.
Umatilla council talks codes, pipes, property Dec. 17, 2019
The City of Umatilla is talking codes, pipes, and property during its city council meeting
There is a public hearing on the agenda about the changes to the water and sewer code, and
City Manager David Stockdale says its an update involving providing water
"It's really a house cleaning effort," he said. "The last time we updated
that code was 1979, so it's been a little while and we're going to clean that up."
The council would have the first reading of the ordinance tonight and could take action in
January. The council will also vote on a resolution changing the way the city receives
gifts or donations and an agreement with Amazon Data Services about improvements to Lind
Road. The city also has a library appointment, changes to city policy on harassment, and a
land use agreement with Bonneville power administration to allow the city to use a portion
of BPA easements for its industrial waste water pipeline.
Find the link to the full
The meeting is at 6 tonight not the typical 7 at Umatilla City Hall.
UCSO welcomes K9 Dec. 16, 2019
Last month we told you the Umatilla County sheriffs office was bringing back its K-9
program through a $20,000 grant from the Wildhorse Foundation.
Yesterday, the sheriffs office saying Deputy Cody Marcum has selected K-9
Skoty, an 18 month old Belgian Malinois as his new partner,
They will begin their training together in late December, and should be ready for duty in
early March 2020
Weekend holiday events Dec. 12, 2019
A holiday tradition continues this weekend for its 27th annual Living Nativity at
Hermistons First United Methodist. Tim Turner says visitors can take their time with
"It's a walk through kind of an event where we have reader boards, six or seven
stations where people can see living actors, animals," he said. "You can take
all the time you want, then we recommend you come inside our church for cookies, hot
The living nativity takes place at the First United Methodist Church on Gladys Avenue in
Hermiston from 6 to 8 in the evening on Saturday and 4 to 6 in the evening on Sunday. For
more information, call 541-567-3002.
This weekend is also a SAGE Saturday. That means free admission to the SAGE Center
facility and free children's crafts and activities.
The SAGE Saturday activities are from 10 to 1 on Saturday and theyll also have
photos with Santa from 12 until 4.
The holiday light show also still going on at the SAGE Center starting at 5 p.m. each
Tonight and tomorrow the youth theater Christmas performances at the Hermiston Community
The Hermiston Community Theater youth productions include local performers in kindergarten
through 12the grade. The performances of A Christmas Carol, How Santa Got his Treet and
the Holiday Chorus also scheduled for 6 p.m. December 13th at the Hermiston Community
Center and at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. December 14th at the Hermiston Community Center.
Report looks at problem gambling in Umatilla County Dec. 10, 2019
In Umatilla County, people recognize problem gambling can be an issue - but they don't
think it happens here. Kary Tuers, with Umatilla County Public Health, says thats
the message from a problem gambling community readiness assessment.
"There's an interview quote that sums up the theme of all the interviews. Someone
said, 'I think people kind of close their eyes to it and act like it's not happening.'
That was one of the most impactful statements that I heard when conducting the
interviews," Tuers said.
Tuers says it takes on average seven years before problem gambling is recognized by
someone other than the person dealing with it.
All health departments in the state are performing problem gambling community readiness
assessments, and Umatilla County's was released last week. Tuers says the focus was to
interview people in leadership positions.
Multiple respondents said problem gambling may be a problem, but that other issues,
including drugs and alcohol, were more pressing issues.
They'll reassess in two years. Between now and then, they're carrying out a awareness
campaign. The county has received a grant to run the Reflect, Resource, Renew campaign
within Umatilla County.
Tuers says anyone struggling with problem gambling can find resources at opgr.org.
Funland design released tonight Dec. 9, 2019
Hermiston City Council will take a look at the designs for the $1.2 million FunLand
The city council will have a presentation on the FunLand playground design and fundraising
during a worksession at 6 tonight at Hermiston City Hall. Parks and Recreation Director
Larry Fetter says after tonights presentation and feedback from the council,
theyll release details to the community.
"Plans and designs and elements will start showing up all over town because we want
people to see it and get excited about it," Fetter said.
The council does have a vote about the proposal on their regular agenda.
Theyll have the regular meeting at 7. On that agenda, the citys financial
audit report, changed to the city ordinance code relating to curfews and a discussion on a
reduced utility rate application form and policy. Click
here for the full link.
Hermiston School board talks bonds, audit Dec. 9, 2019
The Hermiston School Board also meeting tonight, and they also have the financial audit
report on the agenda.
Other reports include enrollment and district finances, and the board will vote on its
general obligation bond resolution.
That meeting at 6:30 tonight in the boardroom at the Hermiston School District Offices.
Find the full
Small City Councils meet tonight Dec. 3, 2019
Housing, streets, and mediation on tap for the Stanfield City Council tonight.
On the council agenda, a resolution supporting the Eastern Oregon Housing Alliance, the
foll0w-up report for mediation with the 3D Idapro plant , and a verification of a petition
about Lucy Street.
City Manager Benjamin Berg-en-er saying a resident has requested the city vacate all of NE
Lucy Street and 30 feet of NE Wayne to make way for future development. The city
doesnt have a road in that area just the right-of-way.
Tonight the council will be verify the petition and setting a date for the public hearing
on the proposal.
During the meeting, the council will also take comments form the audience and have the
city managers update.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers on Coe Avenue.
Click here for the full
The Stanfield City Council meeting begins at 6 tonight in the council chambers on Coe
Boardman City Council is also meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at Boardman City Hall
That council voting on on tax lots, granting an easement to Umatilla Electric Co-Operative
and updating signers on city bank accounts.
A quick note that the Umatilla City Council is not meeting tonight. Their meeting has been
rescheduled for the 17th
Fellowship Dinner looking for volunteers, offering rides Nov. 26, 2019
Forty-eight turkeys are thawing in a cooler today in preparation for this weeks
Community Fellowship Dinner. Coordinator Tom Marks says theyre expecting 900 people
for the free Thanksgiving meal on Thursday and theyre looking for people to
help make that happen.
"This is an entirely volunteer effort. Everyone from the kitchen staff up and down is
volunteer, and we do not have enough volunteers yet for what we need," Marks said.
Marks says they need additional kitchen help both for prep work on Wednesday and
for the meal on Thursday as well as people to help serve and deliver food during
the meal on Thanksgiving. They do ask anyone interested in volunteering either email
CFDhermiston@gmail.com for call 371-9772 if possible beforehand to help with scheduling.
Those are also the same contact points to schedule a ride to the meal or a to-go order.
This year, The Community Fellowship Dinner is from 11 to 2 this Thursday at Hermiston High
Whisky Fest bringing Eric Church, Macklemore Nov. 26, 2019
The Pendleton Whisky Fest yesterday announcing its 2020 concert lineup. The fifth music
festival will feature Eric Church and Macklemore. Thats scheduled for Saturday, July
11, at the Pendleton Round Up Grounds.
Subdivision on council agenda Nov. 25, 2019
A potential new subdivision on the agenda tonight for the Hermiston City Council.
Council members will vote on annexing 36 acres on the corner of Elm and Diagonal intended
for a subdivision with a combination of single family homes and duplexes with a market and
other services. The developers are Lloyd and Lois Piercy.
The council also voting tonight on a proposed supplemental budget and airport minimum
The council does have a work session before the meeting. Theyll be talking
legislative update with Senator Bill Hansell. The work session begins at 6 p.m. tonight,
and the regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall. Follow
this link for the full agenda.
The Hermiston School Board is also meeting tonight. Theyll be meeting at Sunset
Elementary, and the agenda includes a presentation from the school, multiple reports, and
Find the full agenda at this
12 Days of Giving starts Monday Nov. 22, 2019
The 12 Days of Giving at Good Shepherd Medical Center returns Monday. This is the third
year Good Shepherd has hosted the holiday-themed drive.
"It follows the 12 Days of Christmas Carol, and we've re-written the lyrics so that
it fits with the specific needs of the charity we're emphasizing on each of the 12
days," said Nazario Rivera, community health worker with Good Shepherd.
The The nonprofits that will benefit from the 12 Days of Giving include Agape House,
Domestic Violence Services, the Warming Station, the Christmas Express and others. The
items include food, diapers, pet supplies, mittens, and books. Although each day has a
theme, all items can be dropped off at the hospital any day of the drive.
The 12 Days of Giving runs from Nov. 25 through Dec. 6.
Heppner flood test successful Nov. 22, 2019
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Morrow County Emergency Management had a live siren
test of the Heppner flood evacuation warning system at noon yesterday. The Morrow County
Sheriffs Office saying the test was successful and the sirens are in working order.
This test was to ensure the sirens are functional at the two locations in Heppner. The
sirens are a part of a basin-wide flood early warning system, and they say the test will
be an annual event.
HEF awards grants Nov. 20, 2019
The Hermiston Ed Foundation handing out eight grants in its fall session, totaling more
than $16,000. Karen Sherman says Armand Larive Middle School teacher Christian Mata was
one of the big winners
"Instruments are expensive, and Christian was in need of new timpani," Sherman
said. "We were able, through the generous donations of our community, to get him all
The $7,000 was the largest awarded this cycle. Here is the full list:
HEF Fall 2019 Grant Proposals for Funding
1. Beth Anderson HHS Theater Students Attend
Professional Theatrical Production
Funds will provide tickets for 50 students to attend a professional theater
production in Yakima in the fall of 2020 and 50 student tickets for the spring
production in 2021.
2. Megan James RH Every Student Reads
Scholastic books will be purchased for each 1st grader to have 1 book a month
to take home to read.
3. Cristian Mata ALMS A Touch of Timpani
Funds will be used to purchase 2 timpani for Armand Larive Middle School
4. Stacy Cooley HHES Elementary Choral Festival
Funding will be used to bring a choral clinician to work with a group of 4th
and 5th graders from each elementary school. There will be an evening
5. Sarah Gonzalez SMS Sandstone Drama Program
(Beauty and the Beast: Spring Musical)
Materials, microphones and costumes will be funded for this project.
6. Robert Theriault HHS Making Computer Science Green
A filament extruder and a grinder will be purchased so that 3 D printing
material can be recycled.
7. Ipolito Maloy WP OMSI Science Festival
OMSI will host six hours of science learning labs for all West Park students.
Funding will be used to provide the materials for the labs.
8. Next Steps Staff HHS Bulldog Treats
Funding will be used to purchase equipment and cooking supplies to support
the making and selling of dog treats.
Total Amount Requested: $16,600.00
ODOT has I-84 open house Nov. 20, 2019
ODOT has an open house tonight in Pendleton to talk about the future of Interstate 84 and
its Pendleton. Its from 6 to 8 tonight at ODOTS district 12 office, 1327 SE
3rd in Pendleton. Here is the press release:
The Oregon Department of Transportation and City of Pendleton will host a public open
house on November 20 to help plan for the future of the Interstate 84 Exit 207 (Airport
area) and Exit 210 (OR 11/Nye Avenue) interchanges and surrounding areas. The open house
will be held at ODOTs District 12 office, 1327 SE 3rd St, Pendleton, from 6:00 p.m.
to 8:00 p.m.
The purpose of the open house is to give you an opportunity to tell us what the important
transportation issues in and around these areas are, and what could be done to make them
better places to walk, bike, and drive. Youll also learn more about the interchange
area management plans (IAMP) for these two exits, plus the project process and schedule.
Cant make it to the open house? Visit our virtual open house at pendletonIAMPs.com.
For more information on the November 20th open house or the interchange area management
plans, please contact ODOT Planning Manager Teresa Penninger at 541-963-1344, or by email
Council re-considers storage units Nov. 12, 2019
The issue of storage units on five acres between Northeast 4th Street and Highway 395 back
on the Hermiston City Council agenda tonight. The citys planning department had
recommended not approving the change because they hoped a retail business might locate on
the property since part of it is on Highway 395. The city asking city staff for more
information at its last meeting.
The Ordinance states: "The city council directed staff to prepare findings of fact in
support and prepare an ordinance for adoption at the November 12th city council meeting.
These documents have been prepared and are ready for council approval."
The council will also vote on ordinances regarding having addresses and phone numbers on
signs for garage sales and relating to complaints about ADA compliance.
The council will also meet in a work session at 6 p.m. tonight. That session will focus on
legislative updates from Representative Greg Smith. The work session is at 6 p.m., and the
regular meeting begins at 7 p.m..
Find a link to the full agenda here.
Also meeting tonight, the Hermiston School Board of Education.
Along with multiple student recognition and financial reports, the school board will
discuss enrollment and federal grant reviews as well as committee positions for the OSBA
board of directions and OSBA legislative policy committee. The board also expected to
approve the superintendent evaluation. The formal evaluation document says the board has
been extremely pleased with Superintendent Tricia Mooney's exceptional leadership and
focus on creating a positive school culture. That meeting again begins at 6:30 p.m.
at the Hermiston School District Offices.
HSD bond passes Nov. 6, 2019
Good news for the Hermiston School district this morning just barely.
In the unofficial results from last night's election, 52 percent of voters approving with
the districts $82.7 million bond project that will replace Rocky Heights Elementary,
build a new elementary school on Theater Lane, adding a multi-classroom annex to Hermiston
High School and purchasing property for long-term demands.
The bond came down to the vote last night. 2,446 Hermiston voters cast ballots in favor of
the bond; 2,220 voted against it.
A release last night from the Hermiston School District saying theyll create a
website to provide updates on construction. Once the projects are completed, school
boundaries will be realigned.
Voter turnout last night just over 25 percent. 11,282 ballots turned in before the
election deadline. Of those ballots, 4,666 people voting on the Hermiston School
Voters also approved both updates to the Umatilla County Charter.
Find the official results here.
Umatilla road, council meeting tonight Nov. 5, 2019
An open house on the Sixth Street Rehabilitation Project in Umatilla tonight, and after
the open house, the city council has its regular meeting at 7 p.m.
Tonight, the council focusing on research, if the agenda is any indication.
The city manager will report on research about Lind Road, theyllvote on a
feasibility grant application for water resources, and theyll have a resolution on
researching a construction excise tax. The resolution tongith is an agreement with the
Umatilla School District to hiring FCS group to complete the analysis and implementation
of the plan.
The agenda states: The City of Umatilla is experiencing tremendous residential
growth which directly impacts the Umatilla School District and their plans for future
development. The City and District wish to partner on the analysis and possible
implementation of a construction excise tax that would be dedicated towards future capital
improvements of the District. As the City is already under contract with FCS Group for a
comprehensive rate study, amending the scope to include the construction excise tax
analysis is cost ef ective for all parties. Suggested action from city staff is
approval of the resolution.
Find the full
Girls in Tech is Saturday in Boardman
Coming up this weekend in Boardman, Girls Tech Day, a one-day event designed to
inspire and empower girls and young women to pursue interests and careers in technology.
Its a seris of workships focued on science, technology, engineering, arts, and
The free event, hosted by Amazon Web Services, is this Saturday at the Sage Center.
Registration is free, but pre-registration is required. Find more information and
Hermiston wins development award Oct. 29, 2019
The City of Hermiston being awarded the Urban Renewal Project of the Year this week from
the Oregon Economic Development Association. Hermiston highlighting its recruitment and
development of the Holiday Inn Express, development of Festival Street, and support of
additional downtown business expansion.
Find the full press release and photos here
Pedestrian vs. Car crash kills Echo man Oct. 28, 2019
A fatal vehicle vs pedestrian crash over the weekend killing an Echo man in Stanfield.
30-year-old Steven Adam Gallegos, of Echo, struck and killed just before 1 a.m. on
Saturday on South Highway 395 in Stanfield. That was near the S Edwards Road intersection.
Stanfield Police saying Gallegos was walking south in the lane of travel when he was
struck by a vehicle also traveling southbound.
The driver identified as 44-year-old Gregory Ayling, from Granger Washington. He was
driving a Chrysler Sebring , stopped at the scene and made the initial 911 call. He
provided first aid until paramedics arrived. Gallegos was pronounced deceased at the
No injuries for Ayling and his passengers
SPD saying The driver involved has been cooperative with investigators. Based on the
preliminary investigation, drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the drivers
The southbound lanes of the highway were closed until about 4:30 Saturday Stanfield PD was
assisted at the scene by Oregon State Police, Umatilla County Sheriffs Office,
Oregon Department of Transportation, the Medical Examiners Office, and the Umatilla
County District Attorneys Office
Council tackles storage, hearings tonight Oct. 28, 2019
Three public hearings, four ordinances and five consent items on the agenda for tonight's
Hermiston City Council. meeting.. The council will have public hearings on the
continuation of the local improvement district 322, a rezone for Eastern Oregon
Development LLC and a right-of-way issue on SE 10th Street.
The rezone would impact five acres of land between Highway 395 and NE Fourth Street. The
property developer plans to build a storage unit business there, and the planning
commission and city staff has recommended the council deny the request because there other
properties available for storage unit development.
During the meeting, the council they'll review ordinances on alarm citizens, trials, and
dealing with referendums, as well as one about vacating property on 10th street - that's
the right-of-way issue. A report on EOTEC will round out the meeting. That begins at 7
p.m. tonight at Hermiston City Hall. Click
here for the full agenda. Hermiston School Board
A light agenda tonight for the Hermiston School Board. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at
Desert View Elementary School. They'll have a presentation from school staff, reports, and
discussion about the district's continuous improvement plan and mandatory reporting
training. Find the full agenda here.
OSP releases images in fatal hit-and-run Oct. 25, 2019
Photos released of the vehicle suspected in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run crash from
August. Find the photos here
Oregon State Police (OSP) continuing the investigation into the death of 41-year-old
Antonia M. Cobarubias, who was pushing a shopping cart on the side of Highway 395. She was
struck from behind by a red car that left the scene at about 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 31. OSP
obtaining still video surveillance images of the vehicle when it was in the parking lot of
OSP saying the vehicle is likely a 1994-2001 model Acura Integra that will be missing a
passenger side mirror.
OSP is requesting anyone that can identify the vehicle from the photographs or was in the
area of Rocket Mart on August 31, 2019 at about 2:30 AM, to please call OSP at *OSP.
Callers can reference case number SP19-313012.
Community Center could be for sale Oct. 23, 2019
A private business has made offer on the Hermiston Community Center and the city
could be selling.
"Yes, we've been approached; no a final decision has not been made," said
Hermiston City Manager Byron Smith. "When the final details are available, those will
be brought to the council."
Smith saying the business approached the city about purchasing the Hermiston Community
Center, but until a formal proposal is made, the city is not at liberty to discuss
If a formal purchase offer is made to the city, it would have to be approved in a city
council meeting. Thats when they could release additional information about the
developer and the plans for the site.
The city purchased the Hermiston Community Center in the early 1990s and renovated it
through a combination of private fundraising dollars and city funds. Originally a Safeway,
the facility It is the former location of the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce and currently
the main office of the Hermiston Parks and Recreation Department.
Stanfield, Umatilla councils meet tonight Oct. 15, 2019
Both the Stanfield and Umatilla city councils meet tonight,and both face full agendas in
their special meetings.
Tonight, the Stanfield City Council has a discussion regarding a water rate study, the
council chamber design study, and a closed-door session on legal matters relating to the
The meeting also a meeting led by new Stanfield City manager Benjamin Burgener.
He is the former city administrator and clerk of the city of Ada, Minn.
That meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the council chambers on Coe Avenue.
Umatillas City Council also meting tonight, and its another full agenda.
One of the items is a donation from the Hermiston-Umatilla Kiwanis Club for Kiwanis Falls.
The $1,500 donation would be used for future design and development of landscaping around
Also on the agenda, the police quarterly report, a grant from Pacific Power for a mural
project and a vote on an agreement for park concessionaire services at the Umatilla
Marina. Theyll discuss the emergency operations plan and a potential rate increase
for garbage fees at the request of Sanitary Disposal and changing the nightly rates for RV
spaces at the Umatilla Marina and RV park up to $40 a night. All changes, if approved at
the Nov 5 meeting would take effect Jan. 1, 2020.
During the meeting, the council will adjourn to executive session for the city manager
evaluation. That evaluation will be presented by the mayor in open session
That meeting begins at 6 tonight at Umatilla City Hall. Find the full agenda here.
Closed-door sessions on agendas tonight Oct. 14, 2019
A new enterprise zone and a closed door session about negotiation and property
transactions on tap for the Hermiston City Council meeting tonight.
The meeting opens tonight at 7 p.m., but the council will have an executive session,
closed to the public - at about 7:05.
During the closed-door session, the council to talk preliminary negotiation involving
matters of trade or commerce where the city is competing with other government groups
and theyll talk about negotiation property transactions.
One of the items expected to be on a tax abatement agreement with Amazon, which also
appears later on the agenda in the open session of the meeting.
The agreement would allow Amazon to not pay property taxes for a number of years if the
company agrees to a $200 million investment. That long-term enterprise zone abatement
agreement with Amazon Data Services is scheduled for a vote during the meeting tonight.
The meeting expected to re-enter public session right around 7:35. Other items on the
agenda are a housing incentive report and a presentation from the Hermiston school
Find the full agenda by clicking
Speaking of the school district they also have a closed-door session scheduled
tonight, the school board will discuss property transactions and the employee performance
review during their executive session, which is scheduled for the end of the school board
meeting. No action is listed for after the meeting. Also on the school board agenda
tonight, reports on enrollment and finances and the athletics and activities department.
That meeting begins at 6:30 tonight in the boardroom. Click
here for the full agenda.
Morrow County bond group meets tomorrow Oct. 8, 2019
Officials with the Morrow County School District moving forward with planning for a bond
to help with aging infrastructure, and superintendent Dirk Dirkson saying they have the
first of their community workshops this week.
"We'll begin having the discussions: where are the buildings at, what are people
looking for, what will people support," Dirkson said. "We'll go through that
process this year."
Dirkson says the districts current bond expires in 2021, and theyre looking
for feedback from morrow county residents and will have additional meetings in Heppner and
Irrigon. After gathering feedback this year, the bond advisory committee will make
decisions about where the money would go and inform the community next year that
bond is expected to appear on morrow county ballots in May of 2021.
Umatilla River Trails meetings this week Oct. 7, 2019
Tonight is the first of the Umatilla River Trail community meetings.
The goal is to build a non-motorized trail from Echo to Umatilla connecting Stanfield,
Hermiston, Echo, and Umatilla trail systems.
Meetings are scheduled in each of the four cities this week: tonight the meeting is at
Umatilla City Hall; tomorrow is at Echo City Hall; Wednesday is at the Stanfield School
District; and Thursday at the Hermiston Community Center.
Doors open for all meetings at 5 p.m., and the presentation begins at 5:30 p.m.
Anyone is welcome to attend any of the open houses, regardless of which community you live
Morgan receives credentials Oct. 7, 2019
Hermistons assistant city manager recently receiving the Credentialed Manager
designation from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Mark Morgan
is one of 24 active city administrators in Oregon credentialed through the program. The
ICMA credential reflects Morgans experience as a senior management executive in
local government, and his commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.
Morgan has served as the assistant city manager in Hermiston since 2012.
Umatilla, Boardman councils meet Oct. 1, 2019
The City of Umatilla is voting on an amendment to a contract with the Oregon Department of
Transportation about the sixth street project, increasing the project cost from $5.9
million to $6.8.
Theyll also accept a resignation and declare a vacancy on the Umatilla Library Board
and recognize CRIS INC with service recognition. Theyll then meet in a closed-door
executive session over property transactions.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Umatilla City Hall. Click here for the agenda.
The Boardman City Council also meeting tonight.
According to the agenda, council members will discuss city councilor training as well as
receiving reports from police and city committees as well as time for public comment
It begins at 7 p.m. at Boardman City Hall
In other Boardman news, today is the deadline for quilters to enter their quilts in the
15th annual Boardman Quilt Show. Thatll be at the Boardman Senior Center Oct. 11-12.
Emergency Drill tomorrow in Hermiston Oct. 1, 2019
Tomorrow, Oct. 2, local responders have an emergency drill scheduling in the evening.
Good Shepherd Medical Center, local police, fire and ambulance departments will
participate. The emergency drill will help local agencies practice their emergency
response plans, communications between
agencies, and the ability to handle a mass casualty incident.
The drill will take place near Hermiston and will start around 6 p.m. Local residents may
see emergency vehicles, such as fire trucks, police vehicles and ambulances.
Please do not call 911 unless you need assistance from emergency services. 911 should only
be called for n emergencies requiring immediate attention. In the event of an actual
emergency, the public should listen to local radio and television broadcasts for
information and instructions.
Woman gets $2,575 speeding ticket in Morrow County Sept. 27, 2019
A Salem woman clocked at 128 mph in a work zone in Morrow County receiving a more than
$2,500 fine in Morrow County.
The Morrow County Sheriffs Office saying a deputy traveling eastbound on Interstate
84 in Boardman earlier this month saw a dark-colored sedan traveling at 128 miles per hour
in the 70-mile per hour zone.
Deputy Thomas Way stopped the vehicle and issued a ticket to the driver, 20-year-old Skyla
Sue Ziglinksi, from Salem. The Morrow County Sheriffs Office saying traveling at
more than 100 miles per hour in Oregon is a fine of $1,155. Because fines are doubled in
work zones especially when theres only one travel lane the fine was
doubled to $2,310. And because of the excessive speed she was also cited for careless
driving at $265 leaving her with a total fine of $2,575.
The Sheriff's Office saying their goal is safety - not about generating income from
citations. The Morrow County Sheriffs Office averaging three warnings for every
citation and asking people to slow down and pay extra attention in road
Mountain passes could see snow this weekend Sept. 27, 2019
The first snow of the year could fall on cascade mountain passes this weekend. It's not
expected to be much...just a couple of inches. O-dot's don Hamilton says drivers need to
"Have a full tank of case - you may get stuck some place," he said. "Make
sure you have an emergency kit, have a little food, water in the car."
Carry a cell phone and charger, so you have a way to call for help if you run into
trouble. Also carry traction devices unless you have certified traction tires. The
tripcheck website will give you an idea of what conditions you'll face
School board, council meet tonight Sept. 23, 2019
Two Hermiston meetings tonight. The Hermiston School Board meeting tonight at Armand
Larive Middle School. Theyll have a presentation from the school, reports, and an
executive session to review the superintendent evaluation.
link for the agenda.
The Hermiston City Council will talk cybersecurty tonight with a vote on a new cyber
security policy. Theyll also announce committee vacancies and publish election
information for the May 2020 election that is the announcement that Mayor and
Municipal Judge will run in the primary election next year.The city council positions are
held only at the general election in November
The city council meeting begins at 7 p.m., and you can find the agenda
City opens picket sales for Funland Playground Sept. 23, 2019
The City of Hermiston has opened sales of fence pickets for the Funland Playground rebuild
The pickets are limited and can include up to 22 letters. The cost is $100 for a family
picket or $250 for a business. The pickets will be made with recycled materials, mostly
milk jugs and are durable and fire resistant. You can get forms at City Hall or claim your
picket online at the citys website or through this
Other sponsorship opportunities including specific sponshrhip of playground areas and
activities is expected in the next month.
State releases school assessments Sept. 20, 2019
Test scores show Oregon public school students need to make more progress.
The results of the Smarter Balanced testing show student proficiency scores at the worst
in five years: Only 40 percent of students in grades three through eight mastered math,
and 52 percent of students can read and write proficiently.
The Hermiston School District yesterday announcing its results and saying 56 percent of
all assessed students met proficiency standards for their grade levels in English
and 44 percent met standards in mathematics both averages slightly above the state
Hermiston students in elementary and middle school performed above the state average in
mathematics, while high schoolers fell slightly below. In English, Hermiston students
outperformed the state in every grade except fourth grade, including at the high school
where 75 percent of students met the proficiency standards, well above the state level of
Students and families of current 4-9 and 12th graders will have access to individual
student reports later this fall
You can find the full
reports on the website for the Oregon Department of Education
UCFD#1 begins work on strategic plan Sept. 19, 2019
Fire calls over the summer were average for Umatilla County Fire District #1, but medical
calls continue to rise. Fire Chief Scott Stanton says the fire district is looking at
long-term planning to determine how to handle those increases.
"We're really working toward planning for our future: How do we cope with the growth
of the communities we serve and how do we do that responsibly," he said.
The district and fire board are starting work on the five-year strategic plan with
internal discussions on everything from equipment maintenance to training schedules.
Theyll reach out to external stakeholders in November, and Stanton says it will
should about three months to put together the entire packet to have it rolled out in the
spring of next year.
Student success act benefits schools; DOR talks to business Sept. 18, 2018
The school year is in swing for local districts now, and even BMCC is welcoming its new
students for orientation today. Looking forward, many school district administrations are
tackling what to do with the Student Success Act.
Mark Mulvihill with the InterMountain ESD says its exciting and that the
public should be excited too.
"Schools are funded for the first time in 30 years," he said. "Money is
coming, and the game has changed. We're all trying to figure this out and do it right to
ensure local communities are building the educational programs they want for their
The state set aside $2 billion for the student success act, and each district receives a
portion of that money. The Morrow County School District, for example, is estimated to
receive about $1.8 million.
Most districts will spend the rest of this year planning for how to spend the funds,
evaluating needs and seeking input from the community. The programs must be tied to
achievable goals and reports submitted to the state.
Oregon Tax Bill 3427, created the states Student Success Fund and a corporate
Activity Tax to pay for it.
Although the new funding is a boon for schools, its also raising questions for
businesses, and thats sending a team from the Department of Revenue around the state
including to Hermiston.
The state now needs to come up with rules for administration of the corporate activity
tax, and Robin Maxey, with the Department of Revenue, says the rules cover the details.
"Who much register, when and how a business registers," Maxey said. "Who
must file and who must pay the tax."
A $250 tax will be imposed on the first million dollars of a business' gross receipts,
then half a percent on receipts more than $1 million. The first state meeting was
yesterday in Newport, and two of the planned meetings are in our area:The group will be at
the Hermiston Community Center from 5:30 to 7 in the evening on Wednesday, Oct. 2, and the
next morning, Thursday, Oct. 3, from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the SAGE Center in Boardman.
Grief Share begins tonight Sept. 17, 2019
Tonight, a new session begins of GriefShare, a 13-week program to help people move forward
through grief. Scott Zielke says each session involves a video and a support group
discussion. Participants have the opportunity to speak but do not have to.
"A lot of times, just talking through your experience is healing in itself," he
said. "A lot of people think they're experiencing something that no one else is. You
get a lot of people together, and you realize that this is normal, but it is something
that, with time, you have to work through."
The program also includes a workbook with individual activities to complete during the
week. There is a cost for the workbook, but the program itself is free. Zielke says it is
open to anyone 18 and older who has experienced a loss.
The 13-week GriefShare program begins tonight at Stanfield Baptist Church. The sessions
are Tuesdays from 5:30-7 p.m.
No pre-registration is required.
Underage cigarillo sales up Sept. 10, 2019
The Oregon Health Authority concerned about sales of cigarettes and cigarillos to young
Yesterday, the Oregon Health Authority released its annual report on illegal sales of
tobacco products to minors, and its especially concerned about a spike in sales of
mini-cigars, or cigarillos, to underage smokers, which doubled from 13 to 28 percent last
Umatilla County did better than last year where six stores failed the inspection but still
isnt hitting 100 percent. The sting operations for this study involved 13 attempted
sales of cigarettes, three attempts of cigarillo, and four e-cigarette attempts. One
cigarette sale of the 13 was successful, as was one of the cigarillo attempts,
The cigarillo sale was at One Stop Fuel, 1050 S Highway 395, in Hermiston. The cigarette
sale was at the downtown Pendleton Circle K Store near Umatilla County Courthouse.
With 20 inspections in the county, thats a 10 percent violation rate.
There were two attempts in Morrow County, one in Boardman and one in Lexington, but both
Tome Jeanne, with the Oregon Health Authority says it is difficult to track who is selling
tobacco products because the state of Oregon does not license tobacco sellers.
"Oregon is one of only nine states that does not have tobacco retail licensure,"
he said. "It would require retailers to buy a license in order to sell tobacco."
Thats a topic that Umatilla County Public Health is well aware of. For for the last
few years, theyve been working on a proposal to have tobacco licensing in Umatilla
County, and, last night a vote on supporting that measure went before the Hermiston City
The Umatilla County Public Health proposal would charge tobacco retails a $400 permit fee
that would be used to monitor sales and prevent youth tobacco use more aggressively than
Umatilla announces grants Sept. 9, 2019
The city of Umatilla cut the ribbon on its newly renovated Kiwanis Park on Friday
afternoon, and city manager David Stockdale had even more good news: Umatilla received two
grants from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The first is grant is just under
$75,000 to build a new ADA accessible restroom at Kiwanis Park.
The city is going to match the grant with $75,000 of its own mostly in-kind work
in order to complete the project. Theyre planning on starting work on the
project mid-spring so it can be completed by the end of summer 2020.
The city also received a $39,000 grant toward development of its parks master plan. That
plan to guide park maintenance and development over the next 20 years and that
planning should kick off in January.
In other Umatilla news, the City has its open house about the master trail plan tomorrow.
That s a drop in from 5:30 to 7:30 tomorrow at Umatilla City Hall.
Hermiston council talks paving, licensing tonight Sept. 9, 2019
The Hermiston City Council is talking electricity updates, Theater Lane paving and tobacco
licensing during its meeting and work session tonight at city hall. The meeting kicks off
at 6 p.m. with the workshop on updates from Umatilla Electric Cooperative and Hermiston
Energy Services. The regular meetings expected to follow at 7 p.m.
Find the full agenda here.
One of the action items is voting on a $500,000 contract to Anderson Perry to pave Theater
Lane between NE 8th and NE 10th. Anderson Perry is the company under contract for
construction management at the city water tower project on Theater Lane. That section is
currently gravel, and the project would have that gravel replaced to last until pavement
could be done in the spring.
The council will also discuss Umatilla County Tobacco Retail Licensing, an effort being
made by Umatilla County Public Health. City documents say the health department is
soliciting support for the proposed program from cities in the county and Echo, Stanfield,
Pendleton, Pilot Rock, and Ukiah have already given support.
The council could approve a motion in support of the program.
The meeting also has time for public comment if anyone would like to address the council
on items not on the agenda, including, but not limited to, well, water rates, just as an
off-the-top of my head example.
The work session begins at 6 tonight and the regular meeting at 7.
School Board meets tonight Sept. 9, 2019
The Hermiston School Board also meeting tonight, although it appears to be light on the
discussions. The meeting begins at 6:30 tonight at the district office and includes an
enrollment report, financial repots, and many consent items but no new business or
discussion items. They do have space for public comment, and the meeting is open to the
here for the full agenda.
In other school district items, the Blue Mountain Community College board of trustees
released a statement on Friday in support of the Hermiston School Districts proposed
Meeting set to prepare for workers Aug. 29, 2019
A meeting next week with the Heppner Chamber of Commerce for businesses and individuals to
see what kind of services can be provided during the construction phase of the Wheatridge
Renewable Energy Facility. The meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 5:30 in the Heppner City
Hall Conference Room. Theyll be discussing planning for the construction and the
contractors coming into the area, including items like housing both temporary and
long-term food and catering, groceries, and vehicle repair.
Construction on the wind part of the Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility tentatively
scheduled to begin in December of this year with about 100 contracted workers. That could
peak at 300 workers.
HSD looks for outdoor school volunteers Aug. 29, 2019
The Hermiston School District saying yesterday theyre in desperate need of male high
school age or recent graduates to serve as Outdoor School Counselors this fall! HSD
Outdoor School is a 3-day, 2-night experience just north of La Grande, Oregon at Camp
The fall dates are:
9/23-9/25 - Rocky Heights
9/25-9/27 - Sunset
9/30-10/2 - West Park
10/2-10/4 - Desert View
10/8-10/10 - Highland Hills
This is an opportunity to earn volunteer hours as well as participate in team-building and
leadership roles. Contact Mrs. Sandra Rice - firstname.lastname@example.org more
Survey open for county trails project Aug. 28, 2019
Early planning opening for the Umatilla River Trail Project, an conceptual trails project
to connect trails in Echo, Umatilla, Stanfield, and Hermiston with trail systems. Umatilla
County Planner Bob Walder says theyre looking for community feedback right now
through a survey. The survey has 14 questions about how and why the community might use
"Maybe it's for health and livability reasons. Maybe it's to ride a bike to work or
visit the library," Walder said. "That's what we're really trying to determine
with the survey."
You can find take the survey through this link.
Walder says theyve also scheduled community open houses for more feedback the first
week in October.
Medelez appointed to school board Aug. 27, 2019
A new school board member for the Hermiston School Board: Bryan Medelez. The Hermiston
School Board appointed Medelez to the open position after interviewing five applicants
last night. Medelez fills the vacancy on Board Position 2 left by Dave Smiths
resignation earlier this month
Umatilla ribbon cutting at Kiwanis Park Aug. 27, 2019
The City of Umatilla yesterday announcing a ribbon cutting at Kiwanis Park. Thatll
be at 1 in the afternoon on Friday, Sept. 6.
The ribbon cutting to celebrate the new park improvements and to recognize the
contributions of the Good Shepherd Health Foundation and the Kiwanis Club.
In 2018, Parks and Recreation Committee invited Umatilla High School Youth Advisory
Council to help identify which city parks were highest priority. The students sent out a
survey and, based on a response rate of about 200, Kiwanis Park was identified as the most
used and most in need of improvements.
Good Shepherd Health Foundation awarded the City an $18,000 grant towards new playground
equipment. Hermiston Kiwanis donated $7,000 for lights at the basketball court. City added
funding to build a second basketball court with lights, fence, and other improvements.
The ribbon cutting will include a short presentation by the Mayor, City Manager, and
others. Refreshments will be provided.
School year starts today Aug. 26, 2019
Many students in Umatilla and Morrow Counties head back to school this morning, including
the Hermiston School District. Hermiston Superintendent Tricia Mooney says that could mean
extra congestion on roadways and a call for caution for drivers
"We're going to have kiddos walking to school, riding bikes. We're going to have kids
waiting for bust stops," she said. "Please slow down, watch the school zones and
help us get our kids to and from school safely."
The start of school also means any school day or when students are
present school zones are back in effect.
School starts today for first through twelfth graders in Hermiston. Kindergartners start
full time on Wednesday
School board interviews tonight Aug. 26, 2019
The Hermiston School Board of Education is meeting at 6:30 p.m.. The superintendent will
recap the first day of school, and the board will interview applicants for Board Position
2, recently opened when Dave Smith resigned from the school board two weeks ago. Those
interested had to have applications in to the school district office on Friday, and
tonight the board will interview candidates and could appoint a new board member
The School Board tonight will also vote on a change to the district budget creating
a 2019-2020 Youth Transition Program Grant Fund with dollars received from a grant from
the Oregon Department of Human Services.
You can view the full agenda here.
City Council meets tonight Aug. 26, 2019
Still on the topic of schools, tonight the Hermiston City Council will vote on a
supporting the Hermiston School Districts proposed $82 million bond. A resolution on
the agenda No. 2134 would support the passage of the 2019 Hermiston School
Bond, known as Measure 30-130 in the November election.
Also on the council agenda, the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, an update on goal
setting, and a proposal for changing the lease rates at the Hermiston Airport. The
recommendation comes from the citys Airport Board. If approved,t he rates at the
citys T-Hangers would rise from $130 and $180 a month to $155 per month and $200 per
month, beginning in January 2020. The funds would go into a reserve to construction
additional hangars in the future.
The council also expected to meet in Executive Session to review and evaluate the city
managers employment contract. If any changes are made, those would go for a vote in
open session after the closed-door portion of the meeting.
That meeting begins at 7 tonight at Hermiston City Hall.
Find the agenda here.
Commissioners set goals Aug. 23, 2019
On Wednesday, the Umatilla County Commissioners approving a set of goals for the fiscal
year as part of their strategic plan.
The 13 goals including re-joining the Oregon Association of Counties, moving forward
with the jail renovation project and responding to recommendations from the charter review
committee about a potential city manager. Commissioner Bill Elfering says one of his
personal goals is to see the completion of the transfer of the Umatilla Army Depot.
"As soon as it's ours, we want to be ready to hit the ground to accommodate those
businesses and get the property blooming," he said.
Elfering saying he feels pretty confident the transfer will be completed by
the spring of next year. He has been on the committee for six years.
The goals for the county commissioners also involving economic development, the Umatilla
River Trail, and the North Highway 395 development project.
HEF Fun Run tomorrow Aug. 23, 2019
Tomorrow, its the Hermiston Education Foundations 5k Fun Run and Walk.
Its earlier than usual this year for a specific reason:it's a school supply
Hermiston Education Foundation representative and school board member Josh Gollar saying
they moved the fun run to before school in order to have those school supplies available
at the start of the 2019-2020 school year. The Fun Run begins at the parking lot of the
Hermiston Nazarene Church and will travel down to Riverfront Park.
The Fun Run will still include the awarding of the Fleet of Feet award to the Hermiston
school that has the largest participation of runners and walkers and the most supplies
Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the run begins at 9. Its the 13th annual Fun Run
& Walk for the Hermiston Education Foundation.
HK Complex now 95 percent contained Aug. 22, 2019
The HK Complex of fires in the Umatilla National Forest now 95 percent contained, and
forest officials reducing the area and road closures to provide access to forest lands not
impacted by the wildfire or suppression efforts. You can find the full description of the
area closure on the Umatilla National Forest website. Officials are asking the public to
avoid entering the closure area.
The HK Complex still and active fire burning 15 miles north of Monument. Its
estimated at 27-hundred acres.
Pool closed by flood Aug. 21, 2019
The Hermiston Family Aquatic Center is closed and could be closed through Saturday
Hermiston Parks and Recreation Director Larry Fetter saying the basement mechanical room
found flooded yesterday morning. The room pumped out and five electrical motors sent to a
local shop to be dried, reworked, and possibly rebuilt. Fetter saying those pumps are not
supposed to be submerged in water. Theyre hoping to have the pumps back from the
shop on Friday to reopen on Saturday, but it could be longer.
Theyre still assessing damage and repairs and saying it may have been a stuck float
valve in the lower surge tank caused the flood.
Fetter says hes looking at a flood alarm to prevent future flooding.
This is the first occurrence of this sort for the Hermiston Family Aquatic Center which is
now in its 17th season.
During the work, the pool is closed for all activities.
Umatilla Halloween votes due - this week Aug. 21, 2019
The city of Umatilla approaching a deadline for its annual Trick or Treat on Sixth Street
business costume contest theme. Businesses will decorate and craft costumes in line with
the theme, then judges will select the best one during the October event on Oct. 25.
Mark Ribich, with the Umatilla Chamber of Commerce says there are four possible themes
this year: Comics/Superheroes, games, horror, or free for all.
Surveys must be completed by Aug. 25 - that's this week. You can find the survey by
West Nile mosquito cases double Aug. 20, 2019
The number of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus has doubled.
A joint release from West Umatilla Mosquito Control District and North Morrow Vector
Control District yesterday saying at least 25 mosquito samples have tested positive for
West Nile Virus this year. Today that number at 47 confirmed after an additional 22
samples collected last week tested positive. Those mosquitoes taken from areas in and
around Irrigon and now Boardman, and those are in addition to positive mosquito samples in
the West Umatilla Control District.
The virus first detected on July 8 th in both districts and has become more widespread
since that time. Public health officials urging residents of all ages to take steps to
reduce exposure to mosquitoes and mosquito bites.
Because of the increase in West Nile virus activity, the district will conduct aerial
mosquito control spraying after sunset on Thursday, weather permitting.
Theyre expected to target about 10,000 acres in areas around Umatilla, Irrigon, and
Boardman, and east of Hermiston. No areas within city limits
Naloxone training next month Aug. 20, 2019
In addition to battling west Nile, public health officials also continuing efforts against
Kary Tuers, Addiction Prevention Coordinator for Umatilla County Public Health, says
theyre offering a community naloxone training next month that focuses on helping
everyone prevent opioid overdose death by giving out free overdose kits of naloxone - and
training on how to use them.
"It saves lives, and that's our goal: to help prevent death due to overdose in our
area," Tuers said.
The training does not require health care experience and they're inviting anyone and
everyone who would like to come to attend the training, including anyone who interacts
with a current user, family and friends, businesses that may see people under the
influence of opioids or people who are just concerned community member.
Kits of Naloxone, goes by the brand name Narcan, will be given to training participants -
and the whole event is free. It's Sept. 11 at Good Shepherd, beginning at noon, and lunch
is also provided. Although
The training is free, but registration is required - you can register on Event Brite through
Funland Committee to choose architect Aug. 5, 2019
This week, the Funland Restoration Committee will select a design team for the rebuild of
Hermistons Funland Playground, which was destroyed in a fire in June.
Parks and Recreation Director Larry Fetter says the committee will select the design team
after interviewing the teams on Aug. 8 thats this Thursday.
Once selected, the design work will take place through the fall. Fetter
says the playground will be at least the size it was before the fire if not bigger.
Demolition of the damaged park began last week, and the city has set a date for a
Picket reclaim event
Fetter saying theyve had overwhelming interest in reclaiming Funland fence picket,
so the city is sorting them into alphabetical order and setting a reclaim event next
That event will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day Sept. 20-22 at the Hermiston Community
Boardman Council talks mobile vendors Aug. 5, 2019
Two Boardman business owners asking the Boardman City Council to regulate mobile vendors.
The owners asking the city to consider rules requiring parking spaces, and restroom
facilities for the mobile vendors to alleviate some of the problems. Council member David
Jones is the owner of the property where many of the mobile vendors are located in
Boardman and recused himself from the council to participate in the discussion as a
citizen he said he would be willing to put in portable restrooms and have required
The city council is reviewing other cities ordinances and considering drafting an
ordinance for Boardman. Theyll have workshop sessions to further discuss the issue
but no dates have been set.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Boardman City Council is tomorrow.
Vet Town Hall, Expo this week July 26, 2019
Tonight in Pendleton, the Veterans Town Hall event and tomorrow the Veteran's
Benefit Expo at the Pendleton Convention Center.
The town hall tonight is from 6-7 p.m. with Kelly Fitzpatrick, director of the Oregon
Department of Veterans Affairs. Fitzpatrick says shes particularly interested
in issues impacting veterans in a rural area.
Shell provide updates on programs and initiatives, as well as veteran-related
information from the 2019 legislative session. She will also answer questions and take
feedback on the concerns, issues, and challenges facing veterans in Eastern Oregon.
The event will be recorded and livestreamed on the Oregon Department of Veterans
Affairs Facebook page.
Tomorrrow, the fifth annual Veteran benefit Expo. Kelly Fitzpatrick, director of the
Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs says theyve brought together those who
provide veterans benefits from healthcare to homeloans.She says people should plan about
"Once they arrive, I think they'll really be surprised at how many benefits and how
many information tables there are that they're actually interested in talking to the
representatives and finding out more," she said.
The Expo is free and requires no pre-registration. The event will be open to the public
from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 27 at the Pendleton Convention Center.
Find more at https://expo.oregondva.com/
Tribes buy Hamley's July 26, 2019
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) has purchased
Hamleys restaurant, coffee shop and store at auction. A press release from the
tribes saying theyve had a long relationship with the Hamley family and are pleased
to keep the business in local hands. They say day-to-day operations will be managed by
Wildhorse Resort & Casino.
The business was founded in 1905, and the tribes were the high bidder in the auction
yesterday, pledging $3 ½ million.
UCSO looking for robbery suspect July 25, 2019
The Umatilla County Sheriffs Office requesting information on the location of Amanda
Marie Warren, a 38-year-old woman from Pendleton wanted in connection with a theft that
occurred at a residence near Milton-Freewater on Wednesday. Warran is a convicted felon
and is possibly still in the possession of stolen firearm(s).
The sheriffs office saying the theft reported at 6 p.m. Wednesday at a home in
Milton-Freewater. The victim, an elderly man, saying he was contacted at his home by a
woman offering cleaning services. He agreed, she cleaned the home and then left. After she
was gone, the victim discovered items missing including his wallet and 2 firearms (a
revolver and a semi auto pistol).
This investigation is on-going. UCSO is cautioning citizens, especially elderly who live
alone, to be aware of the method used. In this case, the suspect gained entry by offering
to clean the house, and used the
opportunity to steal items. The Sheriffs Office saying the case of theft from an
elderly man in Athena earlier in the week is being investigated as a separate case.
The sheriffs office saying if anyone locates Amanda Marie Warren, theyre asked
not to approach her but to call the 24-hour-dispatch center at 541-966-3651. In an
emergency call 911.
SHIP eligible for additional funding July 24, 2019
Good news for the South Hermiston Industrial Park the city is eligible for more
grant funding than originally expected.
The City of Hermiston is applying for grant funding from the Federal Economic Development
Administration to finance about half of the costs of improvements to the industrial park.
The other half being made up of contributions from the city, county, and assessments from
property owners within the park. Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan saying the city
received silver lining news late last week:
"Based on the layoffs by Hermiston Foods and Union Pacific Railroad, it does qualify
us for essentially disaster relief dollars through EDA, so if they do end up approving our
grant application this fall, instead of it being a 50 percent federal share, we'd actually
receive 80 percent costs covered by that grant," he said.
Morgan saying that change in grant funding would cut the cost to property owners within
the Local Improvement District by half. The city plans to submit the grant application
around Sept. 1. Theyre hoping to entice development into the park area.
Funland committee meets tonight July 24, 2019
No onto a different kind of park: Theres a meeting of the Funland Park
Reconstruction Committee tonight at the Hermiston Community Center. On the agenda, design
team selection and time for public comment.
Find the full
Radar going down in Pendleton July 22, 2019
Radar at the Pendleton Weather Station will be down starting today and for the next three
weeks starting today as crews replace the pedestal holding up the radome the giant
golf ball on top of the weather station and upgrade equipment. The National Weather
Service saying its part of a maintenance overhaul of radar systems known as the Service
Life Extension Program. Theyll replace the full pedestal as well as upgrade and
replace other parts while the system is down. Its expected to take from today
through the first week of August. While the radar is down, surrounding radar systems in
Spokane, Portland, and Boise will continue to operate.
Find out more here: https://www.weather.gov/pdt/
Hermiston City Council meets tonight July 22, 2019
The Hermiston city council also talking about the proposed school district bond with a
presentation during its council meeting tonight. The council will also hear a report on
EOTEC, a presentation from the tribes and will vote on replats of property, including
changes to the former Hermiston Foods property.
That meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight at Hermiston City hall. Find the full agenda here.
Blood shortage, blood drives
July 18, 2019
Last week, the American Red Cross declared an emergency shortage of blood because they
have less than a three-day supply of most blood types. The red cross says its
because of a summer drop in donations and increase in natural disasters.
"In summertime, people go on vacations, they're out of town, people aren't there to
donate," said Eldon Marcum with Umatilla County Fire District No. 1. "This year
has been a lot of catastrophe, so although they're always short of blood (in the summer),
this year it's extremely low."
Marcum saying there are multiple blood drives in our local area, including one hosted by
the fire district on Friday, Aug. 2, at the Stafford Hansell Government Center.
Theres also a blood drive at Good Shepherd Medical Center from 10 to 3 this coming
Monday and then drives the first two weeks of August at New Hope Community Church, the
Oregon Trail Library District in Irrigon, Umatilla City Hall, and Boardman Pool and
Recreation Center . You can visit
redcrossblood.org to sign up for a time or for more information.
Stanfield talks 395, law suit, city manager July 16, 2019
The Stanfield City Council is meeting tonight at 6 p.m. in the council chambers on Coe
Avenue, and they could be reviewing city manager applications. Those application packets
due at Stanfield City Hall by end of business today.
The city council has a closed-door executive session on the agenda tonight to discuss the
hiring of a city manager and to discuss matters relating to the 3D-Idapro lawsuit.
The City of Stanfield also has a public meeting scheduled Thursday with ODOT regarding
repairs and changes on the Highway 395 overlay project.
That meeting is a 6 in the evening Thursday in the cafeteria at Stanfield Secondary
There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and make comments.
Find both agendas on the Facebook
page for the City of Stanfield.
Economic Summit slated July 26 July 12, 2019
An economic summit later this month at Hermiston High School.
Its the inaugural Eastern Oregon Economic Summit and expected to cover factors
impacting rural Oregons economy from legislation to technology.
The summit from 8:30 to 5 on Friday, July 26th, at Hermiston High.
Its hosted by the Eastern Oregon Womens Coalition . The event will have
keynote speakers in the morning and discussion panels in the afternoon on topics including
recruiting businesses interested in relocation and meeting housing needs.
Registration is required and costs $25. You can register
on the events eventbrite page.
County Emergency Declaration approved July 10, 2019
Umatilla County has a disaster declaration from the state after flooding in April . The
declaration means federal assistance to help with state and local recover efforts in six
counties: Curry, Douglas, Grant, Linn, Umatilla, and Wheeler counties. The state office of
emergency management estimating damages to public property in those six counties at $8.2
The Oregon Department of Transportation has requested an additional $3.7 in emergency
relief for damages to major transportation networks.
Sheriff's Office wins jail funding July 10, 2019
The UCSO officially announcing yesterday that the Oregon House and Senate approved $1.6
million in funding to renovate the
Umatilla County Jail. The declaration follows two years of planning and funding requests
from the state.
Once completed, this renovation will help the jail staff to better accommodate inmates who
suffer from mental health,
alcohol and drug, and medical issues. The current setup in the jail isnt equipped
for the continued increase in the
number of persons with these types of problems. With the renovation, the Umatilla County
Jail will be better equipped
to provide a secure area where inmates in crisis could be temporarily housed until
theyre treated and stabilized.
Hermiston council considers EOTEC, LID July 8, 2019
A local improvement taxing district and a strategic plan for the Eastern Oregon Trade and
Event Center on the agenda tonight for the Hermiston City Council.
The L-I-D would have property owners within the South Hermiston Industrial Park pay a
portion of costs for new roads, water, and sewer lines within the district to promote more
development. On the agenda is a resolution that would declare the intent to form the
district. Theyll also vote on a 10-year EOTEC strategic plan as well as a vote
enlarging the EOTEC advisory committee adding two at-large community members.
The regular meeting begins at 7 at city hall. There is a work session at 6 to discuss
parks and recreation software and an update on family promise with the
faith-based advisory committee and made to thrive.
Find the full agenda here
Hermiston School Board to vote on bond July 8, 2019
Back to the meeting agendas, tonight the Hermiston School Board meets at 6:30 at the
district office and they could be moving forward on asking voters to approve
another bond. The board expected to vote tonight on a Ballot Question Bond Authorizing
Resolution which would likely ask voters for the $82 million construction bond that the
districts facilities committee recommended last month.
During the meeting, the board will also vote on a number of items to prepare for the
coming school year from the organizational cart to school lunch prices. There is a
executive session on the agenda for the superintendents performance review.
You can find that full agenda here.
HSD pays off pre-2008 bond July 5, 2019
The Hermiston School District Celebrating this week as it made the final payment to clear
all debt from before the 2008 bond.
Most of that debt comes from a 1999 bond totaling just under $40 million.
The district still paying back bonds voters approved in In November 2008
That was an additional $69.9 million general obligation bond. The district used those
funds to build new elementary schools and a middle school. The November 2008 bond payoff
dates are scheduled for June 2026 and June 2029.
With the final payment of the pre-2008 bonds, the district expects school bond
property tax rates to decrease approximately $0.40 per $1,000 of assessed value. The
district's general fund property tax will remain at $4.8877 per $1,000.
Boardman seeking new councilor July 5, 2019
The City of Boardman is looking for a new city council member.
Toni Connell resigning her seat on the Boardman City Council in order to work full time at
City Hall as a utility clerk.
The city is currently seeking letters of interest from individuals willing to be
for appointment to fill a vacancy on the City Council. The term expires December 31, 2020.
Those interested must have resided in the City of Boardman during the twelve months
immediately preceding the appointment. Letters of interest must be received no later than
5:00pm, Thursday, August 1, 2019 to City Manager, Karen Pettigrew at Boardman City Hall
for consideration. The City Council will interview the candidates, and appoint the new
Councilor at their August 6, 2019 City Council meeting, scheduled for 7pm.
Using fireworks safely July 3, 2019
Fireworks went on sale last week in Oregon, and fire marshal Scott Goff says people need
to be prepared, responsible, safe, and aware when using fireworks.
Fireworks used in Oregon should be purchased in the state. Purchasing aerial fireworks out
of state and bringing them to Oregon could cost you
"If they do happen to start a fire with illegal fireworks, they could be not only
responsible both for the cost of the fire - we do bill for fire suppression on issues like
that - there could be other legal ramifications as well," he said.
Goff says to make sure to soak spent fireworks in water as those can still start fires
after theyve been used. Goff also reminding the community that all open burning is
closed in the state.
Find more on the website for Umatilla County Fire District #1
On the topic of fireworks, three local communities will present fireworks shows and other
events for Independence Day: Stars & Stripes in Hermiston, Boardman Thunder in
Boardman and the Stanfield Fourth of July in Stanfield.