KOHU - KQFM LOCAL NEWS

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. Christianson’s 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 Education Foundation.

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.
Tonight’s 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 Offices.
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 tonight’s meeting.
The second ordinance is the second reading of an ordinance update the city’s 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 Year’s 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 Year’s Day on Buttercreek Highway.
The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office saying the motor vehicle crash happened on Highway 207 near milepost 21, south of Hermiston, at 4 p.m. on New Year’s 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 Port’s marine terminals. The funding will help extend the Port’s 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 DOT’s 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 congestion,

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 info@boardmanchamber.org.
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 it’s 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," he said.
That survey is live now and will be open for the next few weeks. The survey link posted on the fire district’s 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 – that’s 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. It’s funded through grants from Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State Sheriff’s Association.
They’re 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 Oregon’s District 2. Students
Rogelio Lemus, JJ Fitzgerald, Laine Whelan and Adamaryz Lopez Navarrete created an application called FINANA (Finances Incorporated Nationally Allowing Non-profit Automation).
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 tonight.
There is a public hearing on the agenda about the changes to the water and sewer code, and City Manager David Stockdale says it’s 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 agenda here.
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 sheriff’s office was bringing back its K-9 program through a $20,000 grant from the Wildhorse Foundation.
Yesterday, the sheriff’s 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 Hermiston’s First United Methodist. Tim Turner says visitors can take their time with the experience:
"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 chocolate, fellowship."
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 they’ll 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 evening.
Tonight and tomorrow the youth theater Christmas performances at the Hermiston Community Center.
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 that’s 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 Playground rebuild.
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 tonight’s presentation and feedback from the council, they’ll 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.
They’ll have the regular meeting at 7. On that agenda, the city’s 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 agenda here.

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 doesn’t 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 manager’s update.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers on Coe Avenue.
Click here for the full agenda.
The Stanfield City Council meeting begins at 6 tonight in the council chambers on Coe Avenue.
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 week’s Community Fellowship Dinner. Coordinator Tom Marks says they’re expecting 900 people for the free Thanksgiving meal on Thursday – and they’re 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 School.

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. That’s 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 standards.
The council does have a work session before the meeting. They’ll 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. They’ll be meeting at Sunset Elementary, and the agenda includes a presentation from the school, multiple reports, and survey discussion.
Find the full agenda at this link.

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 Sheriff’s 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 three timpani."
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.
Amount: $2440.00
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.
Amount: $865.00
3. Cristian Mata ALMS “A Touch of Timpani”
Funds will be used to purchase 2 timpani for Armand Larive Middle School
band program.
Amount: $7070.00
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
performance .
Amount: $1000.00
5. Sarah Gonzalez SMS “Sandstone Drama Program
(Beauty and the Beast: Spring Musical)
Materials, microphones and costumes will be funded for this project.
Amount: $2,000.00
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.
Amount: $1700.00
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.
Amount: 625.00
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.
Amount: $900.00
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. It’s 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 ODOT’s 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. You’ll also learn more about the interchange area management plans (IAMP) for these two exits, plus the project process and schedule.
Can’t 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 at teresa.b.penninger@odot.state.or.us.

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 city’s 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 district’s $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 they’ll 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 District’s bond.
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, they’llvote on a feasibility grant application for water resources, and they’ll 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 agenda here.

Girls in Tech is Saturday in Boardman
Nov
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. It’s a seris of workships focued on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics
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 registration here.

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 scene.
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 driver’s actions.
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 Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Department of Transportation, the Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Umatilla County District Attorney’s 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 and 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 Rocket Mart.
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 negotiation details.
If a formal purchase offer is made to the city, it would have to be approved in a city council meeting. That’s 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 3D-Idapro Lawsuit.
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.
Umatilla’s City Council also meting tonight, and it’s 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 Kiwanis Falls.
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. They’ll 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 they’ll 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 district.
Find the full agenda by clicking here.
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 district’s current bond expires in 2021, and they’re 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 in.

Morgan receives credentials
Oct. 7, 2019
Hermiston’s 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 Morgan’s 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.
They’ll also accept a resignation and declare a vacancy on the Umatilla Library Board and recognize CRIS INC with service recognition. They’ll 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. That’ll 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 Sheriff’s 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 Sheriff’s 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 there’s 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 Sheriff’s Office averaging three warnings for every citation – and asking people to slow down and pay extra attention in road construction zones.

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 be prepared.
"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. They’ll have a presentation from the school, reports, and an executive session to review the superintendent evaluation.
Follow this link for the agenda.
The Hermiston City Council will talk cybersecurty tonight with a vote on a new cyber security policy. They’ll 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 here.

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 project.
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 city’s website or through this link.
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 level
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 66 percent.
Students and families of current 4-9 and 12th graders will have access to individual student reports later this fall
through PowerSchool.
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. They’ll 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 it’s 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 kids."
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 state’s Student Success Fund and a corporate Activity Tax to pay for it.
Although the new funding is a boon for schools, it’s also raising questions for businesses, and that’s 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 people.
Yesterday, the Oregon Health Authority released its annual report on illegal sales of tobacco products to minors, and it’s especially concerned about a spike in sales of mini-cigars, or cigarillos, to underage smokers, which doubled from 13 to 28 percent last year.
Umatilla County did better than last year where six stores failed the inspection but still isn’t 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, that’s a 10 percent violation rate.
There were two attempts in Morrow County, one in Boardman and one in Lexington, but both inspections passed.
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."
That’s a topic that Umatilla County Public Health is well aware of. For for the last few years, they’ve 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 Council.
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 the state-level.

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. They’re 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 meeting’s 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 public.
Click 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 District’s proposed bond.

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. They’ll 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 they’re 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 Elkanah. https://www.campelkanah.com/outdoorschool/
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 - sandra.rice@hermistonsd.orgfor more information.

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 they’re looking for community feedback right now through a survey. The survey has 14 questions about how and why the community might use the trails.
"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 they’ve 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 Smith’s 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. That’ll 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 tonight.
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 District’s 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 city’s Airport Board. If approved,t he rates at the city’s 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 manager’s 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, it’s the Hermiston Education Foundation’s 5k Fun Run and Walk. It’s earlier than usual this year – for a specific reason:it's a school supply drive.
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 donated.
Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the run begins at 9. It’s 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. It’s 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 – or longer.
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. They’re hoping to have the pumps back from the shop on Friday to reopen on Saturday, but it could be longer.
They’re 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 he’s 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 clicking here.

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.
They’re 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 opioid abuse.
Kary Tuers, Addiction Prevention Coordinator for Umatilla County Public Health, says they’re 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 this link.

Funland Committee to choose architect
Aug. 5, 2019
This week, the Funland Restoration Committee will select a design team for the rebuild of Hermiston’s 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 – that’s 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 they’ve had overwhelming interest in reclaiming Funland fence picket, so the city is sorting them into alphabetical order and setting a reclaim event next month.
That event will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day Sept. 20-22 at the Hermiston Community Center.

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 parking spaces.
The city council is reviewing other cities’ ordinances and considering drafting an ordinance for Boardman. They’ll 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 she’s particularly interested in issues impacting veterans in a rural area.
She’ll 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 they’ve brought together those who provide veterans benefits from healthcare to homeloans.She says people should plan about two hours.
"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 Hamley’s restaurant, coffee shop and store at auction. A press release from the tribes saying they’ve 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 million.

UCSO looking for robbery suspect
July 25, 2019
The Umatilla County Sheriff’s 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 sheriff’s 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 Sheriff’s Office saying the case of theft from an elderly man in Athena earlier in the week is being investigated as a separate case.
The sheriff’s office saying if anyone locates Amanda Marie Warren, they’re 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. They’re hoping to entice development into the park area.

Funland committee meets tonight
July 24, 2019
No onto a different kind of park: There’s 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 agenda here.

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. They’ll replace the full pedestal as well as upgrade and replace other parts while the system is down. It’s 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 it’s 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. There’s 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 School.
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.
It’s the inaugural Eastern Oregon Economic Summit and expected to cover factors impacting rural Oregon’s economy from legislation to technology.
The summit from 8:30 to 5 on Friday, July 26th, at Hermiston High.
It’s hosted by the Eastern Oregon Women’s 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 event’s 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 million
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 isn’t 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 they’re 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. They’ll 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 district’s 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 superintendent’s 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 considered
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 they’ve 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.