by News Director Jennifer Colton
541.567.6500 or 541.289.NEWS or KOHUnews@gmail.com

School board, council meet tonight
Oct. 12, 2020
The Hermiston School Board meeting tonight at 6:30. On the agenda, Division 22 standards, an enrollment report as well as meeting in a closed-door executive session.
Click here for that agenda.
Hermiston City Council also meeting tonight. There’s a work session at 6 p.m. to talk about Hermiston emergency services rates, followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. Council to vote on an ordinance correcting a previous ordinance because of numerical errors and discussion of potential emergency shelter distance requirements.
You can find that agenda here.

Candidates, councils meet tonight
Oct. 6, 2020
It’s a bit of a busy night around out area with multiple city council meetings and a candidate forum.
Candidate forum
In Hermiston, tonight is the night for the candidate forum. Candidates for County Commissioner and Hermiston City Council participating in the forum tonight. That will be live broadcast online, and there is limited seating available at the Hermiston Community Center. The event begins at 6 p.m.
Stanfield City Council
Also at 6 tonight, a meeting of the Stanfield City Council. They’ll be recognizing councilor Delwin Manley and discussing a vacant council position, a potential disc courts, an alternative location for the civic block, and upcoming events and activities. That meeting at 6 tonight in the Council Chambers on Coe avenue.
Find the agenda here.
Umatilla City Council
Tonight at 7, a meeting of the Umatilla City Council at Umatilla City Hall.
Changes to water and sewer fees on the agenda in two spots – there’s a public hearing about the proposed changes and charges, then a resolution to approve those changes.
Also on the agenda, adopting an excessive force polity, and an inter-governmental agreement between the city and the school district. The city will also hear a presentation on the 8 Can’t Wait program.
Click here for the agenda.
Boardman City Council
Coronavirus Relief Funds on the agenda tonight for the Boardman City Council. A resolution establishing to receive and use those funds is on the agenda, as it s a resolution about building permits – and a September building department permit report. The meeting also scheduled to have a bond consultant presentation. That meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight – you can find the full agenda and Zoom meeting attendance here

Council talks projects
Sept. 28, 2020
Updates on three city projects on the agenda for tonight's Hermiston City Council meeting. First up is the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center tonight for the Hermiston City Council. That facility recently receiving a large grant from the state, and there’s an update presentation on the agenda for the tonight’s council meeting.
Another update later in that agenda – design for the new city hall. The City Council has made various decisions related to moving the City Hall project forward, and city staff expected to present the current design for council feedback.
A financial report, supplemental budget and the creation of the Local Improvement District for the South Hermiston Industrial Park also on the agenda.
That meeting begins at 7 tonight at the Hermiston Community Center. Limited seating will be available, and the meeting will be livestreamed on the city’s YouTube channel.
Click here for the full agenda.

School Board meets tonight
Sept. 28, 2020
The Hermiston School Board also meeting tonight with two presentations on their agenda: one on athletics and activities, the other a communication presentation with a start of school slideshow and a school logo update. They’ll also have a proclamation about college application week and will meet in an executive session about litigation.
Find the full agenda here.

Air quality 'hazardous'
Sept. 14, 2020
More than 1 million acres have burned in Oregon, and more than 30 fires continue to burn statewide as of yesterday's update from the state office of Emergency Management.
Air quality alerts continuing today with hazardous smoke levels over the weekend - and continuing. The air quality index as of 5 this morning at 339 on DEQ’s scale – anything above 300 is hazardous. Above 200 is “very unhealthy”
UCo Health saying Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current conditions by visiting the DEQ’s Air Quality Index or the Oregon Smoke Information blog, downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone, or going to on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Now. Smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions. Young children, adults over 65, pregnant women and people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions are most at risk.
They're advising to still avoid outdoor activities and stay inside if possible, keeping windows and doors closed and using High efficiency particulate air filters as long as the air quality remains at hazardous levels.
They say cloth, dust, and surgical masks don't protect from the harmful particles in spoke.

School board talks softball, school, enrollment
Sept. 14, 2020
Tonight, the Hermiston School Board could move forward on two construction projects. First, a vote tonight on the high school softball facility project. The board has a recommendation to enter a contract with Nelson Construction Corp for the project on a bid of 2.4 million. Also on the agenda, a vote to select the name of the new school on theater lane. The name isn't listed in the agenda, but a vote is scheduled on the new name tonight. The three finalists previously announced were Artemisa, Loma Vista, and La Senda elementary schools.
the board will also review the enrollment report. The district is down 214 students over the same month last year.
That meeting begins at 6:30 tonight.
Find the full agenda and remote access options here.

City council meets tonight
Sept. 14, 2020
At the Hermiston community center tonight, the Hermiston City Council is meeting. That begins at 7. There’s a public hearing tonight about a temporary emergency shelter ordinance – and then a vote on that ordinance later in the meeting. The changes are at the request of Stepping Stones, a group working to bring a hut-based homeless shelter in Hermiston. The council also expected to consider an ordinance updating part of the municipal cord – on how to obtain a warrant and they’ll accept the resignation of council member Doug smith. Find the full agenda here.

New COVID-19 deaths in Umatilla, Morrow county
Sept. 10, 2020
A COVID-19 death announced yesterday in each Umatilla and Morrow counties.
In Umatilla County, the 41-st covid death is a 97-year0old woman who died Sept. 8 at Regency Hermiston. In Morrow County, OHA reporting an 88-year-old man from Morrow County died Sept. 4 at Good Shepherd.
UCo Health also reporting six new confirmed cases yesterday. The total case count now 28-hundred and 2 since the start of the pandemic with five people hospitalized. Two new cases in Morrow County yesterday. The total case count now 463 with 2 people hospitalized.
No weekly report data from the Oregon Health Authority yet… wildfires causing a delay in the release of that report.

Boardman has Zoom council meeting tonight
Sept. 10, 2020
Budget, cornavirus relief and an animal shelter on the agenda for tonight’s Boardman City Council meeting.
The Zoom meeting begins at 7 p. m. tonight and includes time for public comment and two presentations – one on an animal shelter and one from the CEO of Umatilla Electric Co-op. The council will vote on two resolutions and ordnance tonight, and there’s an executive session on the agenda involving real estate.
Click here for the full agenda. You can also click this link to attend the meeting.

Wind, powerlines caused Umatilla fire
Sept. 9, 2020
High winds and downed power lines cuasing a fast-moving brush fire that moved through Umatilla on Labor Day.
Umatilla Rural Fire Protection District saying the fire began north of Highway 730 from power lines that went down and contacted the ground during, starting the fire.
Umatilla firefighters dispatched to the fire at about 5 p.m. for a fast moving grass fire in the area of Devore Road and Highway 395. The first priority was saving the structure of the “Encore Wellness” clinic. Fire Chief Steve Potts saying winds at that time were gusting more than 50 miles per hour, and they immediately requested mutual aid from other local departments. Potts saying he has never experienced anything like the insity and rate of speed from that fire in 32 years. The fire contained at 10:30, but but areas of the fire continued to burn for hours. The fire threatened homes on River Road, South Hill, the Powerline road area, and level 2 and level 3 evacuation orders were given.
The total area burned has not yet been determined however a very rough estimate is more than 200 acres.

Shooting investigation ongoing
Aug. 24, 2020
Umatilla County Fire District #1 tending to a 27-year-old local man who had been shot in the stomach area – he was taken to Good Shepherd then airlifted out of the area.
HPD is investigating. Police chief Jason Edmiston saying the man is well-known to officers but was “less than cooperative” about what happened. Initial reports from witnesses are that the man was in an altercation with two men in a vehicle directly in front of the west entrance of the store. At some point, a shot or shots were fired from inside the vehicle, striking the man.
Anyone with information can contact HPD.

UCSO searching for missing man
Aug. 24, 2020
Umatilla Sheriff’s Office meanwhile searching for a missing Hermiston man. 37-year-old Daniel S. Lincoln
was reported missing on August 20th and was last seen driving a 2010 black Jeep with Oregon plates 509GQN. Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office was requested to assist on August 21st when a ping on his cell phone showed a location southwest of Ukiah, Oregon near Soap Hill Rd and Bridge Rd. This morning a fixed wind plane was called in to assist with the search effort. Members of the SAR team along with Umatilla County Deputies continue the search on the ground as well.
Anyone with information please contact our 24-hour dispatch center at 541-966-3651.

Multiple wildfires burning
Aug. 24, 2020
Fire updates from over the weekend – multiple fires burning in Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington.
The Meacham Complex of fires between Pendleton and La Grande at 272 acres – and 15 percent contained. The Meacham complex includes the Hagar ridge fire, the Horse Fire, and other fires in the area, burning in rugged terrain with grass, timber and dead and down trees. The Northern Rocks incident Management Team took command of the Meacham Complex early Friday morning.
Another large fire in our area now The Rattlesnake Fire on the Pomeroy Ranger District at 220 acres. That’s about 20 miles south of Pomeroy. The Putnam Springs Fire at 130 acres. Numerous smaller fires burning as well, Hot and dry conditions are expected to persist throughout the week. Fire officials want to remind everyone that the current fire danger rating remains at HIGH and Public Use Restrictions involving chainsaw use are in effect.

Hermiston school board, council meetings tonight
Aug. 24, 2020
A special meeting tonight of the Hermiston School Board. That begins at 6:30 in the boardroom at the Hermiston School district offices. It will be livestreamed on the district’s youtube channel.
The agenda includes an update on the comprehensive distance learning model,
Click here for the full agenda.
On the Hermiston City Council side, tonight's agenda includes annexation of property and potential development of a new 31-unit subdivision. There’s a public hearing on the proposal tonight. Public hearings also on the agenda for the South Hermiston Local Improvement District and an amendment to the accessory dwelling unit ordinance. The council also expected to discuss the workforce taxi incentive program.
That meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Hermiston Community Center. Some limited public attendance will be allowed, but anyone attending in person must wear a facemask. The city also live streaming the meeting and taking public comment via phone as well.
Click here for the agenda and remote connection information.

Hermiston childcare partnership
Aug. 18, 2020
A partnership announced yesterday focused on providing childcare this fall.
The partnership between The Hermiston School District, the City of Hermiston, and Champions to provide childcare during comprehensive distance learning. The district launching a survey to determine the community need for childcare. Click here for the survey.
Champions’ weekly rate is $190 per student. There are opportunities for discounts and waivers – and they’re asking interested families to mark yes on the survey if they’d like more information. The school district plans to off-set a portion of the costs for all families.

Hermiston opens school name survey
Aug. 13, 2020
A survey released yesterday for the Hermiston School District about the three potential names for the new elementary school on Theater Lane: Artemisa Elementary, Loma Vista Elementary and La Senda Elementary.
Schools Superintendent Tricia Mooney says the three name translate to “Sagebrush,” “Hill View” and “The pathway.”
In previous surveys, the community suggested names and voted for a guideline category. Survey results pointed to using geographic name, similar to other elementary schools, and board member Karen Sherman says the school board also wanted to reflect the changing demographics of the Hermiston School District.
"We are now seeing a very large Hispanic population," she said. "At this point in time, we wanted to look at a Spanish name."
Sherman says they’re looking forward to having a name for the school and encourage people to complete the survey and give input before the board selects a final name.
Click here for the survey

Largest state outbreaks in Umatilla County
Aug. 13, 2020
The larges active outbreaks in the state are in Umatilla County - both in work places and care facilities. The Oregon Health Authority releasing this week’s list of active outbreaks yesterday.
With 92 cases, Regency Hermiston remains the largest active care facility outbreak in the state.The center also associated with 10 deaths - also the second highest highest death toll at a care facility in the state since the pandemic began. Sun Terrace also remains an active care facility outbreak with eight cases and two deaths connected to the site.
Pendleton's Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution now the largest active workplace outbreak int he state with 199 total cases - the most recent onset on Aug. 7 - and data was collected on Aug. 9. Three other Umatilla County worksites in the top 10: Lamb Weston's Hermsiton location with 170 cases, Shearer's Foods with 42 and the Walmart Distribution Center with 40 cases. One Morrow County site, Lamb Weston East, also in the top 10, with 42 cases tying with Shearer's Foods as the 8th largest outbreak. .
The outbreak at the Hermiston Walmart now 39 cases, Atkinson Staffing reporting 31, Smith Frozen Foods at 30. Good Shepherd at 29, TRCI in Umatilla at 27 cases, and Lamb Weston West in Boardman at 25.
The Hermiston McDonalds outbreak at 24 and the Lamb Weston Boardman Pac Center is at 22.
The Oregon Health Authority reports outbreaks at workplaces with 30 or more employees and 5 or more total cases associated with the site, inlcuding employees or their family members and close contacts.
Total, there are Twenty-nine workplace outbreaks in Umatilla and Morrow counties.
Also on the list this week: Columbia Basin Onion, Oregon Potato Company , Threemile Canyon Farms, Hill Meat Company, MJ's Labor Servcies, Independt Transport LLC, Home Dpot, Marlette Homes, Boardman Foods, River Point Farms, Port of Morrow Warehousing, Keystone RV, the Stanfield McDonalds, Pacific Ag, the Hermiston Taco Bell, and J & J Snack Foods in Weston.

City Council considers city hall, property
Aug. 10, 2020
A credit agreement on the agenda tonight to for the $9.6 million city hall replacement project.
City Council tonight voting on a full faith and credit financing agreement to build a build new city hall and renovate the basement of the Hermiston library to host a “temporary city hall” during the construction. The council tonight voting on a full faith and credit bond obligation for the funding.
Also on the agenda, a vote on adopting a parks, recreation, and open space plan and a discussion on a green property strategic surplus plan, potentially opening eight acres of land for development.
The meeting begins at 7 at the Hermiston Community Center.
The city will have a limited number of chairs available at the meeting, and it will also be livestreamed and available for public comment. You can find the contact link and information, as well as the full agenda, at this link.

School names, re-entry for school board tonight
Aug. 10, 2020
The Operational Blueprint for Re-entry, the enrollment report , and financial forecasts all on the agenda tonight for the Hermiston School Board. They'll also have an introduction to a new online agenda system, and ... The Hermiston School Board tonight also receiving a report on the name finalists for the new elementary school on theater lane. The finalists are: Artemisa Valley Elementary, Loma Vista Elementary, and La Senda Elementary.
The meeting at 6:30 tonight, and remote access options are available. Anyone interested in providing public comment can do so by emailing communications@hermistonsd.org by noon today.

Umatilla to talk bridge replacement
Aug. 4, 2020
A year and a half later, progress on replacing the Umatilla pedestrian bridge damaged in flooding on the Umatilla river. The city working with J-U-B Engineers to replace the 195-foot-long bridge at Nugent Park that was damaged in flooding in 2019 and 2020.The company has presented several design concepts to city staff, and the council will be discussing goals and costs for the design. Also related to the bridge, a resolution authorizing city staff to work with Oregon Emergency Management to repair and replace flood-damaged facilities including the pedestrian bridge, the boat launch and fishing pier at Nugent Park.
That meeting is at 7 tonight. It will be available via Zoom. Any questions or public comments should be sent in to nanci@umatilla-city.org before 5 p.m. today.
During the meeting, council members also to vote on a $370,000 loan to complete a feasibility study for hydraulically connected well.s The city receiving a grant from the Oregon Water Resources Department and has applied for the loan to cover the rest of the cost. Resolutions also on the agenda tonight about amending and expanding the Greater Umatilla Enterprise Zone.
To join via Zoom:
Dial 1 (253) 215-8782 US, Meeting ID is 819 7142 9093 the password is 97882.
Click here for the full agenda

Stanfield council agenda
Aug. 4, 2020
Streamlining the city’s fire prevention ordinances on the agenda tonight for the Stanfield City Council. The first reading of that ordinance and the second reading of one on keeping livestock without a permit both on the agenda for tonight’s council meeting. They’ll also have a civic block update, a volunteer resolutions, and discussion about a city server replacement and website prospect review. That meeting begins at 6 tonight in the council chambers on Coe Avenue.

Study: 17 percent of Hermiston infected, 80 percent without symptoms
July 31, 2020
Results are in from last week’s TRACE door-to-door testing in Hermiston. The OSU study estimating 17 percent of Hermiston residents were positive for COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday – and 80 percent do not have symptoms.
Hermiston Assistant City manager Mark Morgan says the results are about what he expected.
"We've known that there's a lot of asymptomatic cases out there that are prevalent in the community and people are going about their business without taking that into consideration," he said. "I think these results really hammer home the need for people to maintain distance, even if they are asymptomatic."
80 percent of those who tested positive had no symptoms at the time of the test, although we do not yet know if they were asymptomatic or presymptomatic.
The door-to-door, randomized study visited 30 neighborhoods in Hermiston, and 44 percent of homes agreed to participate in the test. 471 people were tested and 41 people tested positive. That’s 8.7 percent. Using modeling, the TRACE study estimates the prevalence of the virus last weekend was about 170 for every 1,000 people in Hermiston or 17 percent of the population.
Joe Fiumara, director of UCo Health saying it is the highest testing the TRACE team has seen in any survey.
"The big item, I think, is that 80 percent of people who were asymptomatic, which is a really, really high number," he said.
The study also analyzed wastewater samples from both Hermiston and Boardman and found strong viral signals suggesting the virus is widespread in both cities.
On Friday, UCo Health reporting 32 new cases of COVID-19 in the county. At that time, there were 19-hundred and 61 cases, and 314 were active. 13 people were hospitalized.

Governor returns Umatilla County to baseline
July 31, 2020
Baseline restrictions as of noon today.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown announcing last night that Umatilla County would roll back to baseline COVID-19 restrictions, Morrow County back to phase 1, as of noon today.
The baseline Stay Home, Save Lives order closes gyms, salons, barbers, dance studios, bowling alleys, campgrounds and skate parks. None of which has been connected with a reported outbreak.
The governor saying the county should expect to stay in the baseline phase for 21 days.

Weekend COVID-19 update
July 27, 2020
On Friday, UCo Health announcing a sixteenth COVID-19 death: an 85-year-old man who tested positive July16 and died July 24th at Regency Hermiston Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
At that time, there were 16-hundred and 24 cases in Umatilla County. 322 were active and 10 people hospitalized. 12-hundred and 86 people had recovered.
Then over the weekend, the Oregon Health Authority reporting 43 cases in Umatilla County on Sunday, the total yesterday 16-hundred and 78. The most recent update from Morrow County Emergency Management adding 13 cases for a total of 247 with no hospitalizations.

School Board talks what school will look like
July 27, 2020
A special meeting of the Hermiston School Board tonight about updates to the 2020-2021 school year. Last Thursday, the district a announced it would be beginning the school year with a comprehensive online model because of climbing corona virus cases in the Hermiston area with an intent to move to face-to-face instruction options when it was safe to do so. In addition to the student item, the board also voting on updates to the school calendar and meeting in To conduct deliberations with persons designated by the governing body to negotiate real property transactions
To join the meeting, dial 253-215-8782. The meeting ID is 994 6226 6100, and the passcode is 862323.
Click here for a link to the full agenda

$3 million agreement for city hall
July 27, 2020
A $3 million contract between the city of Hermiston and Umatilla County about Hermiston City Hall on the agenda for tonight’s council meeting. The City has proposed building a new three-story city hall on the site of the current facility, damaged by a fire last year. In the agreement they’ll discuss tonight, the county would lease the ground floor of the building for 15 years in exchange for contributing $3 million toward the $9 million estimated cost o the building.
Also up for discussion tonight, the Hermiston City Council could decide how to spend federal CARES act funding tonight. The city is expected to receive $540,000 that must be spent in areas related to COVID-19. City staff saying the city’s direct expenses through the end of the year are only about $100,000, and they’re proposing allocating extra money for business assistance, rent/mortgage assistance, and water/sewer bill assistance.
Council tonight also looking at installing stop signs at W Joseph Avenue and East Oregon Avenue and awarding the contract for the library basement contract.
Click here for a link to the full agenda and remote access options.

Stanfield, Umatilla councils meet
July 21, 2020
Fire, Roads, Livestock all on the agenda for the Stanfield City Council this week.
The council has the first reading of an ordinance prohibiting keeping livestock without a permit; a resolution on ODOT temporary easement and a discussion on the city fire code and a veterans memorial. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, if the council chambers on Coe Avenue.
Click here for the agenda.
Umatilla City Council also meeting in a work session tonight. That starts at 6 p.m. at Umatilla City Hall. The council to discuss potentially amending the Greater Umatilla Enterprise Zone boundary and an intergovernmental agreement about the National Hazards Mitigation Plan.
Find the full agenda here.

Cases top 1,000 in Umatilla County
July 13, 2020
Cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County now above 1 thousand.
UCo Health on Friday reporting 40 new confirmed cases in Umatilla County. The total of confirmed and presumptive cases now at 985. 554 are active, and 17 people are hospitalized.
At that time, 423 people were listed as recovered.
The Oregon Health Authority over the weekend reporting 50 cases in Umatilla County on Saturday – that likely has some overlap with the 40 UCo Health reported on Friday – followed by another 27 cases on Sunday bringing the Umatilla County total to One-thousand and 13. OHA listing 7 new cases in Morrow County yesterday, which pushes the total to 145 cases. The state total now at 12-thousand, 170.

School survey: More than half comfortable with student return
July 13, 2020
Most parents and staff are comfortable with students returning to school in Hermiston.
That's according to the results of a survey the Hermiston School District will present during its regular school board meeting tonight.
In the survey, 32 percent were very comfortable with students returning to school, and 24 percent were somewhat comfortable - a total of 56 percent. 12 percent were neutral, 21 percent somewhat uncomfortable and 11 percent very uncomfortable.
The primary concern was that classrooms and other areas would not be properly disinfected, followed by having in-person interactions with others, and then readjustment to classroom or school life.
The survey also asked about reliable internet, and although the vast majority - 87 percent - said they have reliable home internet, 117 respondents - 11 percent - had either no home access or unreliable internet. 1 percent of homes have access to the internet through mobile hotspots.
The school board will discuss the survey tonight after a presentation from superintendent Tricia Mooney.
Also on the agenda, personnel appointments and resignations, and a number of annual school year business items, such as designating a budget officer, legal counsel, and the organizational chart.
Click here for a link to the full agenda.
As in recent months, the board will meet virtually via Zoom. You may dial into the meeting by calling 253-215-8782..
The meeting ID is 943 3818 6976 and the password is 072571.

Hermiston Council meets tonight
July 13, 2020
The Hermiston City Council also meeting tonight. A work session at 6 to focus on the parks plan, followed by the regular meeting at 7. On the agenda, a permanent food pod location, an update to the employee handbook, and a miscellaneous engineering services contract to Anderson Perry.
n order to follow public gathering and social distancing guidelines set forth by state and federal authorities, a limited number of chairs will be available for citizens to attend the meeting in person; those attending must also wear a face mask. The City will livestream the meeting at https://bit.ly/HermistonYouTube and it will also be available following the meeting as well. Click here for the full agenda.

UCSO asks for help in shootings
July 8, 2020
The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office asking for help after two separate shooting incidents in the past week near Hermiston.
The first report of shots fired on Sunday, July 5, 2020 near SW 23 rd St. and West Highland Ave. just outside the City of Hermiston, where deputies responded to a report of shots fired. The Sheriff’s Office says at least three vehicles are believed to have been involved. There were no known injuries. The shooters were described as Hispanic males, 20 and 30 years of age. Vehicles involved were described as a newer pearl white 4-door, possibly
a Mitsubishi Galant; a newer silver SUV, possibly a Nissan Pathfinder; and A black 2-door Honda Civic with a broken passenger side window
The second shots fired report after 9 at night on Tuesday, on Gillespie Lane, again just outside the City of Hermiston. One
vehicle was involved., described as a light colored smaller size 4-door, no further description. A house was hit several times, there were no known injuries.
It is believed the shootings were specific to the individuals involved and not random.
Anyone who has information regarding these incidents is asked to please contact
Umatilla County Dispatch, 541-966-3651.

Greg Smith hosts townhall Thursday
July 8, 2020
Coming up this week, a virtual town hall with Rep. Greg Smith, over Zoom. The townhall from 5:30-6:30 on Thursday, July 9.
Questions can be addressed to smithg@oregonlegislature.gov to have them addressed during the House District 57 Virtual Town Hall.
Click here for more information.

UCo Health releases weekend numbers
July 7, 2020
After the long holiday weekend, Umatilla County Public Health reporting 125 new cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County. The numbers between Thursday afternoon and yesterday morning.
The total cases, including confirmed and presumptive, now at 783. Of those, 13 people are hospitalized, 451 cases are active, and 326 people are considered recovered.

Police: Jonathan Lopez wrote letter to himself
July 7, 2020
Outrage yesterday on social media after news Jonathan Lopez, candidate for Umatilla County Commissioner, had written a racist, hate-filled letter, to himself.
In late June, Lopez sharing a photo of social media of a letter he allegedly received in his mailbox that included racist and homophobic language . Hermiston Police investigating, and the end result an admission that Lopez wrote the letter himself and made false statements to the police and on social media. Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmison staying the matter will be referred this week to the Umatilla County district attorney’s office for initiating a false report. They’re also investigating potential election fraud as it pertains to false credentials presented by Lopez during his run for county commissioner, including his service in the Coast Guard.
Lopez campaign social media pages have been removed.

Umatilla has long agenda
July 7, 2020
Tonight, applications for grants – both awarding and receiving – for the city of Umatilla.
The Umatilla City Council tonight voting on an agreement with the Umatilla Chamber of Commerce to provide support to local businesses, tourism, and visitor services. The city recently opening small business grants.
The council also has a series of resolutions about updates to the city’s water Master and Wastewater Facilities plans. The city plans to apply for a $234,000 loan from a state fund and two $20,000 technical assistance grant to fund updates to the two plans.
Also during the meeting, discussion sabout a hydraulically connected wells feasibility projec tloan modification and an intergovernmental agreement with the icyt of echo to provide planning and building assistance.
The meeting expected to also include multiple topics in a closed-door executive session from real estate transactions to trade negotiations to meeting with council about litigation.
The meeting begins at 7 tonight and will be available over Zoom. Find the zoom connection information and the full agenda by following this link.

Boardman Council agenda
July 7, 2020
The Boardman City Council also meeting tonight and also having executive session on the agenda – theirs for personnel and real estate. Also on the agenda, a rural broadband COVID grant with the state of Oregon, a summary fo system development charges, and the Morrow County Unified Recreation District. That meeting also starts at 7 tonight.
Click here for the agenda.

City council talks food pod tonight
June 22, 2020
Food Pods, wayfinding on the agenda for Hermiston City Council tonight.
The council has a work session at 6 to discuss options for the city food pod. There is an action item on the agenda for tonight’s regular meeting that amends the charter for mobile food vendors as well. That regular meeting begins at 7 p.m.. A wayfinding sign presentation on the agenda as well as accepting the primary election results, adopting a volunteer handbook and various reports.
Click here for the agenda and remote viewing options.

School board votes on union contact, policies
June 22, 2020
A special work session tonight for the Hermiston School District. That will be available over Zoom. The meeting at 6:30.
The board will also vote on ratifying the collective bargaining agreement with the Oregon School Employees Association, a union that represents the district’s classified employees and have a first reading on eight district policies.
Virtual Location via Zoom Dial +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID: 956 0742 3050 Password: 824026
Follow this link for the full agenda.

Morrow County death, Umatilla County increase
June 19, 2020
A death in Morrow County from COVID-19. The Morrow County Health Department today reporting a 53-year-old man from North Morrow County tested positive for COVID-19 on June 12 and died yesterday at his home. He is said to have had underlying health conditions. They’re asking people to respectful as the family grieves.
Morrow County also announcing five new positive cases today, all appear to be from the Irrigon area. The total cases in Morrow County now at 27; fifteen are active.
UCo Health on Friday reporting 21 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and continuing to ask people to stay home if they're sick - including staying home from work.
In today's update, 153 people have recovered from the disease and 86 cases are active.

Round-Up cancels tickets for 2020
June 19, 2020
A major announcement today from the Pendleton Round Up:
"We are disappointed to announce that current restrictions preclude us from hosting the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Indian Pageant & Wild West Show in our traditional manner this September. For 110 years the Pendleton Round-Up and for 104 years the Happy Canyon has been a celebration of community and a catalyst to support education, local not for profits, service organizations, and provides a direct benefit to the regional economy. It is disheartening the events will not take place in 2020 for all involved. "
The Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Boards of Directors also announcing the creation of donation fund, “Let’Er Buck Cares” that will provide assistance to community organizations that rely on the round up as a main source of income. Tax-deductible Donations to the fund will go to “local civic, non-profit, youth organizations, contract personnel and others” Round-Up organizers also saying they’re working with the Pendleton Chamber to provide stimulus funds to community business that will be impacted by the lack of visitors to Pendleton this year.
Click here for more information.

New COVID-19 cases in Umatilla, Morrow, Union counties
June 16, 2020
Based on the weekend reports from the Oregon Health Authority, we knew to expect more COVID-19 cases yesterday, but the numbers from both Umatilla and Morrow counties were even higher than expected.
We knew there’d be at least 13 because of the OHA update, but UCo Health announcing 23 new confirmed positive cases in Umatilla County yesterday – and a total of 183 total cases of both confirmed and presumptive patients. The county now has 47 active cases with three people hospitalized. There was also an increase in the number of people said to have recovered. Of the 183 cases, 132 people are considered recovered from COVID-19.
As to why there’s a large increase, UCo Health saying they continue to discover instances where people continue to work while sick and that now it is “imperative” that anyone with any symptoms of respiratory illness stay home, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Yesterday, Morrow County Public Health announcing four newly confirmed cases, bringing the total to 18. One case is from the Heppner/Lexington/Ione area and three were from Irrigon. Morrow County has six cases considered active, and all six are said to be in home isolation.
In slightly regional news, Union County had the highest number of cases in the state yesterday – 99. That jumped the number of cases for Union County to 123.
The cases stemming from a suspected case and testing at the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church in Island City.

Boardman Council meets tonight
June 16, 2020
Tonight, a special meeting of the The Boardman City Council to vote on the resolution to form an Enterprise Zone for the city of Boardman. That meeting will be hosted over ZOOM and is available to the public. Click here to participate.

Guidelines for schools released
June 11, 2020
The Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority yesterday releasing initial guidelines for the 2020-2021 school year, and Hermiston Schools Superintendent Tricia Mooney says their goal is to start the school year, with the new guidelines and children in school facilities, Aug. 24.
"We know that the best place for our kids to be is in schools," she said. "In Hermiston, we're moving toward 'how can we get our kids back in school in the fall.'"
Called "Ready Schools, Safe Learners," the state’s 47-page document does allow for local school districts to craft plans for their schools. The blueprint instructs districts to develop a back-to-school plan that utilizes a mix of on-site and distance learning options to protect the safety of students, staff, and families. Districts are also to develop communicable disease management plans and contingency plans in the event of COVID-19 outbreaks––including returns to fully distance learning and modified school year calendars as necessary.
Mark Mulvihill, superintendent of the Intermountain ESD, says he’s encouraged that many of the decisions are up to the local districts.
"There's a clear understanding at the state level that one size does not fit all," he said. "It's going to look different in Hermiston than in Burnt River, Portland Public, and Hillsboro. Districts will have the autonomy to develop their own plans on a local basis."
Mulvihill says people should expect changes when school resumes and not expect a return to the way things were last year.
Colt Gill, the Director of the Oregon Department of Education, saying some schools will operate in a hybrid:
"Each day, some students will be on site and some students will served be off-site through a distance learning model and then they'll switch. All students will have some opportunity o interact directly with their teachers," he said.

BMCC has parade of graduates tonight
June 11, 2020
Tonight, Blue Mountain Community College will celebrate the Class of 2020 Thursday (June 11) evening with a special “Parade of Graduates” in lieu of its traditional commencement ceremony, which
wasn’t possible due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
The Parade of Graduates will begin at 7 p.m. on the BMCC Pendleton campus. Graduates may have their immediate family members inside their vehicles during the parade, and graduates’ families and friends, as well as faculty, staff and other community members are invited to park in designated areas around campus to cheer on the graduates as they drive by. Guests should plan to arrive on campus by 6:45 p.m.
BMCC will broadcast a live stream of the event from its YouTube
channel. The College will also record the event, as well as capture the parade via aerial drone footage courtesy of BMCC agriculture instructor and certified Unmanned Aerial Systems pilot Drew Leggett.

Playgrounds reopen
June 11, 2020
Hermiston Parks and Recreation reopening playgrounds yesterday. They do have restrictions:
·    Playground visitors are encouraged to wash hands before and after visiting a playground.
·    Visitors should maintain physical distancing of at least six feet.
·    Visitors should bring hand sanitizer and/or sanitizing wipes for personal use on any surfaces touched.
·    Any individuals who are sick or may have contacted someone with COVID-19 should stay home.

Weekly update on COVID-19 numbers
June 11, 2020
In yesterday’s update from UCo Health, one increase in the total number of cases – that’s up from 149 to 150 – and multiple cases move from presumptive into the confirmed category. Yesterday’s report shows 145 confirmed cases, 5 presumptive. 119 people have recovered, 28 cases are active, and four people are hospitalized.
The weekly update from the Oregon Health Authority released yesterday, including workplace outbreaks and cases by Zip code. No new workplace outbreaks in Umatilla County (none in morrow County), and OHA now reporting 82 cases of COVID-19 in the Hermiston Zip Code, 28 in Umatilla, and 15 in Milton-Freewater. Those three zip codes making up 125 of the county’s 145 confirmed cases.

COVID-19 cases up by 13
June 9, 2020
A dozen new COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in Umatilla County; one new in Morrow County.
Yesterday’s update from UCo Health reporting 12 new confirmed positive cases. All of the new cases said to be self-isolating and recovering. The total now 136 confirmed cases and 10 presumptive for a total of 146. 27 cases are active and 119 have recovered.
UCo Health saying as the Governor starts slowly lifting restrictions on activities and businesses, it’s important to remember that health and hygiene advice that slows the spread of COVID-19 still applies.
Morrow County Public Health confirming yesterday one more individual has tested positive for COVID-19 in Boardman, bringing the Morrow County total to 14. The individual was notified by another county that they had been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case. . In Morrow county, 12 people have recovered and 2 remain in home isolation.

Boardman council, tax district meet
June 9, 2020
Two meetings tonight in Boardman: there’s a hearing and meeting of the council and special taxing district about a new enterprise zone at 6 p.m. and then a city council meeting tonight at 7:15. On the agenda, the budget resolution, worker’s comp for volunteers and a contingency transfer.
Click here for the agenda.
Those meetings are available to the public through Zoom:
In accordance with ORS 192.640
Using the web-based conferencing service ZOOM on any mobile device.
This meeting is available to the public using:

City council meets tonight
June 8, 2020
Tonight, the Hermiston City Council has a work session about temporary emergency shelter zoning. That’s at 6 tonight. It’s driven by the request for the Stepping Stones homeless shelter. City documents saying the worksession is to gather feedback about adding temporary emergency shelter to the light industrial zoning. The regular council meeting following the work session. That starts at 7.
On the agenda, a public hearing about the South Hermiston LID and resolutions approving the 2020-2021 budget. They also have a presentation by the League of Oregon Cities.
Click here for the full agenda.
To participate remotely:
The livestream will be broadcast at https://bit.ly/HermistonYouTube and will also be available following the meeting. Thanks to a partnership with Amazon Web Services, and the Amazon Chime platform, citizens can listen to the meeting by phone or offer comment remotely by dialing 1-855-552-4463 and using Meeting ID: 775-468-5399.

School District to vote on budget
June 8, 2020
The Hermiston School District talks budget, hiring and reports. They do have the budget hearing in tonight’s meeting as well as a  vote on adopting the $214 million budget. The proposed budget includes $71 million in the general fund and a little over $90 million in construction bond funds. Click here for the agenda.
To attend via Zoom virtual location, you can dial the number, ID, and password list at the top of the agenda. Virtual Location via Zoom Dial +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID: 997 9005 3106 Password: 072571

COVID-19 case update, reopening request
June 2, 2020
Four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported yesterday by UCo health. Three of the individuals are self-isolating and recovering at home; one of the new cases is currently hospitalized, making a total of two county residents hospitalized with the disease – that could be locally or in an out-of-state hospital. The total cases for the county now at 121 with 117 confirmed and 4 presumptive. 104 patients have recovered, and four cases are active.
Morrow County’s number of cases remains at a dozen until yesterday, and the Morrow County Commissioners yesterday submitting a letter of request to the governor to move into Phase II reopening on June 5 – that’s Friday. The letter saying Morrow County has successfully followed up on 100 percent of all new cases and contact tracing within 24 hours and tied all cases from the past 14 days to previous cases.
Yesterday, Morrow County Public Health confirming its 13th case. They say that individual was working out of state and had already returned to Morrow County when they were notified they had been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case in the other state. The new case is the only one considered active in the county

Umatilla, Stanfield talk budgets
June 2, 2020
Today, Umatilla City Council talking budget, revenue sharing and Powerline Road.
The Umatilla City Council meeting at 7 p.m. today in the council chambers. The council meeting will be live streamed via Zoom and anyone who would like to be included in the public comment portion is asked to email nanci@umatilla-city.org before 5 p.m. tonight.
The council will vote on approving the $39.4 million budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. They’ll also have a vote and public hearing on state revenue sharing, and they’ll accept the resignation of Jodi Hinsley from the Planning Commission. There’s also a resolution about the city taking over a portion of Powerline Road and all of Dean Place from Umatilla County. The city saying there continues to be significant residential development along powerline road and taking over ownership would streamline the permitting process. The county offering $200,000 to the city to help bring the road up to city standards.
Find the full agenda here.  To participate: Dial 1 (253) 215-8782 US, Meeting ID is 832 0762 6766, the password is 97882. Click here to join the video conference
Speaking of Umatilla, graduation rescheduled for Thursday. There ceremony at 6:30 p.m., parade at 7:30 and fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
Stanfield City Council also meeting tonight, and they’ll also be looking at the city budget and associated resolutions. Also on the agenda, the ODOT “lane diet” agreement for Highway 395and an executive session for the city manager evaluation. That meeting begins at 6 tonight in the council chambers on Coe Avenue. You can find the full agenda on the city’s Facebook page.

Hermiston council talks essential operations, council resignation
May 26, 2020
Tonight the Hermiston City Council meeting at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center.
The meeting begins at 7 tonight and will be livestreamed and broadcast on the city’s YouTube channel as well as through the Amazon Chime platform.
On the agenda, a resolution establishing that the city of Hermiston is essential in support of federal support to reopen and rebuild local American economies. The council will also vote on support Hermiston grant applications and on a US EDA grant, and they’ll accept the resignation of council member John Kirwan and consider appointments to fill the council vacancy. The city received one applicant to fill the position that expires in December: David McCarthy
They also have two liquor license applications for off-premises sales – that’s for Shiki Hibachi Sushi and Ixtapa Mexican restaurant. The council will meet in a closed-door executive session to talk preliminary negotiations in matters of trade
Click here for the agenda.
To attend remotely:
Thanks to a partnership with Amazon Web Services, and the Amazon Chime platform, citizens can listen to the meeting by phone or offer comment remotely by dialing 1-855-552-4463 and using Meeting ID: 248-308-6837

HSD announced graduate walk details
May 21, 2020
The Hermiston School District announcing a senior walk and fireworks to honor the Class of 2020.
in cooperation with the City of Hermiston, the district and high school will host an Honor Walk to recognize the seniors and all their hard work.
On May 29, a week from tomorrow, beginning at 7:30 p.m., HHS seniors will don their cap and gown and walk in parade starting from the south side of HHS. The route will go west on Highland Avenue to 7th Street,
where it will turn north. Students will walk around West Park Elementary, and down Orchard, returning to HHS by 8:30 p.m.
The Hermiston Police Department will shut down traffic on the route, at 7:15 p.m. Community members, friends, and family who would like to view and cheer from the neighboring sidewalks are welcome to do so. The district just asks that individuals do so safely, respecting social distancing guidelines.
Hermiston High School will culminate the event with a fireworks show from the Hermiston Butte, beginning at 9:30 p.m., for the greater Hermiston community to enjoy from the safety of their
homes, car, sidewalk.
Studnets will receive diplomas on June 4.

Hermiston budget committee meets tonight
May 21, 2020
The Hermiston Budget Committee is meeting tonight at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center. to review the 2020-2021 proposed budget. The meeting will be accessible through the city’s YouTube channel and through the Amazon Chime phone platform.
The $57.3 million proposed budget includes funding for city departments and projects, including antinicpated impacts on the Transient Room Tax because of COVID-19 as well as cthe impacts of PERS and a 2.75 percent cost of living adjustment for city employees. and the budget committee will review the proposed budget and make recommendations to the city council. The council is expected to vote on the document during its meeting on June 8 and adopt the budget before the new fiscal year begins July 1.
To participate in the meeting:
To view: Visit the city’s YouTube channel at bit.ly/HermistonYouTube
To listen: Call 206-462-5569, Meeting ID: 1539-33-0915
Click here for more.

Primary election results
May 20, 2020
16,194 voters cast ballots in Umatilla County by yesterday’s deadline – a voter turnout of 35.8 percent; 47 percent in Morrow County before last night’s deadline. Statewide, turnout at about 42 percent.
At the end of the night, voters selected two candidates for Umatilla County Commissioner to go on the November ballot: Dan Dorran and HollyJo Beers. Dorran receiving 5,482 votes, landing him solidly on the ballot in November. HollyJo Beers had just under 4,000, followed by Pat Maier, Jonathan Lopez, and Mark Gomolski.
Dorran and Beers will be on the November ballot for the county position that will replace Commissioner Bill Elfering in 2021.
In Morrow County, Jim Doherty leading the race to retain his commissioner seat. The 12-hundred and 19 votes were 42 percent of the total ballots cast. Joel Peterson following with 38 percent of the vote.
A close race for Morrow County Treasurer with Sabrina Bailey Cave coming out on top last night, following by Jaylene Papineau.
Boardman’s water and wastewater General Obligation bonds appear to have passed with 63 percent of the ballots saying yes.
Many local races were uncontested, handing wins to Hermiston mayor Dave Drotzmann, municipal judge Tom Creasing and Pendleton mayor John Turner.
Speaking of Pendleton, the controversial gas tax failed 65 to 35 percent, and a narrow loss for the Pendleton School District’s request to continue its local option tax – that failed 52 percent to 48 percent.
One more bond: Echo Fire District’s 10 year bond request passed with about 60 percent of the votes in favor.
Voters approved dissolving the Helix Fire District and the East Umatilla County Rural Fire Protection District, and also approved the formation of the larger East Umatilla Fire & Rescue District.
In Umatilla county, About 300 ballots were received but have not yet been accepted – those will need additional verification because of things like the voter forgot to sign the envelope or two voters signed each others ballot envelopes by mistake.
Click here for Umatilla County's final unofficial results as of 11:47 p.m.

HSD budget committee meets tonight
May 18, 2020
Hermiston School District’s budget committee is meeting tonight in what they expect to be the final meeting. They have budget parameters set by the school board and will have up-to-date figures from the county on tax rates, but it’s still a challenge.
Mark Mulvihill, with the intermountain ESD, says districts are facing a challenge because of the whiplash after expecting record revenue in January and cuts now as well as the uncertainty of what those numbers will be from the state.
"It's difficult to develop a budget this year because what are you budgeting for? what is school going to look like next year?" he said.
As for Hermiston, that budget committee meeting is at 6:30 tonight and will be live streamed through Zoom.
Here is the Zoom information:
Virtual Location via Zoom Dial +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID: 924 5666 6253 Password: 960512
The budget committee is taking public comments. Anyone wishing to provide public comments is asked to submit those through email before noon today. You can email those to communications@hermistonsd.org.

New school name submissions being accepted
May 12, 2020
The Hermiston School District is accepting name submissions this month for the new elementary school to be constructed beginning in 2021 on Theater Lane.
The elementary school is one of several construction projects funded through the bond approved by voters in November. It will be the sixth Hermiston elementary school, joining Desert View, Highland Hills, Rocky Heights, Sunset, and West Park.
An online survey conducted through May will collect potential names for the Board of Education to review before selecting finalists. The public will then have an opportunity to vote on the final name for the school.
Hermiston School District board policy requires that the school be named for:
·    its location or community
·    a famous American
·    a local resident who has not been active with the community or schools for at least five years
Other names may be recommended along with supporting justification.
Click here for the survey.

Music in the Parks cancelled
May 12, 2020
The Boardman and Irrigon Music in the Parks Summer Concert Series has been cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns. The concert series, held each summer alternating between the Boardman and Irrigon Marina Parks, was set to run from June 8 through August 10.
They say it was not an easy decision We acknowledge that large gatherings are not in the best interest of public health and we want to do our part to help our communities through this pandemic

School Board virtual meeting tonight
May 11, 2020
A virtual meeting for the Hermiston School Board tonight. That is being broadcast over Zoom.
The agenda includes an enrollment report, financial report, and a collection of hires and resignations for the district. That meeting begins at 6:30 tonight.
Click here for the full agenda.
To access the Virtual Location via Zoom Dial +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID: 988 1751 1773 Password: 578162

UCo Health reports 2nd coronavirus death
May 11, 2020
A second Umatilla County resident dies with COVID-19.
Umatilla County’s second COVID-19 death is a 64 year-old male who tested positive April 29th and died May 9th at Providence St Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, WA. This individual had underlying health conditions. UCo Health saying yesterday Counseling and crisis support services can be accessed by calling Lifeways at 866-343-4473. Interpretation services are available.
As of Friday, UCo Health was reporting 83 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County residents – 51 people were listed as recovering, 31 cases active.
Morrow County reporting its 12th case of COVID-19 on Friday.

Union Pacific closes Wallula facility
May 11, 2020
News of a closure at Union Pacific’s Cold Connect facility in Wallula because of COVID-19. A Union Pacific spokesperson told the Malheur Enterprise on Saturday that COVID-19 was impacting volume and truck prices so it was no longer sustainable to continue operations at Wallula. She said employees were notified Friday that the closure is permanent.
Although Union Pacific is not releasing information about how many employees are losing their jobs, In 2018, Union Pacific said an expansion on the Cold Connect facility in Wallula would have more than 100 employees, a monthly payroll of more than $300,000, and annual shipments of 750 million pounds of produce, including onions, apples, wine, and potatoes.

Largest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in Umatilla County
April 29, 2020
The largest daily update for locally confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County. Eight new positive cases announced yesterday, bringing the county’s total to 45. UCo Health saying seven of the cases are close contacts of another confirmed case and all eight are self-isolating and recovering at home. Twenty-one people confirmed to have COVID-19 are now recovered. There are 24 active cases in the county, and three people hospitalized.
UCo Health also updating its county map of confirmed covid cases.
The Greater Hermiston Area now colored between 16 and 25 cases. Umatilla and the river at 10-15 cases and multiple regions, including Pendleton now shaded to indicate 5-9 cases. Click here to find the map, which is updated each Tuesday.

County Commissioners to vote on reopen plan
April 29, 2020
The Umatilla County Commissioners to vote today on a plan to reopen the economy after COVID-19 closures. The plan includes a phase one opening, including restaurants and personal service businesses like hair salons open May 15. The three-step plan must be approved by the governor before it can take effect and it does require social distancing measures. Phase 2 would likely begin sometime in June and would increase gathering sizes to 50 and allowing schools, gyms and playgrounds to open, and phase three, which would begin in late June or early July, the size of mass gatherings could be increased to 250.

Wallace selected for state office
April 28, 2020
Hermiston High School senior Jenna Wallace named a state officer for Oregon FFA. Wallace will serve as vice-president for the 2020-2021 year. Grace Adams, of Dayton, selected as Oregon FFA President , and the other officers are from Baker, Grant Union, Burns, and Roseburg.

HHS band nominated for Washington, DC
April 28, 2020
The Hermiston High School Marching Band nominated by Gov. Kate Brown to represent Oregon in the 2021 National Independence Day Parade in Washington, DC on July 4, 2021.
The governor’s recommendation has been sent to Oregon Congressman Greg Walden for official nomination and final selection.
The nomination helps with representation from across the country – The national selection committee strives to have at least one band or unit represent each of the 50 states.
Hermiston High School Principal Tom Spoo says, it is a unique opportunity and terrific distinction for Hermiston High School’s marching band. Following the parade, participants join the audience of the PBS Concert at the Capitol Building, which features the National Symphony Orchestra and one of the nation’s largest fireworks displays.

Council considers property, homeless
April 27, 2020
The Hermiston City Council looking at spending $95,000 on property during its regularly scheduled meeting tonight.
The two parcels of land will be for the re-alignment of Geer and Harper roads and had been assessed at $65,000, and the city offered to pay $85,000 for the property, but the property owner asked for $200,000. The city and the property owner agreed to $95,000 and waiver of attorney fees. Tonight, the council will vote on acquiring that property.
Also on the agenda, resolutions for a FAA Apron Design Grant and authorizing the city manager to apply for grants for the skateboard and teen adventure park, off-premise liquor licenses applications for The Pheasant and 7-Eleven, committee and commission appointments, and updates to the city’s charter.
The regular meeting begins at 7 tonight at at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center on Airport Road. The council is The work session at 6 p.m. focusing on Stepping Stones, a homeless shelter project.
Both the meeting and the work session will be livestreamed and a recording will be available after the meeting. There will be a limited amount of seating at EOTEC during the meeting, and the community is encouraged to call in to provide public comment.
External phone lines will be muted except during public comment periods.
Click here for the full agenda.
More details:
What: Hermiston City Council Meeting
When: Monday, April 27, 7 p.m. (work session at 6 p.m.)
Where: Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center, 1705 E. Airport Road
Phone: 1-206-462-5569, Meeting ID 322-962-8667
YouTube: https://bit.ly/HermistonYouTube.

Umatilla County awards small business grants
April 27, 2020
Grants have been awarded from the Umatilla County Economic Development Small Business Emergency Grant Program. The $1,000 grants were available to small businesses that employed 25 or fewer employees, and all applicants were included in a lottery drawing on April 22.
Twenty-two businesses in Hermiston received grants, 7 in Umatilla, 19 in Pendleton, and 10 in Milton-Freewater as well as seven for the smaller communities in the county.
Sixty-five grants were awarded – there were 137 applicants.
A press release from the county saying The City of Hermiston contributed additional funds to the grant program which allowed for an additional 16 grants to be awarded in Hermiston.

Online forecasting opens for HHS
April 24, 2020
Online forecasting for classes open Monday for Hermiston High School students. That’ll run through Friday, May 15. Students in grades 8-11 may begin making their course selections for the 2020-21 school year. The online site provides forecasting directions, videos, and a copy of the course catalog. Students can make changes to their requests any time during the forecasting window.
Most often, the students get the courses they request when forecasting. However, scheduling conflicts do arise, and an alternate
course chosen by the student may be substituted. High school counselors will review the student requests and will reach out to students and parents with any questions or concerns.

Morrow County forum is tonight - online
April 20, 2020
A reminder that the Morrow County chamber forum is tonight.
Hosted by the Boardman and Heppner chambers of commerce, the online candidates forum will include candidates for: Morrow County Commissioner, Position 1; Justice of the Peace and Morrow County Treasurer. That begins at 6 p.m. tonight over Zoom and Boardman Chamber Live. Click here for the links and more information.
There will be a City of Boardman “GO Bond”, immediately following the candidates’ forum. Questions will not be taken the night of the event.

BMCC plans Parade of Graduates
April 17, 2020
Blue Mountain Community College announcing its plans for a re-imagined commencement for the class of 2020. Rather than cancel, postpone or conduct a virtual ceremony, BMCC polled students and will be having a "Parade of Graduates" during the regularly scheduled commencement day of Thursday, June 11, at 7 p.m. There will be opportunities for faculty and staff to participate using safe social distancing measures.
Students interested in ordering Caps and gowns for the parade should contact the bookstore by April 27, and all students wishing to participate must RSVP by Friday, May 1.
You can find more information as it develops at www.bluecc.edu/graduation .

UCo Health updates, survey
April 17, 2020
Four new COVID-19 cases reported by UCo Health yesterday, bringing the county’s total to 22. They’re saying one case was a close contact of a previously confirmed case and two of the individuals reside in the same home. Three of the cases are self-isolating at home and one is currently hospitalized.
On the other side, the individual reported hospitalized earlier this week has been released and is recovering well. A total of 9 people who tested positive are now considered recovered in the county and there are 13 active cases.
UCo Health is also working on a community health assessment that will ultimately lead to a new Community Health Improvement Plan. They’re asking county residents to take a survey about the direction the community should take. The survey should only take 3 minutes and your responses are completely anonymous. Respondents who submit an email have the choice of entering a random drawing for a chance to receive a $20 gift card (5 chances to win).
Find the survey at this link.

OES hosts free, online concert
April 17, 2020
Tomorrow night, Oregon East Symphony is presenting its Spring Chamber Music Concert – online - and free. JD Kindle says each performance has been recorded, and the concert will begin at 6:30 tomorrow. Refreshments are typically provided around Oregon East Symphony performances, so they’ve also released a recipe cookbook of hors d'ouerves through the website –That includes wine and beer pairings as well.
Visit www.OregonEastSymphony.org for the recipe book, concert program, and performance link.

Morrow County online forum
April 17, 2020
On Monday, the Boardman and Heppner Chambers of Commerce hosting an online candidates forum, and anyone with questions for the candidates is asked to submit those through Sunday. The forum
Candidates’ Forum – Monday, April 20th – 6 p.m. - via Zoom and Boardman Chamber “Live”: Boardman and Heppner Chambers’ are working together to organize a candidates’ forum for the Morrow county positions: Morrow County Commissioner, Position 1; Justice of the Peace and Morrow County Treasurer. There will be a City of Boardman “GO Bond”, immediately following the candidates’ forum. Questions will not be taken the night of the event. You can submit questions through Sunday, April 19th.
If you are interested in submitting a question, please put “candidate’s forum” in the subject line and email to: torrie@boardmanchamber.org; or : heppnerchamber@centurytel.net; You can also submit questions by phone, calling either chamber.

UCo Health reports 2 new cases, 2 recoveries
April 16, 2020
Two newly confirmed positive COVID-19 cases for Umatilla County and two more people recovered. Uco Health saying the two newly identified cases have no connection to previously reported cases. One person is hospitalized, the other is self-isolating and recovering at home.
The total for Umatilla County as of yesterday afternoon, 18 total cases with 10 active and 8 people recovered.
The most recent COVID-19 update for the state of Oregon reporting 3 deaths, and 33 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. That includes one new case in Umatilla County. We can expect Umatilla County to be listed again today as Uco Health is listing two new cases. The totals for the state now at 16-hundred and sixty-three.
The total cases for the Benton-Franklin Health District in the Tri-Cities now 543, up 13 from yesterday. The includes both confirmed and probable cases. The district saying 32 people are currently hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 illness.

School board meets tonight
April 13, 2020
The Hermiston School Board meeting tonight in the commons at Armand Larive Middle School. The school board will be taking action on its financial planning parameters to draft the budget for next eyar, as well as the enrollment report and personnel changes. They’ll also be meeting in a closed door executive session to negotiate property transactions.
Click here for the full agenda.

Coronavirus confirmed cases jump
April 10, 2020
Jumps in COVID-19 confirmed cases in both Umatilla and Morrow counties yesterday. Uco Health announcing four new cases yesterday; Morrow County Public Health has confirmed two more individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the Morrow County total to Five. During the Public Health Investigation both new cases had been identified and notified as being a contact from a previously reported, positive Morrow County COVID-19 case. Both individuals are self-isolating at home, and emergency management stressing Morrow County has reported positive cases in both North and South county.
The four new Umatilla County cases bring the total for the county to 13. Nine of those cases are active and self-isolating at home and four people have recovered. Statewide, six deaths and 86 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, including the two cases in Morrow County and three in Umatilla County.

Boardman council to have special meeting
April 10, 2020
In Boardman, announcement of a special meeting on Monday night. It will be available through Zoom. The special meeting will focus on the city of Boardman forming a new Enterprise Zone. That begins at 6 p.m. Monday.

HSD sells construction bonds
April 9, 2020
In some good school news, the Hermiston School District announcing today they were able to sell the capital construction bonds at a premium, which will allow an additional $1.7 million toward construction projects.
The district priced the bonds on March 31st with a closing date on April 9. The $82.7 million construction bond expected to replace Rocky Heights Elementary school, build a new 600 student elementary school on Theater lane, construct an annex to increase capacity at Hermiston High School and purchase property.

City Councils move remotely
April 7, 2020
City Councils are still meeting in the time of COVID-19, but those meetings look a little different.
The Stanfield City Council has a goal setting workshop tonight at 6 p.m. The council will be meeting at the Stanfield Public Library, which City Manager Benjamin Burgener says will allow the council to maintain more than six feet of separation from each other. Any members of the public who come for the meeting will be able to listen from the council chambers next door.
Stanfield's agenda can be found on the city's Facebook page.
In Umatilla, City Manager Dave Stockdale says tonight’s meeting will be 100 percent digital – over zoom. Stockdale and the city recorder will the only participants at City hall while council members and the public will participate remotely. They’ll have a link on the City’s Website so the public can follow along with the stream and a link where you can type in any public comments. They’ll also have a conference line open for public comments as well.
On the agenda for tonight’s meeting, a discussion about current activities related to COVID-19 and how to assist local businesses and regional solutions.
An ordinance granting a 20-year franchise to Umatilla Electrical Coop – the city’s current franchise agreement was up for re-negotiation in March, and this
The council will also vote on resolutions about an intergovernmental agreement with the Department of Energy and applying for a grant to redevelop Nugent Park creating a picnic shelter, new playground, ADA access, and parking improvements.
Click here for the Umatilla agenda.
Boardman’s City Council meeting will also be taking place over Zoom tonight. That meeting begins at 7 and will include resolutions on the drug testing policy in the city of Boardman’s personnel policy, accepting a grant for the Boardman Police Department and approving an agreement with the Oregon Child Development Coalition to Co-build a migrant head start in Boardman.
Find the Boardman agenda here.

UCo Health updates coronavirus cases
April 6, 2020
Umatilla County Public Health (UCo Health) announcing three new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County. UCo Health saying one of these individuals is a close contact of a confirmed case in Morrow County, the other two have no connection to each other or to the previously reported cases in Umatilla County. All three individuals are self-isolating and recovering at home. Close contacts of these individuals have been notified and are being assessed by UCo Health in accordance with the OHA investigative guidelines.

Council meeting available online, by phone
March 23, 2020
The Hermiston City Council meeting tonight – and asking the public to participate via live stream instead of attending the meeting in person.
The city saying in order to follow public gathering and social distancing guidelines, a limited number of chairs will be available during the meeting, an overflow room will be available with audio and video access to the meeting, but they're encouraging people to participate remotely. The meeting will be live streamed on the district's facebook page and then posted to the city's YouTube following the meeting.. Anyone who wants to call in an listen to the meeting – and to provide public comment – can call 1-206-462-5569 and use code 8252-77-4726 to access the meeting.
“We owe it to our residents to continue carrying out their important business regardless of international emergencies” City Manager Byron Smith. Smith also said they’re working with a partnership with Amazon Web Services to guarantee access and public input regardless of social distancing requirements.
That meeting begins tonight at 7, and it’ll be at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center.
On the agenda, discussion and possible action related to COVID-19 response, including the potential of only having one council meeting a month during the outbreak. They’ll also have the February financial report and vote on ordinances relating to junkyards and secondhand dealers. Click here for the full agenda.

HSD adds third lunch bus route
March 20, 2020
A third bus has been added to deliver meals during school closure.
Bus # 1
7:20 am 10:45 am Stop Hilltop Manor (dirt lot on Punkin Center Rd)
7:25 am 10: 55 am Stop Sagebrush Rd y Joy Lane
7:25 am 10:55 am Stop Cactus y Joy Lane
7:35 am 11:05 am Stop Balboa Lane
7:45 am 11:15 am Stop Punkin Center Trailer Park
8:00 am 11:30 am Stop Joy Lane y Kik Rd
8:15 am 11:45 am Stop Vista Park
8:25 am 11:55 am Stop Country Squire
8:30 am 12:00 pm Stop Sandstone Middle School
8:35 am 12:05 pm Stop Aspen Apartments
8:45 am 12:10 am Stop Dogwood Apartments
8:50 am 12:15 pm Stop 420 SE 4th St

Bus # 2
7:20 am 10:40 am Stop Viewcrest Apartments
7:25 am 10:45 am Stop Hacienda West Apartments
7:30 am 10:50 am Stop NW 12th St y W Madrona Ave
7:35 am 10:55 am Stop 12th St y Ridgeway Ave
7:40 am 11:05 am Stop NW 12th St y Hartley Ave
7:45 am 11:15 am Stop Applewood Apartments
7:55 am 11:30 am Stop Ridgeway Apartments
8:05 am 11:40 am Stop Victory Square Park (Foxwood Apartments y Bliss Homes)
8:15 am 11:50 am Stop Chateaubri
8:25 am 12:00 am Stop Buttercreek
8:30 am 12:05 pm Stop Village Park
8:40 am 12:15 pm Stop Sunland Apartments
8:50 am 12:25 pm Stop Highland Manor Apartments
9:00 am 12:35 pm Stop Armand Larive Middle School

Bus # 3
7:15 am 10:45 am Stop 4th St (Tower Apartments behind Safeway)
7:25 am 10:55 am Stop Rocky Heights (Bus Lane)
7:35 am 11:05 am Stop NW Eucalyptus Dr y NW Prickly Pear Dr
7:45 am 11:15 am Stop NW Eucalyptus Dr y NW Dusk Dr
7:55 am 11:25 am Stop Punkin Center y Overlook Dr
8:05 am 11:35 am Stop NE 2nd St y E Oregon St (Gated Area)
8:15 am 11:45 am Stop Quail Ridge Apartments
8:25 am 11:55 am Stop Quail Court
8:35 am 12:05 pm Stop Skyview Ct y NE 6th St
8:45 am 12:15 pm Stop E Hurlburt Ave (Newport Park)
8:55 am 12:25 pm Stop Highland Hills Elementary (Bus Lane)
The District is providing breakfast and lunch at the following locations:
Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 a.m., Lunch 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Sunset Elementary, 300 E Catherine Avenue
West Park Elementary, 555 SW 7th Street
Hermiston High School, 600 S 1st Street
The City of Hermiston in partnership with the Hermiston School District is providing lunch at the following parks, Monday-Friday:
11:00-Sunset Park
11:30-Victory Square Park

HPD makes drug bust
March 20, 2020
Despite many closures and cancellations for the coronavirus, the Hermiston Police Department is still up and running yesterday announcing an arrest and drug bust.
HPD officers on Wednesday arresting 22-year-old Steven Allan, of Stanfield, and charging him with possession of a controlled substance, manufacturing/delivery of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school and a probation warrant.
A release from HPD saying officers had suspected Allan was involved in the drug trade and likely targeting area youth as his customer base. He was arrested during a targeted traffic stop at the Pilot Truck Stop where his car was searched. Search warrants served on Allan’s phone, and home carried out yesterday but members of the Blue Mountain Narcotics Enforcement Team.
Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston saying overall they seized $10,000 in cash, as well marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, cocaine, Xanax, MDMA, suspected LSD multiple jars of unknown substances all believed to be controlled and illegal.
HPD appreciates the assistance we received from the Oregon State Police, Stanfield Police Department, and the BENT task force.
Allan is being held at the Umatilla County Jail. Bail is set at $600,000.

Good Shepherd goes NO visitation
March 19, 2020
Good Shepherd Health Care System updating to a no visitation policy effective immediately.
No visitation will be permitted at GSHCS with only the following exceptions:
· Minor children requiring care in the hospital or at a clinic/outpatient site will be permitted one parent/guardian per patient, one at a time throughout the day with no more than two parents per day
· Family Birth Center – one care partner during length of stay
· Patients receiving end-of-life care where death is imminent as identified by a physician or advance practice provider – no more than two visitors in our facility per every 12 hours
· Patients requiring a legal guardian to make medical decisions on their behalf – one care partner during length of stay
· Patients requiring a care partner for self-management – one care partner during length of stay
For these limited exceptions, visitors must be 18 years or older, and be free of fever, cold or flu-like symptoms. All visitors will be screened at entrances to enforce these restrictions.
In addition to restricted visitation, access into the hospital and clinics is limited to specific doors. All patients and vendors are to enter the campus via the Elm Street entrance and they will be subject to a brief screening in order to direct them appropriately for the services needed.

Hermiston closes library, to stream council meting
March 18, 2020
The following is a press release from the City of Hermiston:
The City of Hermiston on Tuesday announced several additional city policy changes in light of direction by federal and state authorities to limit gatherings and non-essential trips.
· The Hermiston Library will close to the public beginning Wednesday, March 18. Library staff will offer drive-up service until 6 p.m. each day and be available by phone at 541-567-2882. The library’s collection of digital and audiobooks can be found at https://hermistonlibrary.us/, and new library accounts can be issued over the phone.
·Libraries also being closed in Morrow County and likely across the libraries of eastern Oregon.
·The March 23 City Council meeting will be held as usual, but the public is encouraged to participate by viewing the meeting via livestream or joining a conference call. Details on how to participate will be provided this week. There will be no work session, and the City Council will vote on whether to temporarily change to monthly meetings.
· The Hermiston Municipal Court will be closed to the public for two weeks beginning Thursday, March 19. Court staff can be reached at 541-567-6610. All trials and court appearances will be reset and notices will be sent via mail. Online payment is still available at https://hermiston.or.us/municipal-court/home.
· Residents enrolled in the Senior/Disabled Taxi Ticket Program will be allowed to use ticket vouchers for food delivery for the duration of the statewide restaurant closure. This is to ensure some of the most vulnerable citizens can continue to access meals. The taxi program is operated by a private company, and the voucher covers the cost of transportation, not the food. Call 541-567-6055 to reserve a ride.

Boardman closes City Hall
March 18, 2020
From the city of Boardman:
The City of Boardman has decided to move to online and telephone services in all departments. We recognize that this could be an inconvenience and did not make the decision lightly. Effective immediately, and until further notice, City Hall is closed to walk-in customers. Use online for utility payments or call and pay by phone at 541-481-9252. The utilities department will discontinue non-payment shutoffs until further notice to ensure continued access to water for all residents. Bill payment and collection will continue as usual.
The City continues to urge all community members to take steps to protect themselves and those who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19.
The City will continue to do its best to minimize any risks. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and will follow guidance from Umatilla County Public Health and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to ensure community and employee safety.

Hermiston Schools update lunch options
March 17, 2020
The Hermiston School District updated its meal delivery routes during the mandated school closure. This is the list as of Tuesday afternoon:

Bus #1
7:20 am 10:45 am Stop Hilltop Manor (dirt lot on Punkin Center Rd)
7:25 am 10: 55 am Stop Sagebrush Rd & Joy Lane
7:35 am 11:05 am Stop Balboa Lane
7:45 am 11:15 am Stop Punkin Center Trailer Park
8:00 am 11:30 am Stop Joy Lane & Kik Rd
8:10 am 11:40 am Stop Punkin Center & Overlook Dr
8:20 am 11:50 am Stop Vista Park
8:25 am 11:55 am Stop Country Squire
8:30 am 12:00 pm Stop Sandstone Middle School
8:35 am 12:05 pm Stop Aspen Apartments
8:45 am 12:10 pm Stop Dogwood Apartments

Bus #2
7:20 am 10:40 am Stop Viewcrest Apartments
7:25 am 10:45 am Stop Hacienda West Apartments
7:30 am 10:50 am Stop NW 12th St & W Madrona Ave
7:35 am 10:55 am Stop 12th St & Ridgeway Ave
7:40 am 11:05 am Stop NW 12th St & Hartley Ave
7:45 am 11:15 am Stop Applewood Apartments
7:55 am 11:30 am Stop Ridgeway Apartments
8:05 am 11:40 am Stop Victory Square Park (Foxwood Apartments & Bliss Homes)
8:15 am 11:50 am Stop Chateaubri
8:25 am 12:00 pm Stop Buttercreek
8:40 am 12:15 pm Stop Sunland Apartments
8:50 am 12:25 pm Stop Highland Manor Apartments
9:00 am 12:35 pm Stop Armand Larive Middle School

The District will be providing breakfast and lunch at the following locations during the school closure (March 16-31):
Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 a.m., Lunch 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Sunset Elementary, 300 E Catherine Avenue
West Park Elementary, 555 SW 7th Street
Hermiston High School, 600 S 1st Street
Starting Thursday, March 19, City of Hermiston in partnership with the Hermiston School District will be providing lunch at the following parks, Monday-Friday:
11:00-Sunset Park
11:30-Victory Square Park

Good Shepherd limits visitors, doors
March 17, 2020
Good Shepherd Health Care System limiting visitors because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Until further notice, GSHCS is strongly encouraging community members not to visit the hospital campus unless they require health
care services. Patient visitation will be limited to one person per patient. Children under the age of 13 should not visit unless they are visiting a single parent who is the patient. Additionally, if a patient is not seeking emergency care, and intends to come to GSHCS for essential medical services, they should call ahead to the medical care location prior to leaving their home.
In addition to these adjusted visitation guidelines, access into the hospital and clinics will be limited to specific doors. All
patients and vendors are to enter campus via the Elm Street entrance and they will be subject to a brief screening in order to direct them appropriately for the services needed.
Locations for entering our facilities will be limited to the following doors during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.:

  • Emergency Room Entrance

  • Entrance A (Good Shepherd Medical Group Clinic Entrance)

  • Entrance C (Pharmacy Entrance)

  • Good Shepherd Medical Plaza Main Entrance

  • Columbia Professional Plaza (Front Entrance Only)
    After hours (between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.) the Emergency Room entrance is the only door open and will continue
    with 24 hour access. All other exterior doors, including the main Hospital Entrance, Day Surgery entrance, as well as
    Entrance B (near the Education Department) will be locked until further notice.
    Education Department scheduled activities are suspended and postponed through March 31, 2020. The pharmacy will have curb-side pickup of prescription and is able to provide free prescription delivery to patient households. Patients can call the pharmacy to request the service.

  • Umatilla County remains on state of alert
    March 17, 2020
    Umatilla County remaining on a state of alert with regard to COVID-19.
    This week, acting on the advice of Umatilla County Medical Director Dr. Jon Hitzman and Director of Public Health Joe Fiumara, both Umatilla County and local cities agreeing to continue to operate on the same path based upon the original confirmation of two cases of COVID-19 among the County’s 80,000 residents.
    As of Monday afternoon, there are no known active cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County, according to medical officials. The group meeting a second time yesterday following the Governor’s press conference. The group saying there is a delicate balance between protecting the health of our citizens and causing significant economic damage to our
    most fragile businesses and residents. These most fragile situations include the following:
          School children that receive meals from the local school districts
          Hourly workers that won’t receive pay for the time spent off work, and
          Small business owners impacted by government decisions.
    Umatilla County, which is still emerging from a flood disaster, is well aware of those who need food,
    shelter, and other support do not enjoy the luxury of long waiting periods while programs are put into
    place. Their needs are immediate.
    In order to assist small business owners who might find themselves in a position to file for emergency funding from the Small Business Administration or other emergency funding programs developed to deal with COVID-19 , Gail Nelson, Umatilla County Economic Development Director, will be in charge of
    providing assistance on behalf of the County.

HSD Board will have an emergency meeting this afternoon.
March 13, 2020
The Hermiston School Board will have an emergency meeting this afternoon in light of Governor Brown’s announcement of a statewide school closure.
School is in session today

City council talks annexation - again
March 9, 2020
Tonight Hermiston City Council again talks the annexation of a property slated for a 100 unit subdivision on NE Fourth and Punkin Center. The plan has been approved by the planning commission; however, when it went before the city council last month, local residents spoke against the new development because of a street connection that would continue through existing neighborhoods into the new development.
Hermiston Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan says the residents were concerned about the speed of drivers through the area when the new development opens.
Last month, the council voted 4 to 2 to approve the annexation; however, four votes is not the majority of the council because two council members were absent. The council expected to vote on that annexation again tonight. The council also has a goal setting report on the agenda and votes on ordinances adding a chapter that delineates the process for writing citations from the city code.
Although it is all new language, it reflects the current practices and brings us current with the state limitations for fines and fees. This provides a much clearer process for enforcing the city code
Click here for the full agenda.

Library gearing up for construction
March 9, 2020
The Hermiston City Council meeting tonight is at the Hermiston Public Library because of fire damage to Hermiston City Hall in December and plans to demolish and replace City Hall in an $8 million project. Some of that money will go toward modifications to the Hermiston Public Library as it houses city council meetings and some city functions over the next year. Librarian Mark Rose says it will be good for the library in the long run but will cause some headaches this summer.
"For this summer our ability to hold programs will be limited due to construction," Rose said. "While City Hall shares the basement, City Council and other city meetings will share a common space with Library programming. We will do our best to continue the many fun traditions and activities as we have for years, however, we may use another location for programs during this summers construction. We’ll be sure to let everyone know."
Rose saying the changes will eventually give them more space for more books as well as programming. The planned changes include re-aligning walls and hallways downstairs and changes to the rear entryway.

School Board meets
March 9, 2020
The Hermiston School Board also meeting tonight – on their agenda, recognition of the classified employees of the year as well as recognitions in High School wrestling and swimming, a presentation of the student investment account plan, and renewal of personnel contracts. They’ll also vote on the financial planning parameters for the next school year. That meeting at 6:30 tonight at the Hermiston School District offices. Click here for the agenda.

Umatilla Robotics takes chairman's award
March 8, 2020
Finally, Umatilla High School’s FIRST Robotics Competition team competing in Spokane this weekend and taking home the Chairman’s Award, qualifying the team for Pacificnorthwest district competitions in Cheney the weekend of April 4.
The most prestigious award at FIRST, the Chairman's Award honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. Find more about the team here.

Umatilla, Boardman meet tonight
March 3, 2020
Tonight, city council meetings in Boardman, and Umatilla
On the Umatilla agenda, community development block grant, a
They’ll also vote on renewing the lease with the with the Oregon Department of State Lands for permits of floating docks, pedestrian gangways, the fueling stations, etc. At the Umatilla Marina. The original lease is experiencing, and the city successfully applied to renew for another 15 years.
Two downtown revitalization grants as well, one for Loyal Restoration, and one for Alanis Auto Detailing.
Click here for the full agenda.
On the Boardman agenda, second reading and discussion on Adopting Building Code as well as multiple reports and an appointment.

Third coronavirus patient is Oregon is from Umatilla County
March 2, 2020
A third case of Corona Virus reported in Oregon – and this one from Umatilla County.
The Oregon Health Authority saying the person is an adult resident from Umatilla County who is hospitalized in Walla Walla. Local reports indicating the patient is a male who worked at Wildhorse Resort and Casino.
Joe Fiumara with Umatilla County Public Health says they are urging local residents not to overreact. Fiumara saying Uco public health is working to respond to all public inquiries in addition to the investigation but they are being overloaded by requests.
Preliminary reports indicate the Oregon resident attended a youth basketball game at a gymnasium at Weston Middle School, 205 E. Wallace St. in Weston, Ore., on Saturday, Feb. 29. Weston Middle School and at Wildhorse Resort and Casino for sanitation.
State and local health officials are moving quickly to contact people who may have been in close contact with the individual who tested as a presumptive positive case. Health officials will announce if there are any additional locations where people may been exposed, if they are determined.
Under federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, other spectators who may have been in a closed environment with the individual would be considered “low-risk” exposures.
State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger says the gym is in a separate building from the school and is being sterilized. Sidelinger saying the case is not linked with travel to a part of the world with known cases of COVID-19 and therefore is considered a case of community transmission.
Sidelinger says the vast majority of people infected with COVID-19 will have only mild symptoms. They continue to ask people to stay home when they are sick. If sick, call the provider beforehand and make arrangements to come in safely. Local hospitals following CDC and OHA guidelines for screening and infection control.

Scholarship deadlines, fundraiser, play this weekend
Feb. 28, 2020
This weekend, a deadline for medical scholarships from the Good Shepherd Community Health Foundation. Foundation director Bob Green saying the deadline is midnight tomorrow – the last day in February.
The foundation offers scholarships in three separate program; one for high school seniors, one for medical students having successfully completed one year of college, and another for medical professionals currently working for Good Shepherd Health Care System
Find the application and information here.
The Good Shepherd Community Health Foundation has awarded more than 400 scholarships to local residents to start or continue education leading to a health-related career in recent years.
Find more details here.
In other scholarship deadlines, the Pendleton Cattle Barons Weekend scholarship applications are due on Sunday. Scholarship winners must be or plan to be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate agricultural studies and be from Umatilla, Morrow, Grant, Baker, Wallowa or Union counties. Find the application at cattlebarons.net. Cattle Barons is always the weekend before mothers day.
Also happening this weekend, the monthly fundraiser breakfast at the Irrigon Senior Center, a fundraiser for Campus Life The Gathering second annual dinner and auction, and the final shows for CCT’s The Sound of Music at Pendleton’s BMCC campus. Buy tickets here.

UCFD#1 participating in Stairclimb next week
Feb. 28, 2020
Coming up next week, a team of local firefighters will don full turnout gear and each climb 69 stories of the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This is the 11th year the fire district has sent a team to the LLS Firefighter Stairclimb.
Fire Chief Scott Stanton says it’s a good cause the district is happy to support. Stanton will be on site but not as part of the team – he’ll be refilling oxygen bottles.
Stanton also raising about 12-hundred dollars for LLS through this year's Dancing with the Hermiston Stars.
As of yesterday afternoon, the team had raised $9,800 – 65 percent of its $15,000 goal.
Click here to donate or for more information.

High winds cause power outages
Feb. 24, 2020
Reports of winds more than 70 miles per hour through Umatilla County yesterday causing multiple power outages, downed trees, and car crashes across the region.
National Weather Service reporting gusts up to 63 mph in the lower Columbia basin, 55 at the Hermiston Municipal Airport and 44 in Boardman and 74 in Helix.
Umatilla Electric Cooperative reporting 800 people out of power in Hermiston yesterday and 300 in Irrigon with wind gusts up to 50 mph
Pacific Power dealing with more than 3,000 people out of power from Bend to Pendleton. Highway 11 between Pendleton and Milton-Freewater was closed for a time as was Interstate 84 between Pendleton and La Grande because of downed trees and powerlines near Meacham.
Pacific Power still reporting a handful of outages this morning.

City Hall decision vote tonight
Feb. 24, 2020
Tonight, the Hermiston City Council expected to make a decision about moving forward with Hermiston City Hall. City staff is recommending demolishing the current city hall, damaged in a fire in December, and building a new city hall on the site, about a $9 million project. The council could decide on that option or on using insurance proceeds to complete the restoration of the current city hall.
Documents say that decision is after an online survey, public presentations and soliciting feedback from the community and also states the city council has periodically discussed the need for a new city hall over the past four years.
That decision is about halfway through the city council meeting tonight. Council members will meet for a tour of City Hall at 6 tonight, and then the regular meeting begins at 7. It will open with a presentation on the new capital improvement plan website, Hermistonprojects.com , a time for public comment, a public hearing on annexing 20 acres of property for a new subdivsion and a closed door executive session about property negotiations. The executive session expected to last about 20 minutes.
After the city hall decision, ratification of utility rate increases. The city says this is an automatic increase that will cost water and sewer users an average of $1.78 extra per month.
Click here for the full agenda

School Board starts budget
Feb. 24, 2020
The Hermiston School Board also meeting tonight. They’ll starting the budget process during a work session tonight at the district offices.
Board member Josh Gollar says once the board finalizes the framework for the budget, then the district’s budget committee will begin work in May to finalize the document.

Stanfield talks floods, Umatilla has full agenda
Feb. 18, 2020
Also happening tonight, flood updates from the Stanfield City Council. That presentation on the agenda during tonight’s city council meeting. They’ll also have committee reports, bills, and an update from the city manager. That meeting begins at 6 tonight in the Council chambers on Coe Avenue.
The Umatilla City Council is also meeting at 6 p.m., and they have a full agenda. They’ll have a public hearing about grant applications and the final design of the water and sewer extension projects to the Power City and Brownell areas. They’ll also have the audit review and a presentation from OpenGov as well as a vote on a resolution to amend an agreement about the city’s wastewater recycling project, a discussion city utility rates, and discussion on creating a new livestock residential zone.
Find the full agenda here.

City Hall forums today and tonight
Feb. 18, 2020
Today and Tonight the city of Hermiston’s public hearing and update presentation about the City Hall proposals.
The first session is at 12:30 today at the Harkenrider Senior Center. The second tonight at 6 p.m. in the Lanham Room in the basement of the library. The forums will include a presentation by City manager Byron Smith and information about the five researched options:
1.    Renovate/Expand the current City Hall.
2.    Rebuild a larger replacement building on the current City Hall site.
3.    Repurpose/expand on the current library.
4.    Sell the current City Hall and renovate the Hermiston Community Center.
5.    Sell the current City Hall and build a replacement building on vacant land.
A release saying the city has been working with architects since 2016, and that the design on the recommended plan – a $9 million new city hall project that would be building on the existing City Hall site – was presented to city council last Monday. Documents from the city say they expect to pay for the project through a combination of tenant lease revenue and dedicated fee payments from the Greater Hermiston Enterprise Zone. Anyone interested in the project or providing feedback can attend the informational sessions today. Those are, again, at 12:30 today at the Harkenrider Senior Center and a 6 tonight at the Hermiston Public Library.

Lyons, Meyers, Medelez and Made to Thrive honored at DCA
Feb. 13, 2020
Hundreds came out last night for the 50th annual Distinguished Citizen Awards banquet last night at the Hermiston Community Center.
Man of the year Lou Lyons, of Elmer's Irrigation, honored for his work with foster children and FFA students making a focus on young people in the community. When accepting the award, he began by saying it was about the kids and ending with thanking his employees and the community.
"We're not the out-of-towners," he said. "We are proud to support the community. It's what we intend to do, so thank you everyone."
The woman of the year, Cindy Meyers, recognized for her focus on nonprofits and as a longtime business woman in the community. Both received standing ovations, as did the Bob Severson Rotary business of the year, Medelez Incorporated and the Merit of Honor Award winner - Kriss Dammeyer and Made to Thrive.
"This is a community organization," she said. "I'm proud to be from here, born here, raised here, and to be able to give back here as well."
The organization has served more than 1500 kids since its creation.
Also recognized were Jessica Marcum, who received the Fire Service Award, and Tammy Fisher, who was named the Hermiston School District's 2020 educator of the year. Each educator from each school building was also recognized and Victor Vasquez was announced as this years distinguished alumnus.

County opens damage survey
Feb. 10, 2010
Search and rescue operations transitioning into assessment to determine the extend of the damage from last week’s flooding.
The county has set up a web survey for homeowners, renters and businesses to report damage to their property: https://tinyurl.com/w4838tq.
This information will be used by the county to capture impacts of the flood to request support from the state and federal government.

Emergency declaration for flood
Feb. 10, 2020
Oregon Governor Kate Brown declaring an emergency on Friday afternoon for Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties. The declaration means the Office of Emergency Management can coordinate deployment of state agencies, including the national guard, which did use a helicopter to rescue people trapped on the other side of the county. The state of emergency will remain in effect for 30 days.
Multiple city councils and the Umatilla County Commissioners also declaring disasters.
On the west side of the county, evacuations in the Echo and Stanfield meadows areas, damage to property including Riverfront Park in Hermiston and the athletic fields and complex at Umatilla High School.
One fatality reported from the flooding. 62-year-old Janet Cooley first reported missing from the Bar M Ranch area near Adams. Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office saying her body was located over the weekend and she appeared to have been swept away by the flood waters.
More on the effect of flooding on the other side of the county later this hour.

Freeway re-opens, with restrictions
Feb. 10, 2020
From ODOT: One westbound and one eastbound lane of Interstate 84 reopened Sunday evening east of Interstate 82 after the route was closed because of high water and road damage. I-84 travelers can now continue on the freeway between Exits 182 and 188 (no detour off I-84).
All lanes were closed since early Friday between exits 182 and 188, with a detour around the damaged section. ODOT first reopened one westbound lane, then one eastbound lane. The speed limit is set at 45 mph because of remaining road damage and because crews continue to work on emergency repairs.
No time limit has been set for opening the second westbound and eastbound lanes. Motorists are reminded to slow down and watch for work crews.
Check TripCheck.com for updates or call 511 / 800-977-6368. Outside Oregon call 503-588-2941.

Council has city hall report, school board has calendar on agenda
Feb. 10, 2020
Tonight, the Hermiston City Council has its update and City Hall Information Report. This report to cover costs and details for the proposals to both renovate and repair or to replace Hermiston City Hall after the fire late last year.
could appoint an additional municipal judge pro-tem, Documents from the city saying Due to conflicts of interest and availability the Hermiston Municipal Court needs an additional Municipal Court Judge Pro-tem to hear a particular case.
Samuel E. Tucker is available to hear this particular case and is qualified based on his 35 years of service on the Milton-Freewater Municipal Court bench.
Follow this link for the full agenda.
Also tonight, the Hermiston School Board looks at approving the 2020-2021 school calendar. If approved, the first day of school is Aug. 24, and the final day June 8. Also on the agenda, reports on enrollment and licensed staff employment timelines as well as financial reports. That meeting begins at 6:30 tonight at the Hermiston School District Offices.
Find the school board agenda here.

Floods hit Umatilla County
Feb. 7, 2020
Evacuations, flood warnings, flooding, and closures today across the region. The National Weather Service flood warning in effect until 5:45 p.m. Friday.
Interstate 84 is closed in both directions from Exit 182 to the Idaho border. The closures because of flooding high water and inspections of the highway after the water has receded. Highways 204 – that’s Tollgate – 11 and 244 all closed. ODOT saying other routes may be impacted by high water.
Closures in Hermiston at Riverfront Park, which is flooded, the Orchard Extension, Seymour Street, Hoosier Street, and 23rd Street. Echo Meadows, Stanfield Meadows, Reith Road and other roads heading to and from Echo currently closed because of the high water, that includes Highway 207.
Evacuations in Echo and Stanfield due to flooding from the Umatilla River, and a boil water notice for residents in Stanfield an d Echo who use private wells. City services are still clean and ok to use, but local wells may have been contaminated by the overflow of the Umatilla River. You can contact Stanfield Public Works at 561-4587 for more information or updates.
Displaced families meeting at the Fire Hall in Stanfield and the Echo schools campus.
The Echo City Council had a special meeting at 10 this morning and declared a state of emergency for the city.
Umatilla County Fire District #1 assisting with the evacuations in the area of Coe and Stanfield Meadows Roads as well as the rescue of stranded motorists, including an overturned semi.
Today the Umatilla Reservation River Residents evacuated, and Evacuations in Pendleton, Mission, and Weston last night as well. The Red Cross has opened a shelter in the Pendleton Convention Center. Shelters also available at the CTUIR Warming Station and the Mission Gym.
School cancelled today in Athena-Weston and Milton-Freewater and at BMCC’s Milton-Freewater campus Pendleton School District saying schools are open at regular times, but some areas will not have busing services because of area flooding. Students will be excused if they cannot attend school because of lack of transportation or conditions that are not safe for them to travel.

Umatilla, Stanfield, Boardman councils meet tonight
Feb. 4, 2020
The Umatilla City Council will vote on an agreements bringing in about $3 million during its council meeting tonight. The first agreement with the state of Oregon and ODOT to complete the Lind road and Union Street Improvement Project. The vote is on the formal agreement from ODOT for the project the city received a grant for half of the $1.9 million project.
Another resolutions authorizes the mayor to sign an agreement with Umatilla County for distribution of funds from Amazon Data Services. The city, the county, and Amazon have an agreement with the company pays about $4 million annually. Last month, city and county representatives finalized an agreement for distributing that money equally between the city and county, and they’ll be voting on the agreement tonight.
Also on the agenda, discussion of a parks and recreation logo and tagline discussion based on the community competition. The council has resolutions extending the contract with Barnett & Moro for audit services through June 30 of 2022 and accepting supplemental budget. .
The meeting begins at 7 tonight at Umatilla City Hall.
Click here for the full agenda.
The Stanfield City Council has the second reading of two ordinances on its agenda. One would vacate Lucy Street, and the other would regulate mobile food units and vendors. That meeting begins at 6 p.m.

The Boardman City Council also meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at Boardman City Hall.
On the agenda, an ordinance adopting a building code and a resolution about the water and waste water general obligation bond.
The council also expected to elect a council president, approve the budget calendar and appoint residents to five city positions on the budget committee and planning commission.
Find the full agenda on the city's website.

City opens City Hall survey
Feb. 3, 2020
The Hermiston City Council is discussing demolishing and rebuilding Hermiston City Hall – and they’re ready for community input on the decision. The city launching a community survey Friday afternoon for feedback on whether the city should replace, repair, or renovate Hermiston City Hall, which was damaged by a fire in late 2019. Mark Morgan says the city has discussed replacing City Hall even before the fire
"It's been pretty obvious that probably sometime in the next five years we probably would move forward on a new city hall," Morgan said. "That's where the question comes in: Do we put $100,000 into an existing city hall that we know isn't going to be sufficient for us?"
The council will have cost estimates and facts during its next meeting, Feb. 10, and they hope to have a public information meeting later in February. The Hermiston City Council expected to vote on the issue of repairing or replacing city hall during its Feb. 24 meeting.
Click here for the survey.

Funland Fundraising hits halfway point
Feb. 3, 2020
Fundraising and planning continues for the rebuild of Funland Playground, destroyed by a fire last year. Hermiston Parks and Recreation Director Larry Fetter saying they’re planning fundraising events, continuing to recruit and recognize donors and selling fence pickets, and they've hit the halfway point in fundraising.
The 1.5 million playground concept incorporating multiple zones and fire resistant materials as well as new restroom facilities, concessions, and security systems. Fetter says they’re hoping to have it built and open Labor Day this year.
You can see the concept drawings of the the playground by clicking here.

Legislative videoconferences set
Jan. 31, 2020
Blue Mountain Community College and local chambers in Hermiston, Boardman, Heppner, and Pendleton working together for weekly videoconferences with Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena), Rep. Greg Smith, and Rep. Greg Barreto (R-Cove)
throughout the 2020 Oregon Legislative “short” Session that begins Monday.
BMCC is hosting the videoconferences, which will take place each
Tuesday from 7-8 a.m. from Feb. 4 through March 3 in the BMCC Boardroom in Pioneer Hall on the Pendleton campus, at the BMCC center locations in Baker City, Boardman, Hermiston and Milton-Freewater, and Morrow County Bartholomew Building Upper Conference Room.
The legislators will join the videoconference from Salem, where they’re representing the region in the Legislative Session. This is the fourth year that BMCC has hosted the videoconferences, which are open to the public and have opportunities to provide feedback and ask questions from the legislators.
The videoconferences are typically held weekly during the short sessions in even numbered years, which run for just 35 days, and bi-weekly during regular sessions in odd numbered years.

Hermiston opens education survey
Jan. 28, 2019
We’ve told you about a few surveys and opportunities to get involved, and here’s another one: The Hermiston School District is asking parents, students, staff, and the community to providing input on education priorities. The survey part of the Student Success Act for funding from the Oregon legislature.
Follow this link to take the Success Act Survey for the Hermiston School District.

Special meetings tonight in Boardman, Umatilla
Jan. 28, 2019
The Boardman City Council does also have a workshop tonight at 5:30 in the council chambers at Boardman City Hall. This is described as a Planning Session about council goals and direction. No deliberations planned and no decisions will be made regarding any specific subject. Because this is a workshop session, there may not be opportunity for public comment.
A special meeting of the Umatilla City Council tonight. That’s at 5:15 at Umatilla City Hall. The only item on the agenda is an executive session to consult with counsel concerning current or potential litigation.

Hermiston council eyes property, road change
Jan. 27, 2020
Hermiston City Council to consider taking over two pieces property for the re-alignment of Geer and Harper roads.
That resolution on the agenda for tonight’s Hermiston City Council meeting. The intersection of Geer and Harper, as well as the railroad tracks and stop sign at First Place/Old River Road has been in the city’s strategic plan for three years. The current recommendation would reformat that area so instead of having a Y-shape connecting the three roads, it would be closer to a triangle with traffic from Geer Road not having would not having to stop at Harper and would instead have its first stop sign at River Road.

geer harper.JPG (215376 bytes)
A committee selected the reconfiguration recommendation for the intersection from multiple options.

To complete that realignment, however, the city could have to acquire about ¾ of an acre of property, and that’s the action the council will consider tonight. The land is valued at about $65,000.
The council to also consider a liquor license application for the new Hermiston Grocery Outlet and two ordinance changes to Hermiston city codes.
Click here for the full agenda.
A work session for the Hermiston School Board tonight. It begins at 6:30 tonight at Hermiston High School. A presentation from Hermiston High School principal Tom Spoo on the agenda as is a report on graduation rates. Board members are expected to meet in a closed-door executive session about personnel evaluation or review.
That full agenda is available here.

PIT count next week
January 24, 2020
Next week, an annual tally of homeless – and they’re looking for volunteers, especially in Hermiston. Glenda McDaniel, with CAPECO, says the Point-in-Time count is about figuring out how many people are homeless within a community – even those people don’t think about.
To be included in the point-in-time count, someone would be either sheltered or unsheltered homeless, which includes people who are camping or living outside, but also someone who is couch surfing, or someone living somewhere without access to heat and/or running water, such living out of a vehicle or in a garage or out-building where they must enter someone else’s home to use a bathroom or kitchen.
The PIT count this year will be Wednesday, January 29, and they need more volunteers, especially in Hermiston.
Anyone interested needs to sign up to volunteer at this link and then complete training. There is a training TODAY from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. today in the Hermiston CAPECO Conference Room and another on Monday at the same time at the Pendleton CAPECO facility. They are offering drop-in trainings as well.
Last year’s point-in-time count recorded 422 homeless in Umatilla County – the bulk in Pendleton and Hermiston; although volunteers reported 39 homeless in Athena,14 in Milton-Freewater, and 4 in Stanfield. The Morrow County PIT count tallied 182 homeless including 129 in Boardman, 33 in Irrigon, and 19 in Heppner.
Organizers have said they believe the count in Hermiston is not bringing in an accurate number and, again, they’re looking for more volunteers, especially in Hermiston. Last year, they identified 77 people in Hermiston.
You can find more information by contacting CAPECO.

Healthy Communities talk census
Jan. 21, 2020
There’s a presentation about the 2020 census and its impact on health and community tomorrow during the Healthy Communities Coalition meeting at Good Shepherd Medical Center. Health Educator Jessica Reker says the census has a direct impact on health services.
"Depending on the results of the census is how we get money for healthcare and Medicaid per state. That's how they know how many homeless individuals we have so that we know how many resources we need. That's money for infrastructure, for state programs, for everything like that, so it is really important," she said.
Reker says there’s also a concern about skewing services toward or away from populations if they don’t get an accurate count.
The presentation will cover questions that will and will not be asked during the census and the impacts of the census on community and health programs.

Stanfield, Umatilla councils meet tonight
Jan. 21, 2020
Tonight the Stanfield City Council will have a presentation from Sanitary Disposal and discussion of new waste disposal rates during its regular city council meeting tonight at the council chambers on Coe Avenue. Also on the agenda, the first reading of ordinances regulating mobile food units and vendors, vacating Lucy street and designating an enterprise zone in Stanfield and Echo. That meeting begins at 6 tonight.
Also meeting tonight, and, strangely, also at 6 p.m., the Umatilla City Council has a meeting and workshop. They’ll be discussing an agreement with the Umatilla School District to partner on a program for disabled students to gain work-based learning experiences in the community. According to agenda documents, the Umatilla Library has partnered with the program in the past and would like to again. Also on the agenda, a resolution authorizing the city manager to accept and sign a bid forma nd sales agreement for a piece of property. The parcel is a remnant from the realignment of River Road and city staff say the property could be improved with landscaping and signage as part of the City's beautification effort. The city will also discussed city-owned property off Bud Draper Drive and the water management and conservation plan draft.
Find the full agenda here.

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.