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

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’ll also be livestreaming the meeting for people to watch at home. 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.

City Hall closure extended
Dec. 24, 2019
Hermiston City Hall will NOT be re-opening on January 6.
Damaged by a fire on Dec. 17, Hermiston City Hall has been closed for clean-up and repair, and now city staff expects the closure to last through the end of January.
Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan saying it has become clear the cleanup and repairs will not be as simple as originally planned.
The fire is believed to have started in the gas-fired furnace. Although the fire itself was contained, extensive smoke damage caused to the entire building. The city says consultants are determining how much of the HVAC system can be salvaged – or if it must e replaced entirely.

Extra patrols on the road this holiday
Dec. 24, 2019
Law enforcement have extra patrols out this holiday season watching for dangerous, distracted and under the influence drivers.
Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan saying they will have extra deputies on duty through Jan. 2 as part of a grant-funded DUI/High Visibility patrol for the holidays. It’s funded through grants from Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State Sheriff’s Association.
They’re also asking people to report suspected intoxicated drivers by calling 541-966-3651, or 911 if it appears to be an emergency.

HHS team wins app challenge
Dec. 17, 2019
A team from Hermiston High School selected as winners of the 2019 Congressional App Challenge for Oregon’s District 2. Students
Rogelio Lemus, JJ Fitzgerald, Laine Whelan and Adamaryz Lopez Navarrete created an application called FINANA (Finances Incorporated Nationally Allowing Non-profit Automation).
The app was created to assist non-profit organizations in managing their fundraising activities. The team created a video to explain their application:

This is the fourth year that Hermiston High School participated in the Congressional App Challenge competition and the second time a team has won.
The winning team has been invited to attend the House of Code in Washington, D.C., next spring, to show and explain their app to members of Congress.

Umatilla council talks codes, pipes, property
Dec. 17, 2019
The City of Umatilla is talking codes, pipes, and property during its city council meeting tonight.
There is a public hearing on the agenda about the changes to the water and sewer code, and City Manager David Stockdale says it’s an update involving providing water
"It's really a house cleaning effort," he said. "The last time we updated that code was 1979, so it's been a little while and we're going to clean that up."
The council would have the first reading of the ordinance tonight and could take action in January. The council will also vote on a resolution changing the way the city receives gifts or donations and an agreement with Amazon Data Services about improvements to Lind Road. The city also has a library appointment, changes to city policy on harassment, and a land use agreement with Bonneville power administration to allow the city to use a portion of BPA easements for its industrial waste water pipeline.
Find the link to the full agenda here.
The meeting is at 6 tonight – not the typical 7 – at Umatilla City Hall.

UCSO welcomes K9
Dec. 16, 2019
Last month we told you the Umatilla County sheriff’s office was bringing back its K-9 program through a $20,000 grant from the Wildhorse Foundation.
Yesterday, the sheriff’s office saying Deputy Cody Marcum has selected K-9 “Skoty”, an 18 month old Belgian Malinois as his new partner,
They will begin their training together in late December, and should be ready for duty in early March 2020

Weekend holiday events
Dec. 12, 2019
A holiday tradition continues this weekend for its 27th annual Living Nativity at Hermiston’s First United Methodist. Tim Turner says visitors can take their time with the experience:
"It's a walk through kind of an event where we have reader boards, six or seven stations where people can see living actors, animals," he said. "You can take all the time you want, then we recommend you come inside our church for cookies, hot chocolate, fellowship."
The living nativity takes place at the First United Methodist Church on Gladys Avenue in Hermiston from 6 to 8 in the evening on Saturday and 4 to 6 in the evening on Sunday. For more information, call 541-567-3002.
This weekend is also a SAGE Saturday. That means free admission to the SAGE Center facility and free children's crafts and activities.
The SAGE Saturday activities are from 10 to 1 on Saturday and they’ll also have photos with Santa from 12 until 4.
The holiday light show also still going on at the SAGE Center starting at 5 p.m. each evening.
Tonight and tomorrow the youth theater Christmas performances at the Hermiston Community Center.
The Hermiston Community Theater youth productions include local performers in kindergarten through 12the grade. The performances of A Christmas Carol, How Santa Got his Treet and the Holiday Chorus also scheduled for 6 p.m. December 13th at the Hermiston Community Center and at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. December 14th at the Hermiston Community Center.

Report looks at problem gambling in Umatilla County
Dec. 10, 2019
In Umatilla County, people recognize problem gambling can be an issue - but they don't think it happens here. Kary Tuers, with Umatilla County Public Health, says that’s the message from a problem gambling community readiness assessment.
"There's an interview quote that sums up the theme of all the interviews. Someone said, 'I think people kind of close their eyes to it and act like it's not happening.' That was one of the most impactful statements that I heard when conducting the interviews," Tuers said.
Tuers says it takes on average seven years before problem gambling is recognized by someone other than the person dealing with it.
All health departments in the state are performing problem gambling community readiness assessments, and Umatilla County's was released last week. Tuers says the focus was to interview people in leadership positions.
Multiple respondents said problem gambling may be a problem, but that other issues, including drugs and alcohol, were more pressing issues.
They'll reassess in two years. Between now and then, they're carrying out a awareness campaign. The county has received a grant to run the Reflect, Resource, Renew campaign within Umatilla County.
Tuers says anyone struggling with problem gambling can find resources at opgr.org.

Funland design released tonight
Dec. 9, 2019
Hermiston City Council will take a look at the designs for the $1.2 million FunLand Playground rebuild.
The city council will have a presentation on the FunLand playground design and fundraising during a worksession at 6 tonight at Hermiston City Hall. Parks and Recreation Director Larry Fetter says after tonight’s presentation and feedback from the council, they’ll release details to the community.
"Plans and designs and elements will start showing up all over town because we want people to see it and get excited about it," Fetter said.
The council does have a vote about the proposal on their regular agenda.
They’ll have the regular meeting at 7. On that agenda, the city’s financial audit report, changed to the city ordinance code relating to curfews and a discussion on a reduced utility rate application form and policy.
Click here for the full link.

Hermiston School board talks bonds, audit
Dec. 9, 2019
The Hermiston School Board also meeting tonight, and they also have the financial audit report on the agenda.
Other reports include enrollment and district finances, and the board will vote on its general obligation bond resolution.
That meeting at 6:30 tonight in the boardroom at the Hermiston School District Offices.
Find the full agenda here.

Small City Councils meet tonight
Dec. 3, 2019
Housing, streets, and mediation on tap for the Stanfield City Council tonight.
On the council agenda, a resolution supporting the Eastern Oregon Housing Alliance, the foll0w-up report for mediation with the 3D Idapro plant , and a verification of a petition about Lucy Street.
City Manager Benjamin Berg-en-er saying a resident has requested the city vacate all of NE Lucy Street and 30 feet of NE Wayne to make way for future development. The city doesn’t have a road in that area – just the right-of-way.
Tonight the council will be verify the petition and setting a date for the public hearing on the proposal.
During the meeting, the council will also take comments form the audience and have the city manager’s update.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers on Coe Avenue.
Click here for the full agenda.
The Stanfield City Council meeting begins at 6 tonight in the council chambers on Coe Avenue.
Boardman City Council is also meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at Boardman City Hall
That council voting on on tax lots, granting an easement to Umatilla Electric Co-Operative and updating signers on city bank accounts.
A quick note that the Umatilla City Council is not meeting tonight. Their meeting has been rescheduled for the 17th

Fellowship Dinner looking for volunteers, offering rides
Nov. 26, 2019
Forty-eight turkeys are thawing in a cooler today in preparation for this week’s Community Fellowship Dinner. Coordinator Tom Marks says they’re expecting 900 people for the free Thanksgiving meal on Thursday – and they’re looking for people to help make that happen.
"This is an entirely volunteer effort. Everyone from the kitchen staff up and down is volunteer, and we do not have enough volunteers yet for what we need," Marks said.
Marks says they need additional kitchen help – both for prep work on Wednesday and for the meal on Thursday – as well as people to help serve and deliver food during the meal on Thanksgiving. They do ask anyone interested in volunteering either email CFDhermiston@gmail.com for call 371-9772 if possible beforehand to help with scheduling. Those are also the same contact points to schedule a ride to the meal or a to-go order.
This year, The Community Fellowship Dinner is from 11 to 2 this Thursday at Hermiston High School.

Whisky Fest bringing Eric Church, Macklemore
Nov. 26, 2019
The Pendleton Whisky Fest yesterday announcing its 2020 concert lineup. The fifth music festival will feature Eric Church and Macklemore. That’s scheduled for Saturday, July 11, at the Pendleton Round Up Grounds.

Subdivision on council agenda
Nov. 25, 2019
A potential new subdivision on the agenda tonight for the Hermiston City Council.
Council members will vote on annexing 36 acres on the corner of Elm and Diagonal intended for a subdivision with a combination of single family homes and duplexes with a market and other services. The developers are Lloyd and Lois Piercy.
The council also voting tonight on a proposed supplemental budget and airport minimum standards.
The council does have a work session before the meeting. They’ll be talking legislative update with Senator Bill Hansell. The work session begins at 6 p.m. tonight, and the regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall. Follow this link for the full agenda.
The Hermiston School Board is also meeting tonight. They’ll be meeting at Sunset Elementary, and the agenda includes a presentation from the school, multiple reports, and survey discussion.
Find the full agenda at this link.

12 Days of Giving starts Monday
Nov. 22, 2019
The 12 Days of Giving at Good Shepherd Medical Center returns Monday. This is the third year Good Shepherd has hosted the holiday-themed drive.
"It follows the 12 Days of Christmas Carol, and we've re-written the lyrics so that it fits with the specific needs of the charity we're emphasizing on each of the 12 days," said Nazario Rivera, community health worker with Good Shepherd.
The The nonprofits that will benefit from the 12 Days of Giving include Agape House, Domestic Violence Services, the Warming Station, the Christmas Express and others. The items include food, diapers, pet supplies, mittens, and books. Although each day has a “theme,” all items can be dropped off at the hospital any day of the drive.
The 12 Days of Giving runs from Nov. 25 through Dec. 6.

Heppner flood test successful
Nov. 22, 2019
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Morrow County Emergency Management had a live siren test of the Heppner flood evacuation warning system at noon yesterday. The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office saying the test was successful and the sirens are in working order. This test was to ensure the sirens are functional at the two locations in Heppner. The sirens are a part of a basin-wide flood early warning system, and they say the test will be an annual event.

HEF awards grants
Nov. 20, 2019
The Hermiston Ed Foundation handing out eight grants in its fall session, totaling more than $16,000. Karen Sherman says Armand Larive Middle School teacher Christian Mata was one of the big winners
"Instruments are expensive, and Christian was in need of new timpani," Sherman said. "We were able, through the generous donations of our community, to get him all three timpani."
The $7,000 was the largest awarded this cycle.
Here is the full list:
HEF Fall 2019 Grant Proposals for Funding
1. Beth Anderson HHS “Theater Students Attend
Professional Theatrical Production”
Funds will provide tickets for 50 students to attend a professional theater
production in Yakima in the fall of 2020 and 50 student tickets for the spring
production in 2021.
Amount: $2440.00
2. Megan James RH “Every Student Reads”
Scholastic books will be purchased for each 1st grader to have 1 book a month
to take home to read.
Amount: $865.00
3. Cristian Mata ALMS “A Touch of Timpani”
Funds will be used to purchase 2 timpani for Armand Larive Middle School
band program.
Amount: $7070.00
4. Stacy Cooley HHES “Elementary Choral Festival “
Funding will be used to bring a choral clinician to work with a group of 4th
and 5th graders from each elementary school. There will be an evening
performance .
Amount: $1000.00
5. Sarah Gonzalez SMS “Sandstone Drama Program
(Beauty and the Beast: Spring Musical)
Materials, microphones and costumes will be funded for this project.
Amount: $2,000.00
6. Robert Theriault HHS “Making Computer Science Green”
A filament extruder and a grinder will be purchased so that 3 D printing
material can be recycled.
Amount: $1700.00
7. Ipolito Maloy WP “OMSI Science Festival”
OMSI will host six hours of science learning labs for all West Park students.
Funding will be used to provide the materials for the labs.
Amount: 625.00
8. Next Steps Staff HHS “Bulldog Treats”
Funding will be used to purchase equipment and cooking supplies to support
the making and selling of dog treats.
Amount: $900.00
Total Amount Requested: $16,600.00

ODOT has I-84 open house
Nov. 20, 2019
ODOT has an open house tonight in Pendleton to talk about the future of Interstate 84 and its Pendleton. It’s from 6 to 8 tonight at ODOTS’ district 12 office, 1327 SE 3rd in Pendleton.
Here is the press release:
The Oregon Department of Transportation and City of Pendleton will host a public open house on November 20 to help plan for the future of the Interstate 84 Exit 207 (Airport area) and Exit 210 (OR 11/Nye Avenue) interchanges and surrounding areas. The open house will be held at ODOT’s District 12 office, 1327 SE 3rd St, Pendleton, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The purpose of the open house is to give you an opportunity to tell us what the important transportation issues in and around these areas are, and what could be done to make them better places to walk, bike, and drive. You’ll also learn more about the interchange area management plans (IAMP) for these two exits, plus the project process and schedule.
Can’t make it to the open house? Visit our virtual open house at pendletonIAMPs.com.
For more information on the November 20th open house or the interchange area management plans, please contact ODOT Planning Manager Teresa Penninger at 541-963-1344, or by email at teresa.b.penninger@odot.state.or.us.

Council re-considers storage units
Nov. 12, 2019
The issue of storage units on five acres between Northeast 4th Street and Highway 395 back on the Hermiston City Council agenda tonight. The city’s planning department had recommended not approving the change because they hoped a retail business might locate on the property since part of it is on Highway 395. The city asking city staff for more information at its last meeting.
The Ordinance states: "The city council directed staff to prepare findings of fact in support and prepare an ordinance for adoption at the November 12th city council meeting. These documents have been prepared and are ready for council approval."
The council will also vote on ordinances regarding having addresses and phone numbers on signs for garage sales and relating to complaints about ADA compliance.
The council will also meet in a work session at 6 p.m. tonight. That session will focus on legislative updates from Representative Greg Smith. The work session is at 6 p.m., and the regular meeting begins at 7 p.m..
Find a link to the full agenda here.
Also meeting tonight, the Hermiston School Board of Education.
Along with multiple student recognition and financial reports, the school board will discuss enrollment and federal grant reviews as well as committee positions for the OSBA board of directions and OSBA legislative policy committee. The board also expected to approve the superintendent evaluation. The formal evaluation document says the board has been extremely pleased with Superintendent Tricia Mooney's exceptional leadership and focus on creating a positive school culture. That meeting again begins at 6:30 p.m.   at the Hermiston School District Offices.

HSD bond passes
Nov. 6, 2019
Good news for the Hermiston School district this morning – just barely.
In the unofficial results from last night's election, 52 percent of voters approving with the district’s $82.7 million bond project that will replace Rocky Heights Elementary, build a new elementary school on Theater Lane, adding a multi-classroom annex to Hermiston High School and purchasing property for long-term demands.
The bond came down to the vote last night. 2,446 Hermiston voters cast ballots in favor of the bond; 2,220 voted against it.
A release last night from the Hermiston School District saying they’ll create a website to provide updates on construction. Once the projects are completed, school boundaries will be realigned.
Voter turnout last night just over 25 percent. 11,282 ballots turned in before the election deadline. Of those ballots, 4,666 people voting on the Hermiston School District’s bond.
Voters also approved both updates to the Umatilla County Charter.
Find the official results here.

Umatilla road, council meeting tonight
Nov. 5, 2019
An open house on the Sixth Street Rehabilitation Project in Umatilla tonight, and after the open house, the city council has its regular meeting at 7 p.m.
Tonight, the council focusing on research, if the agenda is any indication.
The city manager will report on research about Lind Road, they’llvote on a feasibility grant application for water resources, and they’ll have a resolution on researching a construction excise tax. The resolution tongith is an agreement with the Umatilla School District to hiring FCS group to complete the analysis and implementation of the plan.
The agenda states: “The City of Umatilla is experiencing tremendous residential growth which directly impacts the Umatilla School District and their plans for future development. The City and District wish to partner on the analysis and possible implementation of a construction excise tax that would be dedicated towards future capital improvements of the District. As the City is already under contract with FCS Group for a comprehensive rate study, amending the scope to include the construction excise tax analysis is cost ef ective for all parties.” Suggested action from city staff is approval of the resolution.
Find the full agenda here.

Girls in Tech is Saturday in Boardman
Coming up this weekend in Boardman, Girls’ Tech Day, a one-day event designed to inspire and empower girls and young women to pursue interests and careers in technology. It’s a seris of workships focued on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics
The free event, hosted by Amazon Web Services, is this Saturday at the Sage Center. Registration is free, but pre-registration is required. Find more information and registration here.

Hermiston wins development award
Oct. 29, 2019
The City of Hermiston being awarded the Urban Renewal Project of the Year this week from the Oregon Economic Development Association. Hermiston highlighting its recruitment and development of the Holiday Inn Express, development of Festival Street, and support of additional downtown business expansion.
Find the full press release and photos here

Pedestrian vs. Car crash kills Echo man
Oct. 28, 2019
A fatal vehicle vs pedestrian crash over the weekend killing an Echo man in Stanfield.
30-year-old Steven Adam Gallegos, of Echo, struck and killed just before 1 a.m. on Saturday on South Highway 395 in Stanfield. That was near the S Edwards Road intersection. Stanfield Police saying Gallegos was walking south in the lane of travel when he was struck by a vehicle also traveling southbound.
The driver identified as 44-year-old Gregory Ayling, from Granger Washington. He was driving a Chrysler Sebring , stopped at the scene and made the initial 911 call. He provided first aid until paramedics arrived. Gallegos was pronounced deceased at the scene.
No injuries for Ayling and his passengers
SPD saying The driver involved has been cooperative with investigators. Based on the preliminary investigation, drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the driver’s actions.
The southbound lanes of the highway were closed until about 4:30 Saturday Stanfield PD was assisted at the scene by Oregon State Police, Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Department of Transportation, the Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office

Council tackles storage, hearings tonight
Oct. 28, 2019
Three public hearings, four ordinances and five consent items on the agenda for tonight's Hermiston City Council. meeting.. The council will have public hearings on the continuation of the local improvement district 322, a rezone for Eastern Oregon Development LLC and a right-of-way issue on SE 10th Street.
The rezone would impact five acres of land between Highway 395 and NE Fourth Street. The property developer plans to build a storage unit business there, and the planning commission and city staff has recommended the council deny the request because there other properties available for storage unit development.
During the meeting, the council they'll review ordinances on alarm citizens, trials, and dealing with referendums, as well as one about vacating property on 10th street - that's the right-of-way issue. A report on EOTEC will round out the meeting. That begins at 7 p.m. tonight at Hermiston City Hall. Click here for the full agenda.
Hermiston School Board
A light agenda tonight for the Hermiston School Board. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Desert View Elementary School. They'll have a presentation from school staff, reports, and discussion about the district's continuous improvement plan and mandatory reporting training. Find the full agenda here.

OSP releases images in fatal hit-and-run
Oct. 25, 2019
Photos released of the vehicle suspected in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run crash from August. Find the photos here and here.
Oregon State Police (OSP) continuing the investigation into the death of 41-year-old Antonia M. Cobarubias, who was pushing a shopping cart on the side of Highway 395. She was struck from behind by a red car that left the scene at about 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 31. OSP obtaining still video surveillance images of the vehicle when it was in the parking lot of Rocket Mart.
OSP saying the vehicle is likely a 1994-2001 model Acura Integra that will be missing a passenger side mirror.
OSP is requesting anyone that can identify the vehicle from the photographs or was in the area of Rocket Mart on August 31, 2019 at about 2:30 AM, to please call OSP at *OSP. Callers can reference case number SP19-313012.

Community Center could be for sale
Oct. 23, 2019
A private business has made offer on the Hermiston Community Center – and the city could be selling.
"Yes, we've been approached; no a final decision has not been made," said Hermiston City Manager Byron Smith. "When the final details are available, those will be brought to the council."
Smith saying the business approached the city about purchasing the Hermiston Community Center, but until a formal proposal is made, the city is not at liberty to discuss negotiation details.
If a formal purchase offer is made to the city, it would have to be approved in a city council meeting. That’s when they could release additional information about the developer and the plans for the site.
The city purchased the Hermiston Community Center in the early 1990s and renovated it through a combination of private fundraising dollars and city funds. Originally a Safeway, the facility It is the former location of the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce and currently the main office of the Hermiston Parks and Recreation Department.

Stanfield, Umatilla councils meet tonight
Oct. 15, 2019
Both the Stanfield and Umatilla city councils meet tonight,and both face full agendas in their special meetings.
Tonight, the Stanfield City Council has a discussion regarding a water rate study, the council chamber design study, and a closed-door session on legal matters relating to the 3D-Idapro Lawsuit.
The meeting also a meeting led by new Stanfield City manager Benjamin Burgener.
He is the former city administrator and clerk of the city of Ada, Minn.
That meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the council chambers on Coe Avenue.
Umatilla’s City Council also meting tonight, and it’s another full agenda.
One of the items is a donation from the Hermiston-Umatilla Kiwanis Club for Kiwanis Falls. The $1,500 donation would be used for future design and development of landscaping around Kiwanis Falls.
Also on the agenda, the police quarterly report, a grant from Pacific Power for a mural project and a vote on an agreement for park concessionaire services at the Umatilla Marina. They’ll discuss the emergency operations plan and a potential rate increase for garbage fees at the request of Sanitary Disposal and changing the nightly rates for RV spaces at the Umatilla Marina and RV park up to $40 a night. All changes, if approved at the Nov 5 meeting would take effect Jan. 1, 2020.
During the meeting, the council will adjourn to executive session for the city manager evaluation. That evaluation will be presented by the mayor in open session
That meeting begins at 6 tonight at Umatilla City Hall. Find the full agenda here.

Closed-door sessions on agendas tonight
Oct. 14, 2019
A new enterprise zone and a closed door session about negotiation and property transactions on tap for the Hermiston City Council meeting tonight.
The meeting opens tonight at 7 p.m., but the council will have an executive session, closed to the public - at about 7:05.
During the closed-door session, the council to talk preliminary negotiation involving matters of trade or commerce where the city is competing with other government groups – and they’ll talk about negotiation property transactions.
One of the items expected to be on a tax abatement agreement with Amazon, which also appears later on the agenda in the open session of the meeting.
The agreement would allow Amazon to not pay property taxes for a number of years if the company agrees to a $200 million investment. That long-term enterprise zone abatement agreement with Amazon Data Services is scheduled for a vote during the meeting tonight.
The meeting expected to re-enter public session right around 7:35. Other items on the agenda are a housing incentive report and a presentation from the Hermiston school district.
Find the full agenda by clicking here.
Speaking of the school district… they also have a closed-door session scheduled tonight, the school board will discuss property transactions and the employee performance review during their executive session, which is scheduled for the end of the school board meeting. No action is listed for after the meeting. Also on the school board agenda tonight, reports on enrollment and finances and the athletics and activities department. That meeting begins at 6:30 tonight in the boardroom.
Click here for the full agenda.

Morrow County bond group meets tomorrow
Oct. 8, 2019
Officials with the Morrow County School District moving forward with planning for a bond to help with aging infrastructure, and superintendent Dirk Dirkson saying they have the first of their community workshops this week.
"We'll begin having the discussions: where are the buildings at, what are people looking for, what will people support," Dirkson said. "We'll go through that process this year."
Dirkson says the district’s current bond expires in 2021, and they’re looking for feedback from morrow county residents and will have additional meetings in Heppner and Irrigon. After gathering feedback this year, the bond advisory committee will make decisions about where the money would go and inform the community next year – that bond is expected to appear on morrow county ballots in May of 2021.

Umatilla River Trails meetings this week
Oct. 7, 2019
Tonight is the first of the Umatilla River Trail community meetings.
The goal is to build a non-motorized trail from Echo to Umatilla connecting Stanfield, Hermiston, Echo, and Umatilla trail systems.
Meetings are scheduled in each of the four cities this week: tonight the meeting is at Umatilla City Hall; tomorrow is at Echo City Hall; Wednesday is at the Stanfield School District; and Thursday at the Hermiston Community Center.
Doors open for all meetings at 5 p.m., and the presentation begins at 5:30 p.m.
Anyone is welcome to attend any of the open houses, regardless of which community you live in.

Morgan receives credentials
Oct. 7, 2019
Hermiston’s assistant city manager recently receiving the Credentialed Manager designation from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Mark Morgan is one of 24 active city administrators in Oregon credentialed through the program. The ICMA credential reflects Morgan’s experience as a senior management executive in local government, and his commitment to lifelong learning and professional development. Morgan has served as the assistant city manager in Hermiston since 2012.

Umatilla, Boardman councils meet
Oct. 1, 2019
The City of Umatilla is voting on an amendment to a contract with the Oregon Department of Transportation about the sixth street project, increasing the project cost from $5.9 million – to $6.8.
They’ll also accept a resignation and declare a vacancy on the Umatilla Library Board and recognize CRIS INC with service recognition. They’ll then meet in a closed-door executive session over property transactions.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Umatilla City Hall. Click here for the agenda.
The Boardman City Council also meeting tonight.
According to the agenda, council members will discuss city councilor training as well as receiving reports from police and city committees as well as time for public comment
It begins at 7 p.m. at Boardman City Hall
In other Boardman news, today is the deadline for quilters to enter their quilts in the 15th annual Boardman Quilt Show. That’ll be at the Boardman Senior Center Oct. 11-12.

Emergency Drill tomorrow in Hermiston
Oct. 1, 2019
Tomorrow, Oct. 2, local responders have an emergency drill scheduling in the evening.
Good Shepherd Medical Center, local police, fire and ambulance departments will participate. The emergency drill will help local agencies practice their emergency response plans, communications between
agencies, and the ability to handle a mass casualty incident.
The drill will take place near Hermiston and will start around 6 p.m. Local residents may see emergency vehicles, such as fire trucks, police vehicles and ambulances.
Please do not call 911 unless you need assistance from emergency services. 911 should only be called for n emergencies requiring immediate attention. In the event of an actual emergency, the public should listen to local radio and television broadcasts for information and instructions.

Woman gets $2,575 speeding ticket in Morrow County
Sept. 27, 2019
A Salem woman clocked at 128 mph in a work zone in Morrow County receiving a more than $2,500 fine in Morrow County.
The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office saying a deputy traveling eastbound on Interstate 84 in Boardman earlier this month saw a dark-colored sedan traveling at 128 miles per hour in the 70-mile per hour zone.
Deputy Thomas Way stopped the vehicle and issued a ticket to the driver, 20-year-old Skyla Sue Ziglinksi, from Salem. The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office saying traveling at more than 100 miles per hour in Oregon is a fine of $1,155. Because fines are doubled in work zones – especially when there’s only one travel lane – the fine was doubled to $2,310. And because of the excessive speed she was also cited for careless driving at $265… leaving her with a total fine of $2,575.
The Sheriff's Office saying their goal is safety - not about generating income from citations. The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office averaging three warnings for every citation – and asking people to slow down and pay extra attention in road construction zones.