Another fire, more restrictions
July 20, 2017
Another wildfire outside of Hermiston Wednesday afternoon. The fire near Hat Rock at the
intersection of Highway 37 and 730. The fire did cause heavy smoke over Highway 730. Crews
from multiple agencies responded, and they shifted to clean up operations just before 8
p.m.. The fire coming on the same day Umatilla County Commissioners and officials at local
National Forests announced burn bans and fire restrictions because of high fire danger.
Well have more on those restrictions in our regional news later this hour.
Fire restrictions increasing today in area forests and in Umatilla County.
In the county, a Non-agricultural burning ban going into effect at noon tomorrow. It
applies to the unincorporated areas of Umatilla County. The ban blocks all non-ag open
burning including burn barrels and burning of yard and garden debris piles. Agricultural
burning still allowed, but restrictions in place based on weather conditions. Smoke
management permit holders still required to check for burn day status.
This burn ban is in addition to the burn bans in place by Umatilla County Fire District 1
and the Umatilla Rural Fire Protection District.
Forest restrictions increasing tomorrow, including prohibiting chainsaws and tightening
Malheur, Umatilla and Wallowa Whitman forests moving to Phase B Public use restrictions
one minute after midnight because of high fire danger, potential for human-caused fires
and concerns for public safety. The increased restrictions pertain to the use of
campfires, smoking, chainsaws, internal combustion engines, and generators. The
restrictions also mean campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds and
recreational sites. For more information and a list of designated recreation areas and
campsites where campfires are permitted during Phase B Public Use Restrictions, you can
visit the facebook pages for any of the three national forests or contact their
Downtown Courtyard in fundraising challenge
July 20, 2017
The Hermiston Downtown Development district selected for a crowdfunding project to boost
donations for a courtyard on Main Street. Emma Porricolo says the crowdfunding challenge
could bring a bonus $25-hundred.
"We are one of 10 communities in the country chosen for the Edward Jones Placemaking
Challenge, and the project we're using is the Main Street Courtyard project," she
The courtyard project seeks to create a parklike space with seating and greenery in the
downtown courtyard thats the paved space at 245 E. Main Street.The materials
would match the style planned for the Festival Street on Second Avenue. Porricolo says
its to create continuity and sense of place downtown.
"We're going to match it to what will be placed on the festival street, adding some
greenery and creating this really inviting place downtown," she said. "We want
to promote people to come downtown, walk around, and see downtown."
The group will match all donations up to $1,000 each. That means a $10 donation becomes
$20 and a $25 donation becomes $50. The total project is $5,000, and the deadline for
matching donations is July 31. You can find more information and donate on the
crowdfunding challenge website.
OSU extension seeks tax district
July 19, 2017
The extension and research service is moving forward with a taxing district. Extension and
research services cover programs like 4-H and master gardeners, as well as research and
operations of the countys two extension centers, including the Hermiston
Agricultural Research and Extension Center. HAREC director Phil Hamm says its an important
part of the community.
"OSU has a lot of impact in the area so many different ways; however, because of
issues outside of us, we're having issues with how we maintain these programs," he
said. "It's basically because of state budget cuts."
Tomorrow, Oregon State University Extension regional administrator Mary Corp will present
to Morrow County Commissioners, asking for support of a service district to generate
funding from local property taxes.
"We are looking at 33 cents per thousand, so for an average home of $135,000, it
would add $41 to their tax," Corp said.
The special district would be established by voters in the May 2018 election. The proposal
would cover each Morrow and Umatilla counties at the same rate, although they would be
established in separate votes. Hamm says 25 of the 36 counties in Oregon already have
extension service districts to fund the programs. Hamm and Corp are kicking off their
public information campaign about the proposal this week. If youd like more
information or to schedule an information session, you can contact either the OSU
extension offices in Hermiston or Pendleton.
HSD waits for survey response
July 18, 2017
The Hermiston School District still waiting on results of a community conversation after a
$107 million construction bond failed to get voter support in May.
"The firm that we're working with is still collating all of that information and will
begin some additional dialogue with the community in the fall," Hermiston Schools
superintendent Fred Maiocco said."I anticipate they'll be ready to share some of
their results in September."
That initial report will go to the school board, which will decide the next steps. Maiocco
says after receiving that information, the board will look at potentially reprioritizing
items to find the right package to send back to the voters in 2019. Board
chair Karen Sherman says the board is already aware of some issues from talking to the
"We were disappointed that the bond didn't pass, but we understand some of the issues
with it," she said. "That's what's we're trying to address as we look at maybe
going out for a bond in two years."
Both Maiocco and Sherman say with current growth trends, the district will continue to see
larger class sizes due to space constraints.
Sunset Playground construction begins
July 18, 2017
In other Hermiston construction news, work getting under way for a project residents did
vote for although not in an election. In May, Hermiston received more than 13,000
votes toward the Blazers Moda Assist program for a new playground at Sunset park.
Hermiston won, and Parks and Recreation Director Larry Fetter says some of the equipment
is coming in now.
The $20,000 from Moda has all gone toward the playground equipment, which is designed to
be more accessible for all children.
"The goal is to have an all-abilities playground," Fetter said. "We have
some equipment here that we don't have in our other parks that's friendlier to kids of all
On Sept. 7 at 4, theyll have representatives from the Blazers and Moda on scene for
the dedication. Fetter says the playground will likely be open before that, but the
official dedication and ribbon cutting is in September.
Umatilla council to annex land
July 18, 2017
Tonight, a meeting of the Umatilla City Council. It starts at 5:30 with a work session,
primarily focused on legal powers and impediments for elected officials. City work
sessions are designed to provide information to council members.
The regular meeting follows at 7. The primary action items center on the annexation of 269
acres of county property into the city limits and rezoning the property to light
industrial. The ordinances both reference Vadata or VA data, a subsidiary of Amazon, and
the requests have been approved by the Umatilla Planning Commission. The company operates
multiple data centers in the area and is in the process of purchasing the property up for
annexation. The city council expected to vote on both ordinances tonight.
Brush fire hits 30 acres
July 17, 2017
No injuries after large brush fire yesterday in Hermiston.
A release from Umatilla County Fire District 1 saying the 30-acre fire started in a mower
that hit something in the dry grass. The mower operator attempted to put the fire out but
it was carried by wind and try grass. The fire near highland and Orchard driven by wind
with flames reaching up to 15 feet and threatening homes and farm structures. One small
barn burned in the fire but no homes were lost. The total loss value unknown at this time.
One vehicle accident occurred due to distracted drivers.
Umatilla schools under construction
July 17, 2017
Construction projects in full swing at Umatilla schools this summer. The roof has been
completed at Umatilla High School and crews working on the roof at McNary Heights
Elementary this month.
Umatilla Schools Superintendent Heidi Sipe says Boise-based firm Design West will serve as
architect for the remaining portions of the bond-funded project. The roof will be replaced
at Clara Brownell Middle School after heating and cooling systems are done.
"Over the next year, people should expect to see a lot of design, thinking work
happening," Sipe says. "When that is completed, they should see a lot of
construction happening this summer."
The $14 million project includes building a new cafeteria at McNary Heights Elementary and
restructuring the school entryways for better security.
In other Umatilla news, a reminder they are still accepting applications for an open spot
on the Umatilla School Board. Applicants must live within the Umatilla School District
boundaries, and applications are due to the district office in the first week of August.
Plane crash reported, unable to locate
July 17, 2017
Reports of a plane crash on Saturday, but law enforcement unable to locate any wreckage.
At about 9 in the morning Saturday, the Sheriffs Office received a call of a
possible plane crash in the Columbia River near Hat Rock State Park. According to the
report, the plane appeared to be small yellow aircraft that flying near and around Hat
Rock and then along the river. The caller saying the plane dropped out of sight over the
water, and they thought they saw a large splash. No other reports of the plane, including
from boaters in the area. Airports in Hermiston, Pendleton, the Tri Cities, and
Walla-Walla were notified, along with the Oregon State Police the Benton and Walla Walla
County Sheriffs Offices.
Police personnel, including the Umatilla County Sheriffs Marine Patrol searched the
area for several hours, traveling on the river from McNary Dam to the Washington border.
We were also assisted by local pilots, who flew the river several times. No indications of
a crash or signs of aircraft debris were spotted. Anyone with additional information is
asked to contact the Umatilla Sheriff's Office.
HSD starts superintendent search
July 14, 2017
The Hermiston School District starting its search for an interim superintendent to fill
the space left while Dr. Fred Maiocco serves an overseas deployment. Theyre taking
applications now and encouraging members of the public to come out and attend the process.
Staff and public will be able to provide written comments on each candidate. The board
will take the comment card into account when making final decisions.
Its a draft interview schedule based on if two or three candidates are interviewed.
With two candidates, interviews begin at 3 in the afternoon on the July 24 - With three
candidates, interviews begin at 2.
Fire closes highway
July 13, 2017
A fire yesterday between Hermiston and Stanfield. The fire in cardboard bales at the
recycling site at Medelez Trucking around 1 in the afternoon then spreading to field,
causing a brush fire. Highway 395 shut for a short time and the northbound reduced to one
lane in the afternoon while firefighters responding. More than 30 firefighters responding
to put out the fire that damaging about $60,000 in cardboard and $5,000 in equipment, in
addition to the field damage. The cause is still under investigation.
Wildfires continuing the burn around the state in Oregon
The Grizzly Fire still in mop-up stages after burning just under 200 acres, Willow Fire
near Klamath Falls is just under 350 acres, and Lone Pine at 1,000 acres. The Anna fire,
the largest in the state, now at 3,200. All districts in the state now in fire season.
Local firefighters continuing to caution about fire danger. The Umatilla National Forest
in a Phase A restriction because of fire danger and dry weather conditions. Specialized
fire crews tackling the Buck Fire near Wallowa and Hells Canyon this week its
now scorched more than 900 acres, started by lightning.
As of this morning, one fire burning in the Umatilla National Forest and two in the
Wallowa Witman, both under an acre. A fire put out yesterday near Mission, southeast of
Pendleton, at a half acre human causes.
Maiocco deploying to Germany
July 11, 2017
Hermiston School District Superintendent Fred Maiocco is leaving the district for
more than a year. Maiocco also serves as a brigadier general in the U.S. Army reserves and
says hes being deployed this month.
Maiocco says the deployment came as a surprise he expected his trip to Kuwait five
years ago to be his final overseas deployment.
"I'm being pulled to an extended period of active duty," Maiocco said. "I
got a call 10 days ago that said, 'You're going to Germany.' I said, 'Is this an optional
thing?' and they said, 'You're going to Germany.'"
In the previous deployment, Maiocco was given 10 days notice. This time around, its
about three weeks, and hell be leaving at the end of this month. Last night, the
district authorizing a leave of absence for Maiocco. Theyll be naming an interim
superintendent to cover the 15 to 18 months Maiocco is gone. Board chair Karen Sherman
says its a strain on the district but is also an opportunity.
"It is very quick for us, but it's such a great opportunity for Dr. Maiocco to serve
the country, and it gives an opportunity for people who are in our district to grow
too," she said.
When Maiocco deployed in 2011, then assistant superintendent Wade Smith was named the
interim superintendent for the district. Smith now serves as superintendent of the Walla
Walla School District. Maiocco says the district is advertising the position for both
internal and external candidates. The school board is expected to interview candidates as
early as July 24.
Fire turns off power
July 11, 2017
A small fire yesterday evening knocking out power again. For the second time in a
week, more than 2,000 customers without power for about an hour. Umatilla County Fire
District 1 reporting the small fire caused by arching wires at the intersection of Theater
Lane and Geer Road. That went out a little before 7 p.m. Monday. It was restored to most
customers after about an hour.
No drones above fires
July 11, 2017
Local fire officials saying no drones at wildfires. The Federal Aviation Administration
puts a temporary flight restriction over fires when firefighting aircraft are in use
and that prohibits flying in the area without FAA approval.
Jamie Knight, with the Oregon Department of Forestrys Northeast Oregon region says
firefighting equipment may need to be grounded to avoid a collision with the drone.
hobbyists and recreational drone flyers can be charged for flying drones in restricted
airspace. As recently as July 2, a drone spotted above a fire in Twin Falls, Idaho, and
the BLM saying they were contacting the pilot and could be issuing a citation for
interfering with firefighting efforts as well as a $500 fine.
Limit chance of theft on vacation
July 11, 2017
Were well into July and into vacation season. Local law enforcement offering
some tips and services to reduce your odds of becoming a victim.
Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan says to call the 24-hour dispatch center and set up a
vacation check on your home, providing information about when you will be gone.
Hermiston Police have offered similar services. Both organizations offer home checks
dependent on having the resources and officers available. Rowan says they have been able
to thwart a few burglaries and take in suspects just by knowing they were in a house that
was supposed to be empty.
To limit your chances of being a victim, have your mail held at the post office or
have someone take it inside for you daily and wait to post about your trip until
you return home.
It may seem like common sense, but also make sure to lock all doors before you leave, and
if you can set a couple of your lights on a timer, do so.
Council talking NOWA, airport
July 10, 2017
Tonight is again be a meeting night in Hermiston.
Hermiston City Council kicks things off will have a work session to update on NOWA. That
begins at 6 p.m.
Hermiston City Council meeting follows the work session at 7 p.m. at Hermiston City Hall. On the agenda,
two action items: One, allowing the city manager to accept grant funding and hire
consultants o update the airports master layout plan and potentially signing an
intergovernmental agreement with the county to have the city take over jurisdiction of
West Highland Avenue between 11th street and 15th.
The meeting also includes a proclamation for National Night Out. That a community-police
awareness event usually the first Tuesday of August. This year, thats Aug. 1, and
Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston says theyre planning some changes. In the
past, the police department has helped out with numerous community block parties and
neighborhood events, but that will likely be changing because of restructuring of the
"We're just in the early stages, but we're kicking around the idea of having a
barbecue in front of the police department," Edmiston said. "Have some vehicles
on display for children to look at it, pull out some bulletproof vests and allow the kids
the opportunity to put those on."
Edmiston says the medallion hunt will continue.
School Board meets tonight
July 10, 2017
The Hermiston School Board of Education meeting at 6:30 in the school district offices.
On the school board agenda, annual business like designating the superintendent as the
districts chief administrative officer, setting board meeting dates and electing a
board chair as well as new hirings. On the list of employees is Bradley Wayland as
districts Director of Operations. You can find the full
Fire watch, heat advisory
July 6, 2017
A heat advisory and fire weather watch in effect until 8 in the evening on July 7 because
of high temperatures and high risks. Local officials are busy prepping for wildfires and a
high risk of hot temperatures and dry fuel. Noel Livingston is the fire management officer
for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, and he says they have two primary fire starters
during the summer months:
"80 percent or more of our fires typically start due to lightning, so the trick there
is being able to predict when lightning occurs," Livingston said.
"Unfortunately, we can't do that long-term, we can only do that from the short-term
As short-term as the planning for lightning fires is, fire officials have better odds
there than with the second-largest cause of fires: people.
Livingston says about 20 percent of fires in national forests are human caused.
"Human starts are really problematic for us, primarily because they're hard to
predict where they're going to occur," he said. "We have tools - once we have
the weather forecast - to figure out where we think we may get lightning and we have tools
to show us where lightning strikes occurred, but human starts aren't that way."
Nationwide, humans causes closer to 90 percent of fires in national forests. The most
common causes are unattended campfires, burning of debris, cigarettes and intentional acts
Red Cross issues heat warning
July 6, 2017
With the high temperatures today, the American Red Cross reminding residents of its
extreme temperatures safety tips. The first steps: Make sure you know the weather forecast
with both the temperature and the heat index. Theyre also recommending you review
symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke: also watch out for you
neighbors, especially those who are elderly, young, or sick and might be more susceptible
to heat-related illnesses, as well as making sure all animals have enough shade and water.
Find more information at the Red
Hermiston Foods to close
July 5, 2017
Hermiston Foods to close by the end of 2017. The announcement coming out this weekend when
NORPAC announced the sale of its canning business to Seneca Foods Crop. As part of the
deal, NORPAC is closing the Hermiston facility as well as a processing plant in Salem. The
Statesman Journal reporting canning operations are about 6 percent of NORPACs
business and Hermiston Foods is the smallest of the group's facilities. Hermiston Foods
opened in 1990 and employs around 300 people.
Stanfield gets trail grant
July 5, 2017
In some good news, Stanfield has received a substantial grant from the Oregon Parks and
Recreation Department to put in a trail along Stage Gulch from Sherman Street to Edwards.
Its along the high banks on the canal, and city manager Blair Larson says its
a win-win because the city must maintain the canal banks and flood prevention, and this
allows people to enjoy the experience as well. When completed, the trail will be just
under a mile. Larson says it could be constructed in 2018. Theyll go out to bid this
July 5, 2017
For decades, Hermiston has hosted two individual Kiwanis clubs, but now, theyre
folding into one with the morning club becoming a sub-group of the Noon Kiwanis.
Member Cathy Walmsley says they morning club will meet with the noon Kiwanis as well as on
their own, and that theyll continue working with their established projects
including the Hermiston Festival of Trees, which has been co-sponsored by the morning
Kiwanis and Good Shepherd Foundation.
John Spomer, president of the Morning Kiwanis, continues as chairman of the Festival of
New water meters set for install in July
June 30, 2017
New meters on the way for Hermiston residents. The city working on projects with both
water and electric meters, approved during Mondays city council meeting.
Hermiston Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan says they just signed the contract and work
could begin in July.
"Every single water meter in town will be changed out," Morgan said. "If
you have a house or an apartment or whatever, you will see a contractor come by."
During the work, water will be shut off, but Morgan says it should only last an hour in
most cases and work will be done during the day. The water meter work does include
residential homes as well as businesses. The work being funded primarily though a water
rate increase that went into affect earlier this year. Morgan says the move will save the
city in the long run as it will be a more efficient system.
"Currently 2/3 of our water meters we read by hand, so we have two full-time
employees that we send out to read water meters physically," he said. "We not
laying anyone off. This will allow us to re-allocate those employees to handle other
things that need to be done."
Morgan says theyve put in 30 miles of new water lines in the past 15 years and not
hired any additional employees. Morgan says theyre putting information on the
citys website about the project and frequently asked questions. If you do have any
other questions, you can contact Hermiston City Hall.
West Nile in Umatilla County
June 29, 2017
The West Umatilla Mosquito Control district saying it has confirmed its first positive
mosquito detection of west Nile virus of 2017. Its the first in the state, and it
came from just outside of Umatilla, near the mouth of the Umatilla River. Residents can
expect to see increased mosquito control operations in the area, including applications of
low volume insecticides after sunset. West Nile is primarily a bird disease but can affect
humans. People with West Nile may have no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms, including
fever, headache or rash. In rare cases, West Nile may cause inflammation of the brain. All
local residents suggested to get rid of old tires and other containers where water
accumulates, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when in mosquito infested areas and
use mosquito repellents. You can report mosquito infestations and dead bird sightings to
the West Umatilla Mosquito Control District. That number is 567-5201.
Grass fire injures 1
June 29, 2017
A fire yesterday afternoon in Irrigon claimed three sheds and sent one person to Good
Shepherd with injuries. The grass fire started by a lawnmower on Snyder Road in Irrigon at
around 1:20 yesterday afternoon and quickly carried by high wind. Irrigon Fire requesting
mutual aid from Boardman Fire, Umatilla County Fire District 1 and Umatilla Rural Fire
Protection District, saving three homes that could have been lost. A press release
reminding local residents to clear dry grasses, weeds and sagebrush from around homes to
help protect the structure. They say keep the 30 feet around your home clear of dry grass
or brush with either nonflammable materials or green grasses.
HPD cuts motorcycle
June 28, 2017
The Hermiston Police Department is retiring its motorcycle patrol - for now - after
restructuring the department.
Police Chief Jason Edmiston says the previous motor officer moving into a detective role
left a void for the bike officer, and theyve made the decision to cut the motorcycle
for now after a combination of issues, including the changing structure of
the department, how strenuous the training for motor patrols is, and repairs necessary for
The traffic officer, Cpl. Doug Gill, will instead use a marked patrol vehicle and will
focus on each day shift hours on traffic on Highway 395 and Friday and Saturday focus on
"It is a bit of a change. People may not see the motorcycle and think that we're not
out there enforcing traffic," Edmiston said. "We absolutely are."
If you want to know more about operations at the Hermiston Police Department, they do have
the quarterly public safety committee meeting coming up. Thatll be at the end of
July. You can contact HPD for more information on the exact date and time.
Fire claims Hermiston home
June 27, 2017
A fire yesterday afternoon that left two families homeless and scorched more than 7 acres
More than 30 firefighters responded after 1 yesterday afternoon, spending more than 3
hours putting out the fire in temperatures above 100 degrees. The fire started near the
Oxbow Trail, burning across land owned by the Bureau of Reclamation before hitting the
fence and then the duplex home.
The fire started near Oxbow Trail, burning wildland before firefighters
responded / Photo contributed by Shanna Evans
"Initially we had a seven-acre, wind-driven grass fire. Pretty hot, dry fuel - flames
sometimes eight-feet high," said Chris Wrathall, firefighter/paramedic with Umatilla
County Fire District 1. "The wind blew it into a couple structures. It was hectic: It
was a mixture of structure fire and also wildland."
Information officer for the fire, Chris Wrathall, a firefighter/paramedic with Umatilla
County Fire District 1, says the cause of the fire currently being investigated,but two
families displaced by the fire.
Local residents watch firefighting efforts. Residents were evacuated near the
fire, and the roads were closed off for emergency response / Staff photo
A gofundme page has
been set up for one couple, Diego Lopez and Ashlynn Beenblossom. Ashlynn is 8 months
pregnant and is staying with family in the area. The American Red Cross is providing
services for five adults impacted by the fire, that does cover both families in the
On the scene of the fire yesterday, Property owner Heleo Sanchez says the building likely
a total loss. Sanchez blamed the fire on the untended grass behind the buildings that had
reached up to three feet in some spaces.
Firefighters battle the blaze at the duplex on 13th and Ridgeway on Monday
afternoon / Staff photo.
Wrathall agreed the dry grass impacted the spread of the fire. The fire district asking
local residents to be aware of the danger.
"We had a really wet winter, and it's allowed a lot of our primary fuel, the grass,
to get really tall, and now with the hot weather, it's really, really dry," Wrathall
said. "We're asking the public to have a lot of awareness when playing with fireworks
this year because it's really tinderbox dry."
The official cause of the fire not yet determined, but firefighters saying it may have
been caused by fireworks.
Umatilla County Fire District 1 responding to a three-vehicle accident at the same time as
Fire Marshal cautions use of fireworks
June 27, 2017
The Fourth of July is one week away, and fireworks already for sale in the state of
Oregon. Umatilla County Fire District 1 Fire Marshal Tom Bohm says a few safety tips can
minimize the risk of starting a fire with retail fireworks.
"Have an adult there to set them off, have water or a hose, and do it on concrete if
you can," he said.
Bohm says its also the best options to buy fireworks in Oregon and not cross into
other states, making sure they are legal and safe. Its also a bad idea to light
fireworks at or near park events with professional fireworks. They can affect those around
you, be confiscated, and you could pay a fine, and, if you start a fire whether at
home, in public, or on public land, you could face consequences.
"They need to be aware that they're liable for any damage that they may cause if a
firework falls over or catches their neighbor's tree on fire to catches grass on
fire," he said. "They are liable, and that can get pretty expensive."
The fire marshal also saying adults should supervise all firework play and its the
adult who will be held liable. Fireworks vendors can sell retail fireworks June 23rd
through July 6.
Fourth of July fireworks productions expected this year in Hermiston, Stanfield, and
Community paramedic launch
June 26, 2017
Today, the community paramedic program goes online. It's a program through Umatilla County
Fire District 1 and good Shepherd Healthcare where a paramedic will visit patients at home
to provide follow-up services after a hospital visit. It's a primarily grant-funded
"Our goals are to reduce emergency department visits. It's also about reducing 30-day
re-admissions to the hospital," Umatilla County Fire District 1 chief Scott Stanton.
"It's about reducing use of our A-list ambulance for folks that don't really need an
A-list ambulance, and then it's also about creating education and awareness of chronic
Stanton says the program has been about four years in the planning. It started when he,
read an article about a similar program in Arizona.
"They were seeing these patients in their homes," Stanton says. "What it
did was reduce the demand on the ambulance and fire services down there - and the demand
on the hospital."
In addition to the benefits for the patients and for EMS, Good Shepherd Health Education
Director Juli Gregory says it fulfills one of the biggest frustrations for primary care
"People don't follow their discharge instructions," Gregory says. "That's
one of the things Jess will be talking to them about: Making sure they understand."
She says that could include items like how medications should be taken, what precautions
patients should take.
For now, the program only within the district for Good Shepherd Medical Center, but the
group says they hope to expand it to all of Umatilla and Morrow counties.
One more benefit to the program: There will be no cost for patients.
SAR rescues 13-year-old
June 26, 2017
Umatilla County Sheriffs Office rescuing a 13-year-old girl near Tollgate over the
weekend. The sheriffs office receiving a report just after 6 on Saturday evening
that 13-year-old Kate Mollinedo was missing from the Target Meadows Campground. The family
had looked for about three hours before contacting the Sheriffs Office. She was
found at 10:30 Sunday morning, about an eighth-of-a-mile from her camp. The girl reported
she fell from a tree and became disoriented and could not find her camp. She wandered
along a trail and then fell asleep after dark. In the morning she began to walk around and
yell, where she was heard. She did not require any medical attention.
Umatilla adds activities to summer meals
June 26, 2017
Another no-cost program starts today. Its the summer feeding program where children
under 18 eat for free. Umatilla is launching its program today at Umatilla High School,
McNary Heights Elementary, Marina Park, and the McNary Kiwanis Park. The Umatilla program
is run by the school district, and this year Theyre partnering with numerous local
partners to provide activities at lunch at al locations. That means children will have
something to do every day: OSU extension will do food hero tastings and recipes and good
shepherd medical group is covering safety. The district also purchased about $900 worth of
Rikkilyn Larson says they have scheduled the partner events and will fill in with the
other activities so kids will find something at each site during each meal time. Its
part of a grant from the Department of Education to enrich children over the summer. They
are looking for as many participants as possible, whether you live in Umatilla or
All the money from the reimbursement from the state as well as charging for adult
meals goes right back into the summer feeding fund for the next year, which means,
the more participants they have, the bigger the program can be the next year.
Hermiston Council agenda
June 26, 2017
Hermiston City Council talking electric meters and charter communications tonight. Two
action items on the agenda for tonights council meeting. One is to consider
authorized a contract between Hermiston Energy Services and Landis and Gyr Technology for
the purchase and installation of new meters. Its about a $1 million contract. The
second action item renews the franchise agreement with charter communications. That
meeting begins at 7 tonight at Hermiston City Hall. Find the full agenda and packet on the
Fire season could begin this weekend
June 23, 2017
Hot temperatures in Oregon will bring an early fire season that could start this weekend.
In Umatilla County, Emergency Management Director Tom Roberts says theyre concerned
about the temperatures and weather that draws people to the mountains.
"It's going to probably be a fantastic camping season, and we want everyone to be
safe up in the mountains," Roberts said. "Make sure you put your fires out and
abide by all rules and regulations so we can minimize the impacts to our forest
Roberts says wherever you stay or visit this weekend, pay attention to
guidelines, restrictions, and requirements.
It's a similar message coming out from the Oregon Department of Forestry, where Tom Fields
says we need to be aware of the high fire danger and plan accordingly.
Fields says you want to have water and a shovel nearby before you even build the campfire,
stay on improved roads (because a hot muffler can start a fire in tall grass) and keep
campfires inside fire pits.
Fire tower groundbreaking set
June 23, 2017
Umatilla County Fire District #1 and Blue Mountain Community College to break ground on a
new fire training tower next week. The ground-breaking at 2 in the afternoon on next
Thursday, thats June 29, at Fire Station #23 on Westland Road.
Approximately 47 percent of the $748,000 training tower is funded by bond dollars approved
by voters in May 2015 to enhance BMCC programs. The remaining costs are funded by UCFD.
BMCC started a fire science program three years ago, and the tower will allow students
access to hands-on training. BMCCs fire science program covers areas including fire
suppression, investigation and prevention, as well as public safety education and
OSP searching for escaped prisoners
June 21, 2017
Oregon State Police (OSP) is asking for the public's help to find two Oregon Youth
Authority teens that escaped from Camp Riverbend Youth Transitional Facility in La Grande
at around 7:50 p.m., June 20, 2017.
Escapee #1: Brittain MCAULIFFE, age 18, of Central Point, is described as a white male,
5'10", 220 pounds, stocky build, tattoos on both forearms, one described as
"Native Pride". His hair is short on the sides and the top is approximately six
inches long with ponytail. He wears glasses and was wearing a white tank top, black shorts
with a red stripe on the sides, and black and red mid top shoes.
Escapee #2: Micah WEST, age 18, of Salem, is described as a white male 5'11" 155
pounds, multiple tattoos, one is described as a derringer pistol on one arm. One is an
eagle tattoo on his chest and a cross tattoo on left forearm. West is bald and was wearing
a dark blue hoodie and blue jeans.
Anyone who identifies them is asked to not approach, use caution and immediately contact
law enforcement. Anyone with information regarding the location of MCAULIFFE and or WEST
is asked to call OSP Southern Command Center dispatch at 541-664-4600 or 9-1-1. Refer to
OSP case number SP17211022.
OSP is being assisted by Union County Sheriff's Office and the Oregon Youth Authority.
iCan Bike still needs volunteers
June 20, 2017
Hermistons iCan Bike camp is next week and theyre still in need of
volunteers. The camp teaches individuals with disabilities how to ride a conventional,
two-wheeled bicycle over the course of a five-day week.
Hermiston coordinator Cindy Middleton says volunteers only need to be able to provide 75
minutes a day for five days, and they do have multiple time slots available.
Hermistons iCan Bike Camp will be at Armand Larive Middle School from June 25 to
The camp is hosted by Hermiston Kiwanis and supported by the Hermiston School District,
the InterMountain ESD and numerous community donations. There are some limited rider
spaces available as well. For more information, email email@example.com or visit
Teen killed in rollover
June 20, 2017
A Hermiston teen killed in a car crash yesterday afternoon near Tri-Cities. Washington
State Patrol saying 18-year-old Maia Taylor was the only occupant of the Chrysler 200 when
it ran off the freeway and rolled down an embankment five miles south of Kennewick just
after 12:30 yesterday afternoon. Taylor was pronounced deceased at the scene. The cause of
the crash is still under investigation.
Stanfield raising police pay
June 20, 2017
The city of Stanfield has a meeting tonight, and the smaller city is continuing to plan
for the future. Last week, we told you about the boosted budget this year and how the city
is using those savings.
"We have things identified in the budget to use those savings, and one of those
things is to get our salaries more in line with other communities, make us more
competitive, especially when it comes to entry-level police officer salaries,"
Stanfield City Manager Blair Larson said.
Larson they increased salaries across the city to bring those more in line. While most
positions increased 2-5 percent, entry-level police officer salaries are increase from
32-50 a month to 39-hundred: an increase of 20 percent. Larson says it's because of high
turnover rates in Stanfield Police Department and a change in thinking.
"In the past, the thinking has been 'we need to compete with other cities our size'
and we should pay a wage similar to other cities our size," Larson said. "The
problem is we don't lose police officers to cities our size. We lose police officers to
Hermiston and Pendleton and to the county."
The average for police officers in Stanfield has been about 2 years, with some moving on
even sooner than that. Larson says its been a hardship for Stanfield, which also
faced controversy with its police force.
HHS could move graduation
June 15, 2017
Hermiston High School graduation could look very different next year. Hermiston High
School has about 1600 students and just graduated 332 students.
"Just a tremendous celebration, but the big challenge with that is we can't fit
everyone in the gymnasium and make that work," Superintendent Fred Maiocco said.
"We're really wrestling with that now."
Maiocco said to compensate for crowd, they offered overflow seating in the auditorium and
commons area and live broadcast the ceremony, and they also reduced the number of
graduation tickets allotted to each student. Last year, each graduate received six tickets
to give to friends and family to attend the ceremony; this year, it was five. Maiocco said
they are considering other locations and he expects the school board to review those
options this fall.
"There are not many venues that can handle that crowd. The first of the two options
are Bulldog Stadium, which is just a tremendous venue - but there's no air
conditioning," he said.
The second option within Hermiston is the rodeo grounds at the Eastern Oregon Trade and
Maiocco says theyre also looking at the feasibility of hosting graduation outside of
Hermiston, such as the Toyota Center in the Tri-Cities.
Good Shepherd taking over Gifford Medical
June 15, 2017
Gifford Medical will be joining the Good Shepherd Medical Group as of July 1. Good
Shepherd spokesman Nick Bejarano confirming the move and saying the medical group will
work with Dr. Joseph Gifford and his team to increase access for both urgent and primary
care. Gifford will continue to see patients on a part-time basis, and the company has said
it plans to retain all employees and patients.
HSD taps Brad Wayland to replace Mike Kay
June 15, 2017
The Hermiston School District naming Brad Wayland as the Hermiston School Districts
new director of operations. He replaces Mike Kay, who is leaving the district on June
30th. He is retiring but has accepted a position in Walla Walla. Wayland could start July
15th with school board approval. Wayland currently the president of Sentry Security
Consultants in Hawthorne, Nevada. He has served as the director of facilities and
operations for the Central Valley School District in Washington and is a retired U.S. Air
Force lieutenant colonel.
Houfmuse charged with murder
June 14, 2017
Tyree Houfmuse charged with murder.
The 35-year-old arrested Monday on charges of felon in possession of a weapon. The
Umatilla County District Attorneys Office adding charges of murder and first-degree
manslaughter yesterday in relation to the death of James Cragun in May. After a widespread
search, Houfmuse arrested in Umatilla on Monday during a traffic stop. He has been charged
in two previous shootings, one of which left a man paralyzed.
Houfmuse remains in Umatilla County Jail on a bail of 1.1 million.
He is expected to appear at a preliminary hearing slated for June 20.
Chamber turns down Carnegie offer
June 14, 2017
The Hermiston Chamber of Commerce will not move into the lower level of the Carnegie
Building. Chamber Director Debbie Pedro says it comes after feedback from the board and
"We listened to our members, to the community, that they thought this was not a great
place for the chamber offices," Pedro said. "It's not accessible, and, they want
us to have easy access for travelers and people new to the community."
The City of Hermiston earlier this year voted not to renew the contract that designates
the chamber as manager of the Hermiston Conference Center, requiring the chamber to find a
new location at the end of this year. The city offered the chamber space in the Carnegie
Building; however, the Chamber Board of directors has decided it is not an appropriate
location for the organization and are actively seeking a temporary site.
The chamber will also continue to function as the Hermiston Visitors Welcome Center,
offering information about the community and about chamber members.
Pedro says the chamber is potentially open to using the upper floor of the Carnegie
Building; however, that space is slated to be renovated and would not be available for
about two years.
Miss any Odds & Ends shows this week? Click here to listen to
Monday's interview with the Boardman Chamber of Commerce and Parks and Recreation or here for Tuesday's interview with the Hermiston School District.
Budget meetings tonight
June 12, 2017
The Hermiston School Board meeting on Monday in the boardroom at the district offices.
Theyll open a budget hearing at 6:30 and are expected to approve the budget document
later during the meeting. The meeting also includes the first reading on approval of
multiple policy changes, hires and acceptance of resignations, as it is the end of the
here to see the full agenda for tonight's School Board meeting.
Hermiston City Council also has budgets on the brain tonight. The proposed budget for the
City of Hermiston on the agenda tonight, along with multiple related resolutions. The
budget request is just more than $57.3 million.
The council also considering accepting a bid from national Meter and Automation to remove
old water meters and install new ones.Hermiston also announcing vacancies on the Hispanic
Advisory Committee and the Library Board.
After the regular council meeting, the Hermiston Urban Renewal Agency meeting to adopt its
budget as well. That budget request is $1.6 million.
The full agenda available here.
Schools prep for construction
June 12, 2017
Hermiston High School graduated its class of 2017 over the weekend, and with school out
or close to it local districts turning attention to construction.
Construction projects going on this summer in Umatilla and in Echo, both funded through
bonds. In Umatilla, roofing underway right now at Umatilla High School and McNary Heights
Elementary. Superintendent Heidi Sipe says they expect to have design work for Clara
Brownell Middle School completed by the end of the summer.
In Echo, small projects started in the fall and the larger projects on its school
expansion could begin in the next two weeks. Superintendent Raymon Smith says you can
watch facebook for the announcement of the groundbreaking ceremony.
In Hermiston, the district expected to begin demolition on the Umatilla County Fairgrounds
next week, but Executive Director of Operations Mike Kay says they didnt receive
favorable bids so theyre changing the scope of the work and going back out to bid
with the intention of having the parking lot completed sometime in the fall.
Paving put on hold
June 12, 2017
The Oregon Department of Transportation is holding off on its paving work on U.S. Hwy. 730
Nighttime paving taking place between Southshore Drive west of Umatilla and McNary. Now
the work has been put on a temporary hold, removing the driving delays and restriction
until the fall. Temporary striping will be applied to the areas that received new asphalt,
and the roadwork signs will be covered.
The contractor is scheduled to return and finish the paving work in the September or
October timeframe. Travelers are reminded to continue to drive with extra caution through
all work zones and watch for paving activities gearing back up along U.S. 730 in a few
Miss Friday's Odds & Ends Show?
June 9, 2017
Click here to hear the interviews with R. Lee Friese of Inland
Northwest Musicians and Maria Duron, communications officer for the Hermiston School
HPD launches 'Operation Chill'
June 8, 2017
The Hermiston Police Department bringing back Operation Chill. Starting this week,
Hermiston officers to begin ticketing young people they observe doing good
deeds or exhibiting positive behavior. Through a partnership with 7-Eleven, that ticket, a
certificate for a free, small Slurpee at 7-Eleven.
"We're very grateful that 7-Eleven has this program," said Hermiston Police
Chief Jason Edmiston. "It may seem very minor in the grand scheme of things, but any
kind of positive interaction we can have with the youth in our community in a positive
setting is a good thing."
Young people can earn tickets by wearing seatbelts and bicycle helmets, using crosswalks
and helping out the community as well as other safe and positive activities. Edmiston says
the program gives the officers positive community interactions when much of policework is
"People don't normally call us when something good has happened," he said.
Through programs like Operation Chill, they can interact with youth in a positive way.
Officers have received the slurpee tickets and will be handing them out over the course of
Friday events: EOTEC board, student house, BMCC concert
June 8, 2017
Starting off at 7 in the morning, a meeting of the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center
Authority Board. That meeting at 7 in the morning Friday at the EOTEC Event Center on
Airport Road. The agenda including discussion and possible approval of a General Manager
Job Announcement the Hermiston City Council and Umatilla County Commissioners
agreeing by consensus last week to moving forward on the the manager position Theyll
also have a budget committee meeting immediately following.
You can find the full
Across Hermiston, tomorrow afternoon the public open house for Fieldstone #3, thats
the student-build home in the Columbia Basin Student Homebuilders program. The program
involves high school students from multiple local high schools in the physical
construction and sale of a home. This is the third the program has completed, and you can
walk through the home and interact with some of the students. That open house is from 1 to
6 tomorrow at 875 SW Angus Court in Hermiston.
In Pendleton, The BMCC Concert Choir will perform Sing On! this Friday. The
family-friendly performance is FREE and open to the public. You can Contact Jami Moore,
541-278-5167, with questions or for more information. Thatll be in the Bob Clapp
Memorial Theater. It begins at 7.
Delays if youre heading to Tollgate this week.
The Oregon Department of Transportation currently repaving a section of Highway 204,
thats the Tollgate Highway, near the Weston junction. Work expected to be completed
within the next two weeks, but during the repaving, travelers can expect delays up to 20
minutes. Work taking place between 6 in the morning and six in the evening, Monday through
Morrow County DA opposes grand jury bill
June 7, 2017
Morrow County District Attorney Justin Nelson speaking out against a bill moving through
the Oregon Legislature
Nelson says right now grand jury isnt recorded. Facts are presented before seven
community members who decide whether there is enough evidence that a case should move
"It has to be very quickly because the person's in custody no more than five days,
and in that time, we have a very concerned, scared victim," Nelson said. "The
concern now is of course that everything that victim or our witnesses say is going to be
recorded as another way to attack them at trial."
Nelson says he is also concerned about funding for purchasing of recording equipment and
staff to run the equipment because poor recording quality could come back on the DAs
Nelson has testified in Salem against the legislative action and could head back again
Click here for the full interview with Morrow County DA Justin
Nelson from Tuesday's Odds & Ends show.
School district seeks bond feedback
June 6, 2017
Voters rejected a proposed $104 million bond last month, and the Hermiston School District
wants to hear why. The bond was slated to replace two Hermiston elementary schools, build
a new school, and expand Hermiston High School, among other smaller projects.
Communications officer Maria Duron says the link allows local residents to provide honest
communication to the district about why they voted for or against it and what future plans
If you visit the districts website, you can click on the link provided on the banner
the link here. The link will be active until 11 p.m. on June 11th.
Well have more with Duron and about the bond on Fridays Odds & Ends
program on AM 1360 KOHU.
Odds & Ends: Monday, June 5
On Monday, Jennifer hosted Dave Hughes, executive director of Agape House and Martha's
House, and Hermiston Library Director Mark Rose. Listen here.
Police seeking suspect in shooting
June 5, 2017
Hermiston Police issuing a warrant for Tyree Houfmuse for alleged involvement in the
death of James Craygun. Craygun shot and killed at his residence in Hermiston on May
27th. Houfmuse is 6-foot-one, 240 pounds with tattoos of flowers, animals, letters and
names. His last known address was in Tacoma, Washington. Anyone with any information on
the location of Houfmuse asked to contact the Hermiston Police Department at 541-567-5519.
Police Chief Jason Edmiston saying in the statement a large amount of physical evidence
has been seized and will be processed by the Oregon State Police crime lab. He says the
department working with the Umatilla County District Attorneys Office to try to
bring closure to the event.
Umatilla new council members, downtown plan
June 5, 2017
Tomorrow night, the unveiling of Umatilla Together, a framework plan for
development in the city of Umatilla. For six months, a team of Portland State University
students and the City of Umatilla have been working together to create the plan, which is
focused on the downtown core area. The students will present Umatilla Together from 5:30
to 7 tomorrow at Umatilla City Hall. Councilman Mark Ribich, who has worked on the
committee with downtown revitalization, says they invite everyone from Umatilla and
surrounding communities to come out.
"We've partnered with the Portland State University team, and they've come in and
they're helping us do
a vision plan of what we can do to revitalize the downtown area," Ribich said.
The event an opportunity to see the final plan, hear the final report and share
comments. Light refreshments to be served and Spanish translation services provided.
After the celebration, Umatilla has its regular city council meeting. That begins at 7.
The meeting begins with the interviews of potential city council members. The city does
have two openings and will be interviewing eight candidates.
Also on the agenda, resolutions adoption the 2017-2018 budget and other required
materials, a lease for the city to allow the Umatilla Rural Fire Protection District use
of space at 300 Sixth Street, thats the former city hall and now the Umatilla safety
center, and a service contract between the City of Umatilla and the Umatilla Chamber of
Commerce. The document requires the chamber to operate the visitors center, provide
business services and host a certain number of community events in exchange for 50 percent
of the annual transient room tax receipts. That meeting begins at 7 tomorrow at Umatilla
Hear more in the full Odds&Ends interview with the Chamber's
Lori Kimbell and City Councilman Mark Ribich.
EOTEC to have manager
June 2, 2017
The Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center will hire a manager. That decision coming out of
last nights joint meeting between the Hermiston City Council and the Umatilla County
Commissioners, both stakeholders in the project. The manager could be paid as much as
During the meeting, the council also approving a letter of support for the Legislative
Transportation Package. The proposal would generate new revenue for transportation
projects through a combination of increases in the fuel tax, vehicle registration fees,
vehicle title fees, a tax on bicycles, and a payroll tax. It would raise about $8 billion
over 10 years.
Graduations this weekend
June 2, 2017
This is graduation weekend for multiple local schools.
In Morrow County, graduations at three high schools all on Saturday. Riverside kicks off
at 10 in the morning, Irrigon at noon, and Heppners high school graduation is at 2
in the afternoon.
"It's a very exciting day for them, an exciting day for staff, for families and
friends of the graduates," said Morrow County Superintendent Dirk Dirkson. "It's
a once-in-a-lifetime event, and we're very proud of those students."
Umatilla also celebrating its high school commencement on Saturday. Thatll be at 10
a.m.Umatilla Superintendent Heidi Sipe saying the class of 2017 including Five students
will graduate with an associate of arts Oregon transfer degree, or AAOT
"This is the first year that we have five students graduating from Umatilla High
School with their full AAOT and high school diploma at the same time, so we are just
thrilled with this years seniors," Sipe said. "A lot of really great kids...One
of the Most academically successful classes we have ever had."
Odds&Ends: Stanfield Summer Feeding, Summer Reading and Hermiston
Parks and Recreation
Find out more about upcoming events and programs in Hermiston and Stanfield in Wednesday's Odds&Ends Program.
UCSO DUI event results
June 1, 2017
Umatilla County Sheriffs Office releasing results from its Memorial Day patrol
event. Theyre calling it a great success: five drivers arrested for driving under
the influence over the four-day event. Twenty-nine other drivers cited or warned for
traffic violation. Of the five individuals arrested, all had blood-alcohol content of .13
or .14 percent, above the legal limit of .08. Four of the five were Hermiston residents.
Law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon participated in the nationwide event, in an
effort to get more impaired drivers off the street, and save lives that would otherwise be
lost. The extra patrols funded through a grant from the Oregon State Sheriffs
Hermiston ready for new traffic lights
June 1, 2017
Bids opening in the next two weeks for Two traffic lights going in Hermiston this year,
both along 11th Street. One is at the corner of Elm and 11th near Good Shepherd Medical
Center. The city and the hospital each kicking in about 400,000 for the project, the
Oregon Department of Transportation contributing 800,000 to fund the $1.6 million project.
"That project, we're really excited about it because not only will it clean up the
intersection there, which I think everyone in town is familiar with, but also the big
piece that the hospital is excited about is we're going to be adding a left-turning lane
into the hospital entrance there on 11th," said Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan.
Morgan says to facilitate the turning lane, theyre also widening Elm Avenue to add a
center turn lane, which bumps up the cost of the project. The second traffic light going
in at 11th and Orchard by the school district offices and Last Chance Tavern. Morgan says
the two projects were combined both for financial benefits and for traffic impacts.
The project expected to begin this fall and be completed in the spring of 2018.
Also in this budget year, they hope to finish the West Highland Trail and potentially
skate park across from the police station.
HSD announces new board member
June 1, 2017
The Hermiston School District has a new board member. Mark Gomolski elected May 16th as a
write-in candidate for position 3. District staff congratulating the Chicago native after
election results certified yesterday. Gomolski will replace longtime board member Don
Rankin. Rankin opted not to seek re-election after serving 12 years and no one filed for
his position to appear on the May ballots. Gomolski expected to be sworn in during the
June 12th board meeting.
Train strikes pedestrian; prompts safety message
May 31, 2017
On Sunday evening, a man struck and killed by a Union Pacific Train in Baker County. The
33-year-old Idaho man had been walking west on the train tracks toward Huntington. A
release from the Baker County Sheriffs Office says the man was wearing headphones
and may not have heard the horn and bell from the train. The conductor and engineer began
emergency braking procedures but the train did not stop in time, striking Kristoffer
"Most people don't know that a train traveling roughly 55 miles per hour takes a more
than a mile to come to a complete stop," says Justin Jacobs, spokesman for Union
Pacific. "Trains are not like cars. There's no swerving."
Jacobs says safety is a priority both for staff at the company and for the public.
He says the Your life is worth the wait and other education campaigns to
encourage safe practices.
"We like to use the mantra, 'See tracks, think train.' When people see tracks, they
should always think first and foremost that there could be a train coming and take the
Jacobs says the only legal place to cross railroad tracks is at a marked and designated
U-P offering counseling for both the locomotive engineer and conductor.
The Baker County case remains under investigation. Anyone with additional information
asked to contact the Baker County Sheriffs Office.
Highway 730 Roadwork
May 31, 2017
Nighttime roadwork along a section of U.S. 730 (Columbia River Highway) continuing over
the next several weeks. This and next week crews will be adding rumble strips and striping
to newly laid asphalt between McNary and Diagonal Road.
Starting around June 12 sections of the highway between Southshore Drive and McNary will
receive pavement upgrades. The paving work will extend from Southshore Drive to Powerline
Road) and from mile posts 183 to 186 (Yerxa Ave to McNary). The paving operation will skip
downtown Umatilla and the area around the U.S. 730/I-82 Interchange.
Current activities are expected to be completed around mid-June, with pavement upgrades
around the interchange constructed in September. Pavement upgrades in downtown Umatilla
are scheduled to be completed under a separate contract in 2018. The current construction
work expected mostly at nighttime between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. to reduce impacts to
travelers. Motorists can expect lane closures, flaggers, possible pilot cars and delays of
up to twenty minutes throughout the evening and early morning hours. Traffic fines are
double the amount in all work zones.
Its a $2.5 million project.
Odds & Ends: Mark Morgan
Want to know more about what's coming up for the City of Hermiston? Listen
to the interview with Hermiston Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan for more.
Shooting kills 1 in Hermiston
May 30, 2017
A man dead after a shooting Friday, May 26, in Hermiston. The shooting reported at 2:30
a.m. in an apartment on 13th place in Hermiston. The first officer to respond found the
victim non-responsive. He began CPR, but the work of officers and EMS unsuccessful, and
38-year-old James John Cragun, known as Jimmy, pronounced dead at the scene. A release
from Hermiston Police identifying Tyree Houfmuse as a person of interest in the shooting.
The 34-year-old previously charged in a shooting in Kennewick in 2014. Anyone with
information about the incident asked to call 567-5519.
Officers to consult with the District Attorney today to determine the next steps in the
A gofundme page has been set up for Craguns final expenses.
NHANES picks Umatilla County
May 30, 2017
Umatilla County one of 15 counties nationwide selected for this years National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Its an annual screening that dictates
national trends and policy for groups like the CDC.
Juli Gregory, with Good Shepherd and the Healthy Communities Coalition, says it is a
random selection but only 15 counties are picked nationwide each year. She says letters
will go out in August to households within the communities chosen for the survey. She says
dont throw away the notification.
"One of the things we want to try and ensure is if you get one of those letters or
get contacted in some way, that it is legitimate," Gregory said.
To choose participants, the group will selected households. NHANES interviewers will talk
to the family, ask a few questions and select participants. The participants will receive
free screenings from dental to blood work, as well as a stipend for the time spent in the
screenings. The information will join the NHANES archives, which date back to 1960. Almost
200,000 people have participated.
"It's exciting to be able to be able to have some input into national policy,"
The trailers will arrive in late August, and the surveys will start in September .
UCSO amps up Memorial Day patrols
May 26, 2017
The Umatilla County Sheriffs Office kicking up patrols over the Memorial Day
weekend, thats today through Monday. Deputies will focus on intoxicated and
UCSO says there were more than 10,200 alcohol-involved driving fatalities in the United
States in 2015, thats a an average of one death every 51 minutes. 363 of those
fatalities happened in Oregon.
During the high-visibility event, theyll have extra deputies on patrol, both using
marked and unmarked patrol vehicles. If you see a driver you expect is intoxicated,
contact the Umatilla county sheriffs office.
Travel over this Memorial Day weekend is expected to reach the second highest level on
"We're looking at about 6.5 million people in the West traveling," says AAA's
Marie Dodds. "That's up almost 3 1/2 percent compared to last year."
Dodds says the improving economy is allowing more people to travel.
DVES celebrates the Veggie Derby
May 26, 2017
Fourth-graders at Desert View Elementary yesterday participated in a single-elimination
derby, watching 106 vehicles roll down a ramp to travel the distance of 10, 16, 20 feet.
Students send their vehicles down a ramp in the Veggie Derby at Desert View
The twist? All the vehicles were made of fruits and vegetables. Teacher Heather Mills says
its a science investigation project where students could use fruits, vegetables,
bamboo skewers, toothpicks and rubber bands.
"They (students) were supposed to hypothesis how far they would travel down the ramp,
so today is race day to measure the hypothesis," she said.
The vehicles used gourds and carrots, cucumbers, watermelons or an ear of corn for the
body. Students Lynnette and Mallory say the design process started with a trip to the
grocery store. Lynnette ended with an eggplant body and lime wheels, Mallory with a
squash, oranges and grapefruit.
DVES fourth-graders compared designs while waiting for the next elimination in
the Veggie Derby on Thursday.
One student, Jordan, had a vehicle travel 18 feet in its first run. The fourth-grader says
he designed his with weight in mind using full, heavy oranges for the wheels
"I tried to pick something that would make it heavy, and I tried to pick a body that
would withstand the heaviness," Jordan said.
At the end of the elimination, fourth-grader Lucio beat out Blake for the finals. His
vehicle made of a cucumber body with lemon and lime wheels.
After the derby, students have to reflect on their vehicle and provide an explanation for
why it performed the way it did. This is the second year theyve done the Veggie
Derby. The derby will return next year, and Mills says its likely become an annual
UEC Power Outage
May 26, 2017
A power outage yesterday in Hermiston. Umatilla Electric saying a the outage caused by an
underground fault in the area of 12th and Orchard. About 1600 customers out of power, but
all customers restoring by 2:19 in the afternoon.
Mosquito season already worse than usual
May 25, 2017
The worst mosquito season in 20 years has arrived in Umatilla County. West Umatilla
Mosquito Control District manager Randy Gerard says the district began spraying in march,
but the mosquito numbers have picked up in the past month.
"In my 21 seasons as a mosquito control employee, I've never seen it quite like
this," he said.
Gerard says they've received more calls in the past week than they did all last year, and
the increased numbers have everything to do with weather and water.
The wind then hampers the control effort. Aerial spraying going on tomorrow evening in
Umatilla, Morrow, and Benton Counties to try to knock down the current populations.
Itll be after sunset, around 8:45. Thats weather permitting. 10,000 acres
targeted including the areas North and East of the Hermiston city limits, highway 730
between Umatilla and the Morrow County Line and portions of East Loop Road. Ground trucks
to be used in city limits.
Gerard says the mosquitoes out now are nuisance mosquitoes, which are aggressive, but they
are preparing for the disease-carrying vector mosquitoes to come out later this summer.
If you want to report mosquito populations,. Call the mosquito control hotline, leave a
message with your name, phone number, and address. That's 567-5201.
If you'd like to hear Gerard on the Odds&Ends program, click
HSD picks Jacobsma to lead Desert View
May 24, 2017
The Hermiston School district has picked a new principal for Desert View Elementary. Laura
Jacobsma chosen for that role. Shes currently an instructional coach at Oakridge
Elementary in Oakridge. District Superintendent Fred Maiocco will recommend the school
board approve Jacobsma on Monday, June 12. If selected, shell begin July 1.
Mosquito spray Thursday
May 24, 2017
The West Umatilla Mosquito Control District doing targeted aerial spraying after sunset
tomorrow. Thats weather permitting. 10,000 acres targeted including the areas North
and East of the Hermiston city limits, highway 730 between Umatilla and the Morrow County
Line and portions of East Loop Road. Ground trucks to be used in city limits. The mosquito
district saying this spring theyve already surpassed the number of service requests
than it received all of last year.
Dirk Dirkson on Odds & Ends
On Tuesday's Odds & Ends Program, Jennifer talks with Dirk Dirkson, Superintendent of
the Morrow County School District. Listen here.
Main Street closure Wednesday
May 24, 2017
Hermiston's Main Street will be closed today for a downtown cleanup event. It could last
until 3 p.m. The closure will affect Main Street between Highway 395 and Third Street.
Businesses will still be open and parking available in back parking lots and all side
Miss Monday's Odds & Ends Show?
Jennifer talks with Marika Sitz, coordinator of the Oregon Water Coalition, and JR Cook,
director of the Northeast Water Association about water issues in the Columbia basin and
the upcoming annual meeting in Hermiston. Listen here.
Students present research tonight
May 23, 2017
Tonight, a Research Night presented by Hermiston High School students or
Oregon Teacher Pathway. It starts at 6 p.m. in the HHS Library, and students will be
presenting original research through a gallery walk. Juan Rodriguez says its a
chance for the students in the teaching class to present the research theyve been
working on all year.
"It's a good opportunity for community members to come out and see what our students'
thoughts are on the different issues that are in our school system and how they think they
would solve them," Rodriguez said.
The presentations include topics how does music affect academic performance and how GPA
requirements affect student athletes. Six students are presenting, and Rodriguez says the
students have crafted posters similar to you would see at a college symposium.
The Research Night in the library at Hermiston high school. You can contact HHS for more
Fatal fire near Milton-Freewater
May 22, 2017
A fire-related death in Milton-Freewater early Monday morning. The Umatilla County
Sheriffs Office saying Marcos Jesus Gutierrez-Rodriguez identified as the victim of
an early morning outdoor fire under the Eastside Bridge along the banks of the Walla Walla
River. He was 29. Law enforcement from Milton-Freewater responding to the area about 1:35
a.m. for a fire; after putting out the fire, they discovered the body among the debris.
The Sheriffs Office saying the location appeared to be a campsite with canned food,
cooking and eating utensils and bedding materials. Evidence at the scene suggesting a camp
or cooking fire spread through the area while he was sleeping, and theres no
evidence of foul play.
Wind contest sending RHS students to Anaheim
May 19, 2017
Next week, four students from Boardmans Riverside High School plan to fly to Anaheim
and compete in the KidWind Challenge, a wind turbine design challenge for students. The
Boardman team theyre called Team charge took first at a local
competition their school hosted and are now fundraising to make it to Anaheim for the
national event May 24 and 25th.
In the competition, students design a wind turbine and put it against other designs to try
and produce the most power.
Martin Chavez says Team charge studied existing windmills and spoke with technicians in
creating their design, and teammate Andrew Barker says he first realized they had a shot
at winning with their design at the local competition.
"When I realized we were going to be able to do something with this competition was
at the competition," Barker says. "We had a fairly highly scoring on how much
power we produced."
In addition to Chavez and Barker, the team also includes Melissa Smith and Sterling
The students have washed cars every weekend and are more than halfway toward their goal of
$4000. They say they're excited about the opportunity and none have been to Anaheim
For more information contact Riverside High School or visit the team's
2nd annual Fiesta de Salud this Sunday
May 19, 2017
Sunday, the second annual Fiesta de Salud at Mirasol Family Health Center.
"We will have live band, we will have a mariachi, lots of prizes, and fiesta foods is
also hosting $1 tacos," says Justine Taylor. "We're really excited about it
because last year we had over 800 people come and attend, and this year, we're hoping
we'll have more."
Immunizations, sports physicals, and well-child checks available whether you are or
are not a patient at Mirasol. Theyll have zumba classes, yoga classes, kids games,
and car seat clinics. Local community partners, from the fire department through to the
county health department, will also be there offering information and family activities.
Fiesta de Salud runs from 12 to 4 this Sunday at Mirasol Health Clinic in Hermiston.
Miss today's Odds & Ends Show?
Jennifer talks with Echo Middle School students Elliot Glenn, Ashley Mack, Caiden Harris
and Echo Superintendent Raymon Smith about the Little Mermaid Musical as well as BMCC
Hermiston Director J Keys. Listen here.
Hermiston schools consider enrollment
May 17, 2017
The Hermiston School Districts proposed bond fell short on this weeks election
day, but district staff saying theyll still need to find solutions for the
districts growing enrollment. Assistant Superintendent Tricia Mooney says enrollment
continues to follow the growth trends.
"As of May 1, we were at 5,609 students K-12," she said. "That is down
slightly from what we had last month by about six students - but above what we had this
month last year by 160 students."
For the enrollment dip at the end of the school year, Mooney says those six students may
be those who have completed programs and graduated.
Hermiston Board members and district staff have said they'll work together to seek
solutions to how to address enrollment and growth challenges.
Statewide, voters approved 10 school bonds while five failed to pass. The largest, for
Portland Public Schools, came in at $790 million. The bonds that did not pass were in
Hermiston, Ontario, South Umpqua, Yoncalla and Coos Bay. In Coos Bay, the bond failed by
EOU, BMCC sign partnership
May 17, 2017
In other education news, yesterday afternoon, Eastern Oregon University and Blue Mountain
Community College inking a deal with co-enrollment and co-admission at each institution,
which means students will complete a new joint application and receive academic advising,
tutoring, and library access from each BMCC and EOU. Tuition and fees will be assessed
based on courses taken at each school. BMCC President Cam Preus says EOU is BMCCs
highest transfer partner and this eases the process for student while strengthening the
relationship between the two eastern Oregon institutions.
Kay moving to Walla Walla
May 17, 2017
A release yesterday from Walla Walla Public Schools. Mike Kay has been hired as director
of facilities and operations for the Washington School District. The announcement follows
news that Kay will leave the Hermiston School District this summer. He has worked in
Hermiston since 2004 and is currently the executive director of operations
Note: Our apologies for the gap in news posted on this page during a technology
UPDATE May 10: Hanford reports tunnel cave-in
May 10, 2017
Work began last night to repair a cave-in at a tunnel in the Hanford Site in Richland.
The U.S. Department of Energy activating emergency operations protocol in Hanford Site
yesterday after a cave-in hit a tunnel used to store contaminated materials near a former
chemical processing facility.
"Crews are still on scene assessing the situation - too early to know what caused the
roof to cave in. We may not know that for some time," Spokesman Destry Henderson
In a statement, Henderson say work began about 8 last night to stabilize and fill the
opening over the tunnel. Theyll continue filling soil through the day. Theyve
also had some work cancellations for employees in the affected area.
Workers near at Hanford were advised to shelter in-place as a precaution yesterday while
the facility testing for airborne radiation. Access to the east area of the site
restricted. Staff at the Hanford Site saying there are no reports of injuries, no evidence
of contamination outside of the tunnel and no action required for residents of Benton and
Franklin counties or anywhere outside that area. The affected tunnel leads to the
Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility and is typically covered by about eight feet of
soil. Workers this morning noticed a depression between two and four feet deep
over the tunnel during routine surveillance, prompting the emergency response. The
tunnels hold railcars of highly contaminated materials, backed into the tunnels as a
disposal method with reports saying decontaminating the rail cars would cause extreme
safety hazards for workers
Emergency drill in Hermiston
May 10, 2017
On May 11, an emergency drill and emergency notification system test. It will start around
6 in the evening and will include emergency vehicles, police vehicles and ambulances. As
well, some Hermiston residents may receive a text message or phone call notifying them
that the emergency drill is taking place no response needed. Umatilla County
Emergency Management asking residents not to call 911 unless they need assistance from
emergency services. If a real emergency were to happen, residents would receive
information and emergency instructions.
Umatilla taking council applications
May 10, 2017
In the city of Umatilla, theyre still looking for applicants to fill two open
positions on the Umatilla City Council. City Manager Russ Pelleburg says those spots could
be open to anyone who has lived in Umatilla for more than an year."We'd encourage
anyone who's interested in serving on city council to come by City Hall and pick up the
appropriate paperwork," he said. "I think (a good candidate) it's just someone
that truly wants to be engaged."
At the meeting in June, the council will interview those who have applied and pick two
members to serve. You can get more information and apply at Umatilla City Hall.
Parking lot closure at Good Shepherd
May 8, 2017
Starting today, May 8, parking lot closures expected at Good Shepherd Medical Center. The
first half of the main parking lot closing as part of the construction project, making
parking in front of the hospital scarce. Red zones are designed for patients, family and
visitors. Its part of the Good
Shepherd Medical Plaza North Wing Expansion and Campus Renewal project that
doesn include 4,100 tons of asphalt to create new parking lots and repave the existing, as
well as changing the flow of traffic.
School Board, City Council meet
May 8, 2017
Tonight, meetings for both the Hermiston School District and Hermiston City Council.
The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Hermiston City Hall. The agenda includes amending
the contract between the city and the chamber of commerce through the end of the calendar
year, approving the council goal setting report and considering re-striping parking places
from parallel to diagonal on Second Street between Main Street and Hurlburt Avenue. The
council and city manager will also have a work session on the citys reorganization
plan at 6 before the regular meeting.
Find the agenda for the meeting here.
The school district meeting begins at 6:30 in the boardroom at the District Offices on
11th Street. During the meeting, the district to declare Teacher Appreciation Week,
discuss flex and hybrid learning, and approve a contract with the districts teachers
thats the licensed employees. Theyll also consider raising the prices
of school lunches by a dime across the board and approving the 2017-18 district calendar.
link for the School Board agenda.
Odds & Ends Program
May 3, 2017
On this Wednesday edition of the Odds & Ends Program, our guests were Cindy Middleton,
Rian Middleton, and Sydnay Seavert talking about the iCanBike program and Cecili Longhorn,
librarian at the Stanfield Public Library, talking about events going on in the Stanfield
community - and with the library. Listen here.
U-P rail work ramps up in Hermiston
May 4, 2017
Crews are out and about on the rail lines through Hermiston today, and Union-Pacific says
its part of a track maintenance program thats replacing 10,000 railroad ties
in Umatilla County.
"The specific project that folks are likely seeing right now in the Hermiston area is
a railroad tie replacement project where we have a crew out there replacing roughly 10,000
railroad ties and upgrading that line," says U-P representative Justin Jacobs.
Jacobs says work in this region began on April 24 and could continue through mid-May,
although not all of that work will be within the city of Hermiston.
The total project is running from Oakridge to Portland to re lace more than 102,000
railroad ties. Flaggers stationed at affected intersections, holding traffic during
transportation of materials and equipment.
"Please take extra precaution when you're on those locations," Jacobs says.
"At the end of the day, this is really to make the railroad more safe and efficient
to transport the goods and services folks need there in Oregon."
Its a $14.3 million dollar project, and one of the main recommendations from Union
Pacific: Pay attention and keep safe.
Hermiston man charged with sex with 12-year-old
May 4, 2017
Umatilla County Sheriffs Office arresting a man for alleged sexual assault.
24-year-old Elias Nava Flores, from Hermiston, arrested on charges of first-degree rape,
sodomy, and unlawful possession of methamphetamine. Flores allegedly had sexual contact
with a child younger than 12, according to a press release. Hes lodged at the
Umatilla County jail.
GSCHSF looking for members
May 3, 2017
The Good Shepherd Community Health Foundation has a name in the community, but a new group
is just getting its feet: The Good Shepherd Community Health Student Foundation.
"Because this is our first year of the foundation, we're just looking to grow and
expand with more recruitment," Student foundation member Canden Gutierrez said.
"We're in a recruitment process right now to build our foundation with new
The student foundation supplements and supports the foundation as well as providing
leadership opportunities for high school and college students. That also lends itself to
They are actively recruiting members right now, looking for about 20 members in its first
year. Interested members must be a sophomore in high school through to any full-time
college student. The group meets monthly at Good Shepherd Medical Center.
The student foundation does have information up on the website for the adult foundation.
You can also email GSCHSF16@gmail.com
For more information, you can contact Liz Marvin, College Bound Coordinator for Hermiston
High School, or Jacelyn Keys at BMCC for more information.
Dufloth new Umatilla mayor
May 3, 2017
Daren Dufloth the new mayor of Umatilla. The Umatilla City Council appointing Dufloth last
night to fill the rest of the term Dave Trott was elected to. Trott resigned in March.
Dufloth has lived in Umatilla for 19 years. He is a business owner, former city councilman
and a volunteer with local schools and Babe Ruth baseball. He had previously run for mayor
once before, losing to Karen Steen, who served three months of her term.
Well have more with Dufloth later this week.
During the meeting last night, the council also declaring two vacancies: one for David
Lougee and one for Mary Dedrick, who stepped down after the meeting.
Alleged shooter arrested
May 2, 2017
Law enforcement filling North First Place yesterday afternoon in a high-risk arrest of
26-year-old Cesar Jimenez. Police from two counties bringing charges against the Pendleton
man, who has been arrested.
Morrow County Sheriffs Office receiving a report of a man treated for gunshot wounds
later Saturday evening at Good Shepehrd Medical Center. The victim, a 33-year-old man from
Boardman, had received two non-life threatening gunshot wounds while at a home on Frontage
Road and the suspect was Cesar Jimenez. According to a press release from the
Morrow County Sheriffs office, the Morrow County incident began Jimenez active
Saturday, which also included incidents in Umatilla and in Hermiston where shots were
Police saying Jimenez brandishing a rifle at a home in Hermiston on Saturday afternoon and
began a fight with a former girlfriend before firing several rounds into the tires of a
Honda Accord with an adult and three children inside. There were no injuries at
Police coordinated to close off Old River Road in Hermisotn yesterday afternoon to detain
Jimenez. The firearm used in the shooting incidents was found in his possession.
Jimenez in the Umatilla County Jail on charges of:
1 count of - MENACING (SIMPLE ASSAULT) [Misdemeanor] Bail: $5000
1 count of - UNLAWFUL USE OF A WEAPON (POSSESS ILLEGALLY) Bail: $10000
1 count of - FELON IN POSSESSION WEAPON Bail: $10000
1 count of - CARRYING OF CONCEALED WEAPONS [Misdemeanor] Bail: $2500
1 count of - ROBBERY I (OTHER) [Felony] Bail: $50000
1 count of - ATTEMPTED MURDER [Felony] Bail: $250000
1 count of - ASSAULT I [Felony] Bail: $250000
1 count of - UNLAWFUL POSSESS FIREARM Bail: $5000
1 count of - UNLAWFUL USE OF A WEAPON (SHOOT IN PROHIBITED AREA) Bail: $10000
1 count of - MENACING (SIMPLE ASSAULT) Bail: $5000
1 count of - UNLAWFUL USE OF A WEAPON (POSSESS ILLEGALLY) Bail: $10000
1 count of - RECKLESS ENDANGERING Bail: $5000
1 count of - CRIMINAL MISCHIEF II (NOT VANDALISM) Bail: $5000
1 count of - FELON IN POSSESSION WEAPON Bail: $10000
1 count of - POST PRISON SUPV SANCTION [Felony] Bail: $0
1 count of - FAIL TO APPEAR - MISDEMEANOR [Misdemeanor] Bail: $20000
Total Bail: $647500
County, HSD prepare to close fairgrounds
May 1, 2017
Today is May 1, and that means, the event list is growing short for the Umatilla County
"We've got our fair board diligently working to get the last remnants of materials
and equipment and other items off the old fairgrounds and getting the steps and the
process set up to start fair 2017," said Umatilla county commissioner Larry Givens
Sold by the county years ago, the fairgrounds property being prepared for the turnover to
the Hermiston School District. Demolition was held off and an extension granted for use of
the Hermiston Senior Center and the Farm-City Pro Rodeo arena. That extension covering
events, including the college rodeo that took place this weekend.
The rodeo is also one of the last for the old fairgrounds. Hermiston School District staff
saying the final event scheduled on the site right now is the Coastal Farm and Ranch
Challenge of Champions Tour. That bull riding event is May 13.
Mike Kay, HSD director of operations, says theyre planning demolition for the Monday
after graduation, and their goal is to have the new parking lot in place before the start
of the next school year.
The 2017 Umatilla County Fair and Farm-City Pro Rodeo to take place at the Eastern Oregon
Trade and Event Center.