Umatilla honors officer, approves
April 20, 2020
The city of Umatilla recognizing a police officer for displaying valor and professional
actions. Officer Cotter Butler to be recognized during a special City Council and budget
committee meeting tonight for his response to a house fire just before 5 a.m. on April 3.
Arriving when the garage was already engulfed in flames and the house filled with smoke,
Butler kicked in the front door and was able to rescue an elderly resident then began
notifying neighboring houses to evacuate.
Fire Chief Steve Potts saying Butlers actions made an immense difference
in the fire response for the area residents and by allowing the fire department to focus
on the fire rather than engage in a rescue operation.
Also on the agenda tonight, approval of the city budget and affirmation of taxes. That
meeting begins at 6 p.m. tonight at Umatilla City Hall. Find
the agenda here.
Tonight, Stanfield City Council also meeting and talking contracts and planning with
multiple projects on the agenda including a contract for planning services and updates on
projects with Seder Architecture. The council also looking at budget committee
discussions, council agenda structure, and a resolution revising water rates. That meeting
begins at 6 p.m.in the council chambers on Coe Avenue.
Daily covid numbers stable; weekly up
April 19, 2021
With UCo Health offices being closed on Sunday, the post-weekend report for local counties
almost identical to what the Oregon Health Authority posted over the weekend. The total
figures are the same 7,968 for Umatilla County and 1,079 for Morrow County.
The numbers are up in the county risk level metrics, however.
Locally, Morrow County reporting 15 cases from April 4 to April 17, a rate of 118.3, but
under the small county guidelines, that should keep morrow county in lower risk. Umatilla
County could qualify to back to High risk with a rate of more than 100 - 104.7 - after 85
cases reported in the past two weeks, but because the county just moved down to moderate
in the last period, Umatilla County should qualify for the grace period. That period will
keep Umatilla County at moderate for the next two weeks to give a chance to bring the
numbers back down.
Ways and Means virtual hearing this weekend
April 16, 2021
This weekend, Eastern Oregon planning to present to the states Ways and Means
Committee to make the case for where state funding should go. The virtual hearing for
Eastern Oregon is this Saturday from 1 to 3. State Senator Bill Hansell encouraging local
testimony on state and local issues.
"I can't emphasize enough how important it is for folks to come before and
testify," he said."If you have something that's uniquely to your jurisdiction
like, for example, the Umatilla County Jail, and you don't bring it up here, no one else
is going to bring it up.
Because the session covers all of Congressional Region 2 and will only last two hours,
Submission of written testimony is encouraged, even if you plan to testify during the
event. There is a good chance all who sign up to testify will not be able to within the
Find more information on testifying or watching the session on the Oregon
Local COVID-19 cases by Zip Code
April 15, 2021
Looking at COVID cases by zip code over last week, there were 14 new cases in Hermiston
for a total of 3101 and also 14 in the 97801 zip code, which includes Pendleton, for a new
total of 1,710. Umatilla's zip code showing four new cases, up to 1,554, and there were
seven cases in Stanfield's zip code making the total now 319. Boardman is up one case to
682, and Irrigon reporting three new cases up to 320.
Hermiston breaks ground
April 14, 2021
Yesterday the first day back in school full-time for Hermiston students and also the first
day of ceremonial groundbreaking for the districts two new elementary schools.
Hermiston School Board members pose with golden shovels at the groundbreaking
of the new Rocky Heights Elementary
Groundbreaking events happened yesterday for both the district's bond-funded school
projects: a replacement Rocky Heights Elementary and the new Loma Vista Elementary. Both
schools are expected to open for students in August of 2022.
Council votes on senior living contract
April 12, 2021
A new senior living community on the agenda for tonights Hermiston City Council
meeting. The council is being asked to issue a letter of intent to basically lease seven
acres of city property to Paradigm Compass for the purpose of building a 65-unit senior
The property is part of 20 acres the city bought in 2005to address temperature discharges
to the Umatilla River, but after tests of the concept didnt work, the solution was
abandoned. Last summer, the city council opted to advertise 8 acres of the property for
not costs for senior housing. You can read more about that
Also on tonights agenda, an update on the 7th street sewer main replacement,
approval of the 20-year EOTEC Site Master Plan, and the third quarter investment report.
That meeting begins at 7 tonight at the Hermiston Community Center. Click
here for the full agenda.
School Board prepares for in-person transition tomorrow
April 12, 2021
Tonight, Hermiston School Board is looking at employment, enrollment, and the first week
of full-day, in-person school in more than a year. Superintendent Tricia Mooney will have
a return to in-person learning update tonight. Mooney has said bringing students back and
getting them involved in clubs and activities has been a priority for the district.
"Until we've figured out how we can get our kids back in school where they need to
be, fully, five days a week, only then will we as a community and we as a state start to
heal from this," she said.
A reminder that this is a no-school day for students in the Hermiston School District to
prepare for full-time classes for all students to begin tomorrow.
The school board will also hear reports about enrollment and approve various hirings,
resignation, and extra duty contracts for the district staff. The board will also vote on
establishing a grant
That meeting begins at 6:30 tonight in the district offices.
Find the full agenda
Weekly reports show outbreaks, zip code cases
April 8, 2021
Only one of the 10 largest outbreaks in the state is in Umatilla or Morrow County.
Two Rivers Correctional Institute is still the state's largest active workplace outbreak
this week with 766 total cases, but the Umatilla prison reporting no new cases last week.
With three local outbreaks moving to resolved status last week, the list only showing two
other active workplace outbreaks from the local area: one each in Umatilla and Morrow
County. The Umatilla County Jail outbreak holds steady with 18 total cases, and Lamb
Weston Packing in Boardman reporting 13 cases.
By zip code, Hermiston reporting six new cases of COVID-19 last week up to a new total of
three-thousand-87. Pendleton's zip code adds 7 cases to 16-hundred-96. In Umatilla, two
new cases bring the total to 15-hundred-50. Four new cases in Boardman and a new total of
six-hundred-81.Irrigon is up one case to 317, and the Stanfield zip code up five cases to
three-hundred-12. No new cases in Echo or Heppner reported last week.
Umatilla talks housing; Boardman finances tonight
April 6, 2021
The housing boom continuing in Umatilla. City Manager Dave Stockdale saying planning for
housing will be a big part of discussion at tonights city council meeting.
"We're building about a hundred homes a year now," Stockdale said. "We
expect to do at least that many in 21, and we're expecting to do about 150 in 2022. It's
going to be a lot of homes."
Tonight, Umatilla City Council discussing strategies and potential opportunities to
provide housing at lower and higher economic levels. The citys Housing Needs
Analysis showing need for homes at all economic levels while the majority of planned
housing developments include homes 145-325-thousand.
Also on tonights agenda:
- A $1.8 million construction contract to James Dean Construction to extend Wanapa Road
- Discussion of a West County Legislative Lobbyist Intergovernmental Agreement
- Discussion on changing the August 3 council meeting to allow for National Night Out
- Council will also discuss an elected officials stipend. Meeting documents pointing to a
significant increase in workload for the mayor and city council members within
the past three years.
That meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight. Click
here for the full agenda.
Also happening tonight, the Boardman City Council talking audits and receiving grants both
from the Columbia River Enterprise Zone and the State of Oregon CARES Act. Theres a
presentation scheduled about a dog park and time for public comment. That meeting also
begins at 7 p.m. tonight.
You can find the
full agenda here.
Umatilla, Morrow counties have low vaccine rates
April 5, 2021
Umatilla and Morrow two of the seven counties called out by the Oregon Health Authority
Friday for having fewer than 50 percent of Oregon seniors vaccinated against COVID-19. OHA
Director Pat Allen saying it isnt because "It's because demand for vaccines is
softening among some seniors who have chosen to wait for a vaccine - especially in less
populated counties," he said.
Allen saying they will continue to focus outreach on those age 65 and older who are at the
highest risk for the virus.
Morrow County will be offering multiple vaccine clinics this week and next week. This
weeks clinics will be at the SAGE Center. Contact Morrow County Public Health for
information on appointments. Find more about vaccine opportunities in Umatilla County on
the website for Umatilla County Public Health or through your local pharmacy.
Umatilla bridge project inches forward
April 5, 2021
Its been two years since the pedestrian bridge over the Umatilla River collapsed,
but Umatilla City Manager Dave Stockdale says the bridge replacement project continues to
move forward with good news coming last week.
"The good news is we have the approval from FEMA. We just got notification yesterday
from Business Oregon on a grant from them," he said Friday. "We got notification
from the Community Development Block Grant program from a grant there, so all the funding
is lined up."
Stockdale says they are waiting on final federal approval and construction is likely to
start at the end of the year.
Chamber purchases new property
April 5, 2021
The Greater Hermiston chamber of Commerce is moving again.
The Chamber has purchased the former Pioneer Title building at 630 S. Highway 395 and will
move there once remodeling is completed
A press release from the Chamber says the long-term plan remains the same to use
proceeds from the state grant and future fundraising dollars to create a permanent home
for the Chamber at South Highway 395 and Evelyn Avenue..Since receiving the grant, the
Chamber has purchased the Evelyn Avenue property, drafted site, and building plans, and
subdivided the property to create two more commercial lots that can add significant
funding toward the building project once they are sold.
The Chamber has leased space in Cornerstone Plaza since January 2018.
Closure begins on River Road
March 31, 2021
Drivers on Umatilla River Road surprised yesterday by extended detours as
Safety improvements on Umatilla River Road thats County Road No. 1275
Umatilla County Public Works Director Tom Fellows saying the project is funded through
federal grants to improve safety and visibility in the area.
The Umatilla County project includes reconstructing about 15-hundred feet of roadway,
flattening the crest of the vertical curve and adding a turn-late into the city of
Hermiston recycled water treatment facility.
Although the physical work on the road will only be between Cooney Lane and the
intersection with 11th Street , it is causing drivers to detour at either Cooney Lane or
Geer Road to avoid the construction.
Fellows saying some grinding work begins today and theyre expected to have all
utilities relocated by next Friday to begin the road improvements. Dependent on weather
and utilities, theyre expecting to have the final part of the project pouring new
asphalt and striping happening in late April. The detour and road closure will be
in place for the entirety of the project.
Anderson Perry and Silver Creek Construction both contracted on the project.
OHA updates county metrics
March 30, 2021
The Oregon Health Authority releasing its weekly county metrics yesterday, which are used
for county risk levels. From March 14th through March 27th, Umatilla County reporting 102
cases of COVID-19, and that's down six from the new cases 108 reported in the previous
two-week period. It's a rate of 125.7 per 100,000. To move to the next lowest risk level,
the county needs to have a rate of less than 100 per 100,000 population.
Over the same two-week period, Morrow County reporting 7 cases for a rate of 55.2.
Spring break ends, schools re-open
March 29, 2021
School resumes today after spring break, and more students will be in classrooms and for
longer times than have been in more than a year.
"we're just continuing to try and offer more as we can do that as safely as
possible," Morrow County School District Superitnendent Dirk Dirkson. said.
In Morrow County, elementary students returning for full days today and secondary students
seeing expanded offerings and movement. Other school districts announcing plans to bring
students back for more time in mid or late April. Echo Schools superintendent Raymon Smith
saying the change is because the state relaxing physical distancing rules from 6 feet to 3
"That's a a game changer for all of us, and I think people have seen that from the
announcements coming out from all the school districts around us," Smith said.
"That just chagnes everything."
Masks and physical distancing are still required under the Safe Schools, Ready Learners
guidelines. In Hermiston, all students will return to full days April 13
TRCI still tops outbreak list
March 25, 2021
The Oregon Health Authority releasing the weekly outbreak report yesterday, and Two Rivers
Correctional Institution still the largest active workplace outbreak; however, case count
increases continuing to slow at TRCI. Three new cases again this week at the Umatilla
prison, up to 763.
Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario is still the state's second largest
outbreak with 629 cases - that's the third week in a row the Malheur County prison has
reported 629 cases.
There are three other local workplace outbreaks on the active list, but none reported new
cases. That's the Hermiston Walmart DC with 124; Lamb Weston West with 46, and Earl Brown
& Sons with 7
Two local workplace outbreaks moving to resolved this week: Keystone RV and Lamb Weston
Construction planned for both Hermiston city council, school board
March 22, 2021
The city of Hermiston could see work at the Hermiston airport. City Council tonight will
vote on a resolution to apply for and accept planned federal grants to reconstruct the
aircraft parking area. This project will fully excavate and rebuild most of the aircraft
parking areas at the airport. A 2014 pavement evaluation report from the Oregon Department
of Aviation showed that the apron pavement was more than 30 years old and various sections
of the apron were rated between "Poor" and "Failing."
The Airport rebuilt the taxiway in 2016, and that addressed a large portion of the apron
as well. This project will finish rebuilding the rest of the Apron.
The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Hermiston Community Center.
The council will also have a work session at 6 tonight to discuss the duplex housing code.
Click here for the full agenda.
For the Hermiston School Board, an update and potential contract on Loma Vista Elementary.
Administration recommending the school board accept a contract with Kirby Nagelhought
Construction for the 22.5 million construction of the new elementary
Theyll also have updates on bond projects and return to in-person learning and a
report on the board goals. That meeting begins at 6:30 tonight.
District promotes from within for admin positions
March 19, 2021
Loma Vista Elementary has a principal. When the elementary opens in the fall of 2022,
Joshua Borwning will serve as school principal. Browning currently and instructional coach
for the district.
In other school district administrative changes, the Hermiston School District will
promote from within to fill administrative positions for the next school year.
Director of Student Services Neely McKay has served as interim director of special
programs this school year and will officially step up as director on July 1, vacating the
director of student services position.
Desert View Elementary School Principal Daniel Greenough will replace McKay as the
director of student services.
Previous elementary school teacher and current Sandstone Middle School Assistant Principal
David Melville will move to DVES as principal.
Council talks 5G, School Board updates re-opening and budget
March 8, 2021
Tonight, Hermiston City Council talks 5G.
A proposed franchise agreement with the group that operates US Cellulars system in
Hermiston is on the agenda. The five year agreement would allow the company to place
small cell receivers at 21 locations throughout the community to provide 5G
services. The franchise could bring the city about 56-hundred dollars the first year and
then about 3 percent more each year after. City staff is recommending the council approve
Also on the agenda, a presentation recognizing Mariela Caldera, the winner of the Funland
Playground Art Contest, and a certificate of recognition for city employee Brandon Artz,
who went above and beyond the normal call of duty in interrupting a confrontation between
an an armed individual and an injured person, kicking the weapon underneath a vehicle and
keeping it secured until Hermiston Police officers arrived.
Council also to discuss a fašade grant application.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Hermiston community center and will be live
streamed on the citys youtube channel. Find that the full
The Hermiston School Board also meeting tonight. On the agenda, a return to in-person
learning update, discussion and approval of financial planning parameters, an enrollment
update. The council also expected to move forward with a $23.4 million contract with Kirby
Nagelhout Construction for the Rock Heights Elementary School project. That meeting begins
at 6:30 tonight and will end with an executive session To consider the dismissal or
disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer,
employee, staff member or individual agent who does not request an open hearing.
Click here for that
Boardman honors 2020 award recipients
March 8, 2021
Boardman celebrating its annual awards over the weekend. 2020 Business Person of the year
presented posthumously to Marty Myers, general manager of Threemile Canyon Farms. The
Boardman Pioneer award presented posthumously to Art Kegler Citizen of the Year going to
Rick and Shara Weiss. The couple recognized as being incredible servants and having a
heart for community, Business of the Year to Farmer's Cup Coffee Shop. If you missed the
live streaming event, you can still find a video of the awards on the Boardman Chamber's
Huber, Middleton honored at Hermiston DCA
Feb. 25, 2021
Last night, Hermiston marking its 51st Distinguished Citizen Awards.
Compared to Wonder Woman, the woman of the year recognized for service on state and local
boards as well as her involvement with special education and the iCan Bike program. Cindy
Middleton saying she was surprised but is greatly honored to be recognized.
"I may have thought I was being punked at one point," she said with a laugh.
"I certainly recognize it as a great honor."
The Man of the Year title presented to Ken Huber, owner of Burns Mortuary, for helping
families through some of the most trying times of their lives for more than 25 years. He
was recognized for being on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and for always being
willing to help. In accepting his award, Huber saying he can't imagine a better place to
live than Hermiston.
The ceremony also included a video recognizing each Hermiston School's Educators of the
Year as well as the surprise award for the district's overall educator of the year: Roger
A longtime fixture at Agape House, Doug Alvarez recognized with the Merit Award And the
final award, business of the year, to M&M Potato "This town is so giving, it's -
it's hard not to support it," Jake Malmburg said.
As a hybrid event, award winners and their families attended on-sit while the audience
participated remotely. And, yes, they still gave away the table centerpieces.
If you missed the ceremony live stream, you can still
view the video here.
Weekend COVID cases include backlog
Feb. 22, 2021
On Friday, a dozen cases in Umatilla. Five cases in Morrow County.
Over the weekend, the Oregon Health Authority reporting 72 cases from Umatilla County on
Saturday the most cases for any county in the state. Umatilla County has a higher
than anticipated case count due to approximately 1,400 backlogged test results received on
Feb. 19. These test results were from June 2020 through Jan. 2021. Cases were investigated
and interviewed locally at the time of their positive test but were not electronically
reported to OHA.
No word yet on how this could impact county health metrics whether this will be
included or not. On the other hand, on Sunday, OHA only reporting 1 cases in Umatilla
County but saying due to a server error, a large number of electronic lab results (ELR)
were not processed yesterday. As a result, todays case and ELR totals are lower than
usual and the total for tomorrow is expected to be higher than usual. The backlog of ELRs
is currently being processed.
After the weekend, Umatilla County reporting 75-hundred-81 total cases. Morrow County
showing six new cases on Saturday and none on Sunday that brings the total up to
City council adds projects, utility increase
Feb. 22, 2021
$20 million in projects will be added to the City of Hermistons capital improvement
plan if approved by city council tonight. The projects range through 2026 and including
replacing nearly 3 miles of aging water mains and rebuilding north first place between
Hermiston and Elm.
The council also discussing an increase to water/sewer rates , The 2 percent increase
based on annual inflation and the construction cost index.
Also on the agenda tonight, the downtown decorative banner program, and the January 2021
The council is expected to meet in a closed-door session for property transactions.
Before the meeting, Hermiston City Council members will have a tour of the temporary city
hall set up at the Hermiston Public Library.
After that work session tour, the regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Hermiston
Community Center. The meeting will e livestreamed on the citys YouTube channel.
the full agenda here.
Also happening tonight, the Hermiston School Board meeting at the district offices.
Theyll have bond project updates, an update on the return to in-person learning and
discussion of financial planning parameters, a series of decisions that help plan the
district budget for next year. That meeting begins at 6:30 and will be live streamed on
the districts youtube channel. You can find that agenda here.
Webinars on restaurants, beer set for tomorrow
Feb. 10, 2021
Coming up tomorrow, two different webinars: one on restaurants, the other on hops. The
first webinar about challenges facing restaurants in the ongoing pandemic.
The Blue Mountain Community College Small Business Development Center partnering with
Oregon Restaurant COVID Assistance Program for a free webinar this week to talk
challenges, issues, resources and marketing for restaurants during the pandemic.
Theyre asking restaurateurs to bring specific questions that need resolutions.
Thats from 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday. You can registered for connection information at
Next, also happening Thursday, a spotlight on the Pacific Northwest hops history
and the stories of the people who picked hops the the areas prized beer makers.
Eastern Oregon University History Professor Ryan Dearinger presents his research in an EOU
Colloquium at 4 p.m., Feb. 11 via Zoom. His book, "Beer's Dirty Work," is
expected in the next year.
Read more about his findings, and get the Zoom
Seniors eligible for vaccine
Feb. 8, 2021
Starting today, Oregonians age 80 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Joe
Fiumara, director of UCo Health, says theyre working to make the vaccine available
to as many people who would like to get it, but they might not be able to reach everyone
who qualifies immediately.
"I don't have a solid number as far as how many of those folks we think are out
there, but what I am confident about is the state's not going to give me enough vaccine
for all of them that first week," he said.
UCo Health receiving about 400 vaccines this week designated for that group. Theyll
have walk-in vaccinations this Friday at Good Shepherd from 7 a.m. to noon with no
appointments needed, then theyre also offering appointment at Mirasol Family Health
Center in Hermiston, at the Pendleton and Milton-Freewater offices of Umatilla County
Public Health office and at the Milton-Freewater Communication building. English- and
Spanish-speaking staff available for scheduling appointments. To make an appointment at
Mirasol, call the center after 8 a.m. today. For appointments in Pendleton and
Milton-Freewater, call the dedicated appointment line - 541-278-6311.
If you have general questions about COVID-19 vaccinations, you can call 211.
Again, as of today, those 80 and older qualify for the vaccine, people age 75 and older
will qualify next Monday, the 15th.
Looking at COVID-19 cases from over the Weekend, UCo Health reporting 30 cases on Friday;
Oregon health Authority adding another 30 on Saturday. In Morrow County, five cases on
Friday, none on Saturday, but on Saturday, A 13th death reported in Morrow County: a
65-year-old woman in Morrow County who tested positive on Jan. 10 and died on Feb. 2 at
Kadlec Regional Medical Center.
Yesterday, three new cases in Morrow County, 13 cases in Umatilla County.
The county totals now 997 and 13 deaths in Morrow County, 7,350 with 76 deaths in Umatilla
School re-opening, educators of the year for school board
Feb. 8, 2021
Educators of the year, Enrollment, and return to in-person learning on the agenda for the
Hermiston School Board tonight. Some discussion also expected on the districts
cleaning, disinfecting, and ventilation procedures as well as financial and staff reports.
The district expected to show a video recognizing the educators of the year and vote on
the superintendents contract. Theyll also be hiring 8 custodians.
That meeting begins at 6:30 tonight at the district offices.
Click here for
the full agenda.
City Hall back on council agenda
Feb. 8, 2021
Hermiston City Council also meeting tonight, and awarding a contract on its
multi-million-dollar city hall rebuild project is again on the agenda.
Council also expected to appoint Cameron Bendixsen as an additional municipal court judge
pro-tem. City documents pointing to new conflicts of interst and availablilty as a need
for an additional judge pro-tem
Water service amendments and a presentation about a downtown decorative banner program
also on the agenda tonight
That meeting begins at 7 and will be live streamed on the citys youtube channel.
here for that agenda and viewing information.
TRCI continues to top outbreak list
Feb. 4, 2021
Two Rivers Correctional Institution still has the largest active workplace outbreak in the
state. The total now 681, which 31 more than last week.
Snake River Correctional Institution the second largest with 595, up two cases, and
Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton the third largest with 534 cases.
That's the same number as last week. Point of interest: 7 of the 8 largest outbreaks in
the state are now prison facilities.
In other local outbreaks, the Hermiston Walmart Distribution Center reporting 116 cases,
up two from last week, and Lamb Weston East in Boardman reports no new cases and continues
at 113. The outbreak at Good Shepherd is up one case to 91.
The Hermiston Lamb Weston reports three new cases over the last week for a total of 63,
and three new cases also at Keystone RV, bringing the Pendleton facility to 46.
There are five smaller active outbreaks listed in the report:
Shearer's Foods 25
Hermiston Walmart 21
Columbia River Processing - 16
Tom Denchel Ford Country - 16
Lamb Weston Packing in Boardman - 6
Former Commissioner candidate sentenced
Feb. 2, 2021
Three press releases from Umatilla County DA Dan Primus yesterday - two regarding
sentencing of Hermiston men.
In one case, former County Commissioner candidate Jonathan Lopez, 30, pleading guilty to
one count of initiation a false report. The charges stemming from a letter Lopez claimed
to find inside his mailbox in June of 2020. The letter contained derogatory racial terms
and veiled threats. After being questioned by police, Lopez admitted he wrote the letter
himself. Lopez was sentenced to 18 months probation, two days in jail, a fine, completion
of a racial bias program and submission of an acceptable apology letter to the community.
In the second case, 58-year-old Jose Olivarez Fernandez sentenced to 200 years and 10
months in prison. The Hermiston man pleading guilty to 19 counts, all of which relate to
sex crimes and a single victim from the time she was 6 until she was 9 years old. Olivarez
Fernandez pleading guilty just before the now 10-year-old victim was scheduled to testify.
In the third DA release, a Milton-Freewater man adding 20 months to his prison sentence
last month after requesting a second trial.
On January 16 of 2020, 29-year-old Krystian Thomas Allen, of Milton-Freewater, sentenced
to 50 months in prison with eligibility for early release for stabbing an Athena man in
the back the year before. That jury verdict was 10-2, so Allen appealed and was granted a
second trial following the United State's Supreme Court decision finding non-unanimous
The second jury unanimously found Allen guilt of second-degree assault, and Allen was
sentenced under Measure 11 to 70 months in prison without eligibility for early release -
20 months longer and more restrictive than his earlier sentence.
Umatilla considers annex, new zone in Power City
Feb. 2, 2021
New property, new zones, and new goals on the agenda for the Umatilla City Council
On the agenda, a public hearing and a vote about a proposal to make part of Power City
part of the city of Umatilla and add a new zone that allows livestock on larger lots
within City Limits. The zone proposal geared toward residents of the Power City
Residential Area who could connect to city services if annexed but would not be able to
keep livestock on those properties, based on city codes. The proposed zone would not be
applied to any other properties within the city - only those in the newly annexed area in
During the meeting, the council also expected to discuss city council goal and meet in a
closed-door executive session to consider a real property transaction to promote economic
development ad job growth.
That meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight. Click
here for the full agenda.
Boardman city Council also meeting tonight and that meeting also starting at 7 p.m.. The
agenda includes financial reports and time for public comment. The meeting will be via
Zoom, and you can also find that agenda
Changes in restrictions, still extreme risk
Jan. 27, 2021
Oregon Governor Kate Brown is modifying rules for indoor activities in Extreme Risk
counties. Starting this Friday, facilities over 500 square feet can have up to six people
inside. That includes fitness centers, but restaurants are excluded. For facilities
smaller than 500 square feet there can be one customer and one employee, like a trainer.
Brown says COVID cases didn't spike over the holidays and rules for Extreme Risk Counties
can be adjusted. Umatilla and Morrow counties each remain in the Extreme Risk category
Hermiston prepares to bring back kinder, first grade
Jan. 27, 2021
As Hermiston ZIP code metrics decline, Hermiston School District elementary administrators
are building a plan for the return of kindergarten and first grade students to the
classroom for hybrid learning.
On February 16 elementary schools will adjust their schedules to offer comprehensive
distance learning in the afternoon. At the same time, these buildings will welcome
kindergarten and first grade students into classrooms on a hybrid model.
Superintendent Tricia Mooney says the district is moving methodically into hybrid
Hermiston ZIP code data must reach less than 88 cases over 14 days, as reported by
Umatilla County Health Department and Oregon Health Authority, for the district to be able
to launch the hybrid model.
Though the transition wont be overnight, once metrics are met, the district
will be able to promptly roll out hybrid learning for kinder and first grade, said
Umatilla County tops 7000 cases
January 26, 2021
Yesterday, Umatilla County topping 7,000 cases of COVID-19.
Nineteen cases added to the count today after more than 50 were added over the weekend,
bringing the new total to 7,011 since the pandemic began.
In Morrow County, one new case yesterday for a total of 967.
UCo Health offers vaccine clinic for Phase 1a, educators
January 26, 2021
UCo Health will be offering drive-thru COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible individuals at
the Pendleton Convention Center on Thursday, January 28th and Hermiston High School on
Friday, January 29th. Vaccines will be administered from 8am-6pm each day or while
The vaccines prioritized for:
- Individuals in Phase 1a
- Educators who have been prioritized by their administrator.
Per Oregon Health Authority, this vaccine allocation is not available to other individuals
in Phase 1b, including individuals over the age of 65. UCo Health saying county residents
should expect an extended timeline for vaccination due to changes in Oregons
COVID-19 vaccine prioritization and continued vaccine allocation delays.
Legislative Update planned this week
January 26, 2021
Coming up this week, the first legislative update with Sen. Bill Hansell and Rep. Bobbie
Levy. Local chambers of commerce partnering with BMCC to provide the live updates where
participants will be able to ask questions and provide feedback for elected officials.
The first update at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow, and they're expected to continue Wednesdays during
the legislative session.
The events are broadcast via Zoom through Meeting ID: 920 8374 5312
If you are unable to connect through Zoom, there's also a call-in option: +1 253 215 8782
City Hall bids come in; project to cost at least $8.6 million
Jan. 25, 2021
The Hermiston City Council will review bids for the city hall replacement project tonight.
Bids on the project range from $8.66 to 11.5 million with the low bid coming from Griffin
Construction in The Dalles. The city plans to use annual payments from the Greater
Hermiston Enterprise Zone to pay the bulk of the cost.
The City Hall project includes rebuilding a larger facility on the same site that will
include space for the building department and municipal court as well as renovations of
the basement at the Hermiston Public Library, which is serving as an interim City Hall
until the new facility is finished.
Also on the agenda, notice of a special election, an application for off-premise alcohol
sales from Desert Lanes and an ordinance annexing about 15 acres off Southwest 3rd Street
into city limits.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Hermiston Community Center and will be broadcast on
the citys website and youtube channel.
Click here for the full agenda.
School board talks re-opening
Jan. 25, 2021
The Hermiston School board alos meeting tonight, and on the agenda the plan for
student return. Starting February 16, elementary student schedules will change.
Comprehensive distance learning will move to the afternoon. This will shift limited
in-person instruction to the morning timeframe and create a smoother transition as the
district is able to move into hybrid learning. Parents will receive further
building-specific information in the coming weeks, via building newsletters and electronic
communications.The decision will be made using health data, including the two-week
"look back" of the Hermiston ZIP code.
As decisions are made regarding the instructional model, the district will communicate
timelines that allow for necessary district planning, staff training, family
communication, and a gradual opening.
During tonights meeting, the school board also hearing presentations on high school
graduation data and bond project updates. Theyll vote on the superintendents
That meeting begins at 6:30 tonight at the district offices.
Find the full agenda here.
TRCI tops outbreak list
Jan. 22, 2021
Two Rivers Correctional Institution is now the state's largest active workplace outbreak.
The Oregon Health Authority releasing its outbreak report yesterday, and with 607 total
cases, TRCI's outbreak now larger than those at Snake River Correctional Institution,
which has held the top spot for about six months, and Pendleton's Eastern Oregon
Correctional Institution, which has been the largest outbreak in Umatilla County.
Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario at a total of 591 in this week's report;
EOCI reporting 2 cases last week for a total now of 533 cases. TRCI's outbreak adding 179
cases last week to reach the total of 607.
Other large outbreaks include the Hermiston Walmart Distribution Center, up four cases
this week to 113 cases. Boardman's Lamb Weston East adds seven to 112, and the outbreak at
Good Shepherd grows by 2 cases up to a total of 90.
There are eight smaller workplace outbreaks from Umatilla and Morrow counties.
There were no new outbreaks reported in care facilities.
Find this week's full outbreak
Grad rates up in Oregon, region
Jan. 21, 2020
The Oregon Department of Education releasing Graduation rates for the class of 2020.
Across the state, the four-year graduation rate up to 82.6 percent even as schools
closed for the COVID-19 pandemic. The graduation requirements were modified because of the
closure any senior who was passing their classes in March and on track to graduate
received full credit for those courses. Umatilla County slightly higher than the
states graduation rate 85 percent. The rate for Morrow County even higher:
In the Hermiston School District, an 83.74 percent graduation rate, an increase of more
than 9 percent from the year before.
Superintendent Tricia Mooney saying the increase reflects the hard work of staff and
students and the move to hire staff to directly support secondary students toward
She says, While we still have room for growth, it is exciting to see efforts paying
In the Umatilla School District, 93% of students graduating more than 10 percent
above the state average. "Not only did 68% of 2020 graduates earn 3 college credits
or more, but 12.4% of them graduated with their AAOT from Blue Mountain Community College
and their high school diploma through UHS concurrently," Superintendent Heidi Sipe
says Every senior who started with us in the fall graduated last year and we are
proud of their success.
The Morrow County School Districts four-year graduation rate 91.6; Echo at 85.7; and
Stanfield at 97.5 percent.
For more information on the districts graduation rate, including student groups,
visit the ODE website at www.oregon.gov/ode.
Three-day weekend COVID count
Jan. 19, 2021
UCo Health reporting a total of 162 cases of COVID-19 over the three-day weekend, pushing
the county total up to 6,803, which is 10 cases higher than what the Oregon Health
Authority reported in its count yesterday afternoon. UCo Health is also showing the
countys 68th death with COVID-19.
Morrow County reporting 23 cases from the three days for a total of 942. Thats four
new cases today.
The Oregon Department of Corrections also updating its reports after the long weekend. As
of yesterday, Two Rivers Correctional Institution had 304 active cases of COVID-19 in
inmates and 639 who have tested positive since the pandemic began. Total, 112 staff
members have tested positive 15 higher than last Monday.
Outbreak list shows TRCI doubles cases
Jan. 14, 2021
A mixed bag of good and bad in the weekly outbreak report. The good news is yet again only
2 of the state's largest active workplace outbreaks are in Umatilla County. The bad news
is they're both the county's prisons and have 400 and 500 cases. But the prisons are in
good company - all five of the state's largest outbreaks are correctional facilities as
are 7 of the 10.
By the numbers, Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution continues to be the state's
largest active outbreak, now with 531 cases, only a single case larger than in last week's
report. Two Rivers Correctional Institution continues its skyrocket up the list, coming in
just behind EOCI as the state's third largest active outbreak. TRCI almost doubling its
cases in a single week, jumping 213 cases from 215 to its new report of 428 cases
connected with the most recent outbreak.
Also showing active outbreaks, the Hermiston Walmart DC with 109 cases, up 5 from last
week. Lamb Weston East in Boardman is up to 105 cases, and Good Shepherd reports one new
cases for 88 this week. The Lamb Weston Boardman Pac Center remains at 62 cases; Hermiston
Lamb Weston adds 24 cases in the week up to 58 total for the current outbreak. Another
week with nine new cases for Pendleton's Keystone RV brings the total to 40, and a single
new cases at Shearer's Foods pushes that facility to 24. Lamb Weston West is back on the
list with 23 cases, and the outbreak at the Hermiston Walmart grows by 2 to 14. Columbia
River Processing reporting 8 cases, Tom Denchel Ford Country appearing on the list for the
first time with 7 cases
UCo Health reports 3 COVID-19 deaths
Jan. 14, 2021
For the first time, three deaths reported in a daily report from UCO Health.
The county's 62nd death with COVID-19 is a 69-year-old man who tested positive on Dec. 28
and died on Jan. 1 at Good Shepherd. He had underlying conditions.
Two other deaths also reported yesterday in Oregon Health Authority reports, but the
deaths have already been reported by the Oregon Department of Corrections as deaths from
Two Rivers Correctional Institution. Both are inmates who died at Kadlec Medical Center.
One man, 89, tested positive on dec. 29 and died Jan. 6. The other, a 72-year-old man
tested positive Jan. 3 and died Jan. 10. Both had underlying medical conditions. The
county's death toll now 64.
UCo Health also reporting 50 new cases yesterday for a total case count of 64-hundred-71.
In Morrow County, nine new cases yesterday for a total of 905.
Weekend cases; 3 deaths
Jan. 11, 2021
More than 130 cases of COVID-19 reported over the weekend, three local deaths.
On Friday, reports of the 60th Umatilla County resident to die with COVID-19: a
50-year-old man with underlying conditions who tested positive Dec. 27 and died Jan. 5.
The 9th Morrow County resident to die with COVID-19 reported as an 84-year-old man who
tested positive Jan. 4 and died Jan. 6 at Good Shepherd.
Two Rivers Correctional Institution also announcing the death of an inmate who has tested
positive for COVID-19. The man was between 70 and 80 years old and died yesterday at a
For cases, On Friday, 39 cases for Umatilla County; 13 for Morrow.
On Saturday, 91 cases for Umatilla County and 14 in Morrow, then Yesterday, 34 cases in
Umatilla County and 4 in Morrow.
The totals now 64-hundred and 4 with 60 deaths in Umatilla County, 885 with 9 deaths in
Bowles found dead at county jail
Jan. 11, 2021
A death at the Umatilla County Jail on Saturday. David Lee Bowles, the Heppner man who
turned himself in on Thursday was found dead in his bed at the jail early Saturday
morning. The Umatilla County Sheriffs Office says at this time there is no evidence
of foul play. The 43-year-old Bowles was facing charges of first-degree manslaughter and
felon in possession of a weapon regarding a December shooting that killed a Heppner woman.
Bowles death is under investigation.
Hermiston City Council says crowd won't cause reopening
Jan. 11, 2021
Two public hearings on the agenda for tonights Hermiston City Council meeting
but no agenda items about reopening Hermiston.
On Friday, the City of Hermiston responding to a rumor that if enough people attend
tonights meeting, the council could opt to open Hermiston businesses. A statement
from the city staying, this is simply false, and frankly, not even possible. The
city of Hermiston does not create or oversee any business guidelines related to COVID or
control when businesses can reopen. Those decisions are made and enforced at the state
During the meeting, the two public hearings will both focus on property annexations, and
the council will also vote on three property resolutions. Theyll discuss the
investment report, the goal setting report and elect a council president for a two-year
The regular meeting begins at 7p.m. tonight at the Hermiston Community Center. They
will have a limited amount of seating, and it will be live streamed on the citys
The council will have a work session at 6 p.m. about regional water efforts.
You can find the full agenda here.
School Board talks returning to classes
Jan. 11, 2021
While the City of Hermiston doesnt have reopening on the agenda, the Hermiston
School Board does in a way. A study item on tonights agenda to discuss an
update on return to in-person learning. The district has set extra time for public
comments in case there is a large public presence.
School Board members also discussing enrollment and financial reports tonight, and general
consent items of business.
That meeting begins at 6:30 in the district office and will be live streamed.
The board will also be meeting in a closed-door session at 5:30 tonight. That executive
session will be about the superintendents evaluation.
Click here for
the link to the full agenda.
TRCI outbreak spikes, others grow
Jan. 7, 2021
The Oregon Health Authority releasing its COVID-19 outbreak report yesterday, showing
4,853 active COVID-19 outbreaks in the state.
The good news - only two of the top 10 largest active workplace outbreaks in the state
come from Umatilla County. The not-so-good news - the state's five largest active
outbreaks are all in state prisons, and the bad news - one of those outbreaks grew by
almost 200 cases in one week.
Two Rivers Correctional Institution showing 43 cases in last week's report. This week, the
Umatilla prison reporting 215 - that's 172 new cases in one week, and it moves TRCI up to
the fifth largest active outbreak in the state.
Snake River Correctional Institution still the largest active outbreak, now at 574 cases.
Eastern Oregon correctional Institution in Pendleton the second largest, now with at 530.
The Madras Deer Ridge Correctional Institution reporting 265 cases and Oregon State
Correctional Institution 235.
Other large active outbreaks include the Hermiston Walmart DC - 104 cases this week, an
increase of three over last week.
Good Shepherd with 87, that's up six cases in the last week,and the Lamb Weston Boardman
Pac enter in Boardman is reporting 62 cases; it's the largest active workplace outbreak
from Morrow County but showed no new cases this week. The Hermiston Lamb Weston's active
outbreak climbing up 11 cases, though, now 34 associated with that outbreak.
Keystone RV in Pendleton now at 31, an increase of nine, Shearer's Foods is up four cases
The Hermiston Walmart reporting a dozen cases in an active outbreak, and new outbreaks
this week at Oregon Potato and Garrett Packing in Milton-Freewater, both with five cases.
By Zip codes, the Hermiston 97838 zip code is up 147 cases to 2561. The 97801 is up 55 to
1,321. Umatilla's zip code, which includes TRCI, up 230 cases to 965.Stanfield is up 14
cases to 236.
DA asks for information in Bowles case
Jan. 6, 2021
Law enforcement continue to search for information about David Bowles, a Heppner man
wanted in a shooting that killed Marlene Bowles Dec. 14. Morrow County District Attorney
Justin Nelson says he still believes people know more than they're telling law enforcement
- and he is asking people to notify Oregon State Police about any information even
if they think OSP already knows it.
"What I want to stress is if you have any information about this shooting, about
Marlen Bowles, or the wherabouts of David Bowles, please call Oregon State Police,"
Nelson says you can call 1-800-442-2068 to provide any information on the case.
Holiday weekend COVID-19 cases
Jan. 4, 2021
Today, 23 new cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County, but high numbers coming out over the
New Years Eve showing 143 cases reported in Umatilla County, and County Commissioner
George Murdock says half of those were inmates at the county's two prisons.
Murdock saying the county has asked the state several times to not include those in the
count - that prison inmates with COVID-19 should be a separate entry reported by the
Oregon Department of Corrections.
As of Dec. 30, there had been 700 inmates to test positive in Umatilla Countys two
prisons thats 12 percent of the countys total positive cases.
Also over the weekend, Umatilla County reporting 57 cases on Friday, 53 on Saturday, and
91 cases on Sunday. Umatilla Countys total number of cases is now 5,840.
In Morrow County, 10 cases of Thursday for a total of 815, 10 on Friday, four on Saturday
and Nine yesterday.
839 now the total for Morrow County.
Weekend COVID-19 numbers
Dec. 14, 2020
The Oregon Health Authority reporting COVID-19 numbers form over the weekend.
For Umatilla County, OHA reporting 38 cases on Friday, 36 on Saturday and 36 on Sunday.
That makes Umatilla Countys total to 4,881 cases since the start of the pandemic.
In Morrow County, OHA reporting 24 cases on Friday, five cases on Saturday and four cases
added on Sunday for a county total of 747.
Council, School Board meet tonight
Dec. 14, 2020
Finances and audits the them of both the Hermiston City Council and Hermiston school board
Hermiston City Council
The master fee schedule, financial reports, and awarding a contact for the Ridgeway Water
Line Replacement project on the agenda for the Hermiston City Council tonight.
The waterline project would replace pipes some almost 100 years old along
Ridgeway, Northwest Seventh, and Northwest Sixth Street. The city was still accepting bids
when the agenda was released on Friday, so the city will be releasing info on bidders and
big amounts tonight.
The meeting will also include certifying the election results, a presentation with a
previous of the new city of Hermiston website, and time for public comment. That meetings
begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Hermiston Community Center. A limited number of seats will
be available for in-person attendance, but the meeting will also be livestreamed on the
citys youtube channel.
here for the full agenda.
Hermiston School Board
For the Hermiston School Board, the auditors report and financial reports on the
agenda. Theyll also talk enrollment which is now more than 200 students from
this point last year.
School Board members also have a closed-door executive sessions on the agenda. That's to
discuss property transactions and to review and evaluate the employment related
performance of a staff member who does not request an open hearing.
That meeting begins tonight at 6:30. Find that full agenda here.
Cases up, outbreaks down
Nov. 30, 2020
There is good news on the workplace outbreak list, however, the total number of active
outbreaks in Umatilla and Morrow counties down to seven
Work sites must employ at least 30 people and have at least five active cases to appear on
the list of active outbreaks.
The bad news is four of those seven active local outbreaks are in the top 10 largest for
the state. Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution's outbreak has now grown to 518 cases,
still the state's second largest, behind only Snake River Correctional Institution in
Ontario. For EOCI, thats an increase of 13 over the previous week. Of those cases,
450 are in inmates, 68 in staff. Lamb Weston East is the state's 8th largest active
outbreak with 86 cases up seven from last week. The Walmart Distribution Center up one
case to 79 cases in the 9th spot, and now in the top 10: Good Shepherd with 71 cases.
That's an increase of three over last week.
Also showing active outbreaks: Lamb Weston Boardman PAC Center with 54 cases, three more
than last week, the Hermiston Home Depot with 17, and a new outbreak reported at Smith
Frozen Foods in Weston, the facilities second outbreak in the COVID 19 pandemic. There are
7 cases associated with that facility.
Senior and care facilities
Again two active outbreaks at care and senior facilities: Avamere at Hermiston still
showing 43 cases and three deaths in the outbreak first reported Oct. 26. Regency
Hermiston showing an outbreak of 5 cases first reported Nov. 7. Thats two new cases
over last week.
Hermiston's zip code is pushing close to 2,000 cases as of last week: 19-62, an increase
of 99 over the previous report. The Pendleton zip code one case short of 1,000 in the
weekly report: 9-hundred-99. Thats an increase of 86. Umatilla reporting 579 cases
last week, Boardman's case count at 416. 301 in Milton-Freewater, 175 in Irrigon, 162 in
Stanfield, Echo at 32 cases and 19 in Heppner
Christmas Express canned food drive begins
Nov. 30, 2020
Today, the start of a canned food drive for Christmas Express. Police Chief Jason Edmiston
saying finding food was one of the first hurdles the annual event faced this year with the
closure of schools.
"The overwhelming majority of canned foods that are part of that program come from
the kids, come from the students," Edmiston said. "We're having a community call
for assistance for a drive-through, drop-off canned food drive."
Starting today and through Dec. 11, they will be taking donations of nonperishable food
items at the Hermiston Community Center. Theyll have someone available to take
donations from 9 to 5, and Edmiston says all you have to do is drive up, and theyll
help take the items from your vehicle.
Christmas Express is now in its 52nd year. The program provides food and gifts for 500
needy families in the Hermiston area. In addition to the food drive, they are also taking
monetary donations and donations of toys at the Hermiston Police Department.
State COVID-19 cases up
Nov. 23, 2020
Two days of record-breaking coronavirus cases in Oregon over the weekend. High case counts
in Umatilla County but far from record breaking compared to our peak this summer. On
Saturday, 40 and on Sunday, another 47 cases in Umatilla County. For Morrow County, 10 and
7 on Sunday. The totals now 4,099 in Umatilla County and 619 in Morrow County.
Hermiston City Council meets tonight, Boardman changes date
Nov. 23, 2020
The financial audit report on the agenda tonight for the Hermiston City Council.
Theyll also discuss an ordinance about the sewer section of the city code, a
resolution about the greater Hermiston enterprise zone, and committee vacancies. That
meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Hermiston Community Center. It will be
livestreamed over YouTube.
Find the livestream link and the full
On the topic of city councils, The Boardman City Council has changed their December
meeting to Tuesday, December 8, 2020, due to their regularly scheduled meeting falling so
closely after the Thanksgiving holiday. This meeting will be held via the
video-conferencing service ZOOM at 7:00pm. The meeting link is posted at the citys
website at www.cityofboardman.com .
Cases increase, governor "pause"
Nov. 9, 2020
COVID-19 numbers up in both Umatilla and Morrow counties on Friday and over the weekend.
Friday the highest total of last week: 37 cases in Umatilla County. Over the weekend, 27
cases on Saturday and 25 on Sunday in Umatilla County. That pushes the total to 3,642.
Morrow County showing 2 new cases on Saturday and 8 cases on Sunday for a total of 579.
Because of the increase, Umatilla County one of the counties the governor putting on a
pause and increasing covid restrictions, including limits on restaurants,
gyms, and private gatherings.
In light of the governors order, the Hermiston School District pause all in-person
student activities, effective Monday, November 9, until further notice, including limited
in-person instruction and onsite athletic and activity programs. District staff will
continue to offer evening support to families at the district office, providing help with
obtaining a Chromebook or hotspot, accessing Google applications and other class programs,
checking student email and teacher communications, and homework help. Hermiston High
School will also not be able to offer training, conditioning, or practices to students
participating in athletics and activities
The Umatilla School District on Friday announcing they will continue limited in person
instruction and hybrid options as the metrics allow.
School board meets tonight
Nov. 9, 2020
The Hermiston pause likely to be discussed during the school board meeting tonight.
Tonight, the Hermiston School Board talking Student Success Act. Theyll have a
presentation on community input and a plan update
That board also expected to approve the Hermiston School district Student Success Act Plan
and Grant agreement.
Updates also expected tonight on enrollment and finances.
The Hermiston School Board meeting begins at 6:30 tonight at the District offices. Find
the full agenda
Power rate increase on agenda
Nov. 9, 2020
Rate increases for Hermiston Energy Services again on the agenda for the Hermiston City
Council tonight. In October, HES asked to make adjustments to retail rates after increases
of about 18 percent in wholesale electricity prices. The proposal tonight would increase
rates just under 7 percent effective Jan. 1, and then again just under 7 percent Oct. 1 of
2021. City staff is recommending adopting the change.
Also on the agenda, a public hearing about amending a parcel on theater lane from
residential to commercial and votes on adoption of the updated version of the Umatilla
County Deadly Physical Force plan and a proclamation on small business Saturday. The
council will also consider appointments to fill the vacant seat on the city council and
will announce committee vacancies.
agenda available here.
Nov. 4, 2020
The 2020 general election last night, and in Umatilla County, a new County commissioner.
Dan Dorran beating HollyJo Beers to take the position open as Bill Elfering retires.
Dorran brought in 14-thousand 8 hundred 82 votes compared to 110thousand 5-94 for Beers.
There were 897 write-in votes, but Dorran taking 45 pecent of the total votes to become
the presumptive commissioner.
In Morrow County, Jim Doherty retains his spot as County commissioner over challenger Joel
Peterson. Doherty receiving almost 61 percent of the vote. Morrow County Sheriff Ken
Matlack beats challenger Mark Pratt to retain his position as well on a 60/40 vote split,
and Glen Diehl takes the race for Morrow County justice of the peace. Morrow County voters
chose Jaylene Papineau for treasurerer with 61 percent of the vote.
Other incumbents remaining in their positions, Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan, U.S.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, Bill Hansell, and State Rep for District 57 GREG Smith elected for an
11th term. Bobby Levy takes the race for District 58 with 68 percent of Umatilla
Countys votes, and Cliff Bentz will fill the spot in U.S. Representative of the 2nd
District opened by Greg Walden's retirement.
Five candidates ran for for four at large positions on the Hermiston City Council, and
with the votes tallied in the close race, the city council members are incumbents Doug
Primmer and Rod Hardin and newcomers Maria Duron and Nancy Peterson. Unfortunately for the
person who wrote in "dan the man," for city council, he didn't win and does not
appear to have been running for anything.
In Echo, Chad Ray takes 54 percent of the vote in the mayoral race, and Tammie Williams,
Jessica Holben, Richard Thew elected to the city council.
Running unopposed, Tom McCann is re-elected as Stanfield mayor, an Susan Whelan, Don
Tyrrell, and Ralph Parrish Jr take the three spots on the Echo City Council.
In the race for Umatilla City Council, contested races for all three open positions. At
the end of the night, those going to : Daren Dufloth, Ashley Wheeler, Roak TenEyck
Irrigons City Council positions going to Ken Matlack, Marlina Serratos, Daren
Strong, and Wesley Alan Carnahan.
In Boardman, Paul Beagle, Katy Norton, and Brenda Profitt taking the thre eat large
positions, and Paul Keefers 56 percent of the vote is enough to put him as Boardman
Although Umatilla and Morrow county voters favored No votes in most statewide measures,
all four appear to have passed the statewide vote.
The one Umatilla County measure, the 2nd amendment sanctuary ordiance, passing 18,736 to
Results in all races are unofficial until theyre certified.
Find more here
School board, council meet tonight
Oct. 12, 2020
The Hermiston School Board meeting tonight at 6:30. On the agenda, Division 22 standards,
an enrollment report as well as meeting in a closed-door executive session.
for that agenda.
Hermiston City Council also meeting tonight. Theres a work session at 6 p.m. to talk
about Hermiston emergency services rates, followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m.
Council to vote on an ordinance correcting a previous ordinance because of numerical
errors and discussion of potential emergency shelter distance requirements.
You can find that agenda here.
Candidates, councils meet tonight
Oct. 6, 2020
Its a bit of a busy night around out area with multiple city council meetings and a
In Hermiston, tonight is the night for the candidate forum. Candidates for County
Commissioner and Hermiston City Council participating in the forum tonight. That will be
live broadcast online, and there is limited seating available at the Hermiston Community
Center. The event begins at 6 p.m.
Stanfield City Council
Also at 6 tonight, a meeting of the Stanfield City Council. Theyll be recognizing
councilor Delwin Manley and discussing a vacant council position, a potential disc courts,
an alternative location for the civic block, and upcoming events and activities. That
meeting at 6 tonight in the Council Chambers on Coe avenue.
Find the agenda here.
Umatilla City Council
Tonight at 7, a meeting of the Umatilla City Council at Umatilla City Hall.
Changes to water and sewer fees on the agenda in two spots theres a public
hearing about the proposed changes and charges, then a resolution to approve those
Also on the agenda, adopting an excessive force polity, and an inter-governmental
agreement between the city and the school district. The city will also hear a presentation
on the 8 Cant Wait program.
here for the agenda.
Boardman City Council
Coronavirus Relief Funds on the agenda tonight for the Boardman City Council. A resolution
establishing to receive and use those funds is on the agenda, as it s a resolution about
building permits and a September building department permit report. The meeting
also scheduled to have a bond consultant presentation. That meeting begins at 7 p.m.
tonight you can find the full agenda and Zoom meeting attendance here
Council talks projects
Sept. 28, 2020
Updates on three city projects on the agenda for tonight's Hermiston City Council meeting.
First up is the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center tonight for the Hermiston City
Council. That facility recently receiving a large grant from the state, and theres
an update presentation on the agenda for the tonights council meeting.
Another update later in that agenda design for the new city hall. The City Council
has made various decisions related to moving the City Hall project forward, and city staff
expected to present the current design for council feedback.
A financial report, supplemental budget and the creation of the Local Improvement District
for the South Hermiston Industrial Park also on the agenda.
That meeting begins at 7 tonight at the Hermiston Community Center. Limited seating will
be available, and the meeting will be livestreamed on the citys YouTube channel.
here for the full agenda.
School Board meets tonight
Sept. 28, 2020
The Hermiston School Board also meeting tonight with two presentations on their agenda:
one on athletics and activities, the other a communication presentation with a start of
school slideshow and a school logo update. Theyll also have a proclamation about
college application week and will meet in an executive session about litigation.
Find the full
Air quality 'hazardous'
Sept. 14, 2020
More than 1 million acres have burned in Oregon, and more than 30 fires continue to burn
statewide as of yesterday's update from the state office of Emergency Management.
Air quality alerts continuing today with hazardous smoke levels over the weekend - and
continuing. The air quality index as of 5 this morning at 339 on DEQs scale
anything above 300 is hazardous. Above 200 is very unhealthy
UCo Health saying Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current
conditions by visiting the DEQs Air Quality Index or the Oregon Smoke Information
blog, downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone, or going to on the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agencys Air Now. Smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs
and worsen some medical conditions. Young children, adults over 65, pregnant women and
people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions are most at risk.
They're advising to still avoid outdoor activities and stay inside if possible, keeping
windows and doors closed and using High efficiency particulate air filters as long as the
air quality remains at hazardous levels.
They say cloth, dust, and surgical masks don't protect from the harmful particles in
School board talks softball, school, enrollment
Sept. 14, 2020
Tonight, the Hermiston School Board could move forward on two construction projects.
First, a vote tonight on the high school softball facility project. The board has a
recommendation to enter a contract with Nelson Construction Corp for the project on a bid
of 2.4 million. Also on the agenda, a vote to select the name of the new school on theater
lane. The name isn't listed in the agenda, but a vote is scheduled on the new name
tonight. The three finalists previously announced were Artemisa, Loma Vista, and La Senda
the board will also review the enrollment report. The district is down 214 students over
the same month last year.
That meeting begins at 6:30 tonight.
Find the full agenda and remote access options here.
City council meets tonight
Sept. 14, 2020
At the Hermiston community center tonight, the Hermiston City Council is meeting. That
begins at 7. Theres a public hearing tonight about a temporary emergency shelter
ordinance and then a vote on that ordinance later in the meeting. The changes are
at the request of Stepping Stones, a group working to bring a hut-based homeless shelter
in Hermiston. The council also expected to consider an ordinance updating part of the
municipal cord on how to obtain a warrant and theyll accept the resignation
of council member Doug smith. Find the
full agenda here.
New COVID-19 deaths in Umatilla, Morrow county
Sept. 10, 2020
A COVID-19 death announced yesterday in each Umatilla and Morrow counties.
In Umatilla County, the 41-st covid death is a 97-year0old woman who died Sept. 8 at
Regency Hermiston. In Morrow County, OHA reporting an 88-year-old man from Morrow County
died Sept. 4 at Good Shepherd.
UCo Health also reporting six new confirmed cases yesterday. The total case count now
28-hundred and 2 since the start of the pandemic with five people hospitalized. Two new
cases in Morrow County yesterday. The total case count now 463 with 2 people hospitalized.
No weekly report data from the Oregon Health Authority yet
wildfires causing a delay
in the release of that report.
Boardman has Zoom council meeting tonight
Sept. 10, 2020
Budget, cornavirus relief and an animal shelter on the agenda for tonights Boardman
City Council meeting.
The Zoom meeting begins at 7 p. m. tonight and includes time for public comment and two
presentations one on an animal shelter and one from the CEO of Umatilla Electric
Co-op. The council will vote on two resolutions and ordnance tonight, and theres an
executive session on the agenda involving real estate.
here for the full agenda. You can also click this link to attend the
Wind, powerlines caused Umatilla fire
Sept. 9, 2020
High winds and downed power lines cuasing a fast-moving brush fire that moved through
Umatilla on Labor Day.
Umatilla Rural Fire Protection District saying the fire began north of Highway 730 from
power lines that went down and contacted the ground during, starting the fire.
Umatilla firefighters dispatched to the fire at about 5 p.m. for a fast moving grass fire
in the area of Devore Road and Highway 395. The first priority was saving the structure of
the Encore Wellness clinic. Fire Chief Steve Potts saying winds at that time
were gusting more than 50 miles per hour, and they immediately requested mutual aid from
other local departments. Potts saying he has never experienced anything like the insity
and rate of speed from that fire in 32 years. The fire contained at 10:30, but but areas
of the fire continued to burn for hours. The fire threatened homes on River Road, South
Hill, the Powerline road area, and level 2 and level 3 evacuation orders were given.
The total area burned has not yet been determined however a very rough estimate is more
than 200 acres.
Shooting investigation ongoing
Aug. 24, 2020
Umatilla County Fire District #1 tending to a 27-year-old local man who had been shot in
the stomach area he was taken to Good Shepherd then airlifted out of the area.
HPD is investigating. Police chief Jason Edmiston saying the man is well-known to officers
but was less than cooperative about what happened. Initial reports from
witnesses are that the man was in an altercation with two men in a vehicle directly in
front of the west entrance of the store. At some point, a shot or shots were fired from
inside the vehicle, striking the man.
Anyone with information can contact HPD.
UCSO searching for missing man
Aug. 24, 2020
Umatilla Sheriffs Office meanwhile searching for a missing Hermiston man.
37-year-old Daniel S. Lincoln
was reported missing on August 20th and was last seen driving a 2010 black Jeep with
Oregon plates 509GQN. Umatilla County Sheriffs Office was requested to assist on
August 21st when a ping on his cell phone showed a location southwest of Ukiah, Oregon
near Soap Hill Rd and Bridge Rd. This morning a fixed wind plane was called in to assist
with the search effort. Members of the SAR team along with Umatilla County Deputies
continue the search on the ground as well.
Anyone with information please contact our 24-hour dispatch center at 541-966-3651.
Multiple wildfires burning
Aug. 24, 2020
Fire updates from over the weekend multiple fires burning in Eastern Oregon and
The Meacham Complex of fires between Pendleton and La Grande at 272 acres and 15
percent contained. The Meacham complex includes the Hagar ridge fire, the Horse Fire, and
other fires in the area, burning in rugged terrain with grass, timber and dead and down
trees. The Northern Rocks incident Management Team took command of the Meacham Complex
early Friday morning.
Another large fire in our area now The Rattlesnake Fire on the Pomeroy Ranger District at
220 acres. Thats about 20 miles south of Pomeroy. The Putnam Springs Fire at 130
acres. Numerous smaller fires burning as well, Hot and dry conditions are expected to
persist throughout the week. Fire officials want to remind everyone that the current fire
danger rating remains at HIGH and Public Use Restrictions involving chainsaw use are in
Hermiston school board, council meetings tonight
Aug. 24, 2020
A special meeting tonight of the Hermiston School Board. That begins at 6:30 in the
boardroom at the Hermiston School district offices. It will be livestreamed on the
districts youtube channel.
The agenda includes an update on the comprehensive distance learning model,
Click here for the full agenda.
On the Hermiston City Council side, tonight's agenda includes annexation of property and
potential development of a new 31-unit subdivision. Theres a public hearing on the
proposal tonight. Public hearings also on the agenda for the South Hermiston Local
Improvement District and an amendment to the accessory dwelling unit ordinance. The
council also expected to discuss the workforce taxi incentive program.
That meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Hermiston Community Center. Some limited
public attendance will be allowed, but anyone attending in person must wear a facemask.
The city also live streaming the meeting and taking public comment via phone as well.
here for the agenda and remote connection information.
Hermiston childcare partnership
Aug. 18, 2020
A partnership announced yesterday focused on providing childcare this fall.
The partnership between The Hermiston School District, the City of Hermiston, and
Champions to provide childcare during comprehensive distance learning. The district
launching a survey to determine the community need for childcare. Click here for the survey.
Champions weekly rate is $190 per student. There are opportunities for discounts and
waivers and theyre asking interested families to mark yes on the survey if
theyd like more information. The school district plans to off-set a portion of the
costs for all families.
Hermiston opens school name survey
Aug. 13, 2020
A survey released
yesterday for the Hermiston School District about the three potential names for the new
elementary school on Theater Lane: Artemisa Elementary, Loma Vista Elementary and La Senda
Schools Superintendent Tricia Mooney says the three name translate to
Sagebrush, Hill View and The pathway.
In previous surveys, the community suggested names and voted for a guideline category.
Survey results pointed to using geographic name, similar to other elementary schools, and
board member Karen Sherman says the school board also wanted to reflect the changing
demographics of the Hermiston School District.
"We are now seeing a very large Hispanic population," she said. "At this
point in time, we wanted to look at a Spanish name."
Sherman says theyre looking forward to having a name for the school and encourage
people to complete the survey and give input before the board selects a final name.
Click here for the survey
Largest state outbreaks in Umatilla County
Aug. 13, 2020
The larges active outbreaks in the state are in Umatilla County - both in work places and
care facilities. The Oregon Health Authority releasing this weeks list of active
With 92 cases, Regency Hermiston remains the largest active care facility outbreak in the
state.The center also associated with 10 deaths - also the second highest highest death
toll at a care facility in the state since the pandemic began. Sun Terrace also remains an
active care facility outbreak with eight cases and two deaths connected to the site.
Pendleton's Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution now the largest active workplace
outbreak int he state with 199 total cases - the most recent onset on Aug. 7 - and data
was collected on Aug. 9. Three other Umatilla County worksites in the top 10: Lamb
Weston's Hermsiton location with 170 cases, Shearer's Foods with 42 and the Walmart
Distribution Center with 40 cases. One Morrow County site, Lamb Weston East, also in the
top 10, with 42 cases tying with Shearer's Foods as the 8th largest outbreak. .
The outbreak at the Hermiston Walmart now 39 cases, Atkinson Staffing reporting 31, Smith
Frozen Foods at 30. Good Shepherd at 29, TRCI in Umatilla at 27 cases, and Lamb Weston
West in Boardman at 25.
The Hermiston McDonalds outbreak at 24 and the Lamb Weston Boardman Pac Center is at 22.
The Oregon Health Authority reports outbreaks at workplaces with 30 or more employees and
5 or more total cases associated with the site, inlcuding employees or their family
members and close contacts.
Total, there are Twenty-nine workplace outbreaks in Umatilla and Morrow counties.
Also on the list this week: Columbia Basin Onion, Oregon Potato Company , Threemile Canyon
Farms, Hill Meat Company, MJ's Labor Servcies, Independt Transport LLC, Home Dpot,
Marlette Homes, Boardman Foods, River Point Farms, Port of Morrow Warehousing, Keystone
RV, the Stanfield McDonalds, Pacific Ag, the Hermiston Taco Bell, and J & J Snack
Foods in Weston.
City Council considers city hall, property
Aug. 10, 2020
A credit agreement on the agenda tonight to for the $9.6 million city hall replacement
City Council tonight voting on a full faith and credit financing agreement to build a
build new city hall and renovate the basement of the Hermiston library to host a
temporary city hall during the construction. The council tonight voting on a
full faith and credit bond obligation for the funding.
Also on the agenda, a vote on adopting a parks, recreation, and open space plan and a
discussion on a green property strategic surplus plan, potentially opening eight acres of
land for development.
The meeting begins at 7 at the Hermiston Community Center.
The city will have a limited number of chairs available at the meeting, and it will also
be livestreamed and available for public comment. You can find the contact link and
information, as well as the full agenda, at
School names, re-entry for school board tonight
Aug. 10, 2020
The Operational Blueprint for Re-entry, the enrollment report , and financial forecasts
all on the agenda tonight for the Hermiston School Board. They'll also have an
introduction to a new online agenda system, and ... The Hermiston School Board tonight
also receiving a report on the name finalists for the new elementary school on theater
lane. The finalists are: Artemisa Valley Elementary, Loma Vista Elementary, and La Senda
The meeting at 6:30 tonight, and remote access options are available. Anyone interested in
providing public comment can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by noon
Umatilla to talk bridge replacement
Aug. 4, 2020
A year and a half later, progress on replacing the Umatilla pedestrian bridge damaged in
flooding on the Umatilla river. The city working with J-U-B Engineers to replace the
195-foot-long bridge at Nugent Park that was damaged in flooding in 2019 and 2020.The
company has presented several design concepts to city staff, and the council will be
discussing goals and costs for the design. Also related to the bridge, a resolution
authorizing city staff to work with Oregon Emergency Management to repair and replace
flood-damaged facilities including the pedestrian bridge, the boat launch and fishing pier
at Nugent Park.
That meeting is at 7 tonight. It will be available via Zoom. Any questions or public
comments should be sent in to email@example.com before 5 p.m. today.
During the meeting, council members also to vote on a $370,000 loan to complete a
feasibility study for hydraulically connected well.s The city receiving a grant from the
Oregon Water Resources Department and has applied for the loan to cover the rest of the
cost. Resolutions also on the agenda tonight about amending and expanding the Greater
Umatilla Enterprise Zone.
To join via Zoom:
Dial 1 (253) 215-8782 US, Meeting ID is 819 7142 9093 the password is 97882.
here for the full agenda
Stanfield council agenda
Aug. 4, 2020
Streamlining the citys fire prevention ordinances on the agenda tonight for the
Stanfield City Council. The first reading of that ordinance and the second reading of one
on keeping livestock without a permit both on the agenda for tonights council
meeting. Theyll also have a civic block update, a volunteer resolutions, and
discussion about a city server replacement and website prospect review. That meeting
begins at 6 tonight in the council chambers on Coe Avenue.
Study: 17 percent of Hermiston infected, 80 percent without symptoms
July 31, 2020
Results are in from last weeks TRACE door-to-door testing in Hermiston. The OSU
study estimating 17 percent of Hermiston residents were positive for COVID-19 on Saturday
and Sunday and 80 percent do not have symptoms.
Hermiston Assistant City manager Mark Morgan says the results are about what he expected.
"We've known that there's a lot of asymptomatic cases out there that are prevalent in
the community and people are going about their business without taking that into
consideration," he said. "I think these results really hammer home the need for
people to maintain distance, even if they are asymptomatic."
80 percent of those who tested positive had no symptoms at the time of the test, although
we do not yet know if they were asymptomatic or presymptomatic.
The door-to-door, randomized study visited 30 neighborhoods in Hermiston, and 44 percent
of homes agreed to participate in the test. 471 people were tested and 41 people tested
positive. Thats 8.7 percent. Using modeling, the TRACE study estimates the
prevalence of the virus last weekend was about 170 for every 1,000 people in Hermiston or
17 percent of the population.
Joe Fiumara, director of UCo Health saying it is the highest testing the TRACE team has
seen in any survey.
"The big item, I think, is that 80 percent of people who were asymptomatic, which is
a really, really high number," he said.
The study also analyzed wastewater samples from both Hermiston and Boardman and found
strong viral signals suggesting the virus is widespread in both cities.
On Friday, UCo Health reporting 32 new cases of COVID-19 in the county. At that time,
there were 19-hundred and 61 cases, and 314 were active. 13 people were hospitalized.
Governor returns Umatilla County to baseline
July 31, 2020
Baseline restrictions as of noon today.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown announcing last night that Umatilla County would roll back to
baseline COVID-19 restrictions, Morrow County back to phase 1, as of noon today.
The baseline Stay Home, Save Lives order closes gyms, salons, barbers, dance studios,
bowling alleys, campgrounds and skate parks. None of which has been connected with a
The governor saying the county should expect to stay in the baseline phase for 21 days.