Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 20, 2016)
LOCHTE ISSUES APOLOGY
FOR BEHAVIOR SPORTS/1B
TEENS TEST THEIR TRACTOR LED OR NEON LIGHTS?
DRIVING SKILLS LIFESTYLES/1C
AUGUST 20-21, 2016
140th Year, No. 221
WINNER OF THE 2016 ONPA GENERAL EXCELLENCE AWARD
KILLINGS SHOCK HERMISTON
lives cut short
in stable condition
Andria E. Bye, 35, is the lone
survivor of shootings Thursday in
Hermiston that claimed three lives,
including her teenage son.
Bye remains at Good Shepherd
Medical Center, Hermiston, where
hospital spokesperson Nick Bejarano
said she was in “stable” condition.
Bye’s aunt, Terressa Baldridge, said
she is expected to make a full physical
Thursday to 9-1-1 calls of gunshots and
found Bye in a bedroom at 130 N.W.
11th St., the home of Kenneth Valdez,
45. The bodies of Valdez and Jason
Huston, 45, also were in the room.
Huston, according to police, shot and
killed Valdez, shot Bye, and turned the
gun on himself.
Huston and Bye had previously
been in a relationship, but had never
Bye’s son, 14-year-old James “JJ”
Hurtado, was found dead Thursday
night off Country Lane in a remote
area west of Hermiston. JJ was last
seen Thursday morning when Huston
pickup him up in Umatilla to play
disc golf at McNary Park, according
to Hermiston Police Chief Jason
The Umatilla County Sheriff’s
Ofﬁ ce is handling the investigation
into that homicide. Sheriff Terry
Rowan said the teen was shot but he
does not yet know the motive and
“would hate to even speculate.” He
added there was no evidence of a
struggle nor that Huston kidnapped
Hurtado’s body remained at the
scene Friday until Friday afternoon,
Rowan said, where the Oregon State
Police crime lab gathered evidence,
along with law enforcement detectives.
An autopsy is expected Saturday.
Country Lane intersects with Bridge
Road, where police also found one of
At 11:06 a.m. on Thursday, Umatilla
County dispatchers broadcast a report
By JADE MCDOWELL
and ALEXA LOUGEE
ABOVE: Ken Valdez was shot and killed
in his Hermiston home Thursday.
LEFT: James “JJ” Hurtado poses with
the 2016 Oregon middle school team
championship trophy in wrestling,
which he helped Sandstone Middle
School win. Hurtado was found dead
Thursday night outside of Hermiston.
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
Umatilla County Sheriff’s deputies investigate Friday near where the body of James “JJ”
Hurtado was discovered late Thursday evening at the end of Country Lane west of Hermiston.
Visit Garner’s Sporting Goods
in Pendleton for one hat
Residents ﬁ ght bank closure
By KATHY ANEY
A green highway sign sits only
yards away from the tiny U.S.
Bank branch at the corner of Third
and Main in Athena.
One arrow directs motorists
toward Pendleton. The second
points to Milton-Freewater.
Oddly, those are the two loca-
tions where Athena residents will
be able do their banking once U.S.
Bank closes the branch on Nov.
4. The closest, Milton-Freewater,
is 12 miles northeast, while
Pendleton is 18 miles the other
A letter from U.S. Bank dated
Aug. 4 arrived in mailboxes earlier
this month to inform customers of
the branch’s impending closure.
Oregon Sen. Bill Hansell, an
Athena resident, opened up a
savings account at the branch in
the mid-1950s after he sold his
ﬁ rst 4-H pig at auction.
“I’ve had an account there for
the last 60-some years,” Hansell
said. “I kept it even during college
and when I went overseas.”
The bank has a long history in
Athena, a town of about 1,100.
According to University of
Oregon Archives, it opened as the
Family and friends are mourning
two people who were victims in
Thursday’s tragic killings.
Those who knew James “JJ”
Hurtado are remembering the teen as
a generous, athletic boy who loved his
Hurtado, 14, attended Sandstone
Middle School and was set to begin
year at Herm-
“He had a
later very generous
His body was
found by police
in a remote
area west of
people fi rst.”
apparent victim — Mischa Meyer,
of a homicide.
friend of Hurtado
H u r t a d o ’s
Terressa Baldridge, speaking on behalf
of the family, described him as a “fun,
She said he was a typical teenage
boy who enjoyed video games, but
he was also a talented athlete who at
different times competed in football,
baseball, wrestling and cross country.
He even went to state for wrestling as
a middle school student.
“He was just an athletic kid with
tons of energy and lots of dedication,”
Baldridge said he had a girlfriend
he adored and she wasn’t surprised that
adults remembering him on Facebook
were describing him as a well-liked,
polite young man.
“He was a charmer, that kid,” she
While many teenage boys make a
show of rolling their eyes at family
works to protect
dam, vice versa
By ALEXA LOUGEE
“This is not a city council
meeting in any way, shape or
form,” Shafer said. “This is
simply citizens getting together to
maintain our bank.”
The mayor said they didn’t
gather to complain, but to brain-
That said, Hansell vented a bit
before broaching a solution. He
read from the U.S. Bank closure
The Columbia River is a beacon for
recreation. On any given summer day its
shores are scattered with swimmers and
anglers. Boats dot its waters, some on board
ﬁ shing and some out for a relaxing ride.
It’s the job of Sgt. Dave Johnson of the
Umatilla County Sheriff’s Ofﬁ ce to monitor
activity and help keep the waters safe for
“This river is very hazardous,” Johnson
He cites the turbulence from the water
released by McNary Dam, currents that
can reach 8 mph and cold water runoff
from melting mountain snow. One area he
regularly monitors is the Boat Restricted
Zone, which includes most of the McNary
Dam spillway. Boats are not allowed in what
Johnson calls the “BRZ.” It’s a tempting
place for ﬁ shermen seeking to catch the big
one coming off the ﬁ sh ladder, but boaters
caught in the area are subject to a $430 ﬁ ne.
Aside from a ﬁ ne, there are real safety risks
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
Residents in the Athena will have to do their banking in
Milton-Freewater or Pendleton once the US Bank closes its
local branch Nov. 4.
First National Bank of Athena in
1912. Ownership shifted to the
U.S. Bank of Portland in 1939 and
later U.S. Bank.
Not willing to let the bank
slip quietly away into the night,
Hansell and Athena Mayor John
Shafer organized a town hall
meeting for Wednesday night.
About 30 residents ﬁ lled city
council chambers on short notice
after the town grapevine did its