East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, March 30, 2017, Page Page 3A, Image 3

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Thursday, March 30, 2017
Cop killer released,
back in Monument
EO Media Group
Twenty-five years after
killing a John Day police
officer, Sidney Dean Porter
is back in Grant County.
Porter, 57, was released
from custody Friday,
March 24, and transported
members to the
Monument area,
where he will
reside “for the
District Attorney
said. Porter will
supervised Porter
on parole by
Grant County Community
McKinley said the depart-
ment will work to help
Porter succeed outside of
“I respect the wide range
of emotion that the release
of Mr. Porter invokes,” he
said. “However, I and those
I work with are committed
to fulfilling our role in
helping Mr. Porter be a
successful citizen in good
standing in Grant County.”
Porter pleaded guilty
to aggravated murder
for the 1992 killing of
officer Frank Ward, who
had responded to a report
of domestic violence at
Porter’s residence. Porter
“bludgeoned Ward with his
fists and a 10-pound piece
of firewood,” according to
court documents.
A lack of evidence
provided at an exit inter-
view in 2013 and legal
errors by the Board of
Parole and Post-Prison
Porter’s release. The
parole board issued a
prison release date in 2013
after little evidence was
presented at a required exit
interview, but the date was
postponed after
further evidence
however, did not
hold a hearing
with Porter at
the time of the
The Oregon
Court of Appeals
ruled the parole
board should not have
postponed his release
without “a timely hearing”
and reinstated the 2013
release date because of the
legal errors by the board.
The Oregon Supreme
Court denied a request to
review the appeals court
Carpenter, who fought
to keep Porter imprisoned,
said it is “time to move
“With regard to Mr.
Porter, our community has
a wide variety of opinions
as to what ‘should be,’” he
said. “As district attorney,
I have to accept and work
with ‘what is.’ In terms of
incarceration, Mr. Porter
is deemed to have paid
his debt to society. ... I
hope that Grant County
will set aside any outward
expressions of malice and
proceed with cautious
Crash near Adams
claims life of
Bismarck woman
—Oregon State Police
identified the victim in
Tuesday afternoon’s
deadly crash on Highway
11 near Adams.
Kalli R. Thompson,
26, of Bismarck, North
Dakota, died at the scene.
Mike Turner, lieutenant
with state police in
Pendleton, said Thompson
lived multiple places,
including recently in
Alaska, but Bismarck was
her family home. He said
she did not have local
Thompson was
northbound in a Ford
Explorer around 1:15
p.m. when she went into
the southbound lane and
sideswiped a semitrailer,
striking its rear axle,
according to state police.
She then hit a second
semi, which caused her
vehicle to roll. It landed
upside down next to a
wheat field along the
northbound lane of the
The impact ejected
Thompson, and she died
next to the Ford.
The semi drivers,
Antonio Vargas, 48, of
Pasco, and Dimitriy L.
Ryabchinskiy, 38, of
Vancouver, Washington,
along with one passenger
were not injured.
Turner said there were
several witnesses to the
crash, but what caused
Thompson to enter
oncoming traffic remains
a question.
No signs alleged
illegal strip club
still in operation
Umatilla County’s code
enforcement office began
investigating allegations
of an illegal strip club
operating outside of
Umatilla, activity at the
storefront in question
seems to have ceased.
In February, neighbors
of 82090 Highway 395
North filed complaints
with the county’s planning
department that someone
had run a strip club out
of the building over the
weekend of Feb. 25. No
one has applied for the
land use permits needed to
run that line of business on
the property.
Since then, planning
director Tamra Mabbott
said county code enforce-
ment has sent a letter to the
landowner, informing them
that strip club operations
must cease on the property
until all needed permits
are acquired. Mabbott said
that they have not received
a response, but there has
also not been any signs of
more strip club activity in
the building.
Umatilla planning
director Bill Searles said
his office has not received
any more reports about use
of the building as a strip
club either.
If a business is
operating in the county
without the needed land
use permits, it will first
receive a warning to cease
operations until the proper
permits are obtained,
followed by fines if the
behavior persists.
Mishra a finalist
for Washington
superintendent job
Mishra, the executive
director of Special
Programs for the
Hermiston School
District, is a finalist
for a superintendent
position in the Waitsburg,
Mishra was the only
one of five candidates to
be invited back for a final
interview, and will meet
with the public and the
school board.
Mishra has been with
the Hermiston School
District since 2009, and
has served in his current
role since 2014. He said
he expects to find out the
results of his interview on
Hermiston Assistant
Superintendent Tricia
Mooney said the district
has not yet begun to look
for another director of
Special Programs in the
event of his departure.
Briefs are compiled
from staff and wire reports,
and press releases. Email
press releases to news@
Submit information to: community@eastoregonian.
com or drop off to the attention of Tammy Malgesini at
333 E. Main St., Hermiston or Renee Struthers at 211
S.E. Byers Ave., Pendleton. Call 541-564-4539 or 541-
966-0818 with questions.
East Oregonian
Page 3A
Trio of fires keep firefighters busy
East Oregonian
Marc Sokoloski awoke
after midnight to pounding
on his door at 3110 N.E.
Riverside Ave., Pendleton.
Drivers along Highway 11
rushed to the house to warn
people there was a structure
fire at the back of the long
gravel driveway.
“I saw it, and it was
pretty much all engulfed,”
Sokoloski said, taking a
break from going over the
charred remains with an
insurance agent Thursday
The fire raged through
his large, aluminum-roofed
shed and burned the boat
inside. Sokoloski said flames
shot out the east side and hit
the Keystone Hideout travel
trailer. He went to move
the trailer, he said, but saw
the fire threatened the dog
kennel next to the shed’s
southwest corner.
Sokoloski said he bolted
past the burning building,
hauled himself over the
kennel’s side and rescued
the family’s two little dogs.
Everyone was OK, he said.
The Pendleton Fire
and Ambulance Service
received the call-out for
the blaze at 12:24 a.m. Fire
chief Mike Ciraulo said the
crew found the structures
“fully engulfed” in flames.
At 12:51 a.m., after
fighting the blaze for about
20 minutes, Pendleton
received a call for a second
fire — this one at Eastern
Oregon Correctional Institu-
tion, the state’s medium-se-
Staff photo by Phil Wright
Fire early Wednesday at 3110 N.E. Riverside Ave., Pendleton, destroyed this shed,
damaged the nearby dog kennel and burned through a recreational trailer. Owner
Marc Sokoloski said he rushed to the kennel and save his family’s two dogs.
curity prison on Pendleton’s
west side.
Pendleton called the Pilot
Rock Rural Fire Protection
District for aid. Pilot Rock
fire chief Ron Neeley said
that call came at the same
time the district had a fire of
its own a little out of town
up East Birch Creek.
A shed was aflame and
became a total loss, Neeley
said, but no one was injured,
and the fire did not spread to
other buildings.
Ciraulo said with no
one to help, a team broke
off from the Riverside fire
to tackle the blaze in the
prison’s carpentry shop, a
building about 300 feet by
50 feet.
Staff at the prison acted
quickly and used multiple
fire extinguishers to try to
quell the fire, according to
a written statement from
prison spokesperson Jackie
Peck. They kept the fire to
three walls within the shop’s
tool room.
Peck reported the Pend-
leton crew arrived at 1:05 am.
“The security guards there
did a great job of keeping it
contained,” Ciraulo said.
Off-duty firefighters also
came in, and the Umatilla
Tribal Fire Department sent
two members.
Yet the night was not
Ciraulo said the depart-
ment had to send a unit on
a medical call while at the
prison fire.
“Our saving grace was
that there were no injuries
and neither fire was chal-
lenging,” he said.
If the emergencies had
been akin to the difficulties
firefighters faced in battling
the Christmas Eve fire at 503
N. Main St., Ciraulo said, no
one would have been able to
respond to another crisis.
The three fires remain
under investigation for
Hermiston OKs festival street design loan
East Oregonian
The Hermiston City
Council had a busy meeting
Monday, approving changes
to the supplemental budget,
approving a loan to fund the
festival street project and
discussing the progress at
• The council issued a
proclamation declaring April
as Distracted Driving Aware-
ness Month, reviewing some
photos presented by Police
Chief Jason Edmiston.
His niece, Alexxyss Ther-
wanger, died last year in a
crash believed to have been
affected by texting distrac-
tions. Alexxyss’ car will be
featured in a display about
distracted driving, which
will be at the Hermiston
High School parking lot
April 3 and 4.
• The Hermiston City
Council entered an intergov-
ernmental agreement to loan
the Urban Renewal Agency
$100,000 for the festival
street design.
• Assistant City Manager
Mark Morgan presented
some photos of construction
going on at the EOTEC
grounds, including stadium
seats and a small animal
barn for which roofing will
start later this week.
• The council unan-
city finance director Amy
Palmer for the supplemental
budget. The resolution
for the hearing authorizes
in nine funds, transfers
between budget categories
in two funds, a reduction of
expenditures in one fund and
inter-fund transfers between
four funds. The non-de-
partmental category will be
increased by $35,000 for a
sewer expansion feasibility
study. The reserve fund will
be supplemented by $27,200
for repairs at the aquatic
services are being increased
by $8,000.
The total supplement
to the city budget is
$6,947,967. For reserves for
future expenditures, $70,473
was requested.
• Morgan discussed the
ridership for the Hermiston
public bus system this
month, and said the city will
eventually look at changing
services to reach more
people. The bus currently
makes four complete trips
through town, each lasting
about an hour and 15
minutes. Morgan said the
city will also look at ways
to make the service available
to more people, potentially
changing hours to serve
those that work an 8 to 5 job.
Currently, the free service
runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Children injured but in good spirits after accident
East Oregonian
The Oregon State Police
has released the names
of the drivers involved in
Monday’s head-on crash
north of Hermiston.
Goldman, who responded
to the crash, said the first
vehicle, a silver Jeep SUV,
was driven by Jocelyne
Vargas, 21, from Umatilla.
The second vehicle, a Honda
CR-V, was driven by Herm-
iston resident Jose Antonio
Lemus, 28. Lemus’ three
children were in the car as
well — a boy and a girl, both
6, and a boy, 4.
All those involved in
the crash were taken to the
hospital and treated for
injuries. Goldman said the
6-year-old boy was flown
to Portland due to concerns
about internal bleeding,
but by Wednesday he was
back in Hermiston and his
injuries were found to be
external only.
The six-year-old girl had
some cuts and bruises on her
arms and legs, and the four-
year-old boy had a swollen
head with some lacerations,
but as of Wednesday,
Goldman said the swelling
was decreasing.
Lemus’ left leg was pinned
in the car, and he had to be
extricated from his vehicle
by the fire department. He
has a broken left leg, and a
punctured right lung.
Goldman said at the
scene, Vargas appeared to
have some fairly severe
lacerations on her head, and
that she wasn’t wearing her
seatbelt at the time of the
Goldman said he visited
Lemus’ family at the hospital
on Wednesday, and that
all appeared to be in good
spirits after the accident.
The crash occurred
around 9:57 p.m. Monday
night, at mile marker 4
on North Highway 395.
According to the OSP
report, Vargas took her eyes
off the road, and when she
looked back discovered she
was about to hit a car in
front of her. To avoid that,
she swerved, going into
oncoming traffic, and hitting
Lemus’ Honda CR-V head
Goldman said Vargas was
issued a standard citation but
no criminal charges.
Umatilla County Fire
District 1 also responded to
the call.
paid off
my credit
card debt.
March 31th from 5 to 7:00 p.m.
@ the St. Anthony Hospital Blue Mountain Cafe
Cedar Wrapped Salmon - $7.50/Adults
- $7.00/Children & Seniors
with Rice Pilaf & Buttered Green Beans
Baked Potato Bar - $4.00/with toppings
All you can eat.
Salmon/Potato Bar Combo - $11.50
Clam Chowder Bread Bowl - $4.25
Single Cup $1.25
Become an
East Oregonian
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or call:
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