East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, December 14, 2017, Page Page 3A, Image 3

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Thursday, December 14, 2017
East Oregonian
Page 3A
Milton-Freewater man to
take deal in murder case
18, has pleaded not guilty
to murder and first-degree
criminal mistreatment in
M i l t o n - F r e e w a t e r the June 2016 death of his
murder defendant Conor 5-month-old son, Dominic.
Michael Dayton has a deal Defense attorney Kara
with the Umatilla County Davis said she is waiting for
a new psychological eval-
District Attorney’s Office.
uation of Freel,
Dayton, 24,
appeared in circuit
come in the next
court Wednesday
two weeks.
morning in Pend-
• And Angela
leton via video
from the county
Pilot Rock, can
jail. His attorney,
Herman Bylenga
her defense. The
stood at his side
Fix of setting
and announced
the fire in July
to the court the Dayton
that killed Larry
sides reached an
agreement. No one gave Castro, 77, at his Pilot Rock
home. She has pleaded
details of the deal.
accused not guilty to first-degree
Dayton of killing Marcos arson and second-degree
Gutierrez Rodriguez under manslaughter.
Davis told Brauer that
a Milton-Freewater bridge
in May and burning the Fix does not have “an aid
body to cover up the crime. and assist issue.” She said
Dayton has previously a miscommunication with
pleaded not guilty to murder Pendleton
Terry Templeman led to his
and abuse of the corpse.
Circuit Judge Christo- finding that Fix could not
pher Brauer asked Dayton engage with the case when
if he understood there was she actually can.
Davis said she could not
a “negotiated disposition”
in the case and Dayton provide more details due to
client confidentiality.
responded, “Yes, sir.”
Fix appeared via video
Brauer set Jan. 18 at 10
a.m. for Dayton’s change of from the jail and agreed to
sign a waiver to a speedy
• The court checked the trial. Brauer set Jan. 17 for
status of two more homi- the next updates on Freel
cide cases. Evan John Freel, and Fix.
East Oregonian
Staff photo by Jade McDowell
Kendyl Inners, center, passes the last of 420 food boxes down an assembly line at the Hermiston Conference
Center Tuesday night.
Christmas Express ready to
feed hundreds of families
East Oregonian
Canned corn and boxes of stuffing
were practically flying into boxes at
the city of Hermiston’s annual office
holiday party on Tuesday.
Staff, elected officials and their
families lined up along a conveyor belt
set up in the Hermiston Conference
Center, working together assembly
line-style to fill 420 boxes with food
for needy families in the community.
The food, along with toys for families
with young children, will be distributed
via Hermiston’s Christmas Express
“Henry Ford’s got nothing on these
guys,” said Ric Sherman as he watched.
Sherman said he has been helping
coordinate the food drive for Christmas
Express for 37 years, but this year was
the first time he had actually watched
the food be packed into boxes. He
said the program, administered by the
Hermiston Police Department, is a
shining example of Hermiston gener-
“This is Hermiston’s finest hour,” he
Police Chief Jason Edmiston said the
department had purchased $4,000 worth
of turkeys and $6,200 in other food
items, to be added to the 13,925 food
items collected by Hermiston schools
and the fresh produce donated by three
local farms. The food was loaded into
boxes and then shrink-wrapped onto
Sanitary service to stop
taking plastics for recycling
East Oregonian
Staff photo by Jade McDowell
City of Hermiston staff, elected officials and their families assemble 420
food boxes assembly line-style during their annual holiday party at the
Hermiston Conference Center Tuesday night.
pallets within 45 minutes. Extra food
that didn’t go into the boxes for about
420 specially chosen families will be
donated to the Agape House to be used
where the nonprofit sees the most need.
Christmas Express started 48 years
ago when a local businessman had
some toys he wanted to donate and
asked then-police chief Bob Shannon
whether he knew of anyone in town
who needed them. From that grew a
program that now serves hundreds of
struggling families in Hermiston each
year, nominated by churches and other
local agencies to receive food and pres-
ents for Christmas.
Edmiston said he was born and
raised in Hermiston but didn’t under-
stand the depth of the community’s
generosity until he became involved
with Christmas Express in 2004.
“There wasn’t a person I couldn’t
call and say ‘I need this’ and it would
be there,” he said.
Service is no longer taking
mixed plastics for recy-
Mike McHenry, presi-
dent, announced Wednesday
that the containers for plas-
tics #1-7 would be removed
from collection sites at
Fallen Field and the transfer
station by Jan. 1.
Many sanitary services
have stopped taking plastic
in recent months after
China announced it would
no longer be importing 24
types of solid waste for
recycling, including mixed
“This is a national
and international issue,
but the effects are very
local,” according to a news
release from Pendleton
Sanitary Service. “There
are no markets to absorb
what China has refused to
Empty butter containers,
milk jugs and other plastics
will no longer be taken
at the transfer station, but
bottles and pop bottles can
still be redeemed for a 10
cent deposit at grocery
stores and redemption
Despite the problems
with finding a new market
for plastics, Pendleton
Sanitary Service urges
people to continue recy-
cling other materials that
are approved while tossing
out items that are not so
they do not contaminate the
For more information
on what can be accepted
for recycling, visit pendle-
tonsanitaryservice.com or
call the transfer station at
High school opens
new parking lot
January 2
Anyone who has been
frustrated by trying to
find a parking spot around
Hermiston High School can
rejoice in a new parking lot
opening behind the school
on Jan. 2.
The lot, which can
be accessed via Orchard
Avenue, was built on part of
the former Umatilla County
fairgrounds to help relieve
congestion in the school’s
other parking lots and
Highland Avenue.
Students will have
access from the lot into the
school via the doors by the
weight room, which will
be unlocked on the same
Contributed photo by Hermiston School District
A new parking lot behind Hermiston High School
opens Jan. 2.
schedule as the purple gym.
All buses will continue to
enter the school grounds
from North First Street.
The first 200 students
to use the weight room
entrance from the new
parking lot on Jan. 2 will
be greeted with a free hot
Mail theft hits
near Hermiston
Umatilla County Sheriff’s
Office reported at least 40
Hermiston-area residents
are the victims of recent
mail theft.
The case began Dec. 5,
according to the sheriff’s
office, when deputy Calvin
Meade responded to a call
regarding a report of mail
all over the ground in the
area of North Ott and East
Loop roads, Hermiston.
“The mail included
several envelopes that had
been opened, including
holiday cards with empty
contents and checks,” the
sheriff’s office reported.
Three Hermiston-area
callers on Dec. 15 reported
finding mail in the area of
Sagebrush Road, Baggett
Lane, Alpine Drive
and Klaus Road, which
connect to form a square
east of Hermiston. They
also found mail in other
areas east of the town,
including on East Punkin
Center and Tabor roads,
East Theater Lane between
Northeast 10th Street
and Townsend Road, and
Sagebrush and North
Townsend roads.
Again, according to
the sheriff’s office, “the
envelopes containing items
of value were opened and
the contents removed.”
Meade determined
at least 40 people were
victims of mail theft. The
sheriff’s office notified
each as well as the
postmaster in Hermiston.
The post office will
redeliver the mail to the
victims, according to the
sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office
warned residents to be on
the lookout for suspicious
persons in the areas east
of Hermiston and asked
anyone with information
regarding the mail theft to
call the agency at 541-966-
Briefs are compiled
from staff and wire reports,
and press releases. Email
press releases to news@
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