East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, August 28, 2018, Page 10, Image 10

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    Page 10A
East Oregonian
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
SCHOOL: ‘The school culture and atmosphere are awesome’
Continued from 1A
ing from Oregon State University
with a degree in animal science,
Parks has had about two years of
experience as a substitute teacher.
But teaching this subject will
be fairly new for him.
“I’ve done different construc-
tion jobs, but as far as teaching
(construction), absolutely not,”
he said.
The program, which this year
had 220 students vying for 150
spots, will allow students to learn
about 20 different trade skills
before honing in on the ones that
interest them.
“It’s not your typical class, sit-
ting and reading a book the whole
time,” he said. “We’re getting to
put our hands on it, figuring out
where kids’ interest really lies.”
Parks will teach an “intro to
woods and construction” course,
which will cover subjects includ-
ing framing, roofing, green
energy, electrical work, plumbing
and sheet rock, before students
move on to other programs —
such as the Columbia Basin Stu-
dent-Built Homes program.
Parks said the course will teach
students skills that will help them
land jobs post-high school.
“There’s a huge labor short-
age in the United States,” he said.
“The class will teach skills every
students should have, but it’ll
absolutely get you a job.”
Janci Spoo, another Herm-
iston High School alumna, will
start teaching Health Services this
year. The course will allow stu-
dents to explore different careers
in the health field, touching on
laws and ethics, and specific areas
of study like sports medicine. In
addition to some anatomy and
physiology concepts like blood
pressure and heart rate, students
will have the chance to get cer-
tified in CPR (cardiopulmonary
For Spoo, the job at Hermis-
ton High School feels like home.
The daughter of HHS princi-
pal Tom Spoo and a 2012 grad-
uate of the school, she has been
a long-term substitute in the
Hermiston and Umatilla school
districts, and has been the assis-
tant coach of Hermiston’s girls
golf team for two years.
“The school culture and atmo-
sphere are awesome,” she said.
Spoo said she plans to give an
understanding of lifelong fitness
— activities and skills to stay
healthy in their own lives — as
well as careers helping others.
The students will log vol-
unteer and internship hours
throughout the term, and tour
different local medical facilities.
Spoo said in the future she
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
Teacher Theresa Stangel reads instructions for students to write
a short biography about themselves in a Bulldog catering class
Monday at Hermiston High School.
hopes to take the students on
trips to bigger facilities, such as
Oregon Health and Science Uni-
versity in Portland.
Theresa Stangel will help
equip students with another type
of skill. The new family and
consumer sciences teacher will
teach several courses — hospi-
tality and tourism, Bulldog cater-
ing, and principles of food and
Originally from Enterprise,
Stangel studied at Oregon State
University, and then taught for
three years at small schools in
Texas. She taught basic sew-
ing, cooking, food science and
child development, but had more
ground to cover at those schools.
“It wasn’t quite as specific as
here,” she said.
She said she’s happy to be
back at a bigger school, espe-
cially one that’s supportive of
career and technical education.
“It helps them get experiences
in the industry prior to being in
the real world,” she said of the
catering program. “It’s an actual
situation where they show up,
and make a product they get paid
for or not based on the outcome.”
Stangel said she feels for-
tunate to come into a program
that’s already established, but
she hopes to impart a few new
concepts upon her students.
“I have some experience with
game meats — my family has
a bison ranch,” she said. “I’m
hopefully going to use that to let
the kids experience some differ-
ent foods.”
The teachers said they’re
pleased with the community and
district’s support for career tech-
nical education programs.
“It allows kids to already have
that on their resume, if they’re
going to enter the industry right
out of high school,” Stangel said.
She said people seem to be
recognizing the importance of
these types of programs, and giv-
ing students a path to something
other than a four-year university.
“It’s kind of the golden age
of CTE — it’s a good time to be
coming in,” Parks said.
Contact Jayati Ramakrishnan
at 541-564-4534 or jramakrish-
HOUFMUSE: Said Cragun came running toward him and took a gun out of a bag
Continued from 1A
one of Cragun’s children.
In court proceedings that
have spanned more than a
year, Houfmuse has repeat-
edly claimed self-defense,
stating that Cragun charged
at him, and had been making
statements in the days lead-
ing up to his death threaten-
ing Houfmuse’s life.
Judge Eva Temple, who
had presided over the case
from the beginning, was
recently disqualified from
presiding over criminal
cases by District Attorney
Dan Primus, and the case
had been turned over to Sul-
livan in the last week.
Primus released a brief
statement about the settle-
ment Monday afternoon.
He said Houfmuse pleaded
guilty on a new case, fol-
lowing a court decision
made last week requiring the
state to try the murder and
felon in possession charges
separately. The release said
the court was concerned
that trying the two together
would be too prejudicial to
the defendant.
“At the same time this
ruling to sever was made,
the court also ruled that
would be inadmissible, leav-
ing insufficient evidence for
the state to continue to pro-
ceed to trial on the murder,”
the statement said.
Primus could not be
reached for further comment.
Kara Davis, said her client
always had a strong self-de-
fense case.
“Oregon is a stand-your-
ground state,” she said. “If
someone charges you, you
have the right to defend
She said the lack of con-
clusive forensic evidence
also played a part. The state
crime lab found that Cragun
was the primary contribu-
tor of DNA on the gun, and
Houfmuse’s DNA was not
found on the gun — a fact
the state could not explain.
But Davis said one of the
biggest factors in the final
outcome was the judge’s
decision to suppress Houf-
muse’s statements.
“I think that was the final
nail in the coffin for the
state’s case,” she said.
Davis said had the case
gone to trial, the only charge
on which she would have
been concerned about a con-
viction was felon in posses-
sion of a firearm.
She said Houfmuse
agreed to plead guilty to
possessing the firearm after
it went off. The gun was
found in a field a few hun-
dred yards away from the
apartment complex where
Cragun died.
“It was tragic, but just
because it’s tragic doesn’t
make it criminal,” Davis
said. “It was never a good
case for murder.”
During a hearing in May,
Temple heard more than
eight hours of video and
audio interviews with Houf-
muse and several witnesses,
including a woman both
Houfmuse and Cragun had
dated, and two other women,
all of whom were present the
night Cragun died.
According to descrip-
tions from witnesses and
Houfmuse, that night Cra-
gun drove up to the apart-
ment that Houfmuse and
Cragun’s ex-girlfriend were
about to enter, got out of the
car, jumped over a hedge
and started coming toward
Houfmuse said Cragun
came running toward him
and took a gun out of a bag.
Houfmuse said he grabbed
Cragun’s hands and twisted
the gun, and the gun went
Autopsy reports showed
the entry point of the bullet
on Cragun’s upper left back
area. Primus said during a
May hearing that the angle
made it impossible for the
gun to have been twisted as
Houfmuse claimed.
Cragun had been con-
victed of assaulting the
woman two years before his
death, and she had a restrain-
ing order against him. The
video interviews and court
documents revealed that
Cragun had been calling her
and sending her threatening
text messages, threatening
Houfmuse’s life and hers.
This is the fourth time
charges for a shooting. In
both 2000 and 2005 he was
charged with attempt to
commit murder, and both
charges were dismissed. He
was also charged in 2014
with a shooting outside a
bar in Kennewick that left
a man paralyzed, but a jury
decided that he acted in
Davis said she is not con-
cerned about Houfmuse
committing other crimes
once he is released.
“He’s not a scary person
to me at all,” she said. “I
think he’s had some really
unfortunate incidents. I
think if he can start again in
a new place, he won’t have
to worry about a reputation.”
Hermiston Police Chief
Jason Edmiston said he was
confident the department
had identified all the people
involved in Cragun’s death.
“There’s not a shooter
floating around,” he said.
He said he had been
in contact with Primus
throughout the case.
“I can say that this has
REUNION: Experience of the class shaped by WWII
Continued from 1A
phones and social media,
teachers stood in front of a
blackboard with a piece of
For Esther Richards,
Pendleton as she remem-
bers it is a recollection from
years passed. She moved to
Portland 50 years ago with
her husband and thought
she would always come
back home, but by the time
she retired her husband had
passed away and she had
the comfort of family on the
west side of the state.
Richards’ Pendleton was
“very small, with no traffic
lights and fewer cars.” Yet
similar to the town today,
Main Street was a popu-
lar locale, and had stores
with soda fountains where
she could buy a Coke for a
nickel, she said.
On weekends, the teens
attended movies at three
movie theaters or attended
dances at grange halls. Most
worked part-time jobs. Kel-
ley played trumpet at dances.
Tomlinson worked as a soda
jerk at the drug store and on
the line at the pea factory.
Classmates drove trucks
during wheat harvest. After
school, Kelley played foot-
ball, ran track and played in
the high school band. Tom-
linson played volleyball and
tennis and acted in school
Though the class was the
last class of the World War II
Staff photo by Kathy Aney
Esther Richards, of the PHS class of 1945, chats with
fellow graduates at Saturday’s reunion at the Eagles
era, the first member to die
wasn’t a soldier, Kelley said.
Classmate Jake Gorfickele
(and his wife) died at age 19
or 20 in a car accident. Kel-
ley dubbed his class “The
“We survived the Depres-
sion of the ’30s, the Second
World War and all the subse-
quent wars,” he said.
The experience of the
class was shaped by World
War II. During the war,
the American government
implemented rations on var-
ious commodities, including
gasoline. Richards remem-
bers that the school didn’t
have out-of-town games
because no one had gas. And
she recalled metal and scrap
paper drives with compe-
titions between different
Richards said she “dis-
tinctly remembers” the
moment she heard about
World War II breaking out
in America. She had gone
to see a movie at the Rivoli
theatre and was walking out
into the street.
“And there were paper
boys in the street yelling,
‘Extra, extra! Pearl Harbor
bombed by the Japanese,’ It
was Dec. 7, 1941,” she said.
Many people didn’t get to
formally graduate because
they entered the service, she
Henry Downing was one
of those people.
“My mother picked
up my diploma,” he said.
Downing enlisted in the
Navy and was later recruited
to the Marine Corps. He got
called for service in Novem-
ber of 1944 and spent about
four of five months in Guam
and another nine months as
a dental assistant in China.
Because the war ended in
1945, there weren’t many
people in the class who
served on the front lines.
Tomlinson lost one of
her brothers in the war. His
remains, identified only
recently, were buried in
Pendleton’s Olney Ceme-
tery in 2013.
Kelley and Tomlinson
never dated. Good friends,
they lived a block apart and
often sat on one or the oth-
er’s front porch and talked
about life. As an adult, Kel-
ley owned a Pendleton
music store and Tomlinson
raised five children with her
husband, Ray.
One renowned classmate
was contemporary sculp-
tor Kenneth Snelson, who
used wires and tubes to cre-
ate towers and arcs. He died
in New York City in 2016.
Rudy Enbysk became Pend-
leton’s mayor. The lon-
gest-working member is
Albert Thews, a Califor-
nia attorney who retired last
year at the age of 90.
In 1990, some class
members started meeting for
lunch monthly in Pendleton.
Tomlinson still drives from
Spokane and Kelley from
Walla Walla.
Next year’s class reunion
is already on the graduates’
“We wouldn’t miss it,”
Tomlinson said. “Our friend-
ships have kept us young.”
really worn on him and his
office,” he said.
Edmiston said based on
the evidence, this outcome
was the most they could
hope for.
“Unfortunately this was
all that could be proven
beyond a reasonable doubt,”
he said.
Cragun’s mother, Bev-
erly, was in the courtroom
Monday. Cragun’s entire
immediate family has been
present throughout the
“He didn’t get what he
deserved,” she said. “He’s
going to kill again. I feel
sorry for the family who’s
going to have to go through
what my family has been
going through.”
She said the family is
going to try to pick up the
pieces and go on with their
lives without their son.
Davis said with Houf-
muse’s credit for the time
he’s already spent in jail,
plus five months that will
be taken off his sentence for
“good time,” or time off for
good behavior, he will likely
spend between two and five
more months in jail.
She said Houfmuse did
not say anything during the
“This is a tragic situa-
tion no matter how you look
at it,” she said. “There was
no way he wanted to say
anything to make Mr. Cra-
gun’s family feel like he was
gloating. There’s no right
thing to say.”
nian.com or 541-564-4534.
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