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About East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current | View Entire Issue (June 15, 2019)
PARANORMAL TEAM INVESTIGATES TEAM
GEISER GRAND HOTEL SPORTS, B1
143rd Year, No. 173
JUNE 15-16, 2019
WINNER OF THE 2018 ONPA GENERAL EXCELLENCE AWARD
Pendleton no longer can jail poor for court debt
Settlement in 2018
helped spearhead new
By PHIL WRIGHT
PENDLETON — Angela
Minthorn in 2017 spent 55 days
in jail for owing little more than
$1,000 to the Pendleton Munici-
She sued the city in 2018
because of that incarceration.
The city settled with her in April
and agreed to pay out $130,000.
The city also had to stop throw-
ing poor people in jail for
Pendleton City Manager Robb
Corbett referred questions about
the case to city attorney Nancy
Kerns. She said the city had no
comment about the settlement but
conﬁ rmed the city court adopted
the new policies specifying how
the court can collect money while
banning the use of jail time for the
indigent. The policy took effect
April 18 at the direction of munic-
ipal judge. That action came the
day after the city and Minthorn
reached the deal.
“No person shall be incarcer-
ated for the inability and lack of
ﬁ nancial resources to pay ﬁ nan-
cial obligations to the Court,” the
City looks to
for UAS range
See Poor, Page A11
By ANTONIO SIERRA
Staﬀ photo by E.J. Harris, File
A U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife ﬁ reﬁ ghting vehicle drives toward a burning stand of trees of of the Old Emigrant Highway on Thursday,
Sept. 20, 2018, west of the Deadman’s Pass rest areas outside of Pendleton.
Average ﬁ re season predicted for region despite forecast
for warmer than usual July and August
By KATY NESBITT
For the East Oregonian
ENDLETON — Due to recent
wildﬁ re starts across the
region, Monday is the ofﬁ cial
start of ﬁ re season for North-
Fire managers and weather forecasters
look for an average ﬁ re season for the Blue
Mountains, but dry conditions are attracting
concern for large wildﬁ res between the Cas-
cades and the Oregon Coast.
Dan Slagle, forecaster at the National
Weather Service in Pendleton, said there is
no strong signal that the summer weather
patterns would be unusual, but July and
August are predicted to be warm.
“We are trending toward cooler and drier
weather the next one to two weeks, but lon-
ger trends favor warmer than normal condi-
tions,” he said.
PENDLETON — In recent years,
city of Pendleton ofﬁ cials have shared
anecdotes about busier restaurants,
full hotel rooms, and even purchased
houses to demonstrate the value of
Pendleton Unmanned Aerial Sys-
tems Range and the signiﬁ cant pub-
lic investment that’s funding it.
Now the city is seeking numbers
to back it up.
At a Tuesday meeting, the Pend-
leton City Council will consider
awarding a bid to NEXA Advisors to
perform an economic impact study
for the Pendleton UAS Range.
In a staff report, Steve Chris-
man, airport manager and economic
development director, wrote that the
Virginia-based company would pro-
vide “(a)ccurate information about
direct, indirect and induced revenue,
jobs, taxes and investment is critical
for attracting more public and private
Michael Dyment wrote in his pitch
to Chrisman that the company has
experience doing a similar study for
New York and its UAS range project.
Comparing the development of
UAS to the development of the print-
ing press, the automobile, and the
internet, Dyment wrote that its prior
studies have been used to “strengthen
negotiations supporting investment,
strategic partnerships and trade.”
NEXA will make its calculations
using data from the U.S. Bureau of
Economic Analysis, interviews with
Pendleton UAS Range staff and
drone industry employees, and eco-
nomic projections done by the city.
The study comes hot on the heels
of the council agreeing to spend $7.4
million from the water and sewer
funds to provide infrastructure for a
UAS industrial park.
On top of an expected $3 mil-
lion grant from the U.S. Economic
Development Administration, the
city hopes the UAS range will con-
tinue to grow if it provides drone
companies with shovel-ready ground
for hangars and other facilities.
According to a Wednesday inter-
view, Chrisman thinks the study will
help justify the city’s investment.
Chrisman recently compiled an
economic projection for the UAS
See Ready, Page A11
See UAS, Page A11
Former Hermiston city manager remembered
Tom Harper served
city for 26 years
By JADE MCDOWELL
HERMISTON — Hermiston’s
ﬁ rst city manager, Tom Harper, died
Tuesday at the age of 96. He was one
of the ﬁ nal living members of a gen-
eration of city leaders who helped
move Hermiston from a small town
with few paved roads to the largest
city in Eastern Oregon.
“It’s the passing of an era,” Bev-
erly Harkenrider said.
Harkenrider’s husband Frank
Harkenrider, who served as mayor
of Hermiston for 10 years and a city
councilor for 40, frequently said
before his death that hiring Harper
as Hermiston’s ﬁ rst city manager
was the best decision he and the
council ever made.
Harper served as city manager
for 26 years, from 1961 to 1987,
after the city council decided Herm-
iston had grown large enough to
need a full-time manager outside of
At the time Harper was hired,
Hermiston held about 4,000 resi-
dents. Under his management the
city built a library, public works
building, wastewater treatment
plant, opened a new city hall and
built the public safety building that
See Harper, Page A11
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