Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current, July 20, 2016, Image 1

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    Housing grant program
receives more funds
VOL. 135
NO. 27 8 Pages
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Morrow County, Heppner, Oregon
By David Sykes
The popular Morrow
County housing program,
which gives up to $5,000 to
home buyers, will receive
additional funding from the
Columbia River Enterprise
Zone (CREZ), it was an-
nounced last week.
The program gives up
to $5,000 grants to people
purchasing homes in Mor-
row County. Money for
the program comes from
businesses and industry
locating in the enterprise
zone around Boardman.
The money, which is paid
instead of property taxes
and is less than the new
businesses would pay in
taxes, is used as an incen-
tive for new businesses to
locate here. The enterprise
zone has been very success-
ful and also provides grant
money for education, pub-
lic safety and community
enhancement in the county.
Last Thursday CREZ
awarded $100,000 each
to Boardman and Willow
Creek Valley Economic
Development Group (WC-
VEDG), and $70,000 to the
City of Irrigon. WCVEDG
administers the program
for the South County area
including Heppner, Lexing-
ton and Ione.
Anyone considering
purchase a home, or prop-
erty on which to build a
home, or wanting more
details about the grant pro-
gram, should contact either
WCVEDG Director Sheryll
Bates at 541-676-5536, or
President David Sykes at
Since the program’s
inception two years ago
WCVEDG has disbursed
a total of 83 grants, with
47 going to local residents
of South Morrow County,
28 to out of South Morrow
County buyers and eight to
out-of-state buyers.
No harmful lead
Rainy days slow down harvest
found in MCSD water,
school district reports
In June, the Morrow
County School District
tested drinking water sites
at all of its schools for the
potential presence of lead.
Results from Box R Water
Analysis Laboratory in
Prineville indicate that all
sites tested showed “no lead
OHA to provide drinking
water expertise to schools
for support as they test.
Many schools receive
their water from commu-
nity or city water systems.
These public water systems
regularly test the water and
many already treat the wa-
Morrow County School District recently conducted lead test- Harvest is underway outside of Ione Tuesday while, at right, the Mor-
ing in all schools and determined that all sites had either no or row County Grain Growers’ Ione grain elevator receives a belly dump
acceptable lead levels. -Photo by FreeImages.com/Emily Austin from a grain truck. Unseasonably rainy weather has slowed progress
for this year’s harvest, though cutting is slowly moving south through
detected” or were below the ter to help reduce corrosion the county. Morrow County Grain Growers reports that it is difficult to
get an average because yields are “all over the place,” but so far both
EPA limit of 0.020.
of plumbing. However, lead quantity and quality look better than last year. -Photos by David Sykes
The Morrow County that is present in pipes and and Bronwyn Fichtenberg
district joined school dis-
tricts across eastern Oregon
that are testing their drink-
ing water this summer.
Currently, there are no state
or federal requirements for
schools to test drinking wa-
ter for lead, and it has not
been a practice in the past.
In mid-May, the Oregon
Department of Education
(ODE) and the Oregon
Health Authority (OHA)
created a plan regarding
lead in school water. The
plan requests all school dis-
tricts that get drinking wa-
ter from public water sys-
tems test for lead in school
buildings; requires districts
to use certified drinking
water testing labs to process
the water samples; asks
ODE and OHA to develop
a method for schools to re-
port results to OHA; and for
fixtures in building plumb-
ing can enter the water at
the tap and expose those
who drink it—which is
why sampling and testing
for lead at each tap is im-
“The Morrow County
School District is pleased
to report that water at our
schools is safe for drinking.
We will continue to monitor
this and will keep com-
municating to parents and
our community,” said Dirk
Dirksen, superintendent.
Some state funds may
be available in fall 2016 to
reimburse school districts
who test their drinking wa-
ter this summer.
For more information,
visit the Oregon Health
Authority website at http://
w w w. o r e g o n . g o v / o h a /
Hermiston woman
wins gun raffle
Maria Olea (center) of Hermiston, OR was the winner of the
Lions Club rifle raffle held recently. Olea is pictured holding the
.257 Weatherby Magnum that Lions Club Secretary/Treasurer
Steve Rhea (left) presented to her, with husband Thomas Olea
beside her. -Photo by Megan Futter
Modern knights teach youth the truth
behind medieval fighting methods
By Andrea Di Salvo
A knight in armor
pauses during combat in
Heppner City Park, his
opponent’s sword inches
from his face after his failed
attempt to block the thrust.
“How did that (move)
go for him?”
“Good!” cries the
crowd of children and
“How did that go for
me?” he asks wryly.
“Bad!” comes the re-
The knights in ques-
tion were from Knights of
Veritas (knights of truth),
an educational program
that specializes in present-
ing interactive educational
demonstrations of medieval
arms, armor, combat and
chivalry throughout the
northwest. Director Eric
Slyter and presentation
assistant Michael Jones
donned medieval cloth-
ing and armor for a large
crowd gathered in the park
last Friday, using humor
and historical fact to dispel
some of the Hollywood
myths about knights and
fighting in the Middle Ages.
Central to the presenta- Knights of Veritas Director Eric Slyter takes a few moments
tion was the longsword, re- to explain the medieval longsword before donning his armor,
-See KNIGHTS/PAGE while Michael Jones waits to assist and stage manager Rebekka
Van Der Does oversees the table full of armor and artifacts in
the back. -Photo by Andrea Di Salvo
Heppner grad helps students’ dreams
take flight
Heppner graduate Ben
Ewing is helping a group
of students make their own
way to success, as a STEM/
science teacher at Toledo
High School in Toledo,
OR. Ewing, the son of Hep-
pner resident Bill Ewing
and wife Sherry, graduated
from Heppner High School
in 1996.
Ewing and co-teacher
Peter Lohonyay coached Toledo High School students watch Ben Ewing get ready to
two Toledo student teams measure the output of their wind turbine. -Contributed photo
to first and second places
at the Renewable Energy
Challenge in Newport, OR
this year. Nearly 200 stu-
dents competed, bringing
59 devices for judging at
the challenge; the Toledo
students designed and built
wind turbines that, in a
manner of speaking, blew
away the competition.
Last month the young
designers also traveled
to New Orleans, LA to
compete as one of 30 elite
teams in the National Kid-
Wind Challenge. While
they didn’t finish first at
Mon-Fri 7am-6pm
Saturday 7am-5pm
After Hours Phone
541-256-0447 or 541-256-0330
Morrow County Grain Growers
Lexington 989-8221 • 1-800-452-7396
For farm equipment, visit our web site at www.mcgg.net