Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current, June 21, 2017, Image 1

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    Local planning efforts underway
for massive solar eclipse event
VOL. 136
NO. 23 8 Pages
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
The path of totality for the much-hailed 2017 solar eclipse will pass over South Morrow Aug.
21, and residents are being warned to prepare for an influx of tourists. -Map by Fred Espenak
Planning efforts are in descend on Eastern Oregon celestial event will take
full swing for the record- during the total solar eclipse -See ECLIPSE PLANNING/
setting crowds expected to later this summer. The rare
Morrow County, Heppner, Oregon
County plans electrical upgrade
at fairgrounds
RV spaces will see improvements
By David Sykes
The Morrow County
Commission has decided
to move forward with a
planned electrical upgrade
at the fairgrounds, which
will benefit six RV spots
located there, and also pro-
vide more amperage for
vendors setting up at fair.
“We have a bunch of
stuff running off 200-amp
service provided for the
vendors,” Public Works
Director Burk O’Brien told
the commission at its June 7
meeting. “We need 800 amp
for the six RV spots.”
The RV spots are down
by the creek and mainly
used now during fair and ro-
deo; however, O’Brien said
with the upgrades there may
be more usage of the spots.
“Fifty-amp service is
needed. The days of 20 to
30 amp are gone. It is time
to do things right,” he said
in urging the commission to
approve the upgrade.
It was estimated that
the electrical upgrades
would cost around $23,000,
and O’Brien compared do-
ing the work to when sev-
eral years ago the county
upgraded the fair’s water
“You can compare this
to the water system that
wasn’t working and we kept
spending money on it. We
replaced the water system
and it has been a good in-
He said the current
electrical system is under-
sized for what it is being
used for and if fixed should
be good for “many, many
O’Brien suggested that
the upgrades might also
prompt more usage of the
RV spots, which prompted
commissioner Don Russell
to ask if the improved sites
would be in competition
RV spaces at the fairgrounds will see improvements with the electrical upgrade planned by
the county. -Photo by David Sykes
with the RV sites the Park
District operates at Wil-
low Creek Lake. He said
he can see the fairgrounds
RV spots taking up slack
if the lake has an overflow,
such as during high usage
times of St. Patrick’s Day
weekend and fair and rodeo
week, but wondered if they
would be taking away for
the lake park during other
times. O’Brien said the
fairgrounds spots would be
there more for people using
the fairgrounds facilities,
and did not see it as com-
petition. Russell agreed,
pointing out that the lake
park is not set up for horse
trailers and livestock, and
the fairgrounds would be
more for usage for a specific
event and not take away
from the park district.
Treasurer protests pro-
posed bank policy
In other business, the
commission had a discus-
sion with Morrow County
Treasurer Gail Gutierrez
over commission access to
county bank accounts. At
present neither the com-
missioners nor Morrow
County Finance Director
Kate Knop are allowed to
look directly at the county’s
accounts at either Commu-
nity Bank or The Bank of
Eastern Oregon, and must
go through the treasurer for
that information.
Gutierrez told the com-
mission she was opposed
to a proposed change in
policy that would allow
them access. In a letter she
read to the commission-
ers Gutierrez said she was
particularly upset that the
proposed policy change
was discussed at an open
commissioner meeting be-
fore she was informed, and
felt “blind-sided” by the
request. She said she should
have been told privately be-
fore the meeting. Commis-
sion chair Melissa Lindsay
said she brought it up at a
commission meeting be-
cause she wanted all three
commissioners to be in-
Gray takes over as
MCGG manager
By Andrea Di Salvo
based in Illinois.
The man stepping in
“I think my previous
to fill the shoes of outgo- job experiences and skills
ing Morrow County
lined up with what
Grain Growers Gen-
they were looking
eral Manager John
for,” says Gray,
Ripple is no stranger
referring to the
to Eastern Oregon.
MCGG board. “I
New MCGG Gen-
had a lot of con-
eral Manager Kevin
versations with my
Gray says he ran
wife and my kids,
the Arlington grain Kevin Gray
and we felt this was
elevator in the mid-
really a great op-
1990s, a piece of personal portunity and something we
history that may be why needed to look into.”
the executive search firm
Gray and his wife, Di-
retained by MCGG came ane, have five children; the
calling when Ripple an- two youngest, twins, will
nounced his retirement.
be high school juniors next
“I made a lot of close year and are heavily in-
business relationships when volved in student activities,
I was out here before,” including student council.
50-year-old Gray says. He shares that his family
“When they approached hasn’t yet made the move
me, it was through those re- to Oregon, because they’re
lationships, through people hesitant to uproot the girls
I knew out here before.”
at this point in their lives
Despite his history with and he’s “leaving it up to
the area, Gray comes to the them.” However, his family
MCGG Lexington head- is behind the move, and is
quarters from a bit further visiting this week to look at
away—Monticello, IA, a colleges in Oregon.
town of about 4,000 located
“My wife and I have
between Cedar Rapids and both lived in small towns
Dubuque. For the last two our entire lives,” he says.
years he worked in Monti- “We feel very comfortable,
cello and a couple of other being involved. We look
small towns doing agrono- forward to getting involved
my sales for AgVantage FS, here, as well.”
an agriculture and energy
Meanwhile, Gray, who
supplier based in Iowa. He started May 15, is taking
had a long history in grain advantage of his time learn-
before that, however; for the ing the ropes from Ripple,
14 years previous he was a who officially retired May
grain division manager for 31 but agreed to stay on
AgVantage. Before that he through June.
worked for Growmark, a
regional grain cooperative
volved with the discussion.
By Oregon Open Meetings
law, commissioners are not
supposed to meet together
privately with two or more
commissioners present, as
this constitutes a quorum
of the three-member board,
and is not allowed.
Lindsay had originally
proposed the policy change
when she went to the bank
to check on certain pay-
ments made to contractors
during a construction proj-
ect, and asked to look at the
bank accounts. At that time
she was told she did not
have authorization. Lind-
say, along with the other
two commissioners Russell
and Jim Doherty, all said
they wanted policy changed
so all commissioners and
the finance director are able
to go to the bank and look at
the county’s bank accounts.
Rev. Keith Brudevold, he is looking forward to this
They felt it was better for
formerly of Heppner, is reconnection with “a com-
checks and balances if more
munity that I grew
returning next week
than one person had access
to love.” He will
after an absence
once again reside
of nine years. He
at Grace House, the
will be assuming
parsonage for the
once again the po-
church located on
sition of pastor of
Church Street.
the Heppner United
His first Sunday
Methodist Church.
pulpit will be
Rev. Keith
the Boardman Marina.
and friends
“It was a great example
of team work and members
of the community coming
together to help each other
out with one goal in mind,” for her to step down from a.m. The theme for the
Sunday gathering will be
said MCSO Sergeant Brian this position.
A Nation Under God, as
Snyder in a written state-
America celebrates the na-
beginning in 2002, and says tion’s birthday.
Pastor Brudevold
returns to Heppner
MCSO vessel saved from sand bar
A combined effort by
emergency personnel and
civilians freed a stranded
law enforcement vessel
over the weekend.
A Morrow County
Sheriff’s Office marine ves-
sel became stranded in the
Columbia River near Crow
Butte due to engine failure
late Saturday afternoon. A
combination of the river’s
current and high winds
caused to vessel to come to
rest on a sand bar around
3:40 p.m. June 17.
MCSO was assisted
by four Boardman Fire
Department members, an
off-duty Boardman Police
officer and a private citi-
zen, and MCSO was able
to recover the boat with
minimum damage to the
vessel. MCSO reports that
by around 9 p.m. all mem-
bers of the rescue team and
their vessels were back at
Gazette will be closed July 4
Deadline for July 5 is June 30
The Heppner Gazette-
Times will be closed Tues-
day, July 4, due to the Inde-
pendence Day holiday.
The Gazette will go
to print on Monday, July
3, so the deadline for all
news and advertising will
be Friday, June 30, at 5 p.m.
Normal business hours
will resume Wednesday,
July 5.
2887500 GROWERS
350 MAIN
Restrictions: Offers vary by model. Valid on select 2013-2017 new and unregistered models purchased between 6/1/17- 6/30/17. See your
authorized dealer for complete details. Rates as low as 2.99% APR for 36 months. Examples of monthly payments required over a 36-month term
at a 2.99% APR rate: $29.08 per $1,000 financed; and at an 6.99%APR rate: $30.87 per $1,000 financed. An example of a monthly payment with
$0 down, no rebate, an APR of 2.99% APR for 36 months at a MSRP of $9,999.00 is $290.74; total cost of borrowing of $467.60 with a total
obligation of $10,466.60. Down payment may be required. Other financing offers may be available. See your local dealer for details. Minimum
Amount Financed $1,500; Maximum Amount Financed $50,000. Other qualifications and restrictions may apply. Financing promotions void where
prohibited. Tax, title, license, and registration are separate and may not be financed. Promotion may be modified or discontinued without notice
at any time in Polaris’ sole discretion.
Warning: Polaris ® off-road vehicles can be hazardous to operate and are not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a
valid driver’s license to operate. Passengers, if permitted, must be at least 12 years old. All riders should always wear helmets, eye protection,
and protective clothing. Always use seat belts and cab nets or doors (as equipped). Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speeds
and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. All riders should take a safety training course. Call 800-342-3764 for additional information.
Check local laws before riding on trails. © 2017 Polaris Industries Inc.