Local planning efforts underway for massive solar eclipse event HEPPNER G T 50¢ azette imes 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 PAGE THREE 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 system. “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- vestment.” 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 years.” 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. -See MCGG MANAGER/ worked for Growmark, a PAGE TWO 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 -See COUNTY COMMIS- once again reside of nine years. He SION/PAGE EIGHT 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. in the pulpit will be The present pastor, Rev. Keith the Boardman Marina. Brudevold July 2, and friends Patty Nance, who “It was a great example and church family has served the con- of team work and members alike are welcome to join gregation for several years, of the community coming in the reunion at 10:30 has decided that it is time 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 Rev. Brudevold lived Snyder in a written state- America celebrates the na- in Heppner for six years, ment. 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. ALL NEWS AND ADVERTISEMENT DEADLINE: MONDAYS AT 5:00 P.M. MORROW COUNTY GRAIN 2887500 GROWERS 350 MAIN 350 MAIN STREET STREET LEXINGTON, OR LEXINGTON OR 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.