Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, February 18, 2015, Image 1

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    LINK TO PAST
PREP HOOPS
STOLEN CLASS RING
RETURNED TO HHS GRAD
UMATILLA GIRLS BEAT
NYSSA TO QUALIFY FOR STATE
PAGE A3
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2015
Umatilla
attendance,
GPAs up
SPORTS PAGE A6
YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER
Community staple Chet Prior passes away at 78
Friends remember local
farmer and leader
BY MAEGAN MURRAY
BY MAEGAN MURRAY
HERMISTON HERALD
After instituting a new
attendance policy this year,
Umatilla High School is
experiencing one of its best
semesters to date.
The new policy this year,
which features home vis-
its from school staff and a
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doesn’t improve, has re-
sulted in nearly 40 more
students coming to school
on a regular basis as com-
pared with last year’s num-
bers, UHS Principal Scott
Depew said. Cumulative
grade-point averages and
the number of students on
honor roll is also up at the
high school.
“This has been one of
our best semesters we have
ever had,” he said. “Things
are working ... We are very
encouraged by the success
we are seeing in the class-
room.”
Depew reported to the
School Board last week that
about 51 students missed
between 10 percent and 20
percent of school, or more
than 10 days of school,
through January this school
year, compared with 74
students last year, and 21
students missed more than
20 percent of school, com-
HERMISTONHERALD.COM
HERMISTON HERALD
EO MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO
&het 3rior acceSts the Hermiston
0an oI the Year award dXrinJ the
DistinJXished &iti]ens Award
%anTXet at the Hermiston &onIer-
ence &enter. 3rior died SXnda\.
Echo resident Chet Prior wasn’t
one for accepting accolades or
even recognition, but many felt
that much is owed to the long-time
regional leader.
Prior, who was actively in-
volved in a multitude of organi-
zations and charities throughout
his lifetime in eastern Oregon and
the Columbia Basin and named
Hermiston Man of the Year in
2011, passed away Sunday after
suffering a heart attack in Tucson,
Arizona, at the age of 78.
Many described Prior as a “qui-
“There really isn’t anything positive that happened
in Hermiston that he didn’t have a touch in.”
— Lloyd Piercy
Echo resident and Sno Road Winery owner
et leader” and a champion for all
in the region, who worked to make
the community a better place for
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ers.
“There really isn’t anything
positive that happened in Herm-
iston that he didn’t have a touch
in,” Lloyd Piercy, Echo resident
and Sno Road Winery owner, said.
“He was really low key and really
humble and didn’t want recogni-
tion for what he did. He was on
D ¿UVWQDPH EDVLV ZLWK DOO RI RXU
politicians. He met with the gov-
ernor regularly. He was a peace
maker, and there wasn’t a charity
here that he wasn’t involved in. I
am really gutted from his loss.”
Prior was born in Hansen, Ida-
ho, where he grew up on a potato,
bean and alfalfa farm that was op-
erated by his father. In the 1950s,
he moved with his family to War-
ren, Washington, where he and his
father continued to farm before
SEE PRIOR/A10
Mirrored sunset
SEE ATTENDANCE/A10
TODAY’S WEATHER
Mainly sunny
High: 59º Low: 36º
OUTLOOK
• THURSDAY
Partly cloudy
High: 57º Low: 37º
• FRIDAY
Partly cloudy
High: 56º Low: 34º
MAEGAN MURRAY PHOTO
A Àer\ red sXnset reÁects oII the water oI the Umatilla 0arina 0onda\ niJht creatinJ a SerIect mirror imaJe oI the boats moored at the docks.
A complete weather forecast is
featured on page A2.
Stable local housing market leads
to high scores in Oregon study
Find the Hermiston Herald on
Facebook and Twitter
and join the conversation.
Umatilla County a prime
place for long-term real
estate investment
FOR LOCAL
BREAKING NEWS
www.HermistonHerald.com
BY SEAN HART
HERMISTON HERALD
Hermiston Herald $1.00
8
08805 93294
© 2014 EO Media Group
2
Stable real estate market growth
in the last 10 years makes Umatilla
County a prime place in the state for
long-term investment.
According to a recent study by
1HUG:DOOHW¿YH8PDWLOOD&RXQW\FLW-
ies were ranked in the top 10 “Best
Places to Invest in Real Estate in Or-
egon.” Bonanza, in southern Oregon,
earned the top spot in the study, fol-
lowed by Milton-Freewater, Umatilla,
Hermiston, Weston and Pendleton.
NerdWallet analyst Kamran Rosen
said a large percentage of houses in
these cities increased in value in the
last 10 years, despite losses in cities in
other areas of the state.
“If you’re looking for a stable and
long-term investment, we’d say these
are the places you should look to,” he
said. “These prices have shown consis-
tent growth, low costs and it looks like
it’s good for a long-term investment.”
Shirley Parsons, a real estate broker
from American West Properties who
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the local real estate market has steadily
improved through the years.
“We’ve had continued growth,
Extension
plant
pathologist
settling into
position
Frost will perform
disease research
and outreach to
help local growers
BY SEAN HART
SEAN HART PHOTO
move to the area, thus creating a de-
mand.
“We have a good industry base
here, mostly blue collar- and agricul-
tural-type employment in the area,
which pays a good wage,” she said.
“The area keeps growing as far as in-
dustry and making jobs available. If
people are looking to buy investment
property for rentals, that’s a really
sound investment in my opinion. A
ORWRISHRSOHZKHQWKH\¿UVWPRYHWR
The thermometer read
6 degrees when Ken Frost
left Wisconsin for his new
job as the plant pathologist
at the Hermiston Agricul-
tural Research & Extension
Center.
Frost, who earned his
Ph.D. in plant pathology
from the University of Wis-
FRQVLQ0DGLVRQ RI¿FLDOO\
joined the Oregon State
University Department of
Botany as an assistant pro-
fessor and extension plant
pathologist Jan. 30, but he
SEE REAL ESTATE/A10
SEE FROST/A10
This new home at &ottonwood Drive in Hermiston is Ior sale near vacant
lots Ior IXtXre develoSment. AccordinJ to a reSort b\ 1erd:allet Àve Umatilla
&oXnt\ cities rank in the toS Slaces to invest in real estate in 2reJon.
not huge amounts like some parts of
the state that then turned around and
crashed,” she said. “We never expe-
rienced that. We had a continuous
growth over the last 10 years.”
According to the study, about 64
percent of homes in Hermiston and 61
percent in Umatilla increased in value
IURPWRZLWKDOO¿YH8PD-
tilla County cities ranking in the low to
mid-60s behind Bonanza at 77 percent.
Parsons said she expects the mar-
ket will continue to experience stable
growth because people continue to
HERMISTON HERALD