Hermiston Herald WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2015 HermistonHerald.com Two killed in weekend crashes BULLDOG GIRLS HOLD OFF BRAVES Juul takes the lead in 64-61 win Page 9 $1.00 ABOUT TOWN New pastor in town Page 3 EOTEC board will meet with public next week Steward looks to foster church growth Page 4 e h t s e p a u s t o h g n i L STAFF PHOTO BY JADE McDOWELL This house on Autumn Avenue gets lit up every year for Christmas. By JADE McDOWELL Staff Writer I t’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Snow and rain on the heels of Thanksgiving weekend seem to have delayed some regu- lars from putting together their Christmas light displays, but in other neighborhoods houses blink and shine, sporting colorful strands of lights and glowing snowÀ akes that never melt. The Reasor family made sure they got their extensive collection of multi- colored lights and inÀ atable decorations in place before the bad weather hit. “It’s something everyone in our house looks forward to,” Aimee Reasor said. She said she has always loved Christmas lights, and her husband Steve has been putting them up for her since they were engaged. Since they built their current house near Highland Park in 2009, their collection grows a little bigger every year. “It started out with me just wanting a string across the house, and every year my husband has just taken up the torch and had fun with it,” she said. Reasor said it’s easiest to build up the collection by looking for half-priced lights after Christmas is over each year, then putting them away with the rest of the collection for next year. She said the couple’s six children help out too. The oldest, age 14, even got to climb on the roof with Dad this year. See LIGHTS, A16 STAFF PHOTO BY JADE McDOWELL Some Christmas displays aren’t much to look at when the lights are off, but this house on Newport Avenue looks festive even during the day. STAFF PHOTO BY JADE McDOWELL Houses on NE Madrona Drive across from Highland Park are lit up for Christmas. 26$$MXJJOHVFODVVL¿FDWLRQV Local coaches react to classifi cation changes By SAM BARBEE Staff Writer The Hermiston Bulldogs will return to the Intermountain Confer- ence, at least for two seasons. In an announcement made by the OSAA on Monday, The Dalles was granted independent status in football for the next two seasons, causing a serious shakeup in east- ern Oregon prep athletics. With The Dalles leaving the four-team Co- lumbia River Conference, it would leave just three teams in the CRC, and the OSAA decided to combine the IMC and CRC into a special district for the next two seasons. In other OSAA news, the 3A Eastern Oregon League gained two teams when Irrigon and Burns moved up from 2A. The EOL will now be comprised of Vale, Nyssa, Umatilla, Riverside, Irrigon and Burns. That leaves the 2A Colum- bia Basin Conference with Stan- ¿ eld, Heppner, Pilot Rock, Culver and Weston-McEwen. Irrigon Athletic Director Steve Sheller said that Irrigon was two students over the cut mark last sea- son, and its petition to stay down was granted. This year, however, Irrigon was 17 students over the cut mark. He said that Irrigon’s fresh- man, sophomore and junior classes are larger than usual, and the 7th- and 8th-grade classes are “2A num- bers.” So it’s likely, he said, that Irrigon will move back down to 2A in coming years. That said, Sheller expects his athletic programs to remain com- petitive despite the move up. He pointed to football stalwart Hep- pner, which won the 2A football championship 48-0 this season, as a comparison to 3A football stalwart Vale, which won the 3A state title this season as well. “The key, I think, is we are not viewing it as a negative at all,” Sheller said. “We want our kids to feel that they can compete at that level. We feel like we can make that step and compete at that level.” Irrigon’s football team, which Sheller coaches, comes from a dif¿ cult Columbia Basin Confer- ence in which the Knights were See OSAA, A16 Members of the public interested in hearing an up- date on the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center ¿ rsthand are invited to a public meeting on Wednes- day, Dec. 16. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Herm- iston Conference Center. Members of the authority board and Frew Develop- ment will be on hand to give updates and answer questions. The EOTEC project is expected to house the 2017 Umatilla County Fair and Farm-City Pro Rodeo. In addition to fairgrounds and a rodeo arena, the project will feature and event cen- ter/exhibitor hall available year-round for conferences, trade shows and other events. The city of Hermiston recently pledged an addi- tional $600,000 to the proj- ect, and Umatilla county has agreed to give another $0,000 to help ¿ ll a fund- ing shortfall of approxi- mately $2.2 million. (see related story, Page A7). Echo oﬀ ering free Christmas tree lights The Echo Boosters are offering incentives for residents to deck the halls this year. The group is host- ing a Christmas lighting contest in the hopes of making Echo “the area’s Christmas destination.” The top prize for the contest is $50. In addi- tion, the top 10 displays will receive a $15 credit on their next utility bill. The Echo Boosters are also giving away free strands of Christmas lights to any new home- owner or business owner. In addition, the boosters are reserving free lights for the ¿ rst 10 longtime residents who request them. Residents can stop by City Hall to ask for the free lights or check out a book of Christmas light- ing ideas. Boardman bans medical marijuana dispensaries Boardman City Coun- cil has voted to ban med- ical marijuana dispensa- ries and businesses within city limits, one month af- ter banning the sale and distribution of recreation- al marijuana. No one at the council’s hearing spoke in oppo- sition of the ban, which passed by a unanimous vote. In November, the council approved an ordi- nance to keep recreation- al marijuana shops out of the city. The ordinance at the time did not spe- ci¿ cally address medical marijuana. Now, both recreational and medi- cal marijuana businesses and processors will not be allowed in Boardman — same as nearby Irrigon and throughout Morrow County.