A14 • HERMISTONHERALD.COM BABY FORWARD so we decided to do a C-sec- tion,” she said. During the C-section they discovered the umbili- cal cord had looped around the baby’s neck, but in the end, after all the drama, he was born healthy. Not knowing what extended family members’ sleep pat- terns would be like in the early hours of New Year’s Day, they sent out text mes- sages with the good news. “We figured if they were awake they would call, if not they would see it in the morning,” Jennifer said. A tired but excited Jen- nifer was presented Mon- day afternoon with a teddy bear and a large basket of items for the baby, as well as a professional photo shoot, thanks to his status as the first baby of 2018 born at Good Shepherd. There were a few items in there for her, too, she was told. “Is it cookies?” she asked jokingly, comment- ing that she couldn’t wait to eat solid food again. Jennifer teaches pre- school for Head Start in Boardman, and Jose works security in the area. The couple said they were look- ing forward to bringing home their first child in a couple of days. Joey’s delivery doc- tor was Dr. Gary Trupp. of Good Shepherd’s Fam- ily Birth Center. In 2017, there were 410 babies born there. to transforming the stretch of Northeast Second Street near city hall into a festival street, and partnering with ODOT on a project that will add traffic signals to the intersections of NW 11th Street and Elm Avenue, and SW 11th Street and Orchard Avenue. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2018 FROM A1 changes to Martha’s House, a shelter for families. Continued from Page A1 Continued from Page A1 Blue Mountain Community College BMCC will remember 2017 as the year it com- pleted three bond projects as part of a $23 million dol- lar bond approved in 2015. In the Hermiston area those projects included a precision irrigation center at Oregon State Universi- ty’s research and extension office, completed in July, and the Boardman work- force training center, com- pleted in April. Casey White-Zoll- man, BMCC’s vice pres- ident of public relations, said the buildings represent not only better educational opportunities for students but stronger relation- ships between the college and Oregon State Univer- sity and Umatilla-Morrow Head Start. White-Zollman said BMCC is also proud of its increased enrollment in the fall term, making use of a Gear Up grant to connect Hermiston High School seniors to classes and see- ing a 100 percent success rate for nursing and den- Hermiston School District STAFF PHOTO BY JADE MCDOWELL Completion of the Harkenrider Center is one of the city of Hermiston’s top goals for 2018. tal students taking national board tests. The BMCC Education Foundation also saw a 70 percent increase in donations, bringing in $655,000. In 2018 the col- lege would like to keep enrollment up, though White-Zollman said the rate at the Hermiston cam- pus has stayed mostly flat. BMCC and other com- munity colleges will peti- tion the state legislature in February for an additional $32 million to mitigate tui- tion increases. “We’re tired of stu- dents having to carry that burden on their backs,” White-Zollman said. The college will also work with Energy Trust of Oregon to implement an energy management plan — the first of its kind for the college — and launch an Imbibe at Blue event on Feb. 17, which will bring together fare from local breweries, wineries, chee- semakers and chocolatiers. Agape House Agape House director Dave Hughes said the non- profit was pleased to intro- duce a new golf tourna- ment to the area and bring back the Lavender Festi- val in 2017, both of which helped the Agape House raise money to serve the community. “In this last year we were able to continue pro- viding food and other sys- tems for those in need, despite an ever-decreasing budget,” he said. He said 2018 is likely to be a big year for the Agape House, as its board begins work on its next three-year strategic plan. The plan will include a strategy to replace Hughes, who has been directing the nonprofit on a volunteer basis for the last few years but plans to retire in 2019. Hughes said the non- profit’s leadership will have to find a way to make room in the budget for money to attract a talented new director. He said the Agape House also plans to look for ways it can expand its mission by partnering with other agencies to find new ways to combat addiction, and to address the commu- nity’s housing shortage. That strategy may include It’s been another year of growth for the Hermiston School District. Maria Duron, the com- munications director for the district, sent a long list of accomplishments for 2017, ranging from athletic and academic competitive achievements (including high school football and FFA state championships), teacher and staff honors (including science teacher Rob Doherty’s national award and David Faae- teete’s all-Oregon coach of the year award) and facilities projects (includ- ing parking lot projects at several schools and IT upgrades, including online registration). The district also made a stronger connection with its northern neighbors, signing deals to join the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association and move high school gradua- tion to the Toyota Center in Kennewick. In the coming year, Duron said the district hopes to increase student achievement. In 2017 stu- dents saw increased math scores in all grades and lan- guage arts in fifth and 11th grades. Duron also said increas- ing the graduation rate, adding career and techni- cal education programs and strengthening partnerships with parents and stake- holders are on the district’s to-do list. Karen Sherman, the school board chair, said she isn’t sure if the board will take on a new bond campaign this year. Vot- ers rejected a $104 million bond in May, and Sherman said a facilities commit- tee is currently taking an in-depth look at what the district needs before bring- ing a proposal. Greater Hermiston Area Chamber of Commerce After being notified that they would no longer be able to use the Hermiston Conference Center for their offices, executive director Debbie Pedro said many of the Greater Hermiston Area Chamber of Commerce’s biggest accomplishments for the year revolved around successfully finding a new home for the cham- ber and continuing to pro- vide uninterrupted services to its members despite the transition. She said they are look- ing forward to big things for 2018, however, as the move gives the cham- ber a good opportunity to forge new partnerships and expand its offerings. She said the community should look for an updated web- site, updated member ser- vices, new programs and new locations for events like the Business to Busi- ness luncheon. “It’s just a fresh look for the chamber,” she said. MORE WINNERS. MORE OFTEN. GRAND PRIZE DRAWING Sunday, January 28 WIN $ 400 FREEPLAY! Random hot seat winners every 30 minutes! 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