Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, January 03, 2018, Page A3, Image 3

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This Hermiston toddler, shown wearing a helmet to
protect an opening in his skull, is back home after being
accidentally shot by a sibling on Nov. 10. The family
agreed to the photograph on the condition that his name
not be attached.
Toddler who was shot
is home from hospital
Cans and bottles sit ready to be sorted at Hermiston’s BottleDrop center.
List of recyclables expands
Oregonians now have
more incentive to recycle
their old Gatorade bottles
and Red Bull cans.
Oregon’s can and bottle
deposit law has expanded
in 2018 from soda, beer and
water to include a long list of
other beverages whose con-
tainers can now be redeemed
for a 10 cent deposit.
“Generally, if you can
pour it and drink it, it’s cov-
ered,” a notice on the Ore-
gon Liquor Control Com-
mission’s website says.
There are still excep-
tions for wine, distilled spir-
its, infant formula, milk
and meal-replacement bev-
erages. But an updated list
of containers now includes
sealed containers between 4
ounces and 1.5 liters for cof-
fee, tea, juice, energy drinks,
sports drinks, protein shakes,
kombucha and several other
The Oregon Beverage
which runs the BottleDrop
center in Hermiston and
works with beverage distrib-
utors throughout the state to
coordinate recycling of more
than 1.2 billion containers
per year, wrote in a news
release that it had invested
more than $3 million in
new machinery, includ-
ing $2 million in Bottle-
Drop centers and $1.1 mil-
lion in new sorting machines
at grocery stores to prepare
for the change. It also added
16 new employees, several
new trucks and trailers and
expanded capacity at a plas-
tic recycling facility in St.
“The expansion of the
bottle bill that starts on Jan.
1 is an important step toward
bringing the success of the
bottle bill in line with the
kinds of products that are out
there today, keeping more
litter out of Oregon’s beau-
tiful natural areas, and mak-
ing sure that those containers
are getting recycled,” wrote
Jules Bailey, chief steward-
ship officer of the OBRC.
Many recyclers have
stopped accepting plas-
tic containers due to new
restrictions from China
that have stopped overseas
exports of mixed plastics.
But according to the OBRC
news release, 100 percent
of the plastic collected by
the cooperative at grocery
stores and BottleDrop cen-
ters is processed in Oregon.
That means plastic contain-
ers such as juice bottles that
have been headed to landfills
in recent weeks can go back
to being recycled.
“The inclusion of new
beverage products in the
bottle bill is a testament to
the enduring success of Ore-
gon’s bottle deposit system,”
John Anderson, president of
the OBRC, said in a state-
ment. “We’ve worked hard
to prepare so that Oregonians
will experience a smooth,
hassle-free transition.”
According to the OLCC
website, in 2016 a total of
64 percent of beverage con-
tainers eligible for a deposit
refund were returned for a
refund in 2016.
A full list of included and
excluded beverage contain-
ers can be found online at
EOTEC tasks VenuWorks for longterm planning
VenuWorks took over
management of the East-
ern Oregon Trade and Event
Center Tuesday, but as the
transition happens there are
still unresolved questions
about the project’s relation-
ship with its anchor tenants.
During a meeting Friday,
EOTEC board members
disagreed on policy deci-
sions regarding the Umatilla
County Fair, including who
would own improvements
made to EOTEC property
on behalf of the fair and
what responsibility EOTEC
had to provide office space
for fair staff.
Nate Rivera, who has
been acting as interim man-
ager of EOTEC, said fair
staff had been told they
needed to vacate one of the
two offices they have been
using in order to make room
for VenuWorks. The com-
pany plans to have three
staff on-site — an adminis-
trative assistant at the front
desk, a general manager in
Rivera’s former office and
an operations manager in
a second office. The fair
employee who had been
occupying that office was
asked to move into the
building’s ticket booth, also
located in the administrative
area of the event center.
Smith said the longterm
lease signed by the Uma-
tilla County Fair only spec-
ified that EOTEC would
provide two office spaces,
but not where those spaces
would be. But board mem-
ber Dan Dorran said the fair
board’s understanding of the
lease had been that the two
offices that were used by
the fair this year were being
reserved for their exclusive
use in the future, too.
“We’re losing office
space that was dedicated to
us,” he said.
“This can be worked
out, but I don’t want
us to forget the two
main reasons for
this facility were
for the fair and the
Larry Givens,
board member
Rivera said asking the
fair staff to move into the
ticket booth wasn’t a slight
on the fair, but merely an
acknowledgment that every-
one using EOTEC didn’t
have all of the resources and
space they need and com-
promise had to be made.
While he and Smith empha-
sized the need for EOTEC
to operate successfully year-
round and not just during
fair week, board member
Larry Givens said the “real
purpose” of the project was
to provide a new home for
the fair and the Farm City
“This can be worked out,
but I don’t want us to for-
get the two main reasons for
this facility were for the fair
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and the rodeo,” he said. “I
don’t want to shortchange
them because a lot of dona-
tions were made with the
fair and rodeo in mind.”
At the behest of the fair
board, John Eckhardt of
Knerr Construction pre-
sented an option to turn
the small first aid station
inside the event center into
another office by moving
its doorway from the lobby
to the office area. He said a
remodel would likely cost
about $15,000. During the
fair, first aid could then
be moved to the build-
ing near the barns used by
law enforcement. Rivera
said security personnel for
events at EOTEC use the
first aid station as their base,
so they would also have to
be moved somewhere else.
Givens said the ideal
solution would be to have
a separate building for the
fair, similar to the mer-
cantile building the Farm-
City Pro Rodeo built on
their own dime next to
the rodeo arena. Then the
fair staff could have office
space year-round, especially
during the weeks surround-
ing the fair when they ramp
up to eight staff. They could
also have storage and a con-
ference room they could use
without being charged.
Eckhardt roughly esti-
mated such a building
would cost about $700,000.
Rivera said the EOTEC
board hired VenuWorks to
provide professional exper-
tise in running the venue,
including creation of a busi-
ness plan and longterm stra-
tegic plan. It made sense, he
said, to let them come in, get
to know the project and its
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tenants, and make recom-
mendations before the board
made decisions about things
like remodeling. In the end,
the board agreed to hold off
on making the fair vacate an
office and revisit the issue
during their January meet-
ing after VenuWorks came
on board.
They also held off on
making a decision on who
would own and/or con-
trol improvements made to
EOTEC on behalf of the fair
or other organizations. The
livestock auction commit-
tee got permission Friday
to install a system of panels
around the animal-weighing
stations to increase “safety
and animal-control,” and
last week the fair received
permission to install some
roofing structures over
storage containers on the
donated things are asking
are they ours? Are they the
fair’s? Are the EOTEC’s?”
Givens said.
The board’s next meet-
ing is scheduled for Jan.
26, although Smith said
there may be a special joint
meeting with the Uma-
tilla County commission
and Hermiston city coun-
cil on Jan. 22. Rivera also
requested that board mem-
bers attend the city’s Jan.
10 planning commission
meeting. EOTEC obtained
a variance from the plan-
ning commission for park-
ing during the fair and
rodeo, but conditions set for
that variance were not met,
and Rivera said the planning
commission has requested
testimony as to why they
were not met.
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A Hermiston toddler
shot in the head on Nov.
10 is home with his family
and walking around.
Based on interviews
and forensic evidence,
Hermiston Police Depart-
ment believe the boy, 2,
was accidentally shot in
the head by his seven-year-
old sibling with a Beretta
handgun that their mother
kept in a vehicle. No crim-
inal charges have been
filed in connection with the
The family is not being
identified in order to pro-
tect the identities of the
two minors involved. But
the boys’ mother said the
toddler has been home
from Legacy Emanuel
Medical Center in Portland
for two weeks and is walk-
ing around and interacting
normally with family.
He has another surgery
scheduled and has to wear
a helmet for the time being
to cover the opening in his
skull. His mother said she
has noticed his reflexes
have seemed “a little slow”
and doctors have said it is
too soon to tell what lin-
gering effects he may have
in the future, but they told
her the area of the brain
that was injured is “pretty
forgiving” at such a young
age. The family considers
his recovery a miracle.
On the day of the inci-
dent, the boy’s mother was
having trouble starting her
car and was outside the
vehicle trying to figure out
what was wrong when the
seven-year-old got out to
join her.
In a moment she said
she will always regret,
she told him to get in the
car and stay there. Some-
time after, she heard a
bang and her son’s shouts
of “Mommy, mommy, the
baby is bleeding!”
Seeing her son covered
in blood and rushing him to
the hospital was terrifying,
she said. She hopes other
parents learn from the hor-
rifying experience her fam-
ily went through and never
leave a loaded gun where
young children can access
it, like the unlocked case
she used.
“Don’t leave things like
that in the reach of your
children,” she said. “I’m
thankful my son made it,
but if it had been off by
just a little bit he wouldn’t
be here.”
Gunshot victim discharged from hospital
man found with a gun-
shot wound last week in
Morrow County has been
released from the hospital.
Kyle Ulrich, 47, was
discharged from Good
Shepherd Medical Center
on Thursday. Oregon State
Police responded to Love’s
Travel Stop near exit 159
on Interstate 84 on the
morning of Dec. 21 after a
caller reported that Ulrich,
with a gunshot wound, had
flagged them down.
Ulrich told police that
he had been kidnapped in
another part of the state
and held captive in an
unknown location for sev-
eral days before being
taken to Morrow County
and shot. According to
OSP, detectives are still
investigating the case and
trying to substantiate those
Melonville Comedy Festival
Saturday, January 27
Hermiston community Center
The 25th edition of the Melonville Comedy Festival will
feature three headline stand up comedians. These
comics are in demand corporate show entertainers.
A comic who appears in clubs
in Las Vegas, Seattle, New York
and Los Angeles. Cory has been
on the stage of several Comedy
A Hawaiian native, Kermit has been
working in standup comedy since 1990.
His credits include Las Vegas, Seattle and
Aspen Comedy Festivals and everyday
life. Gabriel is based in Olympia.
Derek is a comic who has
worked USO Tours, the
Bob and Tom Show and
you can hear him on Siri-
us/XM Satellite Radio.
Tickets $35 per person
Doors open at 7pm, Show starts at 8:00
Tickets available at Hermiston Chamber of
Commerce at the Cornerstone Plaza
Reserve Tickets at: 541-561-7488 •