Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, December 26, 2018, Page A16, Image 16

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Mark Gomolski and county
commissioner George Mur-
dock beat challenger Rick
Hermiston drivers had
to get used to two new traf-
fic signals on 11th Street, at
Elm Avenue and Orchard
The Hermiston Warm-
ing Station opened on Nov.
19 after a last-minute surge
of volunteers. The nonprofit
emergency shelter had been
planning to delay opening
after a volunteer shortage.
Portland State Univer-
sity’s annual population
report, released in Novem-
ber, announced Hermiston
had passed the 18,000 pop-
ulation mark.
Continued from Page A12
than its share of violence
in the early hours of June
4. Just hours apart, police
responded to a stabbing,
and two unrelated gunshot
deaths. The two victims of
the stabbings recovered,
and the perpetrator has since
been charged. No suspect
has been publicly named in
either shooting death.
After months of debate
by school board and com-
munity members, Hermiston
High School’s Class of 2018
walked across the stage at
Kennewick’s Toyota Center.
The board voted to continue
holding graduation there in
subsequent years to accom-
modate the growing student
An early-morning fire
destroyed much of the Herm-
iston Seventh-day Adventist
church, engulfing the entire
west side of the building.
Fire Marshal Scott Goff said
foul play was not suspect,
and the culprit was thought
to be a lamp too close to a
wooden table.
On June 27, Umatilla
city manager Russ Pelleberg
resigned to pursue a new
job in Washington. Com-
munity development direc-
tor Tamra Mabbott served as
an interim city manager until
David Stockdale was hired
in September.
On July 14, Hermiston
celebrated the opening of its
new festival street in front of
city hall with a ribbon-cut-
ting and bathtub races.
During the month of July
the Hermiston city coun-
cil also began to reconsider
its food truck rules, which
residents complained were
too restrictive. In August
the city finally lifted some
restrictions, including rais-
ing the cap on the number of
A fire at the entrance of
Hat Rock State Park didn’t
harm any structures, but
closed the only road in and
out of the park and residen-
Staff photo by Kathy Aney
A crowd of about 4,400 people watched the Hermiston High School Class of 2018 graduate Thursday, June 8 at the Toyota
Center in Kennewick.
tial area for more than an
hour, and burned about 20
Port of Morrow man-
ager Gary Neal retired after
nearly 30 years at the helm,
and was succeeded by his
son, Ryan, who was previ-
ously the port’s warehous-
ing manager. The port board
interviewed several can-
didates, and held a public
meet-and-greet with four,
before selecting the younger
August brought the Uma-
tilla County Fair, and it
was an especially memora-
ble one for those who wit-
nessed one lamb at the youth
auction bring in more than
$23,300 for Maddy Thomas,
an 11-year-old 4-H student
with a brain tumor.
After a year on military
leave, Hermiston Superin-
tendent Fred Maiocco sub-
mitted his resignation on
the first day of school, cit-
ing extended military duties
that would keep him away
longer than expected. The
board unanimously selected
interim superintendent Tri-
cia Mooney to assume the
permanent role. Mooney had
previously served as the dis-
trict’s Human Resources
director, and was the interim
school chief for a year.
Hermiston High School
officially joined the Wash-
ington Interscholastic Activ-
ities Association in fall 2018,
joining a larger and more
competitive league, and cut-
ting down on travel time for
sports teams.
More than a year after he
was charged with the death
of James Cragun, Herm-
iston resident Tyree Houf-
muse was cleared of murder
charges, and sentenced to a
few months in jail for felon
in possession of a firearm. In
a string of pre-trial hearings,
Houfmuse claimed self-de-
fense, and while the entry
point of the bullet into Cra-
gun’s body made it impossi-
ble for the incident to have
happened as Houfmuse
claimed, his DNA was not
found on the gun, and pros-
ecutors had insufficient evi-
dence to convict him.
Echo School’s newly
remodeled building was
unveiled as a spot for all
community members to use
and enjoy. The new facility,
which included a gymna-
sium, classrooms, art room
and woodshop, also featured
a public workout room and
gathering space that any city
resident could use, and was
the result of $8 million of
bond money and state grants.
Hermiston’s new senior
center, known as the Har-
kenrider Senior Activity
Center, opened in front of
an eager crowd on Sept. 8.
The 7,000-square foot cen-
ter, named for late Herm-
iston mayor and the city’s
biggest fan, Frank Harken-
rider, boasts gathering areas,
a deck, a gas fireplace and a
commercial kitchen.
Hermiston School Dis-
trict was sued for $38.9 mil-
lion by a family who said
their son suffered multi-
ple head injuries while on
the junior varsity football
team, and cited the inaction
of district and athletics staff
to ensure proper follow-
ups. Todd and Dawna Mar-
tin filed a lawsuit on behalf
of their son Connor, stating
that he was allowed to return
to the field after a concus-
sion, and that staff did not
inform them, nor direct him
to see a doctor. They cited
bodily injury, medical costs
and emotional distress. As of
December 2018, the case has
been moved to federal court.
An expansion of EOTEC
got underway on Oct. 8
when the Hermiston city
council hired Knerr Con-
struction to begin design
work on new offices for the
fair and an upgrade of the
RV park.
On Oct. 16 Columbia
Court Club owner Steve
Watkinds announced he had
sold the property after a fire
led to two years of fighting
to re-open what had been
the only building in Herm-
iston with an indoor pool.
The new owners haven’t yet
announced themselves or
their plans for the property.
Pendleton Grain Grow-
ers put 122 acres of indus-
trial land in Hermiston up
for sale in October, suggest-
ing the property across from
Hinkle Rail Yard could be
the future home of a large
shipping operation.
The general election on
Nov. 6 brought a resolution
to campaigns that had run
throughout the year. Lori
Davis successfully defended
her council seat against
An improved Insurance
Services Office rating for
Umatilla County Fire Dis-
trict announced in Decem-
ber should mean lower
home and business insur-
ance premiums in Hermis-
ton and Stanfield.
The Port of Morrow con-
tinues to grow, netting a
$19 million federal grant,
which they will use to make
upgrades to the rail system.
The grant will allow for
expanded rail-to-barge load-
ing at several marine termi-
nals at the port.
On Dec. 11, Greater
Hermiston Area Chamber of
Commerce president Deb-
bie Pedro announced she
was stepping down after 18
years to pursue a new career
After dealing with the clo-
sure of Interstate 82’s Ore-
gon-bound bridge through-
out 2018, moving all traffic
across the river to a single
two-lane bridge, residents
found out in December that
construction on the bridge
has fallen behind, delay-
ing completion to sometime
in the spring or summer of
Hermiston residents also
waited all year for the open-
ing of retailer Ranch &
Home, which had originally
been set to open in Decem-
ber 2017, but the store
remained closed through the
end of 2018.
49th Annual
Christmas Express
Purchase a vehicle in December and a portion of all proceeds will go
towards purchasing new toys for the Christmas Connection. New toy
donations will also be accepted at the dealership.
/MO $
Up to 36 months.
On approved credit.
Stk# 19h108. See dealer for details. Sale Price 43,003.03. GFV 33,265.37. $1500 Toyota Financial Service customer
cash included. 10k miles per year USBANK lease. 36 month lease. $0 cash down. 399/Mo. On approved credit. Plus
tax, title and $75 doc fee. Offer expires 01/02/19.
/MO $
Up to 36 months.
On approved credit.
Stk# 18h1080. See dealer for details. MSRP 27544. Sale Price 26365. GFV 14323. $2400 Toyota Financial Service lease cash. 36
month 12k miles per year 295/Mo. $0 Cash down. On approved credit. Plus tax, title and $75 doc fee. Offer expires 01/02/19.
Up to 36 months.
On approved credit.
Stk# 19h196. See dealer for details. MSRP 20450. Sale Price 19430. GFV 10225. $1500 Toyota Financial Service lease cash. 36 month
12k miles per year 239/Mo. $0 Cash down. On approved credit. Plus tax, title and $75 doc fee. Offer expires 01/02/19.