Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, June 19, 2019, Page A3, Image 3

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    WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 2019
Searchers recover pair missing in Columbia River
he search for two
adults missing from
a boat on the Colum-
bia River ended Monday
evening when the Umatilla
County Sheriff’s Offi ce con-
fi rmed the recovery of both
Sheriff’s Lt. Sterrin Hol-
comb said sonar equipment
played the crucial role in
fi nding the bodies of Janice
Arsenault, 44, of Umatilla,
and Trenton Williams, 20,
from Idaho.
They went missing Sat-
urday evening on the river
near Bobby’s Beach, a small
site along Highway 730 near
milepost 195, after a caller
reported two adults were no
longer on a boat that pulled
onto shore.
The Umatilla County
Sheriff’s Offi ce, Morrow
County Sheriff’s Offi ce
and several other agencies
responded soon after the
call. Umatilla County Sher-
iff Terry Rowan said res-
cue boats from multiple
agencies arrived that night
to scour the water, and as
word spread of the crisis,
as many as 30 private boats
“There was a tremen-
dous number of resources
out there Saturday evening
until about 1 Sunday morn-
ing,” he said.
Law enforcement from
nearby counties in Wash-
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan talks on a cellphone while on the south shore of the Columbia River on Monday during a
search for two missing boaters east of Umatilla.
ington sent person-
day morning. By that
nel. Teams walked
afternoon, Holcomb
the shoreline for any
reported, the focus
signs of Arsenault
of the search became
and Williams.
recovery efforts.
“It’s like looking
In June 2018,
for a needle in a hay-
Arsenault became a
stack,” Rowan said,
volunteer fi refi ghter
“only underwater.”
for the Umatilla
Searchers took a break Rural Fire Protection Dis-
Sunday night and resumed trict. The Hermiston Herald
the effort in the morning. profi led Arsenault in Sep-
They returned again Mon- tember 2018 for the Three
Minutes feature.
She revealed she lost her
health care job in Las Vegas
in 2008 and moved to Uma-
tilla because she has fam-
ily there. She worked as
an offi ce specialist at Blue
Mountain Community Col-
lege. She loved sushi and
in her spare time enjoyed
hanging with friends and
riding her Harley-Davidson
motorcycle. Arsenault said
she was working toward the
completion of an associate’s
Holcomb said the sher-
iff’s offi ce did not have
much information about
Williams but was able to get
notices to relatives of the
missing about the situation.
Information about what
happened remained sketchy.
The driver of the boat,
Richard Kirkendall, 41, of
Hermiston, reported Arse-
nault and Williams had been
riding on the dive step of
the boat while he was driv-
ing to shore, according to
the sheriff’s offi ce. Kirken-
dall noticed they were miss-
ing when he arrived on
shore. Rowan said it appears
the two adults lacked life
The size of the effort
scaled down after the ini-
tial frenzy of the search,
Holcomb explained, but the
work remained methodical.
Airplanes conducted an
aerial search along the shal-
low shorelines where boats
could not gain access. Uma-
tilla County Fire District
members and volunteers
searched along the shore-
line. Teams reported the
water was “pretty murky,”
according Holcomb. She
also said the Columbia
Basin Dive Rescue of Rich-
land, Washington, provided
a towable side-scan sonar
to help search the bottom
of the river. The sensitive
equipment provides valu-
able information, she said,
and dive teams will investi-
gate objects of interest that
show up on the sonar.
Holcomb said the team
found Williams’ body at
8 p.m. and Arsenault’s body
shortly before 8:30, both in
the area of Bobby’s Beach.
Their remains were trans-
ported to a funeral home
Monday night, accompanied
by emergency vehicles.
Former Hermiston city manager remembered
always followed Hermis-
ton politics closely, looking
up city council agendas and
writing the occasional letter
to the editor into his nineties.
“When he retired, some-
one asked if he would move,
and he said, ‘I spent 25 years
trying to make this a good
place to live. Why would I
fi rst
city manager, Tom
Harper, died June 11
at the age of 96. He was one
of the fi nal living members
of a generation of city lead-
ers who helped move Herm-
iston from a small town with
few paved roads to the larg-
est city in Eastern Oregon.
“It’s the passing of an
era,” Beverly Harkenrider
Harkenrider’s husband
Frank Harkenrider, who
served as mayor of Herm-
iston for 10 years and a city
councilor for 40, frequently
said before his death that
hiring Harper as Hermis-
ton’s fi rst city manager was
the best decision he and the
council ever made.
Harper served as city
manager for 26 years, from
1961 to 1987, after the city
council decided Hermiston
had grown large enough to
need a full-time manager
outside of the mayor.
At the time Harper was
hired, Hermiston had about
4,000 residents. Under his
management the city built a
library, public works build-
ing, wastewater treatment
plant, opened a new city
hall and built the public
safety building that houses
the police and fi re depart-
ments. The city paved miles
of road, purchased the land
that now houses the East-
ern Oregon Trade and Event
Center, created the Hermis-
ton Cemetery District and
put together the master plan
that charted the course for its
fl edgling municipal airport.
Harper was an original
member of the Hermiston
Development Corporation,
the fi rst nonprofi t develop-
move now?’” Harkenrider
She remembered Harper
as a good friend and a good
person, as did many who
reacted to his passing on
social media.
A celebration of life will
be 11 a.m. on June 29 at
Burns Mortuary.
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102 E Columbia Dr. Kennewick 99336
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
Former Hermiston city manager Tom Harper, center, looks at the signatures on a ribbon used
in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center as current city
manager Byron Smith, at right, looks on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, in Hermiston. Harper was the
city manager when the city of Hermiston originally bought the EOTEC property.
ment corporation in Ore-
gon. The group was instru-
mental in recruiting many
of the city’s largest employ-
ers, including Lamb Weston,
Hermiston Foods and the
Current city manager
Byron Smith — one of only
four city managers in Herm-
iston’s history thanks to the
tradition of longevity that
Harper set — said Harper’s
work laid a strong founda-
tion for the community.
“He did a great job get-
ting the city ready for the
growth we are experienc-
ing,” Smith said.
A plaque at city hall hon-
ors Harper for “his distin-
guished service and dedica-
tion to the City of Hermiston
and its citizens.”
Beverly Harkenrider said
her husband and Harper were
different in a lot of ways —
Frank was famously outspo-
ken while the city manager
was quietly diplomatic —
but the two of them worked
well together along with
people like Joe Burns, Russ
Dorran and Charlie Kik for
the betterment of Hermiston.
“So many of them have
gone now,” she said.
Harper stayed in Hermis-
ton after his retirement and
1055 S. Hwy 395, Suite 313
Hermiston, OR 97838
541-289-5454 • Fax: 541-289-5456
For the first time in Eastern Ore
Please Welcome
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most of her life and with
seven years of experience,
she specializes in men’s and
women’s hair cuts. Also,
colors, perms and waxing.
9 A.M. TO 3 P.M.
Learn about all of your Federal and State benefits
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Hours are Mondays thru Fridays
9am-5pm, plus Saturdays
by appointment.
Veterans town hall meeting
with odva director kelly fitzpatrick
6 p.m. july 26
 same
Walk-ins are welcome.
541-567-2911 • 315 SW 11th Street • Hermiston, OR 97838
(541) 567-6457
W W W. E X P O.O R E G O N D VA .C O M
License #188965