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Hermiston History: Truck carrying nuclear waste crashes

Hermiston History for the week of March 7.

Published on March 6, 2018 6:45PM

Last changed on March 9, 2018 9:25AM

HH file photo. Hermiston High School football players (left to right) Scott Brown, Carlos Flores, Jon Schutte and their friend Brice Logan clear snow off Don Dority’s car. Dority paid the boys to clear snow off cars in his lot to raise money for a summer trip to Australia.

HH file photo. Hermiston High School football players (left to right) Scott Brown, Carlos Flores, Jon Schutte and their friend Brice Logan clear snow off Don Dority’s car. Dority paid the boys to clear snow off cars in his lot to raise money for a summer trip to Australia.

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HH file photo. Stanfield youngsters (from left) Chris Jeffs, Nate Lemmon, Adam Lemmon, April Jeffs and Mary Lemmon look out of an igloo they built on a snow day in March 1993.

HH file photo. Stanfield youngsters (from left) Chris Jeffs, Nate Lemmon, Adam Lemmon, April Jeffs and Mary Lemmon look out of an igloo they built on a snow day in March 1993.

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HH file photo. The Hermiston Junior High School basketball team in 1968 was from left, back row: Dave Keltz, George Newman, Mike Warren, Mark Burnside, Arlene Bischke and Greg Wilcott. Front Row, from left: Dan Weitzel, Larry Brown, Dave Beltz, Robin Burrington and Steve Meyers.

HH file photo. The Hermiston Junior High School basketball team in 1968 was from left, back row: Dave Keltz, George Newman, Mike Warren, Mark Burnside, Arlene Bischke and Greg Wilcott. Front Row, from left: Dan Weitzel, Larry Brown, Dave Beltz, Robin Burrington and Steve Meyers.

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25 YEARS AGO

March 9, 1993

•A section of Interstate 82 near the junction with Interstate 84 was closed for nearly two hours after a truck carrying nuclear waste slid off the road and was struck by another truck. At no time during the morning did any radiation leak from the truck. The only damage suffered by the truck was to the trailer, with the nuclear waste tucked safely inside a well-sealed and well-protected cask. It was en route to Hanford from a decommissioned nuclear reactor at Fort St. Vrain in Colorado.

•A neighborhood in Umatilla County near Holdman has suffered multiple thefts and burglaries over the last few months and resident Ken Smith is putting them on notice.

He said he is sorry it has come down to this, but he plans to patrol the roads and if he sees someone messing around any of the houses in the area “I will shoot to kill. They are nothing but a bunch of thieves, they don’t belong here and I am going to take care of them.”

Smith said he contacted Oregon State Police about his plans, and they asked him not to kill anybody, but to get their license plate number so the police can find the person.

50 YEARS AGO

March 7, 1968

•Hermiston’s planning commission has been presented with a tentative proposed plan for the creation of a street mall for the two-block area of Main Street from First to Third Street.

The commission received the proposed plan at its regular monthly meeting. Making the proposal was Carl Peters, a member of the commission.

The group conducted a general discussion on the proposed plan with regards to its desirability and various changes that would have to be made to vehicular traffic movement and allied activities. To present his proposal to the commission Peters presented preliminary drawings of the mall.

•Two Hermiston women, Mrs. Emma Hutchinson, 78, and Mrs. Emry Bleakman, 83, said today they are anxiously awaiting for someone to publicly acknowledge the merits of their proposal for the establishment of a watermelon preserve processing plant in Hermiston. They say they will continue to profess that the idea is economically sound and that all that is necessary for the establishment of the plant is the ambition of some enterprising young man.

The two made it plain they would be tempted to undertake the project themselves “that is, if only we were younger,” they relate with a note of disappointment. As their reward to such a man starting the processing plant the two women are offering their recipe for watermelon preserves, free of charge.

75 YEARS AGO

March 11, 1943

•Shortly after the Hermiston fire siren aroused the residents of this city Sunday afternoon, a Union Pacific engine took up the noise-making chore. Considerable speculation was heard as to the reason for the whistle, varying from another call to fire to the general assembly of all state guardsmen. However, upon checking up on the matter it was found that a stuck whistle could not be released. Anyway, it was blowing when it came into town, blew when it was here and was blowing when it left — could be that it is still blowing.

•Instructions to selective service local boards prohibiting the drafting of men with children who are recognized as dependents under the selective service act are still in effect, the War Manpower Commission stated today.

“The only men with children who are being selected for induction at this present time,” Paul V. McNautt, chairman, said today, “are those in whose cases the dependency was acquired after December 8, 1941, and at a time when selection was not imminent, may not be inducted through selective service until there is direct authorization by national headquarters.”

Men with wives and children will be reclassified only after the supply of single men without dependents and who are not deferred as “necessary men” in their occupations is exhausted in the local board area.

100 YEARS AGO

March 9, 1918

•The new Hermiston library building has been completed in all detail, and preparations will soon be under way for the removal of the library from the Civic Center room on Main Street to its new home. The Civic Center organization will also move and occupy the basement of the new building. Monday and Tuesday of this week Folger Johnson, architect of Portland, made a general inspection of the library building proper and found it measured up to plans and specifications and in excellent condition for occupancy.

•An excerpt from a letter from Cpl. Jack Johnson “somewhere in France” to his sister Edlie: “My dearest sister, Everyone is reading and discussing the sinking of the American transport Tuscania. Those in our company realize what feeling all aboard had when the ship was torpedoed. Our commander and all of us kept vigilant watch the last night of our trip, for it was reported that a submarine was following us.

One this certain is that it will bring home to the people in the States that the war is won by no means yet. It ought to add a stimulus to recruiting and greater efforts on the part of everyone. It certainly will quiet those peace advocates at any rate. We are hard at work supplying the boys, and can’t say I am a bit disappointed by any means. It is muddy and raining but most of us are under cover.”





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