Nov. 12, 1996

Harmon Springer will be stepping away from the microphone after 37 years of radio broadcasting. He was 27 when he got into the radio business at a station in Texas.

He worked at several other stations before moving to Hermiston in 1966. At the time, the town included about 4,500 residents and six irrigation circles.

Springer, his wife, Willie, and a small group of others made up the Hermiston Broadcasting Company that took possession of KOHU in July 1966. They turned it into an all-day station in 1970, began airing KQFM in 1978, and started the “Odds and Ends” program segment, which featured items of local interest.

Springer has also been very active off the air: he was the president of the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce, Hermiston Rotary Club and the Oregon Association of Broadcasters, as well as having served on the Blue Mountain Community College Board of Education and being named the “Business Person of the Year” in 1989 by the chamber.


Nov. 11, 1971

The senior citizens of Hermiston and surrounding areas put on their dancing shoes for a night filled with music, dancing, and fun at the CRC building. Mrs. Glendoris Fernandez, former director of the Morrow-Umatilla County Program of the Aging, and Mrs. Helen McNeilly plan monthly senior dances in Pendleton. However, they decided the dances should be moved to Hermiston since that’s the home of the majority of attendees.

With the immense turn out they’ve had since, they’re planning to alternate between Hermiston and Pendleton every other month, which local senior citizens are very excited about. Music is donated by the Bryan Branstetter Orchestra through the Music Performance Trust Fund Project. The dances are completely free; Mrs. Fernandez receives no compensation for her efforts — other than the pleasure of seeing people enjoy the dances.


Nov. 14, 1946

The freezing of public works funds during World War II, though beneficial for war efforts, is being opposed in regard to Oregon dams. At a labor management committee meeting in Portland, district representatives urged President Truman and Reconversion Director John R. Steelman to give a minimum of $1,500,000 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and $2,300,000 to the Bonneville Power Administration.

These funds were already appropriated by Congress, but frozen by Truman. The representatives claim that these funds are vitally needed to house idle workers and prevent the area from having a severe power shortage. Col. Orville E. Walsh, district Army engineer, points out that delays on Oregon dams such as the McNary, Dorena, Meridian and Detroit as a result of halted federal funding could create a power shortage for the Pacific Northwest that would last for years to come.

Walsh declared the McNary Dam as the top priority, due to its potential to relieve the overloaded Bonneville Dam, and asked Truman for the immediate release of funds and the need for $53,000,000 to carry out the project.


Nov. 10, 1921

Only three years after the end of World War I, Nov. 11 is still entitled “Armistice Day.” To commemorate the diplomatic agreement — made on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 — to cease fighting in WW I, there will be multiple guest speakers, musical performances, religious activities and a dance.

The Hermiston Post of the American Legion will be hosting these activities at the Play House, starting in the afternoon. Rev. Alfred Lockwood of Pendleton, renowned for his eloquent four-minute speeches during the war, was selected by the Legion to deliver the main address. Following his speech, Rev. Harry A. Wann will present a prayer and then the Post Commander Carl Voyen will give a brief welcome address.

Next will come the music, an orchestra piece by Hermiston High School and a cornet solo by Henry Shelladay. To conclude this day of remembrance, a dance put on by the Stanfield Legion will be held at Stanfield.


McKenzie Rose, a sophomore at Echo High School, searched Hermiston Herald archives to compile these article summaries.

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