Sept. 20, 1994

Two days after President Clinton signed into law a crime bill that bans the manufacture, sale and possession of 19 models of “assault weapons,” a Colt AR-15 sits on the sale rack of Columbia Outdoor and Surplus in Hermiston.

The soon-to-be-banned rifle has a $1,899 price tag.

“Seven or eight months ago, AR-15s were selling for $600. Yesterday, I sold one for $1,600,” said Bob Henry, the store’s gun manager.

Henry has two banned guns in stock — the Colt and a Cobray M-12 .380 caliber pistol.

He also has two Chinese SKS rifles. The ban on import of that make of rifle was signed by President Bush, but they can still be sold and owned.

Of all the guns to be banned by the crime bill, he has sold about half a dozen in the past year, he said.


Sept. 18, 1969

A Umatilla County Circuit Court jury acquitted John Gifford, Hermiston, late Tuesday afternoon of a charge of manslaughter in a case involving the death of John David Boyd, Jr.

Gifford had been accused of striking Boyd over the head with a sawed-off pool cue in a local tavern during an altercation last February. Gifford was working as a bartender there at the time. Boyd died 40 days later, March 10, in Good Shepherd Hospital.

2) In an informal discussion after the regular agenda of the Hermiston District 8-R board meeting, the subject of sex education in the schools was brought up.

High school principal Jack Jenkins said: “We have no sex education as such, except as it is touched upon in biology and health education classes.”

The discussion followed a statement by board member Leland Baggett that a group in town had talked to what he termed the local council of church concerning the sex education in local schools.

Superintendent Armand O. Larive replied that a committee from the Hermiston Ministerial Association had met with him and when he had reviewed with them what the district is doing in regard to sex education “they didn’t take offense to it.”

Dr. Wendell Ford, a member of the board, said that when he was practicing medicine in Nebraska he taught sex education for 10 years in the high school.

“Our young people are entitled to premarital training. The young people want to know,” he said.


Sept. 21, 1944

Plans for an assemblage one hour after official confirmation of Germany’s defeat are being completed here under the sponsorship of Hermiston Post No. 37, American Legion.

Tentative plans are as follows: When official news has been received by Col. A.S. Buyers, commanding officer at the Umatilla Ordnance Depot, confirming Germany’s surrender, he will notify Legion officials in Hermiston. Immediately there will be three long blasts of the city fire siren. Within one hour the high school band will assemble at the flagpole at the west end of Main Street. This will be a signal for an assemblage of all residents in this area.

A parade will form and will march to the lawn at the front of the high school where a short program will be held. Included will be short addresses by clergy, U.S. Army officials, Legionnaires, Mayor F.C McKenzie and possibly others. Group singing and music by the band will be featured.

The above program should not be mistaken for an occasion of hilarity and fun-making but rather a period of rededication and reconsecration for the tasks that still lie ahead. Dr. F.B. Belt, local post commander, American Legion, states that the war is still far from over, even with Germany’s capitulation. However, the occasion should be remembered with renewed vows for the future. The time to celebrate will be when Japan and Germany have both fully surrendered.


Sept. 20, 1919

H. Spinning returned last Saturday from a month’s visit to Tacoma and other coastal points. He remarked one evening shortly after his homecoming that Hermiston had by far the worst streets and sidewalks of any of the little towns he had visited in his journeyings.

He offset this, however, by the statement that for liveliness and vim, this city had them all cheated, and if only we had streets and sidewalks to correspond with the upward trend Hermiston would have no equal for its size anywhere in the west.

2) Wade Noble was in town on business Monday from his ranch in the east end, and took home with him a few “No Trespass” signs with which to post his place. He is doing this, he says, not to protect the game birds on ponds and in the enclosure from sportsmen, but to protect his dairy herd from getting their hides full of shot from the gun of a possible erratic or irresponsible hunter.

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