The Hermiston Municipal Airport is under new management.

On Monday the city council approved a contract for Gorge Aviation Services to become the new manager of the airport.

Assistant city manager Mark Morgan said Hermiston Aviation Services has always done an excellent job for the city but they are ready to get out of the business. Gorge Aviation was managing the airport for The Dalles (located across the river in Dallesport, Wash.) until a recent split in the company. Morgan said they were the only ones to respond to the city’s request for proposals but the airport committee was excited about what they are bringing to the table. He said they have a reputation for good customer service and increasing fuel sales for airports. They recently brought their airplane repair shop to Hermiston and Morgan said that has already resulted in a bump in fuel sales to customers who followed them to Hermiston.

• • •

Construction will once again start up at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center after the city council voted to put out a request for proposals for construction of new offices and storage space for the Umatilla County Fair staff and improvements to the RV park there.

City manager Byron Smith said the new building is part of an agreement the city made with the county when it took over full responsibility of EOTEC. Improvements to the “very limited infrastructure” at the RV park could also lead to year-round use and, by extension, increased revenue for the center.

The city will use a bid-design-build process that brings in the contractor at the beginning of the design process instead of after the project is designed. Smith said he believes that method will save money and time in completing the two projects.

• • •

Colby Lerten, 11, of Hermiston made a lot of fans during the Umatilla County Fair. A fifth-grader at Rocky Heights Elementary School, he volunteered his time to pass out fans for the East Oregonian/Hermiston Herald.

The grandson of Jeanne Jewett, longtime multi-media consultant at the EO/HH, said he pitched in because he wanted to help others. Colby’s parents are Kris and Stacey Lerten of Hermiston.

The fans, which included the company’s logo, were part of the swag being given away to fair-goers, said Bonny Tuller, the EO/HH circulation manager, who was in charge of coordinating the company’s fair booth. Tuller was especially appreciative of Colby’s efforts, which included spending time outside during triple digit temperatures. She said his selfless act of kindness made a big difference to many people at the fair. On behalf of the East Oregonian/Hermiston, she thanked Colby for giving of his time.

“You have a beautiful heart and it shows,” Tuller said. “We are your biggest fans!”

• • •

The Aug. 20 American Red Cross blood drive held at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston met its goal of 36 units.

Patti Perkins, a Red Cross volunteer, said the donations came from 43 donors. She expressed appreciation to members of Altrusa International of Hermiston, who provided the canteen.

“We appreciate all of our service groups who have furnished our canteen for many years,” Perkins said. “Our community should be very proud.”

Citing statistics, Perkins said it’s estimated that 38 percent of the population are eligible to give blood, but only 8 percent actually do. She urges people to considering giving — stating that each blood donation can save the lives of up to three people.

The next blood drive at Good Shepherd is Monday, Sept. 17 from noon to 6 p.m. at 610 N.W. 11th St., Hermiston. While walk-ins are welcome, appointments assist with scheduling. To make an appointment, call 1-800-448-3543. For more information, including requirements for blood donors, visit


You can submit items for our weekly By The Way column by emailing your tips to

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.