Umatilla County’s annual non-agricultural burn ban went into effect Monday.

According to a county press release, the burn ban applies to all unincorporated areas of Umatilla County, excluding land owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the state of Oregon, and the federal government.

Prohibited activities include burn barrels, yard and garden debris piles, and small scale residential burning.

Agricultural burning is still allowed, but smoke management permit holders are required to check for burn day status by calling 541-278-6397 or by visiting the Umatilla County website or its smoke management Facebook page.

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Phone lines were down for four days at Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla last week.

Sherry Isles, the prison’s public information officer, said the problem was caused cut line in the area owned by Centurylink, which provides service to the prison.

Ingoing and outgoing calls were disrupted from Monday through Thursday afternoon. Inmates were still able to make calls using Telmate services.

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The Hermiston Herald offices will close at 3 p.m. on Wednesday and be closed all day on Thursday to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. Our reporting staff will still cover holiday activities taking place in Hermiston and Stanfield on Thursday, however, so keep an eye on for photos.

We are also excited to announce that we are preparing to launch a mobile phone app for the Hermiston Herald soon, featuring faster download times, customizable newsfeeds and other perks. Check out the East Oregonian’s new app, which went live this week in app stores across platforms, for an idea of what the new app will offer.

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The Hermiston Herald received a follow-up letter from a student in Ms. Lyons‘ class at The Langley School in McLean, Virginia.

Andrei expressed appreciation for the response to her request to send items and information about the state of Oregon for her school project. She was pleasantly surprised to hear from 16 people.

“I was so excited when packages started arriving from different places in Oregon! I received a China plate, brochures and maps,” Andrei said. “This project could not have been the success that it was without YOU! I am so grateful.”

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Hermiston’s annual Funfest is changing its name back to the original title of Spudfest this year.

The family-friendly downtown celebration, which will include a variety of vendors and entertainment, will take place throughout the day on July 13. See next week’s Hermiston Herald for more information.

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The Harkenrider Senior Activity Center will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Fourth of July holiday. The menu for Monday is salad bar, dinner roll and dessert. Tuesday is pulled BBQ chicken, broccoli salad and granola parfait. Next Wednesday is tuna or grilled cheese sandwich, salad and dessert.

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

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