The city of Hermiston is hosting an open house next week to discuss a new wayfinding project.

The city plans to add and update signs around town to make it easier for visitors to find their way around Hermiston and discover community attractions.

According to a news release, they have have hired MERJE, a design firm with “specific expertise in Community Wayfinding,” to assist with the project.

Community members can come and listen to a presentation, ask questions and give input on Jan. 22 from 4-6 p.m. at the Hermiston Community Center, 415 S Highway 395.

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Last April, Fiesta Foods closed its doors at the corner of Theater Lane and Highway 395, and Grocery Outlet confirmed it would be opening a store at the same address “sometime in 2020.” This week we checked back in with Grocery Outlet and they updated their timeline to March 2020. Information about job openings and other updates will be posted to as the opening date draws closer.

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The annual meeting of the Oregon Water Coalition and Northeast Oregon Water Association is planned for Tuesday, Jan. 21 beginning at 8:15 a.m. at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 2121 S. First St., Hermiston.

NOWA director JR Cook will present a slideshow on water projects that are in the works. Other speakers include Sen. Bill Hansell, R-Athena, who will talk about what is coming for the legislative short session; Tom Byler, director of Oregon Water Resources Department, discussing Oregon’s 100-year water vision; Chris Kowitz on rules of groundwater wells reporting; and attorney Steve Shropshire, who will present on water and legislation.

There is no charge to attend the meeting, which includes breakfast. For more information, contact Ray Kopacz or Tiffany Harrell at, or call 541-449-3272.

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City Councilor Lori Davis will represent Hermiston at a national level after being selected to serve on the National League of Cities Small Cities Council.

The council represents the interests of cities with fewer than 50,000 residents, and connects leaders of those cities so that they can discuss solutions to common problems they face.

Davis, who has been a city councilor since 2009, grew up in Hermiston and works for Two Rivers Correctional Institution.

“I look forward to strengthening Hermiston’s ties to America’s small cities,” she said in a news release. “We are able to share ideas and gain resources to better the lives of Hermiston residents.”

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The Hermiston Elks Lodge is hosting a membership open house. People interested in the organization are encouraged to attend and learn how a commitment of time and skills can make a difference in the community. The event is Saturday, Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The lodge is located at 480 E. Main St. Appetizers and beverages will be available. For more information, call David Downing at 541-571-1089.

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The menu for Thursday at the Harkenrider Senior Activity Center is potato soup, crackers, salad and dessert. Friday is chili, cornbread, fruit and dessert. Monday is broccoli soup, sandwich, fruit and dessert. Tuesday is hamburger soup, cornbread, salad and dessert. Next Wednesday is fish sandwich, pea salad, pudding and cookies.

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

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