The public is invited to the installation of new officers and members during a ceremony at Hermiston Elks Lodge #1845. The event is Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. at 480 E. Main St.

After a 90-day suspension by the Grand Lodge, Gary Garrard, chairman of the trustees, said new life has sprouted at the Hermiston Lodge. A Jan. 25 open house resulted in numerous membership inquiries. The immediate focus for the lodge, Garrard said, will include fundraisers for an upgrade to the kitchen and resuming its scholarship program.

For more information, call exalted ruler David Downing at 541-571-1089 or the lodge at 541-567-6923.

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Hermiston resident Verla Jean Zielke is inviting friends and family in the community to celebrate her 94th birthday with her on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. at her home on 401 W. Highland Ave.

Her 10 grandchildren are making cakes and cupcakes for the open house. She asks that people don’t bring gifts, but she does welcome cards.

Zielke was born and raised in Wallowa County but has lived in Hermiston since 1952, when she moved to the area with her husband, a teacher. She ran her own shop as a beautician for many years and also used her talents on the deceased at Burns Mortuary.

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More than three dozen piano students participated in the Umatilla-Morrow District of the Oregon Music Teachers Association’s Baroque Festival. The Feb. 1 event, which was held in Pendleton, featured Patti Robertson of Kennewick as the adjudicator. Students performed original keyboard compositions from the Baroque time period (1600 to 1750).

Local winners included, Ages 9-11: Juliette Goyer-Rondon; Ages 15-19: William Kern and Hunter McDonald. Honorable Mention: Ages 9-11: Marissa White. Also, local piano teachers represented were Sarah Milburn and Phyllis Peterson.

Winners are eligible to perform at the State Baroque Recital at Linfield College in McMinnville on March 7. For more information, contact Myrna Van Cleave at

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The Oregon School Boards Association encourages people to recognize the efforts of unpaid elected volunteers who serve on school boards across the state. InterMountain Education Service District, which includes Umatilla, Morrow, Baker and Union counties, recently gave a shout-out to its seven board members during January’s School Board Recognition Month.

They include board chair Kelly Bissinger (Zone 2: Hermiston), vice chair Joe McElligott (Zone 7: at large, Umatilla, Morrow, Union and Baker counties), Ryan Neal (Zone 1: Morrow County, Ione, Ukiah, Pilot Rock, Umatilla), Verneda Wagner (Zone 3: Helix, Milton-Freewater, Athena-Weston, Stanfield, Echo), Steve Muller (Zone 4: Pendleton), Dale Bingham (Zone 6: Burnt River, North Powder, Union), and Merle Comfort (Zone 5: La Grande, Imbler, Cove, Elgin). For more about IMESD, visit

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The menu at the Harkenrider Senior Activity Center for Thursday is ham dinner, yams, broccoli salad and a Valentine’s dessert. Friday is tacos, chips and salsa, fruit and dessert. Monday is turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce, salad and dessert. Tuesday is chili, cornbread, fruit and dessert. Next Wednesday is chicken sandwich, potato casserole, beets and dessert.

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

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