The Hermiston Family Aquatic Center is closed until further notice due to a “major mechanical failure.”

Parks and recreation director Larry Fetter said the most optimistic projection would be re-opening on Saturday.

Fetter said the aquatic center’s basement mechanical room was found flooded Tuesday morning. Staff pumped out the room and were still assessing the damage Tuesday afternoon, but Fetter said it was likely caused by a stuck float valve in the lower surge tank.

Five electrical motors from the room, which were not built to be submerged in water, have been pulled out and are being sent to a local shop to be dried out and repaired.

Having to close the aquatic center for several days is not ideal, Fetter said, but it is the first time something of that nature has happened in the 17 years the pool has been open. He said he is looking at a flood alarm system to prevent the problem from happening again, and the city will keep the public updated as soon as they know for sure when the pool will reopen.

• • •

A banner advertising a “Store Closing” sale at Bealls had Hermiston residents worried they were losing one of their few clothing stores, but the change is more of a re-brand than a closure.

Stage, the Bealls parent company, confirmed the company will be converting the location into a Gordmans in spring 2020.

Gordmans is an “off-price” retailer, similar to Marshall’s or Ross, which offers lower than usual prices on brand name clothing, footwear, home goods, fragrances and more. Such stores often do so by purchasing goods that are available for lower prices due to being overstocked, at the end of their season or for other reasons.

According to the company, the store will be closed for less than two weeks in the spring before re-opening as Gordmans. All current Bealls employees will be offered jobs at Gordmans, and more will be hired early next year.

• • •

The granddaughter of Robert and Serena MacPherson of Stanfield received a $1,200 scholarship from the Oregon State Association of Emblem Clubs. Margaret A. MacPherson, a junior at Washington State University, is majoring in elementary education with endorsements in special education. Her parents are Shawn MacPherson and Melanie Wheeler of Camas, Washington.

Hermiston Emblem Club president Teresa Moncrief shared that Margaret’s goal is to eventually teach children whose first language isn’t English.

• • •

The Big River Golf Course Ladies Club recently teed off for its championship. The club gross champion was Jessi Edwards (178) and second gross was Sharla Barber (180). First net was Shawn Lockwood (141) and second net Stacey Lerten (142).

The ladies enjoyed a slice of weekend fun. A potluck was held afterwards at Bev Miller‘s.

For more information about the club, contact Megan Olsen at 541-922-3006 or megan@golfbigriver.com.

• • •

The menu for the Harkenrider Senior Activity Center for Thursday is baked fish, tater tots, coleslaw and dessert. Friday is hamburger, salad and dessert. Monday is salad bar, garlic bread and dessert. Tuesday is German sausage dogs, sauerkraut, Waldorf salad, baked beans and dessert. Next Wednesday is meat loaf sandwich, salad and dessert.

———You can submit items for our weekly By The Way column by emailing your tips to editor@hermistonherald.com.

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