JANUARY

• When Armand Larive Middle School principal Steve Carnes announced his resignation to take a job in Jefferson, the Hermiston School District moved Sandstone Middle School principal Jon Mishra into the Armand Larive position and promoted assistant principal Neely Kirwan to the top slot at Sandstone.

•  Umatilla officials hosted the first Umatilla City Council meeting in the new City Hall, 700 Sixth St.

•  For the fourth consecutive year, the Hermiston wrestling team won the 5A state championship. The team earned 269 points to take the title.

FEBRUARY

•  Hermiston City Council members called for a special election May 18. The election gave voters a say in whether the city would take out an $800,000 bond to fund four extra classrooms in the Eastern Oregon Higher Education Center.

•  The Hermiston School District celebrated the groundbreaking on two new elementary schools. At the sites for both West Park and Sunset, students painted and buried rocks to symbolize students as the foundation for the schools. The three new schools — Hermiston is also funding a new Armand Larive Middle School — are being funded with a $69.9 million bond.

 

MARCH

•  Umatilla residents celebrated the grand opening of the new Umatilla Public Library and City Hall facility at 700 Sixth St. Officials from Hermiston, Pendleton, Irrigon, Stanfield, Athena and Boardman attended the ceremony and congratulated the city. The $2.4 million project was funded with $115,000 in community donations, $452,000 in grants, $139,000 in ARRA funding, $375,000 from city government and $1.5 million loan. 

•  Officials at the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility announced a worker had come into contact with liquid mustard agent. Officials stressed the worker was treated but did not miss any scheduled work days and that the public was never in any danger from the chemical.

 

APRIL

•  Pioneer HiBred announced the expansion of its Hermiston research and production facility, a move experts said could bring millions to the area in capital investments, payroll and contracts with local farmers.

•  The Local Reuse Authority and Dana Support Team hosted a public forum on their preferred plan of action for the Umatilla Chemical Depot site once the facility closes. The plan divided the depot into space for industrial and economic development, environment and wildlife preservation and an Oregon Army National Guard training facility.

•  The Umatilla-Morrow ESD board agreed to explore a merger with both halves of the Union-Baker ESD after Malheur County backed out of the original agreement, which would have split control of the struggling UBESD by having Malheur County ESD absorb services for Baker County. The UMESD eventually agreed to take on services for both Union and Baker counties to become the InterMountain ESD.

•  When the freezer at the Hermiston Senior Center broke, putting hundreds of pounds of food in danger, local volunteers stepped up to fix the faulty machinery, install new flooring and move food out of the broken freezer to other facilities.

 

MAY

•  The first community theater production in many years brought "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to life at the Hermiston Conference Center through a cast of more than 50. The actors ranged from pre-school to retirement age, and the play was made possible through volunteers, donations and the sponsorship of the Hermiston Parks and Recreation Department.

•  The Hermiston Herald launched the first issue with its new design, capping a year of work in planning and development.

 

JULY

•  Umatilla County District Attorney Dean Gushwa announced plans to close down his department's office in Hermiston's Stafford Hansel building. Gushwa described the move as a cost-saving measure and said regular operations would continue in the Pendleton office.

•  The Hermiston Fire Department doubled training with community service when they hosted a "burn to learn" at a home on Jennie Avenue. The fire department completed training while they burned down the house, and the Hermiston Les Schwab, which had purchased the property, was able to clear the site for use in tire store’s expansion and remodel.

•  Hermiston's 15-year-old Babe Ruth baseball all-star team claimed the North Oregon State Championship.

•  Umatilla City Manager J.R. Cook announced he had accepted a position as executive director of the Umatilla Basin Water Commission and would leave municipal government in August.

 

AUGUST

•  After five years in office, Umatilla Mayor Dave Trott resigned in order to apply for the open city manager position.

• Umatilla County District Attorney Dean Gushwa stepped down amidst an investigation into a sex crime allegation against him. Gushwa was placed on paid leave while the state Justice Department conducted the investigation.

•  Oregon Department of Education preliminary progress reports spelled disappointing news for the Hermiston School District: The reports showed the district failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress — better known as AYP — requirements for the eighth consecutive year. Although all Hermiston elementary schools passed the bar,  Armand Larive Middle School, Sandstone Middle School and Hermiston High School did not.

 

SEPTEMBER

•  Local school districts saw record enrollment numbers for the 2010-11 school year. In the Hermiston School District, officials had planned for an increase of 100 students; the district population jumped from 4,860 in 2009-10 to 5,078, an increase of 218 students. Nearby, the Umatilla School District increased by 18 students (from 1,344 to 1,362) and the Stanfield School District faced an overall increase of six students (from 544 to 550).

•  The Umatilla County Fair Board announced it would put the “Festival of Lights” on hold unless sponsors stepped up with $12,000 in donations.

•  Hilltop High School, an alternative school serving students from Hermiston, Stanfield, Echo and Umatilla school districts, went on lockdown for 40 minutes after reports of a stranger in the parking lot with a handgun.

 

OCTOBER

•  Police found the body of Hilaria Sanchez, 41, a mother of seven, near her Hermiston home after being called to the scene on reports of domestic violence. Her husband, Maurilio Lamas Sanchez, 45, was arrested and charged with murder.

•  On Oct. 6, officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the Eastern Oregon Higher Education Center. The facility, expected to open for classes in fall 2011, will help students earn two-year and four-year degrees without having to travel out of the area.

•  Six families were displaced after a fire ravaged a building at Columbia Crest Apartments. The fire, which started with an electrical problem, caused fire, smoke or water damage to each of the structure's six apartments.

•  Steven Montie Crum, a 29-year-old Morrow County Sheriff's Deputy was arrested and charged with the murder of Jessica Rae Killian, 30, of Hermiston, whose body was discovered Oct. 4 near Ione.

 

NOVEMBER

•  Former nurse Karen Steen beat out business owner and city councilman Daren Dufloth to become the mayor-elect of the City of Umatilla. Steen, who has lived in Umatilla for almost five years, takes office Jan. 11.

•  Practice ramped up for the Hermiston High School wrestling team as the group began its quest for a fifth consecutive state title.

•  Five stakeholders put pen to paper to sign a memorandum of understanding about their roles and responsibilities in the development of the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center. The stakeholders — representatives of the Hermiston School District, the City of Hermiston, Umatilla County, the Farm-City Pro Rodeo Board and the Umatilla County Fair Board — each have different responsibilities in the project, designed to create a facility capable of hosting year-round events, including the Umatilla County Fair and Farm-City Pro Rodeo.

•  After “generous” donations from the local community and many hours of work by volunteers, the 12th Annual Festival of Lights debuted at the Umatilla County Fairgrounds.

 

DECEMBER

•  Former students, teachers and staff said good-bye to West Park Elementary during a final walk-through the day before the 60-year-old building was torn down. The new West Park facility is expected to open Jan. 4.

•  Hermiston placed seventh at the Tri-State wrestling tournament at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene and brought home two individual championships. Freshman Tyler Berger rolled through the 125-pound bracket, taking out a pair of Washington state placers, to advance to the finals.

•  Senior citizens and volunteers at the Hermiston Senior Center signed a petition against moving the facility out of the downtown area and into the proposed Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center, saying the extra travel distance could prevent some seniors from attending center events.

   

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