Week of May 23, 2024

Wyden, Merkley Join Bipartisan Deliver for Democracy Act to Help Local News Overcome Persistent Postal Delays, Surging Rate Increases

Press Release | May 23, 2024

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today joined the introduction of bipartisan legislation that would help local news outlets overcome their current crisis by providing incentives to ensure reliable postal service and limit excessive rate increases. The Deliver for Democracy Act comes in the wake of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) consistently raising rates for periodicals under the guise of increased efficiency and improved service. However, local news has yet to receive those benefits and instead...


Press Release | May 23, 2024

Oregon Community Foundation Awards $5.3M to 281 Nonprofits Making an Impact in Every Corner of Oregon PORTLAND, Ore. – Nonprofit and community leaders throughout Oregon are seeing their work strengthened through new grants that provide important operational support. The funding is flexible, allowing organizations to direct it to where it is needed most. The 2024 Spring Cycle of Community Grants from Oregon Community Foundation has awarded $5,266,908 to 281 nonprofits making an impact across the state. For 27 years,...

Wasco gears up for Memorial Day celebration

Jessica R. Wheeler | May 22, 2024

Community members are hard at work preparing for the annual Wasco Memorial Day celebration, a long-running tradition for the town. The festivities kick off Monday, May 27, with a Country Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Wasco School Events Center. A Memorial Service will follow at 10 a.m. downtown at the Wasco Train Depot, with a parade planned for 11 a.m. An Oregon Air National Guard military jet flyover also is planned, subject to availability. The event features a...

Umatilla National Forest prepares for Memorial Day Weekend

Press Release | May 22, 2024

PENDLETON, OR — Memorial weekend traditionally kicks off summer recreation season on the Umatilla National Forest and many are planning their annual trek to the mountains to enjoy nature. With that in mind, forest visitors are cautioned that not all roads, trails and campgrounds are open, particularly this year with the late season snow. Shaded areas and cut banks on roads at higher elevations may still have impassible snowdrifts. Most hiking and motorized trails have not...


Stephen Allen | May 22, 2024

Old Condon Grade School approved for Brownfield grant The Old Condon Grade School has moved one step closer to getting federal funding for environmental remediation – as the Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization selected the site for negotiations with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Port of Arlington's non-profit wing – the Environmental Sentry Corp, took ownership of the old school building last year. It is working to remediate the building of...

Bobby Christensen, Pat Nogle inducted into Pendleton Round-Up Hall of Fame

Press Release | May 22, 2024

PENDLETON, OR— Pendleton Round-Up & Happy Canyon Hall of Fame Board of Directors announced the 2024 inductees into the Hall of Fame on May 14 during the organization's annual membership meeting. The class of 2024 inductees includes Pat Nogle (Contestant Category), Bobby Christensen Jr. (Contract Personnel Category), Jesse Jones Sr. (Early Years Category), Scott & Bonnie Sager (Happy Canyon Volunteers category), and Ron and Linné Dodge (Special Board Inductee). Each year,...

Northern Lights thrill locals

Stephen Allen | May 15, 2024

Considered to be a bucket list event in the lower-48, Aurora Borealis has dazzled people since the dawn of humanity. Each year, more than 300,000 people travel to Alaska to see Aurora Borealis, which is known more commonly as the Northern Lights. While the light show it produces is common in Alaska and Canada, rarely is there an opportunity to see Aurora Borealis outside of the Arctic. But last weekend, locals in Gilliam, Wheeler, and Sherman County got a very rare treat ...

Merkley, Wyden celebrate $24M coming to Oregon to strengthen and defend communities from wildfire

Press Release | May 16, 2024

Washington, D.C. — Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service (USFS) is investing $24,063,442 in 13 projects across Oregon to make at-risk communities’ homes, businesses, and infrastructure more resilient to wildfires. This funding allocation is part of the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program (CWDG), funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to protect communities and Tribal lands...

Sherman Extension wins state health award

Press Release | May 16, 2024

MORO, OR - Oregon State University Sherman County Extension was recently honored with a state health award to at the OSU Spring Family Community Health Conference in Bend, Oregon. Sherman Extension faculty member Cindy Brown received the "Innovation in Programming" award which recognizes innovation and accomplishment in the design and implementation of a family/community health program in Extension. Brown is a 4-H Youth Development and SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator for Sherman...

Fatal motorcycle crash in Wheeler County

Press Release | May 13, 2024

WHEELER COUNTY, Ore. 13 May 2024 – On Saturday, May 11, 2024, at 2:02 p.m., Oregon State Police responded to a fatal motorcycle crash on Hwy. 207 near milepost 18 in Wheeler County. The preliminary investigation indicated a black Harley Davidson motorcycle, operated by William Charles Edward Herrold (42) of Oregon City, was leading a group of motorcycles northbound on Hwy. 207 when it veered onto the gravel shoulder, lost control, and crashed. The operator (William Herrold)...


May 22, 2024

Dear Readers, Unfortunately, we did not have the space in this week's print issue for Letters to the Editor. We have posted them online, and this week's letters have open access. Please visit the Letters to the Editor page on the website or click HERE. Thank you, The... Full story

RECALL ELECTION: Gilliam County Judge and Commissioner voted out

Stephen Allen | May 8, 2024

Although the results are still unofficial, Gilliam County voters have resoundingly voted to recall Judge Elizabeth Farrar Campbell and Commissioner Pat Shannon from office. The special election was held on April 30 and will take several weeks to finalize. Gilliam County Clerk Ellen Wagenaar is working to verify contested ballots and those that were unsigned. Wagenaar says that it will likely take until May 21 to finalize this process, and to certify the election by May 22...

Bank of Eastern Oregon announces 2024 academic scholarships

Press Release | May 8, 2024

The Bank of Eastern Oregon has selected its 2024 high school senior scholarship recipients. This scholarship is awarded to students planning to enroll in agriculture or business in college and judging is based on scholarship, leadership and citizenship. Applications are accepted from graduating seniors in the areas where Bank of Eastern Oregon and Bank of Eastern Washington branches and loan offices are located. $500 scholarships were awarded to Oregon seniors Grace Johnson,...

BLM looks to reshape leases for conservation

Stephen Allen | May 8, 2024

In a move aimed at enhancing conservation efforts on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Biden administration introduced a new rule in April that seeks to protect approximately 245 million acres of public land across the United States. The new Public Lands Rule introduces two innovative leases designed to facilitate the restoration of degraded lands and mitigate environmental damage on BLM-managed properties, representing a significant portion of...

Upcoming public hearings on changes to groundwater allocation rules

Press Release | May 8, 2024

SALEM, OR - The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) is updating the rules for new groundwater rights applications and is seeking public input on proposed rules that have been developed with input from a Rules Advisory Committee. OWRD is hosting two in-person public hearings and one virtual hearing in May to allow for the public to provide input. The public comment period closes at 5 p.m. on May 31, 2024. Current groundwater right permitting rules allow for aquifers to...

Commission selects Dr. Debbie Colbert as new ODFW Director

Press Release | May 13, 2024

On Friday, March 10, 2024, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to select Dr. Debbie Colbert as the new ODFW Director. Colbert is the first woman to ever be appointed to the permanent ODFW Director position in the agency's long history. The first state Fish Commission was legally recognized in 1887 and a combined fish and game agency has existed in Oregon since 1893. Colbert will now lead an agency still managing sustainable fishing and hunting...

Generational talent: Condon's Grady Greenwood

Stephen Allen | May 22, 2024

Natalie Wilkins knows a good runner when she sees one. Having coached Cross-Country and Track for nine years at Condon Middle School and High School, Natalie can immediately spot talent. But talent only takes an athlete so far. Development, training, and mental fortitude separates the talented from champions. Natalie's daughter Kallyn Wilkins had "it." The gifts and athleticism, but also the work ethic and desire to win. Kallyn shattered school records and was a Cross-Country...

  • Cris Patnode wins Gilliam Co. Judge election by landslide

    Stephen Allen | May 22, 2024

    Cris Patnode has emerged victorious in the Primary Election for Gilliam County Judge and will be the county's next executive officer, capturing more than 61% of the vote. Patnode defeated Commissioner Leah Watkins and Condon Mayor Jim Hassing to win outright, with no need to hold a general election in the fall. Patnode, who was raised outside of Condon and now lives in Arlington, has served as the Gilliam Co. Justice of the Peace for 24 years. The Gilliam County Court is...

  • Senator Jeff Merkley holds townhall in Arlington

    Stephen Allen | May 22, 2024

    Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley swept through Eastern Oregon on a three-day tour, holding townhalls in nine counties. Starting on Friday, May 17, Oregon's junior Senator started his townhall tour in Malheur County, and then went to Harney, and Grant County. On Saturday, Merkley held townhalls in Baker County, Union County, and Wallowa County. On Sunday, he met with constituents in Umatilla County, Morrow County, and in Gilliam County. At the Gronquist Building in Arlington,...

  • Merkley announces townhalls in Eastern Oregon

    Press Release | May 16, 2024

    Washington, D.C. – Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley announced today he will be holding nine in-person town halls for Eastern Oregon counties in May: Malheur, Harney, and Grant counties on Friday, May 17; Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties on Saturday, May 18; and Umatilla, Morrow, and Gilliam counties on Sunday, May 19. The events continue Merkley's 2024 town hall tour of Oregon, where he is holding a community conversation for each of the state's 36...

  • Your Vote: Primary Elections May 21

    Stephen Allen | May 22, 2024

    It's election season and people in the tri-county area must finalize their primary ballots and have them mailed or submitted by May 21. County Clerks in Wheeler, Gilliam, and Sherman are preparing for the primary elections and several pivotal races will determine the future of each county. In Gilliam County, voters will cast ballots for County Judge and Commissioner #2. This comes on the heels of the recall election that was held on April 30, which ousted Judge Elizbeth...

  • Obituary Betty Blanche (Wilson) Breeding

    May 22, 2024

    Betty Blanche (Wilson) Breeding passed away on May 16th, 2024 in Boise, Idaho. A graveside service will be held 1 p.m. Thursday, May 23, 2024 at the Lexington Cemetery at Lexington, Oregon. Betty Blanche Wilson was born in Monument, OR on May 22nd 1939 to father, Perry Wilson and mother, Lydia (Cox) Wilson. Betty was the 6th child out of 8. She lived mostly in Hardman and Monument in her younger years. After her dad Perry passed away in a car accident near Spray, Oregon in 1957 they moved to Heppner. She married Max... Full story

  • Evelyn Marie Robinson

    May 8, 2024

    Evelyn Marie Robinson was born November 4, 1929, to Robert R. and Jessie Niven Schomp at her grandfather's home on Mayville Flat, Oregon. Her parents moved, while she was still a baby, to their own home a short distance away. She grew up there and attended grade school, first at a country school, then at Mayville Grade School. She and her sister Margaret were the only two students in the country school, and Margaret graduated from the eighth grade leaving Evelyn to attend... Full story

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