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Morrow and Umatilla counties show unemployment jump

Morrow and Umatilla counties show unemployment jump

THE DALLES – There was good news for the region’s economy in February, but then came March. Oregon Employment Department Regional Economist Dallas Fridley says the jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a percent in February in Umatilla County and fell one-tenth of a percent in Morrow County. The COVID-19 orders issued by Gov. Kate Brown…

Good mental health vital during pandemic

Good mental health vital during pandemic

WALLA WALLA — While the public has been ordered to stay home and stay healthy to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, local health officials stress that mental health is also important. Nikki Sharp, healthy communities division manager for the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health recommends parents and young people maintain a routine.…

Gas tax referendum is gone but not forgotten

Gas tax referendum is gone but not forgotten

PENDLETON – The Save Our Streets political action committee is pulling its support of the gas tax for street repair on the May 19 ballot. Kevin Hale, a citizen-member of the group, said that on the heels of an epic flood and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the time is not right to…

Frates pleads guilty to burglaries

Frates pleads guilty to burglaries

WALLA WALLA – A Walla Walla man arrested in October 2018 and charged with a string of burglaries entered a guilty plea Monday. Robert Joseph Frates, 36, plead guilty to three counts of burglary in the second degree, one count of theft in the first degree and one count of theft in the second degree.…

Non-resident in Umatilla County tests positive, one positive in Wallowa County

From the Umatilla County Health Department: UCo Health now reports that an out of state resident who is temporarily in the area for essential employment has tested positive for COVID-19. As this individual is not a resident of Umatilla County or the state of Oregon, this case will not be reflected in the UCo Health…

Geller: St. Anthony is ready for COVID-19 crisis

Geller: St. Anthony is ready for COVID-19 crisis

PENDLETON – St. Anthony Hospital is ready to respond if COVID-19 impacts the area. President Harry Geller tells KUMA News that an incident command team meets twice a day to study the latest reports on the virus and plan how they impact the 26-bed facility. “We’ve had complete full engagement from the staff, the physician…

USACE keeps working through the crisis

USACE keeps working through the crisis

WALLA WALLA – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reduced staffing levels and closed many of its recreational areas to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus to government workers and the public. Key staff remain do remain on site to ensure power production, navigation, fish passage and flood operations are not compromised.…

Mattila’s enhancement trial is delayed

Mattila’s enhancement trial is delayed

PENDLETON – The enhancement trial for John McKenzie Mattila, 25, of Weston has been delayed. It had been scheduled Tuesday before Sixth Circuit Court Judge Jon Lieuallen. Trial Court Administrator Roy N. Blaine told KUMA News that Mattila’s enhancement trial will occur on the same day as his sentencing on Monday, April 6. Mattila was…

Beard is convinced the convention center will have a hotel

Beard is convinced the convention center will have a hotel

PENDLETON – The dream of having a hotel attached to the Pendleton Convention Center isn’t just fanciful thinking according to Manager Pat Beard. “We’ve needed that for so long,” he said. “We need an attached lodging property at the convention center.” Beard says he’s convinced that once Blue Mountain Community College builds its indoor rodeo…

Commenters on eviction moratorium must put it in writing

Commenters on eviction moratorium must put it in writing

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla City Council will consider a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions at its regular meeting scheduled for April 8 at 6:30 p.m. due to the COVID-19 emergency. More information on this proposed moratorium can be obtained at http://www.wallawallawa.gov/government/city-council/residential-and-commercial-eviction-moratorium Anyone wishing to comment on this proposed ordinance must provide those…