Finders ready to party today, hunt next year

Jesse Landin and three co-workers from the Hermiston office of the state Department of Seniors and People with Disabilities gathered Monday near the gray electrical box near City Hall where he found the National Night Out Treasure Hunt Medallion Friday evening. Helping him hunt were, from top, Debbie Townsend, Becky McElvain and Becky Miltenberger.<br><I>Staff photo by Dean Brickey

HERMISTON - Four co-workers from the state office of Seniors and People with Disabilities collaborated to win this year's East Oregonian National Night Out Treasure Hunt.

The city will treat them to a public ice cream social at 6:30 p.m. today at Desert View Elementary School, 1225 S.W. Ninth St. It will be one of about two dozen neighborhood block parties in Hermiston this evening. All are intended to help people become acquainted with their neighbors and to promote community safety.

Jesse Landin, who found the medallion, suggested Desert View because it's in his neighborhood and he wants his neighbors to enjoy the evening.

Landin found the medallion about 5:30 p.m. Friday inside a gray electrical outlet box in the landscaping at Hermiston City Hall. Accompanying him in the search during their breaks and lunch hours - and after work - were Debbie Townsend, Becky McElvain and Becky Miltenberger.

This is the second time the crew from the state SPD office has found the medallion. They've been hunting medallions together for five years. They also found it two years ago when Police Officer Doug Smith hid it behind a grate in RoeMark's western wall, not far from where Landin found this year's medallion

Erica V. Franz, Hermiston police crime prevention officer-Community Watch coordinator, hid the medallion about a week ago.

The East Oregonian began publishing clues Wednesday. The first clue sent them into the north half of the city, the second to the east, so they knew the medallion was on public property in the northeast quadrant.

McElvain said the third clue, which said a rind was visible, sent them to the corner of Northeast Gladys Avenue and Second Street, where they could see the City Hall sign, which has a watermelon on it, but from across the street, they also could see the watermelon-decorated water reservoir along South Highway 395.

McElvain said the clues were harder this year, and they enjoy the challenge.

"We look forward to the clues," Townsend said. "It's fun."

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