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Local News

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Klickitat County Commission To Rescind Husum/BZ Update

Klickitat County Commissioners have decided to rescind the Husum/BZ Plan and Zoning Update in effect the last three years.  Commissioner Jim Sizemore says testimony they received at a recent hearing saw nearly everyone was unhappy with the update, regardless of point of view.  Sizemore says it will be up to the community to develop a new plan.  Once the Commission formally passes an ordinance to repeal the update, regulations will revert back to the old plan developed in the mid 80’s.  Sizemore pointed out whatever form the new plan takes will have to consider salmon habitat with the removal of Condit Dam.  He also noted the Yakama Nation will still have the ability to protect its cultural sites even without the zoning update.

HR County And City Seek Grant For West Side Plan

Both the City and County of Hood River are applying for a Transportation and Growth Management grant from the state to do a plan for the west side of Hood River and its urban growth area.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says the plan would seek to link the growth patters of an area with transportation needs.  Wheeler notes there is a transportation systems plan in place, and it would be used as a building block for this effort.  He added primary landowners in the west side area have indicated they are willing to wait on some development for this kind of plan to be put together.

Wastewater Key Part Of Hood River Capital Improvement Planning

The City of Hood River is working on a 20-year capital improvement plan to deal with renovation and repair of municipal infrastructure.  Most notable is work to plan for wastewater system improvements.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says they have to deal with both the plant and collection systems.  Perhaps the most pressing need is to build a new outfall from the wastewater treatment plant into the Columbia River.  When the storms of 2006 sent debris down the Hood River to its mouth into the Columbia, it changed the flowage pattern and made the current outfall obsolete.  Wheeler adds the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the federal Environmental Protection Agency both are beginning to pressure the City to do the project.  Wheeler estimates the project will cost a little over two million dollars.

The Dalles Downtown Efforts To Be Part Of Town Hall Discussion

Downtown revitalization will be one topic at a town hall meeting planned for The Dalles in June.  Mayor Steve Lawrence says as the City and other groups conduct efforts to help fill empty downtown building space, it’s important to get a number of viewpoints rather than just those of a few people sitting around a table.  Lawrence thinks what currently is being looked at it could be described as a community activity center to bring more people downtown, including more food outlets and entertainment opportunities.  Lawrence noted in talking with tourists who come to The Dalles they don’t see the empty storefronts he worries about, but say they love the architecture, murals, and history of the town.

New Prehistoric Rodent Species Found At Fossil Beds

Paleontologists say they have discovered ten new prehistoric rodent species found at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and on nearby lands.  The current issue of the Annals of Carnegie Museum reports Dr. Joshua Samuels of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and Dr. William Korth of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History examined newly discovered and previously undocumented fossil specimens from the John Day Formation.   Their study describes 21 species of rodents in all.   The new species include: an early beaver which may be the distant ancestor of living beavers, a dwarf tree squirrel smaller than any living in North America today, a primitive pocket mouse, and a birch mouse.  Some of the new rodents are closely related to species from the fossil record of Asia, and help document the dispersal of species across the Bering Land Bridge.

Man Taken To Hospital After Falling Out Of Moving Car

Hood River County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating why a 40-year-old man fell out of a moving car on Highway 281 near Airport Road, leaving him with severe injuries.  The Sheriff’s Department says Steven Ray Ram of Hood River was found by passers-by laying face down in a ditch.  Sheriff’s deputies say Ram had been a passenger in a northbound vehicle driven by 25 year old Audrey Josephine Muehlhausen of Hood River, and that he had fallen out of the car while the vehicle was moving.  The cause of Ram’s exit from the moving vehicle is still undetermined and is under investigation.  Ram was taken first to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital and later to Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Hospital, where he remained in critical condition over the weekend.  Muehlhausen was later arrested at Providence and lodged at NORCOR on charges of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants – Alcohol and Reckless Driving.

May 22-23 Prep Sports Roundup

Track and Field

Hood River Valley boys and girls each finished fourth at the Oregon Class 5-A Track and Field Championships in Eugene.  The Eagles girls were led by Jestena Mattson who won both the 100 and 200 meters for the third time in her career and finished second in the high jump, while Emily Viuhkola grabbed second place finishes in the 400 and 800 meters.  For the HRV boys Sebastian Barajas won the discus for the third straight year, and also finished second in the shot put, while Tyrone Stintzi was third in the high jump, and Parker Kennedy was third and Patrick Crompton fourth in the pole vault.  The Dalles girls finished 11th, with Yasmin Hill third in the long jump and sixth in the pole vault, and Katie Conklin fifth in the triple jump.


South Wasco’s boys were third hile the Horizon Christian boys were eighth and girls ninth at the Oregon Class 1-A Track and Field Championships.  Loreto Morelli led the Redside effort, winning both the 200 and 400 meters and also taking part in victorious efforts by the four by 100 and four by 400 meter relay teams.  Ellis Rager won the shot put for South Wasco.  Horizon Christian received first place finishes from Salvador Ramirez in the boys’ 1500 meters and Hannah Kempf in the girls’ triple jump, while Dufur’s Taylor Darden won both the girls’ shot put and discus.


Columbia’s boys were fourth and girls were sixth, while Stevenson’s boys were seventh and girls eighth at the Southwest Washington Class 1-A District Track and Field meet in Vancouver.  Columbia’s Shawn Tardiff won the boys’ 400 meters and the Bruin boys’ four by 400 meter relay team was also victorious.  For Stevenson, Madison McCrum won the girls’ pole vault and long jump while finishing second in the triple jump, and Brandon Campbell won the boys’ pole vault.


Lyle-Wishram held off Bickleton to with the Washington Class 1-B District 5 and 6 boys’ title in Ephrata.  The Cougars earned six first place finishes, with two coming from Gabe Montoya in the shot put an discus.  Trout Lake’s girls finished fourth.


Goldendale’s boys were third and the girls fifth in the SCAC Championships at Cle Elum-Roslyn.  Brian Golding won the boys’ 300 meter hurdles, and the Timberwolves took first in the girls’ four by 200 meter relay.


Oregon Class 5-A Play-In Softball

Sandy 4, The Dalles 3

St. Helens 5, Hood River Valley 0


Oregon Class 1-A Special District 6 Baseball Tournament

Championship:  Pilot Rock 6, Dufur 4

2nd Place:  Dufur 9, Irrigon 8:  Dufur hosts Toledo in the first round of the Oregon Class 2-A/1-A playoffs tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.


Oregon Class 5-A Tennis Tournament

Hood River Valley’s Scottie Ziegner reached the quarter-finals of boys’ singles before being eliminated, while Marisa Cianci of  The Dalles did the same in girls’ singles.

Cascade Locks Man Arrested For Crashing SUV Into House

A 26-year-old Cascade Locks man was arrested on charges relating to an SUV crashing into a house in Cascade Locks on Saturday morning.  According to the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy responding to a residence on Clark Street near the corner of Forest Lane found an SUV that had careened into the home, narrowly missing an occupant seated next to the impact.  The vehicle caused significant property damage at three other residences located on Forest Lane, passing through at least two fences, before coming to rest partially imbedded in the residence.  Five people inside the residence at the time of the impact were unharmed.  Zachary Jon Struthers was taken to NORCOR where he was lodged on charges of DUII – Controlled Substance, Reckless Driving, five counts of Recklessly Endangering and an outstanding Lane County warrant.   A contractor was called to the scene of the crash to ensure the residence was structurally stable prior to removing the vehicle.

Group Takes Wetlands Tour

A group of landowners, local stakeholders, and state regulatory agency representatives toured areas considered potential wetlands on the 300 remaining acres of zoned industrial land in The Dalles.  The group called the Technical Advisory Committee has been working with the Department of State Lands in an Oregon Regional Solutions and Port of The Dalles effort to develop a regional general wetlands permit that would aid developers by having most of the work to delineate wetlands and identify mitigation opportunities done ahead of time.  Port Executive Director Andrea Klaas feels it was important for everyone involved to see the lands under discussion, in particular the small size of some of what is identified as high value wetlands.  The committee will meet in June to try to work out permitting details.


May 21 Prep Sports Roundup


Hood River Valley’s Scottie Ziegner and Marisa Cianci of The Dalles both won their first round matches the Oregon Class 5-A high school tennis tournament in Portland.  Ziegner defeated Mischa Kirby of Ashland 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in boys’ singles to advance to a quarterfinal match with Rajul Chikkalingaliah of Crescent Valley.  Cianci topped Melody Kunstel of Wilsonville in girls’ singles in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, and will now face tournament top-seed Madisyn Bryant of Marist int the quarters.  Johanna Wilson and Anna Miller of The Dalles lost their first round girls’ doubles match in straight sets to Vika O’Brien and Anne Kim of Ashland 6-0, 6-1, and will meet Makenna Wells and Allison McGaughey of Sandy in the consolation bracket.


Track and Field

Two area athletes won events on day one of the Oregon High School Class 1-A Track and Field Championships in Eugene.  Dufur’s Taylor Darden won the girls’ discus with a 130-foot toss, improving from her title effort of a year ago by nine feet.  South Wasco’s Ellis Rager took first in the boys shot put, taking the event with a mark of 43 feet, five inches.  In other finals on day one of competition, Sherman’s Isaiah Coles was third in the long jump and sixth in the high jump, Jony Nelson of Horizon Christian finished fourth in the boys’ 3,000 meters, and Maverick Winslow of Sherman grabbed seventh in the pole vault.  South Wasco’s Loreto Morelli was second inthe preliminaries of the both the boys’ 200 and 400 meters, advancing to today’s finals.

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