Fire damaged a home at the intersection of Summit and Bartlett Drive in Odell early Sunday morning. Wy’east Fire District Chief Greg Borton says the fire that occurred at about midnight Sunday appears to have started in the west end of the structure, and people inside at the time got out safely. He said 60 percent of the single-family wood frame dwelling was damaged by fire, and the rest suffered extreme smoke and water damage. He said the house had one full-time resident. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Hood River, Westside, and Parkdale fire crews assisted Wy’east firefighters in battling the blaze.
Steve Castagnoli has been named the new director of the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hood River. Castagnoli has been an Oregon State University Extension faculty member at MCAREC for almost 17 years, conducting outreach and applied research in pear horticulture and integrated pest management. Castagnoli will oversee 11 research and administrative employees and several temporary employees during the growing season, and will direct operations on the station’s 55-acre experimental farm south of Hood River. Castagnoli has served as MCAREC’s interim director since last November, following the resignation of Brian Tuck, who served as MCAREC Director for six years. Tuck currently serves as regional administrator for OSU Extension in Wasco and Hood River counties.
Klickitat County is working on putting together the final draft of a new Strategic Economic Plan. Work on the plan has been going on for nearly a year. Commissioner David Sauter says the plan will help guide the County over the next ten years, and is broken into West, Central, and East sections, identifying projects in all three. High tech is emphasized in the western portion of the county, “clean tech” including renewables in the central, and viniculture in the east end, with agriculture a key in all three areas. Sauter says committee members who have worked on the plan are developing comments and will be considering whether to move the plan from draft form, and expect to go to communities with it this spring and summer.
Hood River Mayor Paul Blackburn is hoping to get more input from the public on the Westside Area Concept Plan being developed by City and County officials. The goal of the plan is to develop an integrated land-use and transportation plan for the 450-acre project area located within the City of Hood River and urban growth area. Blackburn says the project will address land use, streets, bike ways, pedestrian paths, parks, schools, utilities, and infrastructure funding, and facilitate the development of workforce and affordable housing, noting most of the land is in private development waiting to be developed. He wants the plan to reach a “thoughtful destination” before a great deal of development takes place. An online survey on the concept plan is being done through Tuesday at hrwestsideplan.com. The plan is to be finished by July.
The Dalles 8, Hillsboro 7: Dawson Hoffman scored Dominic Smith and Jose Gonzalez with a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Riverhawks the win.
Naches Valley sweeps Goldendale 10-0 and 12-6.
Naches Valley sweeps Goldendale 16-1 and 15-0.
Track and Field
Hood River Valley’s boys finished second and the girls third at the East County Classic at Mount Hood Community College. Jesse Wiley won the 3,000 meters and Jonah Tactay the triple jump for the HRV boys, while Barrett Ihde won the pole vault, Katie Kennedy the high jump, and Audrey Marble the 200 meters for the Eagle girls. The Dalles finished seventh in both the boys and girls standings, with Julian Hernandez winning the boys’ javelin.
Lyle-Wishram’s boys were sixth and the girls eighth at the Ramos Relays in Selah. Alex Cloud won the girls’ javelin for L-W.
Hood River Valley 8, Hermiston 6
Columbia 1, LaCenter 1
King’s Way Christian 3, Stevenson 1
There will be intermittent, single lane closures of the Hood River/White Salmon Interstate Bridge Tuesday and Wednesday. The closures will take place between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Port crews will be performing maintenance welding to the bridge deck. Flaggers will direct traffic on the bridge. Bridge users should plan for up to 20 minute delays during these hours on both days.
One person was injured in a one-vehicle accident on Highway 14 south of Goldendale on Saturday afternoon. According to the Washington State Patrol, the vehicle was westbound on Highway 14 at milepost 96 just after 5 p.m. Saturday when it left the roadway to the right, struck a ditch, and rolled multiple times, coming to rest on the passenger side. The passenger, a 26-year-old Goldendale woman, was taken to Klickitat Valley Hospital in Goldendale for treatment of injuries. The driver, a 23-year-old Goldendale man, was charged with driving while suspended and negligent driving.
The state Senate has approved raising Oregon’s minimum age for tobacco use to 21. The bill approved 19-8 on Thursday now heads to the House. If the proposal is eventually signed by Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon would be the third state to increase the legal age for buying and possessing cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21. Republican 29th District Senator Bill Hansell voted for the bill, noting his background as a cancer survivor, and a desire to fight that disease in every way possible. 26th District Senator Chuck Thomsen and 30th District Senator Ted Ferrioli both voted against it. The proposal would reduce Oregon’s tax revenue from tobacco by $1.76 million in the upcoming two-year budget, adding slightly to the state’s projected $1.6 billion budget shortfall. The losses, however, could be covered from proposals to increase tax rates on tobacco.
White Salmon Fire Department and Klickitat County Fire District #3 are planning to conduct a live fire training burn on Saturday at 435 Strawberry Mountain Lane inside the city limits of White Salmon. The property is located at the top of Strawberry Mountain, and visible from much of the region, including communities surrounding White Salmon and Hood River. The training is planned for Saturday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., but is subject to cancellation due to weather or other issues. Smoke dissipation is expected to occur depending on the weather patterns when the burn occurs. If there is anyone in the immediate vicinity who experience respiratory issues, fire officials recommend that all windows and doors remain closed during the training period.
Drivers in Oregon and Washington are reminded to remove studded tires by Friday, March 31. Studded tires are allowed in the two states from November 1 through March 31. While the law allows the states to extend the studded tire season when necessary, both transportation departments say current weather forecasts do not support and extension this year. Drivers with studded tires on their vehicles in Oregon after the deadline can be charged by law enforcement with a Class C traffic violation. In Washington, drivers with studded tires after April 1 face a $136 traffic infraction.