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Local News

Wyden Calls On FAA To Speed Up UAS Test Permits

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and a group of other senators are calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to speed up approvals for Unmanned Aerial Systems test permits in a letter sent to FAA officials Tuesday.  Wyden also wants the agency plans to regulate aircraft to be done on schedule.  The FAA created six test sites across the country to study unmanned aircraft in response to a request from Congress in 2012 to craft regulations that meet the unique safety challenges posed by UAS.   Three UAS test ranges are in Oregon:  on the Warm Springs Reservation, and outside Pendleton and Tillamook.  The agency, which is responsible for overseeing the safety of U.S. airspace, has until September 2015 to create a strategy to integrate unmanned aircraft into U.S. airspace.  Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley also signed the letter.

Hood River To Study Green Waste Program

A committee of Hood River citizens will be working with Hood River Garbage Service and Dirt Huggers to come up with a “green waste” program.  City Manager Steve Wheeler put together the group to try to put together not just a program for yard waste, but for kitchen waste as well.  Mayor Arthur Babitz says the kitchen waste separation is something that is beginning to catch on in other communities.  The kitchen waste would be used for compost.  Wheeler is also hoping to put together some kind of program to help people dispose of bulky items like unwanted appliances and furniture.

Mayor Says Naito Project Agreements Finished

Hood River Mayor Arthur Babitz said Monday the legal agreements to allow the Naito Development hotel and commercial building near the Nichols Boat Basin have been finished, and the project can move forward.  Babitz says the City has received the official copy of a letter withdrawing all appeals, and the municipal planning commission decision will stand.  Under the deal reached between Naito Development and Friends of the Hood River Waterfront, the Hood River Urban Renewal Agency will purchase land at the south end of the basin for a low impact public park.  Babitz says the plan is to work with Columbia Riverkeeper on revegetation of the property to create an area that is nice to walk through and be valuable habitat.

Klickitat County Finishing Budget Work

Klickitat County is closing in on wrapping up its 2015 budget process.  County Commission Chair Jim Sizemore says revenues are projected to be just slightly higher than last year, so maintaining the status quo was the expectation.  Sizemore says the County is dealing with increasing operating costs, but added the public should not see any big changes.  He noted the emergency communications project is done, and that should help the County rebuild its cash reserves.  County Commissioners will approve the budget in December.

HR Distillers Reach Deal With Blazers For Moda Center Presence

Hood River Distillers announced Monday it is entering into a partnership with the Portland Trail Blazers granting whisky pouring rights to the company’s Pendleton Whisky brand in the Blazers’ home arena.   The partnership will include a new Pendelton Whisky branded lounge in the west club level of the Moda Center.  In addition, Hood River Distillers’ Sinfire Whisky will be the preferred cinnamon whisky in the Moda Center, and Hood River Distillers products will be also be available at select areas in the arena.  Pendleton Whisky receives the right to use the Portland Trail Blazers logo for promotional and point-of-purchase use.

Kelly Avenue Down To One Lane Tuesday And Wednesday

Kelly Avenue between East 14th and 15th Streets in The Dalles will be reduced to one-lane traffic Tuesday and Wednesday between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. for water main line repairs.  Flaggers will be present to direct traffic, but motorists are encouraged to use Union Street or Dry Hollow Road during the water line work.  “No parking” signs will be placed in the work area before construction.  Anyone with questions can call The Dalles Public Works at 541-296-5401, extension 2001.

Sherman Wins, Dufur Falls In 1A Football Semis

Oregon Class 1-A Football Semi-Finals
Sherman 24, Camas Valley 18:  The Huskies had seven sacks and limited Camas Valley to 30 yards rushing on the way to earning a berth in the state championship game.  Blake Evans ran for 75 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Sherman offense.  The Huskies will face Adrian on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Kennison Field in Hermiston.
Adrian 58, Dufur 52:  Chase Walker’s 84 yard touchdown run with under one second left on the clock lifted the Antelopes past the Rangers.  The dramatic finished capped off a huge night for Walker, who ran for 380 yards and five touchdowns on 20 carries.  The Rangers’ Nick Little had 280 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, while Trevor Tibbets ran for three scores.  Adrian kept an unbeaten season going, while Dufur finishes the year 10-2, with both losses coming to Adrian.

North Wasco Parks And Rec Board Authorizes Offer For Executive Director Job

Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation board members have authorized chair Catherine Whalen to begin negotiations with their pick from applicants to be the district’s new executive director.  The district board conducted interviews for the position in recent days to replace the dismissed Scott Green.  Karl Cozad has served as the district’s interim director since board members voted to remove Green during the summer.  The board took the action to move forward with the hiring process at a meeting where a handful of public members spoke in support of Green.

Toda Tells Board He Is Pulling Hood River Campus Closure Out Of Fiscal Proposal

Columbia Gorge Community College President Frank Toda says he sent an e-mail to CGCC Board of Education members Thursday afternoon taking a proposal to close the school’s Indian Creek campus in Hood River out of his deficit reduction plan.  Toda had made the proposal to the Board on Tuesday night, citing an anticipated $1,600,000 imbalance in expenditures and revenues that could grow to $2,000,000 if no action is taken.  Toda said he works for the CGCC board, noted the closure was the last of seven action items in his reduction plan, and says he has written an e-mail to the board taking that out of play.   In the e-mail he says “it appears the majority of the board feels very strongly about keeping the Hood River campus open, and therefore I will immediately remove it from my deficit reduction plan.”  Toda says he saw a Hood River closure as the quickest way to save the school money, about $250,000 to $500,000, and he noted it is critical to move on the financial situation quickly and he does not want to be distracted or split in multiple directions.  Board member Stu Watson says he and other board members are distressed they had not been engaged in any extensive discussions about pending budget shortfalls, but Toda says he has included the instability of funding sources, particularly from the state, in his budget messages during the last decade with added urgency the last three years.

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