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Columbia River Weather
Chance of Rain
Monday 30%
High 48° / Low 33°
Tuesday 90%
High 41° / Low 30°
Partly Cloudy
Wednesday 10%
High 43° / Low 26°

Local News

Klickitat County Approves Budget

Klickitat County Commissioners approved their 2017 budget on Tuesday.  Among other notable items, Commissioners decided not put construction funds in the budget to build two transmitter sites for its emergency communications system, but did leave in money to continue analysis.  Commission Chair David Sauter says the two sites were left off the emergency communications system overhaul a few years ago due to financial limitations.  The two locations are in the hills around Klickitat for better coverage of the Klickitat River Valley, and the area just over Satus Pass.

HR County Commission Asks For Documents For Construction Excise Tax

Hood River County Commissioners have directed the group that has been considering a one-percent construction excise tax to go towards affordable housing projects to bring back final documents for Commission approval in January.  County Planning Director John Roberts and Mid-Columbia Housing Authority Executive Director Joel Madsen gave a report on the proposal to Commissioners this week.  Roberts says the one-percent tax is essentially a systems development charge…and would be focused on new residential, commercial, and industrial construction, adding the committee estimates the tax can generate about $400,000 a year.  Roberts notes the type of affordable housing projects the money would be used for is up to the elected officials in the County and the Cities of Cascade Locks and Hood River.

December 20 Prep Basketball Scoreboard

Boys Basketball

Hood River Valley 43, Riverside 26

Stevenson 79, Corbett 56

Dufur 61, Klickitat 38

Zillah 83, Goldendale 44


Girls Basketball

The Dalles 47, Milwaukie 46

Corbett 56, Stevenson 53

Dufur 51, Klickitat 37

Zillah 83, Goldendale 32

HR County Commission Overturns Planning Panel, Approves DeeTour Hotel

Hood River County Commissioners voted unanimously to overturn a County Planning Commission decision that had denied Apollo Land Holdings an industrial land use permit to construct a 50-room hotel on the former Dee Mill site as part of the company’s DeeTour project.  Planning Commissioners had voted 5-2 during the summer to deny the permit, but County Commission Chair Ron Rivers said his panel felt County land use ordinances required them to approve it.  He noted in 1984 when the original land uses were developed, the Dee Mill site was deemed to be industrial property, and an exception was done to keep that zoning into perpetuity.  The Hood River Valley Residents Committee had filed the initial appeal to the County Planning Commission, and have the right to appeal the County Commission decision to the state Land Use Board of Appeals.  Rivers noted even with the approval, the permit contains 36 different conditions that must be met for the hotel to be built.

Pair Charged In Astro Express Robbery

Two people currently in a Washington County jail after a police pursuit and robbery at a Portland hotel in October have been indicted by a Wasco County grand jury on charges stemming from the armed robbery of a gas station in The Dalles earlier that month.  According to a statement from The Dalles Police Department, 37-year-old Joshua Luther and 28-year-old Michelle Luther are each charged with three counts of robbery in the first degree and unlawful use of a weapon in the robbery that occurred at the Astro Express gas station on 2600 West 6th in The Dalles on October 23.  The pair were arrested two days later after robbing a hotel in Portland and eventually leading police on a lengthy pursuit that resulted in several crashes and shots being fired at officers, ending in Tualatin when Joshua Luther was shot by a Tigard police officer.  Joshua Luther faces 23 charges and Michelle Luther 15 as a result of that incident, including attempted aggravated murder.

Waterfront Parking Discussed

With winter weather an issue, very few people were able to attend a Port of Hood River meeting last week to discuss parking in the waterfront area.  Both the City and the Port are considering installation of meters in some sections of the waterfront.  Port Executive Director Michael McElwee says whatever the two agencies decide, it needs to be consistent.  Local business represented at the meeting did not recommended parking meters in the waterfront.  The City Council is to discuss parking meters on the City-regulated streets on January 9, with the Port board to consider the issue the next day.

Snowy Conditions Doesn’t Help Local Retailers

The snowy and icy conditions of the past week has not helped local businesses during what should be the busiest shopping season of the year.  The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Lisa Farquharson says while the weather keeps people in town, they tend to stay at home rather than heading downtown to shop.  She said in talking to business owners in the community, shopping was looking up before the storm hit, but now sales are trailing one year ago.  Farquharson does hope that as the weather warms, traffic in local stores will pick up for those final Christmas purchases.

December 16-17 Prep Sports Roundup

Boys Basketball

Sherman 80, Hosanna Christian 73

Cascade Christian 63, Sherman 50

Dufur 76, Klickitat 37

South Wasco 52, Culver 51


Girls Basketball

Hosanna Christian 64, Sherman 28

Cascade Christian 35, Sherman 29

Dufur 66, Klickitat 51



Hood River Valley finished third at the Larry Owings Invitational in Canby.  Ryan Zeller took first place at 120 pounds, and Patrick Estes was victorious at 182 pounds.

Three members of the Hood River Valley girls’ wrestling team won their weight class at a tournament at Fort Vancouver.  Lexie McCafferty won at 110 pounds, Elena Kroll at 130, and Grace Miller at 140.

Arrest Made Of Suspect In Window Shootings

A 33-year-old Underwood man taken into custody Tuesday evening in Hood River is suspected of shooting out or damaging windows at a number of businesses and private properties from Hood River to The Dalles.  The Oregon State Police say the man had been spotted by an off-duty law enforcement officer consuming alcohol in his vehicle, and was later arrested by an OSP trooper for driving under the influence of intoxicants who also recognized him from previous attempts to locate.  The man was found in possession of .177 caliber pellets…the kind that are believed to have damaged the windows.   The OSP says the suspect confessed to a Tuesday night incident in Hood River where a window had been shot out of a business and employees inside had been at risk of injury.  The man has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangering a person, and disorderly conduct, with the possibility of more charges in the future as Hood River and The Dalles police detectives continue to investigate.  Anyone who experienced similar damages or incidents should contact The Dalles or Hood River Police Departments.

New Version Of HR County GIS WebMap Coming

Hood River County’s Geographic Information Services Department is set to unveil a new version of its interactive WebMap.  The WebMap is a tool that’s widely used by the community to help people find answers to basic questions related to property, land use or particular geographic places of interest in the county.  County Community Development Director John Roberts says the new version should be easier to use, particularly on mobile devices.  The updated WebMap, based on geographic information technology, will be online and available within the next few weeks.