Interstate 84 from Portland to the Idaho border was dedicated as “Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway” during a ceremony Monday at the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles. Fifteen signs are being placed along the freeway beginning near Ontario and ending at Interstate 205. The Dalles Mayor Steve Lawrence says it is a very special designation to honor those who served in the Vietnam War, and will provide a tangible reminder every day. The signs are paid for by private donations. Governor John Kitzhaber signed the designation into law after in was passed by the 2013 Oregon Legislature.
The Hood River County School District has named Gus Hedberg as the new principal of Parkdale Elementary School. Hedberg has been in the district since 2000, first as a teacher at Cascade Locks School and Wy’east Middle School before moving into administration in 2006 as a vice-principal at Wy’east and since 2011 at Hood River Middle School. Hedberg takes over at Parkdale for Kim Vogel, who will continue as a part-time principal of Cascade Locks Elementary. District officials hope to select a new vice-principal at Hood River Middle School by the end of June.
Track and Field
Oregon Class 5-A Championships in Eugene
Hood River Valley’s Jestena Mattson won both the 100 and 200 meters to lead the Eagles to a fifth place finish. Mattson had won the 100 in 2012 and the 200 last year, but swept the sprints this time around. She also anchored the Eagles’ four by 100 meter relay team that also included Emily Viuhkola, Kassidy Davidson, and Anna Schlosser to a second place finish. The Eagle boys also had a champion, as Sebastian Barajas won the discus for the second straight year.
Oregon Class 1-A Championships in Eugene
South Wasco’s girls finished third, as the Redsides’ Zoe Morelli won the 400 meters. Dufur’s Taylor Darden won both the girls’ shot put and discus, and Meagan McKinney of Sherman won the 100 meters. Loreto Morelli of South Wasco won the boys’ 400 meters.
Southwest Washington Class 1-A District in Vancouver
Claudia Cortez won the 1600 meters to help the Columbia girls to a fourth place finish. Stevenson’s Madison McCrum was victorious in the girls’ pole vault, while Brandon Campbell of Stevenson was the only area athlete to earn a first place finish in boys’ competition, also winning the pole vault.
Washington Class 1-B District 5/6 in Toppenish
Lyle-Wishram earned three first place finishes to grab second place behind Bickleton. Gabe Montoya won both the shot put and javelin, while John Stephens took first in the 300 meter hurdles. In girls’ competition, Bethany Putnam of Glenwood won both the pole vault and long jump.
Oregon Class 5-A Play-In
Hood River Valley 10, Summit 0: Ryan Ward struck out 12 over six innnigs while Patrick Harvey drove in four runs to lift the Eagles into the state playoffs. They visit Springfield for a first round game tomorrow.
Marist 9, The Dalles 8
Class 2-A/1-A District Playoffs at Pendleton
Game 1: Weston-McEwen 9, Dufur 7
Game 2: Sherman 5, Pilot Rock 4
Game 3: Dufur 16, Sherman 1: Dufur advances to the state playoffs, and will visit Grant Union on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Oregon Class 5-A Play-In
Silverton 8, The Dalles 7
The body of a 55-year-old Hood River man was recovered Wednesday afternoon at the base of a waterfall located on a tributary of Rock Creek north of Stevenson. Skamania County Undersheriff Dave Cox says 55-year-old Robert Kahler died Monday evening while hiking with his son after their vehicle broke down. Cox says while the pair were crossing the tributary Kahler slipped in the water, was swept over the ralls, and fell 15 feet to the rocks below. Kahler’s 31-year-old son was able to make his way out of difficult terrain Tuesday morning and notified the sheriff’s office. Wind River Search and Rescue crews spotted Kahler’s body late Tuesday evening, but due to the extremely hazardous terrain they had to wait until Wednesday to make the recovery, which took six hours utilizing high angle rope work.
A recovery team has successfully retrieved the body of a New Jersey man who fell to his death on Mt. Hood. Hood River County Sheriff’s Sgt. Pete Hughes says recovering the body of 57-year-old Robert Cormier took the 18-person team about 17 hours on Wednesday. Climbers had to pull the body from a crevasse it had slipped into, a task made more difficult by near-vertical terrain and falling rocks. A dangerous journey to safe ground took several more hours and was complicated by high winds. A private helicopter was eventually able to move the body. Cormier had reached the summit of Mt. Hood on May 13, and was seen falling through a ledge of ice and tumbling about 1,000 feet.
There are Memorial Day observances planned in the Gorge. In Hood River, an “Honoring Our Veterans” ceremony will be held at Idlewilde Cemetery on 980 Tucker Road beginning at 11 a.m. Monday. In The Dalles, a memorial will take place at noon at the Sorosis Park Kelly Viewpoint Veterans Memorial, and then at 1:30 p.m. a dedication ceremony for the designation of Interstate 84 as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway will take place at the Oregon Veterans Home. And the town of Wasco has a series of events scheduled, including a country breakfast at 7:30 a.m., ceremony at 10:30 a.m., parade at 11 a.m., and a barbecue and car show along with other activities during the afternoon.
The Dalles City Council and the Wasco County Commission will hold a joint meeting Friday morning to hear a County Road Advisory Committee report on the various ways to fund the County’s road system. County Commissioners have already heard the presentation, which outlines potential ways to fill the fiscal gap in the County road budget caused by diminishing federal forest payments. There have been discussions of some kind of partnership on a road district proposal with the City, which faces its own street maintenance challenges. The committee has identified a road service district and a County vehicle registration fee as sources of road funding. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Friday in the Department of Human Services Klickitat Room on 3641 Klindt Drive in The Dalles.
With the new Fort Dalles Readiness and Workforce Innovations Center open and operating, Columbia Gorge Community College President Frank Toda now turns to generating a match for $7,300,000 from the state to build an Advanced Technology Center on its Hood River campus. Toda says the school is looking to develop a plan for the Center before asking potential partners for the match. Toda notes they have a constant message on the need for more technology training in the Gorge. Time is a factor, with the state funding calling for the project to get underway in 2015.
New signs on the Hood River waterfront will help emergency responders reduce the time it takes to reach those in need. Port Executive Director Michael McElwee says nine new graphic signs have different numeric designations for those who call for emergency help to use. The Port worked with the Hood River Fire Department to put the emergency location signs up.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has activated a new gate at the exit from eastbound Interstate 84 to Multnomah Falls that will close when the parking lot is full to prevent dangerous backups onto the freeway travel lanes. The parking lot exceeds capacity several times a year, especially on weekends, and cars waiting for parking spaces sometimes back up onto the eastbound I-84 travel lanes, creating a safety hazard. ODOT has installed a gate that will close automatically when the parking lot is full. It is accompanied by signs announcing the closure. In addition, two large message boards will notify eastbound motorists when the parking lot is closed. The first deployment of the gate is expected to take place over the coming Memorial Day holiday weekend.