Rich Truax has been tabbed to take a vacant position on the Hood River County School District Board. Truax was picked from five applicants for the at-large position being vacated by Jan Veldhuisen-Virk after serving on the board for 18 years. Truax is a licensed engineer, and has been on the school district’s finance advisory committee and served on local option and capital bond campaign committees. He has also been board president for the Cooper Spur Ski Race Team and the Port of Hood River’s budget committee. Truax was chosen unanimously by the board to fill the seat, and will be formally sworn in on February 8 at the district office.
Oregon 52nd District State Representative Mark Johnson says he wants to see the state have a position in the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to provide policy guidance on outdoor recreation issues. Johnson believes the position is needed to provide guidance on how outdoor recreation is impacted by decisions involving land use and environmental laws, tax policy, and transportation. Johnson’s proposal calls for the position to be paid for through a combination of public and private funds.
Mid-Columbia Medical Center will host its annual Heart Expo at Water’s Edge in The Dalles on Friday as part of Go Red for Women’s Heart Health Month. Planetree Health Resources Center coordinator Linda Stahl says they are trying to raise awareness of heart disease in women through the expo, which will feature demonstrations, information booths, and screening opportunities. The Heart Expo is Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Water’s Edge in The Dalles. In addition, the Heart Truth 3K/5K/10K walk and run will be Saturday, with registration at the Kiwanis Pocket Park on Klindt Drive at 9:30 a.m., and the walk and run beginning at 10 a.m.
Stevenson 99, Columbia 78: Austin Brannan scored 24 points as the Bulldogs moved into third place in the Trico League. Four players scored in double figures for Stevenson. William Gross led Columbia with 31 points. The two teams play again tonight at 7 p.m. in Stevenson.
The Dalles 46, Mac-Hi 37: The Riverhawks won their third game of the season.
St. Helens 36, Hood River Valley 30: St. Helens dominated the upper weight classes to score the dual match win. Justin Lane, Ryan Zeller, and Chad Muenzer all won by fall for HRV.
North Wasco County School District 21’s Long Range Facilities Planning Committee held its second workshop on Tuesday night, and received the cost of replacement of many of the district’s facilities. The panel was told it would cost about 64 million dollars to replace The Dalles High School, while elementary school replacement ranged from 16 to 22 million dollars apiece. D-21 Superintendent Candy Armstrong says they also discussed what school buildings require for teaching and learning today. The committee meets again on Feburary 21 to continue to discuss that topic.
Oregon Senator and ranking Finance Committee member Ron Wyden blasted Republicans on the panel for approving President Donald Trump’s choice of financier Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary without the nominee supplying more information on how he handled thousands of mortgage foreclosures at the firm he took over. Democrats boycotted committee votes on Mnuchin and Congressman Tom Price for head of Health and Human Services. Republicans changed the rules to allow that vote to move forward, and Wyden believes that was wrong, saying it violated democratic principles and advanced the interests of “two candidates with serious ethical problems.” Republicans said Mnuchin’s long tenure in finance is an ample prerequisite for the Treasury job. The nomination must still be approved by the full Senate.
Washington 14th District State Representative Gina McCabe hopes a bill requested by the Department of Labor and Industries to decrease the penalties paid by mobile and manufactured home owners can open the door for other rule changes. The bill, passed unanimously by the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee, will drop the fine imposed on owners who do not use a certified installer for manufactured homes from $1,000 to $250. McCabe, who sponsored the bill, hopes this can lead to working with the agency to deal with other issues.
Hood River Valley 66, The Dalles 63: HRV held off the Riverhawks in a wild game at Vannet Court. Dakota Kurahara scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, while Jonah Tactay scored 20 points off the bench to lead the Eagles to the win. Dakota Murr tallied 32 of his 33 points in the second half to give The Dalles an opportunity to win. The Riverhawks took the lead briefly in the third quarter, but HRV went on a nine-point run at the end of the period to take the lead for good, helped by two three-point field goals from Trenton Hough.
LaCenter 71, Columbia 60
King’s Way Christian 66, Stevenson 63
Horizon Christian 68, Condon-Wheeler 44
The Dalles 54, Hood River Valley 38: The Riverhawks made seven three-pointers in the first half to take control of the game. Brooke McCall scored 14 points and Jodi Thomasian added 12 for The Dalles. Hannah McNerney led HRV with 11.
King’s Way Christian 43, Stevenson 30
Horizon Christian 59, Condon-Wheeler 23
To those who live in lower elevations, this has been a winter with much larger amounts than in recent years. But in the mountains, the snow pack levels are similar to what they were one year ago. Scott Oviatt of the Natural Resources Conservation Service says at this time the Hood, Sandy, and Lower Deschutes basins are at 111 percent of their normal snowpack level, and 122 percent in the Upper Deschutes basin. Oviatt says last year a warm spring negated those snow pack numbers. Oviatt adds having more snow at lower elevations helps agricultural operations maintain soil moisture from record precipitation in October.
As legislative leaders in the Washington State Senate and House release plans to revamp education funding in the state, rank-and-file members will be sorting through them to learn their strengths and weaknesses. 14th District Representative Gina McCabe is one of those who will be going through the process. The Goldendale Republican says she wants to make sure the basics are funded, and school districts don’t have to rely on maintenance and operations levies anymore. McCabe expects the final solution will be a hybrid of all the various plans, adding finding the money to pay for it all will probably be the biggest hurdle.