The City of Bingen is getting ready to submit an application to the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board to do renovations on a part of Humboldt Street. Mayor Betty Barnes says the project would be in the 200 and 300 blocks of Humboldt, which is a main artery one block from Highway 14. Bingen plans to apply for a $654,000 grant from the state, with the City providing a five percent match of 35-thousand dollars. The Bingen City Council will consider the application at their meeting this evening at seven in City Hall.
PacificSource Community Solutions’ Columbia Gorge Coordinated Care Organization announced that it will receive payback of more than $2.5 million from Quality Pool payments that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) withheld from all CCO’s payments during 2015. In a statement, PacificSource Community Solutions said it will allocate the money received from OHA back to the care providers for the Columbia Gorge CCO, as well as create funds over which the Columbia Gorge Health Council has decision-making authority. The pool of funds will be used for initiatives throughout the Columbia Gorge, strategically aimed at improving the health of the community. The Columbia Gorge CCO was one of 16 CCOs statewide to receive the full quality payout, and it was the only CCO that met performance targets on all 17 of the quality measures determining how successful CCOs have been at improving care, making quality care accessible, eliminating health disparities, and curbing the rising cost of health care for the populations they serve. Performance on clinical measures in the Columbia Gorge CCO was the highest in the state in three areas: follow-up care for people who have been hospitalized for mental health conditions, assessment for children in foster care, and rates of timely prenatal care for pregnant members.
Staci Coburn has been selected to fill a vacant position on the Port of The Dalles Commission. Coburn has been Chief Financial Officer at Duckwall Fruit in Odell since 2010, and prior to that was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Columbia River Bank. Coburn takes over for Bob McFadden, who retired after a 17-year stint on the Port Commission.
Fire damaged a pair of mobile homes early Monday morning at 2525 West 8th in The Dalles. According to Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, the fire started around 4 a.m. in a single-wide mobile home that suffered significant damage. It then spread to a shed that burned to the ground, and a second mobile home that received exterior damage. One resident was taken to Mid-Columbia Medical Center for treatment of an injury. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Crews from Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue and Dallesport were involved in extinguishing the fire.
Tests of the Port of Hood River Interstate Bridge lift span found it was in working order, and normal operations have resumed. Port Executive Director Michael McElwee says the Coast Guard has been informed the span can operate for marine vessels moving down the Columbia River. The Port has been examining the alignment of the lift span since a suspected allision last September in which a boat is suspected of hitting a bridge pier. McElwee said two span guides on the south end that broke during testing were replaced by newer guides that use a roller to prevent the lift span from moving northward, resulting in better safety controls. He adds the Port wants to restore a couple of stop systems for the lift span to increase the margin of safety.
Cruise The Gorge weekend brought plenty of people into downtown The Dalles, now the question is how to maintain a level of activity on a consistent basis. The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Lisa Farquharson says the exposure is something that you can’t purchase in a marketing campaign. Farquharson says the community is beginning to do better at presenting entire weekends with numerous events to offer to the outside world. She says the next weekend like that will be September 10, when the Route 30 Soap Box Derby will take place in The Dalles.
A public meeting is scheduled for Monday evening in Parkdale to start the planning process for rehabilitation of the Clear Branch Dam. The Natural Resources Conservation Service is teaming with the U.S. Forest Service and Middle Fork Irrigation District on the project. The dam was built in 1968 with an expected 50-year lifespan, supplying irrigation to 8,000 acres of land and creating Laurance Lake, a popular recreational spot. Bringing the dam up to current environmental, engineering, safety, and seismic standards is a big part of the project. The meeting will take place Monday evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Parkdale Fire Station.
It is Cruise The Gorge Weekend in The Dalles. Festivities begin Friday evening with the Neon Cruise downtown. The Show In The Shade will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Sorosis Park, with the Parade of Champions award ceremony beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday will see the return of the Dallesport Drags at the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport, with public racing beginning at 10 a.m. and eliminations at noon. There will also be a classic car show in Dufur City Park as part of Vintage Dufur Days on Sunday starting at 10 a.m.
Vintage Dufur Days makes its debut this weekend in Dufur. Numerous events are scheduled both Saturday and Sunday, including a parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday. There will be demonstrations of vintage equipment and field operations both Saturday and Sunday, artists booths and live music on Main Street, an all ages sock hop on Saturday evening at 6 p.m., and a chili cookoff on Sunday at noon. The Ramsey Park Grange will hold a country breakfast both mornings beginning at 6 a.m. in City Park. A complete schedule is available at dufurhistoricalsociety.org.
The Oregon Cultural Trust has awarded just over $84,000 to four different organizations in the Gorge as part of its grant program for the current fiscal year. The Dalles-Wasco County Library Foundation is receiving $40,000 to support creation of a teen programming room and digital media lab for students in middle and high school. The Confluence Oral History Project of Hood River was granted over $21,000 to use storytelling and art making to reconnect generations of Native people to place, each other, and the broader community. Arts in Education of the Gorge will receive just over $13,000 to support the creation of a bilingual art map and other activities to increase Hispanic access to the Art of Community public art project. And Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River will receive over $9,6000 to support and explore Japanese culture and art in Oregon in a month-long celebration.