A 44-year-old resident of The Dalles was arrested Tuesday after Mid-Columbia Interagency Narcotics Task Force members conducted a search warrant at his home on West 14th Street. According to a MINT press release, Antonio Herrera is charged with four counts of unlawful delivery and possession of methamphetamine, and was lodged at NORCOR. Herrera was at home at the time of the search. The release says the investigation is on-going, and anyone with information on this case or any drug related case is encouraged to call the MINT tip line at 541-296-1885.
The Hood River County School District is taking public input as it plans for construction of a new May Street Elementary School. The district held an open house at the school Tuesday, and there will be another on Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. District Superintendent Dan Goldman says it’s an opportunity for people to come in, look at some of the ideas being presented, and give feedback. Goldman says the district is targeting a groundbreaking during the spring of 2017, with the opening a new May Street school in the fall of 2019.
The White Salmon Valley School District board will decide Thursday evening on an amount for the three-year maintenance and operations levy they will seek from voters in February. Superintendent Jerry Lewis says the board will see a number of options, adding the levy approved in 2014 was set at two-dollars-61-cents per thousand dollars per thousand dollars of assessed value but went down during the course of the last three years. The district will be deciding on the levy ask with the backdrop of uncertainty heading into the 2017 Legislative session, with legislators expected to develop a plan for dealing with the McCleary decision that found the state was not meeting its obligation in the state constitution to fund basic education.
A program is planned Saturday in The Dalles to coincide with International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Debby Jones of YouthThink says the program will include a viewing of a video called “Life Journeys,” and provide an opportunity to connect with others who understand the challenges and sorrows of being a suicide loss survivor. The program will start at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Columbia Gorge Community College board room in Building 1 in The Dalles, and will run until about noon. More information is available at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website, afsp.org/survivorday.
The Dalles City Council has decided to move ahead with using Forest Service contractors to do additional analysis of the City’s application for a permit to replace the Dog River pipeline in the Mount Hood National Forest. Comments during the public scoping process for the permit resulted in a request for a flow analysis and further study of the potential impact to endangered and threatened species. City Public Works Director Dave Anderson told the Council using contractors that have already gone through the Forest Service selection process can deliver a faster and better product that will be more defensible if it is challenged. He says the goal is to avoid running up a large bill while going through the permitting process. Cost estimates for the analysis range from 45 to 90 thousand dollars. Councilors approved moving ahead by consensus.
The Hood River City Council will come back in two weeks to consider amendments to short-term rental application and licensing requirements under discussion. City Manager Steve Wheeler says the Council on Monday night discussed what municipal staff had proposed, made a few revisions, and asked staff to write up a revised ordinance to bring back on November 28. The Council did adopt program fees for the STR licenses. In other business, the Council pushed back a public hearing on zoning changes for townhouses to January 9 at the request of the municipal planning commission. That’s in the wake of a recent discussion on middle-tier housing that the planning panel wanted to consider.
The City of White Salmon is going to move forward with a study of withdrawing water from the White Salmon River during low flow months for Buck Creek. Mayor David Poucher says two environmental groups in favor of the plan have committed $265,000 to do the study, but he said he can’t name the groups until details are finalized. Poucher says they are developing a partnership to look at the concept. He adds the withdrawal could be advantageous to salmon runs by taking out water at a lower point, and would give the City a much stronger water flow.
Saturday’s power outage in Hood River was caused by a metallic-skinned helium balloon that got away. Pacific Power vice president for operations Curt Mansfield says they found Mylar shreds during repairs. The balloon from a nearby celebration apparently blew into a substation and made contact with electrical equipment and caused a short. Power was restored within 75 minutes. Pacific Power reported about 30 balloon-related outages in 2015, ranging in duration from a few minutes to several hours. In 2014, a balloon caused a six-hour outage in Seaside in the middle of July 4 weekend.
Northern Wasco County PUD is planning a scheduled outage Wednesday morning in the areas of East 17th Place through East 21st Place in The Dalles, including parts of Jefferson Street and Fairview Drive. The outage will be from about 9 a.m. to noon, and is due to tree trimming work, necessary to continued reliability of service. Anyone with questions can call the PUD office at 541-296-2226.
Federal officials are asking questions about a plan developed by local and state agencies to deal with wetlands issues on developable lands in The Dalles. The Port of The Dalles has been facilitating the issue for a number of years, looking to create pre-identified mitigation sites to streamline the process for businesses looking to develop in The Dalles. Port Executive Director Andrea Klaas says they have been asking the federal government for a letter indicating they approve of what has been put together, but now they’ve asked for more information. Klaas notes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been involved in the entire process. She is hopeful they will get the federal approval.