Two major construction projects will get underway in the Hood River Waterfront area on Monday. The Nichols Basin West Edge Trail construction will continue through June, with all access to the site from the ordinary high water line to North 1st Street prohibited during that time. The Pedestrian Bridge Trail project will also get underway next week. Vehicle access to the Spit, the Museum, or the Marina area will not be affected, but two brief periods of closure for pedestrian and bicycle access over the Pedestrian Bridge will occur, with dates and times to be announced on the Port of Hood River website. In addition, the eastbound lane of State Street between Third and Second Streets in downtown Hood River will be closed from about 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Monday to allow for a boom truck that will be working on the State Street restroom project. Eastbound motors will be detoured north on to Third Street, while the westbound lane will remain open.
Mid-Columbia Health Foundation gave out its Tradition of Compassion awards on Thursday evening. David Neitling received the Outstanding Philanthropist award for his work on the Riverfront Trail, dedication to Habitat for Humanity, and donations to the tennis court resurfacing project at Sorosis Park. Carol Roderick was named Outstanding Volunteer for her work with North Wasco County School District 21 and the National Guard. Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation went to Hire Electric for donated services to local veterans and support of community events. And Mid-Columbia Community Action was named Outstanding Community Service Organization for its work connecting people in need with services to make their lives better.
Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association Championships at Mt. Hood Meadows
Lincoln’s Carolina Maienza held off Hood River Valley’s Lucy McLean by 12-one-hundredths of a second to win the girls’ slalom on Thursday. Lincoln also took the lead in the girls’ team standings, with Ashland in second and Hood River Valley in third heading into today’s giant slalom. In boys’ competition, Columbia’s Colin Howe led the local effort with a fourth place finish in the giant slalom that was won by Ashley Ruddick of Lakeridge. Austin Keillor of HRV finished sixth, and Martin Carter was the top finisher for The Dalles in 34th. The boys’ standings currently have West Linn leading with Lakeridge in second and Hood River Valley third heading into today’s slalom.
Oregon Class 1-A Boys Basketball Tournament Consolation Round
Yoncalla 58, Sherman 53: Zack Van Loon scored 22 poits and Will Shaw 18 to lead Yoncalla to the win. Austin Kaseberg led the Huskies with 24 points.
Columbia Gorge Community College has laid off five employees in the last two weeks as the school continues efforts to close a two-point-four million dollar budget gap for the 2015-16 fiscal year. College President Frank Toda says a voluntary employee resignation program and leaving vacant positions open along with the layoffs provided just under one million dollars in savings for 2015-16. He says the search for more savings continues as school administration looks to present a balanced budget to the CGCC Board of Education by the end of April. Toda says he has reduced travel and eliminated vacant positions in his own budget. He adds there is a possibility of another round of layoffs if their current efforts do not completely close the budget gap.
Wasco County Commissioners are asking the County’s Economic Development Commission to push more for projects that have a better chance to be completed or receive funding in the near term. Commissioner Rod Runyon says they want to have more success with seeing projects on the EDC’s priority list reach completion. Commissioners did approve the 2015 Wasco County Community Enhancement Project list of 55 different projects ranked by the EDC, topped by the City of Maupin’s South Wasco County Library and Civic Center, the Port of The Dalles’ Regional General Wetland Permit, and The Dalles-Wasco County Library children’s addition. The list goes to Mid-Columbia Economic Development Department for inclusion in the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.
Columbia Gorge Habitat For Humanity is looking for people who want to buy a home of their own and can’t afford it, and will be willing to help build their own home. The group has one lot in Lyle and three in The Dalles, and will be taking applications in the coming weeks from families wishing to take part in the program. Habitat’s Chip Wood says most of the labor in building the home is donated with the purchaser putting “sweat equity” into the house, so it can be sold to the homeowner at a much more affordable price. Community meetings where applications will be available are planned for March 15 at 2 p.m. at Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue on 1400 West 8th in The Dalles…March 17 at 6 p.m. at Westside Fire Department on 1185 Tucker Road in Hood River…and March 22 at 2 p.m. at the Lyle Fire Hall.
A section of the Riverfront Trail in The Dalles will be closed through Tuesday to accommodate construction work that began today. Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District Executive Director Phil Lewis says the trail near mile marker 2 is being lowered by seven feet to accommodate the unloading of large transformers into the Celilo converter station off of Highway 97. The trail will receive an asphalt overlay to allow continued use, and will be returned to its current elevation at the end of August. The trail should reopen on Tuesday. There will be four dates when the trail will be closed for transport of the transformers, with the first on April 1, and additional dates falling in 30 to 45 day sequences.
Oregon Class 5-A Girls Basketball Play-In
The Dalles 56, Liberty 40: The Riverhawks win on the road to earn a berth in the Class 5A state playoffs. The Dalles will play a first round game at Springfield on Saturday at a time to be announced. The Riverhawks are now 13-11 on the season.
Oregon Class 1-A Boys Basketball Quarterfinals
Horizon Christian 59, Crosshill Christian 44: Mason Bloomster scored 17 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to lead the Hawks to the win. Jared Davis added 11 points for Horizon, as the Hawks took control of the game from the opening quarter. David Brockman led Crosshill with 16 points. Horizon will meet Nixyaawii, a 51-46 winner over Hosanna Christian, in the semi-finals on Friday at 3:15 p.m.
Country Christian 50, Sherman 40: Country Christian shot 51 percent from the field on the way to the win, as Ben Grandle scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Austin Kaseberg scored 14 points and Max Martin 11 for Sherman, who will meet Yoncalla in a consolation game this morning at 10:45 a.m.
Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association Championships
Hood River Valley’s Hannah Bergemann won both the girls’ skiercross and rail jam at the Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association Championships at Mt. Hood Meadows. HRV’s Austin Keillor won the boys’ skiercross, and Tucker FitzSimons finished first in the rail jam.
Oregon State University Extension will be starting its Master Food Preserver Training in the Mid-Columbia during April. It is patterned along the lines of the Master Gardeners program. Extension’s Lauren Kraemer says those who enter the program take about 40 hours of classroom training, and then do 48 hours of volunteer work. Classes will be held at the Hood River Extension office. Applications for the Master Food Preserver program will be taken through April 3, and are available at the OSU Extension websites for Hood River and Wasco counties, or call Kraemer at 541-386-3343, extension 258.
The nation’s first government owned and operated recreational marijuana store will open Saturday in North Bonneville. The North Bonneville Public Development Authority, which was set up by the City Council but is a separate legal entity from the municipal government, says revenues from the store are to be used to support public safety in North Bonneville. Mayor Don Stevens says they are trying to ensure marijuana sales are done to maximize benefits to the community while minimizing negative consequences. Development Authority Board President Tim Dudley thinks it can serve as a model for cities and counties in Washington and Oregon who want to take control of the marijuana debate, rather than sitting on the sidelines. The store is being called “The Cannabis Corner.”