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Columbia River Weather
Chance of Rain
Monday 30%
High 48° / Low 33°
Tuesday 90%
High 41° / Low 30°
Partly Cloudy
Wednesday 10%
High 43° / Low 26°

Local News

Cooper Spur Opens

Cooper Spur Ski Area is opening for the season on Friday, with lifts operating for skiing and snowboarding.  All 50 acres of the ski area will be open, served by the Homestead lift and a beginner rope tow.   Cooper Spur Ski Area is scheduled to operate over the holidays from 9 AM – 5 PM daily from December 17 through January 1.  Cooper Spur will also be offering a tubing tow which is expected to open this weekend.

December 13 Prep Basketball Scoreboard

Boys Basketball

Woodburn 66, Hood River Valley 55

The Dalles at Ridgeview, cancelled

Columbia 56, Lyle 52

Washougal 55, Stevenson 44

Goldendale 75, Highland 32

South Wasco 44, Monument/Dayville 37

Sunnyside Christian 75, Trout Lake 21


Girls Basketball

Hood River Valley 65, Roosevelt 31

Ridgeview at The Dalles, cancelled

Highland 54, Goldendale 48

Country Christian 75, Horizon Christian 40

Monument/Dayville 37, South Wasco 36, overtime

Sunnyside Christian 71, Trout Lake 12

D21 Holds Introductory Workshop On Facilities Planning

There was a good turnout for the North Wasco County School District 21 board’s introductory workshop for long range facilities planning.  Superintendent Candy Armstrong says the meeting was designed to be primarily informational, going over a timeline for preparing a potential bond measure for the May ballot.  Armstrong says a panel with 24 community members along with some school personnel will begin on January 10 to hold meetings every three weeks, adding they have an aggressive time line.  Armstrong says after that they will begin to develop options and alternatives, with a community forum planned in March.  The filing date for a bond title in March 16.

City of HR Reaches Settlement On Tennis Courts Claim

The City of Hood River has reached a settlement to its claims revolving around structural failure to some of the renovations done to the tennis courts at Jackson Park in 2013.  The City has been involved in talks with the bond holder for Home Court Construction, which went out of business after the work was done.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says the City will receive $60,000 in the settlement with State Farm Fire and Casualty.  Wheeler says that money, after attorney’s fees, will go toward repairs of the tennis courts.  The original repairs were paid for through a community fundraising effort.

PUD Taps Karp To Fill Unexpired Term

The Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District Board of Directors selected Connie Karp to fill the unexpired term of Director Kenneth Leibham for Subdivision 5.  The board voted 3-1 in favor of selecting Karp.  Bill Lennox also applied for the position.  Karp will be sworn in at the PUD’s regular meeting this Tuesday.  Karp retired from Columbia River Bank in 2008, and has stayed involved in the community through a variety of jobs and volunteer work.  Roger Howe, who was elected in November to the board for Subdivision 1, will be sworn in on January 3.

Dealership In The Dalles Remains In Tonkin Hands

The Tonkin automobile dealership in The Dalles is not one of the dealerships being sold to Spokane-based Gee Automotive Companies.  Tonkin Subaru/Chevrolet/Buick/GMC General Sales Manager Steve Ross says The Dalles business will continue to be owned by Ed and Brad Tonkin and Scott Seidel.  The Portland Business Journal is reporting that most of the Portland Ron Tonkin Dealerships have been sold to Gee.  Ross said The Dalles operation was not sold, along with a Ferrari location in Wilsonville and dealerships in Reno, Nevada.  The Tonkin name is remaining on the dealerships that are being sold, with Brad Tonkin become platform president for Gee.

TD City Council Moves Ahead With Wastewater Plant Improvements

The Dalles City Council authorized moving ahead with phase two work on improvements to the municipal wastewater treatment plant.  That will include the completion of the design for a second phase that is enlarging capacity and finding a way to use the methane gas the plant produces to power it.  Mayor Steve Lawrence says to qualify for grant funds for the methane generator, work has to start fairly quickly so it can be finished by December of next year.  Some changes are being made to the design to accommodate challenges that arose in the upgrade, including a new structure to house the headworks, additional piping work, and a second backup power generator to handle the electrical loads of an upgraded plant.  The cost is just over $10.9 million dollars, with most of that having been included in the 2016-17 City budget without requiring the issuance of bonds.

HR City Council Approves Plastic Bag Ban

The Hood River City Council has passed an ordinance banning retail stores from providing single-use plastic carryout bags, and requiring those establishments to charge at least five cents for paper bags.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says the ordinance will begin to go into effect on March 1 at stores that employ more than 50 people, and July 1 for smaller outlets.  The ordinance was based on similar measures passed in other Oregon communities.  Councilors believe the ordinance is a local step toward encouraging the use of biodegradable or reusable bags for transport of retail goods.

Important Time For Food Bank Donations

This is an important time of year for Hood River’s FISH Food Bank.  FISH helps provide food to about 400 families a month, and a large portion of their donations come between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  FISH’s Marianne Durkan notes they receive tremendous support from the community and local grocery outlets, and Hood River Valley High School’s annual canned food drive is underway.  Donations to the Hood River Valley High School effort, both cans of food and monetary donations, can be taken to the school.  In addition, donations can be made to FISH through its website, FISH-Food-Bank-com.  One dollar can pay for five cans of food.

NORCOR Hoping To Receive Coffee Creek Overflow

NORCOR officials hope they might be able to help the state deal with overcrowding at the Coffee Creek women’s prison.  NORCOR board member and Hood River County Commission Chair Ron Rivers says they have been working with the state for about a year to hopefully house about 50 to 60 female inmates from Coffee Creek at the regional jail, noting they have made changes to meet state requirements for such a move.  Rivers noted if they received inmates from Coffee Creek, they would be non-violent offenders.  NORCOR currently houses an average of 120 inmates, about half of its capacity.