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Local News

Washington Democratic Caucus Saturday

Washington Democrats hold their presidential nomination caucus on Saturday.  In Klickitat County, caucus locations are Henkle Middle School in White Salmon for west end precincts and Goldendale Grange Hall for east end precincts.  Sign in begins at 9:30 in the morning, with caucusing starting at 10 a.m.  Pre-registration is available on-line at klickitatdemocrats.org.  Voting is limited to registered votes, but registration will be available at the caucus location.

Studs Off By March 31

The Oregon and Washington transportation departments say they won’t extend the 2015-16 studded tire season past March 31.  Studded tires are allowed in Oregon and Washington from November 1 through March 31 each year.  Laws in both states allow studded tire season to be extended when necessary, but current weather forecasts do not support an extension this year.  The Oregon Department of Transportation encourages drivers to consider other types of traction tires or chains to help minimize roadway damage caused by studded tires.  Drivers with studded tires on their vehicles after the deadline in Oregon can be charged with a Class C traffic violation, and in Washington can receive an infraction with a $124 fine.

March 23 Prep Sports Roundup


Hood River Valley 2, Lancaster (California) 1:  Patrick Harvey drove in Connor Coerper with the winning run in the top of the seventh inning to give the Eagles their second win in three games at the Coach Bob Invitational in Phoenix, Arizona.  Kellen Duffy went the distance on the mound, giving up six hits while striking out four.  Duffy got out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh inning, inducing a ground out to win the game.

Spring Chinook Fishing Seasons Announced

The popular spring chinook fisheries on the Deschutes and Hood rivers will open this spring.  Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife managers are predicting over 4,000 adult hatchery fish will return to the Deschutes, which is well above management goals to obtain hatchery broodstock and other needs.  The Deschutes will open for adipose fin-clipped chinook from May 1 through July 31 from the mouth of the Deschutes at the I-84 bridge upstream to Sherars Falls.  Managers are predicting far fewer adult fish returning to the Hood River, about 970 hatchery fish.  The Hood will be open for adipose fin-clipped chinook from April 15 through June 30 from the mouth to mainstem confluence with the East Fork, and the West Fork from the confluence with the mainstem upstream to the angling deadline 200 feet downstream of Punchbowl Falls.

HR County Approves Punchbowl Sale Agreement; Permanently Closes Routson Park

Hood River County Commissioners approved the purchase and sale agreement with Western Rivers Conservancy to acquire the property that will make a Punchbowl Falls Park a reality.  County Administrator David Meriwether says a grant agreement with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has been executed, and he expects the sale to close within three to four weeks.  Meriwether adds soon after that, work will begin on limited improvements to the area.  County Commissioners have elected to permanently close Routson Park south of Mount Hood.  Meriwether says that park has been closed for several years, is difficult to operate due to water system issues, and gets very little use.  Commissioners found the cost of rehabilitating the park wasn’t worth it, so it will become part of county forestlands.

Google To Break Ground For New Data Center

Google will break ground Thursday on its new data center in The Dalles.  The facility will be built in the Port of The Dalles Columbia Gorge Industrial Center, adjacent to Google’s current facilities.  The company says the new data center represents $600 million worth of new investment in The Dalles.  Dignitaries taking part in the groundbreaking ceremony includes The Dalles Mayor Steve Lawrence, State Representative John Huffman, and members of The Dalles City Council and the Wasco County Commission.  The event will not be open to the public.

Swindells Plans April 5 Resource Fair

The Swindells Resource Center will hold a community resource fair at Pine Grove School in early April for families of children with special needs.  Swindells in a part of the Providence Child Center.  Director Jody Wright says there will be information from Mid-Columbia area agencies and service providers, including county mental health and developmental disabilities, education support programs, and early intervention.  The resource fair will take place on April 5 at 5 p.m. at Pine Grove School.  There will also be a class right after the resource fair with an expert on Positive Discipline, a parenting philosophy that empowers both children and parents, beginning at 6:30.  For information call 800-833-8899, extension 52429.

March 22 Prep Sports Roundup


Hood River Valley 11, Liberty (Arizona) 7:  Dallas Buckley’s bases loaded triple triggered a six-run third inning as the Eagles moved their record at the Coach Bob Invitational in Phoenix to 1-1.  Buckley drove in four runs in the game, while Skyler Hunter and Kellen Duffy had three hits apiece.

Goldendale sweeps White Swan 10-0 and 16-0



The Dalles 14, Sherwood 5

The Dalles 18, North Salem 3:  The Riverhawks completed a four-game sweep at the Central Oregon Spring Break Invitational in Bend.

Hood River Valley 15, Pleasant Hill 13

Hood River Valley 6, Newport 1:  The Eagles won two games at the Battle of the Beach in Newport on Tuesday to finish that series with a 3-1 record.

White Swan sweeps Goldendale 17-12 and 14-6


Track and Field

Columbia had three athletes win two events each at a five-school meet at King’s Way Christian to begin the season.  James Bell won both boys’ hurdles races, while Stacia Bell won the girls’ shot put and discus and Lauren Thiesies won the long jump and high jump.

Two Arrested After Pursuit

Two fugitives from eastern Washington were arrested on numerous charges after leading police on a high speed chase in The Dalles Monday evening.  According to Oregon State Police reports, a trooper working the Fifteen Mile Creek Construction Zone near milepost 85 on eastbound Interstate 84 observed a car traveling faster than the posted 50 mile per hour limit.  The car left the freeway at milepost 85, and when the trooper stopped the driver on East 2nd Street and began to approach the car the vehicle sped away, with the pursuit going out Highway 197 and eventually reaching East 14th when the suspect crashed into a parked car.  The driver and a passenger were apprehended trying to hide behind a residence on East 15th, and a search of the vehicle found two pistols, two rifles, one short barrel shotgun, less than a gram of heroin, pipes containing methamphetamine residue, and other drug paraphernalia.  The driver, 25-year-old Daniel David Sallee of Four Lakes, Washington, faces a laundry list of charges including attempting to elude, possession of firearms by a felon, and reckless driving.  The passenger, 24-year-old Ronald Lee Ricci of Cheney, was arrested on attempting to elude and fugitive from another state charges.

HR Planning Panel Narrows STR Recommendations

The Hood River City Planning Commission spent Monday night narrowing down its recommendations for regulation of short-term rentals.  The panel is recommending short-term rental uses be accessory to residential uses in residential zones, with a 60-day limit on those STR uses.  Some members want to move away from the concept of a cap on the number of STR’s within residential zones in favor of the limitation on the number of days for the use, believing a cap could exclude people who live and work in the community from being able to rent their homes, and they want that benefit to first go to those who live in Hood River.  When the Commission meets again on April 4, Municipal Planner Cindy Walbridge says they will make final decisions on cap and density and deal with the existing non-conforming uses.  On Monday the Commission decided to eliminate a proposed zone in the Westside area that would have excluded STR’s, deciding the 60-day limit eliminated the need for that.  They also concluded that hosted homeshares and whole home vacation rentals would be allowed in all three residential zones with the limitations they will propose to the City Council.