When a community task force on facilities in North Wasco County School District 21 gave its ideas to the district board, one of the concepts discussed was an early learning center. Superintendent Candy Armstrong explains an early learning center is designed to integrate the concept of learning from pre-school to third grade. Armstrong says district officials recently visited a center in Pendleton, where pre-school, Head Start, early intervention, and kindergarten programs are all in one location, but she also points out there are other models used. Armstrong noted that in Portland, some of the pre-schools are affiliated with an elementary school. She says an early learning center concept will be part of upcoming discussions on how to address the district’s facility needs.
A pair of public meetings regarding infrastructure projects in The Dalles will take place next week. On Tuesday there will be a public information meeting regarding the Thompson Street storm project and the impact it will have on traffic patterns in the area, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in The Dalles City Hall. Next Wednesday, a public workshop on an update to the City’s transportation system plan will be held at 6:30 p.m., also in The Dalles City Hall. The TSP serves as a framework to plan improvements to all modes of transportation in The Dalles.
The Dalles 72, Hood River Valley 70: Dakota Murr made two free throws with four seconds remaining to give the Riverhawks their first Columbia River Conference win of the season. Murr’s free throws came seconds after HRV’s Noah Noteboom made a three-pointer to tie the game. The Dalles dominated the first half, leading by as many as 21 points, but the Eagles chipped away at the lead, finally taking it on Parker Kennedy’s field goal with just under 90 seconds remaining. Murr and Colin Noonan combined to make four free throws to give the Riverhawks the lead back, setting up the dramatics of the final seconds. Murr and Noonan scored 23 points apiece for the Riverhawks, while Kennedy had 20 and Noteboom 16 for HRV.
Castle Rock 51, Columbia 37
Sherman 61, Dufur 54
Highland 61, Goldendale 51
The Dalles 53, Hood River Valley 30: Iliana Telles scored 18 points and Brooke McCall 11 as the Riverhawks stay a game back of Hermiston atop the Columbia River Conference standings. Marlie Bloomster led HRV with eight.
Kalama 69, Stevenson 38
Dufur 38, Sherman 30
Highland 46, Goldendale 32
One man is in custody after and one man is in a hospital after a Monday morning incident in the eastern portion of The Dalles. The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office says officers responded to a report of a burglary and a man with a butcher knife in a home on 2670 East 18th. Officers found the man had exited the house, but immediately took into custody 35-year-old Lawrence James Berry of The Dalles. An investigation found Berry had been involved in a physical altercation with another man at 2662 East 18th, and has been charged with Assault I, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Burglary I. Berry was transported to the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility, and is to be arraigned today and the case will be presented to the grand jury in the near future. The other man in the altercation, Tipasa Lusuni Uliata, went by himself to Mid-Columbia Medical Center for treatment of head and neck injuries, and then was taken to a Portland hospital for health issues unrelated to the incident. The Sheriff’s Office says it is unclear at this time what the physical altercation was about and the investigation is ongoing.
Kalama 64, Stevenson 46
King’s Way Christian 74, Columbia 27
North Clackamas Christian 58, Trout Lake 27
North Clackamas Christian 30, Trout Lake 26
The Dalles City Council voted Monday to authorize City Attorney Gene Parker to negotiate a contract with interim City Manager Julie Krueger for her to take the job on a permanent basis. The vote came shortly after the Council came out of a 45-minute executive session. The search to fill the position had been on-going since the Council voted to terminate long-time City Manager Nolan Young’s contract in September. Mayor Steve Lawrence said they had whittled a pool of 40 candidates down to four, and the job was offered to one finalist that turned it down. Lawrence says at this point the Council did not want to go back into that process, opting instead to make an offer to Krueger. The vote on the motion was 3-1, with Tim McGlothlin the lone no vote, saying he did not think the City had gone far enough in their search for a replacement and should take another look at the current pool of candidates. Krueger has been The Dalles City Clerk for 15 years.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is planning an emergency repair project for The Dalles Bridge this week. Winter’s freeze-thaw cycle has caused some damage to the structure, compounded by truck and other vehicle traffic. ODOT discovered the damage during an inspection this past Thursday. ODOT district manager Pat Cimmiyotti says they will fix three deteriorating concrete bridge deck areas. Work will begin this Wednesday, and may take a few days. Motorists will be directed across the bridge by flaggers. ODOT will soon begin the planning for a deck repair project for The Dalles Bridge, and when funded, construction could begin as early as 2019.
Nurses at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital have approved a new, two-year contract with the hospital. The nurses, represented by the Oregon Nurses Association, unanimously voted to ratify the contract agreement on Friday. The new contract takes effect immediately. The ONA’s Kevin Mealy says the agreement creates a new lead nurse role to help coordinate patient care, improves scheduling to adjust to patients’ needs, and preserves sick leave benefits for nurses. The previous contract between nurses and Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital expired at the end of 2015.
A decision by the Oregon Department of Education to freeze the current list of Priority and Focus schools through the 2016-17 school year with the recent passing at the federal level of the Every Student Succeeds Act will impact two North Wasco County School District 21 elementary schools. Chenowith has been a Priority school since 2012 and Colonel Wright a Focus school both because they faced challenges to close the achievement gap. Superintendent Candy Armstrong feels at least one of the two schools would have come off the list after this school year, adding it’s a disappointment for staff at both locations. With the freeze, the state will continue to provide support to Priority and Focus schools until a new accountability model is developed and applied.
Tourism continues to grow in the Gorge. Hood River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Glover says transit room tax revenues throughout the region, which includes the Mount Hood area, showed double digit percentage growth in 2015 for the fifth year in a row. Glover notes most of the marketing efforts for the region are now targeting multi-night stays. He says the multi-night visitors tend to spend more money in the community than the single night guest. Marketing is currently centered on bringing visitors in during the slower first quarter of the year.