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Local News

Employment Tops Pre-Recession Highs, But Unemployment Rate Still 7%

Oregon employment in November topped pre-recession highs and posted the biggest one-month jump since the state started keeping comparable records in 1990.  The Oregon Employment Department says the state added 11,000 jobs to the economy in November after adding 7,400 in October.  Department economist Nick Beleciks says there are now more Oregonians working than before the recession started in 2007.  But Oregon’s unemployment rate remained at seven percent in November, the same as the prior two months and close to what it has been for a year, as the state’s employment gains have been matched by rapid labor force growth.

One Gorge Group Advocates For Regional Needs

A broad coalition of public agencies, tribes, and private employers are coming together to advocate for regional needs and a strong and sustainable Gorge economy.  One Gorge has a steering committee meeting monthly to identify priority initiatives, establishing advocacy strategies, and getting feedback from regional stakeholders.  Initiatives being undertaken by the coalition include obtaining federal appropriation that had been committed for economic development in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and securing funds for a transportation plan for the National Scenic Area along with near-term repairs and long-term replacement of the Hood River Interstate Bridge and Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks.

Homestretch For Holiday Retail Season

The holiday retail shopping season is entering its final ten days, and for local businesses it’s an important time.  The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Lisa Farquharson says their Shop Local campaign continues, and she sees hopeful signs of a good year.  Farquharson says the Chamber’s weekly drawing from those who bring in receipts from local businesses will continue, leading up to a grand prize drawing on December 31.  She noted they received about $43,000 worth of receipts last week.

December 12-13 Prep Sports Roundup

Boys Basketball

Hood River Valley 88, Mountain View (Vancouver) 70

Centennial 64, The Dalles 42

Camas 53, The Dalles 16

Dufur 85, Ione 39

Heppner 72, Dufur 57

Sherman 63, Grant Union 47

Weston-McEwen 52, Sherman 51

South Wasco 77, Portland Lutheran 35

South Wasco 57, Perrydale 53

Horizon Christian 58, Crosshill Christian 37

Horizon Christian 73, Knappa 54

Goldendale 51, Kittitas 36

Goldendale 64, Wahluke 53


Girls Basketball

The Dalles 48, Sandy 45

The Dalles 64, Reynolds 31

Centennial 70, Hood River Valley 43

Stevenson 52, Klickitat 37

Dufur 42, Ione 23

Crane 48, Dufur 33

Grant Union 91, Sherman 28

Weston-McEwen 50, Sherman 12

South Wasco 33, Portland Lutheran 27

Perrydale 43, South Wasco 27

Horizon Christian 43, Knappa 26

Kittitas 43, Goldendale 42 (OT)

Goldendale 53, Wahluke 16



Hood River Valley’s Christian Marquez won the 132 pound title in leading the Eagles to an 11th place finish at the Coast Classic in North Bend.



Hood River Valley’s Kylie Webb won the 200 yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke and Dhani Freeland the 200 freestyle as the Eagle girls grabbed a fourth place finish at the Swimming for Giving meet in Bend.  The HRV boys finished fifth in their portion of the meet.


Meadows Names New COO

Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort has named 33-year-old Charles Jake Bolland as its new Chief Operating Officer.  Meadows Chairman and CEO Matthew Drake made the announcement on Thursday.  Bolland joined Mount Hood Meadows in 2009 as director of finance, and became Vice President of Administration in 2013.  In his new position Bolland will oversee the day-to-day operations of Mt. Hood Meadows and Cooper Spur Mt. Resort…and serve on the company’s board of directors.   Bolland was a certified public accountant for Ernst and Young prior to joining Meadows.

Gorge Commission Eyes Washington Governor’s Budget

The Columbia River Gorge Commission is waiting to see what Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed budget for the 2015-17 biennium holds.  Two weeks agom Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber included $1,694,000 in his 15-17 budget for the Gorge Commission, an 89 percent increase from the current biennium.  But the National Scenic Area Compact requires the two states to provide an equal amount of funding.  Gorge Commission Executive Director Darren Nichols says he feels hopeful about what Inslee will propose, even though Washington faces some serious budget challenges.  Nichols adds he hopes both Governors and Legislators recognize the need to invest in governance of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in a number of different areas.

Planning Department Decision On Ampitheater Stands

The Hood River County Planning Department’s decision to approve a commercial land use permit for an ampitheater at the former Dee mill site has made it through a County Planning Commission hearing.  Commissioners voted 3-2 to support the approval, but that is one short of the four needed to actually affirm the decision.  As a result, the Planning Department decision to approve the permit stands.  Once an order outlining the permit decision is signed by the panel, there will be a 15-day period to file an appeal to the County Commission.  The ampitheater is proposed by Jason Taylor of Apollo Land Holdings.  The Hood River Valley Residents Committee appealed the permit approval by the Planning Department.

December 10 Prep Basketball Roundup

Boys Basketball
Hood River Valley 79, Columbia 63:  Parker Kennedy and Skyler Hunter scored 14 points apiece to lead a balanced HRV output.  The Eagles jumped over .500 with their third straight win.
King’s Way Christian 63, Stevenson 55:  King’s Way outscored the Bulldogs 21-12 in the fourth quarter to grab the win.  Kelani Russell led the Bulldogs with 17, while Kienan Walter scored 24 for King’s Way.
Horizon Christian (Tualatin) 54, Horizon Christian (Hood River) 46
Girls Basketball
Woodburn 54, Hood River Valley 27:  The Eagles had a tough night shooting, as they made only 22 percent of their field goal attempts on the way to their fourth straight loss.
Horizon Christian (Hood River) 29, Horizon Christian (Tualatin) 28

Search For Missing Man Continues

The search is continuing today for a 31-year-old Milwaukie man who has been missing in the Mount Hood area since the weekend.  The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office is leading the search for Gerren Kirk, who was reported missing by his family over the weekend when he did not return home from a camping trip.  Kirk’s car was found Monday in the Frog Lake Campground parking lot off of Highway 26.  An aerial search was planned for today.  The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office, Crag Rats, and the U.S. Forest Service are assisting in the search for Kirk.  Anyone who might have information should call the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office at 541-506-2580.

Health Officials Say Get A Flu Shot

Health officials are still urging people to get a flu shot, even though a Centers for Disease Control report last week indicate the vaccine is less effective this year because of a mutated virus that doesn’t match the strains included in the vaccine.  The Hood River County Health Department’s Ellen Larsen says it is still a good idea to get a flu shot, noting during some flu seasons the primary strain will change.  Larsen notes flu shots remain available from health care providers and pharamcies.  She adds the Hood River County Health Department does have flu vaccine available for those who are uninsured.



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