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Local News

HR Fair Opens Wednesday

The Hood River County Fair will be getting underway on Wednesday in Odell.  Fair Manager Clara Rice says exhibits will open at noon, and there will be plenty going on all day long.  The headliner for the first evening of the fair is a George Strait tribute by Bill White at 7:30 p.m. on the park stage.  In addition, Banda Diamindo performs at 7 p.m. in the Frank Herman Arena.  Discounted carnival bracelets for all-day rides are on sale until 5 p.m. Wednesday at the fair office and a number of area locations.

Rattlesnake Fire 80% Contained

The Rattlesnake Fire ten miles northeast of Warm Springs is now listed at 80 percent containment.  The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center says the fire grew in size Monday to 9,225 acres, but crews made good progress in building line and securing the perimeter of the fire.  One area of concern Tuesday was on the northwest portion of the fire perimeter where the fire crossed the Warm Springs River.  Crews made good progress securing that area Monday night, and if it holds, the fire may be near 100 percent containment by Wednesday.  Structural protection is still in place for residences in the Culpus Bridge area.  The Webster Flat road near the Wolf Point subdivision and Highway 8 east of the Kah-Nee- Ta Resort are still closed to the general public.

Sunday Afternoon Accident Snarls I-84 Traffic

An accident involving two vehicles towing travel trailers shutdown eastbound Interstate 84 west of Hood River for over four hours on Sunday.  According to the Oregon State Police, an SUV and 24-foot trailer driven by a 67-year-old man from Michigan was attempting to pass a pickup towing a 32-foot trailer near milepost 56 at around 11:45 Sunday morning.  An initial investigation showed the SUV was negotiating a left hand curve in the fast lane and was in the process of passing the pickup/trailer combination when the SUV left its lane and hit the pickup/trailer combo, causing it to roll onto it driver’s side.  The Michigan couple in the SUV were uninjured, while the five in the truck, all from Idaho, were taken Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  The eastbound lanes of I-84 were closed for just over four hours on Sunday while the vehicles were removed.

Photo courtesy Oregon State Police

Photo courtesy Oregon State Police

Work On Central Oregon Fires Continues

The containment level for the Scott Canyon fire in Gilliam County went up to 75 percent Monday morning.  According to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, the fire has burned 33,587 acres in grass and brush in moderate to steep terrain about nine miles northwest of Condon.  The fire did threaten ranches with residences, along with barns and other outbuildings.  Fire officials hope to fully contain the fire on Monday.  The cause is not yet determined.  Meanwhile, a 5,000 acre wildfire is burning on the Warm Springs Reservation.  The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center reported very little activity on the Rattlesnake Fire this morning.  It is burning in grass about seven miles northeast of Warm Springs.

City Considers Garbage Service Expansion

The Hood River City Council will get a report at its meeting Monday evening on potential expansion of garbage service.  Curbside composting, more refined recycling options, yard waste pickup, and standardized roll carts for streamlined pickup are all on the table.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says such a move would raise residential garbage rates in the City by $7.25 a month, which would be about a 40 percent increase.  Mayor Paul Blackburn says the Council is now to the point of taking public input before making any decisions, emphasizing this is not a done deal.  A municipal committee involving three Councilors, garbage service provider Waste Connections, Tri-County Hazardous Waste and Recycling, and others have been involved in putting together the proposal.  The Council will receive that report at its meeting beginning at 6 p.m. Monday in Hood River City Hall.

Klickitat County Considers Sales Tax For Law Enforcement

The Klickitat County Commission discussed the potential for levying a one-tenth of one percent to three-tenths of one percent sales tax for drug enforcement with representatives from the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office and the Goldendale and White Salmon-Bingen police departments at a recent worksession.  Commissioner Rex Johnston noted the law enforcement groups have been asking about the one-tenths of one percent increase, but Commissioners questioned whether that would be enough to address the issue, and have asked them to report back with a more specific list of needs.  Johnston emphasized the Commission would get public input either through a hearing or a vote before making any decision.

Bodies Of Kentucky Men Missing For Almost Two Years Found

The bodies of a father and son from Kentucky first reported missing in early September of 2014 have been found just off the Dog River Trail south of Parkdale, and the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office says evidence at the scene indicates the men died as the result of a murder-suicide.  Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, and U.S. Forest Service have determined the bodies discovered by Forest Service workers on Thursday evening have been positively identified as those of John K. Wood and Jason A. Wood.  The two were first reported as missing on September 5, 2014 when their vehicle was found unattended on Highway 35 north of the Dog River Trailhead.  A search at that time could not locate the pair.  Forest Service workers on Thursday were in the area conducting a survey when they discovered the bodies of the two men.  The Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is ongoing, but evidence at the scene indicates that the men died as a result of a murder/suicide.

Gilliam County Fire At 12,500 Acres

A large wildfire in Gilliam County is now listed at 12,500 acres, with a ten percent containment level.  An earlier report of 22,000 acres has been revised downward.  The fire started yesterday, and is 20 miles east of Wasco.  The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center reports there are some ranches scattered through the area, but does not list the fire as threatening any structures.  The fire is burning in grass and brush in varied terrain.  The Bureau of Land Management is the lead agency for this fire, with 22 people assigned to it.  The cause of the fire has not been determined, but there was lightning in the Mid-Columbia region Thursday evening.  Crews in the area dealt with a number of smaller fires, particularly in the central portion of Klickitat County.

Hustlers Advance In Legion Playoffs

American Legion AAA Baseball

Columbia Gorge Hustlers 14, Pendleton 8:  The Hustlers used a big offensive performance to advance to a regional playoff series in the state tournament.  The Hustlers will advance to face Dallas on the road in a best-of-three series beginning on Saturday.  The first two games will be Saturday beginning at noon, with a third game to be played if necessary on Sunday.  The Hustlers have won four of their last five games.

Rodeo Continues To Work Toward Resumption

This would have been the first weekend of the Fort Dalles Rodeo.  The rodeo is not being held this year after a 50-year run, but the Fort Dalles Rodeo Association continues to work on finding a new location to resume the event.  Association President Damon Hulit says talks continue with Google to see if their offer to provide a temporary home on the Northwest Aluminum property the company recently purchased is feasible.  Hulit says those talks are “going slow, but well.”  That area is a bit smaller than the former rodeo site, is flatter, and has better road access to it, but there are wetlands issues and plenty of overgrowth that would have to be removed.  Hulit can’t put a timetable on a return of the rodeo, but the intention is to return as soon as arrangements can be made.  He also said efforts continue to find a suitable permanent home for the rodeo.

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