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Local News

Two Weekend Fatalities In Hood River County

Two recreationalists died in separate incidents in Hood River County over the weekend.  The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office says 43-year-old Erik Elton Schulz of Portland died Saturday afternoon after suffering an apparent medical emergency while motorcycling on a trail near the 640 Road on the east side of the Hood River Valley.  Friends at the scene attempted lifesaving measures without success.  On Sunday morning, deputies were called to the Surveyors Ridge area off of U.S. Forest Service Road 4410 when a man was found at the bottom of a cliff.  The man, later identified as 24-year-old Peter William Clifford Bryner of Portland, was a member of a camping party staying in that area.  Bryner was discovered by people in the group, who then made the call to the Sheriff’s Office.  When responders arrived, it was determined that Bryner was deceased, likely a result of a fall.   Both deaths are still under investigation and official cause of death in both instances has not been determined.

City of HR Considers Stormwater Options

The Hood River City Council will hear a presentation on stormwater runoff during their Monday night meeting and techniques to help reduce the amount of runoff and help make it cleaner.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says there are techniques including the use of bioswales and drainage of ponds that can accomplish those goals.  Mayor Paul Blackburn says the City is trying to look at its capital facilities plan to see where stormwater runoff improvements can be made.  Blackburn adds requirements for these strategies can be placed on new construction, but he also notes with the City already trying to encourage more affordable housing, they have to be mindful of placing additional costs on developers.

Songer Puts Undersheriff Dollars Into Patrol Deputies

Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer says eliminating the undersheriff position has saved his department about $54,000.  Songer says that savings is getting used to put more deputies on patrol, but notes he hasn’t added any new deputies.  With the reorganization, Songer is trying to maintain a three deputy minimum on each shift, with one in the western part of the county, one in the central portion, and one in the eastern portion.  Songer says that not only improves response times, it increases safety for officers by making it easier to provide backup.

Two Teens Killed In Highway 14 Accident

Two people were killed in a three-car accident on Highway 14 at the Dog Mountain Trail parking area.  According to the Washington State Patrol, a car driven by a 17-year-old male from West Linn was eastbound on Highway 14 when he missed the turn into the trailhead, and stopped in the middle of the road.  Another car driven by a 16-year-old male from West Linn stopped behind it, and was rear-ended by a third car driven by a 35-year-old Portland man, pushing that car into the front vehicle.  One of the passengers in the car originally hit, a male of unknown age from Gladstone, was deceased at the scene, while another passenger from that vehicle, a 16-year-old West Linn male, died while being taken by ambulance to a hospital in Vancouver.  The driver of the car that was first hit along with a 17-year-old male passenger were taken to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries, while the drivers of the other two cars were not injured.  The WSP says the 35-year-old has been charged with second degree negligence, while other chargers were referred to juvenile court.

February 20-21 Prep Sports Roundup

Oregon Class 5A Swimming


Hood River Valley’s girls finished fourth in the team standings, led by Dhani Freeland’s second place finish in the 100 yard freestyle and third place in the 100 backstroke.  The Eagles also had a third in the 400 yard freestyle relay, and fourth places in 200 medley relay and from Kylie Webb in the 400 individual medley.  Annessa Clear of The Dalles finished sixth in the 50 freestyle.


Washington Class 1A Wrestling


Stevenson’s Colton Van Pelt finished fifth at 160 pounds, while Bryce Wilkins of Goldendale was sixth at 170 pounds.


Mt. Hood League Skiing


Hood River Valley swept the top three places in the boys’ race at Mt. Hood Meadows with Austin Keillor, William Lamer, and Patrick Crompton while the Eagles’ Lucy McLean and Kelli Clarke were one-two for the girls.  The efforts nailed down league championships for the HRV boys and girls, with Keillor and McLean winning the season-long individual titles.  The Dalles used a third place boys’ final race finish to take second for the season, paced by Eli Holeman’s fourth place run.  Columbia’s Colin Howe won the boys’ slalom season title.  The state championships will be March 4-6 at Mt. Hood Meadows.


Boys Basketball

Columbia River Conference

Pendleton 48, The Dalles 25


Big Sky Conference Tournament


Sherman 53, Dufur 44

Horizon Christian 58, South Wasco 23


3rd Place

Dufur 45, South Wasco 30:  Dufur will be at Joseph in round one of the 1A tournament on Tuesday.



Horizon Christian 48, Sherman 47:  Sherman will host Life Christian on Tuesday in round one of the 1A tournament, Horizon will meet a team to be determined in round two on Friday.


Girls Basketball

Columbia River Conference

Pendleton 47, The Dalles 39

Hermiston 59, Hood River Valley 27


Big Sky Conference Tournament


Sherman 42, Dufur 31

Condon-Wheeler 59, Ione 26


3rd Place

Dufur 39, Ione 34:  Dufur visits Powder Valley on Wednesday at 6 p.m. for round one of the 1A tournament.



Condon-Wheeler 60, Sherman 45:  The Huskies host North Clackamas Christian in a 1A tourney first round game on Wednesday.

HR County To Seek State Funding For Courthouse Analysis

Hood River County is seeking $150,000 from the state to fund analysis of the need for a renovated or new courthouse.  County Administrator David Meriwether says the facility built in the early 50’s was found during a state analysis a few years ago to be in need of major changes to be sufficient for modern courtroom operations.  Meriwether says the County will include an appropriation in its budget to help pay for the cost of the analysis.  Questions to be answered include where would a new courthouse be built, should the current location be used or sold to purchase another location, and space needs.  Meriwether adds the County may go back to the Legislature in two years for a significant allocation to replace the courthouse.

Legislature Getting Back To Normal

With John Kitzhaber having vacated the Governor’s office and Kate Brown taking over, the Legislature gets back to its normal business.  59th District Representative John Huffman is expecting the next couple of weeks will see Brown and the Legislature get a feel for each other and how much of Kithzaber’s agenda Brown will support without tweaking.  Huffman doesn’t expect that process to go on for very long, noting with the Governor’s position now up for election in 2016, Brown will be looking to make a mark in this session so she has something to run on next year.

February 19 Prep Basketball Roundup

Boys Basketball

Columbia River Conference

Hermiston 84, Hood River Valley 58:  The Bulldogs made ten three-point field goals in the first half on the way to pulling even with the Eagles for second place in the CRC.  Chase Knutz led a group of four Bulldogs in double figures with 19 points.  Skyler Hunter was led the Eagles with 17.


Girls Basketball

Southwest Washington Class 1A District Tournament

Kalama 58, Columbia 29

Wasco County Rescinds Health District Withdrawal

The Wasco County Commission decided Wednesday to rescind a December decision to leave the North Central Public Health District.  Representatives of the other two counties in the district, Sherman and Gilliam, contended the withdrawal could only take place after the district had been in place for five years, and that mark did not arrive until two weeks after the December vote.  Commissioner Scott Hege says the panel agreed there was no benefit to going through legal action on the decision, and would continue on with its work, and could make another decision to withdraw before the end of this year to leave at the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year.  Hege noted Wasco County’s concerns around how the health district is governed and how public health services can be best delivered in the County remain…but he hopes all parties can work together to address them.

URAC Recommend Elks Building Purchase For Sign Museum

The Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Advisory Committee has recommended the purchase of the Elks Building in downtown The Dalles so it can be renovated to house a neon sign museum.  The panel approved having the agency seek to purchase the building for $245,000, then transfer the title to David Benko, the original curator of the American Sign Museum of Cincinnati.  His group Rock City Neon would then bear the cost of renovating the Elks Building.  Two separate estimates have put the cost of bringing the building back to a usable condition at over one million dollars.  Rock City Neon has a collection of over 200 signs, and the Portland Art Museum will be a primary fundraiser for the project.  One condition for the sale would include the right for Urban Renewal to recover the building if the museum is not open within two years.  The recommendation goes to the Urban Renewal Agency board, made up of The Dalles City Council, which will consider it on Monday.



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