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Local News

Short Outage Scheduled In Pine Grove Area

Hood River Electric Co-op customers in the Pine Grove area and some on the east side of Odell will experience a brief power outage lasting less than five minutes on Sunday morning.  The interruption in service will take place at 9 a.m. on Sunday.  Any questions or concerns can be directed to Clinton Curtis of Hood River Electric Co-op at 541-354-1233.

Kansas Man Arrested And Charged In Parkdale Burglaries

A Kansas man has been taken into custody facing charges in connection with a number of burglaries in the Mountain Shadows Drive area south of Parkdale.  The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office says deputies began receiving reports of burglarized homes on Mountain Shadows Drive on Tuesday totaling more than half a dozen incidents.  38-year-old Craig Allan Pagenkopf was located in the forest adjacent to the area, and was arrested and lodged at NORCOR on multiple burglary and theft charges.  An extensive ground and air search led to the recovery of a large cache of property stolen from area residences.  U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement assisted the Sheriff’s Office with the investigation and recovery of property.

Man Arrested After Chase Into Upper Valley

A 33-year-old Salem man was arrested early Wednesday morning after taking law enforcement officers on a chase that reached the Parkdale area.  Deputies arrested thirty-three year old Thomas Leonard Berry of Salem.  According to the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office…the Washington State Patrol was pursuing a van reported stolen out of The Dalles late Tuesday night when it crossed over the Hood River Toll Bridge, causing damage to a gate at the toll booth.   It continued southbound on Highway 35, and after losing the vehicle for a short period of time, a deputy found the stolen van still southbound on Highway 35.  Another pursuit began with speeds reaching around 85 miles per hour, and the vehicle turned south onto Cooper Spur Road with the pursuing deputy losing sight of the stolen van near Parkdale.  Just prior to 1 a.m., a Baseline Drive resident reported a prowler, and deputies located him and took him into custody, determining he was the driver of the stolen vehicle.  Berry was lodged at NORCOR on several charges including Attempt to Elude a Police Officer and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.  Deputies recovered the stolen vehicle, a 2005 Ford Van, from an orchard on Cooper Spur Road.

Driver Injured In Highway 14 Accident

A Yakima man was injured on Thursday when the log truck he was driving on Highway 14 went off the roadway.  According to the Washington State Patrol, 43-year-old Michael Selberg was taken by LifeFlight to Peace Health Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver.  The WSP says Selberg was traveling westbound on Highway 14 about eight miles east of Stevenson when his truck drifted onto the westbound shoulder and struck the guardrail.  The vehicle continued into the ditch, struck the embankment, and spilled its load of logs.  The accident occurred just after 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Gorge Soup Returns In The Fall With Arts Focus

Gorge Soup will be returning this fall with a new focus:  the arts.  The Hood River based group is seeking presenter applications from individuals or teams from throughout the Gorge who are starting a new artistic endeavor or community initiative centered on the arts.  Selected applicants will have a chance to present their project to attendees for funding consideration during a community soup dinner hosted by Columbia Center for the Arts on September 20.  New or developing projects in the visual arts, literary, media arts, theater, dance, music or other forms of artistic expression are all eligible for consideration.  The competition is open to all age groups.  Applicants must be residents of Hood River, Wasco, Skamania, or Klickitat counties and the project must take place in the Gorge.  Applications are available for download at gorgesoup.wordpress.com, and must be submitted by August 20.

Vieira Named Providence Chief Executive

Jeanie Vieira has been named chief executive for Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital and its Columbia Gorge Service Area.  Vieira most recently has been the chief operating officer and chief nursing executive.  She has almost three decades of experience in health care, including 25 years at Providence Hood River.  Providence Eastern Division services chief executive Paul Gaden says Vieira has been a leader through a significant growth of services in Hood River.  He added that more than 50 candidates applied for the position.

Library Tree Ceremony Scheduled

A beech tree on the Hood River Library lawn will be recognized as a City of Hood River heritage tree on Monday, May 16, which is Love a Tree Day.  Hood River Tree Committee members say this particular tree is perhaps the best known tree in the city.   Mayor Paul Blackburn and library director Buzzy Nielsen will tie a ribbon around the beech tree’s massive trunk at 3 p.m. on Monday.  The heritage tree program is one focus of the city’s Tree Committee, which is a citizen advisory committee to the City Council and City staff.  Heritage trees are defined as ones accessible to the public and healthy.  Nielsen says the library’s beech tree “has been there at least 100 years.”

D21 Budget Committee Approves 16-17 Fiscal Plan

The North Wasco County School District 21 Budget Committee has approved a fiscal plan for 2016-17.  For the most part it is a status quo budget, but Superintendent Candy Armstrong says the district is continuing to incrementally advance advanced placement and career and technical education offerings at The Dalles High School, while also aligning curriculum district-wide.  Armstrong did say concerns about future sustainability remains, with state funding levels for the 2017-19 biennium to be determined by the state legislature next year.  The budget goes to the D-21 school board for a hearing in June.

Rand Road Water Line Project Delayed

A planned water line installation on Rand Road between Cascade and Sherman in Hood River has been delayed as plans are adjusted due to the location of the current line.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says often water lines run right down the middle of the street, but this one is offset to the west side of the street, and because of steeply wood slopes on that side staging for the project will probably have to be in the middle of the street.  And that could mean a shutdown of Rand Road of around six weeks rather than the original planned closure of just one lane.  Wheeler says the City and the contractor are working on plans to deal with the problem, including how to accommodate residents of townhomes who rely on access from Rand Road.  He says work will not start until sometime in June.

Van Valkenburgh Resigns From CGCC Board

Long-time Columbia Gorge Community College Board of Education member M.D. Van Valkenburgh has resigned.  The board accepted Van Valkenburgh’s resignation at its meeting on Tuesday night.  Van Valkenburgh had just over one year remaining on his term representing Wasco County on the board.  Applications are now being taken to fill the vacancy on the CGCC Board.  Residents of Wasco County interested in the position should send a letter of interest with qualifications, telephone, and address to the President’s Office at CGCC…400 East Scenic Drive in The Dalles…zip code 97058.  Deadline to apply is May 24.

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