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Local News

Sheriff Calls For Occupiers To Leave

Authorities at a Wednesday press conference urged members of a militia group who have been occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to leave the site. A confrontation between some of the militia members and FBI and state police on Tuesday led to the death of one man, and multiple arrests. It happened when those authorities were attempting to arrest the group at a traffic stop.  Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward said “it’s time for everybody in this illegal occupation to move on,” adding the presence of the group has been tearing the community apart.  FBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing said “the armed occupiers have been given ample opportunity to leave the refuge peacefully.”

January 26 Prep Basketball Roundup

Boys Basketball

Stevenson 55, Columbia 33:  The Bulldogs used a 22-8 second quarter run to pull away for the win.  Austin Brannan and Alex Delarosa scored 12 points apiece to lead Stevenson, while Aiden Trummel tallied 12 for CHS.

Sherman 92, Stanfield 74

Sunnyside Christian 77, Trout Lake 22

Zillah 102, Goldendale 61


Girls Basketball

Stanfield 58, Sherman 42

Zillah 66, Goldendale 25

White Salmon Library To Close For Remodeling

The main portion of the White Salmon Valley Community Library will close on Monday for a month-long remodeling project.  Senior branch supervisor Holly Cote-Troupe says the remodeling will provide a refreshed look to the library, including a new teen area, upgrades to the children’s area, and an enhanced Spanish language collection.  Seating space will triple, with an increased number of Internet stations and recharging location for mobile devices.  A temporary library service point will be available in the facility’s Sprint-Baker Gallery for patrons to pick up hold materials and other services.  Hours will be varied, and are posted on-line at fvrl.org.  The library is to re-open in early March, with a celebration planned for March 15.

HR Council Approves Hike In Metered Parking Rate

Hood River City Councilors approved raising the hourly rate for metered parking in the downtown area from 75 cents to one dollar per hour, but left the cost of a monthly permit for city lots where they are.  The rates have not been raised since July 2008.  New rates would go into effect sometime around July 1.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says parking revenues go into two areas:  reimbursement of the costs for managing parking and general fund expenses.  Monthly lot permits will remain 35 dollars in three locations and 20 dollars for the Columbia Street lot.  Some in attendance at the Council meeting objected to the rate increase, while others questioned the fairness to downtown businesses of metered parking when there is none on the Heights.  The City is also in discussions with the Port of Hood River about establishing metered parking in the waterfront area.

TD Council Holds Marijuana Town Hall

The Dalles City Council held a town hall meeting on marijuana Monday evening that featured information from League of Oregon Cities legal counsel Rob Bovett.  Mayor Steve Lawrence said one of the important things he took away from the meeting was the knowledge that the Oregon Liquor Control Commission won’t be giving licenses for the retail sale of recreational marijuana until this fall, which means City officials have time to make decisions.  Lawrence noted the Council will need to have the discussion about whether to send a measure to opt-out of the various business aspects of legalized marijuana to municipal voters before moving into development of a time, place, and manner ordinance.

District 52 Candidates Lining Up

Candidates are starting to line up in Oregon House District 52.  Incumbent Republican Mark Johnson has formally filed to run for re-election, while two Democrats have announced their intention to run.  Retired Hood River County School District teacher Mark Reynolds announced in a press release Monday that he will seek the nomination for the seat.  Over the weekend, in a letter to the editor in the Hood River News Walt Trandum of Sandy said he is also seeking the District 52 position by gathering signatures to file for the seat by petition rather than pay the state’s filing fee.  Johnson will be seeking his fourth term in the Oregon House.

Ribbon Cutting For New Park

A ribbon cutting took place Tuesday for a new three-acre park along the Nichols Basin in Hood River.  It’s a nearly three-acre parcel acquired by Hood River Urban Renewal from Naito Development as part of Naito receiving approval for the new hotel currently under construction at the Basin.  City officials say it will be a passive park with little development.  Urban Renewal is paying $395,000 for the land, but won’t pay anything until the hotel starts producing property tax increment revenues, and some of that will be used to pay for the property.  Once the park is paid for by Urban Renewal, the City will take over ownership of the land.

WA Legislature Passes Instructions For Public School Funding

The Washington House has passed a bill to instruct the 2017 Legislature to finish fixing the way the state pays for public schools.  It calls for a new education task force to find a compromise to end the state’s overreliance on local school levies to pay for basic education.  Republican Washington 14th District State Representative Norm Johnson says it would be difficult to reach a final solution during this year’s short session, noting there are a lot of factors to deal with to get there.  The bill would establish a plan to finish the work set up in legislation seven years ago and by the Washington Supreme Court’s McCleary decision in 2012.

Housing To Dominate HR Council Meeting

Housing discussions will dominate Monday night’s Hood River City Council meeting.  City Manager Steve Wheeler will present a schedule to the Council for the development of rules for short-term rentals, which he says will follow two tracks.  One will involve revisions to the City’s land use codes, which Wheeler says will be routed through the Planning Commission.  The other track will center on regulations for the business of short-term rentals, and those will go directly to the Council.  Wheeler did say in both cases, there will be public hearings.  Monday night’s Council meeting begins at 6 p.m. in Hood River City Hall.

TD Council To Hold Marijuana Town Hall

The Dalles City Council’s regular meeting Monday night will be a town hall on marijuana issues.  Presentations are scheduled by City Attorney Gene Parker and League of Oregon Cities legal counsel Rob Bovett.  In the Council’s packet of materials for the meeting, Parker outlines seven areas of marijuana activities requiring license or registration with the state, including growing, production, processing, and wholesale and retail distribution.  He also says the City has three options, including referral of a ballot measure to municipal voters to opt out of the business portions of legalized recreational marijuana, issuing a ballot measure to establish a local tax on recreational marijuana, and adopting local regulations or deferring to state rules.  The meeting begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday evening in The Dalles City Hall.