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Local News

HR City Council Directs Staff To Prepare Bag Ordinance

The Hood River City Council has directed its staff to develop an ordinance to prohibit retail establishments from distributing single use plastic carryout bags and to encourage the distribution and use of reusable bag options.  Councilors are using an ordinance adopted in Corvallis as a model, which includes a requirement for retail stores to charge not less than five cents for recyclable paper bags.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says the ordinance would include a chance for business to prepare.  Wheeler expects an ordinance will be ready for a public hearings process in the next two months.  Mayor Paul Blackburn has been recommending adoption of the ordinance, calling plastic bags a significant source of waste creating long-term landfill degradation issues.

Accident Injures Ellensburg Couple

An Ellensburg couple was injured in a single vehicle accident on Highway 14 east of Bingen Monday morning.  According to the Washington State Patrol, an 80-year-old male was driving his SUV westbound on Highway 14 about a mile east of Bingen when he took his eyes off the roadway to read a text on his passenger’s cell phone.  The SUV travelled several feet off the roadway in a ditch before striking a rock wall, coming to rest in the westbound lane of Highway 14.  Both the driver and his 78-year-old wife suffered undisclosed injuries and were transported to Skyline Hospital in White Salmon.

Wasco County Commission Approves “What The” Permit

Wasco County Commissioners approved the outdoor mass gathering permit for the “What The” music and art festival on Wolf Run Ranch near Dufur.  Commissioners made the decision at a public hearing in Dufur.  Commissioner Scott Hege noted this year’s permit indicates the festival expects more people to attend, around 9,000.  The 2017 festival is scheduled for June 15-19.

October 24 Prep Sports Scoreboard


LaSalle def. Hood River Valley 25-21, 25-21, 25-10:  The fifth-ranked Falcons topped the Columbia River Conference champion Eagles in a tune-up match for the state 5-A playoffs for both teams.  HRV hosts a first round match on Saturday.

Police Investigate Convenience Store Robbery

The Dalles Police Department is investigating a robbery Sunday evening at the Astro Express Mart on West 6th.  According to police logs, the call came in just before 10:30 p.m.  The log indicates two suspects were involved in the robbery, and left on foot.  The Dalles Police Sergeant Doug Kramer said their investigation is on-going, and they could not release any further information.  Anyone who may have information in regards to this case is asked to call The Dalles Police Department at 541-296-2613.

Wasco County Corrects Election Flyer On Proposed MCFR Tax Rate

The Wasco County Clerk’s Office is sending out letters to votes in the Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue District with language that was omitted on the flyer included with the ballot.  The document included with the ballot understates the tax impact of the district’s bond measure.  The full impact is 21 dollars per 100-thousand dollars of assessed property value, not 21 cents as is in the statement sent with the ballot.  The measure calls for a property tax rate of 21 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value.  County Clerk Lisa Gambee said the error occurred in her office, and did not involve the district.  The letter being sent out includes the complete summary of the MCFR ballot measure including the corrected language.

Klickitat County Finds Inflation Challenging For 2017 Budget

Klickitat County Commissioners are working on the County’s budget for 2017, and one of the biggest challenges they have is dealing with inflation.  Commissioner Jim Sizemore says it is costing more to keep the same service levels, and revenues are not keeping up, with outside revenues flat for the last few years.  The County this week is holding hearing on its six-year transportation plan, including Tuesday evening at 6:30 in the White Salmon Pioneer Center and Thursday at 6:30 in the County Courthouse in Goldendale.

HR Council Delays Two Hearings

A pair of public hearings that had been scheduled before the Hood River City Council Monday night will be opened and quickly continued as both issues remain at the planning commission level.  The proposed rezoning of Morrison Park to allow multi-family housing and amendments to the City’s land use ordinance to allow townhouses as an outright permitted use in R-2 and R-3 residential zones both remain at the planning commission level.  Mayor Paul Blackburn says they had hoped to hold Council hearings on the subjects in October, but work on them has taken longer than originally planned.  The City Planning Commission continues deliberations on both subjects on November 7, with the townhouse amendments now expected to come before the Council on November 14 and Morrison Park on November 28.

October 21-22 Prep Sports Scoreboard


Mountain View 40, Hood River Valley 13

Benson 14, The Dalles 0

Dufur 62, Ione 0

Sherman 62, Perrydale 22



Big Sky Tournament

First Round

Arlington def. Ione 25-14, 25-16, 26-24

Dufur def. South Wasco 25-15, 25-20, 26-24


Third Place

Ione def. South Wasco 25-17, 25-19, 25-21 (winner to state)

Arlington def. Dufur 3 sets to 0 (both to state)


Lyle-Wishram def. Klickitat-Glenwood 25-13, 25-16, 18-25, 22-25, 15-11

Port of HR To Do Multiple Bridge Lifts

The Port of Hood River will carry out multiple lifts of the Hood River Interstate Bridge lift span throughout the daylight hours of next Thursday through Saturday.  Each lift will require closure of both lanes on the bridge up to 30 minutes in duration.  Closures will occur between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on those three days.  Bridge users are strongly encouraged to plan for up to 40 minute delays or seek alternate routes during those hours.  The lifts are required for the Port’s contract engineers to inspect the bridge’s trunnions and conduct magnetic particle testing of the rack pinion shafts.  The trunnions are critical mechanical systems of the bridge’s lift span, with four located on each of the two bridge towers.  The magnetic particle testing is required to determine their condition and expected longevity of key components.