The Dalles City Council spent one hour in executive session Thursday, but no announcement was made about the selection of a new City Manager. Mayor Steve Lawrence said after the meeting that no decision has been made, and the process toward hiring someone for the position continues. Lawrence added they are still reviewing candidates and possible people they may want to still interview. Lawrence said he does not feel they are in any kind of time crunch to fill the position, noting they had a total of eight months to fill the City Manager’s job that was vacated when Nolan Young’s contract was terminated in September. That includes the 60-day notice of contract termination before a six month requirement to fill the job under the City Charter kicked in. Four finalists for the job were interviewed last week.
The Bonneville Power Administrator put the modernized Celilo Converter Station into service Thursday. Construction on the 370 million dollar project began in the fall of 2014, and the station had been out of service since October for final installation and testing. Modernization of the converter station, including six massive new transformers, each weighing more than a Boeing 747 airliner, anchors a $498,000,000 package of BPA-funded grid upgrades to the northern leg of the Pacific Direct Current Intertie, which connects the Northwest with Los Angeles. When the final phase of the overall project is completed this fall, the BPA transmission-line upgrades will raise the capacity of the intertie from 3,100 to 3,220 megawatts. BPA, which funded the improvements, is also in the process of upgrading the 265-mile portion of intertie that it owns from the Columbia River to the Nevada-Oregon border.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is calling for immediate funding of a gun violence research agenda at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Joining a group of Democratic senators and national researchers, Wyden claimed a 1996 Republican appropriations rider prohibiting federal funds from being used to advocate or promote gun control has been misconstrued as a ban on funding scientific research into the causes of gun violence. The author of the original rider, former Arkansas Representative Jay Dickey, now supports funding CDC gun-violence research and has stated that the 20-year-old rider should not stand in the way.
Construction is about to start on a 1.3 mile section of the Historic Columbia Highway State Trail from Lindsey Creek to Starvation Creek trailhead. Work on the extension will also close a single lane of eastbound Interstate 84 near the Starvation Creek Trailhead at exit 55. Trail access from west of Starvation Creek rest area will be closed on weekdays along with the Mt. Defiance, Starvation Ridge, and Starvation Ridge Cutoff trails. They will be open on weekends and holidays. All trails leading into the construction area will be posted with signs indicating closure.
Stevenson 71, Columbia 50: The Bulldogs scored 41 first half points on the way to the win. Austin Brennan scored 20 points for the Bulldogs, while Alex Delarosa contributed 12 points and dished out 10 assists. Jabal Gilbert topped Columbia with 19 points.
Stevenson 43, Columbia 39: Madison Krog scored 18 points and Amya St. Martin chipped in 11 to pace the Bulldogs. Lauren Thiesies led the Bruins with 10.
The access road to the Spit recreational site in Hood River’s waterfront area is closed to vehicle traffic until further notice. Port of Hood River officials say it is a temporary closure for an undetermined period of time. The exceptionally wet winter has caused significant damage to the road, which provides the only vehicular access to the parking area for the Spit. The road will be closed to all but construction vehicles until it can be repaired. Pedestrian access is still allowed. Users of the Spit recreational area can park at the Marina Beach parking area and walk across the Hood River Pedestrian Bridge.
It may only be January, but many school administrators are thinking about recruiting teachers for next year. White Salmon Valley School District Superintendent Jerry Lewis has begun his recruitment work, saying at this point the lack of qualified teachers is a crisis in Washington, and the district wants to be out in front of the pack in recruitment. Lewis says districts can’t compete for teachers based on pay with the state salary schedule, so they have to differentiate themselves in large part by finding people who want to come to the Gorge. But he quickly adds the cost of housing in the region is as big a hurdle in hiring teachers as a shortage of candidates is.
Summit 87, The Dalles 23: Cam Baker scored 21 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to lead the Storm to the win. Summit’s defense limited The Dalles to a 19 percent shooting night from the field. Colin Noonan led The Dalles with 12 points.
Castle Rock 52, Columbia 37
South Wasco 58, Horizon Christian 49
Lyle-Wishram 51, Trout Lake 37: Dylan Uribe tallied 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Cougars.
Mabton 54, Goldendale 47
Gresham 50, Hood River Valley 37: The Gophers went on a 20-2 run in the second half to blow out a close game. Madison Allen scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half for Gresham, while Marlie Bloomster topped HRV with 10.
Columbia 43, Castle Rock 31: Lauren Thiesies scored 13 points and Kayla McClain 11 as the Bruins won the Trico League game.
Stevenson 40, King’s Way Christian 38
Horizon Christian 36, South Wasco 22
Lyle-Wishram 40, Trout Lake 10: Lacy Carse scored 17 points for the Cougars, who prevented Trout Lake from scoring a second half field goal.
Mabton 71, Goldendale 53
While much of the attention surrounding the Hood River County School District’s decision making to go out for a bond measure in May has focused on whether or not to build a new elementary school, the measure could include improvements to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics program facilities at Wy’east Middle School. Superintendent Dan Goldman says the STEM program at Wy’east is trying to operate out of the wood shop, while Hood River Middle School has updated facilities. Goldman says the project would be a combination of renovating current space and adding building capacity. The district board will be making decisions in February on what to include in a bond measure on the May ballot.
Bingen is still looking to fill a City Council seat that has been vacant since October. Mayor Betty Barnes says they are awaiting applicants, and this is the time for a citizen who has thought about taking part in Bingen government to do so. Applicants must have lived in Bingen for one year and be a registered voter. Letters of interest and resumes will be accepted until the position is filled. The Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month. For more information on applying, contact Bingen City Administrator Jan Brending at 509-493-2122.