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Local News

Zerfing Wins Write-In For CL Council Seat

Carl Zerfing has won the opportunity to fill an unexpired two-year term on the Cascade Locks City Council, according to write-in election results released by the Hood River County elections office.  No candidate filed for the seat on the November ballot.  Zerfing received 110 votes. while Joshua Harestad was next with 42 votes.  42 people received at least one of 229 votes cast.  Results are not official until the election is certified on November 28.

Vets Home Receives Grant To Retain Staff

The Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles has received a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs grant to help recruit and retain high-quality nursing staff at skilled nursing facility.  The grant, which will be eligible for renewal over the next three years, will assist in funding three new initiatives at the Veterans Home.  A loan forgiveness program will reimburse registered nurses a portion of their school loans, up to $18,500, which is the cost of the RN program at Columbia Gorge Community College in The Dalles.   Another element will be signing bonuses of $5,000 to all newly hired RNs and a $1,000 bonus to all newly hired certified nursing assistants   And a third initiative will establish a permanent in-house training program for CNAs, which will give the Home much greater flexibility in maintaining an abundant supply of high-quality staff.  The award of just over $114,000 will be matched by Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs.

Oxygen Tank Leak Briefly Stops Traffic Near MCMC

A leak in Mid-Columbia Medical Center’s oxygen tank on the corner of Oregon and 19th Streets in The Dalles shut down all car and foot traffic in that neighborhood for a brief period of time this morning.  An MCMC spokesperson says the hospital shut off the oxygen from the main line, and repairs began at 8 a.m.  Traffic was allowed to continue in the area a few minutes later.  The hospital is running on what it terms “an abundant supply” of back-up oxygen until the repairs are made, and does not foresee any additional impact to patient care or access to the hospital.

Frost Honored By Oregon Health Authority

The administrator and medical director of Hood River Valley High School’s School-Based Health Center has been honored by the Oregon Health Authority.  Lynne Frost has received the Health Authority’s 2016 SBHC Rising Star Award.  The honor recognizes her leadership efforts as the Administrator and Medical Director for the SBHC, located onsite at the high school and operated by One Community Health.  Oregon Health Authority Adolescent and School Health Program Manager Jessica E.A. Duke says Frost has worked tirelessly to build strong partnerships to create a sustainable, comprehensive model for the center and building trust with community providers to accept it in their community after eight years from their first planning grant.

The Dalles Man Arrested On Drug Charges By MINT

A 44-year-old resident of The Dalles was arrested Tuesday after Mid-Columbia Interagency Narcotics Task Force members conducted a search warrant at his home on West 14th Street.  According to a MINT press release, Antonio Herrera is charged with four counts of unlawful delivery and possession of methamphetamine, and was lodged at NORCOR.  Herrera was at home at the time of the search.  The release says the investigation is on-going, and anyone with information on this case or any drug related case is encouraged to call the MINT tip line at 541-296-1885.

HR School District Taking Input On May Street Plans

The Hood River County School District is taking public input as it plans for construction of a new May Street Elementary School.  The district held an open house at the school Tuesday, and there will be another on Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  District Superintendent Dan Goldman says it’s an opportunity for people to come in, look at some of the ideas being presented, and give feedback.  Goldman says the district is targeting a groundbreaking during the spring of 2017, with the opening a new May Street school in the fall of 2019.

White Salmon Valley Schools To Decide On Levy Request Thursday

The White Salmon Valley School District board will decide Thursday evening on an amount for the three-year maintenance and operations levy they will seek from voters in February.  Superintendent Jerry Lewis says the board will see a number of options, adding the levy approved in 2014 was set at two-dollars-61-cents per thousand dollars per thousand dollars of assessed value but went down during the course of the last three years.  The district will be deciding on the levy ask with the backdrop of uncertainty heading into the 2017 Legislative session, with legislators expected to develop a plan for dealing with the McCleary decision that found the state was not meeting its obligation in the state constitution to fund basic education.

Survivors Of Suicide Loss Day Program Set For Saturday

A program is planned Saturday in The Dalles to coincide with International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.  Debby Jones of YouthThink says the program will include a viewing of a video called “Life Journeys,” and provide an opportunity to connect with others who understand the challenges and sorrows of being a suicide loss survivor.  The program will start at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Columbia Gorge Community College board room in Building 1 in The Dalles, and will run until about noon.  More information is available at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website, afsp.org/survivorday.

TD Council To Move Ahead With Additional Analysis For Dog River

The Dalles City Council has decided to move ahead with using Forest Service contractors to do additional analysis of the City’s application for a permit to replace the Dog River pipeline in the Mount Hood National Forest.  Comments during the public scoping process for the permit resulted in a request for a flow analysis and further study of the potential impact to endangered and threatened species.  City Public Works Director Dave Anderson told the Council using contractors that have already gone through the Forest Service selection process can deliver a faster and better product that will be more defensible if it is challenged.  He says the goal is to avoid running up a large bill while going through the permitting process.  Cost estimates for the analysis range from 45 to 90 thousand dollars.  Councilors approved moving ahead by consensus.

HR City Council To Look At STR Licensing Requirements In Two Weeks

The Hood River City Council will come back in two weeks to consider amendments to short-term rental application and licensing requirements under discussion.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says the Council on Monday night discussed what municipal staff had proposed, made a few revisions, and asked staff to write up a revised ordinance to bring back on November 28.  The Council did adopt program fees for the STR licenses.  In other business, the Council pushed back a public hearing on zoning changes for townhouses to January 9 at the request of the municipal planning commission.  That’s in the wake of a recent discussion on middle-tier housing that the planning panel wanted to consider.