By a three-to-two vote, The Dalles City Council voted to wait and see what Wasco County decides to do with its proposed road district before placing a three-cent a gallon municipal gas tax increase on the November ballot. Wasco County Commissioners will hold two more hearings on the road district proposal in early August before deciding whether to put it on the ballot in areas other than The Dalles. That had Councilors wondering if they should wait to see what happens, and if revisiting a combined road district might be a better course of action. Councilor Dan Spatz noted both the City and the County are in a bind due to the loss of federal timber dollars, with a County road district creating property tax compression issues while a City gas tax doesn’t benefit the County. The City Council has scheduled a special meeting for August 14 to discuss the topic, and they could move to put the gas tax on the ballot at that time.
The Dalles City Council, acting in its role as the Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Agency board, voted unanimously to provide $220-thousand dollars to the Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District to fund some elements of the Thompson Park swimming pool project. The money will pay for elements including a slide, climbing wall, shade, and landscaping as costs have gone beyond what was originally anticipated in a bond measure approved by voters last year. Mayor Steve Lawrence expressed concern that providing the funds depletes available funds urban renewal would have for other requests, but also voted to approve the move. City Manager Nolan Young says by using short-term borrowing or the normal ebb and flow of other urban renewal projects, they should have the money replenished by spring. Parks and Rec district representatives said the project is on track to have the pool open by the 2015 season.
The Dalles Police Department Detective Jaime Carrico received the department’s Medal of Valor at Monday night’s City Council meeting. Police Chief Jay Waterbury made the presentation. Carrico was investigating the rape of a 13-year-old girl in October of last year, and learned the suspect had fled to Wishram. With Klickitat County Sheriff’s officers, Carrico went to a neighborhood in Wishram where the suspect was believed to be, and pursued him on foot when he fled out the back door of a house. After the foot chase the suspect fired a gun and wounded Carrico, who returned fire and fatally shot the suspect. Waterbury noted Carrico assisted in his own care, and said his actions showed Carrico’s dedication to duty and public safety along with his tenacity.
A 57-year-old man was seriously injured in an accident involving a motorcycle and a bus on Saturday in the west end of The Dalles on Highway 30. According to the Oregon State Police, Larry Dew was eastbound on Highway 30 near Division Street when the motorcycle collided into the front of a bus driven by 55-year-old Patrick Preston of The Dalles. The bus was turning left from Highway 30 into a gas station/convenience store lot when the collision occurred. Dew was seriously injured and transported by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland where he was listed is in critical condition. His motorcycle is registered in Colorado but he reportedly may be currently living in Wisconsin. He was wearing a protective helmet. Preston was not injured. The bus belongs to Oregon Child Development Coalition and had no passengers. OSP troopers from The Dalles Area Command office are continuing the investigation. No citations have been issued at this time. The accident occurred at about 7:15 a.m. Saturday.
The City of Hood River will soon be progressing on a project to put its treated effulent farther into the Columbia River. City Manager Steve Wheeler says when glacial outfall created the sandbar at the mouth of the Hood River several years ago. it changed what is known as the “mixing zone” and put it farther out in the Columbia. The current location where the pipe comes out is near the Western Power Products building, but that has become more stagnant since the sandbar was created. During normal operations the material coming out of the pipe is fairly clean, but the concern would be if there were some kind of malfunction that would cause untreated sewage to be dispensed. The new ending of the pipe will be between Wells Island and the Hook. Work should commence later this year, once a low interest loan is secured from the state.
With dispatchers having moved into the new Klickitat County Emergency Operations Center in Goldendale a little more than a month ago, the next big step will be a simulcasting system that will allow communication by emergency radio without changing repeater channels. Ed Powell of Klickitat County Emergency Management says it will allow for more seamless communications from one end of the County to the other. Powell says he does not have a specific date on when the simulcast system will begin, but he hopes it happens sometime in August.
A Yakima attorney who ran against Washington 14th District Representative Norm Johnson as a Democrat four years ago is now making a write-in bid against him as a conservative Republican in next week’s primary. 53-year-old Michael “Scott” Brumback claims Johnson and other “establishment” Republicans no longer see themselves as public servants, and he is upset that Johnson and Senator Curtis King endorsed Gina McCabe in the other 14th District House race instead of Adam Yoest. Brumback told the Yakima Herald-Republic he ran as a Democrat in 2010 because he identifies with blue collar workers in that party’s labor base, but his socially conservative politics led Democratic leaders to refuse to endorse his candidacy. To get on the general election ballot, Brumback must receive at least one percent of the vote and finish in the top two. Johnson was previously unopposed in seeking a fourth term.
American Legion AAA Baseball
Super Regional at Dallas
Friday: Alpenrose Red Sox 12, Columbia Gorge Hustlers 11
Saturday: Alpenrose Red Sox 7, Columbia Gorge Hustlers 3
Wasco County Commissioners have decided to hold two more public hearings before deciding whether to put a road district proposal on the November ballot. The hearings will take place August 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Wasco County Courthouse, and on August 11 at the same time at Dufur High School. Commissioner Scott Hege said a number of people asked for an additional hearing for south county residents after being unable to attend the first last week in Maupin due to fire issues. He adds whether the district will be put on the ballot is still very much up in the air. Hege noted most of the comments Commissioners received at the hearing in Maupin were against forming the district.
Motorists in the region should plan for a pair of major overnight road closures next week. On Monday night, Highway 14 near the tunnels east of Lyle between mileposts 76 and 81 will be closed in both directions beginning at 8 p.m., reopening at 6 a.m. Tuesday for repaving inside the tunnels. Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m., the Hood River Interstate Bridge will be closed as part of the work being done on the entrance ramps on both sides of the bridge. Emergency vehicles will be allowed to cross.