Port of Hood River Commissioners held their bi-annual strategic planning session on Tuesday, and part of the discussion involved how to manage their property holdings. Port Executive Director Michael McElwee pointed out their portfolio ranges from newer higher-price point facilities like the Halyard Building to an older lower-priced Big 7 Building, but there is a gap in mid-range opportunities. The newly acquired Hanel Mill property could be a part of filling that mid-range light industrial warehouse distribution facility need.
One man is in custody after Mid-Columbia Interagency Narcotics Team officers searched two locations in Hood River as part of an investigation into methamphetamine dealing. A MINT spokesman says a 37-year-old man turned himself in related to one of the searches and was lodged in NORCOR on charges of possession and delivery of methamphetamine. One search took place at a home on Montello Avenue, and another on 5th Street. No arrests were made, and both locations remain under investigation by MINT. Anyone with information is asked to call the MINT tip line at 541-296-1885. Officers from The Dalles City Police and the Wasco and Hood River County Sheriff’s Offices make up the MINT team.
Authorities are asking for the public’s help as they search for a missing 78-year-old man last seen in Irrigon. The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office says 78-year-old John Getman was last seen on Monday after receiving a ride from a truck driver. The Sheriff’s Office says Getman suffers from Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and has gray hair and brown eyes. Anyone who may have seen Getman or knows where he might be is urged to call the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office at 541-676-5317.
Recreational liability in Oregon will be the topic of a forum Thursday evening at the Columbia Gorge Hotel. Oregon State Representative Mark Johnson will host the forum, with the focus of discussion on updating the Skier Responsibility Code. National Ski Area Associate Risk Manager Dave Byrd and liability defense attorney Brad Stanford will also give their views on the code update and a larger conversation on recreational liability. Representatives of the Pacific Northwest Ski Area Association will also be present. The forum begins at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Columbia Gorge Hotel’s Benson Ballroom.
The Oregon Department of Transportation reopened eastbound Interstate 84 between Cascade Locks and Hood River Wednesday morning, while the section between Troutdale and Cascade Locks reopened shortly after noon. ODOT shut down that portion of the freeway Tuesday night after more than 20 trees fell on the roadway during high winds. ODOT’s Don Hamilton says they needed to do the shutdown because of what they could not see at night, and the need to examine the roadway for more hazardous in daylight. Winds yesterday evening were measured at around 70 miles per hour in the Bonneville Dam area, 60 miles per hour in the Upper Hood River Valley, and over 50 miles per hour elsewhere in the region.
The Bonneville Power Administration energized and brought into service a new 500-kilovolt transmission line running between The Dalles and Goldendale. The 28-mile, single-circuit line connects BPA’s Big Eddy Substation in The Dalles to the new Knight Substation northwest of Goldendale. Big Eddy Knight was energized Friday afternoon. The line increases the electrical capacity of BPA’s transmission system in response to requests for transmission service in this area. Construction on Big Eddy-Knight began in the fall of 2011 and underwent design adjustments in the latter half of 2012 and 2013 to accommodate for newly discovered culturally sensitive sites along the route. The project included the use of helicopters to string 20 transmission cables between two towers across the Columbia River near Wishram.
The Hood River County School District continues to move toward preparing a bond measure to present to voters in 2016. District Superintendent Dan Goldman says a community workgroup of 40 to 45 members have been evaluating information on the condition of the district’s facilities and enrollment and growth, while staff is analyzing the fiscal issues involved. Goldman says the district board will hold a December 9 worksession to go over the options, noting the possibility of including a new building remains on the table, especially given the age of the district’s facilities. Goldman added the district board would need to decide by January whether to put a bond measure on the May ballot.
White Salmon officials will meet with the Washington Water Trust next week about a proposal to increase the City’s water supply by withdrawing from the White Salmon River. Mayor David Poucher says the City’s water rights come off the White Salmon River, adding the state Department of Ecology, Department of Health, and the Yakama Nation have indicated they like that solution. But Poucher says the City would need financial help to do the project, estimated to cost $6,000,000. The Washington Water Trust is a non-profit organization that seeks to find solutions to water issues. Poucher says coming of the main stem of the White Salmon would have environmental benefits and eliminate the need for more wells, noting the City would still get the bulk of its water from Buck Creek.
Residents in The Dalles are being reminded not to rake leaves into the street, but rather to compost them or bag them for disposal. Municipal codes forbid dumping leaves into the street. The Dalles Disposal is accepting leaves, from residences only, at no charge during the month of November if they are taken to the transfer station at 1317 West First Street, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. City street sweepers are running two shifts to pick up leaves, and residents are asked to park off streets if possible.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is warning those who operate high profile vehicles to be wary of high winds Tuesday. Those who are operating vehicles like motor homes, travel trailers, or commercial truck should note the forecast for high winds. Travelers are also being warned to be prepared for possible delays due to downed trees and to watch for blowing debris and dust. Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, and Klickitat counties are among “main impact” counties in a high wind warning issued by the National Weather Service for gusts up to 50 miles per hour this afternoon and this evening.