Google is opening up its newly constructed data center expansion in The Dalles. The new third building required about 19 months to build, and was estimated to cost $600,000,000. Local Operations Manager Dave Karlson says they are just into the process of moving people and equipment into the facility. According to Google, the company has invested one-point-two billion dollars in The Dalles and provided over 80 full-time jobs. Local governments are going to receive about $800,000 a year for 15 years as a result of a tax abatement agreement with Google reached when plans for the new facility were formulated. That money, along with a $1,200,000 payment at the time the deal was agreed to, will be split between the City of The Dalles and Wasco County.
Oregon 52nd District State Representative Mark Johnson has filed a priority bill calling for all of any increase in the May revenue forecast to go to the K-12 education budget, rather than 40 percent as called for by the budget passed in both chambers of the Legislature. The Hood River Republican, who also serves on the Hood River County School District Board, says the current budget is inadequate, and hopes he can get his bill to a public hearing and work session. He believes some majority Democrats want to vote for this kind of bill, but whether their leadership would let them is a question. Johnson is joined by 26th District Senator Chuck Thomsen as chief sponsor of House Bill 3538.
Oregon State Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli is proposing recreational marijuana sales being in medical marijuana dispensaries when possession becomes legal July 1. The 30th District Republican does not feel it makes any sense to not begin sales when possession is legal. He says without provide an option for purchase; those wishing to consume marijuana will continue to purchase it through the black market. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is charged with putting together the recreational marijuana sales system. It is not expected to have that ready until late 2016.
Hood River County School District board members were told this week if the state K-12 education budget does not change from what has passed in both chambers of the Legislature, the district would have to make about $900,000 in reductions to balance its 2015-16 budget. Board member and state legislator Mark Johnson says there are different scenarios to reach that mark, and none of them are very palatable. The district will hold its first budget committee meeting on May 6, where Superintendent Dan Goldman and his staff will present a proposed budget document.
Barlow 17, Hood River Valley 6: The Bruins snapped HRV’s three-game winning streak.
Track and Field
The Horizon Christian boys were fourth and the Trout Lake girls fifth at the Life Christian Invitational. The Horizon boys received first place performances from Ryan Aldrich in the shot put and the four by 100 meter relay. Trout Lake’s Bethany Putnam won the girls’ 300 meter hurdles and triple jump, while the Mustangs also won the girls’ four by 400 meter relay.
The Dalles girls finished fifth at the Crook County Invitational at Prineville Golf Club, as Summit took the team trophy.
Horizon Christian boys finished sixth at the Columbia Christian tournament at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland. The host team won the title.
A 29-year-old man was sentenced to 192 months in prison after pleading guilty in Hood River County Circuit Court to charges stemming from the death of his 23-year-old former girlfriend. Miguel Angel Soto-Quintana admitted in court that he caused the death of Cecila Campuzano Ortiz at her home following an argument. In his statement, Soto-Quintana said he went to the home of Ortiz to pick up their two-year-old daughter in the early morning hours of October 4 after a night of drinking. The two had an argument, and Soto-Quintana said he grabbed a pillow and put it over Ortiz’s face in an attempt to get her to stop screaming, then realized she was not breathing. He said he took full responsibility for his actions. Hood River County Deputy District Attorney Carrie Rasmussen noted Ortiz was not found by officers until two days later. She also said the parents of Ortiz had moved out of the area the day before she was killed, and had been concerned about her relationship with the father of her child, who had already been convicted of assaulting Ortiz. Rasumussen added the father of Ortiz had cancer and was moving to California for treatments, but returned to the area upon his daughter’s death and never got those treatments, and died two weeks ago. Soto-Quintana pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 192 months in prison on that charge to be followed by three months of post-prison supervision. He also plead guilty to assault that comes with a 14-month sentence to be served concurrently with the manslaughter sentence.
Movement of one of the new transformers for the Celilo Convertor Station will take place Thursday night in The Dalles and continue into early Friday morning, impacting a number of traffic routes. The oversized load will start at 9 p.m. Thursday along River Road to Webber Street, across Interstate 84 onto West 6th Street and then to Cherry Heights Road and on to West Second, going the wrong way up that street to the roundabout. From there it moves on to Highway 30…then south to Highway 197. There will be flagged locations with detours throughout the late night and early morning hours, with rolling slowdowns on Interstate 84 between 11 p.m. and midnight, and no traffic will be allowed into downtown via the roundabout between 2:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. Friday. The entire operation should wrap up around 7 a.m. Friday.
The 39th annual Mid-Columbia Lions Follies starts its two-weekend run on Friday at the Hood River Middle School Auditorium. This year’s show is “Follies in the Ozarks,” a story based around the Ma and Pa Kettle movies of the forties and fifties. The Follies will take place Friday and Saturday evenings the next two weekends at 7:30 p.m., plus a matinee this Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $9 in advance from any Hood River County Lions Club member and a number of area outlets or $10 at the door, with children 12 and under two dollars off. The show benefits the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation, which has received $315,000 from the Follies over the past 38 years.
Oregon 52nd District State Representative Mark Johnson is pushing a bill to give recreational areas protection from personal liability lawsuits. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled last year in a case involving Mt. Bachelor Ski Area that even though there are liability waivers on passes purchased by users, those are not ironclad releases. Johnson worries that opens all recreational-based industries to increased risks of lawsuits, and he’s supporting efforts on House and Senate bills to prevent that. Johnson says the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association has been opposing the measure. A hearing has been held in the Senate, and Johnson would like one scheduled in the House.
Hood River Valley 1, Wilsonville 0: Ryan Ward struck out seven and did not walk anyone on the way to pitching a four-hit shutout. The Wildcats did threaten in the bottom of the seventh inning, putting runners at first and third with one out, but Ward induced Tyler Tacla to hit into a game-ending double play. HRV scored the game’s only run in the fourth inning, when Adam Cameron drove in Kellen Duffy with a two-out single.
Hood River Valley 3, Century 2: Kelsey Wells’ two-out base hit drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Eagles their third straight win. Jessica DeHart reached on a fielder’s choice and went to second on an error to set up Wells’ game-winner.
The Dalles 11, Franklin 1: Maddy Bradford pitched a one-hitter to win the five inning game at 16th Street Park. The Riverhawks are now 7-4 on the season.
Hood River Valley 8, Pendleton 0
Hermiston 8, The Dalles 0
Pendleton 6, Hood River Valley 2
Oregon Episcopal 15, Hood River Valley 3