North Central Public Health District director Teri Thalhofer has been appointed by Governor Kate Brown to the Oregon Public Health Advisory Board. Thalhofer will represent ten counties on the board, including Sherman County. The board serves as an advisor on policy matters to the Oregon Health Authority, reviews statewide public health issues, and participates in public health policy development.
Hood River County Commission Chair Ron Rivers says he has filed to run for re-election. Rivers will be seeking a sixth term in the position. Rivers says he enjoys serving as Commission Chair, and wants to continue to work for the community. Rivers wants to help finish work on land use regulation updates that has been on-going the last few years, and find ways to diversify County revenues to help provide services, particularly from the region’s growing tourism industry.
Movement toward building a new swimming pool in White Salmon in the parking lot across from Whitson Elementary School moved forward as City Councilors indicated they were on board with making changes to the streets to create a safe approach during school hours. Mayor David Poucher says the White Salmon-Bingen Police Department had already identified some of those changes, and while Councilors did not formally vote they did indicate their agreement. The committee working on replacement of the current pool will now take the concept to the White Salmon Valley School District board. Poucher says developing the financial piece to build the new pool to replace their aging facility is progressing.
The annual Go Red for Women’s Heart Health events in The Dalles will take place on Saturday. This year’s Heart Expo has moved to the Kiwanis Pocket Park on Klindt Drive, and will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Linda Stahl of the Planetree Health Resource Center says they will once again have a number of exhibits at the expo, noting heart disease is the number one killer of women in this country. The Heart Truth 3K/5K/10K walk/run will also take place Saturday on the Riverfront Trail, with on-site registration at the pocket park at 9:30 a.m.and starting at 10 a.m. Proceeds from the run will benefit the Mid-Columbia Health Foundation Cardiac Rehab Assistance Fund.
Washington 14th District Representative Gina McCabe is hoping her bill to get a backlog of six-thousand untested rape kits in the state examined will be allowed to move forward. The bill recently received a committee hearing, and it requires the state to get the tests processed, even if it is done through a private-public funding mechanism. McCabe notes the bill also contains a provision for rural hospitals to have access to nurses who have expertise in dealing with sexual assault cases.
Oregon Democrat Senator Ron Wyden and Idaho Republican Senator Mike Crapo took to the Senate floor Tuesday night to renew their call for a permanent fix to wildfire funding and put a stop to raiding fire prevention and other Forest Service accounts to fight the fires. Wyden and Crapo introduced an amendment to the energy bill currently on the Senate floor to end fire borrowing for good, stop erosion of the Forest Service budget and ramp up fire prevention projects. Wyden said other Forest Service efforts are hampered without finding another source of wildfire funding. A spending bill passed in December increased fire funding for one year, but Wyden and Crapo say it leaves agencies vulnerable to fire transfers, does not solve the problem long term, and does little to hold down-long term firefighting costs.
A law authored by Washington 14th District Representative Gina McCabe that would require schools provide age-appropriate sex abuse prevention education received a hearing before a House committee this week. Erin’s Law has already been approved in 26 states. McCabe believes it could change the lives of children across Washington. McCabe is asking for task force on Erin’s Law. Questions about funding the law may already have been answered, as Congress included a provision in a key education bill that will allow states to use federal grant funding for Erin’s Law programs.
When a community task force on facilities in North Wasco County School District 21 gave its ideas to the district board, one of the concepts discussed was an early learning center. Superintendent Candy Armstrong explains an early learning center is designed to integrate the concept of learning from pre-school to third grade. Armstrong says district officials recently visited a center in Pendleton, where pre-school, Head Start, early intervention, and kindergarten programs are all in one location, but she also points out there are other models used. Armstrong noted that in Portland, some of the pre-schools are affiliated with an elementary school. She says an early learning center concept will be part of upcoming discussions on how to address the district’s facility needs.
A pair of public meetings regarding infrastructure projects in The Dalles will take place next week. On Tuesday there will be a public information meeting regarding the Thompson Street storm project and the impact it will have on traffic patterns in the area, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in The Dalles City Hall. Next Wednesday, a public workshop on an update to the City’s transportation system plan will be held at 6:30 p.m., also in The Dalles City Hall. The TSP serves as a framework to plan improvements to all modes of transportation in The Dalles.
The Dalles 72, Hood River Valley 70: Dakota Murr made two free throws with four seconds remaining to give the Riverhawks their first Columbia River Conference win of the season. Murr’s free throws came seconds after HRV’s Noah Noteboom made a three-pointer to tie the game. The Dalles dominated the first half, leading by as many as 21 points, but the Eagles chipped away at the lead, finally taking it on Parker Kennedy’s field goal with just under 90 seconds remaining. Murr and Colin Noonan combined to make four free throws to give the Riverhawks the lead back, setting up the dramatics of the final seconds. Murr and Noonan scored 23 points apiece for the Riverhawks, while Kennedy had 20 and Noteboom 16 for HRV.
Castle Rock 51, Columbia 37
Sherman 61, Dufur 54
Highland 61, Goldendale 51
The Dalles 53, Hood River Valley 30: Iliana Telles scored 18 points and Brooke McCall 11 as the Riverhawks stay a game back of Hermiston atop the Columbia River Conference standings. Marlie Bloomster led HRV with eight.
Kalama 69, Stevenson 38
Dufur 38, Sherman 30
Highland 46, Goldendale 32