A Bend-area man was sentenced after pleading guilty to multiple misdemeanor and felony charges related to illegal guiding and hunting activities that resulted in the unlawful killing of numerous elk and buffalo in Wheeler and Deschutes counties after one of the most extensive investigations in Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division history. 43-year-old Alan Aronson was sentenced to 30 days in jail, received a lifetime hunting license suspension, must make approximately $66,050 in fines and restitution, and forfeited property including a pick-up and two UTV’s that were determined to be used in the illegal guiding operation. Oregon State Marine Board records revealed that Aronson was not a registered hunting guide in the State of Oregon during the time of the unlawful activities and was operating on land he did not own and therefore was illegally guiding hunters without an outfitter/guide registration. From this investigation, 23 people have been charged for more than 200 counts filed in Wheeler County and 15 additional charges were filed in Deschutes County. Ten of those individuals pled guilty or no contest; and cases are pending adjudication for 13 other people.
It is Fort Dalles Rodeo time. The Rodeo will get off to an unofficial start tonight with the slack events this evening at Milt Tumilson Arena. That will feature the contestants who could not be fit into the regular performances, will start at 6 p.m., and is free to the public. The regular performances begin Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m., and as usual opening night is Family Night, with $35 family tickets available. The Rodeo continues Friday and Saturday nights. Advance tickets are available at The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Next Door Incorporated’s Nuestra Communidad Sana is putting together a Regional Health Equity Coalition in Hood River and Wasco counties. The organization received a three-year grant for the project from the Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. Community Health Worker Yesenia Castro says the purpose is to work toward equality and access to care for all people, with a focus on those with low income and communities of color. Those interested in taking part can contact Castro at 541-436-0318.
A 20-year-old man has been arrested on numerous charges relating to a Sunday evening shooting incident at a migrant camp on Pheasant Ridge Road in Wasco County. Juan Carlos Navarro was arrested Tuesday by Wasco County Sheriff’s officers and lodged at NORCOR on fie counts of unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of Assault II, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Navarro is being held on $260,000 bail. Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Lane Magill indicated they have not yet determined a motive for the shooting, which left a man wounded. The victim was treated at Mid-Columbia Medical Center and released. Members of the public who may have additional information related to this case are encouraged to call the Detective Sergeant Scott Williams at 541-506-2580.
On a split vote, The Dalles City Council has voted to send a municipal gas tax hike proposal to voters in November. The vote was 3-2, with Dan Spatz, Carolyn Wood, and Bill Dick voting yes, and Linda Miller and Tim McGlothlin saying no. The proposed gas tax hike from the current three cents per gallon to six cents would be used to pay for street construction and maintenance. City staff has estimated the gas tax increase would bring in about $450,000 per year. Miller and McGlothlin indicated they wanted to hold the line or find off-setting budget cuts from other areas, including urban renewal. The Council will receive a ballot measure at its July 28 meeting to formally approve.
Significant progress has been made by crews mopping up the 652-acre White River Fire 12 miles west of Tygh Valley, increasing the number of acres inside the fire line that are fully extinguished. The increase in acreage is due to more accurate information and not to further spread of the fire. The fire is 65 percent contained. Day shift crews were working to hold the recently completed fire lines on the east and west sides of the White River Canyon and run hose lays deeper into the canyon. Mop-up also continues on the high ground on the north and south sides of canyon.
Two fires in the Mitchell and Spray area have combined to burn nearly 3,000 acres. The John Day-Watermen Complex includes the Baily Butte and Toney Butte Fires. The Baily Butte Fire, reported burning in timber, is located approximately 10 miles west of Mitchell, and is estimated at 800 to 1,000 acres in size. The Toney Butte Fire was reported Tuesday burning in grass, brush, juniper, sage and timber about six miles southwest of Spray, and is estimated at over 2,000 acres. Stage 2 evacuations were issued Monday night in the west branch road area near Mitchell. The Crystal Springs Campground on the Ochoco National Forest was also evacuated Monday night. The 385-acre Service Creek Fire, located approximately 11 miles west of Spray was ruled fully contained today.
Hood River County has closed on a piece of property near West Cascade Avenue to develop workforce housing. County Administrator David Meriwether says the two acres are located near the Hood River Crossing apartment complex, but added that’s not necessarily the kind of development they would do. Meriwether says they wanted to acquire the property while they had the opportunity, and County Commission Chair Ron Rivers noted a major goal of the Commission is to provide more workforce housing.
The Port of The Dalles has hired Lee Weinstein to develop marketing materials that can be given to business looking to locate in the community. Port Executive Director Andrea Klaas says one of the things they learned from a recent visit by a corporate site selector was the need to put together prospectus materials for specific businesses looking for new locations. Work on the North Chenowith Industrial Park continues, with an eye toward completion this fall.
Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden has introduced a bill he says will protect access to home health care services for seniors. The Hood River Republican says the “Securing Access Via Excellence for (SAVE) Medicare Home Health Act” would stop the Obama Administration’s proposed 14 percent payment cut to home health care providers. The SAVE Medicare Home Health Act repeals the Obamacare cuts in 2015-2017. Instead, savings are achieved by establishing a value-based purchasing program to better incentivize home healthcare agencies to deliver high-quality care to patients and reduce hospital readmission rates.